It’s around that time of the year where Hollywood will celebrate itself on the most important night of the year. The Oscars. It’s fun to watch some of our favorite celebrities get classy for the night, but it’s definitely fun for those who love to watch movies while it highlights films people might have never heard of before.
Yet, the Oscars are still a contest, meaning there will be people walking out with a golden trophy. I’m not guessing who will win, I’ve done my research on statistics, past wins, and what my stomach is telling me.
Though it was clear months before the Golden Globe nominations came out who would get nominated for an Oscar. This year it seems more predictable than other years. Yet, this is one of the few years where I was okay with all of the nominations, except for Meryl Streep getting nominated and not Amy Adams, so in the end I’ll be okay with whoever wins because these films truly deserve them.
The one thing that I’m sure will happen is that we will most likely hear an anti-Trump speech. It happened in the Golden Globes with Meryl Streep, and it’ll probably happen here.
That being said, I present my predictions on who will win and who should win (on the bigger categories).
Best Picture: La La Land
Each year there are always two movies that go up against each other for the Best Picture title. Last year it was Spotlight and The Revenant, the year before it was Birdman and Boyhood, the previous year was 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. This year it’s La La Land and Moonlight. La La Land pays homage to the Hollywood scope while also being a musical, which are things the Academy loves. La La Land also got tied with Titanic for earning 14 nominations this year. It’s clear with those nominations that it has a big chance of winning it.
Who Should Win: Moonlight
If the Academy wants to go in a different direction and pick something that is truly different with its dynamic storytelling and meaning, then Moonlight deserves the award.
Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Chazelle recently won Award for Best Director in the Director Guild Awards ceremony. He’ll also be the youngest director to win the Oscar in this category. He knows how to blend this Hollywood musical with a love story that has excellent pacing. He’s an expert when it comes to this tone.
Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
The likeliness of Jenkins winning is very slim, but Jenkins was able to tap into a cohesive study of a character that makes people think sociologically. Directing with a small budget is also a big task and this is his second film as a director, so it seems more deserving.
Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
This was one of the tougher categories to pick. It was obvious at first that Affleck would get the win, but after Denzel Washington won best actor in the Screen Actors Guild, it’s been a tough competition. Yet, Affleck has won pretty much every award minus the SAG award. His performance is filled with grief that can give some support, plus of the arch his character goes through. Both Affleck and Washington give fantastic performances, but I’m choosing Affleck on the edge.
Who Should Win: Denzel Washington (Fences)
Washington’s range is everywhere that sucks the audience into the movie. He truly knows this character; he performed it over a hundred times on Broadway. It’s one of his, if not the, best performances he’s given.
Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Stone has had a momentum going this season and Portman’s role for portraying Jackie Kennedy in Jackie has lost its momentum around its release time. This should be a clear and easy one for Stone unless Meryl Streep somehow wins.
Who Should Win: Emma Stone
Singing, dancing, and acting are a lot to do for one role, especially since musicals aren’t a common genre for films. This role perfectly fits Stone and she gave it 100%.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Both the supporting actor and actress nominees are sweeps for the winners. 2016 was the year of Ali, who played Cottonmouth in Netflix’s Luke Cage and for winning the Golden Globe and SAG for supporting actor. Plus his powerful speech at the SAGs was stuck in the minds of the voters.
Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali
Ali may not be in the film that long, but his performance has the most impact than anyone else in the category. Jeff Bridges has done the same type of character before in Hell or High Water and Lion doesn’t get deep in enough for Dev Patel to really show his talent.
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences)
This is also a shoe in for Davis. If you are making any bets on the categories, this is the one you’ll win money over. She’s won pretty much every award this season for this role, plus it’s arguable that her role should have been in the Best Actress category. This was similar to when Christian Bale won best supporting for The Fighter, where people believed he should have been in the Best Actor category.
Who Should Win: Viola Davis
Have you seen that clip where it involves her snot running down to her upper lip? That scene alone is better than every other performance in this category.
Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
There is a chance that La La Land might win this, but Manchester by the Sea has a strong chance of winning for Kenneth Lonergan’s subtle writing that depicts real life.
Who Should Win: Anything but La La Land
I do not hate La La Land at all, but despite the charm the movie has, it’s just a love story. The Lobster is a fantastic example of a movie that is original by being the weirdest film in the category. Manchester by the Sea captures humanity. 20th Century Women has a writing style that uniquely gives perspectives on each character.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
It would be a little upsetting if the Academy doesn’t recognize the talent of Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney. The movie also got shifted into this category, which puts it more in favor and it won’t have to go up against La La Land and Manchester by the Sea.
