Saturday, June 04, 2016

AMPAS should invite these Filipino filmmakers to be members

In an official memo released on 22 January this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced that they will be stepping up their efforts to diversify their membership. This came in response to the latest wave of criticisms regarding the Academy being a predominantly white (94% as of 2012) and male (77% as of 2012) organization, which was ultimately manifested in a completely white slate of nominees for the acting awards (the shut-out for Idris Elba in the Supporting Actor category is particularly egregious).

As part of this laudable campaign for membership diversity, the Academy vowed to "supplement the traditional process in which current members sponsor new members by launching an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity."* Global cinema powerhouses like France, Italy, Germany, China, and Japan are the most likely to benefit from this, and any fan of international film will be delighted at seeing such screen icons as Isabelle Huppert, Gong Li, and Takeshi "Beat" Kitano become members of the Academy. But if the desire for diversification and globalization is sincere, then the Academy should also turn to smaller industries that have nevertheless had a rich history of cinema both within and outside their territories.

Movies have been made in the Philippines since 1897, and then in 1919 the first film made by a Filipino (Dalagang Bukid by Jose Nepomuceno) was released. With stalwarts like Gerardo de Leon, Manuel Conde, Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal (both deceased) leading the way, the Philippines went through two recognized Golden Ages of cinema before the slump of the 1990s and the early 2000s. Now, a burgeoning market in indie and digital films has allowed the country to return to the international scene with a very strong presence in recent years in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and other major film festivals.

If AMPAS were to ask the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP, the organization that sends our official entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category every year) for a list of names that they should invite to join their rank and file, it would be a prime opportunity not only to contribute to the outcome of the annual Oscar race but also, more importantly, to reward the efforts of some of our luminaries in uplifting Philippine cinema. Here's a list of those filmmakers that I believe should make the shortlist of FAP in such an event:

DIRECTORS

Brillante Mendoza. This should be a no-brainer. He has enjoyed more exposure and success in international film festivals in the last 10 or so years than any other Filipino filmmaker, even going so far as to win the Best Director award for Kinatay in Cannes in 2009. With his latest (Ma' Rosa) having bagged Jaclyn Jose the first Best Actress award for a Southeast Asian, he deserves to be invited to become a member of AMPAS with or without the 22 January memo.

Lav Diaz. The other very prominent figure in international cinema is Lav Diaz, known as much for his films' long running times as for his austere but powerful imagery. His Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan was a favorite of many cineastes last year and may have been the country's best shot at the elusive Foreign Language Film nomination in recent memory. This year, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis competed for the Golden Berlin Bear and won the Alfred Baur Award. Many fans of foreign cinema see him as a true, uncompromising visionary.

Mike de Leon. His last directed film, Bayaning 3rd World, was released in 2000. However, his contributions to the Second Golden Age of cinema in the Philippines are much known and still revered to this date. Itim, Kisapmata, Batch '81, and Sister Stella L. are among the best Filipino films of all time. An invitation to the membership of AMPAS will be a fitting tribute to this true master of film.

Peque Gallaga. Gallaga has not made a great film in decades, but he was largely responsible for bringing prosthetic-heavy horror films to a respectable level (primarily with the classic Shake, Rattle and Roll franchise) and, most importantly, he brought to audiences Oro, Plata, Mata, a true masterpiece. If only for that, his name deserves to be put in any shortlist of the country's best directors.

WRITERS

Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr. The brilliant del Mundo is the most frequent collaborator of de Leon, having penned the script for his best films including Kisapmata and Batch '81. He also wrote the screenplay of Lino Brocka's Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, probably the most highly regarded of all Filipino films.

Ricardo Lee. He has written some of the all-time best Filipino films, including the masterpiece Himala directed by Bernal as well as his other films and several by Brocka and Marilou Diaz-Abaya, another major player in the Second Golden Age of Philippine cinema. He is still very active in the industry and is undoubtedly one of local cinema's most awarded writers.

