How’d I Do on This Year’s Oscars?

With this year’s Academy Awards ceremony behind us, it’s time to take a look at how I did on my predictions for the winners in this annual competition, as first outlined in my previous blog, “Who Will Win This Year’s Oscars”, posted on February 17.

And the result? Five out of six correct calls, with one miss. Here are the details:

Best Picture

Projected Winner: “Spotlight”
Actual Winner: “Spotlight”
Result: Correct call

As the toughest of the major races to call in this year’s Oscars, it was gratifying to make the right prediction in this category. Despite the formidable challenge put forth by “The Revenant” and modest competition from “The Big Short,” “Spotlight” managed to prevail, probably for the reasons outlined in my previous blog. I still would have preferred “The Big Short” as the winner in this category, but, in the end, it didn’t have enough momentum behind it to pull off a win.

Best Actor

Projected Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Actual Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Result: Correct call

This was a slam dunk. Because DiCaprio won virtually everything leading up to the Oscars, there was no way this trend wouldn’t hold in this competition. As noted in my previous blog, in my opinion, this wasn’t the winner’s strongest performance, but he was overdue for a victory, and the Academy honored him accordingly. I still would have preferred Bryan Cranston for “Trumbo” in this category, but there was no stopping the DiCaprio juggernaut.

Best Actress

Projected Winner: Brie Larson, “Room”
Actual Winner: Brie Larson, “Room”
Result: Correct call

This was another slam dunk. Larson won every major award leading up the Oscars, so her victory came as no surprise, and, thankfully, this was a case of the right performer winning her award for the right performance. She fended off some rather formidable competition on her way to victory (on her first nomination, too), but she indeed was the best of the bunch. Look for more great things from this remarkable talent.

Best Supporting Actor

Projected Winner: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Actual Winner: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Result: Missed call

I truly thought this was going to be another slam dunk, but Rylance’s upset win proved to be one of Oscar night’s true surprises (and a very pleasant one at that). Stallone won every award in the competitions in which he was nominated leading up the Oscars, and he appeared to be the sentimental favorite. However, there were two contests in which Stallone failed to secure a nomination – the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which recognized Idris Ela for “Beasts of No Nation” (who was not nominated here), and the BAFTA Awards, the most recently presented of the major awards, which honored Rylance. It could well be that Rylance’s BAFTA win marked the turning of the tide in his favor, and it’s a result I can’t say I was disappointed with. While my first choice in this category would have been Tom Hardy for “The Revenant,” Rylance would have been my second choice, given his understated performance as a quiet, unassuming man who harbors a wealth of secrets. In any event, whether Hardy or Rylance (or any of the other nominees for that matter) had come up the victor, I’m just glad that the Academy didn’t give in to the undue sentimentality for Stallone, a performance that never should have even been nominated, let alone come away an undeserving winner.

Best Supporting Actress

Projected Winner: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Actual Winner: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Result: Correct call

At the time I posted my first blog, this was the only acting category in which I believed there was any room for doubt. I saw the contest as a two-horse race between eventual winner Vikander and Kate Winslet for “Steve Jobs,” with Vikander as the predicted victor (and deservingly so). As in the best actress competition, Vikander was the class of the category, and it was gratifying to see her take home the statue.

Best Director

Projected Winner: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
Actual Winner: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
Result: Correct call

Once again, this was a fairly easy win to project, given Iñárritu’s victories in all of the major competitions leading up to the Oscars. I still would have preferred Adam McKay for “The Big Short,” but the victor had the momentum behind him coming into the Oscars, and it held firm in the end.

To find out more about what I had to say about this year’s winners and my preferences in some of the leading categories, check out my reviews at the following links:

“Room”
“Spotlight”
“The Big Short”
“The Danish Girl”
“Trumbo”

Oscar® and Academy Award® are registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Copyright © 2016, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.

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