2016 Oscar Nominations: The “Minor” Sure-Thing Awards

To those in the so-called “minor” awards—those outside the top six—the Oscar is anything but minor. But to most folks outside of the industry, the awards outside of the acting, directing and best picture awards are of somewhat less interest.

Today, I’m addressing a small handful of important but less high-visibility awards. They are also those that I am pretty sure of at this point.

Best Original Screenplay nominations are:

Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen—Bridge of Spies

Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley—Inside Out

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer—Spotlight

Alex Garland—Ex Machina

Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus—Straight Outta Compton

 Without addressing those that I don’t think will win, I’ll just go right to the winner:

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight.

Spotlight intelligently addresses a difficult and complex topic with grace and sensitivity, as well as placing the issues in the context of a gripping and suspenseful story. It contains layer upon layer of fascinating sub-stories that are smartly brought together at the end but with a conclusion that is satisfying and disturbing at the same time.

Best Adapted Screenplay nominations are:

Emma Donoghue—Room

Drew Goddard—The Martian

Nick Hornby—Brooklyn

Adam McKay and Charles Randolph—The Big Short

Phyllis Nagy—Carol

And the winner will be:

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short

The Big Short intelligently addresses a difficult and complex topic with humor and attitude, as well as placing the issues in the context of a gripping and suspenseful story. It contains layer upon layer of fascinating sub-stories that are smartly brought together at the end but with a conclusion that is satisfying and disturbing at the same time.

Best Animated Feature nominations are:

Anomalisa

Boy and the World

Inside Out

When Marnie Was There

Shaun the Sheep

Two things first: I thought when Anomalisa was released to such positive reviews that it might provide an upset. I certainly don’t think that anymore. And…I’m glad that The Good Dinosaur didn’t get nominated because it was pretty bad.

The winner will be: Inside Out. Perhaps the best Pixar movie ever. For a “classically” animated film, it’s head and shoulders above all the others like it.

And since you most likely stay up nights worried about what film will win best sound mixing and best sound editing, relax! Both are going to Mad Max: Fury Road.

Other “sure” things:

Best Documentary Feature: Amy

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul

The other categories? Too hard to make a solid call!

The next two days: Best Director and Best Picture.

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About Mark DuPré

Full-time (associate) pastor at a Christian church. Part-time film professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband for 40 years to the lovely and talented Diane. Father to three children and father-in-law to three more amazing people. I preach, teach, counsel, write and plan in my real job. I teach a subject I love at RIT in my "other job," which is a lot of fun most of the time.... I play piano for our local college choir, and sing and play at church occasionally. I also have a film-related website at www.film-prof.com.
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