Michiko Yamamoto. Many of the most heralded Filipino films both locally and abroad were written by Yamamoto, one of Philippine cinema's most consistent and intelligent screenwriters. These include the gems Magnifico, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (a Best Foreign Film nominee in the Independent Spirit Awards of 2007), Norte, On the Job, and Honor Thy Father.

Armando Lao. Mendoza's films aren't really praised primarily for their writing, but their consistently strong showing in international film festivals is undoubtedly due in no small part to that element. Aside from his collaborations with Mendoza, Lao also wrote the script for other festival circuit favorites like Pila Balde and Kubrador.

ACTORS

Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. The two biggest actresses of Philippine cinema, bar none. Undoubtedly, Aunor has had greater exposure to international audiences (not only with the seminal Himala but also recently with Mendoza's Thy Womb), but both deserve to be recognized as the pillars of the film acting profession. They have worked with the best directors of the country, including Brocka, Bernal, and de Leon, and they have remained significant and popular until now. One other important reason why the FAP should submit both their names: doing so would satisfy both ultra-passionate groups of fans (the Noranians and Vilmanians).

Charo Santos-Concio. Santos-Concio deserves a place in the Academy in either of two branches: the Actors branch or the Producers branch. As Chief Content Officer of ABS-CBN Corporation, one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates in the Philippines, she has producing credits on over 300 films. In her heyday as a film actress, she worked with the best, including Brocka and frequent collaborator de Leon.

Mercedes Cabral. This amazingly genuine and effortless actress may very well be the Philippines's "indie queen," having appeared in over 50 independent films since her debut in Mendoza's Cannes entry Serbis. Since then, she has impressed audiences in Kinatay, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, and Thy Womb and has even starred in Park Chan-wook's vampire film Thirst.

Joel Torre. For a while, he was typecast in the role of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. He has since become known for less than sympathetic roles in dark, gritty films, including the much praised On the Job. His contribution to the local film and television industry has been significant. Having worked in international productions like John Sayles's Amigo and Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy, he is no stranger among Hollywood actors.

Sid Lucero. Perhaps the most talented actor of his generation (not surprising given his pedigree; Batch '81's Mark Gil is his father and the respected actress Bing Pimentel is his mother), Lucero has broken into the international film scene with a string of indies, most prominent of which is Diaz's Norte. He recently won the Best Actor award in the 19th Los Angeles Comedy Festival for the film Toto.The sky's the limit for this brilliant actor who always seems to make intelligent choices with his films, and adding him to the Academy membership will also add youth (he is only 35) to its roster.

Coco Martin. Mendoza's oeuvre is known almost as much for his muse Coco Martin as it is for its artistry. This charismatic young actor is mostly working in television now, but there is enough recognition and residual goodwill for him in the international film industry to justify an invitation to the Academy.

Jaclyn Jose. No one expected it, but Jose did it: she won the Best Actress award in this year's Cannes Film Festival over favorites Isabelle Huppert, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart, Ruth Negga, and Charlize Theron. She is the first Southeast Asian actress to net that prestigious prize. The win is very unlikely to translate into an Oscar nomination for the same performance, but perhaps an invitation to the Academy would be reward enough? She's a respected veteran of the film industry.

Others for consideration: Erik Matti (director, On the Job), Raymond Red (director, Anino), Amado Lacuesta (writer, Working Girls, Macho Dancer), Hilda Koronel (actor, Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, Insiang, Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang), Christopher de Leon (actor, Ganito Kami Noon...Paano Kayo Ngayon?, Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang), Bembol Roco (actor, Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag), Eugene Domingo (actor, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, Barber's Tales)

*http://www.oscars.org/news/academy-takes-historic-action-increase-diversity

Film-Otaku Awards 2015

BEST PICTURE

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Bridge of Spies
The Martian
Spotlight
Brooklyn
Ex Machina
Steve Jobs
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Revenant
Room

BEST DIRECTOR

GEORGE MILLER (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)
Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies)
Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Todd Haynes (Carol)
Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs)
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Adam McKay (The Big Short)

