These are my predictions about who will win each category, but not necessarily who I would want to win each category. I enjoy the Oscars, though I don’t believe it truly represents what the best in each is. I will talk about who I would like to see win under each award. Get ready for a landslide of La La Land.
Best Picture: La La Land
This movie is built for the Oscars, pulling on the heartstrings of voters who went through the same process that is depicted in the film. I think it will win, and I don’t think it’s even a competition at this point.
Who I want: Moonlight. This will be the film that stands the test of time. Arrival is a close second for me. La La Land was good in all the technical aspects, but the actual story was sub-par, and it was executed poorly.
Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)
This category is pretty weak this year, and I think Emma Stone takes it for the same reasons that La La Land will win Best Picture. Her performance was pretty good, but I don’t think it was Oscar worthy.
Who I want: Amy Adams. She was snubbed this year, and absolutely deserves to win the Oscar. Her performance was incredible, and firmly believe that without her, Arrival isn’t as good as it was.
Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
I could be wrong on this one because of the assault allegations against Casey right now, but I think he still wins because he truly deserves it. If he doesn’t win, though, Denzel takes it because he talked for 90 minutes straight in Fences.
Who I want: Casey Affleck, for the same reasons listed above.
Best Supporting Actress:Viola Davis (Fences)
This is a no-contest category. Viola acted her face off in Fences, and 100% deserves this Oscar. There is nobody else in this category, and I think everyone knows it.
Who I want: Viola Davis. No contest.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
He was absolutely amazing in Moonlight, and fully deserves this oscar win. Both this and the Best Supporting Actress category help the Oscars rebound from the #OscarsSoWhite thing that happened last year, because both categories aren’t even a competition. He was captivating on screen in Moonlight, and impacted the entire story, even though he was only in it for the first third.
Who I want: Mahershala Ali. He fully deserves it.
Animated Feature: Zootopia
This was a strong year for animated movies, with Finding Dory not even being nominated. Zootopia takes this one purely because it was masterful, impactful, and so re-watchable.
Who I want: Zootopia. It would be great to see Kubo win, because it was a great story with some breathtaking stop-motion, but this is Zootopia’s award to lose, and I’m okay with that.
Cinematography: Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
At first, I felt like this was a tough category to choose, but after watching all the crane shots and fast cut moves from behind the scenes in this movie, La La Land was truly an impressive feat for a cinematographer. The two sunset scenes are breathtakingly gorgeous, and the multiple crane shots are amazing.
Who I want: I’d be fine with La La Land, Moonlight or Arrival. I felt like all three movies were breathtaking in their own right, each being such a different film. However, as mentioned above, La La Land was impressive because of the ingenuity of the DOP.
Costume Design: Mary Zophres (La La Land)
The colour scheming throughout this movie in the costumes is subtle, but so important to this film. In addition to this, the short film within La La Land was so beautiful in every right, especially costume design on each and every person in the frame. Combine all of these with the concept that Chazelle made reference to dozens of other musicals through the costume design creates a feat deserving of the Oscar.
Who I want: I would love La La Land to win because of what’s listed about, though Jackie may give it a run for its money because it was a great period piece as well. The bricolage effect of the many nods to previous musicals in La La Land makes me want that to win over Jackie though.
Directing: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
This is my dark horse pick. Everybody thinks Damian Chazelle will win for La La Land, especially since many think he was snubbed a nomination for Whiplash. That being said, I think Jenkins work in Moonlight edges Chazelle’s work in La La Land because of the way the story had to be told. Telling a story with three different actors as the main character is incredibly hard to do, and he pulled it off masterfully.
Who I want: Well, clearly I want Jenkins, but I would also love Denis Villeneuve to win, because he’s become a force in the past five years, with constant success with his past few movies. I thought Arrival was amazing, and the story told there was great. So either of those two.
Documentary Feature: OJ: Made In America
This is a strong year for docs, with 3 out of the five dealing with race in a highly racially charged event, with the #OscarsSoWhite movement last year and Trump’s inauguration this year. It could go to 13th or I Am Not Your Negro as well, but OJ sneaked above by a head because it is the true counterpart to the incredible American Crime Story, which cleaned up in the television awards. That, combined with the fact that this aired on ESPN as a television show, gives it a little bit of an edge over the rest of the documentaries. I mean, this show is 467 minutes long, versus a normal documentary which feels long if it pushes 120 minutes. So the ability to fit 4 times the amount of content into your ‘documentary’ gives it a clear advantage. But the academy classified it as a documentary, and so they have to live with the consequences.
Who I want: I mean, I haven’t seen many of these, but I think OJ deserves the award purely based on the amount of work it would take to go through every piece of OJ documented footage and put it together.
Documentary Short: The White Helmets
This was a shocking and brilliantly put together short doc that’s actually streaming on Netflix right now. It’s relevant and important to modern culture, and shows a glimmer of hope in a section of the world that is absolutely torn apart by war.
Who I want: I thought White Helmets was amazing. These men are so inspiring, caring about every life and every person. It’s a doc worth watching, clocking in at around 45 minutes.
Film Editing: Tom Cross (La La Land)
The cuts between the shots, the amazing angles, and the way the film is put together in general is brilliant. From all the technical aspects, La La Land is a spectacle, and this category is no different. It’s a beautifully shot and edited film, and clearly every person on this crew had the same vision as Chazelle, and they executed it perfectly.
