Oscars 2017: Predictions

The Oscars are fast approaching. They will be held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, February 26. At this point, many official publications have released their final Oscar predictions, but I’ve been putting it off. I thought the Screen Actors Guild Awards would shed more light on the situation, but no, it made everything worse. Then the BAFTAs came and either reassured me of some things or threw me even further off the path.

Still, I’m going to try my best to predict the winners in each major category. This year, I’ll add a second possible winner, if I think there is one, both to save my own ass and because so much is still up in the air, that it could be a possibility. To make your reading easier, all the nominees are listed.

Best Picture:

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Prediction: La La Land
Second-chance: Moonlight

It’s obvious that La La Land fever has taken over Hollywood. Sentimentality and a love of the industry has caused members of HFPA, SAG-Aftra, and The Academy to support this film, about Hollywood and for Hollywood. Moonlight, however, has a chance because it won the Golden Globe for Best Drama, which usually gets priority over the winner for Best Musical/Comedy. In this case, however, I think La La Land is basically guaranteed.

Best Director:

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Prediction: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Second-chance: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

I’m cringing as I type this because I don’t think Chazelle deserves this, but he’s won Best Director at literally every other awards show and is on his way to the Oscar. Lonergan created a much more cohesive film. Plus, if Chazelle wins, it’s just another 50 years of him boring us with just how hard it was to make a modern day musical. Blah blah blah, just take your Oscar and go.

Best Actor:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Prediction: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Second-chance: Denzel Washington, Fences

Affleck’s performance in Manchester by the Sea was stunning. He won the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe. Things got tricky when Washington won Best Actor at the SAGs. Affleck came back to collect the BAFTA for Best Actor, and that will has him on a 3-1 lead over Washington. Still, Washington is doing Fences press in the US currently, while Affleck is in Vancouver filming, so that extra publicity may work in Washington’s favor.

Best Actress:

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Prediction: Emma Stone, La La Land

Second-chance: Natalie Portman, Jackie

Biopics tend to prevail during awards season, which is what everybody thought when Jackie was first released. However, after Portman lost out on both the Golden Globe and the SAG award, it became doubtful that she would win the Oscar. I think she’s definitely a contender, but Emma Stone has it. She won the SAG and the BAFTA, and she really is quite stunning in La La Land.

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

Prediction: Mahershala Ali

Second-chance: Dev Patel

I still cannot believe the Aaron Taylor-Johnson fiasco that happened at the Golden Globes, and the poor guy didn’t even end up getting an Oscar nomination. After Dev Patel’s BAFTA win, he’s a strong contender, but either way, a person of color will win!

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Prediction: Viola Davis

No contest. It’s hers.

Best Original Screenplay:

20th Century Women, Mike Mills

Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan

La La Land, Damien Chazelle

The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou

Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan

Prediction: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan

Second-chance: La La Land, Damien Chazelle

If the Academy decides to share the wealth this year, they will give Manchester by the Sea the Oscar. La La Land has well written lines, but it isn’t a good story. It’s full of cliches and overused tropes, while Manchester is an original, raw, and beautifully written film.

Best Cinematography:

Arrival, Bradford Young

La La Land, Linus Sandgren

Lion, Greig Fraser

Moonlight, James Laxton

Silence, Rodrigo Prieto

Prediction: La La Land

This is the one category I 100% believe La La Land deserves to win. It’s a beautifully shot film.

Who knows where the Oscars will go this year? All we know is that we’re going to have a great time watching them! The Oscars air on ABC on Sunday, February 26th. Don’t miss out!