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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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

 discuss on the blog

final predictions


Best Costume Design
Sandy Powell
(12 noms | 3 wins)
Sandy Powell
(12 noms | 3 wins)
The Danish Girl
Paco Delgado
(2 nominations)
Mad Max Fury Road
Jenny Beavan
(10 noms | 1 win)
The Revenant
Jacqueline West
(3 nominations)

 Everything about Carol is exquisite. And Carol Aird too. that wardrobe CDG Nom

Exquisitely bold and every color in the world in impossibley lux gaudy harmonyCDG Nom

 This great designer followed up his Les Miz designs by making Redmayne even prettier CDG Nom

Even better than the costume themselves is the realization than Jenny f'in Beaven made them - talk about range! BFCA winner CDG Nom

Hairy men drowning in animal fur in inhospitable climates -- but Leo's fur coat is pretty memorable

Will / Should / Could

Will Win: A tough call If they go for "Most Costumes" they're going for CINDERELLA (we usually mean "Most" derogatively but not so in this crazy inspired case) but my hunch is this proves the sole win for either CAROL or THE DANISH GIRL

Should Win: Sandy Powell.

Could Win: THE REVENANT or MAD MAX FURY ROAD could take this if either is a technical sweeper though neither or them are the typical kinds of movies that win in this category.


•  Sandy Powell is the first costume designer to ever be double nominated in a single category TWICE in her career. Not even Edith Head pulled that off. Here's something even crazier about that: the last time she did it, it was also with a big hit (Shakespeare in Love) and a Todd Haynes picture (Velvet Goldmine). She's now been nominated 3 times for designing for Cate Blanchett (she won the Oscar for The Aviator)

• If Sandy Powell wins this year she ties Milena Canonero as the most Oscar-winning living costume designer. Milena currently has 4 Oscars (having just won again for Grand Budapest Hotel) while Powell has 3.

• Sandy Powell has never won Costume Design in a year wherein Colleen Atwood wasn't also nominated. With her chief rival for constant Oscar love missing can she pull it off? (Pssst. They could be back in play as rivals next year: Powell has the John Cameron Mitchell film How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Colleen Atwood has 3 big franchise efforts: Fantastic Beasts, The Huntsman's Winter's War, and Alice Through the Looking Glass)

Who Got Left Out?


Former Oscar favorites Janet Patterson (FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWED) and Jacqueline Durran (MACBETH) were ignored by both Oscar and the Costume Designers Guild. But the Guild did recognize several movies that did not go on to costume nominations including: TRUMBO (Daniel Orlandi), BROOKLYN (Odile Dicks-Mireaux), CRIMSON PEAK (Kate Hawley), THE MARTIAN (Janty Yates), STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS (Michael Kaplan) and YOUTH (Carlo Poggioli)


Best Cinematography Predictions
Edward Lachman
(2 nominations)
Hateful Eight
Robert Richardson
(9 noms | 3 wins)
Mad Max Fury Road
John Seale
(5 noms | 1 win)
The Revenant
Emmanuel Lubeszki
(8 noms | 2 wins)
Roger Deakins
(13 nominations)


The Far From Heaven team. Lachman sure can paint a beautiful picture BSFC Win, NYFCC Win, ASC Nom

Oscar's obsession with Richardson knows no bound. They love him with Tarantino and this one has the 70mm hook.

 Seale won his only Oscar shooting similarly scorched earth (English Patient) OFCS Win, LAFCA Win ASC Nom

Lubeszki, always up for a challenge (see Gravity, Children of Men, Birdman, etcetera) and natural light BFCA winner, ASC Nom


   Deakins is still waiting for that Oscar win but he's one of the titans of his craft. ASC Nom

Will / Should / Could

Will Win: This is a tough call. Obviously THE REVENANT is beloved by The Academy and all natural light is a selling point. But a handful of statues for MAD MAX FURY ROAD's technical triumph seem possible

Should Win: It'd be nice to see CAROL's dreamy super16 or MAD MAX FURY ROAD's crazy color and technical bravado take this prize.

