2017 Oscar Predictions: Will’s Picks

Tonight is the big night, the 89th Academy Awards, otherwise known as Oscar night. Keeping up with the tradition in the past, we have taken some time to go through the nominations and have a little fun with Oscar predictions. As usual, we are decide who we think will win from the nominated categories and films, and then who should win (based upon only the other nominated films/people).

Posted below are all my predictions for each category:

Best Picture:

Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Moonlight

I like La La Land a lot. Hell, it was my 3rd favorite film of 2016, but Moonlight was just a better film. La La Land is pure pleasure and Moonlight is the sort of movie that sticks with you long after you leave the theater. The sort of film that will linger on our minds when it comes time to make our best films of the decade list. It’s this year’s Boyhood vs Birdman.

Best Director:

Who will win: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Who should win: Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Again, I’d be ok with either winning. Chazelle did wonders with La La Land, but I just think when step back and look at the connective thread that Jenkins weaved throughout Moonlight, taking three different actors and making them connect and identify so well, it’s an impressive achievement that shouldn’t be ignored.

Best Actress:

Who will win: Emma Stone
Who should win: Natalie Portman/Isabelle Huppert

A few months ago I honestly thought that Natalie Portman had this locked in for Jackie, but I guess I underestimated the love of La La Land. Isabelle Huppert is absolutely terrific this year in both Elle and Things To Come (and the little seen Louder Than Bombs), and she did win a few other awards, but if I’m predicting what Oscar voters are going for, it’s Emma Stone.

Best Actor:

Who will win: Casey Affleck
Who should win: Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck was a sure-thing lock for so long, even with those allegations. It seems like Denzel Washington is making a real last minute push for Fences. Washington is great, as always, and it’s the showier performance of the two. But Affleck taps into an understated role that breaks your heart slowly and steadily, a performance that doesn’t blow up in your face like Washington’s but one that is absolutely pivotal to Manchester By The Sea’s success.

Best Supporting Actress:

Who will win: Viola Davis
Who should win: Michelle Williams

Viola Davis will win this. And it’s probably the best performance out of all of these. But why did I select Michelle Williams? Well because Davis’ performance is leading. She goes toe-to-toe with Denzel Washington in Fences and it’s just a bit of category fraud that will make her win that much more of a lock. It’s disappointing, as Davis would have most likely just as easily won Best Actress.

Best Supporting Actor:

Who will win: Mahershala Ali
Who should win: Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali will win this, and it’s a win that’s truly earned and deserved. Although he’s only in the first 1/3 of Moonlight, his performance stays with you and his presence continues to be felt long after he’s last seen. That’s some kind of staying power that you don’t see too often.

Best Animated Feature:

Who will win: Zootopia
Who should win: Kubo and the Two Strings

The power of Disney and the mouse are always too strong to overcome or bet against, and I did quite like Zootopia (and Moana), but Kubo and the Two Strings was the true winner out of the three for me.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Who will win: Moonlight
Who should Win: Moonlight

Moonlight‘s to lose.

Best Original Screenplay:

Who will win: Manchester by the Sea
Who should win: Manchester by the Sea

I think this is Manchester by the Sea’s to lose, and the fact that La La Land is bound to clean up in so many categories, maybe voters will lean towards Manchester by the Sea to give it the love that it deserves.

Best Foreign Film:

Who will win: The Salesman
Who should win: Toni Erdmann

The Salesman seems to have all the momentum, but I would love to see a Toni Erdmann win. Voters may regret this win when they see the eventual U.S. remake with Jack Nicholson.

Best Cinematography:

Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Moonlight

I think you’re noticing a trend by now. But out of all the categories, I can really live with this one. La La Land had some pretty amazing camera work at play. Moonlight’s was more about how it captured it’s characters skin tones and their environment, a more subtle use of camerawork that won’t be as noticed as the flashy photography of La La Land.

Best Costume Design:

Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Jackie

The bright colors of La La Land are definitely easy on the eyes and will probably give it another win, but I think the accurate and fitting period piece costumes of Jackie are more deserving.

Best Film Editing:

Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Arrival

Again, can understand La La Land winning this but I think the editing in Arrival was a bit trickier and helps us navigate the film in a more effective manner.

Best Makeup & Hair:

Who will win: Star Trek Beyond
Who should win: Star Trek Beyond

Imagine if Suicide Squad won an Oscar?

Best Production Design:

Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Arrival

You get the idea by now.

Best Score:

Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: La La Land

Gotta give it to them for this one. Even though honestly all the nominated scores are memorable.

Best Song:

Who will win: “City of Stars” (La La Land)
Who should win: Anything from Sing Street

Ok, I broke my own rule. I’m pretty sure “City Of Stars” will win, but it still makes my blood boil that neither “Drive It Like You Stole It” or “Up” from Sing Street didn’t even get nominated. A true travesty that stole what would easily be the most memorable live Oscar performance from us.

Best Sound Editing:

Who will win: Hacksaw Ridge
Who should win: Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge probably won’t win much, but I gotta go with Mel’s picture for it’s intense sound that made you feel like you were right alongside Desmond Doss on the battlefield. But if the passion is as strong as we know it is for La La Land, it could end up winning this anyway.

Best Sound Mixing:

Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: La La Land

You’d think sound mixing/editing would go hand in hand, but I think this one is going La La Land’s way, especially if they’re going with Hacksaw Ridge with editing.

Best Visual Effects:

Who will win: The Jungle Book
Who should win: Kubo and the Two Strings

The power of the mouse is always too strong to overcome. And given, the effects in The Jungle Book are impressive. I’m rooting for the underdog here, and I hope Kubo and the Two Strings can pull up the upset, even though I know it’s not going to happen.

Best Documentary:

Who will win: O.J.: Made In America
Who should win: 13th

Another case of category fraud. O.J.: Made In America is a very long extensive TV series that’s dressed as a movie. 13th should win this, but I think the odds are against it. A shame, especially considering 13th director Ava DuVernay’s Selma didn’t fare well with the Oscars either.

Best Animated Short:

Who will win: Piper
Who should win: Piper

Always a good bet with Pixar.

Best Documentary Short:

Who will win: The White Helmets

I didn’t see any of these so I won’t say who should win, but if I had to pick one just for predictions sake, I’m going with The White Helmets.

Best Live Action Short:

Who will win: Ennemis Interieurs

Same as above.