Holy Crap. Oscars 2017 will always be known for this:
Bust seriously, MOONLIGHT was the surprise big winner of the night with 3 wins including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Yet AGAIN the only times I ever get best picture wrong is because of that gosh darned SAG ENSEMBLE award. I hate that pesky jerk. It's just not possible for a movie to win best picture without the whole support of the actor's branch. They are the largest branch of the Academy after all. A win for Moonlight is a pretty big deal considering the notorious Brokeback Mountain snub more than 10 years ago. Seeing members from La La Land and Moonlight get to share the stage even because of such a bizarre (and unprecedented) mix-up really represents what a great year for film this has really been. Long story short, just put Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway back where they were. No one has forgiven Faye for "Dunston Checks In." I got got 16 out of 24 correct. It was bad year for predicting but it was a hell of a show.
we are, the eve of Oscar. Am I the only one losing sleep because of
some of these categories? Anyways, I really can't complain about this
year's crop of films. There's nary a bad one in the bunch. “La La
Land” came into this race an almost unstoppable force. It got
record-tying 14 nominations so the big question remains how many will
it get? Will it be a Titanic and sweep with 11 wins? Or will it be an
“All About Eve” and earn a respectable 6? There are several
interesting races to watch, including Best Actor, Best Foreign
Language Film, and some of those wacky tech categories (can La La
Land really win Best Sound Editing??). Without further delay here are
my somewhat fearless predictions. Let's do it!
Will Win: “La La Land” Let’s
be honest. This is pretty much a guarantee right? Not so fast.
There’s a little thing I’d like to bring up called the SAG
It’s a phenomena
that has existed for over 20 years. No film has won Best Picture
without also being at least nominated at the SAG Awards for Best
Cast, since “Braveheart.” Don’t believe me? Why do you think
Gravity and The Revenant didn’t win Best Picture? Guess what? “La
La Land,” the frontrunner for Best Picture, wasn’t nominated for
Best Cast at the SAG Awards. So does that mean Moonlight could win?
It very well could. But not so fast. I’d also like to bring up a
theory I lovingly call the Gibson Theorem. The one time a movie won
best picture without a SAG nomination was Braveheart right? And Mel
was also nominated (and eventually won) the Oscar for Best Director.
I think when
Mel Gibson is
it voids the SAG Ensemble rule. Well guess what? Mel Gibson is up for
Best Director this
year. All of this could
be proven mute though if something like Moonlight does manage a
surprise win, but you heard it here first folks.
Who Should Win: “La La
Land” or “Moonlight” or “Manchester by the Sea.” Dear
lord please don’t make be choose. I love all three of these films
equally and ther're
so completely different and unique in their own ways. I’d be happy
if any of them won. I know “La La Land” feels like the “safe”
choice but I’ll be damned if it’s not one of the most
entertaining and fun movies of the year.
Have Been Nominated: “Jackie”
Chazelle, “La La Land.” He won the DGA and La La Land is the best
pic frontrunner. Anyone else would be a surprise.
Chazelle. “La La Land.” These three films are brilliantly
directed in different ways, but Chazelle gets my vote for degree of
difficulty. Anyone who could make me like a musical with songs I
don't know based on old school musicals I don't care about is a hero
in my book.
Have Been Nominated:
Pablo Larrain, “Jackie”
Washington, “Fences.” Please Oscar gods give me strength. This is
such an unbelievably tight race. Arguments can be made for either
Affleck or Denzel Washington. Washington has odds on his side: he won
at SAG as do most of the winners here. Affleck has been the presumed
favorite for a long time but an understated performance and past
sexual harassment allegations are doing him no favor. In a post
#OscarsSoWhite world Washington seems to be pulling ahead. This one
is too close to call.
Win: Casey Affleck.
“Manchester by the Sea.” Easily the “best” performance of the
frontrunners. Affleck is so affecting in this film and is 75% of why
the film is so good.
Have Been Nominated:
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nocturnal Animals” (What else is new?)
Win: Emma Stone,
“La La Land.” IF Emma wins and La La Land wins best pic, it'll be
the first time the best actress winner was in the best picture winner
since “Million Dollar Baby.” Emma doesn't quite have this in the
bag however. There others nipping at her heals. I'd be genuinely
shocked if Isabelle Hupert won just because it would be so out of the
box for the Academy, but the consensus is she's in second place. The
fact that “Elle” didn't even make the Foreign Language Oscar
shortlist doesn't help. And then there's Natalie Portman, a past
winner, playing a real life person, in an almost over-the-top
performance. But people don't really like the film (that didn't stop
Meryl from winning if we recall).
Portman, “Jackie.” Oh my god don't make me choose. I would
probably vote for Emma and her turned up to eleven charm. But Natalie
is revelatory in Jackie.
Have Been Nominated: Amy
Adams, “Arrival.” (Duh).
Ali, “Moonlight.” HE gives a brief performance and it's very
memorable which is why he's been the frontrunner for so long. I don't
really see anyone else winning but upsets tend to happen in this
category (just as Sylvester Stallone last year). If anyone else were
to win it'd probably be Dev Patel.
Win: Lucas Hedges,
“Manchester by the Sea.” Don't get me wrong I love Moonlight and
Ali is great in it but I don't quite get the passion behind him. I
was really moved by Hedges' work and his chemistry with Affleck is
Have Been Nominated:
Ashton Sanders, “Moonlight.” All of the actors who played Chiron
were amazing. I was particularly moved by the “second” Chiron.
Win: Viola Davis,
“Fences.” The only “sure thing” in the acting categories this
year. Even though she pretty much gives lead performance (and
probably would have won Best Actress anyways) she acts the crap out
of the part AND SHE HAS FREAKING SNOT COMING OUT OF HER NOSE.
