My Predictions for THE 89th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS (AWARDS 2016)

oscarspredix

Below are my predictions for the 2016 Academy Awards, in all 24 categories.

The list has some commentary in the major categories, and then simple “Will Win” predictions for the undercard choices along with “Should Win” opinions.

According to how I see it, the night’s big winner will be La La Land with 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. No other film will come close.

What would be a good return on these predictions? My own personal standard for prognostication success is going 20-for-24 or higher. That may appear a fairly high bar but, for me, anything below 20 is, at best, just really good guessing based on being well-informed.

To get 20 or more requires a level of intuition that goes beyond creating a metric based on outcomes throughout the Oscar race, to a level of insight that’s really worth something. And if memory serves, I think I’ve only broached 20+ a handful of times in my life (yes, this is an annual hobby, occasionally with money on the line). So we’ll see.

The 89th Academy Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday night February 26, 2017, at 8pm EST/7pm CST. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, it will air on ABC.

My Predictions for
THE 89TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS

BEST PICTURE
(and total number of nominations)
– Arrival (8 Nominations)
– Fences (4 Nominations)
– Hacksaw Ridge (6 Nominations)
– Hell or High Water (4 Nominations)
– Hidden Figures (3 Nominations)
– La La Land (14 Nominations)
– Lion (6 Nominations)
– Manchester by the Sea (5 Nominations)
– Moonlight (8 Nominations)

Will Win: La La Land
Should Win: La La Land

It would be insane to predict differently. La La Land has won nearly everything, including a record 7 Golden Globes. Couple that with a record-tying 14 nominations and an upset here would arguably be the biggest in Oscar history. BUT – if it were to happen, my guess is that it would be the very popular Hidden Figures. The Screen Actors Guild embraced it, as have audiences (it’s the highest domestic grosser of the Best Picture nominees). Plus, it’d be a way to embrace diversity after two years of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy…although that very kind of “protest vote” could work against Hidden Figures, as that sentiment may split between Fences and Moonlight as well.

BEST DIRECTOR
– Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
– Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
 Damien Chazelle – La La Land
– Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
– Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Will Win: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Should Win: Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Chazelle won the Directors Guild Award, the best predictor of this category (they almost always line up). Plus, a Chazelle win here fits squarely into a La La Landslide, and a perfect way to reward the filmmaker behind that movie that everybody loves.

BEST ACTOR
– Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
– Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
– Ryan Gosling – La La Land
– Viggo Mortenson – Captain Fantastic
– Denzel Washington – Fences

Will Win: Denzel Washington – Fences
Should Win: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Affleck had this in the bank, winning everything in sight, until the Screen Actors Guild gave it to Denzel. SAG is a great predictor for all of the acting categories, and so Washington has the edge now. Still, if Affleck wins, it won’t be a surprise. This is a very close race.

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

Portman gives the best performance of this five (and arguably of anyone, male or female, from the entire year). But with her Oscar already in hand for Black Swan just a few years ago, this is an easy win for Emma Stone; she’s been winning every major predictor throughout the awards season, too. All the stars have aligned for this very deserving actress, but if there’s an upset brewing it may be the highly respected French legend Isabelle Huppert.

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

Ali has been on a fast track to this win all season long, but Dev Patel’s recent victory at Britain’s BAFTA’s (their Oscars) has rumors swirling about an upset. Don’t buy it. Ali has this, and deservedly so. So much great competition here, though. Anyone other than Patel (who’s good but not great) would be a fine choice.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
– Viola Davis – Fences
– Naomie Harris – Moonlight
– Nicole Kidman – Lion
– Octavia Spencer  – Hidden Figures
– Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Will Win: Viola Davis – Fences
Should Win: Naomie Harris – Moonlight

Davis may be the surest lock of the whole night, even ahead of La La Land in any of its categories. She’s won every award, plus she even previously won the Tony for this same performance (although they acknowledged her as Lead). If and when she wins, she’ll become the first person since Yul Brenner to win a Tony and an Oscar for playing the same character on both stage and screen while winning in two different categories (except for Yul it was the reverse, winning the “Featured” Tony but the “Lead” Oscar).

