2017 Oscar Predictions

I run down all the nominees and who I think will win at this years 89th Academy Awards

The Oscar nominations are now in for the best movies of 2016 and, unlike years before, not much controversy with who was nominated. Except for the fact that Amy Adams didn’t get a nomination for her fantastic work in ‘Arrival‘. Instead the Academy decided to nominate Meryl Streep again in a performance that is not even close to her best. But, she gave a good speech at the Golden Globes and people really like her. I would’ve loved to see John Goodman get a Supporting Actor nod for his frightening turn in ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘, but that was a long shot anyway. However, I do not have a problem with any of the other nominations in a year full of pretty good movies.

But, let’s get into who got nominated and who I think will be taking home the golden statue:

Best Picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
*La La Land* 
Manchester by the Sea

‘La La Land’ is the clear front runner for most of the awards tonight and his been for some time now. It’s my favorite movie of 2016 and I just can’t imagine anything beating it. ‘Moonlight’ is a beautiful movie in its own right and deserves all the recognition it has received, but it’s just against tough competition.

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
*Damien Chazelle – La La Land*
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

This is a tough category, but this has to go to ‘La La Land’ helmer, Damien Chazelle. He crafted such a magical film that somehow made traffic in L.A. look like a blast. I’m hoping I see him in this category a lot in the future.

Best Actor

*Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea*
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

If Casey Affleck doesn’t win this award it will be the biggest disappointment of the night no matter how the rest of the night goes. But, Denzel Washington might spoil my night with an upset. Don’t get me wrong he was fantastic with the performance he put on in his play movie, but I feel like I’ve seen it from him before. Affleck does something that is heartbreakingly beautiful and he deserves every award for his performance.

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
*Emma Stone – La La Land*
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Emma Stone is our next Meryl Streep. I said it. She’s a swiss army knife of talent and can stand out in any genre she’s in. And she demands your attention when she’s on the screen. That is no different in ‘La La Land’ where she is the beating heart of the movie. She more than deserves this award and hopefully this will be the first of many.

Best Supporting Actor

*Mahershala Ali – Moonlight*
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel – Lion
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

I’d be ok with either Mahershala Ali or Jeff Bridges winning this one to be honest. But, I’m giving the edge to Ali mainly due to the fact that with such a small amount of screen time he gives a powerful performance. One that makes you almost want the movie to be about him. But, this one is a coin flip in my opinion.

Best Supporting Actress

*Viola Davis – Fences*
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Viola Davis will win. They shouldn’t have even put anyone against her because its just not fair to have anyone of this fantastic actresses’ hopes up.

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
*Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan*
20th Century Women – Mike Mills

This might be the toughest category of the night. Even though ‘La La Land’ won the Golden Globe in this category I see it as the weakest screenplay in this category. ‘Manchester by the Sea’ gets my vote for this one just because that movie was something special. It was as real life as a movie can get without being a documentary. And that is strictly due to the masterful script.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival – Eric Heisserer
Fences – August Wilson
Hidden Figures – Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Lion – Luke Davies
*Moonlight – Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney*

This one is a given. ‘Moonlight’ tells its’ story in three distinctive acts to great success. And, boy, is it a brave story to be told. The authenticity that comes through in the movie has all to do with writer/director Barry Jenkins who may have crafted a story that will hopefully be revered the same way for years to come.

Best Animated Feature Film

Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Courgette
The Red Turtle

‘Zootopia’ has to win this one. It sends a message of acceptance that everyone needs to understand and grasp. And for non-Pixar Disney Animation to pull this one off is simply immeasurable.

Best Original Score

Jackie – Mica Levi
*La La Land – Justin Hurwitz*
Lion – Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
Moonlight – Nicholas Britell
Passengers – Thomas Newman

I’ve been listening and humming this god damn soundtrack since I first saw this film. And for some reason I’m not sick of it yet. It’s a beautiful score that needs to win ALL the awards.

