The Academy Awards arrive Sunday. Maybe you're in an Oscar pool. Maybe you have a rooting interest. Maybe you've been tossing and turning at night wondering if Leonardo DiCaprio is finally going to get his due. (Rest easy, friend. He is.)
To help you no matter your need, here are my final Oscar predictions for all 24 categories, including alternate picks in the closest races.
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"The Big Short"
"Bridge of Spies"
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
Will win: "The Big Short." The X factor here is the academy's preferential voting system, which asks voters to rank the movies in order. This rewards consensus choices, movies that show up consistently in voters' first, second or third place spots. "Spotlight" and "The Big Short" would seem to be those kinds of films. And since I’ve been calling it for "The Big Short" even before its PGA win, I’m going to stubbornly stick with that choice.
Could win: "Spotlight" or "The Revenant"
Lenny Abrahamson, "Room"
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "The Revenant"
Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight"
Adam McKay, "The Big Short"
George Miller, "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Will win: Never bet against the Directors Guild winner, which was Iñárritu. He'll become the first director to take consecutive Oscars since Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1950-51.
Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo"
Matt Damon, "The Martian"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"
Will win: DiCaprio. The inevitable Oscar, forecasted long before “The Revenant” screened for critics and audiences. I still have a hard time thinking DiCaprio was somehow “due” for this. He has been nominated four other times and lost to better work on each occasion. But DiCaprio did convey misery and suffering in "The Revenant" with a conviction that gave the movie a smidgen of gravitas. So give him the Oscar. Now we can start to work on getting the criminally overlooked Amy Adams one next.