Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen "Bridge of Spies"
Quentin Tarantino "The Hateful Eight"
Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley "Inside Out"
David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo "Joy"
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer "Spotlight"
Other Contenders - Laszlo Nemes and Clara Royer "Son of Saul", Taylor Sheridan "Sicario", Paolo Sorrentino "Youth", Michael Alan Lerner and Oren Moverman "Love & Mercy", Abi Morgan "Suffragette", Paul Weitz "Grandma", Nancy Meyers "The Intern", Amy Schumer "Trainwreck", Alex Garland "Ex Machina", Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus "Straight Outta Compton", Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, Bahareh Azimi "99 Homes", Olivier Assayas "Clouds of Sils Maria", Alan Bennett "The Lady in the Van", Meg LeFauve "The Good Dinosaur", Simon Beaufoy and William Nicholson "Everest", Angelina Jolie "By the Sea", Rick Famuyiwa "Dope", March Basch and Brett Haley "I'll See You in My Dreams", Diablo Cody "Ricki and the Flash", Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig "Mistress America", Tim Talbott "The Stanford Prison Experiment", Noah Baumbach "While We're Young", Woody Allen "Irrational Man", Eliot Laurence "Welcome to Me"
Commentary - I have had the same group of five for months, and have felt absolutely no urge to change in until I am convinced otherwise. Sight unseen, the three folks involved in The Hateful Eight and Joy respectively, Annie Mumolo, David O. Russell, and Quentin Tarantino still seem like safe bets. Matt Charman teaming up with the Coen Bros. for Bridge of Spies also seems like a good bet, especially the Coens, who have rebounded from Unbroken with a film that is playing well for audiences, critics, and apparently Academy members. Pixar usually does well in these categories, and I still think Inside Out is a Best Picture contender. Plus, the writers will love the film's completely original concept. Finally, leading the Best Picture race is Spotlight, and McCarthy and Singer should easily be brought in with what is sure to be a sweep of nominations for the film. So if these five don't fit the mold, then what will? A lot of folks are still banking on the older voters loving Youth, but I need to see it to believe it. Son of Saul is apparently bceing pushed hard, but recent Academy viewings have been mixed. Love & Mercy is nostalgia heaven, Suffragette is powerful, Ex Machina creative, and Trainwreck absolutely hilarious. Quirky comedies like Irrational Man, Dope, I'll See You in My Dreams, While We're Young, Welcome to Me, The Lady in the Van, The Intern, and Mistress America could gain traction starting with critics and the Indie Spirits. The Good Dinosaur hopes to double up for Pixar with Inside out, Straight Outta Compton should be in the mix, Ricki and the Flash was penned by Oscar winner Diablo Cody, and darker films like 99 Homes, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Sundance winner The Stanford Prison Experiment hope they are remembered come year's end.