Could Win: Roger Deakins *still* hasn't won. If his campaign can make that enough of a story perhaps SICARIO can come up from behind to take it?

• Should Lubezki win for THE REVENANT it will be the first time anyone other than Walt Disney himself has won 3 consecutive Oscars. Walt Disney won endless "Short Subject Cartoons" and "Short Subject Two Reel" trophies as a producer for the first three decades of Oscar history.

• Roger Deakins has now tied George J Folsey (1898-1988) who lensed films like Meet Me In St Louis and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as the cinematographer with the most nominations who has never won the gold. Only four men have received more than 13 nominations in this category (Leon Shamroy, Robert Surtees, and Charles B Lang Jr, and Harry Stradling Sr) and they all won the Oscar at least once.
Who got left out?


Recognized elsewhere: Bridge of Spies Januz Kaminski ASC Nom ; Beasts of No Nation - Cary Joji Fukunaga Spirit nom; The Martian Dariusz Wolski BFCA nom,



Best Production Design Predictions
Bridge of Spies
Adam Stockhausen
(3 noms | 1 win)
The Danish Girl
Eve Stewart
(4 nominations)
Mad Max Fury Road
Colin Gibson
1st nomination !
The Martian
Arthur Max
(3 nominations)
The Revenant
Jack Fisk
(2 nominations)

He has tremendous range (Anderson, Spielberg, and McQueen?) and the craft work is noticeable ADG Nom [Interview Soon]

.  Lush and showy and well appointed - just how the traditionalists like it ADG Nom


They got really gonzo adventuruous for once but good call BFCA Win & LAFCA Win, ADG Nom


 Oscar loves space survival. See also Interstellar and Gravity ADG Nom

 Fisk excels at outdoor movies and it's crazy he doesnt' have an Oscar ADG Nom [Interview]

Will / Should / Could

Will / Should Win: MAD MAX FURY ROAD seems like the likeliest recipient of this prize... as long as they're feeling like it needs a few craft trophies for its troubles

Could Win: On the other hand... the tech prizes do surprise since the whole Academy votes and who knows what, say, Actors or Publicsts or Sound guys think of the Production Design, Locations, and Set Decorations of these movies. So next most likely... hmmm, you tell me. This one seems like an "anything goes" category (if Mad Max isn't a multiple trophy winner)


• Jack Fisk has had the longest career of the nominees (starting back in the early 70s with Terrence Malick and Brian de Palma)

• Eve Stewart (King's Speech), Arthur Max (Gladiator), Adam Stockhausen (12 Years a Slave) all have one Best Picture winner on their resume

Who Got Left Out?


Star Wars: The Force Awakens's Rick Carter, Cinderella's Dante Ferretti, and Crimson Peak's Thomas E Sanders were among the ADG nominees that did work showy enough to grab Oscar's attention. But not quite as it turned out. The Critics Choice nominations also made room for Carol's Judy Becker


Best Film Editing Predictions
The Big Short
Hank Corwin
1st nomination !
The Force Awakens
Maryann Brandon & Mary Jo Markey
1st nomination !
Mad Max Fury Road
Jason Ballantine & Margaret Sixel
1st nomination !
The Revenant
Stephen Mirrione
3 noms | 1 win
Tom McArdle
1st nomination !

Most Editing ACE Nom, LAFCA Win


They caught Star Wars fever ACE Nom

A Bravura achievement BFCA winner, ACE Nom, OFCS Win, BSFC Win

Frontier vengeance w/ tense moments ACE Nom

Best Picture heat

Will / Should / Could

Will Win: This looks to be a battle between The Big Short and Mad Max Fury Road. Not ready yet to predict which one will take it.

Should Win: Mad Max Fury Road hands down, among this field and among many other fields, too, actually from previous years

Could Win: All but Star Wars could take this if they're headed to a Best Picture win. Mad Max Fury Road is the single picture that might take it without also nabbing Best Picture.

