Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oscar Predictions 2017

Here they are. Do with them what you will.

Best Short Film, Live Action
Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights

I don't know how to predict the shorts categories. I'll say my favorite here is Timecode, though Ennemis Intérieurs being the stronger of the two "relevant" immigrant stories (along side the problematic Silent Nights) might be the voters' choice.

Should win: Timecode
Will win: Silent Nights

Best Short Film, Animated

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Pixar's charming entry, Piper, will be the favorite, though I think Blind Vaysha was the richest selection of these five, both aesthetically and thematically.

Should win: Blind Vaysha
Will win: Piper

Best Documentary, Short Subject

4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Should win: The White Helmets
Will win: The White Helmets

Best Cinematography
La La Land


This will become a familiar refrain. I love both Moonlight and La La Land, the former just slightly more than the latter. The Academy likely feel the reverse.

Should win: Moonlight

Will win: La La Land

Best Foreign Language Film
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

I embarrassingly have only been able to catch up with one title, Toni Erdmann. Since it was my #5 movie of 2016, I feel reasonable saying I think it should win. But I think the news surrounding Asghar Farhadi's non-attendance due to President Drumpf's Muslim BanTM might nudge the Academy into making a political statement by giving him the award. And I'd be more than fine with that.

Should win: Toni Erdmann
Will win: The Salesman

Best Documentary Feature

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America

The question here is whether or not the voters in this branch were actually able to sit down to watch the sprawling, nearly eight hour documentary about O.J. Simpson. If enough of them did so, it's likely the winner.

Should win: O.J.: Made in America
Will win: O.J.: Made in America

Best Animated Feature

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

All-in-all, a pretty strong category. Zootopia's animals-as-race metaphor and brightly colored animation will give it the win over the superior Kubo.

Should win: Kubo and the Two Strings
Will win: Zootopia

Best Film Editing

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land

Often a reliable predictor of the Best Picture winner. Spoiler alert: I think that will be the case here.

Should win: Moonlight
Will win: La La Land

Best Original Song

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

The two La La Land songs run the risk of cancelling each other out, giving Lin-Manuel Miranda a shot at winning the last leg in the coveted EGOT. I'll say that it won't happen this year though.

Should win: "City of Stars"
Will win: "City of Stars"

Best Original Score

La La Land

I mean, it's a musical that's going to win a million awards.

Should win: La La Land
Will win: La La Land

Best Costume Design
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

Should win: Jackie
Will win: Jackie

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

I liked Star Trek Beyond fine, it's a good popcorn movie. But it's fucking Citizen Kane compared to Suicide Squad.

Should win: Star Trek Beyond
Will win: Star Trek Beyond

Best Production Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land

Should win: La La Land
Will win: La La Land

Best Sound Editing
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Even though it has a bunch of nominations, we won't hear Arrival's name much during the ceremony. It would get my vote here, though the war-is-hell cacophony of Hacksaw will probably get this one.

Should win: Arrival
Will win: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing 

Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One
13  Hours

The Academy will likely give this to the musical, but I'd also give this one to Arrival.

Should win: Arrival
Will win: La La Land

Best Visual Effects

The Jungle Book
Doctor Strange
Deepwater Horizon
Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One

Kubo's stop-motion animation is very impressive, but The Jungle Book was a pretty remarkable achievement in this technical aspect specifically.

Should win: The Jungle Book
Will win: The Jungle Book

Best Adapted Screenplay
Hidden Figures

Screenplay awards often go to the "other" movies during the ceremony, the ones that usually get shoved out by the front runner. Since Moonlight has the second most nominations to La La Land and the latter is not in this category, look for it to capture this trophy.

Should win: Moonlight
Will win: Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

The sentiment above applies here, except with the very obvious flaw in my logic being the inclusion of La La Land in this category. I do though think Manchester by the Sea manages to squeeze this one out.

Should win: Manchester by the Sea

Will win: Manchester by the Sea

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

I'm too lazy to get into a discussion about whether Davis is actually a lead actress in Fences instead of supporting, but in any case, this might be the easiest acting category to choose as her performance is easily the best in this category and an overwhelming favorite to win the award.

Should win: Viola Davis
Will win: Viola Davis

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

Nearly as easy to predict as the supporting actress contest, Mahershala Ali will likely win the award, both for his soulful individual performance and also as a representative for what in my opinion is the best ensemble in a movie from last year.

Should win: Mahershala Ali
Will win: Mahershala Ali

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Chazelle is the heavy favorite, though every so often the Academy will decide to split the director and picture awards, meaning Jenkins could sneak in here. I'm guessing though that won't happen.

Should win: Barry Jenkins
Will win: Damien Chazelle

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Easily the tightest of the acting races, Affleck looked like a sure thing only a few weeks ago until Washington pulled a minor upset by winning the SAG. It's a tight race in my own personal ballot as well, but by the thinnest of margins, I prefer Affleck here and will guess the Academy does so as well. However, it won't surprise me in the slightest if they go with Washington.

Should win: Casey Affleck
Will win: Casey Affleck

Best Actress

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

I'm torn here as Emma Stone has been among my favorite actresses since her debut in Superbad and my love for La La Land goes without saying. That being said, Huppert's performance in Elle is an amazing and thrilling piece of work, a daring one unlike the others in this category.

Should win: Isabelle Huppert
Will win: Emma Stone

Best Picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

It's possible Moonlight pulls this out, but I don't really see the juggernaut that is La La Land winning the majority of the awards only to not get crowned for the biggest one.

Should win: Moonlight

Will win: La La Land

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