BEST ACTOR

LEONARDO DICAPRIO (THE REVENANT)

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
Andrew Garfield (99 Homes)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Jacob Tremblay (Room)
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
Will Smith (Concussion)
Michael Caine (Youth)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw)
Paul Dano (Love and Mercy)

BEST ACTRESS

CHARLOTTE RAMPLING (45 YEARS)

Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
Brie Larson (Room)
Juliette Binoche (Clouds of Sils Maria)
Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Rooney Mara (Carol)
Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Emily Blunt (Sicario)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

IDRIS ELBA (BEASTS OF NO NATION)

Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Michael Shannon (99 Homes)
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Michael Keaton (Spotlight)
Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)
Walter Goggins (The Hateful Eight)
Tom Courtenay (45 Years)
Kurt Russel (The Hateful Eight)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

RACHEL WEISZ (YOUTH)

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria)
Jessica Chastain (Crimson Peak)
Elizabeth Banks (Love and Mercy)
Jane Fonda (Youth)
Rose Byrne (Spy)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa)

BEST SCREENPLAY

THE MARTIAN (DREW GODDARD)

Bridge of Spies (Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Steve Jobs (Aaron Sorkin)
Spotlight (Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland)

BEST ART DIRECTION

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

The Martian
Crimson Peak
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Suffragette

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (JOHN SEALE)

The Revenant (Emmanuel Lubezki)
Bridge of Spies (Janusz Kaminski)
Sicario (Roger Deakins)
The Martian (Dariusz Wolski)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

CAROL (SANDY POWELL)

Crimson Peak (Kate Hawley)
Mad Max: Fury Road (Jenny Beavan)
The Danish Girl (Paco Delgado)
Suffragette (Jane Petrie)

BEST EDITING

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (MARGARET SIXEL)

Bridge of Spies (Michael Kahn)
The Revenant (Stephen Mirrione)
Spotlight (Tom McArdle)
The Big Short (Hank Corwin)

BEST MAKEUP

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

The Revenant
The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
Crimson Peak

BEST SCORE

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (JUNKIE XL)

The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)
Carol (Carter Burwell)
The Martian (Harry Gregson-Williams)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams)

BEST SONG

"COLD ONE" (RICKI AND THE FLASH)

"Writing's On the Wall" (Spectre)
"Flashlight" (Pitch Perfect 2)
"Love Me Like You Do" (Fifty Shades of Grey)
"Simple Song #3" (Youth)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

The Martian
Mad Max: Fury Road
Ex Machina
Ant-Man

BEST ENSEMBLE

SPOTLIGHT

The Big Short
The Hateful Eight
Trumbo
Steve Jobs

Monday, February 01, 2016

The Jesuits Might Rule 2016 Cinema: Will the Oscars Respond?

With a Jesuit currently holding the highest position in the Roman Catholic Church, the Society of Jesus has considerable power in the hierarchy. This year, two important films about the Society are set to be released, with at least one likely poised to dominate the race in the 89th Academy Awards sometime in early 2017. These films are Martin Scorsese's long-gestating passion project Silence and the St. Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Society) biopic Ignacio de Loyola.

Jesuits and the Oscars

There have not been many films made about the Jesuit order or its founder; of the St. Ignatius biographical films, only San Ignacio de Loyola (1929) and Loyola, the Soldier Saint (1949), both Spanish productions, are listed in IMDB. Black Robe, a 1991 Bruce Beresford film, is about a young Jesuit priest who spreads the word of God to the Algonquins of Canada. The Man in the Iron Mask, an underrated Three Musketeers movie directed by Randall Wallace in 1998, features Jeremy Irons as the retired Musketeer Aramis who has become not only a Jesuit priest but the order's Superior General.

