89th Academy Awards – Predictions

predictions oscars

‘La La Land,’ Summit Entertainment

Well, it’s that time again. Time for my favorite awards show. I’ve previously talked about the Academy Awards like it was the Super Bowl, and, really, that’s still how I feel about it. In fact, since my team is almost never in the Super Bowl, I tend to obsess over the Academy Awards more than the Super Bowl. Today – just like every year – I want to reveal my predictions for the big event.

So, as I like to do with these predictions, I’ll both try to predict the winners in each and every Oscar category, as well as tell you who I would vote for if I were a member of the Academy. I’ll also add a comment to the categories that I’m particularly interested in or worried about.

Please note that I haven’t seen Moonlight and Fences, as I haven’t gotten a chance to see the former and because Fences hasn’t been given a Danish release date yet.


Best Visual Effects

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  • The Jungle Book will win.
  • I would vote for The Jungle Book.

Even though I think Doctor Strange was the best visual effects experience of 2016, you can’t really argue with this one. What Favreau and the VFX crew did with The Jungle Book is amazing. It fully deserves to win this award. Kubo and the Two Strings could surprise us with a win here, however.


Best Film Editing

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  • La La Land (Tom Cross) will win.
  • I would vote for La La Land.

Just a few days ago, before I had actually seen La La Land, I was hoping that either Hacksaw Ridge or Arrival would take this award. However, after having seen the film, I’m fully hoping to see Cross win here.


Best Costume Design

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  • Jackie (Madeline Fontaine) will win.
  • I would vote for La La Land.

I know. I know. Some people are going to go with La La Land here, but I’m thinking outside the box. I don’t think La La Land has this one in the bag. I think this is the only award Jackie could realistically win, and I’m going to take a chance and say La La Land doesn’t grab this one. However, as I haven’t seen Jackie, I’d still vote for La La Land.


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

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  • Star Trek Beyond will win.
  • I would vote for Star Trek Beyond.

This would make me so happy that I’d even be okay with Suicide Squad having been nominated. I’m going to be so annoyed if Suicide Squad becomes an Oscar winning movie.


Best Cinematography

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  • La La Land (Linus Sandgren) will win.
  • I would vote for La La Land.

I loved Arrival, and I do think Bradford Young deserves to win awards for Arrival. But one of the great things about La La Land is the cinematography, and I probably would vote for Sandgren if I had the chance. That said, I’d still be happy with a win for Young.


Best Production Design

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  • La La Land (David Wasco & Sandy Reynolds-Wasco) will win.
  • I would vote for La La Land.

I think this category will go to La La Land in spite of the awards love films like Passengers and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have found elsewhere.


Best Sound Mixing

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  • La La Land will win.
  • I would vote for La La Land.

Sound Mixing is the musical sound category. This is where Les Miserables, Dreamgirls, and Chicago all won, and so did Chazelle’s last film (Whiplash). I’m going with La La Land here.


Best Sound Editing

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  • Hacksaw Ridge will win.
  • I would vote for Hacksaw Ridge.

This, on the other hand, is the war movie sound category. When Les Miserables won Sound Mixing, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty tied for the win in the Sound Editing category. When Dreamgirls won Sound Mixing. Letters From Iwo Jima won Sound Editing. So I’m going with Hacksaw Ridge.


Best Original Song

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  • La La Land (‘City of Stars’) will win.
  • I would vote for ‘City of Stars.’

I still don’t understand how Sing Street isn’t even nominated here… Also, the best song from La La Land isn’t even nominated.


Best Original Score

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  • La La Land (Justin Hurwitz) will win.
  • I would vote for La La Land.

I still disagree with the Academy’s decision to disqualify Arrival here, but I’m going with La La Land as it is my favorite score of 2016.


Best Shorts (Live-Action; Documentary; Animated)

giphy.com - 'Borrowed Time'

giphy.com – ‘Borrowed Time’

  • Live-Action: Ennemis Interieurs will win.
  • Documentary: The White Helmets will win.
  • Animated: Piper will win.

I haven’t seen any of the nominated Live-Action short films, but I have seen The White Helmets and Borrowed Time, so I’d vote for those in Documentary and Animated, but I don’t think Borrowed Time will win.


Best Documentary – Feature

  • O. J.: Made in America will win.
  • I would vote for O. J.: Made in America.

I think this one could get interesting. While I’ll ultimately go for Made in America its runtime could be a problem for the Academy. If it doesn’t win, then 13th should.


Best Foreign Language Film

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  • Toni Erdmann – Germany – will win.
  • I would vote for Land of Mine (Denmark).

I would love to see Denmark win here, but I don’t think it’ll happen. The ultimate reason why The Salesman could take this from Toni Erdmann is because of politics, but I’m not sure that’ll get in the way of Germany winning here.


Best Animated Feature Film

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  • Zootopia will win.
  • I would vote for Zootopia.

Best Adapted Screenplay

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  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins & Tarell Alvin McCraney) will win.
  • I would vote for Arrival (Eric Heisserer).

I still haven’t gotten a chance to see Moonlight, but it looks like the favorite here. Personally, I’d love to see Arrival win.


Best Original Screenplay

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  • Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan) will win.
  • I would vote for Manchester by the Sea.

If La La Land ends up taking this from Lonergan, then it would be a shame. Manchester by the Sea doesn’t deserve to go home empty-handed, and if it doesn’t win here, then I think it might. However, if La La Land wins here then that may signal a historic night for Chazelle’s Hollywood musical.


Best Supporting Actress

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  • Viola Davis (Fences) will win.
  • I would vote for Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea).

Best Supporting Actor

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  • Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) will win.
  • I would vote for Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water).

Best Actress

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  • Emma Stone (La La Land) will win.
  • I would vote for Emma Stone.

Why didn’t they nominate Amy Adams here? I still don’t get it. For a while there, I thought Portman would be the one challenging Stone for the Oscar, but it looks like Huppert is the other possibility in this category.


Best Actor

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  • Denzel Washington (Fences) will win.
  • I would vote for Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea).

Now, I believe that an awards ceremony should honor the best performances in spite of what may happen behind the scenes, but it looks like Affleck is going to lose this because of his behavior behind the scenes on a previous film. I think that’s a shame as his performance in Manchester by the Sea is one of the best of the decade. That said, Denzel Washington is one of the greatest actors of all-time, and he certainly deserves more Oscar wins at some point.


Best Director

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  • Damien Chazelle (La La Land) will win.
  • I would vote for Damien Chazelle (La La Land).

As much as I’d love to see Villeneuve win for Arrival here, I think this award has to go to Chazelle. I still think there’s a chance Barry Jenkins wins the Best Director Oscar, while La La Land still wins Best Picture, though.


Best Picture

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  • La La Land will win.
  • I would vote for La La Land.

I finally saw La La Land the other day, and it’s definitely my favorite film of the year. But some voters – perhaps even the majority – could believe that it’s more important to honor a great film that could simultaneously act as a political message from Hollywood. If the majority of Oscar voters want to get political, then Best Picture will go to Moonlight or, maybe, Hidden Figures.


So, one of the big questions on Oscar night is: how many Oscars will La La Land win? I’m predicting it’ll win 9 Academy Awards, and thus will not break the record. Could it tie the all-time record for wins at the Oscars (11 – won by Ben-Hur, Titanic, and The Return of the King)?

Sure, but that would mean that it has to win two of the following four awards (while still winning the nine I’ve predicted): Sound Editing, Costume Design, Best Actor, and Original Screenplay. It definitely could end up being a historic night for the newest major original musical.

How many Oscars will La La Land win? Sound off in the comments.

 – Jeffrey Rex

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