With a few notable exceptions, most major races in the last few years of awards season had more-or-less been called by mid-December — or at least been whittled down to two or three contenders. Last year, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in their right mind not already predicting Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette to win by Christmas. And the only acting race with any mystery had already been narrowed down to a Michael Keaton vs. Eddie Redmayne narrative. Granted, very few people were calling "Birdman" to take the whole thing, but that was an exception to a rule that had been becoming a little too commonplace for Oscar watchers increasingly desperate for more than just one or two nail-biters. However, this season is turning out to offer just that.
While "Spotlight" may seem like a frontrunner at this point, for instance, you shouldn’t underestimate the rising momentum of both "The Revenant" and "The Big Short." Certain categories are clearer than others — Leonardo DiCaprio might as well start practicing that speech — but a majority of the 2015 races are exceptionally all over the place.
To help guide Indiewire readers to what films and performances are taking the lead in each race, Thompson on Hollywood proprietor and Indiewire Editor-At-Large Anne Thompson will be providing her updated predictions for what will win on February 28.
Below are all of the major Academy Award categories. Click the links in order to see a breakdown of each category, and be sure to visit Thompson on Hollywood’s Oscar predictions page for even more analysis into the awards season.
For more insight into the 2016 awards season, visit the Indiewire Awards Season Spotlight homepage here.