Of those films with Jesuits (or purported to have them), only three have made a dent in the Oscar race. William Friedkin's seminal horror masterpiece The Exorcist (1973) featured a young Jesuit exorcist named Fr. Damien Karras, S.J. The film received 10 nominations (including one for Best Picture and another for the actor who played Fr. Karras, Jason Miller, in the Supporting Actor category), winning two (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound). In the Academy Awards of 1955, Karl Malden was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance as Father Barry in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954). The film never explicitly mentioned him as being a Jesuit, but it is widely known that the inspiration for his character was the Jesuit priest Fr. John M. Corrigan, S.J., who fought against crime and organized crime in the waterfront of New York.

Undoubtedly, Roland Joffé's The Mission (1986) is the most unabashedly Jesuit among the Oscar players (and incidentally, it also stars Jeremy Irons as a Jesuit). Like Black Robe after it, it is about the Society's missions in the Western frontier; this was set in South America. It received seven nominations, including Best Picture, and won one (Best Cinematography). Of all the Jesuit-related films, it is also the closest in theme to Silence.

The 2016 Films

Silence has been in development under Scorsese since 1991. It is based on the novel by Shusaku Endo about two Portuguese Jesuits (Fr. Sebastião Rodrigues, S.J. and Fr. Francisco Garrpe, S.J., played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver, respectively) who face persecution in Japan where they have traveled to seek their mentor (Fr. Cristóvão Ferreira, S.J., portrayed by Liam Neeson) and spread the teachings of Christianity. With principal photography finally commencing on 30 January 2015 and the cast headlined by Garfield, Driver, Neeson, and Tananobu Asano (replacing Ken Watanabe), it is set to make a wave in the next Academy Awards. It is aiming to have its premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Given its pedigree and the excited buzz that it has been generating for years, it is already a likely candidate in the following categories:

Picture
Director
Actor (Andrew Garfield)
Supporting Actor (Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, and/or Tadanobu Asano)
Adapted Screenplay
Cinematography (Rodrigo Prieto)
Costume Design (Sandy Powell?)
Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker)
Makeup and Hairstyling
Original Score (Howard Shore)
Production Design (Dante Ferretti)

The other film, Ignacio de Loyola is the latest of the biopics of Iñigo de Loyola and will conceivably have a more difficult uphill climb in the Oscar race than Silence. It is a Filipino production; the Jesuit Communications Foundation is the production company and its director is Paolo Dy, a Filipino short film director. It stars Spanish actor Andreas Muñoz as St. Ignatius, and the film was shot on location in Spain. It is set for a July 2016 release in the Philippines, and plans are still underway for international distribution and screening at film festivals. It is interesting to note that while the Academy has no rule about a country's Best Foreign Language Film contender having to feature its native language, it is not an option for the Philippines as an entry since the film is in English. However, if it is well received in any of the major international film festivals, it has a slim chance to break into at least the technical races (perhaps foremost among them Costume Design and Production Design). It remains to be seen how a "diversified" Academy (the changes introduced by the Academy's Board of Governors will be in effect by then) will matter at all in this respect, if it at all does in any. Here is a link to the official trailer of Ignacio de Loyola
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfuaLkKjynI

Regardless of the outcome at the Oscars, however, the Society of Jesus and those affiliated with the Jesuits are bound to have an eventful and meaningful year in cinema.

88th Academy Award Predictions (summary)

PICTURE

SPOTLIGHT

DIRECTING

GEORGE MILLER (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO (THE REVENANT)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

BRIE LARSON (ROOM)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

SYLVESTER STALLONE (CREED)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

ALICIA VIKANDER (THE DANISH GIRL)


WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
CHARLES RANDOLPH, ADAM McKAY, based on the book by Michael Lewis (THE BIG SHORT)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
THOMAS McCARTHY, JOSH SINGER (SPOTLIGHT)

ANIMATED FEATURE
PETE DOCTER, JONAS RIVERA (INSIDE OUT)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
SON OF SAUL (HUNGARY)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
EMMANUEL LUBEZKI (THE REVENANT)

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
JENNY BEAVAN (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
MARGARET SIXEL (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
ENNIO MORRICONE (THE HATEFUL EIGHT)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
TIL IT HAPPENS TO YOU (THE HUNTING GROUND)

