2016 Oscar Predictions: Our Picks in Every Category

Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
If not, then: The Revenant


Gold Derby recently had a poll on its website asking what the biggest lock of the night was. Obvious options were choices like Leonardo Dicaprio and Brie Larson winning in the acting categories.

Mad Max: Fury Road winning Best Production Design was actually another choice in the poll, and you’d be surprised how many people voted for it. Seriously though, Fury Road creates a breathtaking landscape for viewers to explore. The set pieces are jaw-dropping and the overall world created by George Miller and company is astounding.


Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
If not, then: Cinderella

Does Mad Max: Fury Road deserve this award? Maybe not. After all, Cinderella’s costume design was one of the highlights of the film. This is the Oscars we’re talking about though, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve learned that in the technical categories, it’s not always the most deserving movie that gets the award. Rather, it’s the movie with the most hype.

Mad Max: Fury Road likely won’t walk home with any major award on Oscar night, but it will do exceptionally well in the technical categories. This is one of many that the film is predicted to win.


Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
If not, then: The Revenant

You will begin to notice that the main choice for most of the technical categories will either be Mad Max: Fury Road or The Revenant. The second choice will be the film not chosen as the frontrunner. The technical fields are one hundred percent a battle between these two movies.

The makeup and hairstyling category seems like less of a close call than some of the other technical categories. The makeup was always impressive in Fury Road, and the hairstyling was equally noteworthy. The Revenant simply didn’t stand out in this category by comparison.


Best Score: The Hateful Eight
If not, then: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Hateful Eight movie review

After six nominations, it’s about time Morricone finally wins an Oscar. Most people consider him a legend at this point in his career. It’d be easy to dismiss his frontrunner status as the result of his overall career. That’s fair because the Oscars do love to give unofficial lifetime achievement awards to its winner.

However, his haunting score for The Hateful Eight absolutely deserves this award regardless of his prior work. It’s an absolute joy to listen to, and it’s also the perfect accompaniment to Tarantino’s latest Western. Regardless of how you feel about the rater polarizing film, you can’t deny that Morricone’s score is something worthy of praise.


Best Song: Til it Happens to You by Lady Gaga (The Hunting Ground)
If not, then: Writings on the Wall by Sam Smith (Spectre)

If Gaga’s acting victory at the Golden Globes (over Kirsten Dunst, which is a crying shame) proves anything, it’s that if Lady Gaga is attached to something, voters will eat it up. She has become a pop culture icon. As such, her contributions are hard to ignore.

Writings on the Wall is definitely a close second here, especially since it has done pretty well in the precursors. Still, given Lady Gaga’s undeniable popularity, “Til it Happens to You” seems like a good bet in this category.


Best Sound Editing: The Revenant
If not, then: Mad Max: Fury Road

This is practically 50/50 between The Revenant and Fury Road, but The Revenant gets the slight edge after surprising everyone and nabbing the Sound awards at the BAFTAs and the Cinema Audio Society. It will almost definitely be one of the two movies, but picking which one is a tough task.

Most pundits are still going with Fury Road, but given the amount of hype The Revenant has been earning, it seems pretty obvious that it will pick up some technical victories.


Best Sound Mixing: The Revenant
If not, then: Mad Max: Fury Road

A split is definitely a possibility here. Similar to the Sound Editing category, this is an extremely close call. Seriously, flip a coin for who you think should win because that’s about as accurate as my guess. It will be either The Revenant or Fury Road, but deciding between those two is a tough call.


Best Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road
If not, then: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Shocking absolutely nobody is the fact that Mad Max: Fury Road currently stands as the frontrunner in the visual effects category. Unlike the other technical categories, The Revenant is not Fury Road’s biggest rival.

This time it’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which recently won the BAFTA for its visual effects. Mad Max: Fury Road has the Academy’s love on its side. Earning an astounding ten nominations, it just seems like the Academy really adores the film. That seems like it’ll definitely be an advantage in the end.


Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
If not, then: Anomalisa

Inside Out

This one is a lock, folks. Inside Out will once again earn Pixar the Best Animated Feature trophy. Keep in mind, however, that they haven’t actually won this award for the past two years.

For most animation studios, that’s probably not a big deal. For Pixar, however, two years is honestly a weirdly large gap. Anomalisa is in a very distant second place, but don’t count on it winning. It’s not going to happen.


Best Documentary Feature: Amy
If not, then: The Look of Silence


Amy isn’t as Academy friendly as The Look of Silence or even Cartel Land, but it has garnered so much praise that it doesn’t seem to be in too much trouble. Historically speaking, the “cool” documentaries don’t often win. Exit Through the Gift Shop wasn’t able to pull through several years ago, but Amy is looking like a much more serious contender.

Sure, Amy Winehouse may not be much of a cultural icon to the stereotypically older Academy voters, but the heaps of praise for her documentary is hard to ignore. Don’t be surprised if a safer choice wins, but Amy seems like the closest thing to a frontrunner in this category.


Best Animated Short: Sanjay’s Super Team
If not, then: World of Tomorrow

The Academy loves Pixar shorts. Nearly every time one is nominated, it ends up winning. The adorable short films included in Pixar movies are consistently excellent and Sanjay’s Super Team is no exception. The short has earned critical acclaim from most critics and viewers.

The short film’s biggest opposer is World of Tomorrow, which managed to snag the award Best Animated Short Subject at the 43rd Annie Awards. Given the Academy’s history of recognizing Pixar and Disney shorts, however, Sanjay’s Super Team still appears to have a strong chance.


Best Documentary Short: Claude Lanzmann: Specters of the Shoah
If not, then: Body Team 12

Most pundits have bet on Body Team 12 to take this one, but Claude Lanzmann: Specters of the Shoah seems like the safer pick. The older Academy voters will certainly recognize the name. The film simply seems like it more closely follows Academy expectations.

This is the time of film they will vote for. Even worse, Body Team 12 is far too short to deserve frontrunner status, especially when you consider the fact that a documentary shorter than 20 minutes hasn’t won this prize in a few decades. Statistically speaking, Body Team 12 has a few problems to overcome.


Best Live Action Short: Ave Maria
If not, then: Stutterer

This one is a tough call. There’s little in terms of precursor awards that help predict this category. Most people are begging Ave Maria, though.

It’s probably the most critically acclaimed and well known of the bunch. In addition, the subject matter is probably the most appealing to Academy voters. This one is more or less a wildcard in the end though. Like every year, anything could happen in this category, along with the other two shorts categories.


Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul
If not, then: Mustang

Son of Saul

This one is a lock as well. Son of Saul has swept the precursor awards and it’s one of the most critically adored films of the year. The subject matter is perfect for Academy voters. It’s nothing too out of the ordinary. That’s not the only reason they’re voting for it, though.

The film is legitimately one of the best of the year. It’s not just one of the best foreign films of 2015, but one of 2015’s best films in general. The Academy is sure to recognize it for all of its outstanding achievements.

Author Bio: Justin is a paraprofessional teaching assistant and full-time film enthusiast with a degree in English. When he’s not writing about films, he’s probably watching them in his spare time.