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POSTED AT 09:29 AM 18-02-2017

2017 Oscar Predictions

Image Courtesy: Esquire

With the award season coming to an end, the big event coming up is the Oscar Night. The 89th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on 26th February. Half the fun of the Oscars is predicting which film will win what, and moan at the snubs and loses.

This article predicts the most probable wins by taking to account how the films have performed at the awards circuit so far. Note that this is a list of films that would win, not should win. Also, the documentaries, short films and foreign films are not discussed here.

The major awarding bodies; the Golden Globes presented by the Hollywood Press Association, the Critics Choice Awards (CCA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) were considered, even though there are many peripheral awarding boards.

Special attention was given to the Guilds: The Screen Actors Guild (SAG), The Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Producers Guild of America (PGA). The voters in these Guilds overlap significantly with those of the Academy.


Best Picture

Nominees: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester By the Sea, Moonlight.

Predicted winner: La La Land

Image Courtesy: Kieth & the Movies

La La Land won at the Golden Globes, the BAFTA awards, the CCA awards and the PGA awards in this category or an equivalent to it. This Sparkling musical has won the love of critics across many awarding boards, but is slowly gaining a backlash with claims of being overhyped.

The other only likely winner is Moonlight, with a very slim possibility of a surprise win by Manchester by the Sea or Fences. Moonlight one Best Picture (Drama) at the Golden Globes, but lost at the SAG awards for Best Ensemble and left empty handed at the BAFTA awards.


Best Director-

Nominees: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By the Sea), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival).

Predicted winner: Damien Chazelle

Image Courtesy: HeyUGuys

Damien Chazelle first entered the Oscars with an Original Screenplay nomination for Whiplash (2014) but wasn’t nominated for Directing. He is highly acclaimed, and his sweep of wins at the  Golden Globes, the BAFTA awards, the CCA awards and the DGA awards.

On the other hand, given that the Academy has a history of awarding Best Picture and Best Director to different films, Moonlight and La La Land may face this combination. If so, Moonlight may win Best Picture and Damien Chazelle Best Director.


Best Actor-

Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Predicted winner: Casey Affleck

Image Courtesy: YouTube

For Casey Affleck, the younger brother of actor Ben Affleck, 2016 is the best year yet. His melancholic performance earned him wins at the BAFTA awards, the CCA awards and the Golden Globes (Drama), but lost at the SAG awards.

He faces a tough competition from the two time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, who won the SAG award for Best Actor this year. He is an Oscar Darling, and he had a strong campaign with many interviews along with co-star Viola Davies.

This award may even go to Ryan Gosling, who won Best Actor (Comedy) at the Golden Globes. This is a toss between the three, but Casey Affleck wins through probability.


Best Actress-

Nominees: Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins).

Predicted winner: Emma Stone

Image Courtesy: YouTube

This is Emma Stone’s year through and through. She lit up the screen with charm and emotion, playing a relatable character. She won Best Actress at the Golden Globes (Comedy), the SAG awards and the BAFTA awards for her efforts.

While Meryl Streep received the nomination for prestige, Golden Globe Best Actress (Drama) winner Isabelle Huppert may be a contender, although her film Elle was not nominated for Best Foreign Film. Natalie Portman with her CCA award win may be a dark horse.


Best Original Screenplay-

Nominees: 20th Century Women (Mike Mills), Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan), La La Land (Damien Chazelle), Manchester By the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan), The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou).

Predicted winner: La La Land

Damien Chazelle won the Golden Globe while Kenneth Lonergan won the BAFTA. Both screenplays won at the CCA awards.The WGA is yet to announce their winners. This is going to be a very close win.


Best Adapted Screenplay-

Nominees: Arrival (Eric Heisserer), Fences (August Wilson), Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi), Lion (Luke Davies), Moonlight (Barry Jenkins).

Predicted winner: Moonlight

Image Courtesy: The Grio

This is one of the harder wins to predict, since Moonlight did not receive awards from any major boards. Equally likely to win is Fences, where the Academy may not want to miss a chance to honour the African American playwright August Wilson. Lion and Arrival pose a threats with their BAFTA and CCA awards wins respectively.