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

ACHIVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Other Categories 2016

THE NOMINEES

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, based on the book by Michael Lewis (The Big Short)
Nick Hornby, based on the novel by Colm Toibin (Brooklyn)
Phyllis Nagy, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith (Carol)
Drew Goddard, based on the novel by Andy Weir (The Martian)
Emma Donoghue, based on her book (Room)

PREDICTION RECORD: 4/5 (80%); predicted Steve Jobs instead of Room
WILL WIN: The Big Short
SHOULD WIN: The Martian
COULD UPSET: Room
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Steve Jobs

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Bridge of Spies)
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronaldo del Carmen (Inside Out)
Thomas McCarthy, Josh Singer (Spotlight)
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus (Straight Outta Compton)

PREDICTION RECORD: 4/5 (80%); predicted The Hateful Eight instead of Straight Outta Compton
WILL WIN: Spotlight
SHOULD WIN: Bridge of Spies
COULD UPSET: Inside Out

ANIMATED FEATURE
Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa)
Alê Abreu (Boy and the World)
Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera (Inside Out)
Mark Burton, Richard Starzak (Shaun the Sheep Movie)
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Yoshiaki Nishimura (When Marnie Was There)

PREDICTION RECORD: 2/5 (10%); predicted The Boy and the Beast, The Good Dinosaur, and The Peanuts Movie instead of Boy and the World, Shaun the Sheep Movie, and When Marnie Was There
WILL WIN: Inside Out
SHOULD WIN: Inside Out
COULD UPSET: Anomalisa
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: The Peanuts Movie

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
Mustang (France)
Son of Saul (Hungary)
Theeb (Jordan)
A War (Denmark)

PREDICTION RECORD: 4/5 (80%); predicted Labyrinth of Lies (Germany) instead of Theeb
WILL WIN: Son of Saul
COULD UPSET: Theeb

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Edward Lachman (Carol)
Robert Richardson (The Hateful Eight)
John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
Roger Deakins (Sicario)

PREDICTION RECORD: 4/5 (80%); predicted Bridge of Spies instead of The Hateful Eight
WILL WIN: The Revenant
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD UPSET: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Bridge of Spies

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Sandy Powell (Carol)
Sandy Powell (Cinderella)
Paco Delgado (The Danish Girl)
Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Jacqueline West (The Revenant)

PREDICTION RECORD: 3/5 (60%); predicted Brooklyn and Crimson Peak instead of Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Carol
COULD UPSET: The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Crimson Peak

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Hank Corwin (The Big Short)
Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Stephen Mirrione (The Revenant)
Tom McArdle (Spotlight)
Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

PREDICTION RECORD: 4/5 (80%); predicted The Martian instead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD UPSET: The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Bridge of Spies

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

PREDICTION RECORD: 2/3 (66.7%); predicted Mr. Holmes instead of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD UPSET: The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: The Danish Girl

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Thomas Newman (Bridge of Spies)
Carter Burwell (Carol)
Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario)
John Williams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

PREDICTION RECORD: 3/5 (60%); predicted Inside Out and Mad Max: Fury Road instead of Bridge of Spies and Sicario
WILL WIN: The Hateful Eight
SHOULD WIN: The Hateful Eight
COULD UPSET: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
"Earned It" (Fifty Shades of Grey)
"Manta Ray" (Racing Extinction)
"Simple Song #3 (Youth)
"Til It Happens to You" (The Hunting Ground)
"Writing's On the Wall" (Spectre)

PREDICTION RECORD: 3/5 (60%); predicted "Love Me Like You Do" (Fifty Shades of Grey) and "See You Again" (Furious 7) instead of "Earned It" and "Manta Ray"
WILL WIN: "Til It Happens to You"
SHOULD WIN: "Writing's On the Wall"
COULD UPSET: "Writing's On the Wall"
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: "Cold One" (Ricki and the Flash), "Flashlight" (Pitch Perfect 2)

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

PREDICTION RECORD: 2/5 (10%); predicted Carol, Crimson Peak, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens instead of Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, and The Revenant
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD UPSET: The Martian
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Crimson Peak

