2017 Oscar Predictions

Roll Out the Red Carpet

With one week to go until the big show, some major races are clearly crystallizing while others are tightening up. This awards season has proven predictable to an extent with La La Land dominating almost every category (as well as being nominated for a record-tying 14 Academy Awards). In the male acting races, Casey Affleck and Mahershala Ali have cleaned up at several awards shows and are rightfully being hailed as the Oscar front-runners. Meanwhile, their female counterparts in Emma Stone and Viola Davis are equally seen as locks to win their respective categories. The closet race is shaping up in the Original Screenplay category. With Moonlight being considered an adapted screenplay by the Academy, this sets up a showdown between industry darling La La Land and my favorite movie of last year Manchester By the Sea. La La Land is well deserving of all the accolades coming its way next Sunday but the screenplay is not what makes that film great. Manchester… on the other hand is one of most nuanced and dramatically layered scripts in years. My favorite surprises to see nominated were Viggo Mortensen for Lead Actor, Ruth Negga for Lead Actress, Michael Shannon for Supporting Actor, and The Lobster for Original Screenplay. Although none have a strong chance of winning, it’s comforting to see these wonderful picks mixed in with more mainstream selections. 2017 has by far been my best cinematic year in terms of the number of movies seen so I feel particularly confident in the picks made below. And of course, if this list is used to win any office pools I expect a commission…it’s only fair.

All predicted winners are shown in BOLD

BEST PICTURE

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By the Sea
  • Moonlight

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

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Isabelle Huppert – Elle
  • Ruth Negga – Loving
  • Natalie Portman – Jackie
  • Emma Stone – La La Land
  • Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
  • Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges – Manchester By the Sea
  • Dev Patel – Lion
  • Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Viola Davis – Fences
  • Naomie Harris – Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman – Lion
  • Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams – Manchester By the Sea

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Bradford Young – Arrival
  • Linus Sandgren – La La Land
  • Greig Fraser – Lion
  • James Laxton – Moonlight
  • Rodrigo Prieto – Silence

DIRECTING

  • Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
  • Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle – La La Land
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea
  • Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • Fire at Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America
  • 13th

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Land of Mine – Denmark
  • A Man Called Ove – Sweden
  • The Salesman – Iran
  • Tanna – Australia
  • Toni Erdmann – Germany

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Eric Heisserer – Arrival
  • August Wilson – Fences
  • Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi – Hidden Figures
  • Luke Davies – Lion
  • Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water
  • Damien Chazelle – La La Land
  • Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou – The Lobster
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea
  • Mike Mills – 20th Century Women

FILM EDITING

  • Joe Walker – Arrival
  • John Gilbert – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Jake Roberts – Hell or High Water
  • Tom Cross – La La Land
  • Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon – Moonlight

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Mica Levi – Jackie
  • Justin Hurwitz – La La Land
  • Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka – Lion
  • Nicholas Britell – Moonlight
  • Thomas Newman – Passengers

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This year’s snubs include Amy Adams and Taraji P. Henson for their leading roles in Arrival and Hidden Figures, respectively. Meryl is typically Meryl in everything she does but I think her record-shattering nomination this year took a spot away from one of those two deserving ladies. Even nominating Annette Bening for 20th Century Women would have made more sense. It’s also nice to see that the Academy took notice of last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy and began recognizing filmmakers of color across the board. It’s important to note too that the nominations this year were not just a token reaction to last year’s outcry, but an acknowledgement from the industry of truly deserving work. Here’s to hoping the trend continues.

The 89th Academy Awards will take place on February 26th, 2017 on ABC, 8:30 p.m. EST. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

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