88th Academy Awards - Who Should Win and Who Will Win

Academy Award Predictions - Jackie K Cooper

Sunday, February 28 at 7PM on ABC the 88th Academy Awards will be presented. Despite all the controversy and clamor Chris Rock will host the event which will draw a huge audience and renew the dreams of young actors around the world. You may not like the makeup of the Academy; you may not like the list of persons nominated; you might wish you had the strength not to watch, but like the proverbial car crash you will be drawn to the screen - probably for the full endless amount of hours.

As the winners are announced you will either agree or disagree. You will know who you hoped would win, and you will finally have to accept who the Academy has selected to win. Here are my choices of who should win and who will win. In most instances they are not the same names.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - I am really pulling for Mark Rylance in this category. He was such a calm, cool presence in Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies." His performance as Rudolf Abel was so crucial to the overall believability of the movie. Abel was a major pawn on the international chessboard of this time. He was one of the "bad guys" of this era, but in Rylance's hands he was also very human and on some level likeable. With all that going for him, Rylance won't win. Sylvester Stallone will. His performance as Rocky Balboa in the movie "Creed" makes him the sentimental favorite and Hollywood loves a sentimental favorite. It will be Stallone by a knockout.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - No hard decision here. I have joined the Alicia Vikander bandwagon. It started with "Ex Machina" and continued through "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." By the time I saw her as Gerta Wegener in "The Danish Girl" I was hooked. She can do no wrong, and she definitely did no wrong in this performance. She was the woman married to a man who no longer wanted to be a man. All of the hurt, longing and frustration life had given her played across her beautiful face and made the audience ache as much as she ached. She should win in this category and I believe she will win in this category.

BEST ACTOR - Oh Eddie Redmayne, if only you had not won this award last year for "The Theory of Everything" voters might be touting you for the award this year. You really should be the winner in my book. However I fear it is the year of the DiCaprio and Leonardo will win the award for best grunting, I mean acting. In "The Revenant" he survived one hardship after another and for many voters survival means success. I don't buy this but I do buy that he will win as payback for not winning for "Titanic" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." Such are the ways of the Oscar world.

BEST ACTRESS - Charlotte Rampling should win for "45 Years." She poured her heart and soul into that role and allowed herself to look world wearied and worn. It was a beautiful performance but one that was locked in a movie nobody saw. "Room" isn't setting any box office records either but Brie Larson has managed to ride the whirlwind of publicity surrounding her performance as a kidnapped young woman who has her captor's child and raises him in a single room for five years. It was a fairly one note performance but that one note struck a chord with the Academy voters and she will win this award.

BEST DIRECTOR - Tom McCathy did a masterful job of directing an ensemble of actors in "Spotlight." Plus he kept the subject matter of the film from becoming overly exploitive. He was in control of it all and it never slipped away from him. That is why he should win this award. However it will go to Alejandro G. Inarritu for "The Revenant." Once again the hardships endured by the cast and crew to bring this movie to the screen make it worthy of this award. Inarritu was the man in control and he kept everyone alive. Once again survival means success.

BEST PICTURE - McCarthy's "Spotlight" should win, but Inarritu's "The Revenant" will win for the very reasons stated above. Both films are based on true stories, and both films deal with horrific subjects. One deals with a supposedly civilized society while the other deals with the horrors of the frontier. In this case the frontier wins.

For conversations about the possible awards outcomes, watch the videos below:

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress