Oscar Predictions

BEST PICTURE

  1. La La Land
  2. Silence
  3. Manchester By The Sea
  4. Jackie
  5. Moonlight
  6. 20th Century Women
  7. Arrival
  8. Fences
  9. Loving
  10. Lion

It’s almost too early, and there are still a few movies that have to be screened, but so far, La La Land has built so much momentum on the film festival circuit that it seems it’s the front runner for the big prize. Silence, Manchester, and Jackie aren’t too far behind it though. 

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  2. Martin Scorsese, Silence
  3. Pablo Larrian, Jackie
  4. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea
  5. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Usually, Best Director is taken by whoever wins Best Picture, but Martin Scorsese is so respected in the industry and Damian Chazelle is so new to the scene, I could see where there is a Best Director and Best Picture split this year. I’m not predicting it to happen, La La Land appears like a showy enough directorial achievement, and Scorsese already has one Oscar, but it’s possible that the Academy might feel that it’s time for him to have another one. 

BEST ACTOR

  1. Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea
  2. Denzel Washington, Fences
  3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  4. Andrew Garfield, Silence
  5. Joel Edgerton, Loving

Best Actor is thin this year but I feel confident in my chosen winner. Casey Affleck has been getting through-the-roof raves for his performance in what it is likely to be a top-tier Best Picture nominee, and although there has been talk of Denzel Washington possibly winning a third Oscar for his performance in Fences; I doubt it. Viola Davis’ recent demotion to supporting indicates to me that they saw weakness in the film, and Viola’s borderline role couldn’t withstand the likes of Natalie Portman, Emma Stone or Annette Bening. 

BEST ACTRESS

  1. Natalie Portman, Jackie
  2. Emma Stone, La La Land
  3. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
  4. Ruth Negga, Loving
  5. Amy Adams, Arrival

It’s going to be a bloodbath between the top three of this category. I could see any of them taking it, but currently, Natalie Portman has through-the-roof raves, probably the best of her career, in a role about an American icon where Natalie Portman is the sole focus of the movie. That combination, coupled with the fact that it’s likely to be a top-tier Best Picture nominee is most likely going to propel her for the win. Though, already having an Oscar for Black Swan is going to cost her.  Emma Stone, however, is the “it girl” in what’s likely to be a Best Picture winner.  She sings, dances, and acts but I’m not sure a somewhat lightweight musical performance can be enough in a field this strong. Annette Bening is always strong, and though her performance in 20th Century Women has been raved, I have a feeling it’s too subtle and the film has too much support from the ensemble for Annette to win an Oscar for her performance. The last two slots, I had trouble choosing possible nominees because of the strength of this category. Loving has enough buzz to sweep Ruth Negga into the category like Felicity Jones in the Theory of Everything and Amy Adams has two roles this year with Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, Arrival being the most buzzed about of the two. It’s reasonable, however, that those two slots are filled with two different women. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Liam Neeson, Silence
  2. Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea
  3. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  4. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
  5. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Liam Neeson has had buzz since it was announced that he had received this role, and with both Actor categories looking horribly thin this year, I think he takes the category pretty easily, as long as Silence is screened in time. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Viola Davis, Fences
  2. Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea
  3. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  4. Nicole Kidman, Lion
  5. Greta Gerwing, 20th Century Women

Fences would have to be an unbearable failure for Viola Davis to lose this category. The momentum she has built leading up to the Oscars this year  has been incredible. As soon as Fences was announced, she was the immediate front-runner in Best Actress, but recently, after seeing a cut of Fences, Viola submitted herself in the supporting actress category. It’s possible that this is a strategic maneuver for an easy win in a mediocre film. The Academy, despite her narrative and respect, may not vote for her and vote for Michelle Williams or Naomie Harris (who are both in Best Picture frontrunners) instead.  

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17 comments

  1. La La has this so sewn up, it’s not even funny. And yes, I have seen EVERYTHING. Manchester is this year’s critical masturbatory fantasy, like Room, Carol, Amour, and Boyhood in previous years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Both Denzel and Viola won Tony Awards for Fences. Actors who repeat their theater performances on film are favored to win. In the history of the Oscars this has happened more times than not. An actor can submit themselves in a category but the Academy has the final say. She won the Tony for Lead Actress not Featured/Supporting so the Academy could decide to put her where she belongs and not where she wants to be just to secure a win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes but for previous revivals of Fences, I believe Viola’s character in Fences was put into the Featured Actress category, which is the Tony’s version of Supporting Actress. Some have argued that it was category fraud for Viola to go lead that year. It’s possible for them to bump her into lead (Kate Winslet, The Reader), but it sounds as if the fraud isn’t going to be so egregious that they’ll switch her placement. They didn’t for Rooney Mara last year or Julia Roberts for August: Osage County, why would they in this particular instance?

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  3. No love for Hacksaw Ridge? I believe It should be up for multiple nominations including Best Picture, Best Director (Mel Gibson), and Best Actor (Andrew Garfield)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess Moonlight might be a dark horse and end up winning Best Picture and Best supporting actor.
    Andrew Garfield would find a nomination for Hacksaw Ridge in all probability considering that would be the only major category it would be nominated for. The rest would be sound mixing and editing and it can win either of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah it’s looking like he’s going to be nominated for Hacksaw Ridge instead of Silence, From the sounds of it, Silence is too divisive to get any major awards traction this season. Being released late doesn’t help matters.

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