The 88th Academy Awards are scheduled to happen Sunday, February 2016 at 5:30pm. Each year, the Academy Awards (commonly termed “the Oscars”), honors the best films of the previous year with the most esteemed award in Hollywood.
This year, the race is stronger than ever. The eight nominees for Best Picture, the Academy’s highest honor, are all strong and serious contenders. Film critics across the world have heavily disputed which will take home the coveted trophy and no one agrees.
Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio is up for his fourth nomination, but the famous actor has yet to win. If there’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that it’s DiCaprio’s time.
But how do students at Columbia feel about the upcoming awards? We sent out a survey and got back some fascinating responses. The following chart is a collection of how different majors and characters at our university are approaching their Oscar predictions.
For reference, here’s a list of the biggest categories and their nominees:
Best Picture: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn).
Best Actor: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl).
Best Director: Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight).
Best Original Screenplay: Bridge of Spies (Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen), Ex Machina (Alex Garland), Inside Out (Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Colley, and Ronnie del Carmen), Spotlight (Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer), Straight Outta Compton (Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, and Alan Wenkus).
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short (Adam McKay and Charles Randolph), Brooklyn (Nick Hornby), Carol (Phyllis Nagy), The Martian (Drew Goddard), Room (Emma Donoghue).
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Sylvester Stallone (Creed).
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs).
And here are the responses:
|THE “MOVIE LOVER”||THE MATH MAJOR||THE POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR||THE COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJOR||THE FILM MAJOR|
|BEST PICTURE||Spotlight was critically acclaimed, but isn’t likely to win in other categories because of too-stiff competition. Naming Spotlight Best Picture would speak to the movie’s wide acclaim, and would give a commercial movie that rare pinnacle of critical success. However, The Revenant could easily take this one too, and I’d call it Spotlight’s stiffest competition. It speaks more to the Academy’s arthouse edge, but because of that, it would be a less courageous choice||The Big Short. [Of all the nominated movies,] I’ve only seen that one and Spotlight, and Spotlight had that guy from Birdman in it, and Birdman is the worst movie I’ve ever seen||The Revenant. Could be either Bridge of Spies or The Revenant, but I think the widespread discussion about Leo and whether or not he should get an Oscar gained the film a lot of traction.||The Revenant, because it’s winning at every other awards show.||The Revenant. From what I’ve heard, this movie is exactly the tense, rugged movie the Academy would love to award.|
|BEST ACTRESS||The Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the Critics Choice Awards have all rewarded Brie Larson for her stellar performance in Room, and rightly so.She beautifully acts Joy’s emotional arc, from a mother who focuses all energy into her son’s wellbeing to a woman who, once freed from that duty, must take on the excruciating task of thinking about herself again. Larson’s performance is touching and raw, and she deserves an Oscar.||Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve only ever heard of Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett. I don’t like Cate Blanchett.||Jennifer Lawrence did not perform up to the Oscar standard (minority opinion: neither for Silver Linings Playbook) and Brie Larson is such a welcome surprise to the business that I think she’ll get it.||Jennifer Lawrence. She’s risen in stardom due to Hunger Games and will likely be able to get the attention needed to win.||Cate Blanchett always has a winning quality to her.|