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

PREDICTION RECORD: 3/5 (60%); predicted Ant-Man and In the Heart of the Sea instead of The Revenant and Sicario
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD UPSET: The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Avengers: Age of Ultron

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

PREDICTION RECORD: 4/5 (80%); predicted Inside Out instead of Bridge of Spies
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
COULD UPSET: The Revenant
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Inside Out

ACHIVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

PREDICTION RECORD: 4/5 (80%); predicted Avengers: Age of Ultron instead of The Revenant
WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road
SHOULD WIN: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
COULD UPSET: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Ant-Man

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees (Amy)
Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin (Cartel Land)
Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen (The Look of Silence)
Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby, Justin Wilkes (What Happened, Miss Simone?)
Evgeny Afineevsky, Den Tolmor (Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
“Body Team 12”
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”
“Last Day of Freedom”

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
“Bear Story”
“Prologue”
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
“We Can’t Live without Cosmos”
“World of Tomorrow”

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
“Ave Maria”
“Day One”
“Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)”
“Shok”
“Stutterer”

BEST DIRECTOR 2016

THE NOMINEES

ADAM McKAY (THE BIG SHORT)

Oscar Record: 2 nominations (as director and writer), no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Director, BAFTA
Nomination, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, Directors Guild of America

GEORGE MILLER (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

Oscar Record: 5 nominations (as producer, director, and writer), with a win for directing Happy Feet

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Grand Prix, FIPRESCI
Win, Best Director, Boston Online Film Critics Association
Win, Best Director, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Win, Best Director, Washington DC Film Critics Association
Nomination, Best Director - Motion Picture, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Director, Online Film Critics Society
Win, Best Director, Detroit Film Critics Society
Win, Best Director, Chicago Film Critics Association
Win, Best Director, San Francisco Film Critics Circe
Win, Best Director, Indiana Film Journalists Association
Win, Best Director, Phoenix Critics Circle
Win, Best Director, Southeastern Film Critics Association
Win, Best Director, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Win, Best Director, Kansas City Film Critics Circle
Win, Best Director, Utah Film Critics Association
Win, Best Director, Georgia Film Critics Association
Nomination, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, Directors Guild of America

ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU (THE REVENANT)

Oscar Record: 7 nominations (as producer, director, and writer), with wins for producing, directing, and writing Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Director - Motion Picture, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Director, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Nomination, Best Director, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Win, Best Director, Nevada Film Critics Society
Nomination, Director, BAFTA
Win, Best Director, Houston Film Critics Society
Win, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, Directors Guild of America

LENNY ABRAHAMSON (ROOM)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination (as director), no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: 
None

THOMAS MCCARTHY (SPOTLIGHT)

Oscar Record: 3 nominations (as director and writer), no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Director, New York Film Critics Online
Nomination, Best Director - Motion Picture, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Director, Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Nomination, Best Director, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Win, Best Director, St. Louis Film Critics Association
Nomination, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, Directors Guild of America

PREDICTION RECORD:
Never-Too-Early Predictions - 0/5
May Predictions - 0/5
June Predictions - 1/5 (20%) - Miller
September Predictions - 3/5 (60%) - Iñárritu, Miller, McCarthy
December Predictions - 3/5 (60%) - McCarthy, Iñárritu, Miller
Final Predictions - 3/5 (60%) - McCarthy, Iñárritu, Miller; predicted Todd Haynes (Carol) and Ridley Scott (The Martian) instead of McKay and Abrahamson

WILL WIN: Miller
SHOULD WIN: Miller
COULD UPSET: Iñárritu
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies), Scott

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 2016

THE NOMINEES

CHRISTIAN BALE (THE BIG SHORT)

Oscar Record: 3 nominations, with a win for The Fighter

Role: Michael Burry, hedge fund manager who was among the first investors to recognize the impending mortgage crisis

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Nomination, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, Screen Actors Guild
Nomination, Supporting Actor, BAFTA

