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

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