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Who will win the Oscars? Tyneside Cinema staff offer their selections

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I tend to get more excited about the Oscars than I should, because each year the awards ceremony is a disappointment.

After a ceremony-opening montage of various movies, Rock took the stage at the Dolby Theatre and declared, "Man, I counted at least 15 black people in that montage". But this year is going to be different.

But controversy over the "whitewashing" of nominations - there are no ethnic minority nominees in the main acting categories for the second year running - threatens to steal the limelight. Then "The Big Short" took the Producers Guild honor in January, a big deal because the PGA uses the same preferential voting system as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This occurred in 2014, when "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron received the best director prize but the Best Picture award went to "12 Years a Slave".

Open Road Films' "Spotlight", which traces the journalism probe of sex abuse in the Boston Catholic Church, is also in the mix, along with Paramount's Wall Street misdeeds comedy "The Big Short", pundits say.

"Spotlight" was the early frontrunner, and still has a valid claim in this category. Hardy's more deserving of the award - having put in great performances all year, with Legend and Mad Max. AND THE BEST ACTOR GOES TO *Leo starts to get up* THE ENTIRE CAST OF MAD MAX INCLUDING THE PERSON WITH THE FLAME THROWER GUITAR - BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) February 29, 2016 Biggest victor tonight so far: "Mad Max: Fury Road" with 6 #Oscars pic.twitter.com/tD7w4ZCJ1A - 89.3 KPCC (@KPCC) February 29, 2016 Still, the phrase "crowdpleaser" isn't one that necessarily indicates that Mad Max won over everyone.

Expect unsurprised reaction shots in the audience from Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, and Eddie Redmayne. Public opinion and box office receipts can be an influencing factor for the voting members of the Academy, and in a hotly contested year, a film that is rich in both shouldn't be discounted.

And "In Memoriam", the yearly film of people who had passed away in the previous year, would get an addition, Rock said. Ronan was nominated in 2008 for her supporting role in "Atonement". "We were too busy being raped and lynched to worry about best cinematography". The combination of him and Tom Hanks is riveting: one of the theater's greats meets one of the movies'.

This was the first win for production designer Colin Gibson and set decorator Lisa Thompson, who were charged with building Miller's world from the ground up and, with designer and storyboard artist Peter Pound, assembling its dazzling array of muscle vehicles. It's the third-most-difficult category to predict. More challenging are best director and, surprisingly, best supporting actress.

Should Win: In a strong field, Cate Blanchett slips by because of the regularity of her quality.

Despite overwhelming acclaim and six nominations, Todd Haynes' Carol missed the final cut for Best Picture.

"What another lovely day", she said. "She's one of the most exciting up and comers out there at the moment and Room really displays her incredible talent".

Who should win Best Supporting Actor? It's easily the best performance of Sly's career.

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies - 28%. Rylance took home the BAFTA.

There were no surprises when it came to the victor of Best Actor, with Leonardo DiCaprio securing a staggering 71% of the votes for his role in The Revenant.

Jennifer Jason Leigh would have won the Oscar this year if Kate Winslet did not bring soul to "Steve Jobs".

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