2016 Oscar predictions

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The 2016 Academy Awards season is upon us, and with that comes plenty of speculation regarding who is worthy of taking home some hardware on Oscar night Feb. 28.

The following are predictions for the six major categories: Best Picture, Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress and Best Director.

Picture: “Spotlight”

The journalistic drama starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams focuses on the Boston Globe’s breaking story about child sex abuse and the ensuing cover-up within the Catholic Church.

The film has received widespread critical acclaim, and although talk of a Best Picture nod seems to have quieted, look for support for this film to pick up as the awards season progresses.

Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

It’s finally DiCaprio’s time to grab what has infamously eluded him.

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Leonardo DiCaprio, top, and Brie Larson, bottom, could take home Academy Awards for their performances in “The Revenant” and “The Room”, respectively.

The elephant in the room throughout DiCaprio’s career has been his empty Best Actor trophy case, although he has been nominated on four previous occasions.

Not many can argue his past performances in films like “Inception,” “Titanic,” “Catch Me if You Can,”
and “The Wolf of Wall Street” have merited a Best Actor win.

Now, for his work in “The Revenant,” DiCaprio finally gets his moment.

Actress: Brie Larson, “Room”

larson'There is no doubt this is Larson’s award to lose.

Critics have praised the lesser-known actress’s performance in “Room,” where she portrays a woman held against her will for several years in an enclosed space with her son.

The plot may sound simple, but Larson’s performance is anything but.

Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

Every other name on the Best Supporting Actor nominee list screams A-list: Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Mark Ruffalo and Sylvester Stallone.

Yet it might be Rylance who comes out on top here as a dark-horse candidate for his work in Steven Spielberg’s  most recent film.

Rylance portrays the convicted spy whom James Donovan (played by Tom Hanks) defends in court.

Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

This race is up for grabs. However, Vikander’s performance in “The Danish Girl” deserves a win.

Attention has been mostly focused toward Eddie Redmayne’s work in the film, and rightly so.

But Vikander’s performance as Gerda, the wife of artist Einar Wegener (Redmayne), who undergoes a sex-change operation, is hard to ignore.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “The Revenant”

Loyal Oscar fans know that Inarritu took home this prize last year for “Birdman.”

He might be the favorite to go back-to-back this year for “The Revenant,” his film about a frontiersman left for dead.

An argument could be made that Iñárritu is the hottest director in Hollywood right now, and another win here could cement that status.