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Every year, us adamant movie bloggers have a tradition of predicting not only the winners of the Academy Awards but the actual nominees. Does it sound like sheer insanity? Of course it does! It’s tilting at windmills. Nothing more. Nonetheless, we labor to push the proverbial rock up the hill eternal, shooting blindly into the dark. This year there’s so many variables that predicting the nominations has been more difficult than ever. The only sure things at this point seem to be Spotlight and The Big Short for Best Picture, Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor, Brie Larson for Best Actress, Sylvester Stallone for Best Supporting Actor and a handful of technical nods for the likes of Mad Max and The Martian.

Again though, 2015 has not been the year of the lock. There hasn’t been a two-man race narrative like last year (Boyhood v. Birdman: Dawn of Chivo) so much as one where a critically-supported frontrunner (Spotlight) rose to the top like a steward to the throne. Waiting until the real deal arrives. With its following quickly fading and critic and awards groups holding off on piling anymore awards at its feet, it doesn’t even look like Spotlight will be able to land the top prize. If we were forced to prognosticate today, I would put money against it. But this creates a strange situation where there is no natural runner-up. Do voters go to Adam McKay‘s timely The Big Short or do they bandwagon and start paying more attention to The Revenant like the Hollywood Foreign Press clearly did at the Golden Globes? Could Mad Max: Fury Road still make a resurgence and become an actual contender? It’s still very much a wide open race. At least by Thursday, that window will have slimmed down considerable and we’ll have a much clearer picture of the race ahead.

With all that out of the way, let’s get to some of these predictions. I’ve only included 8 of 10 potential nominees because although there has been more spread across the board, the Academy’s voting rules make a wider spread actually more difficult for more films to get in the Best Picture conversation. That being said, I had to leave out films like Brooklyn, Straight Outta Compton and Trumbo, any of which could ultimately get in. Enough stalling, let’s get into my inevitably semi-correct predictions.

Best Picture:
Spotlight
The Big Short
The Revenant
Carol
The Martian
Room
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Director:
Alejando Iñárritu ‘The Revenant’
Ridley Scott ‘The Martian’
Tom McCarthy ‘Spotlight’
Adam McKay ‘The Big Short’
George Miller ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Best Actress:
Brie Larson ‘Room’
Cate Blanchett ‘Carol’
Saoirse Ronan ‘Brooklyn’
Jennifer Lawrence ‘Joy’
Charlotte Rampling ’45 Years’

Best Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio ‘The Revenant’
Bryan Cranston ‘Trumbo’
Matt Damon ‘The Martian’
Eddie Redmayne ‘The Danish Girl’
Michael Fassbender ‘Steve Jobs’

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale ‘The Big Short’
Sylvester Stallone ‘Creed’
Mark Rylance ‘Bridge of Spies’
Michael Shannon ’99 Homes’
Idris Elba ‘Beasts of No Nation’

Best Supporting Actress:
Rooney Mara ‘Carol’
Alicia Vikander ‘Ex Machina’
Kate Winslet ‘Steve Jobs’
Jennifer Jason Leigh ‘The Hateful Eight’
Helen Mirren ‘Trumbo’

Best Original Screenplay:
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer ‘Spotlight’
Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Pete Docter ‘Inside Out’
Matt Charman, Joel and Ethan Coen ‘Bridge of Spies’
Quentin Tarantino ‘The Hateful Eight’
Alex Garland ‘Ex Machina’

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Aaron Sorkin ‘Steve Jobs’
Phyllis Nagy ‘Carol’
Drew Godard ‘The Martian’
Adam McKay ‘The Big Short’
Emma Donoghue ‘Room’

Best Animated Movie:
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep
Anomalisa
The Peanuts Movie
When Marine Was There

Best Documentary:
Amy
The Look of Silence
Listen to Me Marlon
The Hunting Ground
Cartel Land

Best Foreign Language Film:
Son of Saul
Mustang
Labyrinth of Lies
Theeb
A War

Best Cinematography:
Emmanuel Lubezki ‘The Revenant’
Roger Deakins ‘Sicario’
Edward Lachman ‘Carol’
John Seale ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Robert Richardson ‘The Hateful Eight’

Best Costume Design:
Sandy Powell ‘Carol’
Odile Dicks-Mireaux ‘Brooklyn’
Sandy Powell ‘Cinderella’
Courtney Hoffman ‘The Hateful Eight’
Jenny Beavan ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Best Film Editing:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Spotlight
The Big Short
The Martian
Steve Jobs

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Mr. Holmes

Best Production Design:
Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich ‘Bridge of Spies’
Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler ‘Carol’
Colin Gibson, Katie Sharrock, Lisa Thompson ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Yohei Taneda, Rosemary Brandenburg ‘The Hateful Eight’
Eve Stewart, Michael Standish ‘The Danish Girl’

Best Visual Effects:
The Martian
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Jurassic World

Best Score:
Ennio Morricone ‘The Hateful Eight’
John Williams ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
Alexandre Desplat ‘The Danish Girl’
Howard Shore ‘Spotlight’
Daniel Pemberton ‘Steve Jobs’

Best Song:
“Til it Happens to You” Lady Gaga, Diane Warren ‘The Hunting Ground’
“See You Again” DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth, Wiz Khalifa, Andrew Cedar ‘Furious 7′
“Writing’s on the Wall’ Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes ‘Spectre’
“Simple Song #3” Sumi Jo ‘Youth’
“Earned it” The Weeknd ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Best Sound Editing:
David Accord, Matthew Wood ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
Oliver Tarney ‘The Martian’
Al Nelson, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle ‘Jurassic World’
Scott Hecker, Mark Mangini, David White ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Martin Hernandez, Randy Thom, Lon Bender ‘The Revenant’

Best Sounding Mixing:
Benjamin A. Burtt, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
Willie Burton, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano ‘Straight Outta Compton’
Mac Ruth, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor ‘The Martian’
Ben Osmo, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Chris Duesterdiek, Frank A. Montaño, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom ‘The Revenant’

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