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2017 Oscar Predications

After seeing all of the Best Picture Nominees, I figured it was time to make some informed Oscar predictions. Who knows if I will be right, but it sure was fun watching and comparing all of the films!

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Best Actor

The nominees are:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Who Should Win: Casey Affleck

Who Will Win: Denzel Washington

Casey Affleck was an early favorite to win for Best Actor, and should still win. However, a resurgence of allegations of misconduct in his personal life could put Oscar voters off from voting for him. Also, Denzel Washington has been gaining steam throughout awards season, winning the SAG Award and his momentum could be hard to stop. Casey Affleck’s performance is certainly the superior one—it is more subdued. He controls himself throughout the film so that when he breaks out, those particular moments have emotional resonance. Denzel Washington starts out at 95 miles per hour and doesn’t stop until the film is over. It is for that reason that Affleck should win over Washington.

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Best Actress

The nominees are:

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Who Should Win: Emma Stone

Who Will Win: Emma Stone

Emma Stone has been taking on more serious roles in the recent years but her turn in La La Land is the perfect combination of her comedic and dramatic chops. Stone is on screen for almost the entire film, but it never feels as if she is phoning in her performance. And her chemistry with Ryan Gosling is incredible. This win will only be the first of many for her.

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Best Supporting Actor

The nominees are:

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Who Should Win: Lucas Hedges

Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali’s short time on screen in Moonlight, certainly is a powerful performance, but I soon forgot it as the film progressed.  Lucas Hedges however maintains his performance throughout Manchester. The way he combined humor and grief with traditional teenage troubles made it impossible to look away. He is certainly a star in the making.

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Best Supporting Actress

The nominees are:

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Who Should Win: Viola Davis

Who Will Win: Viola Davis

 

Viola Davis. I feel like I don’t need to say anymore. She is an incredible actress who should have been awarded an Oscar a long time ago. For me she was the saving grace of Fences and should be rewarded for her work.

Best Director

The nominees are:

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Who Should Win: Damien Chazelle

Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle

Chazelle was able to take an old concept (the Hollywood musical) and make it feel new and original. His ability to incorporate references to classic musicals, while still maintaining his personal style and vision establishes him as one of the best directors or recent years. 

Best Original Screenplay

The nominees are:

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

20th Century Women

Who Should Win: Manchester by the Sea

Who Will Win: La La Land

Manchester is an original story that has great depth. It has an incredible amount of dialogue, but never feels bogged down like Fences. Manchester is also grounded in reality, a feat that can be attributed to the relatable dialogue throughout. La La Land doesn’t have the same depth, but if voters are swept in La La mania, they may overlook the superior Manchester

Best Adapted Screenplay

The nominees are:

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion

Moonlight

Who Should Win: Hidden Figures

Who Will Win: Moonlight 

The unique adaptation and format of Moonlight, combined with its emotional story may overpower Hidden Figures. However, in my opinion the superior adaptation was Hidden Figures. Being able to make a film about math entertaining is a great feat in itself. Additionally, being able to incorporate the professional stories of Katherine Johnson and her work for NASA, with the more touching personal elements made for a powerful film.

Best Original Song

The nominees are:

“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

Who Should Win: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”

Who Will Win: “How Far I’ll Go”

Any of the songs from La La Land could win, but having two in the same category could split Oscar voters and give the prize to another song. Given Disney’s history of catchy and award winning songs, “How Far I’ll Go” is a safe bet to win. (Bonus: If it wins Lin Manuel Miranda becomes the youngest EGOT ever!)

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Best Picture

The nominees are:

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Who Should Win: La La Land

Who Will Win: La La Land

I’ve covered this before, but La La Land is the most complete of all of the nominated films, offering strong technical and performance elements. La La Land is certain to take home lots of awards on Sunday night, and Best Picture will be one of them.

 

Sarah Shevenock is a graduate of The College of William and Mary, where she served as a staff writer and Campus Correspondent for Her Campus William and Mary. Currently, she is a National Contributing Writer and Entertainment Blogger. In her free time, she enjoys reading voraciously, watching morning news programs, and keeping up with the latest television and movie news. She loves to talk about anything and everything related to theatre, cheer for her beloved Pittsburgh Penguins, and drink fancy coffee.
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