It’s finally Oscar day! My favorite day of the year. Here’s my take on the “Big 6” categories and my predictions for the rest.
Who will win: Lala Land
No way is Hollywood going to pass up the opportunity to award a movie about Hollywood the big prize. Lala Land has swept most of the precursor awards and although it’s not innovative or groundbreaking, it’s a crowd pleaser that is well made and well liked.
Who should win: Lala Land
While Lala Land isn’t my personal favorite movie from the list of 9 contenders (that would be Arrival), it is a gorgeously made movie that captures the musical spirit of olde while still having a story with some grit as to why dreams don’t always come true. In the end, it just feels like a worthy Best Picture winner.
Who will win: Damien Chazelle, Lala Land
For all the reasons mentioned above – Damien wrote, directed and conceived of the idea of Lala Land and he’ll win a well deserved Oscar here.
Who should win: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Don’t get me wrong, Chazelle is more than deserving of the Oscar here. But since he’s bound to take home Best Picture, I wish we could spread the wealth and recognize the stunning work in Moonlight by Barry Jenkins here. Thankfully he will at least be taking home the Best Original Screenplay Oscar instead.
Who will win: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
This race is closer than we thought it would be 6 months ago. This has been Casey’s to lose since Sundance, and his performance is heartbreaking and understated. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Denzel sneak in here and win. Casey isn’t the most gregarious guy and Denzel is beloved in Hollywood as evidenced by his SAG win.
Who should win: Denzel Washington, Fences
Denzel’s performance in Fences is a tour de force. His monologues are full of life and vigor as he pours every ounce of his soul into his lines. The fact that it’s self- directed is even more amazing. Also, a win here would make Denzel a three-time winner, one of only 6 to every achieve this and the only African American. He is more than deserving of joining that club, and many academy members may have had that in mind when they voted.
Who will win: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
This is one of the biggest question marks of the night. Emma Stone has a good chance of winning here, but Hollywood is unlikely to pass up the chance to vote for Isabelle as a lifetime achievement award. Isabelle is known as the “Meryl Streep” of France and has never won an Oscar. Also, the Academy has a history of voting with a “snob factor” – the same thing that propelled Mark Rylance to a win last year. It hurts Huppert that Elle isn’t nominated for Best Foreigh Film so Emma very well could triumph here.
Who should win: Viola Davis, Fences
Viola should have run in lead. Her inclusion is supporting is one of the bigger examples of category fraud and it’s even worse that she would have handily won this category this year. Her performance in Fences is everything a Best Actress performance should be and that only one African American actress has ever won a Lead Oscar is shameful. Especially when this should’ve been Viola’s year.
Best Supporting Actor
Who will win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Mahershala sealed this on SAG Awards night with a compelling speech about both the movie Moonlight and his own Muslim faith. Moonlight is beloved and they’ll recognize it here with a win for Ali.
Who should win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
I also adored Dev Patel’s performance in Lion but it felt more like a lead role to me.
Best Supporting Actress
Who will win: Viola Davis, Fences
Well deserved, but it should be in Lead Actress.
Who should win: Naomi Harris, Moonlight
Assuming Viola was in lead where she would deservingly win that Oscar, that would leave this open for the guy-wrenchingly beautiful and raw performance Naomi gave here.
And all the rest:
Best Animated Feature – Zootopia
Best Cinematography – Lala Land
Best Costume Design – Jackie
Best Documentary Feature – OJ: Made in America
Best Documentary Short – The White Helmets
Best Film Editing – Arrival
Best Foreign Language Film – A Man Called Ove
Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Star Trek Beyond
Best Original Score – Lala Land
Best Original Song – City of Stars, Lala Land
Best Production Design – Lala Land
Best Animated Short Film – Piper
Best Live Action Short Film – La Femme et le TGV
Best Sound Editing – Hacksaw Ridge
Best Sound Mixing – Lala Land
Best Visual Effects – The Jungle Book
Best Adapted Screenplay – Moonlight
Best Original Screenplay – Manchester by the Sea
Play along! Who are you rooting for on Hollywood’s big night?