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Ex Machina (#110 of 5)

Oscar 2016 Winner Predictions Original Screenplay

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Oscar 2016 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

Open Road Films

Oscar 2016 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

Not much to ponder here of significance beyond our increasing belief that it seems unfathomable that this year’s best picture winner can walk away with only one other Oscar, and in one of the two screenplay categories. Which is our way of saying that we see Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant, both nominated in every single technical category, as the films primarily gunning for the top prize, with The Big Short the possible beneficiary of a split. For our money, Spotlight has been sending off false signals for some time now of being a stronger best picture contender than it really is. No film so aesthetically (if purposefully) inert, so upright, so un-divisive has won best picture in what seems like decades, and we’re of the impression that this year isn’t one where Oscar wants to be perceived as being behind the times, even if it means making some very unfortunate decisions.

Oscar 2016 Winner Predictions Visual Effects

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Oscar 2016 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2016 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

We often time our prediction articles, perhaps shamelessly, days after a guild has announced its winners so we can get a better sense of how some strata of the Hollywood establishment feels about Oscar’s nominated films. This is meant, of course, to make this process a little less complicated for us, but then nothing about this year’s Oscar season has been simple. When the Visual Effects Society handed four awards to Star Wars: The Force Awakens last week, this should have been an open-and-shut case, except the victories for The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road in some of the guild’s below-the-line categories may reveal more than just this particular group’s feelings about what truly matters when it comes to special effects in movies.