The 89th Academy Awards are upon us! This year’s edition will be exceptional with a large list of A-List nominees. Here are my predictions for the biggest categories.
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land // “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls // “City of Stars” from La La Land // “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story // “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
This category is stacked. As much as I’d like to see Lin Manuel Miranda snag the EGOT with this year’s “How Far I’ll Go,” I think that one of the two La La Land songs will take it. Emma Stone’s “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” was a better song than “City of Stars” and her performance of it in the movie was goosebump-inducing. However, “City of Stars” was such a thematic move in the film that it will edge out Emma’s monologue song (but check both out!)
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Viola Davis (Fences) // Naomie Harris (Moonlight) // Nicole Kidman (Lion) // Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) // Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
Some of my favorites are in this category (namely Viola and Octavia) but they’re also flanked by great performances by their peers. Naomie Harris’ portrayal as a drug addict mother in Moonlight will be hard to beat. I think she had the best performance by far but Viola took home the SAG for this category and can never be counted out. Viola surprisingly hasn’t won an Oscar, so I think it’s time! One of these two will likely take home the Oscar.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Mahetshala Ali (Moonlight) // Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water) // Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) // Dev Patel (Lion) // Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
This category was also a toss up for me. Mahetshala Ali in Moonlight was unforgettable but Dev Patel’s performance as a once lost boy of India was deeply moving. He rose to fame with an Oscar-sweeping blockbuster (Slumdog Millionaire) and I feel that the Academy will be just as giving this year. Ali did take home the SAG (in addition to also acting in fellow Best Picture nominee Hidden Figures) so he too is likely to repeat for the Oscars.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) // Emma Stone (La La Land) // Ruth Negga (Loving) // Isabelle Huppert (Elle) // Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Emma Stone. Has. This. I enjoyed La La Land but honestly I enjoyed it mostly because of Emma’s performance. She made an otherwise flat (at times) plot turn three-dimensional. Plus, who knew she could sing like that?
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) // Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge) // Ryan Gosling (La La Land) // Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) // Denzel Washington (Fences)
Denzel and Ryan Gosling had the strongest performances out of this category. Although I think Denzel had a more memorable (and at times better) performance, I truly think that La La Land is going to sweep everything in its path.
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) // Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) // Damien Chazelle (La La Land) // Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) // Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Again, La La Land. It was such a fresh film and Chazelle was really the mastermind behind it all. I expect him to take both director and screenplay.
Hell or High Water // Hidden Figures // Moonlight // La La Land // Fences // Arrival // Lion // Hacksaw Ridge // Manchester by the Sea
This was one of the best batches of nominees in this category in a while. I thoroughly enjoyed all but one of these films, while I’ve generally disliked at least three of the category in recent years. My favorites were definitely Arrival, Lion, and Hacksaw Ridge, while La La Land, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight were close behind. I’d highly recommend you watch all of these. Manchester by the Sea was a little too down for me and I’m not into the Western vibe that Hell or High Water presented but they were both well-made films. Although I think that there were several movies better and more moving that La La Land, it’s going to sweep. Honestly the only category I think it will have trouble with is Costume Design. This might be a record-breaking year for La La Land!
The Oscars will be one you can’t miss this year! The show takes place 7 p.m. EST on ABC with Jimmy Kimmel making his Oscar host debut.