Danny Baldwin’s 2016 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Danny Baldwin's 2016 Oscar Picks and PredictionsContrary to what some websites have decided in recent years, Oscar predicting should not be a year-round game. The winners are not to be obsessed over, as they fade from memory quicker than most things. But on the day of the ceremony, it makes for a fun game. This year, I managed to see every film nominated (yes, even the shorts and the films to which the Best Original Song nominees belong). My “Personal Pick” is what I want to win, my “Prediction” is what I think will win. If I were putting money down, I might change a few of my predictions from what’s listed below, and I have noted that where it is the case.



NOMINEES: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” “Spotlight.”

PERSONAL PICK: This year represents the great rarity that my two favorite movies of the year—“Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Brooklyn”—are both nominated. In fact, I like all eight nominees, for once. But, despite the selection, there’s no question of where my heart’s at: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

PREDICTION: The smart money says it’s a three-way race between “The Revenant,” “Spotlight,” and “The Big Short.” But if I’ve got no better than a 33% chance of nailing it, I’d rather send Max and Furiosa some good vibes and suicidally predict “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

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NOMINEES: Adam McKay, “The Big Short;” George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road;” Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant;” Lenny Abrahamson, “Room;” Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight.”

PERSONAL PICK: George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road.” No contest.

PREDICTION: George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Good vibes again.

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NOMINEES: Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo;” Matt Damon, “The Martian;” Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant;” Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs;” Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl.”

PERSONAL PICK: Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs.” Leo’s proved his chops over the years, but this is nowhere near his best work. Sorry.

PREDICTION: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant.” A gimme.

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NOMINEES: Cate Blanchett, “Carol;” Brie Larson, “Room;” Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy;” Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years;” Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn.”

PERSONAL PICK: Brie Larson, “Room.” I’m very tempted to pick Ronan, but Larson’s just too good, and after this and “Short Term 12,” she really earned it.

PREDICTION: Brie Larson, “Room.” Kind of amazing it’s as sewn-up as it is when this may be the strongest category in the whole show.

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NOMINEES: Christian Bale, “The Big Short;” Tom Hardy, “The Revenant;” Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight;” Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies;” Sylvester Stallone, “Creed.”

PERSONAL PICK: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies.” Technically unrivaled.

PREDICTION: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed.” The sentimental favorite.

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NOMINEES: Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight;” Rooney Mara, “Carol;” Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight;” Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl;” Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs.”

PERSONAL PICK: Rooney Mara, “Carol.” She’s really a lead, so I suppose Winslet is my real pick for Best Supporting Actress, but who am I to enforce category fraud in my picks?

PREDICTION: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl.” This is one of those long-accepted victories that I’m just going to continue to scratch my head at. She’s the best part of the movie, but that isn’t saying much.

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NOMINEES: Matt Charman, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, “Bridge of Spies;” Alex Garland, “Ex Machina;” Pete Docter, “Inside Out;” Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, “Spotlight;” Andrea Berloff and Jonathan Herman, “Straight Outta Compton.”

PERSONAL PICK: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, “Spotlight.”

PREDICTION: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, “Spotlight.”

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NOMINEES: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph, “The Big Short;” Nick Hornby, “Brooklyn;” Phyllis Nagy, “Carol;” Drew Goddard, “The Martian;” Emma Donaghue, “Room.”

PERSONAL PICK: Nick Hornby, “Brooklyn.”

PREDICTION: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph, “The Big Short.”

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NOMINEES: Ed Lachmann, “Carol;” Robert Richardson, “The Hateful Eight;” John Seale, “Mad Max: Fury Road;” Emmanuel Lubeszki, “The Revenant;” Roger Deakins, “Sicario.”

PERSONAL PICK: Robert Richardson, “The Hateful Eight.” This is, along with Best Actress, the strongest category of the show. I would be ecstatic with wins from any one of the five. But to me, it’s Richardson and Tarantino’s UltraPanavision experimentation that made the year, cinematographically speaking.

PREDICTION: Three in a row for Emmanuel Lubeszki, “The Revenant.” Well deserved.

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NOMINEES: “The Big Short,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Revenant,” “Spotlight,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

PREDICTION: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” but don’t be surprised if “The Big Short” upsets.

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NOMINEES: Sandy Powell, “Carol;” Sandy Powell, “Cinderella;” Paco Delgado, “The Danish Girl;” Jenny Beavan, “Mad Max: Fury Road;” Jacqueline West, “The Revenant.”

