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2016 Oscar Predictions

The following table provides predictions for the four main categories for the 2016 Academy Awards presented on Feb 28, 2016. The nominees are presented in order of expected probability to win, with the probabilities (in percentages) given in the second column. Eventual winners shown in bold.

Picture: This category is the hardest to call of the four major races this year because no single movie dominates across all the important factors. The Revenant has the most nominations, including a traditionally important Best Director nomination, and also won the Golden Globe Drama award. However, Mad Max: Fury Road has nearly as many nominations and The Big Short won the generally more predictive Producer's Guild award. Spotlight isn't too far behind, with nominations in many of the more significant categories. The Martian gets some points for winning the Golden Globe Comedy or Musical award (despite being neither), but it would be a shock if it or the remaining three nominated films won here.
The Revenant 56
The Big Short 25
Mad Max: Fury Road 8
Spotlight 6
The Martian 3
Room 2
Bridge of Spies 1
Brooklyn <1
Director: Last year's Best Achievement in Directing winner, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, would seem to be a lock for winning again this year. He has already won the Director's Guild and Golden Globe Director awards and The Revenant is the most nominated movie this year. This is also Inarritu's third directing nomination at The Oscars, which works in his favour. Unlike for actors, winning before doesn't tend to hurt a director's chance of winning again (19 directors have previously won two or more times). If The Academy were to decide not to go with Inarritu again this year, Tom McCarthy and George Miller may have the best chance of upsetting the odds.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for The Revenant 98
Tom McCarthy for Spotlight 1
George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road <1
Adam McKay for The Big Short <1
Lenny Abrahamson for Room <1
Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo DiCaprio (with his Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Drama wins) seems on course for an easy win, but Matt Damon, with a Golden Globe Musical or Comedy win, has an outside chance of upsetting the odds. Previous lead actor nominations tend to help a nominee's chances too, and DiCaprio has three of those while Damon has one. Were Eddie Redmayne, last year's winner in this category, to prevail again this year he would match the feats of Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks, and Sean Penn. Only Daniel Day-Lewis has won for lead actor three times.
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant 99
Matt Damon in The Martian 1
Bryan Cranston in Trumbo <1
Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs <1
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl <1
Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson scores big for Golden Globe (drama) and Screen Actors Guild awards. Saoirse Ronan would seem to have the best chance of the other nominees, having also been nominated in a movie that has been nominated for Best Picture. Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett are probably not in the running to win this year since both have won before (Lawrence for 2012's Silver Linings Playbook and Blanchett for 2013's Blue Jasmine). It wouldn't be unprecedented if either were to win again, however, as evidenced by Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn (four times!), Glenda Jackson, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, Hilary Swank, and Meryl Streep.
Brie Larson in Room 94
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn 3
Jennifer Lawrence in Joy 2
Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years 1
Cate Blanchett in Carol 1

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