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Critically Inclined: Oscar Predictions Part II

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We're so close to the Academy Awards and the Hollywood elite patting themselves on the back that you can almost feel the ego in the air, which I'll leave Chris rock to make the jokes about. But right now, here are my picks for Best Picture and Best Director.

Eight films are nominated for the top prize, but it's three that actually have a chance of winning – Spotlight, The Revenant and The Big Short.

Spotlight has the clear Oscar pedigree; a polished movie with a seasoned cast, direction and weighty subject matter that's based on true events – The Boston Globe's investigation of the Catholic Church – still fresh in a lot of our minds. And it won the Screen Actors Guild's main award – Outstanding Performance of a Cast in a Motion Picture, which just rolls off the tongue!

The Revenant leads the way with 12 total nominations, and was the clear favorite after winning Best Picture at the Golden Globes. Leo is likely to win Best Actor, and the movie is helmed by last year's best director, Alejandro Innaritu.

But I'm going with The Big Short, a movie with many of the same great qualities as Spotlight – though it takes its heavy subject matter – the market crisis of 2007, 2008 – and finds ways to interject some comedy. Just a couple weeks ago, the thought of The Big Short winning Best Picture wouldn't have been shocking, but definitely surprising. But here's what happened – it won the top award from the Producers Guild of America. The last eight movies to win that award have gone on to win Best Picture. I'm not messing with those odds; The Big Short is a good bet to win.

As for best director – Alejandro Inarritu could very well repeat here, but I'm going with George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road. This movie just doesn't happen without him, and the Academy could give this one to him for the feel good story of the night.

The Oscars air this Sunday night, right here on ABC 7.