Oscar Predictions 2017

Denzel Washington in "Fences."
Denzel Washington in “Fences.”

By Cameron Hawkins

The best night of Television has finally arrived — Oscar night. It is time where all the top films of the past year are recognized by the top group of critics, The Academy. Here are my predictions for Oscar winners in all categories. I will go in depth on my reasoning on the bigger categories, but not as much when it comes to the smaller ones.

*Note: I have seen every film on the Best Picture list. Predicted winners are highlighted in bold text.

Best Picture

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight
  • Who could win: La La Land

I’m sticking with my gut and my heart. La La Land has been making huge buzz since it’s release a few months back and a lot of people think that it is going to take home the gold, but honestly I think we’re giving it too much credit. I enjoyed La La Land and I understand why it is getting the recognition that it has been receiving. A Hollywood film that is an original musical about Hollywood. How can it not lose? I accept that La La Land is the frontrunner for Best Picture, but Moonlight is a masterpiece that paints this beautiful picture of humanism, self-discovery and sensitivity. It is the top film when it comes to being underappreciated and unrecognized. It is the smallest film on this list commercially while La La Land is arguably the biggest. I will admit that Moonlight is not a movie for everyone due to the messages that it sends throughout, but film first and foremost is a form of storytelling. I believe Moonlight told the best story in 2016.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington, Fences
  • Who could win: Casey Affleck

The best part of Fences was without a doubt the acting. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis acted their souls out in their roles. Honestly I wasn’t impressed with any of the other actors on this list in their respective roles. I would have liked seen Colin Farrell for his role in The Lobster over the other four nominees. Nonetheless, I personally want to say Denzel’s win will be a lock, but Casey Affleck has been sweeping the award season so far, but once again I’m sticking with my gut and saying Denzel will take it.

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Who could win: Isabelle Huppert

I’m still surprised Amy Adams didn’t get nominated for Arrival. To me that was the best lead actress role this year, however Emma Stone was fantastic in La La Land and has been sweeping the awards so far. It is likely to stay that way.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  • Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  • Dev Patel, Lion
  • Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
  • Who could win: Jeff Bridges

Ali did the best on the list. Simple as that. I could see Bridges taking it though. He was the best part of Hell or High Water. Also how is Hugo Weaving not on this list for Hacksaw Ridge?

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Viola Davis, Fences
  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman, Lion
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
  • Who could win: Naomie Harris

Honestly, it’s a lock. This is the most guaranteed Oscar that will be handed out. That being said, watch Fences if you do not understand why. If there were any chance of an upset I think it would be Harris for Moonlight.

Animated Feature Film

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia
  • Who could win: Kubo and the Two Strings

The Academy has a history of showing it’s love for Disney. Even in years where a Non-Disney film should have won *looks at The LEGO Movie*. Zootopia is a Disney movie with social commentary and strong messages about racism while still being a generally fun movie for the whole family. Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the most creative animated pictures I have seen in a long time and has been getting a lot of buzz recently as well as won the BAFTA for Best Animated Feature Film so I could see it go either way.

Cinematography

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence
  • Who could win: Arrival

Just watch the opening scene of La La Land alone and you’ll understand.

Costume Design

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Who could win: La La Land

Directing

  • Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
  • Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  • Who could win: Barry Jenkins

If any award of the night could be a tie I would want it to be this one. Damien Chazelle directed and wrote La La Land. He even wrote the lyrics for one of the films songs. Barry Jenkins directed the masterpiece and best film of 2016 that is Moonlight. Both of these films are their babies. They both deserve the award. Knowing the Academy though, they will pick Chazelle.

Feature Documentary

  • Fire at Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • O.J.: Made in America
  • 13th
  • Who could win: 13th

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Extremis
  • 4.1 Miles
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets
  • Who could win: The White Helmets

Film Editing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight
  • Who could win: La La Land

Foreign Language Film

  • Land of Mine
  • A Man Called Ove
  • The Salesman
  • Tanna
  • Toni Erdmann
  • Who could win: The Salesman

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad
  • Who could win: Suicide Squad

Music (Original Score)

  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Passengers
  • Who could win: Moonlight

Music (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
  • Who could win: How Far I’ll Go

Production Design

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land
  • Passengers
  • Who could win: Fantastic Beasts

Short Film (Animated)

  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper
  • Who could win: Piper

Short Film (Live Action)

  • Ennemis Intérieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing
  • Timecode
  • Who could win: Timecode

Sound Editing

  • Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully
  • Who could win: Hacksaw Ridge

Sound Mixing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Who could win: La La Land

Visual Effects

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Who could win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Who could win: Arrival

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • The Lobster
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • 20th Century Women
  • Who could win: La La Land

Cameron HawkinsCameron Hawkins is a Journalism student at the University of Nevada, Reno. He hopes to have a career in Film Journalism writing about news and reviews in the industry. He is also a saxophonist who has played for 12 years and is a member of the University of Nevada Marching Band as well as the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. In his free time Cameron likes to watch movies, play video games, and read comic books.

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