2016 Oscar Predictions: Will Spotlight Outshine The Revenant?

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It's that time of year again. 

On Sunday night, millions will tune in to watch pretty people take home gold statues, and Hollywood will expect us to take it all very seriously.

This year, that's harder than ever as ignorant snubs for films like Straight Outta Compton, Creed, The Hateful Eight, Carol, and Diary of a Teenage Girl make it clear that the average Academy voter is more concerned with nominating films that fit the bill for traditional Oscar fare than with honoring the year's best and most memorable films.

As a result, we're left with one of the least populist, most awards-bait-stuffed Best Picture fields in years.

Sure, the Academy threw the average Joe Popcorn Bucket a bone with Mad Max: Fury Road, but with the exception of the film doesn't stand a chance in any of the major categories (it might not even take home any technical awards).

So while there are many strong contenders this year (For the love of God, see The Big Short, Brooklyn, and Room, if you haven't already.), there are probably more than a few big nominees you haven't seen, and there might be a few you've never even heard of.

Regardless, many of us will drunkenly toss a $20 into the pot and fill in some bubbles before hunkering down to see if anyone trips on the red carpet. (Don't let us down, J-Law!)

That's why we've assembled the list below to provide you with all the information you'll need to fleece your friends on Hollywood's biggest night.

Of course, if you really want to play it safe, just find some uninformed sucker and bet him that all the night's acting prizes will go to white people.

Unlike minorities working in the film industry, you're sure to win big!

1. Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
Perhaps the biggest lock of the night. Leo's over-the-top work in The Revenant (the Academy loves man tears) coupled with a relentless PR campaign designed to remind us how grueling the shoot was (the man ate A REAL BISON LIVER...for some reason) all but guarantees him his first Oscar. Plus, voters are probably sick of all the memes about how he hasn't won one already.

2. Best Actress: Brie Larson

Best Actress: Brie Larson
Brie Larson's tour-de-force performance as a kidnapping victim in Room is one for the ages. Expect the Academy to get it right with this one.

3. Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone

Creed proved that old Sly's still got some fight left in him. The performance is deserving, but it's his status as the sentimental favorite that'll win Rocky the gold.

4. Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander was the best part of The Danish Girl. Most critics have rightfully dismissed the film as beautifully-shot fluff, but Vikander's star-making performance sticks with you.

5. Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight
Once a favorite for Best Picture, Spotlight seems to have lost some steam in recent months. Expect the Academy to toss the critical darling a bone in the form of a screenplay prize.

6. Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
The Big Short accomplished the nigh-impossible feat of making the nitty-gritty of the 2008 housing market collapse accessible to the average viewer. Even more impressively, the adaptation of Michael Lewis' nonfiction best-seller is legitimately laugh-out-loud funny. Any film with the audacity to have Selena Gomez break the fourth wall to explain collateralized debt obligations to the audience deserves a writing award.

7. Best Animated Feature: Inside Out

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
The emotional Pixar pic is second only to Leo as the biggest shoo-in of the night. Bet in anything else, and you're sure to be overwhelmed with Anger and Disgust.

8. Best Documentary Feature: Amy

Most of us remember the meteoric rise and tragic fall of Amy Winehouse. But knowing how it all ends doesn't make this masterful doc any less affecting. The film is as moving as any scripted drama, and you can expect the Academy to honor ir accordingly.

9. Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Iñárittu took home the directing prize for Birdman last year, and no filmmaker has won it back-to-back in 66 years. Needless to say, it's a rare honor, but with yet another jaw-dropping technical achievement in The Revenant, the Academy is likely to feel that the 52-year-old has earned it.

10. Best Picture: The Revenant

Best Picture: The Revenant
No guarantees here. It's hard to remember a year when the Best Picture race has been this wide open. The Revenant's success in other contests such as the all-important Producers Guild Awards has made it the clear front-runner in recent weeks, but don't be surprised to see Spotlight or The Big Short pull an upset.

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