The Ex-Press Oscar Predictions 2016

Movies: Oscars 2016

Our expert guide — and some good guesses — about who will win the little man with the gold complexion come curtain time

By Katherine Monk

Chris Rock is in a hard place. Hosting this year’s Oscars isn’t a task for amateurs who get by on dimples, he’ll need to do an entirely different song and dance and address, and hopefully undress, the diversity issue that continues to ripple through every corner of the industry, putting legendary stars in embarrassing situations.

Poor Meryl Streep. You know she’s going to get some zinger about about how “we all come from Africa.” And poor Sylvester Stallone, having to represent Creed as the white guy, and poor Bryan Cranston and Michael Fassbender who handed in spectacular performances as two different brands of genius in Trumbo and Steve Jobs but will not take home the big prize.

It was a year of great performances in so-so movies, or at least movies that never fully connected with audiences in the way Star Wars did — which makes calling the best picture particularly tough. Then again, Oscar predictions aren’t rocket science — even if there is some science, and it does involve stars. It’s a matter of figuring out how many voters, in all likelihood, actually saw the films. It’s about looking at the titles alone, and thinking of which names sound best. It’s about studying who won all the previous hardware that’s been handed out since red carpet season started, and who seems the most deserving based on a complete body of work over a particular turn. And it’s also about lots of guessing… dressed up as expert knowledge, so here’s my black tie best bets.



Lots of great stuff here. But not one that everyone can agree on. The Revenant may be getting a lot of chatter, but the story was empty. Spotlight had the substance and the stellar cast, and may be able to pull some more votes away from the close herd.

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant


Spotlight * WINNER



The easiest category of the night to call with Leo DiCaprio winning for The Revenant. Why? Because it’s his turn. Sorry Freddie. I mean Lily. I mean Eddie. If only it were Will Smith, who found beauty in Concussion.

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant * WINNER

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl



It really is an honour to be nominated in the company of these women, so when the winner opens her speech with that line, it won’t be empty — even if there is plenty of Room. Win for Brie Larson, because she pulled us through an impossible journey and made every second real. And because her Canadian co-star Jacob Tremblay was completely snubbed for one of the best performances of the year.

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room * WINNER

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn



Like I said before, Jacob Tremblay didn’t make it here. The category is still stacked with talent, but even with Christian Bale and Mark Ruffalo in the mix, it’s going to be Sly Stallone who had the guts to reprise his Rocky alter ego with dignity, and give it one last fight in a supporting role in Creed. The votes were cast after the “so white” fracas, so Creed has a boost over Bale.

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed * WINNER



Another fully-loaded category, but this prize typically goes to the latest ingenue, who happens to be Alicia Vikander, who blew everyone’s mind in Ex Machina, and proved what it takes to be a woman in The Danish Girl. She also goes out with Michael Fassbender, and who doesn’t love a beautiful couple.

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl * WINNER

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs



No contest. Inside Out was the one film that everyone saw, and could have won Best Picture… if animated films were eligible.


Boy and the World

Inside Out * WINNER

Shaun the Sheep Movie When Marnie Was There



The spectacle of John Seale’s Mad Max: Fury Road and Emmanuel Lubezki’s The Revenant? The retro cinematic artistry of Robert Richardson (Hateful Eight) and Edward Lachman (Carol) — who both used film? Or the haunting camera of Roger Deakins (Sicario)? If you ask me, I’d go with Carol. But there’s a love-in with The Revenant. Which is why I’m going with Mad Max: Fury Road, because it was all camera.


The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road * WINNER

The Revenant




When you have Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett wearing the wardrobe, you’re dressing for Oscar success. Period costumes, elegant period fabrics and wire-rimmed lingerie ensured every detail fell into place.

Carol * WINNER


The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road The Revenant



No longer a guaranteed date with best picture, best director is up for grabs. It’s a long shot for George Miller, a decent chance for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and a slight edge for Tom McCarthy.

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant


Spotlight * WINNER



Asif Kapadia’s archival-based chronicle of Amy Winehouse’s bumpy ride to fame was one of the best movies of the year. No contest.


Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom



Total guess… based on membership.

Body Team 12

Chau, beyond the Lines

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah * WINNER

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Last Day of Freedom



If George Miller doesn’t win for best director of Mad Max, the film could win for best editing, but Star Wars may well win the day, given its dearth of nods and Darth of Vaders.

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant


Star Wars: The Force Awakens * WINNER



Holocaust movies always have an edge, and Son of Saul, a Hungarian film about a father trying to bury his son feels different from other movies cut from the same cloth because it’s so intensely personal, and shot from one point of view.

Embrace of the Serpent


Son of Saul * WINNER


A War



Even though Charlize went Sinead, the look of Mad Max made the movie.

Mad Max: Fury Road * WINNER

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant



Give it to the legend… Ennio.

Bridge of Spies


The Hateful Eight * WINNER


Star Wars: The Force Awakens



It’s the freakin weekend. So give it to the Weeknd.

“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey * WINNER

“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction

“Simple Song #3,” Youth

“Til It Happens To You,” The Hunting Ground

“Writing’s On The Wall,” Spectre



The movie was a bore, but the production design on Bridge of Spies was flawless.

Bridge of Spies * WINNER

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant



Total guess… let’s go with the one with a long, politically progressive title.

Bear Story


Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live without Cosmos World of Tomorrow * WINNER



More guesswork. I like Everything Will be Okay.

Ave Maria

Day One

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut) * WINNER





Denis Villeneuve’s amazing thriller Sicario deserved more love. So hopefully it will win for its skillful collage of sound.

Mad Max: Fury Road The Martian

The Revenant

Sicario * WINNER

Star Wars: The Force Awakens



Unlike sound editing, sound mixing is for sound recorded on set — which means it’s likely to go to The Revenant or Fury Road.

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant * WINNER

Star Wars: The Force Awakens



You’d think Star Wars would own this one, but The Revenant had more visual effects than the science-fiction movies, and it had to look real — so The Revenant will reappear on stage.

Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant * WINNER

Star Wars: The Force Awakens



Emma Donoghue wrote a beautiful book and a seamless screenplay for Room and Phyllis Nagy did a brilliant job adapting Patricia Highsmith’s prose with Carol. Carol is worthy of a win, but Room seems to have a fine romance with the membership.

The Big Short



The Martian




Okay. It’s the only nomination for Straight Outta Compton, one of the biggest films at the box office that was otherwise entirely passed over. There may be some guilt votes that go its way, pushing other worthy contenders such as Ex Machina, Spotlight and Inside Out aside. And let’s not forget the Coen brothers wrote the bore that was Bridge of Spies. But the votes were cast post-fracas, which gives Compton the advantage.

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out


Straight Outta Compton * WINNER


  • These are non-scientific predictions. The Ex-Press will not be held liable for office pool wipeouts, illegal wagering, or bookmaking of any kind.


THE EX-PRESS, February 28, 2016


2 Replies to "The Ex-Press Oscar Predictions 2016"

  • Eileen Grady March 6, 2016 (10:25 am)

    The Academy Awards were a bigger sham than usual as “Beasts of No Nation” was not nominated for best movie or any of the actor awards. It was phenomenal! Could it be because the film was made through Netflix and that scared the be-jesus out of Hollywood?

  • David Chesney February 28, 2016 (12:31 pm)

    Well I will be checking back tomorrow to see how you did Ms Monk. The scenery was the only redeeming factor of Mad Max Fury Road or whatever the hell they ended up calling it.

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