Sunday 26 February 2017

Oscars 2017: My Predictions

It's that time of year again! Awards season culminates tomorrow with the Academy Awards, Hollywood's night of nights. Here are my predictions on who and what will win...

There are a range of frontrunners this year; La La Land is thought to be ahead of the pack whilst Moonlight and Hidden Figures are both in with a shot at Best Picture. Fences looks set to snap up some acting accolades whilst Manchester by the Sea and Arrival could sneak a couple of wins too.

Something of an annual tradition around these parts, I'm going to apply my piss poor understanding of awards season to some predictions; or as I like to call it, wildly stabbing in the dark and ending up right only on occasion.

Highlighted in orange is my prediction for who will win a particular category; those highlighted in purple are who I'd personally like to see win in an ideal world (if applicable). I've also put some comments on who and why below some of the categories.

Best Picture

Arrival (my review)
Fences (my review)
Hacksaw Ridge (my review)
Hell or High Water (my review)
Hidden Figures (my review)
La La Land (my review)
Lion (my review)
Manchester by the Sea (my review)
Moonlight (my review)

This is a tough one; La La Land seems like the obvious winner but it's never that simple. Moonlight won at the Golden Globes and Hidden Figures won Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards - maybe the Academy could steer towards one of them?

That being said, La La Land has been pretty dominant everywhere else; it won at the DGAs and the PGAs. It won the Best Motion Picture Comedy/Musical category at the Globes along with every other nomination it was running for - conventional wisdom dictates it'll win the Oscar right? It's both the obvious choice and the film I'm hoping will win, making this predication pretty plain and simple in the end.

Best Director

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

This one seems pretty cut-and-dry. Damien Chazelle won the DGA award which pretty much guarantees him the win; 12 of the last 13 winners of the DGA have done exactly that. I don't expect any surprises in this category (and speaking personally, Chazelle doesn't deserve one).

Best Actress

Portman will probably have to settle for second best

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

Now this one is hard; I love La La Land more as a movie but I think Natalie Portman gave a better and more committed performance in Jackie. I don't think she is going to win however and it would be nice to see Stone win her first award rather than Portman win her second. I'm going to predict Stone to win this.

Best Actor

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

Casey Affleck looked like he had this one sewn up until Denzel Washington came along and upset the apple cart at the SAG awards. Is that enough to take the wind out of Affleck's sails? Personally, I'd like to see Washington take this one home so I'll put my neck on the line and predict a win for him.

Best Supporting Actress

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

Everyone seems to think that Viola has this one in the bag, which is a surprise because this is actually the strongest category out of the four acting categories. All five nominees would be totally deserving winners in my eyes - I don't know who to choose! I'm going to predict that Davis will win and I can't really argue against that choice, her performance was ace.

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)

Another really solid category. It seemed like Mahershala Ali was a lock until Aaron Taylor-Johnson surprised us all and won the Golden Globe; but he isn't even nominated here so it's anyone's guess at this point. I'm going to play it safe and go with my boy Mahershala.

My acting category predictions; Denzel Washington, Emma Stone, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis


Linus Sandgren on the set of La La Land
La La Land

Another category where all five deserve to win. La La Land will probably win and deservedly so. Although, between you and me, I'm secretly hoping that Arrival comes in and scoops this one - that shot with the clouds rolling in knocked my socks off in the theatre.

Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

I don't genuinely don't know here. Manchester by the Sea is a strong contender, La La Land is poised to sweep a lot of the major categories too. I'd like to see Hell or High Water win something and its screenplay was iron tight. I'll predict Kenneth Lonergan to win here.

Adapted Screenplay

Hidden Figures

Another really tight category where any winner would be wholly deserved. I think this category could come down to Moonlight and Hidden Figures and at this stage we're basically splitting hairs. Moonlight might juuuust have the edge.

Film Editing

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land

Arrival should win for how that opening prologue and eventual third act reveal were edited together; I think La La Land might be the actual winner here though.

Original Score

La La Land

La La Land is all about the score; weirdly, some of the strongest opponents were discredited (like Arrival and Manchester by the Sea). I think La La Land has this category sewn up.

Original Song

'Audition (The Fools Who Dream)' from La La Land
'City of Stars' from La La Land
'Can't Stop the Feeling' from Trolls
'The Empty Chair' from Jim: The James Foley Story
'How Far I'll Go' from Moana

Don't get me wrong, I love La La Land as much as the next man (unless the next man is one of those people buying into the ridiculous backlash), but Moana had a much stronger suite of songs and 'How Far I'll Go' is the strongest of the lot. It probably won't win ('City of Stars' seems like a shoe-in) but I'd like to see Moana get the win here because it's been on rotation in my car for weeks and it's ace.

Animated Feature Film

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

Zootopia will win and it will be a deserving winner. Can't help but feel like Kubo and the Two Strings deserves the extra attention though.

Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The VFX in The Jungle Book were outstanding. That said, I'd like to see Doctor Strange score a win.

Production Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land

Passengers? Really? Eh, whatever. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Arrival will win this one.

My predictions for Visual Effects, Animated Feature and Production Design;
The Jungle Book, Zootopia and Arrival respectively

Costume Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

I don't know what to go with here; I'll go out on a limb (hey, gotta go against the grain at some point) and say Jackie.

Makeup and Hairstyling

Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) in Star Trek Beyond
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

I haven't seen A Man Called Ove and detest Suicide Squad. Star Trek Beyond seems like the logical winner - the makeup on Krall and Jaylah was really great.

Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

I've seen a grand total of none of these films so I'm going to say Toni Erdmann, purely based on the fact it's already getting an American remake. Would be nice to see Aussie film Tanna scoop the win though!

Documentary Feature

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
OJ: Made in America

Another category where I haven't seen anything; I know, for shame. 13th carries the weight of Ava DuVernay and Orpah Winfrey behind it so I'm going to take a stab at that one.

Sound Mixing

Can Rogue One nab any
Academy Awards?
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

Hacksaw Ridge had some of the best sound mixing of 2016. Rogue One and Arrival did really well in his arena too. I'd like to see something other than La La Land win a technical award, even if it blights my score on this predictions list. My gut says it will be Hacksaw Ridge here.

Sound Editing

Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Again, I have no idea what to go for in this field. Like I said above, Hacksaw Ridge was excelled in the sound department. Maybe it will take two from two?

What would you like to win? Let me know in the comments section below!

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