The Oscar Will Go To...? R29's 2016 Predictions Start Here

Like it or not, fall movie season means that Oscar chatter is about to get deafening.

Some contenders have already announced themselves by way of early buzz. Carol, for instance, left Cannes with glowing reviews. Jason Segel's been heralded for his performance as David Foster in The End Of The Tour ever since Sundance. Reception at the autumn film festivals, which start in September, will start to separate what just sounds like Oscar bait from what the Academy will actually want to recognize. (R29 will be reporting from Toronto.)

In this time of guesswork and uncertainty, one thing is pretty clear: It doesn’t look like #OscarsSoWhite will change much at the 2016 ceremony. This year has not been a diverse one for film so far, and the fall slate doesn’t look like it will alter that.

And the Oscars could go to...

Best Actress

The one name that is almost certain to appear on the ballot is Cate Blanchett, who plays the title role in Carol. The Academy loves Blanchett — she’s been awarded twice before — and critics have already swooned for her performance as a 1950s woman engaged in a lesbian affair. By all accounts, Rooney Mara shares the spotlight in Carol; however, there is speculation that she will run in the supporting category, even though she won Best Actress at Cannes. Jennifer Lawrence has yet to make a movie with David O. Russell that didn’t earn her a nomination, and Joy, which seems more squarely focused on Lawrence, will likely yield her a third nod. Brie Larson should have been nominated for Short Term 12 in 2013, but she has a good chance this year for Room, a grueling role. Saoirse Ronan carries Brooklyn with subtle grace. Other potential nominees — including a trio of MAJOR movie stars: Sandra, Julia, Angelina — follow.

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Angelina Jolie, By The Sea
Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Carey Mulligan, Suffragette
Emily Blunt, Sicario
Julia Roberts, Secret In Their Eyes
Julianne Moore, Freeheld
Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Marion Cotillard, Macbeth
Sandra Bullock, Our Brand Is Crisis
Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back

Best Actor

There are a lot of biopics about famous and/or notable historical figures (mostly men) this year. Will it be: Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs as Jobs himself? (He’s also got a shot for Macbeth.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt as either Philippe Petit in The Walk or Edward Snowden in Snowden? Eddie Redmayne, last year’s winner, as Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl? Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo? Could it finally be Leo DiCaprio’s year for his turn as Hugh Glass in The Revenant? Will Don Cheadle's Miles Davis biopic, which he also directed, get a release date in time to compete? Will The Program, starring Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong? Other possibilities:

Brad Pitt, By The Sea
Bradley Cooper, Burnt
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Johnny Depp, Black Mass
Matt Damon, The Martian
Michael B. Jordan, Creed
Michael Caine, Youth
Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies
Tom Hiddleston, I Saw The Light
Will Smith, Concussion

Best Picture

Contributions from auteurs like David O. Russell (Joy), Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies), Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight), and Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant) could catch the Academy’s fancy in the Best Picture race. The last tech drama written by Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network, was — in our humble opinion — robbed of this trophy; perhaps this year’s Steve Jobs, directed by Danny Boyle with a script from Sorkin, will be a contender. The Social Network was beat out by a Tom Hooper joint, The King’s Speech, and he’s a director the Academy loves, even if the critics are rather uniformly meh. Hooper directs The Danish Girl, a historical drama that’s also topical (it explores the life of transgender artist Lili Elbe). The love for Carol’s actors could translate to a nomination, as could the emotion of Suffragette, and Netflix could get a shot at the prize with Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation. There has also been recent speculation from The Hollywood Reporter as to whether the late-summer N.W.A biopic, Straight Outta Compton, will be in the running for prizes. Meanwhile, Kyle Buchanan at Vulture — the man who accurately predicted that 12 Years A Slave would win back in September of 2013 — has started beating the drum for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Of course, this all could change in an instant once people start seeing the darn things. So tune in for updates this season. Some other possible contenders:

Beasts of No Nation
Black Mass
By The Sea
I Saw The Light
Our Brand Is Crisis
The End of the Tour
The Martian
The Walk

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