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88th Oscars. Oscar Contenders for 2015 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

final predictions


Christian Bale
41 yrs old
3 noms | 1 win
The Big Short
Dec 11th

Winner BFCA (Comedy)

Tom Hardy 
38 yrs old
1st nomination!

The Revenant 
Dec 25th

Mark Ruffalo
48 yrs old
3 nominations

Nov 5th
Mark Rylance
56 yrs old
1st nomination!

Bridge of Spies
Oct 16th


Sylvester Stallone
69 yrs old
2 noms... for acting
Nov 25th




How'd they get nominated?
40% He's Christian Bale. Default to famous when confused.
30% Timing. Big Short strong out of the gate
15% Performance
7% Bait: Glass eye - shout out to Bill the Butcher!
5% The most intriguing storyline within the ensemble
3% Precursor attention
25% Leo's bro power pulls his men in w/ him
21% Spicy Bait: Villains prioritized here 
20% Timing. Revenant shiniest new toy
15% Everyone wishes they could have punched Inarittu in the face
10% Performance - they like 'em BIG to shake up slow epics
9% Mad Max Fury Rd 
40% Most Performance in an understated movie. 26% Comfort Food Bait:  Most stated performance too since he gets the big 'we can't let them get away with this' speech
22% Best Picture Heat: Here, man. Represent this fine cast.
9% He hasn't won yet?
3% Political chutzpah & all around likeability
45% Timing & Precursor Lockstep Approval. Settled in early as the prestige contender to beat
21% Performance
14% "Would it help?" Everyone loves a catchphrase
11% Major thespian cred from the stage
9% Tom Hanks & Steven Spielberg
50% Nostalgic pull of Rocky Balboa (signature role / Performance) and poetic parallels. He's now the same age as Burgess Meredith, his trainer in Rocky (1976)
26% Seasoned Bait: Mentors are good bets in this category
13% Ryan Coogler & Michael B Jordan
11% Precursor approval

Trivia Fun

• MASTER THESPIAN: Mark Rylance is the only stage star among them (though Ruffalo has dabbled) and he's won 3 Tonys and 2 Olivier Awards in New York and London

• SPIELBERG: Only Ruffalo & Stallone have not appeared in a Steven Spielberg production. Bale began in Empire of the Sun, Hardy got a break on Band of Brothers and Rylance is Spielberg's new go-to. He's also voicing the giant in The BFG (2016)

• DANGLY BITS: All five of these men have gone full frontal onscreen! You have to wonder if that's ever happened for a male acting lineup before: Bale in American Psycho - though that didnt make the final cut;  Hardy in Bronson - and constantly; Ruffalo in Jane Campion's In the Cut; Rylance in Intimacy -with explicit sex scenes no less; and Stallone in the softcore porno Party at Kitty & Studs 

• SIGNATURE ROLE: Sylvester Stallone now holds the record of longest gap between Oscar nominations for playing the same character (1976/2015). Strangely this two nominations for the same character isn't as rare as you'd think. The previous record holder was Paul Newman for "Fast" Eddie Felson (1961/1986)

• EGOT? Nobody is further than 1 prize towards that goal though if Rylance or Ruffalo wins this Oscar they're halfway there (if you count Emmys for producing since Ruffalo won for The Normal Heart)  

'Will? Should? Could?' Win

Will / Should: It's Stallone's to lose, given the Rocky nostalgia for his 1976 Best Picture winner and his humble authentic take on this aging fighter

Should/Could: If there's an upset look for Rylance from Bridge of Spies who has the benefit of a spectacular reputation (a god on the stage) and a catch phrase "would it help?"

Who got left out?

Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Paul Dano (Love and Mercy) possibly split their votes between lead and supporting though they campaigned here. Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), and Benicio Del Toro (Sicario) were probably close calls given their ample precursor attention. Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina) had critical love but an unfriendly-to-Oscar genre (sci-fi being their least favorite). Weirdly Michael Keaton's campaign for Spotlight never seemed to take though for our money his performance is richer than Ruffalo's in the film.