2017 Oscar Predictions:

On Febr. 26, the Academy Awards could go one of two ways: either “La La Land,” the film of the moment, is going to sweep and potentially tie or break the record for most Oscar wins, or the Academy will spread the love, leaving the film with a mere six or seven wins. Or maybe something in between. Who knows?

Best Picture:

“Arrival”; “Fences”; “Hacksaw Ridge”; “Hell or High Water”; “Hidden Figures”; “La La Land”; “Lion”; “Manchester by the Sea”; “Moonlight.”

Will and Should Win: “La La Land”

Should’ve Been Nominated: “Jackie”

Anything besides “La La Land” would be a huge shock at this point. Next question.

Best Director:

Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”; Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”; Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”; Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”; Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight.”

Will and Should Win: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Should’ve Been Nominated: Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals”

Chazelle should easily break the record for youngest director winner.

Best Actor:

Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”; Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”; Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”; Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”; Denzel Washington, “Fences.”

Will Win: Denzel Washington, “Fences.”

Should Win: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Should’ve Been Nominated: Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nocturnal Animals”

This is one of the toughest categories of the night. Affleck has won everything but the Screen Actors Guild Award, but the SAG winner has gone on to win the Oscar for over a decade, so I’m going to go with Washington.

Best Actress:

Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”; Ruth Negga, “Loving”; Natalie Portman, “Jackie”; Emma Stone, “La La Land”; Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

Will Win: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Should Win: Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

Should’ve Been Nominated: Amy Adams, “Arrival”

Sorry, Amy Adams. The new Leonardo Dicaprio was inexplicably left without a nomination for her incredible performance in “Arrival.” But also my apologies to Natalie Portman, whose dynamic performance in “Jackie” will lose out to the “La La Land” juggernaut despite the fact that it might go down as one of the all-time great screen performances.

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”; Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”; Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”; Dev Patel, “Lion”; Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals.”

Will Win: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Should Win: Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”

Should’ve Been Nominated: Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Ali will probably take it, but I wonder if vote splitting between him and BAFTA-winner Patel might open a spot for Bridges to win his second trophy.

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis, “Fences”; Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”; Nicole Kidman, “Lion”; Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”; Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea.”

Will and Should Win: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Should’ve Been Nominated: Gugu Mbatha Raw, “Miss Sloane”

Williams does heartbreaking work with only ten minutes of screen time in “Manchester by the Sea,” but Davis is undeniable (and should’ve won for “The Help” five years ago).

Best Original Screenplay

Taylor Sheridan, “Hell or High Water”; Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”; Yorgos Lanthimos and Efithimis Filippou, “The Lobster”; Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”; Mike Mills, “20th Century Women.”

Will and Should Win: Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”

Should’ve Been Nominated: Noah Oppenheim, “Jackie”

I’m not sure that Oscar voters will reward Chazelle with two awards in the same night, so I’m thinking Lonergan wins for his powerful screenplay. But I’d also love to see “The Lobster” get some attention, somewhere.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Eric Heisserer, “Arrival” (from “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang); August Wilson, “Fences” (adapted from his play of the same name); Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, “Hidden Figures” (from the novel by Margo Lee Shetterly); Luke Davies, “Lion” (from “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose); Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, “Moonlight” (from “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by McCraney).

Will Win: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, “Moonlight”

Should Win: Eric Heisserer, “Arrival”

Jenkins and McCraney will easily win here, but the film doesn’t belong in this category, as the academy only views it as an adapted work because it was based on an unproduced play.

Tagged: Oscars


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