The Revenant likely to win Best Picture at Oscars

Despite the fact that the Academy Awards may just be another pageant stacked upon pageant in an industry guilty of possibly the most pageantry of all the industries (even fashion understands and admits what it’s doing can veer on the superficial sometimes), it’s always fun to place bets on who might win when it comes to the crème de la crème of trophies. More often than not, the race isn’t much of a race at all, with most Best Picture frontrunners claiming the crown quickly by sweeping at earlier award shows, like the Director’s Guild of America Awards, Producer’s Guild of America Awards or the Golden Globes. But this year, the race has been neck and neck, with Spotlight, The Big Short and The Revenant vying for the top spot — and each laying a pretty good claim for it.

However, there’s little doubt that Alejandro Inarritu’s The Revenant will score the top prize, simply by the virtue that the filmmakers complained the most about their shoot. Even though a film like Mad Max: Fury Road also had a legendarily difficult six-month shoot, the players involved were less vocal about it, seemingly proving that whoever cries loud enough gets the toy to placate them, right? Despite the fact that The Revenant is just one stretched-out sequence of Leonardo DiCaprio breathing heavily and crying on cue (and climbing into a hollowed-out animal carcass), Inarritu’s sun-drenched, snowy landscapes and propensity for using only natural light will probably not only score him the Best Picture, but Best Director as well (odds are Best Cinematography will also go to the film’s cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki). DiCaprio will also probably win Best Actor —  and though he deserves it, it shouldn’t really be said that he’s winning for his work in The Revenant, but rather for being such a good loser all those times he’s been nominated in the past and lost.

Brie Larson is the one to beat for Best Actress for her portrayal of a mother in Room. Though Christian Bale gave a rousing performance in The Big Short, Sylvester Stallone will probably get the nostalgia vote and win Best Supporting Actor. Best Supporting Actress is a little tough to decipher, with good performances by Kate Winslet, Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander, making this one a close call. Odds are it’ll go to Vikander, who gets the added boost of being young and fresh enough for Oscar voters to just generally like (the same could be said for Jennifer Lawrence a few years back).

Though Best Score should go to Jóhann Jóhannsson for Sicario, it will probably go to Ennio Morricone’s The Hateful Eight — which director Quentin Tarantino campaigned loudly for a couple months ago, referencing Morricone’s prolific music career as something that deserves recognition. Sicario in general will be ignored this year, even though Roger Deakins’ cinematography was absolutely astounding and breathtaking.

It’s a tie between Son of Saul and Mustang for Best Foreign Language Film — and if there are any shocks of the night, it will probably be if Mustang wins. Embrace of the Serpent and A War were two quiet pictures not nearly as eye-grabbing as Son of Saul or Mustang, even though the two former contenders definitely have proven their chops as films in general, but in different ways.

Editing will hopefully go to Mad Max: Fury Road, which is the black sheep of this awards season — if “black sheep” is the right phrase for something that has been universally lauded while still considered an outsider. George Miller’s apocalyptic road movie is one of the year’s best and deserves all the recognition it can get. Even if it’s only in editing, it’s better than nothing. Costume design could also go to Mad Max — Jenny Beavan did such a brilliant job with the Five Wives’ gauzy, ethereal, torn-up bandeau tops and barely there skirts. Not to mention Furiosa’s tough-girl cargo pants, strappy black boots and wicked mechanical arm. The costume design in Carol — while period perfect — can’t beat out post-apocalyptic madness, can it?

Best Documentary Feature will probably go to What Happened, Miss Simone? Documentaries are normally a quieter affair at the awards — often, audiences haven’t seen many of them to truly give their opinion one way or another, so this category is definitely an insider’s game.

Best Original Screenplay will go to Spotlight, while Best Adapted Screenplay will probably be given to The Big Short. Best Animated may be tough to call — Pixar’s Inside Out was a crowd favorite, but Charlie Kaufman’s melancholy Anomalisa may be a surprise no one was anticipating.

At the forefront of all this contending is of course the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, which, if none of these predictions are right, will definitely be addressed in the telecast come Sunday.