Best Supporting Actor-

Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester By the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Predicted winner: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Image Courtesy: SBS

This seems to be the most favoured choice, even though Mahershala Ali only won at the SAG and the CCA awards. The Golden Globe confusingly went to Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) and the BAFTA unexpectedly ended up in the hands of a startled Dev Patel.


Best Supporting Actress-

Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester By the Sea)

Predicted winner: Viola Davis (Fences)

Image Courtesy: She Knows

This is a clear win for Viola Davis. She won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, the CCA and the SAG award. She is crowd favourite and is backed by a strong campaign.


Best Score-

Nominees: Jackie (Mica Levi), La La Land (Justin Hurwitz), Lion (Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka), Moonlight (Nicholas Britell), Passengers (Thomas Newman)

Predicted winner: La La Land

Image Courtesy: CBC

La La Land is a musical, and Justin Hurwitz score is magnificent throughout. It won at the BAFTA, the Golden Globes and the CCA.


Best Cinematography-

Nominees: Arrival, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Silence

Predicted winner: La La Land

Linus Sandgren, the cinematographer of La La Land was awarded by the BAFTA and the CCA for his achievements in filming the vibrant dance sequences and effective camerawork. The American Society of Cinematographers gave their award to Lion.


Best Film Editing-

Nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Moonlight

Predicted winner: La La Land

American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards awarded both Arrival and La La Land in the Drama and Comedy/ Musical categories respectively.


Best Sound Editing-

Nominees: Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Sully

Predicted winner: Hacksaw Ridge

Image Courtesy: Hacksaw Ridge - Honour Our Heroes Resources Site

Best Sound Mixing-

Nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Predicted winner: La La Land

For the above three awards, look at the strengths of La La Land as a musical, Hacksaw Ridge as a war movie and Arrival as a slow burning sci-fi horror movie. These three films have the best chance in these categories, though Rogue One may grab a trophy.


Best Visual Effects-

Nominees: Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the two Strings, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Winner: The Jungle Book

Image courtesy:

The Jungle Book seems to be to the tastes of the Academy, and there was a lot of Oscar buzz when this was released early last year. It won the BAFTA award.


Best Costume Design-

Nominees: Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, Jackie, La La Land

Predicted Winner: Jackie

With her wins at the BAFTA and CCA awards, Madeline Fontaine, the creator of Jackie’s costumes, is the most likely to win at the Oscars. However, this award maybe swept up by a La La Land winning streak. The Costume Designers Guild will announce their winner on 20th February.


Best Production Design-

Nominees: Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail Caesar!, La La Land, Passengers

Predicted Winner: La La Land

Though Fantastic Beasts scooped up this award at the BAFTA awards, this is a definite win for La La Land with its dreamlike Los Angeles. The CCA awarded this film.


Best Makeup and Hairstyling-

Nominees: A Man Called Ove, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad

Predicted Winner: Star Trek Beyond

This category is slowly losing its relevance, with films opting for CGI effects over traditional makeup. No wonder there is only three nominees. Nevertheless, following the pattern last year, where a foreign film featuring age makeup (The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared) lost to a Blockbuster action movie (Mad Max: Fury Road), Star Trek Beyond is bound to win over A Man Called Ove.

People are still scratching their heads over the fact that Suicide Squad is an Oscar nominated movie.


Best Original Song-

Nominees: Audition (La La Land), Can’t Stop the Feeling (Trolls - Music and Lyrics by Justin Timberlake), City of Stars (La La Land), The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story), How Far I’ll Go (Moana - Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Predicted Winner: City of Stars

La La Land got in two songs, and it is clear its most iconic song City of Stars will be the winner come Oscar Night. It won Best Song at the Golden Globes. While Justin Timberlake’s hit song Can’t Stop the Feeling opened No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 28th May.


Best Animated Feature-

Nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, Zootopia

Predicted Winner: Zootopia

Image Courtesy: Laughing Place

With a few Annie Awards, an awarding body for animation, Heavyweights in the race, Zootopia is the front runner. This film takes an intelligent look at society, race and prejudice all wrapped in an entertaining kids movie. Zootopia won the Golden Globe while Kubo won the BAFTA.