February 26, 2017

2017 Oscar predictions

It's that time of the year again - when we all sit around and bitch about what was or was not nominated for awards. But no matter what does or doesn't win, we can all agree to complain about the host, right? That's the one constant. But FWIW, I don't mind Jimmy Kimmel. He wouldn't be my first choice, but he can't possibly be worse than Seth McFarlane or that year they let James Franco up there.

As for the picks, I'm torn between voting for what I want to win and what I think will win. But as much as I want to take a stance against voting for movies like The Revenant, I like winning more. So here are my picks: feel free to challenge me with your own. I'm undefeated 3 years running. :)

Best Picture predicted winner: La La Land

I'm fairly certain it's a two-way race between La La Land and Moonlight at this point, so it could go either way. But Hollywood so loves movies about itself, and nostalgia, so in a f*cked year for real life, I can imagine voters are swayed by the promise of escapism and Making Hollywood Great Again. Just kidding.

  • Arrival: The most thoughtful and inventive of the bunch, but judging by its low tally of nominations, will probably walk away empty-handed across all categories.
  • Fences: It was impactful, but not the best or even the most memorable.
  • Hacksaw Ridge: I honestly don't know what this movie is doing in this category.
  • Hidden Figures: This was my favorite, but probably not "dramatic" enough to win it. The Academy loves melodrama.
  • La La Land: The more people rave about it, the less I like it. It was mostly enjoyable, but it's not the second coming of Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers.
  • Lion: This movie impacted me the most, but is too far off the radar for most people.
  • Moonlight: I can't believe I didn't see this before the big day.

Best Actor predicted winner: Denzel Washington, Fences

Casey Affleck had all the momentum for awhile, but I think the sexual assault allegations against him are finally catching up and swaying voters towards Denzel, who is a perennial favorite and probably hasn't gotten as much recognition throughout his career as he deserves. And we all know how the Academy doesn't necessarily judge only on the current year.

  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land: I haven't disliked Ryan this much since The Place Beyond the Pines.
  • Denzel Washington, Fences: Classic Denzel performance.

Best Actress predicted winner: Isabelle Hupper, Elle

I'll be honest. I'm not really that confident Isabelle will win, but I can't stand the thought of Emma Stone winning for La La Land. I just can't choose her. If it were up to me, Taraji P. Henson would be nominated in her place. 
  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle: I'm counting on the Academy not to make the same mistake as 4 years ago with Emmanuelle Riva in Amour.
  • Ruth Negga, Loving: She did a good job, but there is approximately zero chance of her winning.
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie: Didn't quite make it to this one, but the movie didn't really garner enough interest for Portman to win.
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins: It can sometimes feel like nominating Meryl has become reflexive for the Academy, but she earned this one.

Best Supporting Actor predicted winner: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Setting aside the fact that Mahershala Ali is a slam dunk for the win, this category was full of missed opportunities. Sunny Pawar from Lion and George MacKay from Captain Fantastic should have been nominated, while Lucas Hedge and Jeff Bridges could have easily eliminated. I would have even been happy giving a nod to Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins for his first role in which he didn't play a womanizing cad.
  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight: From everything I've heard, there is no betting against him on this one.
  • Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water: Everything I said about Meryl Streep above, before the comma.
  • Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea: This movie, while decent, got a lot more nods than it should have. This is one of those.
  • Dev Patel, Lion: I would have nominated Sunny Pawar over Dev Patel, but I loved this movie so much it's hard to resent any of its nominations.
  • Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals: No comment.

Best Supporting Actress predicted winner: Viola Davis, Fences

  • Viola Davis, Fences: I think this is pretty much a shoo-in.
  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight: No comment.
  • Nicole Kidman, Lion: Great movie, she wasn't necessarily a key component of that.
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures: I loved this movie, but not sure I could say she was more deserving of a nomination than Taraji.
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea: The bright spot of an otherwise bleak movie, but her limited screen time can't compete with Viola Davis' powerhouse performance.

    Best Original Screenplay predicted winner: La La Land

    Sigh. Hollywood so loves to congratulate itself on making movies about Hollywood it's hard to imagine any other movie taking home the prize, no matter how much more they deserved it.

    • La La Land: I wouldn't mind this winning this category if I didn't feel it was also going to win so many other categories. It doesn't deserve 14 nominations, but screenplay is one it does deserve. It's a solid enough story.
    • The Lobster: Wanted to see it, didn't quite get to it. But glad to see the resurgence of Colin Farrell.
    • Manchester by the Sea: This movie may not have been my favorite, but I thought the plot was certainly more original than many of the others in this category.
    • 20th Century Women: Another missed opportunity, but considering how many people had never heard of this movie, I'm surprised it even got nominated.

    Best Adapted Screenplay predicted winner: Moonlight

    I think category is much more of a toss-up. If Moonlight  comes away with the Best Picture win, my guess is this category goes to Hidden Figures, but since I'm predicting La La Land for the big win, I think Moonlight will take it here.
    • Arrival: Certainly the most inventive story of the bunch, but I think more of a fan favorite than voter darling.
    • Fences: Good adaptation, but would probably still be more impactful as a play.
    • Hidden Figures: Love! And stayed impressively true to the original story, which doesn't happen often in Hollywood.
    • Lion: Amazing story, but up against a stacked category this year.
    • Moonlight: Nothing but positive buzz surrounding it.

    Best Animated Feature predicted winner: Zootopia

    I thought things would swing Moana's way because it's much more "classic Disney," but the awards leading up to the Oscars have convinced me otherwise. Either way, Disney wins.
    • Moana: An excellent addition to any family's Disney collection.
    • My Life As A Zucchini: Not yet released in the States, though I heard it's sort of depressing.
    • The Red Turtle: I'll definitely see this soon.
    • Zootopia: My favorite of the bunch, and my kids's. 

    As usual, I only predicted the categories I feel like I can reasonably predict based on the movies I was able to watch. So make sure to check out the Oscars Page to find my reviews on other Oscar nominated movies that weren't nominated in categories I cared about, like Allied, Trolls, and 13th.

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