It’s that time of the year again! Movie buffs, film fanatics, showbiz people and those who are enamoured by the pageantry of it all will find this to be like the superbowl of film. La La Land’s clearly on a sweep, but I’m still hopelessly holding on the hope that Moonlight punches above its weight.And why shouldn’t it honestly. Some of the categories are pretty much a one-horse race while others like Best Actor could really sway either way.
Here I’ll be doing my predictions and analysis for the main categories. The technical ones are at the bottom where I’ll just state my predicted winner. Tell me your thoughts and predictions! Let’s hope its a fun night 🙂
Hell or High Water
La La Land (will win)
Moonlight (should win)
Manchester by the Sea
La La Land is probably quite ahead of the rest of the pack after notching most of the pre-cursor awards. It won the PGA which is the most important pre-cursor of all (19 out of the 27 recent winners have all gone on to win best picture at the Oscars.) Add the DGA, BAFTA and Golden Globe and you have a pretty strong frontrunner, certainly stronger than Birdman and Spotlight. Moonlight though, I feel, is the best film of the year and has FYI won more best picture/film awards in total if you count all the different awards groups and critics circles across the country.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) (will win)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) (personal fav)
Denzel Washington (Fences)
By far the closest race at this year’s Oscars, it could really go either way. Will Casey’s subtle and inward performance triumph or will Denzel’s dramatic turn as a tragic figure seal his third Oscar? Literally 50-50. Very exciting indeed. I don’t think Denzel’s SAG win is enough, the still predominantly white male oscar population might just relate to Casey’s role better and tip it in his favour.
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) (should and will win)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
Mahershala Ali seemed the clear frontrunner at first till Aaron Taylor Johnson and Dev Patel took some of the momentum away. And although I loved Dev’s performance in Lion and think he’s equally deserving, I’ll go with Ali. I also don’t think it’s as close as some people think it is, Mahershala should win this comfortably.
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Isabelle Huppert (Elle) (Spoiler)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Emma Stone (La La Land) (will win)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Emma Stone’s the clear frontrunner throughout the entirety of the race. Her PR campaign’s the strongest and she’s been all-out solidifying her lead. I personally liked Natalie Portman’s performance the best, and it’s weird Stone is such a dominant 1st place given how good Isabelle Huppert and Portman were. If there’s a spoiler, it’s Isabelle Huppert.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Viola Davis (Fences) (should and will win)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
No question on this one. Viola Davis is FAR ahead of anyone else partly because her role was clearly a main. If she were not in this category, Naomie Harris is my choice.
Damien Chazelle (La La Land) (will win)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) (should win)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Unlike previous years of late, I think La La Land will sweep many awards including BOTH picture and director…doubt there will be a split, but will be super happy if they do. My personaly favourite is Barry Jenkins because he got in touch with the human experience in such a raw and tender way.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life As a Zucchini
The Red Turtle (should win)
Zootopia (will win)
I rave about The Red Turtle because it’s the most profound, mature and enlightening animated film here by a long shot. Definitely something I’d never experienced before. But art-house, quirky, non-conventional animation never wins. So meh, crowd-pleaser Zootopia will probably take it.
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl (should win)
Piper (will win)
Again the ‘conventional’ film will win here even though Pixar has never won this category for the longest time…so who knows, there might be a chance for the other four. I was personally blown away by the rest and thought they were better than Piper. If you like Westerns, go for Borrowed Time. Blind Vaysha for haunting allegories and tales. Pear Cider and Cigarettes for neo-noir, 2-D stylized account of the hard-living ways. And Pearl for the roadtrips and relationships. You can watch them on Vimeo.
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J.: Made In America (will win)
I’ve only seen OJ and 13th which I both liked. More importantly, they’re important and crucial viewing. I’ve heard there’s a late surge of love for Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, another docu on race relations and violence. This year’s documenataries are all so immensely important, shocking and insightful and it’s hard to pick one over the other personally. But OJ’s the clear frontrunner in terms of awards won.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Land of Mine (Denmark)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
The Salesman (Iran) (might actually win)
Toni Erdmann (Germany) (will win)
Haven’t seen any of these. All the ones I’ve seen could definitely have been here, so yeah, a little disappointed Handmaiden wasn’t even submitted by South Korea. WTF bro. Anyway, Toni Erdmann’s been winning most of the prizes, but there is a real push for Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman after his travel-ban and subsequent boycott. I still feel Toni Erdmann will take this.
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Moonlight (should and will win)
Moonlight’s WGA win,albeit for original, is stronger than Arrival’s WGA win for the same category. Might not make much actual logical sense, but I feel like since it beat out BOTH Manchester (original screenplay frontrunner) AND La La Land for a category that’s not even the correct one, there is a lot of love for Moonlight among writers and probably among the academy. No hate to Arrival, I liked it alot as well. This is a well-deserved award in its own right, but in the eyes of some of the academy, its a win that will alleviate Moonlight’s loss for Best Director and Best Picture.
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea (will win)
20th Century Women
Maybe the only category that Manchester can win or AKA the only category that the Academy can reward Manchester with. Casey’s Best Actor is the least certain of all, but Manchester’s love amongst critics and other groups alike is as high as say Moonlight and La La Land. So they will give this to Kenneth Lonergan for his work.
Arrival (should win)
La La Land (will win)
Moonlight (should win)
Tight race on paper. There’s no Chivo to take this award outright AGAIN. And no Roger Deakins who’s been nominated for the most number of times without a win for the ‘it’s time we gave him an award’ sentiment. Somehow La La Land’s the huge favourite here which beats me, the rest are equally fantastic and perhaps arguably better.
The other categories which I will just state my predicted winner…
- Original Score-La La Land
- Original Song-La La Land
- Film Editing-La La Land
- Make-Up and Hairstyling-Star Trek Beyond
- Production Design-La La Land
- Sound Editing-Hacksaw Ridge
- Sound Mixing-La La Land
- Visual Effcts-The Jungle Book
- Live Action Short-Ennemis Interieurs
- Documentary Short-The White Helmets