Davis, “Fences.” Even if she's committing category fraud you
can't deny the power of this performance.
Have Been Nominated: Janelle
Monet, “Hidden Figures.”
There were weird shakeups in the writing categories this year. The
whole season Moonlight competed
as an original screenplay but the Academy determined it to be adapted
since it was loosely based on an unpublished play called “In
Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” So it competes in this category
for the first time which basically relegates the amazing Arrival
script to “just happy to be nominated” status.
by the Sea.” A musical, let alone an original musical, hasn't won a
writing award in like a hundred years. Unless of course “Manchester”
ends up being this year's “Up in the Air” and surprisingly goes
home empty handed? “La La Land” could win in a sweep.
Animated Feature Film
Without any competition from Pixar “Zootopia” will probably take
this in a walk. “Moana” or “Kubo and the Two Strigs” would
take this in any other year.
Win: “La La
Land.” It seems so rare for films set in modern day to win this
award, as it usually is relegated to sweeping period pieces, but the
Academy has embraced modern and futuristic set films as of late. This
isn't a slam dunk as it has been the past three years with Emmanuel
Lubeski's unprecedented trifecta sweep, but I'd actually be pretty
surprised if something else won here.
This is what I wrote here last year: (This
category also has a strong connection with Production Design –
formerly Art Direction – so a win for Mad Max would make sense
since it’s the PD frontrunner).
“La La Land” is the frontrunner in Production Design, but I just
can't see how the Academy will award it here since the movie is so
“modern” and not flashy (the last contemporary-set film to win
this category was Priscilla Queen of the Desert and those costumes
were extremely flashy). This category is tricky because there really
is no obvious frontrunner with huge period gowns. I feel like period
will win over contemporary at the end of the day, unless La La
Documentary - Feature
Win: “OJ: Made in
America.” Will the Academy really go for an eight hour film? How
many have actually watched the whole thing? And how can other films
with regular runtimes even compete? “OJ” is really remarkable
filmmaking, it should win, but really I wouldn't be surprised to see
the similarly themed “13th” (easily seen on Netflix) or “I Am
Not Your Negro” (which has the benefit of recently being released)
Documentary - Short Subject
Violin.” These are notoriously hard to predict. I'm
going with the one that has to do with the Holocaust and music.
Though Extremis seems to be the frontrunner, I watched it on Netflix
and found it dry and depressing.
Win: “La La
Land.” There's a strong correlation between editing and best
picture but that has proven not to be all that accurate as of late.
Only a handful of Best Picture winners recently have also won for
Editing. Also, there are certain types of films that win here.
Usually music related (Whiplash, Chicago) or action/war oriented (Mad
Max, The Bourne Ultimatum) or war (The Hurt Locker, Black Hawk Down)
or back-and-forth /unique narratives (The Girl With the Dragon
Tattoo, The Social Network) tend to win here. So I think it's a race
between La La Land, Arrival, and Hacksaw Ridge. Arrival has a good
shot since it just won the drama editing guild award (but so did La
La Land in the musical/comedy category). “La La Land” with so
many long takes doesn't necessarily have the most “obvious”
editing, but I think it may squeak in. But wouldn't be surprised to
see Arrival or Hacksaw get in there.
Foreign Language Film
Salesman.” Word on the street is that presumed German frontrunner
“Toni Erdmann” will lose to Iranian “The Salesman” since the
director has “boycotted” the Oscars because of Trump's
controversial travel ban.
Makeup & Hairstyling
of a boring crop this year huh? Sure bad movies get nominated in this
category all the time: “Click,” “Bad Grandpa,” “Norbit,”
etc. But they rarely win unless it's a particularly strong
achievement or weak competition (cough, “The Wolfman,” cough). So
I'm sticking with the Trekkies over Suicide Squad.
Win: “La La
Land.” Musicals actually rarely are nominated let alone win here
since most of the time movie musicals are adapted from the stage.
There's no reason to think that La La Land's fun, jazzy score won't
of Stars, “La
La Land.” I know I know, boring songs usually win this category
let's face it (Another
Day of Sun
is the best song from “La La Land” in my opinion).
Win: “La La
Land.” A contemporary film hasn't won this category since “All
That Jazz.” That doesn't help La La Land's case but I think it's
going to be voted for in a lot of these categories (Especially since
sometimes Academy members confuse Production Design with “production
Short Film – Animated
I maintain that there's a very good chance something else could win
here because the most “accessible” film (meaning it showed in
front of Finding Dory and therefore most people have seen it) doesn't
always necessarily win. And Pixar has a surprisingly poor track
record in this category. Having said that “Piper” while it is
sort of “lightweight” and “cute” it features almost
photorealistic animation and is almost unlike anything else Pixar has
made in terms of the animation itself. Plus it has a cute animal. And
besides this isn't the strongest batch of contenders this category
Short Film – Live Action
(Mindenki).” Another category that is nearly impossible to predict.
I'm going with the Hungarian film Sing which has cute kids and
Ridge.” I refuse to entertain the notion that the Academy will give
La La Land an Oscar for Best Sound Editing. Period. (The other option
is “Arrival). If La La Land wins here expect a total sweep.
Win: “La La
Land.” Okay, sound mixing? That's another story. Musicals do
gangbusters in this category. A lot of times the sound categories go
to one movie, but I feel like there will be a split this year.
Win: “The Jungle
Book.” In the past we've learned that usually a Best Picture
nominee wins here if there is one. That rule was thrown out the
window last year when “Ex Machina” surprised many and won over
three Best Pic nominees. This year there aren't any Best Pic
nominees. I'm going with “The Jungle Book” which, along with
films like “Avatar,” has created an entire world created entirely
in the computer. The animals are so realistic that if “The Golden
Compass” could win this award, “The Jungle Book” should win
this in a cake walk.