TOM HARDY (THE REVENANT)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Role: John Fitzgerald, who abandons Hugh Glass in the wilderness

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Nevada Film Critics Society
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Houston Film Critics Society

MARK RUFFALO (SPOTLIGHT)

Oscar Record: 3 nominations, no win

Role: Michael Rezendes, an investigative journalist for the Boston Globe

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Indiana Film Journalists Association
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Nomination, Supporting Actor, BAFTA

MARK RYLANCE (BRIDGE OF SPIES)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Role: Rudolf Abel, a man accused of being a Soviet spy

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actor, New York Film Critics Circle
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Boston Society of Film Critics
Win, Best Supporting Actor, New York Film Critics Online
Nomination, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, Screen Actors Guild
Nomination, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Win, Best Supporting Actor, National Society of Film Critics
Nomination, Supporting Actor, BAFTA

SYLVESTER STALLONE (CREED)

Oscar Record: 2 nominations (as actor), no win

Role: Rocky Balboa

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actor, National Board of Review
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Boston Online Film Critics Association
Win, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Phoenix Critics Circle
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Las Vegas Film Critics Society
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Southeastern Film Critics Association
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Win, Best Supporting Actor, St. Louis Film Critics Association
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Utah Film Critics Association
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Georgia Film Critics Association

PREDICTION RECORD:
Never-Too-Early Predictions - 0/5
May Predictions - 0/5
June Predictions - 1/5 (20%) - Hardy
September Predictions - 1/5 (20%) - Hardy
December Predictions - 3/5 (60%) - Stallone, Rylance, Hardy
Final Predictions - 3/5 (60%) - Rylance, Stallone, Bale; predicted Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) and Jacob Tremblay (Room) instead of Hardy and Ruffalo

WILL WIN: Stallone
SHOULD WIN: Stallone
COULD UPSET: Rylance
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Elba, Michael Shannon (99 Homes)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2016

THE NOMINEES

JENNIFER JASON LEIGH (THE HATEFUL EIGHT)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Role: Daisy Domergue, "The Prisoner," one of the "Hateful Eight"

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actress, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Nomination, Supporting Actress, BAFTA

ROONEY MARA (CAROL)

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, no win

Role: Therese Belivet, who has an affair with a married woman

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival
Win, Best Supporting Actress, New York Film Critics Online
Nomination, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Screen Actors Guild
Nomination, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Supporting Actress, Online Film Critics Society
Win, Best Supporting Actress, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Nomination, Supporting Actress, BAFTA
Win, Best Supporting Actress, Houston Film Critics Society

RACHEL McADAMS (SPOTLIGHT)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Role: Sacha Pfeiffer, an investigative journalist for the Boston Globe

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Screen Actors Guild
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)

ALICIA VIKANDER (THE DANISH GIRL)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Role: Gerda Wegener, wife of the artist Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Screen Actors Guild
Nomination, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Supporting Actress, Detroit Film Critics Society
Win, Best Supporting Actress, Phoenix Critics Circle
Win, Best Supporting Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)

KATE WINSLET (STEVE JOBS)

Oscar Record: 7 nominations, with a win for The Reader

Role: Joanna Hoffman, Steve Jobs's right hand woman

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Screen Actors Guild
Win, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Awards)
Nomination, Supporting Actress, BAFTA

PREDICTION RECORD:
Never-Too-Early Predictions - 1/5 (20%) - Leigh
May Predictions - 2/5 (40%) - Leigh, Vikander
June Predictions - 2/5 (40%) - Leigh, Vikander
September Predictions - 2/5 (40%) - Mara, Vikander
December Predictions - 3/5 (60%) - Mara, Vikander, Winslet
Final Predictions - 3/5 (60%) - Winslet, Mara, Leigh; predicted Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) and Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria) instead of Vikander (The Danish Girl) and McAdams

WILL WIN: Vikander
SHOULD WIN: Vikander
COULD UPSET: Winslet
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Rachel Weisz (Youth), Vikander (Ex Machina), Stewart