Spotlight Premiere Liev Schreiber Michael Keaton
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

The BFCA has a pretty good Oscar track record (and they never miss an opportunity to remind you).

The Critics’ Choice Awards are no “influencer” when it comes to the Academy Awards. Few things really are, despite the consistent obsession with what this or that “means” to the Oscar race. What they are, however, is a televised awards ceremony in the second phase of the season, and for a few years, the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., which puts on the event, took full advantage of that fact by airing the show on the day of the annual Oscar nominations announcement.

It made for an interesting opportunity, as it was the first red carpet Oscar nominees found themselves walking after getting the good news earlier that morning. It also provided an opportunity to speak to those results in some way, as “Argo” director Ben Affleck did three years ago, mere hours after being passed over for a best director nomination. “I’d like to thank the Academy,” he quipped upon receiving the Critics’ Choice Award for same.

This year the BFCA opted for the weekend, a cool-down period three days after the Oscar nominations announcement. They also folded sister group the Broadcast Television Journalists Assn.’s awards into the same show, making for a film/TV combo matched only by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s Golden Globe Awards.

So things were a little bit different this time around. But the results ought to be kept in the same perspective they always have. The BFCA likes to crow about matching (i.e. “predicting”) Oscar nominees and winners, and part of the reason they have such a god track record is the size of the voting body. Somewhere around 300 individuals vote, which represents a broad collective unique in the spectrum; most regional groups feature memberships upwards of 85% smaller than that (which, by the way, is often good news for more esoteric contenders).

Not to play into this Oscar harbinger self-marketing, but 12 of the last 20 best picture Oscar winners were also anointed by the BFCA. So it’s worth paying attention to the fact that “Spotlight” won the top prize this year. But it’s also worth pointing out that the BFCA can fall into critics circuit victory lap territory, as they’ve been among the last groups to hand best picture honors to films like “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Social Network” and “Boyhood” in the past. (Those contenders ultimately fell to “Crash,” “The King’s Speech” and “Birdman,” respectively, at the Oscars.)

The jury is still out as to whether “Spotlight” — which, as we’ve reported, has dominated the critics awards circuit — can translate all of this into an Academy Award for best picture. It faces stiff competition from the likes of “The Big Short” and “The Revenant,” also nominated by the BFCA (though the former had an out in the superfluous best comedy category). But things are looking up.

Elsewhere, Sylvester Stallone — whose road to Oscar began right here — got a chance to course correct after the internet jumped down his throat for neglecting to mention “Creed” director Ryan Coogler on the air. He’s starting to look more and more like a sure thing…but beware that whiff of inevitability. Just ask Eddie Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Lauren Bacall, etc.

Alicia Vikander settled into a good spot herself, scooping up supporting actress honors for “The Danish Girl” after dominating the circuit for her performance in “Ex Machina.” Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) and Brie Larson (“Room”) also kept strong precursor track records alive in the steady march to the Dolby Theater, though neither opted to attend the show.

Oh, and if you blinked you might have missed the announcement of screenplay honors for “The Big Short” and “Spotlight.” It’s just the script. No reason to give it a spot on the actual show or anything. Nah. In any case, the BFCA’s coveted Oscar guessing streak is likely to hold up there, too.

In all likelihood, tonight’s best picture/best director split between “Spotlight” and George Miller (nice move having the actresses of “Mad Max: Fury Road” accept in his stead) will be duplicated in just over a month. It’s the scenario that makes the most sense right now, but “right now” shifts and slides. If you’re really paying attention, you’re keeping an eye on next weekend’s Producers Guild of America Awards. The only other organization to use the preferential ballot the Academy uses for best picture, it has predicted the ultimate Oscar winner each of the last eight years.

On the television side of things, things are still a bit wild west with this group. The Broadcast Television Journalists Assn. is relatively young, but they shined a light on new series like “Mr. Robot” (three awards on the evening) and “Master of None.” And “Fargo” nearly swept its categories, with only Patrick Wilson failing to translate a nomination to a win (in the lead actor in a TV movie or miniseries category). What does all that mean? I actually haven’t the faintest. Though “Most Bingeworthy” is a nifty name for a bauble. “Outlander” won that one.

Check out a full list of winners here.

Latest Predictions:

Spotlight Picture
  1. "The Big Short" Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

  2. "Spotlight" Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust

  3. "The Revenant" Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger

  5. "The Martian" Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam

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Best Director Oscar Preview Director
  1. Alejandro G. Inarritu "The Revenant"

  2. Adam McKay "The Big Short"

  3. Tom McCarthy "Spotlight"

  4. George Miller "Mad Max: Fury Road"

  5. Lenny Abrahamson "Room"

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One of the year's most critically acclaimed films was also a major B.O. disappointment. After failing to gross $20 million domestically, "Steve Jobs" was pulled from U.S. theaters after less than three weeks. Actor
  1. Leonardo DiCaprio "The Revenant"

  2. Bryan Cranston "Trumbo"

  3. Michael Fassbender "Steve Jobs"

  4. Matt Damon "The Martian"

  5. Eddie Redmayne "The Danish Girl"

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Best Actress Oscar Contenders Actress
  1. Brie Larson "Room"

  2. Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"

  3. Cate Blanchett "Carol"

  4. Charlotte Rampling "45 Years"

  5. Jennifer Lawrence "Joy"

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Oscar Nominations Reactions Sylvester Stallone Supporting Actor
  1. Sylvester Stallone "Creed"

  2. Mark Rylance "Bridge of Spies"

  3. Mark Ruffalo "Spotlight"

  4. Christian Bale "The Big Short"

  5. Tom Hardy "The Revenant"

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Carol Rooney Mara Supporting Actress
  1. Alicia Vikander "The Danish Girl"