|BEST ACTOR||This is Leonardo DiCaprio‘s year. After more than two decades of critically acclaimed work with five Oscar nominations, no wins and a few snubs, DiCaprio has earned enough goodwill among the public and Oscar voters to clinch his award this year. More importantly, DiCaprio earned it. Forgoing the charm he has used so potently in past Oscar-nominated performances, he delivers a brutally physical, almost wordless performance in The Revenant, exploring new depths of his talent and challenges as an actor.||Matt Damon. I have only heard of three [of the nominees]. Pretty sure Bryan Cranston is the guy from Breaking Bad and that show sucks. Also Leo is a generally a good dude but I saw commercials for that movie and they scared me. Therefore, Matt Damon||Leonardo DiCaprio. Personally, I think Eddie Redmayne should get another Oscar for The Danish Girl, but also- Leo simply HAS to win. Industry politics.||While I like Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio deserve to win this after so many attempts.||Not only do I hope Leonardo DiCaprio can finally win an Oscar, but I feel like this role will probably seal the deal. (Close second = Eddie Redmayne).|
|BEST DIRECTOR||The Revenant was a brutal, beautiful film, conceived and executed with expertise and heart by Alejandro G. Inarrito. Having preserved authenticity by filming largely in the wild, Inarrito will likely win over the arthouse-leaning Academy voters. Directing DiCaprio in his first Oscar win won’t hurt his chances either.)||Alejandro G. Inarrito. Honestly, who are any of these people? I chose the second guy because diversity.||George Miller. No idea why.||Alejandro G. Inarrito. [Just a guess,] I don’t know.||Alejandro G. Inarrito. The Revenant just seems like a winning movie… I guess?|
|BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY||Spotlight could win this as well, but Inside Out deserves it. The twist in Inside Out — the necessity of sadness — is monumental. Children will learn about their own feelings for decades, if not more, because of that important lesson. Moreover, in Inside Out the Disney-Pixar team constructed a well-paced, moving, relatable story, filled with Joy and Sadness in equal measure — essential for the movie’s overall message||Staight Outta Compton. I have a friend named Jon Herman and you gotta support friends, ya know?||Inside Out. That was an amazing film, and I cried like a baby.||Straight Outta Compton, because it was a compelling story that managed to make a documentary interesting.||Ex Machina, because this story sounded super interesting, new, and original.|
|BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY||Turning the 2008 financial crisis into an understandable, gripping comedy deserves an Oscar in and of itself. That job came down to The Big Short‘s screenwriters, and they could hardly have done better||The Big Short. Michael Lewis (the author of the book) wrote Moneyball so I support his work winning things.||Brooklyn seems to be the kind of movie Hollywood loves, beyond the fact that it’s just a good story.||Brooklyn. Again, a guess.||Room seems like a very interesting story as well.|
|BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR||Goodwill alone could carry Sylvester Stallone towards his Oscar by this point. He also, however, delivered a nuanced, affecting portrayal of the character he calls his “imaginary friend.” Any of his opponents could rightfully win as well, but Stallone — the oldest of the crop, a household name without an Academy Award — will likely go home with the statuette.||Eenie meenie miney mo, I choose Christian Bale.||Tom Hardy. Just because!||Mark Ruffalo. RUFFALO BUFFALO.||Christian Bale had a quiet but lasting presence in The Big Short, I could see him winning this.|
|BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS||Although I still think Rooney Mara could pull through, Alicia Vikander‘s SAG Award win — amid the same pool of nominees — suggests she’ll go home with the honor. Her performance in “The Danish Girl” deserves its acclaim, articulating Gerda’s warmth, vivacity and ultimate loyalty for the person she loves while exploring her deeper heartache and strength. Winning an Oscar would cap off Vikander’s stellar year, in which she catapulted from a little-known Swedish actress to a recognizable and honored talen.||Rachel McAdams, because Mean Girls will always be the best movie ever made and Regina George deserves my support because she repented at the end.||All the signs seem to be pointing to Kate Winslet, although Alicia Vikander is definitely a strong contender||Kate Winslet, because it was a good film and she did a good job.||Kate Winslet also has that winning quality!|
As for the overall student response, some of the opinions were nearly unanimous. For Best Picture, 47.4% of students surveyed believed The Revenant would win.
And when it came to acting, almost everyone agreed it was Leo’s year.
Best Director tended to line up with students’ Best Picture predictions.
While the screenplay race remained almost completely up in the air.
And– people tended to root for Stallone’s Rocky and Winslet’s Rose, forever.
Tune in for the 88th Academy Awards on ABC Sunday, February 28th at 5:30pm!