Who I want: It’s hard to argue with La La Land, but I thought the editing in Arrival was beautiful as well, with multiple moments being generated purely through the editing, especially in the flashback moments.
Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Foreign film is a section I don’t know much about, but the movie I’ve heard the most buzz about is Toni Erdmann, and so that’s my blind pick.
Who I want: I’m good with Toni Erdmann winning, though I think if The Salesman won, that would be cool for the country of Iran.
Makeup And Hairstyling: Joel Harlow, Richard Alonzo (Star Trek: Beyond)
Out of the three nominated, Star Trek was the one that had the best and most impressive hair/make-up. Some great work with both the ‘alien species’ and the normal humans.
Who I want: I hated Suicide Squad so if they don’t win an Oscar, I will be very happy.
Music (Original Score): Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
This isn’t a contest in my mind. Moonlight had a good score, but you cannot argue with a musical movie that’s been in the work for over 6 years. Justin Hurwitz masterfully put together a score that was both minimal and extravagant simultaneously. It’s a beautiful score that fully deserves this Oscar.
Who I want: La La Land, most definitely. Nothing else comes close.
Music (Original Song): City of Stars (La La Land, Justin Hurwitz)
City of Stars will win, though I really didn’t like this song. It caters perfectly to the Hollywood crowd, talking about Hollywood and LA in a soft, unpolished fashion.
Who I want: The fact that La La Land has two songs nominated and Sing Street has none is an absolute crime. As mentioned, I don’t like City of Stars as a stand alone song, though it works well with the overall score. I think the Moana song would be good, and Justin Timberlake’s song is the catchiest thing ever released, but I really wish Sing Street would have been nominated.
Production Design: David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco (La La Land)
Again, La La Land had a clear vision, and it was executed perfectly from a technical standpoint in every fashion. I will again point out the short film within the film that is glorious, beautiful, and has an incredible design. They showcase LA well, and have some incredible moments in design.
Who I want: I think Arrival was beautiful and the design of the UFO was incredible, so if Arrival wins I would be happy but La La Land deserves this win 100%.
Short Film (Animated): Piper
Even in a Pixar-less animated category, they will still win. Piper was funny, touching and playful: everything Pixar does well. Some great animation that needs no audio to clearly show what they’re trying to say.
What I want: Piper was touching and lovely. It stayed with me long after Finding Dory did, and I would love to see that take the win.
Short Film (Live Action): Sing
Another category I really know nothing about, so I’ll go with my blind gut and say Sing. It’s the only one I heard anything about, so that’s my choice and I’m sticking to it.
Who I want: See above.
Sound Editing: Sylvian Bellemare (Arrival)
This category is up for grabs, with a musical like La La Land clearly utilizing sound editing to create their soundscape, and a movie like Hacksaw Ridge needing a whole lot of sound editing for the war scenes. However, Arrival stood out above these and perfectly created a soundscape altogether otherworldly.
Who I want: I thought the editing in Arrival was amazing, giving moments silence and other moments huge music. Most movies I don’t notice the sound editing, but watching Arrival, it stood out to me. Some great work in an amazing film.
Sound Mixing: Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, Steven Morrow (La La Land)
Putting together a modern day musical is incredibly hard to do. These sound mixers proved that they are a step above their counterparts by making it work incredibly well in this brilliant piece of work.
Who I want: You can’t argue with a movie that is based around its sound mixing. They did it masterfully, and it 100% deserves the trophy.
Visual Effects: Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, Dan Lemmon (The Jungle Book)
All of the movies nominated in this category except for Deepwater Horizon has a shot at this category, but I think The Jungle Book is a step above the rest. Shot almost entirely on a green screen, The Jungle Book is created only through visual effects. Some incredible design created an entire world that was captivating and breathtaking. These animals were completely believable, and it wasn’t cheesy in any way. Well deserving.
Who I want: I think The Jungle Book was brilliant and deserves the oscar, but Kubo & The Two Strings was some incredible stop-motion that would be just as deserving of the oscar in my opinion.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moonlight
Though it won’t win the best-picture nom, Moonlight will win adapted screenplay as a consolation prize. Moonlight is a beautiful story incredibly written into three parts that was adventurous, unique and creative. Subtle at moments, honest all the time, this movie was beautifully and amazingly written.
Who I want: I’m torn between Moonlight and Arrival, and I think both deserve the oscar. I still think I want Moonlight a little more than Arrival because of the way the story was told. The three actors playing one main character was brilliantly written, and Mahershala Ali’s character had incredible lines.
Writing (Original Screenplay): Manchester By The Sea
Similar to Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea will win best original screenplay as a consolation prize to losing out on the best picture race. Originally most people’s choice to win best picture, Manchester was heartbreakingly written, telling a brilliant story. Many believe La La Land will win this award, but I don’t think so because as a story, it wasn’t amazing. It was everything else around the story that made it amazing: all the technical aspects of it.
Who I want: Honestly, I want anything but La La Land, because it doesn’t deserve the oscar in this category. Hell or High Water was great (and written in only 3 weeks), The Lobster was so original, and 20th Century Women was incredibly well written. So yeah, just not La La Land.
La La Land: 9
Manchester By The Sea: 2