  2. Rooney Mara "Carol"

  3. Kate Winslet "Steve Jobs"

  4. Jennifer Jason Leigh "The Hateful Eight"

  5. Rachel McAdams "Spotlight"

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(Nov. 4, Fox Searchlight)
Fox Searchlight, the reigning back-to-back best picture champ, has an interesting pair of contenders in this and Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth.” But John Crowley’s coming-of-age portrait of the immigrant experience is the warmer feel-good player. Adapted Screenplay
  1. "The Big Short" Adam McKay, Charles Randolph

  2. "Room" Emma Donoghue

  3. "Carol" Phyllis Nagy

  4. "Brooklyn" Nick Hornby

  5. "The Martian" Drew Goddard

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Walt Disney
Pixar’s family-friendly head trip is the sort of emotional powerhouse that, like “Up” and “Toy Story 3” before it, could crack the best picture race. A nomination for animated feature should be assured, but an original screenplay mention could also be in the cards (“original” being the operative word). Original Screenplay
  1. "Spotlight" Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer

  2. "Inside Out" Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve

  3. "Ex Machina" Alex Garland

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Matthew Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

  5. "Straight Outta Compton" Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus

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Josh Brolin Sicario Cinematography
  1. "The Revenant" Emmanuel Lubezki

  2. "Mad Max: Fury Road" John Seale

  3. "The Hateful Eight" Robert Richardson

  4. "Carol" Edward Lachman

  5. "Sicario" Roger Deakins

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Focus Features
Reteaming with “The King’s Speech” director Tom Hooper, Eddie Redmayne follows his Oscar-winning turn as Stephen Hawking with an entirely different acting challenge, projecting the inner soul of transgender pioneer Einar Wegener. As in that earlier film, his understanding onscreen wife, Alicia Vikander, could be recognized for the stability she provides. Costume Design
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Jenny Beavan

  2. "The Danish Girl" Paco Delgado

  3. "The Revenant" Jacqueline West

  4. "Carol" Sandy Powell

  5. "Cinderella" Sandy Powell

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Director: Adam McKay 
By Terry Gilliam 
At last... a smart, funny and beautifully directed film about something important. I wish it had been mine, but sadly it’s the handiwork of Adam McKay who really knows what he is doing and has the clout to gather a great cast who entertain, educate, and immerse us in the foolish, greed-driven world that arrogantly marched our economy off the cliff. His flair at telling the tale gets my vote for hero of the year. Film Editing
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Margaret Sixel

  2. "The Big Short" Hank Corwin

  3. "The Revenant" Stephen Mirrione

  4. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey

  5. "Spotlight" Tom McArdle

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mad max fury road Makeup & Hairstyling
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin, Elka Wardega

  2. "The Revenant" Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

  3. "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" Love Larson and Eva von Bahr

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(Dec. 25, Weinstein)
Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained”) offers an incentive to experience films in the theater, with a limited 70mm roadshow engagement that’s sure to seduce celluloid purists. Original Score
  1. "The Hateful Eight" Ennio Morricone

  2. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" John Williams

  3. "Carol" Carter Burwell

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Thomas Newman

  5. "Sicario" Jóhann Jóhannsson

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Lady Gaga Best Original Song
  1. "Til It Happens To You" from "The Hunting Ground"

  2. "Writing's on the Wall" from "Spectre"

  3. "Earned It" from "Fifty Shades of Grey"

  4. "Simple Song #3" from "Youth"

  5. "Manta Ray" from "Racing Extinction"

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Touchstone
Steven Spielberg is never one to be counted out of the top categories, especially when there’s a resonant history lesson involved. Tom Hanks’ performance is as laudable as the film’s Coen brothers-polished script, but the revelation here is Mark Rylance, considered a lock for his richly understated supporting turn as a Soviet spy. Production Design
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Colin Gibson; Katie Sharrock, Lisa Thompson

  2. "The Danish Girl" Eve Stewart; Michael Standish

  3. "The Revenant" Jack Fisk; Hamish Purdy

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Adam Stockhausen; Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich

  5. "The Martian" Arthur Max; Celia Bobak, Zoltan Horvath

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star wars the force awakens bb8 Sound Editing
  1. "The Revenant" Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender

  2. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Mark Mangini and David White

  3. "The Martian" Oliver Tarney

  4. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Matthew Wood and David Accord

  5. "Sicario" Alan Robert Murray

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Matt Damon The Martian Sound Mixing
  1. "The Revenant" Chris Duesterdiek, Frank A. Montaño, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom

  2. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

  3. "The Martian" Mac Ruth, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor

  4. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

  5. "Bridge of Spies" Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin

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Golden Globe Nominees 2016 Reactions Animated Feature
  1. "Inside Out" Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

  2. "Anomalisa" Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran

  3. "Shaun the Sheep Movie" Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

  4. "Boy and the World" Ale Abreu

  5. "When Marnie Was There" Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

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Oscar Documentary Contenderts 2016 Documentary Feature
  1. "Amy" Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees

  2. "Cartel Land" Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin

  3. "What Happened, Miss Simone?" Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes

  4. "The Look of Silence" Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sorensen

  5. "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom" Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

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Son of Saul Cannes Film Festival Foreign Language
  1. "Son of Saul" Lazlo Nemes; Hungary

  2. "Mustang" Deniz Gamze Erguven; France

  3. "Theeb" Naji Abu Nowar; Jordan

  4. "A War" Tobias Lindholm; Denmark

  5. "Embrace of the Serpent" Ciro Guerra; Colombia

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Original Screen Play Oscar Race Visual Effects
  1. "The Revenant" Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer

  2. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

  3. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams

  4. "The Martian" Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner

  5. "Ex Machina" Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

See Full Listing

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