Hello everyone, I’ve been taking a break from the theater to try to make sure I see all of (or at least as many as I can) the Oscars nominees in every category. Here’s my list of predictions and such.
OSCARS 2017 PREDICTIONS
Best Picture: La La Land
Arrival Fences Hacksaw Ridge Hell or High Water Hidden Figures La La Land Lion Manchester by the Sea Moonlight
La La Land is a shoo-in for the Best Picture. Overall, it has a fantastic blend of all of the other categories that the Oscars awards for. However, I THINK it should go to Moonlight. No other film nominated has had such a profound impact on our understanding of our society. No other film nominated has such a deep meaning behind it. Other films like Manchester by the Sea and Arrival are fantastic works of art, capable of exuding their intent with ease. Manchester by the Sea is the first movie in a long time that closely represents grief- unlike Collateral Beauty of 2016. Arrival is meant to confuse. It is meant to be a film that gets us trying to figure it out. A lot of people walk out still confused. Then there is Hacksaw Ridge, which left me speechless when I walked out. You really felt the emotional pull of the characters and the scenes. But NOTHING nominated for an Oscar this year, in any category, deserves to win as much as Moonlight deserves to win the big one. Another reason I doubt this is going to happen is that, well the Oscars are a VERY historically white award show, favoring films with white stars and white directors over films with primarily black casts and crews. In fact, I think this is only the second year with more than one primarily black cast in recent history, despite the strong success of “black” films in the box office over the past decade and a half.
Best Lead Actor Casey Affleck for Manchester by The Sea
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge Ryan Gosling, La La Land Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic Denzel Washington, Fences
Casey Affleck’s performance is understandably a strong contender for the Oscar. He was amazing. But, this should go to Andrew Garfield. Not JUST for his work on Hacksaw Ridge, which, on its own is the rightful Oscar winner. But his other huge film of 2016, Silence, also saw Garfield performing admirably.
Best Lead Actress: Natalie Portman for Jackie
Isabelle Huppert, Elle Ruth Negga, Loving Natalie Portman, Jackie Emma Stone, La La Land Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
This one is, in my opinion, the indisputable rightful winner of the Oscar. The other leading ladies delivered performances that are nothing short of sensational, but for a biopic, Portman delivered a performance that felt like the audience was watching the actual Jackie Kennedy. I’ve seen a lot of content from both the President and First Lady Kennedy’s . Her performance was spot on. In a dangerous role, which saw her portraying one of America’s most beloved first ladies of all time, she hit it home. HOWEVER: If she were to go up against Taraji P. Nelson’s performance in Hidden Figures, I would have a lot harder time trying to pick a winner. Taraji P. got SNUFFED.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahersala Ali for Moonlight
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea Dev Patel, Lion Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
Again, this was an easy choice. If he doesn’t win, heads will roll. Moonlight was a fantastic movie on its own, worthy and deserving of the Big Award. A LARGE part of that is thanks to Mahersala Ali. (I do think it is hilarious that Dev Patel is listed as a Supporting actor, as he portrayed the main character of his film for nearly half the film, though, I guess in modern culture, each gender can only have one lead….whatever, I guess.)
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis for Fences
Viola Davis, Fences Naomie Harris, Moonlight Nicole Kidman, Lion Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
This was a tough choice. Honestly. This could go to Naomi Harris or Nicole Kidman and I would be more than okay with it. I honestly don’t know why Michelle Williams is nominated, but I digress.
Animated Feature Film: Moana
Kubo and the Two Strings Moana My Life as a Zucchini The Red Turtle Zootopia
Disney has done little wrong in its history in animated feature films. Especially when you consider Pixar as a subsidiary of Disney (which operates mostly independent of Disney). The Academy loves Disney, and so does the audience.
Of the Disney movies nominated, this is the better (though I AM BIASED). In my opinion, the only real competitor for it is The Red Turtle.
(SIDE NOTE, I HAVE NOT seen My Life as a Zucchini “Courgette” and cannot find it anywhere to try to watch it.)
Arrival La La Land Lion Moonlight Silence
This could also go to Arrival or Moonlight and I would be okay with it.
Costume Design: Allied
Allied Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Florence Foster Jenkins Jackie La La Land
Between this film and Florence Foster Jenkins, it was a hard choice to think of which one I thought the Academy would pick. Ultimately I went with Allied because a well done war-time outfit is better off in the Academy’s eyes than a well done outfit from any other type of film. (My bias, however, goes to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them because…Harry Potter.)
Arrival Hacksaw Ridge La La Land Manchester by the Sea Moonlight
First off. DENZEL GOT SNUBBED from this one. THIS SHOULD go to him. But, falling short of that, Villeneuve is the next best option. Though, Barry Jenkins directorial skills are on display once again in Moonlight, Arrival is the best directed movie of the year, even if it isn’t the best film of the year.
Feature Documentary: OJ Made in America
Fire at Sea I Am Not Your Negro Life, Animated O.J.: Made in America 13th
Here is the update: AMERICA (especially white america) us obsessed with OJ. Another reason this is going to win (unfortunately) is because White America does not want to face the facts behind 13th and I am Not Your Negro. They are too scared to admit that this is the reality. I’m sorry to my white friends reading this, not all white folk are this way, but the ones in powerful situations are. America loves its athletes and has ALWAYS been obsessed with OJ. “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” It turns into “If the glove don’t fit…” used to justify just about anything.
