Best Picture: The Big Short
While “The Revenant” is favored to win, “The Big Short” is a better balanced film for Best Picture. Revenant is an epic revenge story, beautifully shot, and brilliantly acted. But it lacks much for scripted dialogue, and clocks in at an unjustifiable 2.5 hours which stretches the content of the film a little thin. The Big Short hits all the fine points of what makes a Best Picture film, with a well paced and crafted script with an A-list cast to boot. It’s great entertainment is elevated with its easy to understand telling of the 2008 financial crisis is relevant even for 2016.
“Spotlight” deserves an honorable mention as a certain second or third place pick for Best Picture for its flawless presentation of the Boston priest scandal, but lacks the needed drive to beat out “The Revenant” or “The Big Short” for this year.
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”
DiCaprio will almost certainly finally grab his awaited Oscar for making “The Revenant”as good as it was almost singlehandedly. I would supplement that award with depiction of being mauled by a bear.
Best Actress: Brie Larson in “Room”
The consensus of Brie Larson seems to me in line with her heartbreakingly fantastic role in “Room”.
Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hardy in “The Revenant”
Sylvestor Stallone in “Creed” is the favorite, for what seems to be mostly a nostalgic nod. But Tom Hardy in “The Revenant” deserves the prize. The strength of Revenant was its acting and cinematography, and Tom Hardy played a great nemesis compliment to DiCaprio, in what I would argue is one of Hardy’s better roles ever.
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl”
Best Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu for “The Revenant”
Cinematography: “The Revenant”
Adapted Screenplay: “The Big Short”
Original Screenplay: “Spotlight”
Visual Effects: “Mad Max: Fury Road”