• The Editing win is closely tied to Best Picture in the imagination. This stems from the fact that Best Picture winners are almost always nominated for this prize. In the modern era only Ordinary People (1980) and Birdman (2014) have won the Best Picture Oscar without being nominated for Editing. BUT... the Best Picture winner wins less frequently than you'd think. In this current decade only one Best Picture winner (Argo) has also taken Editing !
Who Got Left Out?


Films that looked like they could make it during precursor season included: Sicario Joe Walker OFCS nom ACE Nom; Room - Nathan Nugent Spirit nom ; Steve Jobs Elliott Graham OFCS nom and two frequent Oscar players in Pietro Scalia for The Martian or Michael Kahn for Bridge of Spies Michael Kahn


Best Visual Effects Predictions

Ex Machina
Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Williams Ardington, and Sara Bennett
1st nomination for all !  
The Force Awakens
Roger Guyett (4 noms), Chris Cobould (3 noms | 1 win), Pat Tubach (2 noms), and Neal Scanlan (2 noms | 1 win)
Mad Max Fury Road
Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver, and Andy Williams
1st nomination for all ! 
The Martian
Richard Stammers (3 noms), Chris Lawrence (2 noms | 1 win), Anders Langlands and Steven Warner (1st nomination for both !)
The Revenant
Cameron Waldbauer (2 noms), Richard McBride, Matt Shumway, and Jason Smith (1st nomination for each !)  

would you like to be Ava's friend?

May the force be with you (again) WITNESS ME! He's gonna science the shit out of this Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My
Will / Should / Could
Will Win: Mad Max Fury Road, because they have to give it something
Should Win: Mad Max or Ex Machina (though they rarely consider effects this low-key so they must have been really impressed with Ava)
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens if they're feeling nostalgic and want to honor the record breaking return of this franchise
The Revenant's nomination has extremely few precedents since it's largely based on one scene (Judy's attack). The only correlative I can recall is Hereafter's tsunami sequence
Star Wars pictures have frequently been honored here. Each film in the original trilogy was given an Oscar for its visual effects. 
• Superhero pictures, which you'd think might dominate this category in the current franchise climate, aren't really that strong with Oscar's visual fx branch. The only competitive superhero film winner EVER is Spider-Man (2004). Superman (1978) is the only other winner but that was a non competitive award
Who Got Left Out?


The Finalists from the bakeoff were: Ant-Man, Tommorrowland, The Walk, Avengers Age of Ultron, Jurassic World

The Semi-Finalists were: Furious 7, Mission Impossible, Terminator Genisys, Pan, Jupiter Ascending, In the Heart of the Sea, Everest, Chappie, Spectre, The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Pt 2

Effects Heavy Films that didn't make the finals Crimson Peak, Cinderella, Kingsman: Secret Service, The Man From UNCLE, Pan


Best MakeUp and Hair Predictions
It remains a mystery why this category is the only catetgory that still has only 3 spots even though every live action film has a hair and makeup department. This category holds the rare honor this year of EVERY SINGLE NOMINEE BEING AN OSCAR VIRGIN

Mad Max Fury Road
Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin
1st nomination for all !
The Revenant
Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert A Pandini
1st nomination for all ! 
The 100 Year Old Man Who...
Love Larson and Eva Von Bahr 
1st nomination for all ! 



Smoky eye power & mutations Near death experiences and gross grooming Continual aging and famous faces recreated  
Will Win: Mad Max Fury Road 
Should Win: Mad Max Fury Road
Could Win: The Revenant if they don't assume Leo's ravaged face came entirely from A-C-T-I-N-G
Who Got Left Out. 


The Make Up branche's bake offs also produced the following finalists: Black Mass, Concussion, Legend and Mr. Holmes.

They did not make the finals (though who knows why): The Danish Girl BFCA nom, Carol BFCA nom, Cinderella, Creed, The MartianEx Machina, The Hateful Eight BFCA nom, Brooklyn, MacBeth, Trumbo, Victor Frankenstein, Crimson Peak, Southpaw, Pan