ORGINAL: I consider a documentary a success if it really sheds a light on the topic it is talking about. 13th not only sheds a light on the American (in)Justice system, but it does so in perhaps one of the best ways imaginable by being able to get perspectives from both sides of the issue without seeming biased. This film INFORMS without attacking. It argues without demeaning.
HOWEVER, this should have been between I am Not Your Negro, 13th, and Jim: The James Foley Story.
Short Subject Documentary: White Helmets*
Extremis 4.1 Miles Joe’s Violin Watani: My Homeland The White Helmets
I honestly flipped a coin here between this and 4.1 miles. Both are heart-wrenching stories told in less than an hour. Both hurt to watch, but also were very encouraging to watch at the same time.
*Unable to watch Watani: My Homeland
Film Editing: La La Land
Arrival Hacksaw Ridge Hell or High Water La La Land Moonlight
There is a reason this film is nominated for 14 awards. While I don’t see it as the best film of the year, it could be considered as such. It does, however, exceed any other film nominated for this category.
Foreign Language Film* Only category that I haven’t seen even most of them.
Land of Mine A Man Called Ove The Salesman Tanna Toni Erdmann
(Might update this by Friday, as I intend to watch most/all of the films in this category by then.
Make Up/Hairstyling: Star Trek
A Man Called Ove Star Trek Beyond Suicide Squad
Hard to argue against a movie with a bunch of alien species. Suicide Squad could come close, but ultimately, most of the make-up is the same. Mr. Lizard Man and the creepy clown lover and the creepy clown man himself are the three most unique make-up designs.
Jackie La La Land Lion Moonlight Passengers
THIS was a tough choice. I am basing this on one criteria. Which score fits in best with the film and elevates the film the most. So, I pictured the movies without the score. Moonlight is made infinitesimally better with the score. It brings the movie from greatness to near perfection.
Original Song: “City of Stars”
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” Trolls “City Of Stars,” La La Land “The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana
If you have seen La La Land, you know why this will win. This one SHOULD be no question. I still have this song stuck in my head and I watched La La Land a while back.
Production Design: Arrival
Arrival Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Hail, Caesar! La La Land Passengers
What does the film Look like? The sets and backdrops of this film by far surpass the other films in this category with MAYBE the exception of La La Land, which uses the city as a set.
Short Animated: Borrowed Time
Blind Vaysha Borrowed Time Pear Cider and Cigarettes Pearl Piper
This and Pear Cider and Cigarettes are the two best films in this category. This one is my pick for winner because of its dark tone and message in a simplistic manner.
Live Short: Sing
Ennemis Intérieurs La Femme et le TGV Silent Nights Sing Timecode
The ultimate story of friendship. This film is an uplifting, yet also heart breaking story of friendship and joy. Ultimately, this is my pick because of its ability to get the audience engulfed in its message and emotions from the get-go and never letting go until after the film ends.
Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Arrival Deepwater Horizon Hacksaw Ridge La La Land Sully
Gunplay, EXPLOSIONS, and gore. The sounds/audio/dialogue/etc. chosen to be used in this film fall nothing short of perfection. Another reason: War films (usually) do VERY well in this category. While La La Land is a STRONG possibility for the award in this category, I’m basing this prediction on history as well as the sheer perfection of Hacksaw Ridge‘s edits.
Sound Mixing: La La Land
Arrival Hacksaw Ridge La La Land Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Usually, I believe Editing and Mixing go hand in hand. This year, it is honestly a toss-up between the two favorites in each category (Hacksaw Ridge and La La Land). My prediction for Mixing going toLa La Land is based one ONE criteria: It’s a musical that is not only HIGHLY POPULAR, but is also, by all accounts, a fantastic film in EVERY aspect.
THOUGH, I WANT ARRIVAL TO WIN BOTH SOUND AWARDS
Visual Effects: Kubo and the Two Strings
Deepwater Horizon Doctor Strange The Jungle Book Kubo and the Two Strings Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
In my opinion, this is a two horse race between Kubo and the Two Strings, the film that relies pretty heavily (and successfully) on stop-motion to tell a thrilling tale and a heartwarming story of family and The Jungle Book, perhaps the best CGI’d film of all time. It’ll be interesting to see which walks away with the award
Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
Arrival Fences Hidden Figures Lion Moonlight
If you’ve seen this, or listened to interviews with the playwright or director of the film, you’ll understand why this SHOULD be the film that wins it. However, both Hidden Figures and Arrival should NOT be counted out of this category
Original Screenplay: 20th Century Women*
Hell or High Water La La Land The Lobster Manchester by the Sea 20th Century Women
THIS IS AN UNDERDOG. Theoretically, it falls between Manchester by the Sea and La La Land, and I do want Manchester by the Sea to take this award if it is down to those two (MY ACTUAL PREFERENCE is The Lobster), but for some reason, this film is calling out as the winner. I honestly don’t know why, but I think it will win.