Best Animated Feature
Will Win - Inside Out
Could Win - Anomalisa or Shaun the Sheep Movie
Should Win - Inside Out
Commentary - Inside Out is the best film of 2015. Period. It is brilliantly original, wildly entertaining, and appeals to everyone. If Anomalisa or Shaun the Sheep Movie were going to try to upset, they would have made a move by now. It looks like Inside Out to the finish line.
Best Documentary Feature
Will Win - Amy
Could Win - Cartel Land, Winter on Fire, The Look of Silence, or What Happened Miss Simone?
Should Win - Amy
Commentary - I think that Amy is a brilliant look at heartbreak and addiction, and tells such a fascinating story without trying too hard. But I am worried about this one. When Cartel Land won the DGA, it was the first major award that showed that the Amy front runner could be beaten. Sometimes they go with the celebrity doc or they go with the "important" doc. Amy is still in the lead, but if there is an upset, watch out for Cartel Land. If just the Documentary Branch was voting, I might be tempted to go with The Look of Silence, as Joshua Oppenheimer is beloved among the ranks. And we cannot count out the Netflix campaigning machine for Winter on Fire or What Happened Miss Simone? This is one of those races that everyone thinks is locked up, but really it is still a five-film race.
Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win - Son of Saul (Hungary)
Could Win - Mustang (France)
Should Win - Son of Saul (Hungary)
Commentary - We have been talking about Son of Saul for months now. At one point there was discussion of a Best Picture push. While some folks deemed it "too divisive" for bigger awards, I still think it is safely in the lead here. What can upset? Mustang. Watch out for Mustang. It has some passionate supporters, and this category is always a bit finicky. My observance is that it is all too little, too late. This is Son of Saul's to lose, and since it's the best of the bunch, I hope it prevails.