First 2016 Predictions
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
The Birth of a Nation
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea
Rules Don't Apply
Other Contenders - The Light Between Oceans, The Girl on the Train, Queen of Katwe, The Zookeeper's Wife, Allied, Loving, A United Kingdom, Lion, War Machine, Snowden, Moonlight, Story of Your Life, Zootopia, Finding Dory, Noctural Animals, The Lobster, Wilson, LBJ, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Founder, Gold, Moana, 20th Century Women, All Eyez On Me, Deepwater Horizon, Star Wars: Rogue One, The Lost City of Z, Free Fire, Captain America: Civil War, Bleed for This, The Salesman, American Pastoral, Miles Ahead, Born to Be Blue, The Nice Guys, Midnight Special, A Bigger Splash, The Witch, Maggie's Plan, The Jungle Book, Elvis & Nixon, Everybody Wants Some!!, Cafe Society, Eye in the Sky, Sing Street, The Meddler, Hello, My Name is Doris, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Free State of Jones, The BFG, Nerve, Star Trek Beyond, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad, Ben-Hur, Kubo and the Two Strings, Hands of Stone, The Magnificent Seven, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Commentary - I think no film goes into 2016 with more Oscar potential than Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Lee has won Director twice, but never the top prize, and with this story, this cast, and this buzz, he could finally take the top prize. Right behind it has to be Nate Parker's Sundance smash The Birth of a Nation. After the #OscarsSoWhite year, this film could diversify the awards, as could Denzel's adaptation of Fences with the magnificent Viola Davis. Damien Chazelle's Whiplash was a huge winner a few years ago, and he returns with the musical La La Land which has a lot of positive buzz, and a dynamic leading duo. Sully is Eastwood and Hanks, Silence brings Scorsese back to the race, Passengers is the sci-fi/fantasy film that could go where Gravity, Mad Max, and others couldn't, and Collateral Beauty is intriguing. Manchester By the Sea is a small Sundance favorite, but dark indies have always found a place in this race. Finally, it has been a long time since Warren Beatty was on the Oscar radar, but the Howard Hughes biopic Rules Don't Apply could be his ticket back. These are my current ten, but there are a lot of other contenders looking to make the list. There are some book adaptations that could be potent like The Zookeeper's Wife, The Light Between Oceans, and The Girl On the Train. Some interesting Oscar-bait films like A United Kingdom, Cannes favorite Loving, Queen of Katwe, the Weinstein's Lion, Stone's Snowden, Moonlight, Story of Your Life, and Gold look promising. There are some projects on the horizon that look interesting but don't seem like slam dunks like 20th Century Women, All Eyez on Me, Deepwater Horizon, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Founder, The Lost City of Z, Wilson, LBJ, Allied, Free State of Jones, War Machine, The Salesman, Bleed for This, and Nocturnal Animals. There are the earlier contenders hoping critics remember them at the end of the year like Midnight Special, Cafe Society, Born To Be Blue, The Meddler, Hello, My Name is Doris, The Nice Guys, A Bigger Splash, The Witch, Sing Street, Everybody Wants Some!!, Eye in the Sky, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Miles Ahead, Born to Be Blue, and Maggie's Plan. Finally, let's not forget the big guys like Star Trek, Star Wars, Zootopia, Finding Dory, Captain American, The Magnificent Seven, Miss Peregrines, Suicide Squad, Jason Bourne, and The Jungle Book. Every once in a while, one of these big guys makes the cut.