It’s Never Too Early for an Oscar Prediction


Marc Sheehan

This year’s Oscar’s ceremony received mixed reviews.  While the movies were, for the most part, engaging, the Oscar race itself lacked an engaging story.  A tale of retirement, resolution, repeats and revenge, next year’s Oscar race could be the best story of the entire decade.  Here are a handful of films to keep an eye on for next year’s race:


  1. Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”
Quentin Tarantino’s next film, The Hateful Eight, could possibly be the director’s last movie.


The Hateful Eight is Tarantino’s upcoming Western, involving bounty hunters in a post-Civil War setting filled with betrayal and deception.  Having articulated a Western flair in Django, Quentin’s newest film is sure to improve on his style for this genre.  Already a 2-time Oscar winning writer, this movie will certainly score a screenplay nomination.  The real important thing to note here, however, is the rumors of Quentin going into retirement after this film.  While it may be more of an extended hiatus, Quentin has verbally confirmed that he likes the idea of throwing in the towel at the right time, specifically to “leave them wanting more”.  If this bodes true, The Hateful Eight instantly becomes a major Best Director threat and Best Picture contender, assuming Tarantino leaves it all on the field in his tenth and (possibly) final effort.


  1. David O. Russell’s “Joy”
From left, Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell, and Jennifer Lawrence on set of Silver Linings Playbook. Photo credit:

The third installment in the David O. Russell/Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence/Robert DeNiro partnership, Joy is the story of a struggling single mother in Long Island and her eventual success as an entrepreneur.   With 5 Oscar nominations between 2011 and 2014, O. Russell is on fire.  Any project of his nowadays is sure to be met with critical acclaim of sorts, so a writing nomination and even a directing could be possible here, and don’t count out Best Picture.  Even though JLaw’s role sounds a bit similar to that of hers in American Hustle, she has garnered a nearly unconditional love from the Academy, so this movie could easily make a bid for a Best Actress nomination for her.  Bradley Cooper’s role is to be determined, but he has just scored his third consecutive acting nomination, the first two being for performances in an O. Russell film.  The familiar crew of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle team up once again to make yet another (presumably) awards contender.


  1. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant”
Leonardo DiCaprio as the huntsman Hugh Glass in The Revenant. Photo credit: Kimberly French

The next project of this year’s Oscar champion, Iñárritu, is one of this year’s most anticipated films. First off, Iñárritu proved himsef to be one of the most formidable directors in Hollywood thanks to Birdman. Furthermore, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki — the man who just won the award for Best Cinematography the past two years for Gravity and Birdman — is the cinematographer for the film.  Clearly these two guys know how to make a great movie. And who’s playing the main character of the film? Leonardo DiCaprio stars in yet another biopic, this time around playing Hugh Glass, an 1820’s pioneer who was left for dead by his comrades and then set out on a path for revenge.  Throw together all of these ingredients and you have what might be the best movie next year.  While it seems unlikely for Iñárritu to win the top prizes of Directing, Screenplay, and Picture two years in a row, The Revenant will definitely receive the nominations.  More importantly, this film could actually be Leo’s best bet yet.  We are all dying for him to take that golden statue home, and this role has depth and potential.  Although Iñárritu’s actor didn’t win this year, he came pretty close.  This film has all the makings of a big contender next year, so fans should keep an eye on Leo.


  1. Todd Haynes’ “Carol”
Kyle Chandler and Cate Blanchett as Harge and Carol Aird in Carol. photo credit:

This film was on the radar last year.  After Cate Blanchett won her second Oscar for Blue Jasmine, many thought she was going to come back in 2014 and contend for the prize for a second year.  The movie got pushed, but perhaps this helps her chances.  Carol is the story of a woman in the 1950’s who falls in love with an older married woman.  It seems from the stills that Rooney Mara pays the store clerk and Cate Blanchett plays the title character of Carol.  Based on the novel The Price of Salt, the story seems weird and quirky.  Who wrote The Price of Salt, you ask? Patricia Highsmith.  Why is that relevant, you ask? She was the author of The Talented Mr. Ripley.  For those of you who have read it or seen the film version, you can see how bizarre of a story Carol will be.  This film is bound to be one of those weird stories that is widely praised, and is sure to be a Screenplay and Actress contender.


  1. Jay Roach’s “Trumbo”
Bryan Cranston is set to star in a biopic about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Photo credit: EW


Hollywood movies usually do well in Hollywood. In the Cold War era, Dalton Trumbo was a blacklisted screenwriter era who wrote under pseudonyms to continue his profession.  The story is very interesting and important to Hollywood, and who better to take on the role the the beloved Bryan Cranston.  Already an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for his role in the world’s favorite TV series, Bryan Cranston could nab his first Oscar nomination.  It seems highly likely, given the actor’s recent success.  Interestingly enough, the film is helmed by comedic director Jay Roach.  Perhaps his transition into dramatic biopics could really pay off and make this film a directorial and picture contender.  Or it could crash and burn.  We’ll have to wait and see.


  1. Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs”
Michael Fassbender takes the role of Steve Jobs after Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale dropped out. Photo credit:

After Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher bombed, Oscar winner Danny Boyle attempts the story with a script from Aaron Sorkin.  Sorkin, who is most well-known for his award winning screenplay for The Social Network, probably has a much better version of the story on paper.  The duo of Sorkin and Boyle is automatically worthy of attention, and this time around, Michael Fassbender will play the title role.  In an even bigger year for male actors, Michael Fassbender could get another acting nomination, and Sorkin always has a good shot at a writing nomination.  Hopefully, this movie will fair much better than the poorly reviewed Jobs.