Best Original Song

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land – Music by Justin Hurwitz, Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls – Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, and Karl Johan Schuster (Shellback)
*”City of Stars” from La La Land – Music by Justin Hurwitz, Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul*
“The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story – Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana – Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

*weeping* ARE YOU SHINING JUST FOR ME????? *continues weeping*

Best Sound Editing

Arrival – Sylvain Bellemare
Deepwater Horizon – Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
*Hacksaw Ridge – Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright*
La La Land – Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
Sully – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Conventional wisdom tells me this award usually goes to war movies. So, that’s what I’m going with. End of discussion.

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival – Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
Hacksaw Ridge – Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace
*La La Land – Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow*
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Mac Ruth

Mixing music with live singing and dancing and feet shuffling and magic and wonder and so on and so forth. Another one for ‘La La Land’!

Best Production Design

Arrival – Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock
Hail, Caesar! – Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh
*La La Land – David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco*
Passengers – Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena

This award takes in the originality and scale that the movie shows you to put you into the world. And I don’t think any movie does that better this year than, you guessed it, ‘La La Land’!

Best Cinematography

Arrival – Bradford Young
*La La Land – Linus Sandgren*
Lion – Greig Fraser
Moonlight – James Laxton
Silence – Rodrigo Prieto

Another really tough category. All these nominees could win and I think I’d be fine with it. But, again, ‘La La Land’ gets the advantage in my book. Only because the Academy loves long takes and this movie gives that to you to help you really feel the wonder of what is put in front of you. Another one!

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove – Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
*Star Trek Beyond – Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo*
Suicide Squad – Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini, and Christopher Nelson

*crosses fingers* Please, don’t give ‘Suicide Squad’ an Oscar. Please, don’t give ‘Suicide Squad’ an Oscar. Please, don’t give ‘Suicide Squad’ an Oscar.

Best Costume Design

Allied – Joanna Johnston
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Colleen Atwood
Florence Foster Jenkins – Consolata Boyle
Jackie – Madeline Fontaine
*La La Land – Mary Zophres*

Chock up another one for ‘La La Land’. Blending classic clothe styles while keeping the movie still in modern times is something truly astounding. Plus, I wish I could pull off a wool suit the way Gosling can.

Best Film Editing

Arrival – Joe Walker
Hacksaw Ridge – John Gilbert
Hell or High Water – Jake Roberts
*La La Land – Tom Cross*
Moonlight – Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

They say that the movie is truly made in the editing room. And normally, the movie that wins best editing wins best picture, also. If that’s the case, then ‘La La Land’ wins again!

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon – Craig Hammeck, Jason Snell, Jason Billington, and Burt Dalton
Doctor Strange – Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli, and Paul Corbould
*The Jungle Book – Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Dan Lemmon*
Kubo and the Two Strings – Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean, and Brad Schiff
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel, and Neil Corbould

If ‘The Jungle Book’ doesn’t win this one I would be shocked. This movie is, besides one real small human, 100% CGI. And the product that is put forth is astounding. The fact that they created photo-real animals and landscapes is truly mesmerizing. It actually took me out of the movie a few times just because I couldn’t believe it wasn’t real. That’s a damn cool visual effect if you ask me.

Best Documentary – Feature

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
*O.J.: Made in America*

‘O.J.: Made in America’ is the best 7-hour thing I have ever watched. The fact that it kept my attention for that long is just a testament to how good this thing actually is.

Best Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine (Denmark)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
The Salesman (Iran)
Tanna (Australia)
*Toni Erdmann (Germany)*

Let the educated guessing commence!!!

Best Documentary – Short Subject

4.1 Miles
*Joe’s Violin*
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Yeah. Sure. This one. Totally saw all of these. (He says with shifty eyes)

Best Live Action Short Film

Ennemis intérieurs
*La Femme et le TGV*
Silent Nights

Wow. What a name. That’s why it gets my vote.

Best Animated Short Film

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Ummmm….. I saw ‘Piper’….. so I’m just gonna go with ‘Piper’.


The 89th Academy Awards are hosted this year by Jimmy Kimmel and take place on Sunday February 26th

Actual Oscar statuettes to be presented during the 79th Annual Academy Awards sit in a display case in Hollywood

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