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.
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Prediction: La La Land
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!