Oscar Night 2017: Predictions & Winners (updated throughout the night)

Posted: February 26, 2017 in Award Season
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I’ve been gone from the blog for a while but tonight is Oscar night and now time like the present to get back into the mix. I have a lot of individual movies to get reviews completed, but, for now, I will just start with the celebration of the best in movies over the past year.

This time around, the Oscars have a bit more diversity than usual. There are 4 films up for best picture that highlight stories about people of color. Similar numbers can be seen in the acting and directing categories. In particular, Moonlight highlights themes of race, sexuality, socio-economic challenges, and family makeup. Hidden Figures takes a lighter approach to focus on accomplishments previously undiscussed.

My one major cirticism, which will also be highlighted below, is that La La Land will likely walk away with at least a few awards, including some of the major categories. While it was an enjoyable film, there were some major flaws in the storytelling and acting that will get overlooked. Gosling and Stone watch their feet when they dance and their singing is good but not great.

On the snub side, there were not any major misses, with the exception of potentially Sully. Tom Hanks usually does not get overlooked, but the actor grouping was a bit crowded. Denzel Washington should have also gotten recognized for his direction of Fences. While I would have liked to see Deadpool at least grab a nomination, it was no surprise to see that the merc with the mouth got silenced.

Let’s get to the predictions (post any agreements or challenges in the comments section):

Best Picture

  • My Prediction: La La Land – As much as I want to recognize the excellence of other films, this feels like The Artist all over again, even though the quality is actually a little lacking. Still, this is Hollywood loving to praise itself.
  • My Spoiler: Moonlight – While I could also toss Fences into the mix for its classic, play-like presentation, Moonlight touches on so many different elements that its complexity is its true strength.
  • Winner: Moonlight

Actor in a Leading Role

  • My Prediction: Denzel Washington – While he would potentially have been able to sneak in with a directing win if nominated, his performance was compelling.
  • My Spoiler: Casey Affleck – I don’t believe in a win for Affleck, but he could try to steal one for his deeply internal, emotional portrayal of a man struggling with his past failures and current depression.
  • Winner: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • My Prediction: Mahershala Ali – He was truly mesmerizing as the drug-dealer with a heart. The way he approached his role, he has proven himself to be a rising star.
  • My Spoiler: n/a
  • Winner: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Actress in a Leading Role

  • My Prediction: Emma Stone – While there are other nominees that could easily prove themselves worthy, Stone’s role in La La Land is almost formulaic in its setup for grabbing the win. It has emotion and switches between lightheartedness and dreaming.
  • My Spoilers: All but Meryl Streep – While Streep is always a phenomenal actress, Negga is gripping, Portman is measured, and Huppert is balanced.
  • Winner: Emma Stone for La La Land

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • My Prediction: Viola Davis – This category is truly challenging because of how strong all of the actresses were. Davis partners well with Washington to round out the emotions of Fences.
  • My Spoiler: n/a – As strong as everyone was, Davis’s performance was a cut above.
  • Winner: Viola Davis for Fences

Animated Feature Film

  • My Prediction: Zootopia
  • My Spoiler: Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Winner: Zootopia

Cinematography

  • My Prediction: La La Land
  • My Spoiler: Lion
  • Winner: La La Land

Costume Design

  • My Prediction: La La Land 
  • My Spoiler: Jackie
  • Winner: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Directing

  • My Prediction: Barry Jenkins – Moonlight may not win best picture, but this would be a chance to show support for the thought-provoking and creative film. This would also be the first win for a black director in Oscar history.
  • My Spoiler: Damien Chazelle – This would only happen if the committee believes in the La La Land sweep.
  • Winner: Damien Chazelle for La La Land

Documentary (Feature)

  • My Prediction: OJ: Made in America
  • My Spoiler: Life, Animated
  • Winner: OJ: Made in America

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • My Prediction: Joe’s Violin
  • My Spoiler: Extremis
  • Winner: The White Helmets

Film Editing

  • My Prediction: La La Land
  • My Spoiler: Moonlight
  • Winner: Hacksaw Ridge

Foreign Language

  • My Prediction: The Salesman (Iran)
  • My Spoiler: Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • Winner: The Salesman (Iran)

Makeup

  • My Prediction: Star Trek Beyond
  • My Spoiler: Suicide Squad
  • Winner: Suicide Squad

Music (Original Score)

  • My Prediction: Justin Hurwitz for La La Land
  • My Spoiler: Nicholas Britell for Moonlight
  • Winner: Justin Hurwitz for La La Land

Music (Original Song)

  • My Prediction: “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
  • My Spoiler: “City of Stars” from La La Land
  • Winner: “City of Stars” from La La Land

Production Design

  • My Prediction: La La Land
  • My Spoiler: Arrival
  • Winner: La La Land

Short Film (Animated)

  • My Prediction: Piper
  • My Spoiler: Borrowed Time
  • Winner: Piper

Short Film (Live Action)

  • My Prediction: Ennemis Interieurs
  • My Spoiler: Sing
  • Winner: Sing

Sound Editing

  • My Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge
  • My Spoiler: La La Land
  • Winner: Arrival

Sound Mixing

  • My Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge
  • My Spoiler: La La Land
  • Winner: Hacksaw Ridge

Visual Effects

  • My Prediction: The Jungle Book
  • My Spoiler: Doctor Strange
  • Winner: The Jungle Book

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • My Prediction: Moonlight
  • My Spoiler: Fences
  • Winner: Moonlight

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • My Prediction: Manchester by the Sea
  • My Spoiler: La La Land
  • Winner: Manchester by the Sea
Percentage Correct: 14/24 = 58.3%
Percentage from 2016: 15/24 = 62.5%
Biggest Winner: La La Land (5) / Moonlight (3)
Other Winners…
Manchester by the Sea (2)
Hacksaw Ridge (2)

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fences
OJ: Made in America
Piper
Sing (Live Action)
Suicide Squad
The Jungle Book
The Salesman
The White Helmets
Zootopia
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