The Iris’ 2016 Oscar Picks – Who Will Win at the 88th Annual Academy Awards?

Hollywood’s night of nights is only a few days away (Monday from Noon!) and Larry Heath and Fergus Halliday are here with The Iris’ predictions for how the prestigious awards show will go down. Do we think Leo will finally win the Oscar? Read on.

Best Picture

Fergus’ Pick: This year’s Best Picture race is intense. My heart says Mad Max: Fury Road – but my head says Spotlight. It’s incredible that George Miller’s return to the wasteland has gotten a nomination, but I can’t see it winning out over Tom McCarthy’s journo-drama.


Larry’s Pick: While I wouldn’t count out either of Fergus’ picks, especially Spotlight, I’m going for The Revenant on this one. A powerful film, a breathtaking follow-up for Iñárritu’s 2015 winner Birdman, the film already stands as one of the greatest revenge films of all time. Academy voters will likely be keen to award to Iñárritu for consistency alone.

Actor in a Leading Role

Fergus’ Pick: Though DiCaprio has a lot of buzz behind his performance in The Revenant, I feel like taken as a whole film it doesn’t win out over Fassbender here.  While Dicaprio certainly gave a lot to his performance, I feel like Fassbender’s work in Steve Jobs has a lot more complexity and depth to it. Besides, where else is that film going to get its due.


Larry’s pick: It’s going to DiCaprio. No question. It’s finally his year.

Actress in a Leading Role

Fergus’ Pick: Given the buzz around Brie Larson‘s performance in Room compared to the other nominees here. It’s hard not to imagine it stealing the Oscar in this category.


Larry’s Pick: It wasn’t long ago that Larson was starring in 21 Jump Street. Now, she’s the star of one of the year’s most acclaimed film, providing an incredible performance that has surely given her the trophy. The future is a bright one for this up-and-coming actress!

Actress in a Supporting Role

Fergus’ Pick: This feels like another really tight category but for me it absolutely has to go to Jennifer Jason Leigh. The Hateful Eight would not be as good of a movie as it is without her performance – and in a Tarantino flick, that’s saying something.

Larry’s Pick: This is one of the most competitive categories this year… Leigh was phenomenal, but voters don’t seem too keen to award Tarantino for his latest film. With a string of impressive performances under her belt in the last couple of years, I feel like they’ll be awarding this one to Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Fergus’ Pick: My pick for best supporting actor is probably going to have to be Tom Hardy. Though Stallone has gotten a lot of awards-show love for Creed up until now, I could absolutely see that streak being broken by Hardy’s performance in The Revenant.


Larry’s Pick: I figure Oscar voters will award the sentimental favourite for this category, Sylvester Stallone, and he’s my pick. But don’t expect them to be that predictable – they didn’t give it to Michael Keaton last year, and most expected him to win on the same pretence. Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Mark Ruffalo and Mark Rylance were all terrific in their respective roles and this is a category where any of them could win. If voters really do get behind The Revenant though, then Tom Hardy – whose performance in the film was just as strong as DiCaprio’s – could easily take it.

Animated Feature Film

Fergus’ Pick: I would love to see Charlie Kaufman‘s Anomalisa get some credit here but I can’t see that overtaking the critical slam-dunk Pixar have in Inside Out.


Larry’s Pick: Agree with Fergus here. Don’t count Kaufman out – but it’s likely to go for the Pixar gem.


Fergus’ Pick: In my opinion, Mad Max and The Revenant have the fidelity to win this category but The Hateful Eight could definitely edge them out with style. I also wouldn’t completely discount the possibility of Sicario pulling off a surprise win.

samuel l hateful eight

Larry’s Pick: Damn, this is a hard one. The Hateful Eight should win this category. Every shot is perfection, and its method should be celebrated. But something tells me they’re going to give it to The Revenant, a near perfectly shot film in its own right, with Mad Max an outside favourite.

Costume Design

Fergus’ Pick: I feel like this has to go to Mad Max. Between Max, Furiosa, Immortan Joe and his Warboys, the costuming in Fury Road is the probably most compelling and evocative 2015 had to offer.

Larry’s Pick: Yep, Mad Max for me too. Cinderella could win, but hopefully voters aren’t that lazy.


Fergus’ Pick: Again, my heart wants Fury Road to come away the winner here but my head feels like Alejandro González Iñárritu probably has this one on lock. If The Revenant is to be recognized for anything, its incredible technically accomplished direction should be it.


Larry’s Pick: Iñárritu will likely win Best Picture, but I can’t see him getting Best Director two years in a row. Hollywood loves George Miller, and I think they’re going to use this year as an opportunity to give the Aussie director the credit he deserves. Mad Max for the win!

