My Predictions for the 89th Academy Awards


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     The 89th Academy Awards will be presented during the annual Oscars telecast on February 26th, 2017 with a trio of frontrunners, “La La Land”, Manchester by the Sea”, and “Moonlight”, vying for wins in the top categories.  Thankfully, there seems to be less controversy this year as opposed to last, with plenty of diversity amongst the very deserving nominees in all categories.  As usual, I will weigh in on 17 of the 24 categories with my picks for both the film/person I believe will win, and also my pick for who I believe should win if I were submitting an Oscar ballot. 

MY PICK = My choice if I were filling out an official Oscar Ballot.

WILL WIN = The choice I believe the Academy will make for the winner.

WINNER = Updated on February 27th, 2017 with the actual winner.


Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (MY PICK)

Makeup & Hairstyling

A Man Called One

Star Trek Beyond (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Suicide Squad (WINNER)

Sound Mixing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge (MY PICK) (WINNER)

La La Land (WILL WIN)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Sound Editing

Arrival (WINNER)

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge (MY PICK)

La La Land (WILL WIN)

Sully

Production Design

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Passengers

Original Score

Jackie

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Lion

Moonlight

Passengers

Film Editing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge (WINNER)

Hell or High Water

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Moonlight

Costume Design

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (WINNER)

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Cinematography

Arrival

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Lion

Moonlight

Silence

Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion (MY PICK)

Moonlight (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water (MY PICK)

La La Land 

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

20th Century Women

Actor In A Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali - Moonlight (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water (MY PICK)

Lucas Hedges  - Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel - Lion

Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals

Actress In A Supporting Role

Viola Davis - Fences (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Naomie Harris  - Moonlight

Nicole Kidman - Lion

Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams  - Manchester by the Sea

Actor In A Leading Role

Casey Affleck  - Manchester by the Sea (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling - La La Land

Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington  - Fences (WILL WIN)

Actress In A Leading Role

Isabelle Huppert - Elle

Ruth Nega - Loving

Natalie Portman - Jackie

Emma Stone - La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

Directing

Denis Villeneuve - Arrival

Mel Gibson - Hacksaw Ridge

Damien Chazelle - La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea

Barry Jenkins  - Moonlight

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land  (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight   (WINNER)


February 27, 2017:  Well wasn’t that fun?  Perhaps the biggest snafu in Oscar history has completely overshadowed the fact “Moonlight” may have pulled off the biggest upset in Oscar history as well.  Like many others who find merit in the challenge of predicting the Academy Awards, I went with “La La Land” as the overwhelming favorite to win the majority of the 14 categories of which it was nominated.  And though the musical went on to win a field leading 6 statuettes, there was a sense early on in the ceremony that “La La Land” may not have been the awards juggernaut we thought.  Early losses in several technical categories may have foreshadowed the eventual outcome in the Best Picture race.  Doubling down on “La La Land” left me with a middling 10 of 17 correct picks.

Equally as surprising was the complete shut out of “Hell or High Water”, “Lion”, and “Hidden Figures”, which brings up the point that nine Best Picture nominees tends to water down the field and create unrealistic expectations considering there are only so many awards to spread around.  And though I considered “Moonlight” to be a fine film, I wasn’t as high on it as others obviously were, preferring 10 other films in 2016 as having the elements necessary for Oscar glory.  Nonetheless, the 89th Academy Awards served as the culmination of yet another fine year at the movies, and I’m already looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2017 has in store.