Predictions for Oscars 2017



Story by Megan Sarnacki, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Awards Daily

It is almost Feb. 26, which means Hollywood’s biggest night in film, the 89th Academy Awards, is approaching fast. Some people may have bought a one-of-a-kind designer-made dress or suit and are preparing to walk down the red carpet, while others may have just purchased popcorn to watch it on television in their pajamas for Sunday’s festivities. However, do not be alarmed if you do not own a television. You may still be able to stream the award show on the ABC app,, or the The Red Carpet starts at 7 p.m., while the ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will begin at 8:30 p.m. If you are curious about which films have been nominated, take a look at some of the award categories and see whether or not you agree with my predictions.

Best Picture:

“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester By the Sea”

Between these nominees, the frontrunners are “La La Land,” “Manchester By the Sea,” and “Moonlight.” However, my prediction is “La La Land” because it has received countless praise from both the critics and the public. This film is also unique to the other contenders in this category. Not only it is the only musical nomination, but the film also mixes the past with the present by showcasing aspects from classic Hollywood musicals and putting its own modern spin on it.

Best Actor:

Casey Affleck, “Manchester By the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

For Best Actor, Denzel Washington and Casey Affleck are both favored to win for their compelling and emotional performances. Washington has been nominated six times for an Academy Award and has won Best Supporting Actor for “Glory” and Best Actor in “Training Day.” Affleck has also won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama at this year’s Golden Globes and has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” but this would be his first Academy Award if he wins.

Best Actress:

Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

For Best Actress, Emma Stone appears to be the favorite this year. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2014 for her role in “Birdman,” but 2017 may just prove to be her year to take the win.

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”

In the Best Supporting Actor category, Mahershala Ali is favored to win for his universal acclaim as the drug dealer, Juan, in “Moonlight.” Although Ali is a favorite among many, there is always a chance for an upset. Dev Patel could shake things up for his role in “Lion” since he has yet to win an Academy Award even though he had a breakthrough performance in the 2008 film, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester By the Sea”

Because of her strong performance in “Fences,” Viola Davis will most likely win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Although she has already made history by being the first African American actress to be nominated three times for an Academy Award, Davis has yet to receive an Oscar for her work, making one of this year’s front runners.

Best Animated Feature Film:

“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“The Red Turtle”

For Best Animated Feature Film, “Zootopia” will presumably take the win this year. Not only does it raise conversations about discrimination and stereotypes, but it also is a fun and heartwarming film that will entertain children as well as adults.

Best Director:

Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester By the Sea”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

Since he already received the win for Best Director at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards, my prediction is that Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) will also win Best Director at the Academy Awards. Although Chazelle is favored to win, Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) may give Chazelle a run for his money since both films are highly praised and have been nominated multiple times (14 for “La La Land” and eight for “Moonlight”).

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”

Although “Can’t Stop the Feeling” was a summer hit, my prediction is that “City of Stars” will win Best Original song. This charming song already won Best Original Song at the Golden Globes and is a favorite among both the public and critics. If there is an upset, it would probably be “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana,” but since “City of Stars” is such an enchanting song that will sweep you off your feet, it is the frontrunner in this category.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Eric Heisserer, “Arrival”
August Wilson, “Fences”
Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder, “Hidden Figures”
Luke Davies, “Lion”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

Although all of these films are interesting and moving stories, my prediction for Best Adapted Screenplay is that Barry Jenkins will win for “Moonlight.” This movie is based on the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and has been regarded as one of the best films of 2016.

Best Original Screenplay:

Taylor Sheridan, “Hell or High Water”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester By the Sea”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster”
Mike Mills, “20th Century Women”

For Best Original Screenplay, “Manchester By the Sea” and “La La Land” are the top contenders in this category. Although Damien Chazelle won Best Screenplay in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globes, my prediction is that Kenneth Lonergan will beat Chazelle because “La La Land” will win many of the other categories and Lonergan may just be the person to upset Chazelle’s winning streak.

Because anything can happen at the Academy Awards, no one can be sure about what film will take the win in any particular category. There will also be upsets and surprises that may shock you. However, it is still fun to fill out a ballot and watch the ceremony to see how well you did. Since there are so many fantastic movies in the theatres right now, I would also recommend seeing a few that interest you and thinking about what you enjoyed or did not like about them.

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