Oscar nominations will be announced Thursday at 5:38am PT. So Variety Oscar pundits Tim Gray, Jenelle Riley, Ramin Setoodeh and Kristopher Tapley huddled to make final predictions in the eight major categories. There was surprising agreement on the majority of contenders, with some slight differences of opinion here and there.
Putting their heads together, our pundits came up with this list of 10, but the Academy may or may not hit that number. “Beasts of No Nation” was the only other film to get a vote.
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Ridley Scott, “The Martian”
Alejandro G. Inarritu, “The Revenant”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Miller was duking it out with Todd Haynes (“Carol”) for the last spot. Today’s DGA nomination for “Mad Max: Fury Road” sent the Aussie ahead of the pack for the majority of our pundits.
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”
The toss-up here came down to Fassbender and “Concussion” star Will Smith, with “Black Mass'” Johnny Depp also in the mix. We went with the “Steve Jobs” star, second only to DiCaprio on the critics’ awards circuit this year.
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Consensus lined up here, with all of our pundits expecting a BAFTA match-up save for Rampling, subbing for “The Lady in the Van’s” Maggie Smith.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Idris Elba, “Beasts of No Nation”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Lots of discussion around SAG nominee Jacob Tremblay here, but in the end, our crew opted for Bale instead.
Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Helen Mirren, “Trumbo”
Alicia Vikander, “Ex Machina”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
General agreement, with Jane Fonda also in the mix.
Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Big Short”
It was “The Martian” vs. “Room” for the last spot here. The former has seen much more luck with industry groups so far, however.
Best Original Screenplay
“The Hateful Eight”
“Straight Outta Compton”
Yet another consensus, with “Sicario” also part of the discussion.