Scoop: ‘Revenant,’ Leo, Brie, Sly, Alicia are Oscar faves

Ahead of Sunday’s 88th Academy Awards, Associated Press film writer Lindsey Bahr predicts in the major categories:

BEST PICTURE

Nominees: “The Big Short,” ‘’Bridge of Spies,” ‘’Brooklyn,” ‘’Mad Max: Fury Road,” ‘’The Martian,” ‘’The Revenant,” ‘’Room,” ‘’Spotlight.”

Will Win: “The Revenant’s” bravado will match its awards tally.

Should Win: “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a visionary filmmaking coup of a different kind, and, unlike “The Revenant,” the raging road opera is the classic of the bunch.

Should Have Been a Contender: It still boggles the mind why Todd Haynes’ period romance “Carol” was overlooked.

BEST ACTOR

Nominees: Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”; Matt Damon, “The Martian”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”; Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”; Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl.”

Will Win: DiCaprio. He had us at “raw bison.”

Should Win: DiCaprio’s inevitable win can be both boring and merited. If only we could guarantee the Academy was choosing him for his performance and not the behind-the-scenes suffering.

Should Have Been a Contender: Samuel L. Jackson’s speechifying, Lincoln-letter carrying Union soldier in Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” is a performance that will live long beyond DiCaprio’s tussle with that bear.


BEST ACTRESS

Nominees: Cate Blanchett, “Carol”; Brie Larson, “Room”; Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”; Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”; Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn.”

Will Win: Larson. She gives about 10 incredible performances in a single film and has won everything so far.
Should Win: Rampling tore out many a heartstring as a jealous woman in “45 Years.”

Should Have Been a Contender: Bel Powley made the sexual awakening of a teenager seem neither too exploitative nor celebratory in the criminally underseen “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.”


SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale, “The Big Short”; Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”; Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”; Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”; Sylvester Stallone, “Creed.”

Will Win: Stallone, but it’ll be more about his legacy than “Creed.”

Should Win: Rylance made his subtlety affecting spy more lovable than Tom Hanks in “Bridge of Spies.”

Should Have Been a Contender: Nicholas Hoult, whose performance upstaged the bellowing visuals of “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”; Rooney Mara, “Carol”; Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”; Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”; Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs.”

Will Win: Vikander, for giving a soul to “The Danish Girl.”

Should Win: Vikander, for “The Danish Girl,” but also as a nod to of her work in “Ex Machina” and “Testament of Youth.”

Should Have Been a Contender: Mya Taylor, for the sultry transgender lounge-singing stunner in “Tangerine.”

BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees: “The Big Short,” Adam McKay; “Mad Max: Fury Road,” George Miller; “The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Inarritu; “Room,” Lenny Abrahamson; “Spotlight,” Tom McCarthy.

Will Win: Alejandro Inarritu; it’ll be deserved and an incredible achievement.

Should Win: George Miller, and it will also be deserved.

Should Have Been a Contender: Ridley Scott (“The Martian”), Todd Haynes (“Carol”), Sean Baker (“Tangerine”).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Nate Ruess of fun. is 34. … Singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 37. … Singer Erykah Badu is 45. … Singer Michael Bolton is 63. … Keyboardist Jonathan Cain of Journey is 66. Novelist Elizabeth George is 66. … Singer Fats Domino is 88. … Game show host Tom Kennedy is 89.


— Wire reports

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

Associated Press

Recent Posts

David Samples rundown RV

David Samples lived in a rundown 1971 Chinook RV in the Bayview District for about six months before he sought…

50 mins ago

Oakland Athletics could clinch playoff berth at home as magic number drops to one

OAKLAND -- The Tampa Bay Rays had just fallen behind 3-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays, and in the Oakland…

1 hour ago

Questions remain as Treasurer’s Public Bank Task Force comes to a close

Seven months after convening the Municipal Public Bank Task Force and after, presumably, seven months of research, public bank advocates…

1 hour ago

Who’s in charge at Lake Merced?

Lake Merced is a recreational and natural wonder in the southwest corner of San Francisco. Rowers, dragon boat racers, golfers,…

1 hour ago

Introducing the softest politicians in the Bay this week

While Republicans set a low bar for corruption and incompetence, I don’t know how California can hope to win at…

1 hour ago

Clock is ticking for SF’s RV dwellers

David Samples, 63, built his life through the strength of his hands. He came to San Francisco shortly after the…

1 hour ago