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
– Hell or High Water, by Taylor Sheridan
– La La Land, by Damien Chazelle
– The Lobster, by Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthimis Filippou
– Manchester by the Sea, by Kenneth Lonergan
– 20th Century Women, by Mike Mills

Will Win: Manchester by the Sea, by Kenneth Lonergan
Should Win: Manchester by the Sea, by Kenneth Lonergan

Manchester by the Sea has been one of the three major contenders of the 2016 Awards Season. This is the perfect category to honor Kenneth Lonergan, the writer/director of that small yet substantial American masterpiece.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
– Arrival, by Eric Heisserer
– Fences, by August Wilson
– Hidden Figures, by Allison Schroeder & Theodore Melfi
– Lion, by Luke Davies
– Moonlight, by Barry Jenkins

Will Win: Moonlight, by Barry Jenkins
Should Win: Arrival, by Eric Heisserer

Same reasoning for Lonergan applies here for Barry Jenkins and Moonlight.

BEST ANIMATED FILM
– Kubo and the Two Strings
– Moana
– My Life as a Zucchini
– The Red Turtle
– Zootopia

Will Win: Zootopia
Should Win: The Red Turtle

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
– Land of Mine (Denmark)
– A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
– The Salesman 
(Iran)
 Tanna (Australia)
– Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Will Win: The Salesman
Should Win: I’ve only seen 2 of the films

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
– Fire at Sea
– I Am Not Your Negro
– Life, Animated
– O.J.: Made in America
– 13th

Will Win: O.J.: Made in America
Should Win: O.J.: Made in America

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
– Jackie (Mica Levi)
– La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
– Lion (Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka)
– Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)
– Passengers (Thomas Newman)

Will Win: La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
Should Win: Jackie (Mica Levi)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
– “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” – La La Land
– “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Trolls
– “City of Stars” – La La Land
– “The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story
– “How Far I’ll Go” – Moana

Will Win: “City of Stars” – La La Land
Should Win: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” – La La Land

BEST FILM EDITING
– Arrival
– Hacksaw Ridge
– Hell or High Water
– La La Land
– Moonlight

Will Win: La La Land
Should Win: Arrival

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
– Arrival (Bradford Young)
– La La Land (Linus Sandgren)
– Lion (Greig Fraser)
– Moonlight (James Laxton)
– Silence (Rodrigo Prieto)

Will Win: La La Land (Linus Sandgren)
Should Win: Silence (Rodrigo Prieto)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
– Arrival
– Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
 Hail, Caesar!
– La La Land
– Passengers

Will Win: La La Land
Should Win: Hail, Caesar!

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
– Allied
– Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
– Florence Foster Jenkins
– Jackie
– La La Land

Will Win: Jackie
Should Win: Jackie

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
 A Man Called Ove
– Star Trek Beyond
– Suicide Squad

Will Win: Star Trek Beyond
Should Win: A Man Called Ove

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
(Click here for my review of these 5 short films)
– Ennemis Intérieurs
– La Femme et le TGV
– Silent Nights
– Sing
– Timecode

Will Win: La Femme et le TGV
Should Win: La Femme et le TGV

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
(Click here for my review of these 5 short films)
– Blind Vaysha
– Borrowed Time
– Pear Cider and Cigarettes
– Pearl
– Piper

Will Win: Pearl
Should Win: Pearl

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
(Click here for my review of these 5 short films)
– Extremis
– 4.1 Miles
– Joe’s Violin
– Watani: My Homeland
– The White Helmets

Will Win: Joe’s Violin
Should Win: Joe’s Violin (although all are deserving, a stellar crop)

BEST SOUND MIXING
– Arrival
– Hacksaw Ridge
– La La Land
– 
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
– 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Will Win: La La Land
Should Win: Arrival

BEST SOUND EDITING
– Arrival
– Deepwater Horizon
– Hacksaw Ridge
– La La Land
– Sully

Will Win: Hacksaw Ridge
Should Win: Hacksaw Ridge

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
– Deepwater Horizon
– 
Doctor Strange
– 
The Jungle Book
– Kubo and the Two Strings
– Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Will Win: The Jungle Book
Should Win: The Jungle Book

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4 thoughts on “My Predictions for THE 89th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS (AWARDS 2016)

  1. I really like this list. Lots of good, solid, thoughtful picks here.
    Although I am repeating myself, the only strong prediction from me is:
    BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – “A Man Called Ove” (Sweden).

    Liked by 1 person

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