PERSONAL PICK: Sandy Powell, “Cinderella.” Sorry, I know nothing about costuming, so I’ve got a penchant for the most lavish and colorful costumes.

PREDICTION: Sandy Powell, “Cinderella.” … And the Academy has historically proven themselves to be a lot like me, although Powell could always split her own vote.

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NOMINEES: “Bridge of Spies,” “The Danish Girl,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Bridge of Spies.”

PREDICTION: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

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NOMINEES: “Ex Machina,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Mad Max: Fury Road.” With a slight pang for “Ex Machina.”

PREDICTION: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

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NOMINEES: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Sicario,” “Star Wars: The Force Awawkens.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

PREDICTION: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

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NOMINEES: “Bridge of Spies,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

PREDICTION: “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Let’s hope the voters got a chance to see it in Dolby Atmos.

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NOMINEES: “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” “The Revenant.”

PERSONAL PICK: “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.” A criminally underseen movie, might I add!

PREDICTION: “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

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NOMINEES: Thomas Newman, “Bridge of Spies;” Carter Burwell, “Carol;” Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight;” Jóhan Jóhansson, “Sicario;” John Williams, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

PERSONAL PICK: Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight,” but I’d be thrilled with Burwell or Jóhansson too, however unlikely.

PREDICTION: Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight.”

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NOMINEES: “Earned It” performed by The Weekend for “Fifty Shades of Grey;” “Manta Ray” performed by J. Ralph for “Racing Extinction;” “Simple Song #3” performed by Sumi Jo for “Youth;” “Til It Happens to You,” performed by Lady Gaga for “The Hunting Ground;” “Writing’s on the Wall” performed by Sam Smith for “Spectre.”

PERSONAL PICK: Literally the only nominee my ears could stand to listen to another time is Lady Gaga’s “Til it Happens to You.” But I have huge problems with “The Hunting Ground” as a documentary and the song is not well integrated. So I’m going to go with the song that actually plays a pivotal role in a film: “Simple Song #3” performed by Sumi Jo for “Youth.”

PREDICTION: “Til It Happens to You,” performed by Lady Gaga for “The Hunting Ground.” This category is an unabashed popularity contest.

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NOMINEES: “Anomalisa,” “Boy and the World,” “Inside Out,” “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” “When Marnie Was There.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Shaun the Sheep Movie.” Frankly, if anything but “Inside Out” won, I’d be thrilled, because all four are better movies. But Pixar even won for “Cars,” so…

PREDICTION: “Inside Out.” It’s fine.

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NOMINEES: “Amy,” “Cartel Land,” “The Look of Silence,” “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”

PERSONAL PICK: “The Look of Silence.” The best in a walk.

PREDICTION: “Amy.” I am OK with this.

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NOMINEES: “Embrace of the Serpent,” “Mustang,” “Son of Saul,” “Theeb,” “A War.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Son of Saul.” I love “Embrace of the Serpent” and “A War,” too, but this one, to my eyes, stands the best chance of being remembered in fifty years from now.

PREDICTION: “Son of Saul,” with an outside shot of “Mustang” surprising.

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NOMINEES: “Body Team 12,” “Chau, Beyond the Lines,” “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,” “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” “Last Day of Freedom.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Last Day of Freedom.” If I could wave my wand and choose one upset for the night, it would be this one.

PREDICTION: “Body Team 12.” Neck and neck with “A Girl in the River,” but with HBO marketing muscle.

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NOMINEES: “Bear Story,” “Prologue,” “Sanjay’s Super Team,” “We Can’t Live without Cosmos,” “World of Tomorrow.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Bear Story.” The political allegory in this movie broke my heart.

PREDICTION: “Sanjay’s Super Team.” Pixar is not invincible in this category (“Lava” wasn’t nominated, just in case you were looking for it), but they’ve got a natural advantage. I know the world of film critics would ignite with glee if “World of Tomorrow” won.

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NOMINEES: “Ave Maria,” “Day One,” “Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut),” “Shok,” “Stutterer.”

PERSONAL PICK: “Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut).” Far and away the best of the nominees, in my opinion.

PREDICTION: “Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut).” Here’s one where I cannot divorce my head and my heart, even though all the smart money’s on the pleasant “Ave Maria” or the terrible, exploitative “Shok.”

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Chris Rock hosts the 88th annual Academy Awards at 8:30 p.m. EST / 5:30 p.m. PST on ABC.