Documentary (Feature)

Fergus’ Pick: I’d love for this to go to Winter on Fire but, truth be told, I think Amy will take this by a mile.


Larry’s Pick: I’m going to pick Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence for this one – though Amy is just as likely to take it out.

Film Editing

Fergus’ Pick: Mad Max. If there was any category for Mad Max to take home – this is probably the one. It’s a film so well edited it’s more or less watchable even at 12x speed.

Larry’s Pick: Mad Max is going to have a great night, and this will be another of its trophies. The Revenant sits as an outside favourite.

Foreign Language Film

Fergus’ Pick: Truth be told, I haven’t seen most of these. Everything I’ve heard about Son of Saul does sound pretty compelling though, so I’ll go with that.

Son of Saul 1A

Larry’s Pick: Yep, I’ll say the same.

Makeup and Hairstyling

Fergus’ Pick: I feel like if not for the “And Hairstyling”, this category would be another win for Mad Max. However, given the quality of the intricate (and messy) hairstyling at work in The Revenant, I’m inclined to expect that to take it.

Mad Max:The Fury Road

Larry’s Pick: I feel like I’m starting to give Mad Max too many awards, but I really think this one will take it here too.

Music (Original Score)

Fergus’ Pick: I really do think this might be Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ category here. John William’s Star Wars scores are rightfully iconic and his work with The Force Awakens contributes a lot more to that movie coming together than I think most people give it credit for.


Larry’s Pick: This is Ennio Morricone’s year. The Hateful Eight will take this one out.

Music (Original Song)

Fergus’ Pick: In terms of original music I would actually listen to, I’d pick “Earned It,”. In terms of what I expect to win, chalk up another cynical vote for Sam Smith.


Larry’s Pick: Given the performance snub for the category’s first Trans artist, Anohni (aka Antony), I’d love “Manta Ray” to take this one out. Sadly, I also feel Sam Smith will take it home – though there were so many better songs this year.

Production Design

Fergus’ Pick: There’s a really compelling physicality to the Production Design in The Martian that I wouldn’t be too surprised to see recognized here.


Larry’s Pick: While indeed Martian could take it, the stark beauty of Mad Max should see it take out this category as well.

Short Film (Animated)

Fergus’ Pick: On top of being a Pixar production, Sanjay’s Super Team is a pretty phenomenal animated short and I hope/expect it to walk away with this one.

Larry’s Pick: On a year where #OscarsSoWhite is a topic of such discussion, there’s no way voters aren’t going to award Pixar’s first film featuring a Indian as its main character. Sanjay’s Super Team is a beautiful film, too. Very well deserved. In with an outside chance is past nominee Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow.

Short Film (Live Action)

Fergus’ Pick: Patrick Vollrath’s Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut) is my pick for this category.

Larry’s Pick: Going with Shok here, the first film from Kosovo to be nominated for an Academy Award!

Documentary (Short Subject)

Fergus’ Pick: This is a category with a whole bunch of really fascinating entrants but I’d hedge my bets on Body Team 12 taking it.

Larry’s Pick: Yes, agree Body Team 12 is worthy here – tackling the Ebola epidemic – though I predict the important short A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness to take the trophy. The story of honour killings in Pakistan is one everyone needs to see.

Sound Editing

Fergus’ Pick: Considering the degree and the quality of the way that Mad Max tied its sound editing to the film via Doof Warrior, I’d be surprised if that didn’t take it.

Larry’s Pick: Mad Max should take this one indeed.

mad max

Sound Mixing

Fergus’ Pick: I’m gonna go with The Revenant on this one. There was something to the way that film sounded that really stuck with me.

Larry’s Pick: The Revenant stuck with me as well, and don’t count out Star Wars, but I think this will be another win for Mad Max.

Visual Effects

Fergus’ Pick: Another really tight category but I think Ex Machina might win out. While it doesn’t use visual effects as heavily as the other contenders, the specific ways it uses visual effects are exceptionally impressive.


Larry’s Pick: Five great films, all with amazing visual effects. I’d love to see Ex Machina win as well. A brilliant film that the Academy may want to show some love – so I’m going to predict the same. I wouldn’t count out any of the nominees though.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Fergus’ Pick: I think The Big Short has this one down.


Larry’s Pick: The Big Short indeed.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Fergus’ Pick: I would love to see Ex Machina or Straight Outta Compton steal this out from under Spotlight – but I just don’t think that’s the way things’ll pan out.


Larry’s Pick: Totally agree with Fergus here. This should be in the bag for Spotlight.

Want to find out if we were right? Don’t miss the Oscars when they air live on Channel Nine from 12noon this Monday! They’ll repeat that night from 9.45pm.


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