Who Should Win: Moonlight
This is a movie that’s truly different from many other movies that have come out in recent years. Something that tackles individuality so powerful deserves a win like this.
Best Animated Feature: Zootopia
It’s usually clear that Disney will win this category. Disney has two films in this category, both Zootopia and Moana, but Zootopia has won most of the animated awards this season, with Kubo and the Two Strings winning some, but because it’s Disney Zootopia will get it.
Who Should Win: Zootopia
Moana is a good film, but Zootopia has a stronger message and story that impacts more on society than Moana.
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman
The Salesman will most likely win because of protest against Trump. The Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, has said he will not attend the ceremony in protest of Trump’s Muslim ban, and many voters will feel like Farhadi deserves the spotlight for this.
Best Documentary Feature: O.J. Made in America
Thought it would be nice to see Ava DuVernay win an Oscar, but this documentary has been winning for months. It has was part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series so the documentary has probably had the most reach out compared to the others in the category.
Best Cinematography: La La Land
This category is one of the harder ones. Do you want to go with the more natural style in Arrival? Maybe the sharp and photogenic style in Moonlight? What about the well composition shots in Silence? How about the potent and wide range in Lion? It will go to La La Land though because the color schemes perfectly fit the romance in the story while the camera works fits the musical aspect that helps give it that more classical feeling.
Best Production: La La Land
It might have some competition against Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but that film is too heavy on green screen. Some sets for La La Land were built to replicate some famous locations in LA. The last seven minutes of the film also show how much was really put into production.
Best Original Score: La La Land
This one is pretty much an easy one for the film to win. It’s a musical with jazz influences that have the ability to blend in a Broadway style of writing in it. Also the 2012 winner The Artist was a movie that was set in the early times of silent films, and it had a score that involved 1920s jazz. That should make it seem more obvious that La La Land will win this one.
Best Original Song: “City of Stars”, La La Land
La La Land has two songs nominated in this category. Though the other song, “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”, is a much better song, it’ll go to the main medley from the movie. Though it would be nice to Lin Manuel Miranda win one for “How Far I’ll Go” which was in Moana, and it’d be nice to see Memphian Justin Timberlake get the trophy for Troll’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, but La La Land has a much bigger chance of getting this win.
Best Costume Design: Jackie
La La Land can’t win for this category if the clothes look like stuff I can buy at an H&M. The Academy usually goes for the period pieces, and with a movie that is pretty spot on when it comes to the reenactment of JFK’s assassination, it seems clear Jackie will win.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Star Trek Beyond
It’s insane for the Academy to give an Oscar to Suicide Squad. Star Trek Beyond is much heaver on the makeup, even though the Killer Croc costume is very impressive, but it lacks the work and involvement that Star Trek had.
Best Film Editing: La La Land
La La Land’s editing style is similar to Chazelle’s previous film, Whiplash, which won the Oscar for this category. Its biggest competition in this category is Hacksaw Ridge, but it doesn’t compete against the last two winners, Mad Max: Fury Road and Whiplash because it isn’t quick and striking.
Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book
The only thing that was real in that movie was the actor Neel Sethi, who played Mowgli. If you’re going to bet money on any other category, this is your other pick. There shouldn’t be any arguments for the other nominees.
Best Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
If you’re trying to figure out the difference between sound editing and mixing, then think of sound editing as capturing the sound and mixing as blending all of the audio together. Even though Sully and Arrival have fantastic sound editing, this category has gone to more of the action type flicks. The last three winners in this category were Mad Max: Fury Road, American Sniper, and Gravity. Are you seeing the trend here?
Best Sound Mixing: La La Land
Similar to sound editing, musicals or movies about music will win this. Whiplash won it two years ago. Other movies that have won are Les Miserables, Dream Girls, and Chicago. Are you seeing the trend here?
Best Live-Action Short Film: Ennemis intérieuers
Picking this short film as the winner is a safe bet. It’s what everybody is predicting. The short film focuses on terrorism, so it’s got a good chance of winning the Oscar.
Best Animated Short: Piper
Disney hasn’t won this category every year, but Piper is the most impressive and adorable out of all of the categories. It would be nice to see them go for a darker turn and pick Borrowed Time, but this category has been weaker than previous ones so Piper has the edge.
Documentary Short: Joe’s Violin
If there’s one thing the Academy loves, it’s tales about the Holocaust. Joe’s Violin is a Holocaust survivor tale so it’s clear this will win the trophy.