The 88th Academy Awards – otherwise known as the 2016 Oscars – are upon us! Maybe you’ve eagerly been awaiting the big night, keeping tabs on all things Oscars… but for those of you who may be somewhat clueless as to what this year has in store for all of us, well then this here if for you.

The Host

This year’s Oscar host may seem like a rather random choice – but we’re hoping that having had previous experience hosting the most anticipated film event of the year back in 2005, he’ll have a trick or two up his sleeve. Chris Rock, ladies and gents…

People are most excited to see how Chris Rock will tackle the controversy over this year’s ‘all-white’ Oscar nominees. The host has already called out the lack of diversity this year, and he just recently posted a little something on Twitter that may be hinting towards the issue:

And here’s his 2005 opening monologue, in case you decide you want to compare old with new.

Best Picture Nominees

Although the Oscars are usually, almost always super predictable… this year’s nominees are actually causing it to be quite difficult to precisely pinpoint who’ll come out as the winner. Yes, most people still have somewhat similar predictions as to who’ll win in each category (especially based off of BAFTA and Golden Globe wins), but it seems as though everyone may be in for quite a few surprises. The films nominated are:

The Big Short (A film about the financial crisis of 2007-08)

Bridge of Spies (A film about exchanging American and Soviet spies during the Cold War in the 1960’s)

Brooklyn (A film about an Irish immigrant who moves to Brooklyn in the 1950’s and falls in love, and  struggles with her identity)

Mad Max: Fury Road (The fourth installment of a franchise, this film is about a female rebel who escapes a tyrannical ruler with the help of a drifter named Max, set in a future desert wasteland)

The Martian (A film about an astronaut who’s mistakenly presumed dead on a mission, gets left behind on Mars, and struggles to survive and get rescued)

The Revenant (A film about a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s who gets mauled by a bear and struggles for survival)

Room (A film about a young woman and her five-year-old son who were trapped for the young boy’s entire life, and then finally escape)

Spotlight (A film about how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese)

The top three contenders battling it out for the win, according to a number of film critics, are Spotlight, The Big Short, and The Revenant. However, The Revenant seems to be the one set out to take the golden guy home.

Best Director Nominees

This might very possibly be the first time in over 60 years, and the third time in the history of the Oscars, that a director wins in this category for two consecutive years in a row. Yes, that’s right… it seems as though Alejandro González Iñárritu is the frontrunner in this year’s race once again.

The Mexican director just won last year for his groundbreaking film Birdman, and it seems as though he’ll be sweeping up the gold again for The Revenant – this is especially evident considering all the hype around how difficult, and physically and emotionally demanding it was to shoot the film.

If that’s not the case though, some critics are debating whether or not George Miller might actually be the one to take home the Oscar (yes, Mad Max might have been fun to watch, but we honestly hope it goes to Iñárritu).

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight 

Best Actor Nominees

Leonardo DiCaprio.

Everyone, whether they were fans of The Revenant or not, seems to be in agreement that this year is Leo’s year – this is the year he’ll finally win the Oscar! Although it’s actually a really nice mix of actors in line for the award, it seems as though this category has basically already been pre-determined. If a surprise just so happens to be in store, there are some who speculate Fassbender winning… but we just hope Leo wins already, it’s about time. The nominees are:

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
trumbo-movie-bryan-cranston

Matt Damon, The Martian
Matt-Damon-as-Mark-Watney-in-The-Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
leo revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
fassbender jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
eddie-redmayne-danishgirl

Best Actress Nominees

The best actress category is also somewhat of a close call. Most people have already decided that Brie Larson is set to win – granted her portrayal of a kidnapped young girl who gets trapped in a shed and births and raises a son in said shed, is quite the moving performance.

Before Larson came into the picture though… Charlotte Rampling seemed to be beaming with praise for her performance in 45 Years and all signs pointed to her triumph. Saoirse Ronan also popped up on everyone’s radar as a budding young talent, while Cate Blanchett seemed to be the obvious choice in this category. Jennifer Lawrence just seems like she might be following in Meryl Streep’s footsteps of always being nominated just because…

Cate Blanchett, Carol
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Brie Larson, Room
brie room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
lawrence joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
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Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
ronan brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor Nominees

The best supporting actor award seems to already be in the bag. Almost all signs point to Sylvester Stallone winning the Oscar for his reprised role of the famous Rocky Balboa in this year’s Creed. Everyone’s hoping that Rocky will finally get the Oscar… after all these years.

Tom Hardy’s performance in The Revenant is also quite noteworthy, and he might just swoop in and surprise us all by taking home the gold – who knows what could happen. But, honestly, we sure do hope that Stallone gets it.

Christian Bale, The Big Short
bale big short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant
tom_hardy_revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
mark_ruffalo spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
mark rylance Review-Bridge-of-Spies-2
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
creed-sylvester-stallone-golden-globes-nominations-2016

Best Supporting Actress Nominees

Honestly, we are loving this group of nominees – and it’s quite difficult to really establish as more deserving than the other (yes, we would have also greatly appreciated and preferred a little more diversity – throughout all categories – but these ladies are still great).

Most critics are saying that Alicia Vikander is set to win in the category – and deservedly so. We feel as though she’s already winner though, having been nominated alongside the likes of Kate Winslet and Rooney Mara.

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
jennifer jason leigh hateful-eight-01
Rooney Mara, Carol
RooneyMara1carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
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Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
alicia.vikander danish girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
kate winslet steve jobs

Prime Tip (For Those Willing to Pull an All-nighter)

Why not make things a little more interesting, and gather with some of your fellow film buff friends for a long night of Oscar drinking fun.
The Oscars drinking game is simple… you chose a winner for each category and whoever loses, drinks! It comes in handy with some of the smaller, less predictable categories.

You and your friends could also make things even more interesting by creating more rules for yourselves. For example, drink or take a shot every time someone cries after receiving their Oscar, or every time someone makes a Meryl Streep reference – get creative!

draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank

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