We’ve got the first set of predictions from the all new Gold Rush Gang hot off the presses for you and five films have started the 2016 race with a strong lead. Joy, Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Revenant and The Danish Girl begin the season with high scores from all, with the exception of Bridge of Spies and The Revenant from Jason Osiason. He’s got Spies in 10th and doesn’t even have The Revenant at all. Instead he’s pushing blockbuster fare like Disney/Pixar‘s Inside Out and the highly anticipated new Star Wars film from J.J. Abrams. Does he know something we don’t? Jason is a consistently strong player in the Awardswatch Gold Rush Contest (hence his place in the Gang) so we’ll keep an eye on those predictions. But then I’m the sole predictor for the Jake Gyllenhaal summer boxing flick Southpaw (even though most of us think he’s getting a Best Actor nomination for Demolition, from Fox Searchlight) and that Bradley Cooper’s chances for a fourth Oscar nomination (in a row) will push Adam Jones into the upper echelon of Best Picture nominees. Time will tell.
Speaking of The Revenant, hopes are high for Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s follow up to 2015’s Best Picture winner Birdman, which netted him three personal Oscars. The Leonardo DiCaprio starrer, about an 1820s frontiersman on a path of vengeance, looks to be a major player this year. With a Christmas Day release and 20th Century Fox behind it, it could go all the way. Maybe even securing a win for DiCaprio? We’ll see. 2015 will also see the return of Steven Spielberg to the Oscar fray with Bridge of Spies, his first film since 2012’s Lincoln, which won two Academy Awards. The film, about an American lawyer recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union, could also see the return of Tom Hanks, who was recently snubbed in Best Actor for Captain Phillips.
David O. Russell’s Joy will find Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence playing Miracle Mop matriarch Joy Mangano and features Oscar winner Robert DeNiro (in what could be a return to the podium for him) and nominees Bradley Cooper and Diane Ladd. This year’s Best Actor winner Eddie Redmayne is looking to be a member of the exclusive club of back-to-back acting Oscar winners with The Danish Girl. Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any baitier than his Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, this transgender biopic of Danish Artist Lile Elbe couldn’t be any more topical, despite taking place over 80 years ago. It could also mark the return of Oscar winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and the welcome of ingenue Alicia Vikander. Then there’s Carol from Todd Haynes, who’s never really been embraced by the Academy. He got closest with Far From Heaven but that fell short. This drama, starring two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), centers on a secret lesbian love affair in the 1950s and is based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley) and released by The Weinstein Company. This has the potential to break big with both audiences and Oscar this year.
What’s going to be most interesting this year is if the Academy’s Board of Governors decides to move back to a five Best Picture nominee list. Their meeting on March 24th was hush-hush but there were plenty of rumblings leading up to it that it would at least be on the menu for discussion. If that’s the case then we could very well be looking at the Best Picture final five right here.
For the rest of the Gold Rush Gang’s predictions check the links below: