*Disclaimer: I do not have enough knowledge about Best Actress, so I will not address it*

The wait is almost over. Oscar season is rapidly approaching, and the nominees could not be better. Movies such as “The Martian,” “The Big Short,” and even “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” are itching to steal the show with multiple wins. The nominated cast is stellar as well with fan-favorite Leonardo DiCaprio leading the charge for Best Actor. The 88th Academy Awards is projected to be a spectacular experience.

Let’s start off with the big one: Best Picture. The films nominated in this category are: “Brooklyn,” “Room,” “The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Spotlight,” “The Revenant,” “The Martian,” and “Bridge of Spies.” I have personally seen all but “Room” and “Brooklyn,” and I believe that this is the best lineup of films in recent memory. From the innovativeness of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” to the sheer spectacle of “The Revenant,” you’d be hard-pressed to find better films.

Predicted Winner: “Spotlight” – This is a film about journalists at The Boston Globe who uncovered the despicable acts of many Catholic priests against kids. The film shows the journalists’ fight against the power of the Catholic church and their will to push forward and uncover the truth.

The Academy has come under fire the past few weeks for having no minority actors nominated. To some, it was a shame that Will Smith and O’Shea Jackson, Jr. were not nominated. Still, amidst all the controversy, the nominated cast is talented. Leonardo DiCaprio is searching for his first Oscar win after four previous nominations, while Michael Fassbender and Eddie Redmayne are looking to spoil the party. This is sure to be a tight race.

Predicted Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in “The Revenant.”

None of these brilliant films would be possible if it wasn’t for the directors behind the camera. There is only one previously nominated director in the category: Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Everyone else is a newcomer, but should not be treated as such. George Miller has made classics such as “Happy Feet” and “Babe,” and Tom McCarthy has written a nominated screenplay for “Up.” It is pretty much a toss-up in this category.

Predicted Winner: George Miller for his direction in “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

With many other interesting categories, this year’s Academy Awards is shaping up to be one of the best in years. The Oscars will air on Sunday, February 28. If you would enjoy viewing these movies before the ceremony, the Keystone Art Cinema by Keystone at the Crossing will have the nominated movies available leading up to the awards. After you have watched the movies, be sure to do your homework early so you can tune in with millions of other movie-lovers.