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Oscars 2016: Who’s Going to Win, Who Should Win

Our predictions for who’s going home with the gold — and who really deserves it

Oscars; White

The scandal! The insult! infamy! Turning Oscar 2016 into a Whites-Only affair means the Academy will take the red-carpet walk of shame on Feb. 28th. How could it not since people are mad as hell that there's not a single person of color among the 20 acting nominees. Oscar voters got a pass last year when they did the exact the same stupid thing. But this time it's personal. Spike Lee, Will Smith and wife Jada are among those calling for a boycott. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs quickly announced reforms to "begin  the process of significantly changing our membership composition." Translation: It's mostly old white dudes.

Meanwhile, we get to shift through those who are nominated in the major categories, looking for frontrunners and spoilers and leaving some space to bitch about the snubs. Party on. Here are our picks for will win in the six major categories — and who we think should be going home a winner.

Creed; Stallone; Oscars; 2016

Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy, The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Yo, Adrian. you can send the other nominees home – such is the heat generated by the resurgence of Rocky. Even Bale, Ruffalo and Hardy can't survive that comeback offensive.

Should Win: Rylance
The one actor who could block the Rocky siege. As a Russian spy being traded for one of ours in Steven Spielberg's old-school spy thriller, Rylance is a marvel of subtlety and wit. Fans could launch a Rylance campaign. Would it help? Probably not.

Will Win: Stallone
His widely acclaimed, easy-does-it return to his most beloved role is impossible to resist. He lost the 1976 Oscar (to Network's Peter Finch) for playing Rocky the first time. It won't happen again.

Robbed: Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) — I'd boycott for this slight alone. Sure, Michael Keaton and Liev Schreiber nailed their roles in Spotlight. And Paul Dano captured the talent and torment of Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. And nine-year-old Jacob Tremblay deserved at least half the acting credit for Room. But Elba is peerless as the West African warlord who trains children to kill. I once wrote that the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor should have Elba's name on it. I stand by that statement, though Academy ignorance has made that impossible.

Jennifer Jason Leigh; Hateful 8; Best Supporting Actress; Oscars; 2016

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara, Carol
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Here's the problem. Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are not giving supporting performances. Mara has as much screen time as her Carol co-star, Blanchett, who is nominated as Best Actress. Ditto Vikander and her Danish Girl co-star, Best Actor nominee Eddie Redmayne. Mara and Vikander are both stellar (I use the word advisedly), but this category scam puts other nominees at a disadvantage.

Should Win: Leigh
As the only woman among Quentin Tarantino's despicable octet, Leigh delivers a true supporting performance, one that serves the ensemble as she rebels against macho abuse.

Will Win: Mara
She progresses from scared girl to independent woman by learning that she alone must decide who she loves. Mara won the Best Actress prize at Cannes, whose judges accurately understood the scale of her role.

Robbed: Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) — if the Academy is going to fudge the lines between lead and supporting, why not reward Theron for her stupendous job as Furiosa?

Mad Max; Director; Oscars; George Miller

George Miller on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road

Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Best Director

  • Lenny Abrahamson, Room
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Just might be the most contentious category of Oscar 2016. The smart money says there'll be a split between Best Picture and Best Director.

Should Win: Miller
At 70, the Aussie filmmaker reinvented his action franchise with a feminist twist and a poet's eye.

Will Win: Iñárritu
Only twice in 88 years (the last in 1951) has a director won back-to-back Oscars. And no one has directed consecutive Best Pictures. By honoring the Birdman winner, the Academy can make history.

Robbed: Ridley Scott (The Martian) — the legend behind Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down — had been touted to take home his first Oscar, at 78. Now he's not even nominated. See, white dudes get shafted too. Disturbing? Yup. But eclipsed by the Academy's growing exclusion of minorities. If he doesn't quit his Oscar hosting job, Chris Rock might kick racist ass. If not, #OscarsSoWhite is trending. Speak up.

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