Oscar Predictions: Part 1

oscars

It’s Oscar Day! This is part one of three of my Oscar predictions. This post features:

Best Cinematography
Arrival, Bradford Young
La La Land, Linus Sandgren
Silence, Rodrigo Prieto
Lion, Grieg Fraser
Moonlight, James Laxton
lalalandWill Win: La La Land, Linus Sandgren
Could Win:
Lion, Grieg Fraser
Should Win: La La Land, Linus Sandgren
That opening scene of La La Land is enough to give Linus Sandgren the Cinematography award, but photography throughout the film was very well done. Oddly enough the American Society of Cinematographer’s gave this award to Lion, which was very well shot, but I’m surprised it got recognition over La La Land.
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Best Editing
Arrival, Joe Walker
Hacksaw Ridge, John Gilbert
Hell or High Water, Jake Roberts
La La Land, Tom Cross
Moonlight, Joi McMilon, Nat Sanders
moonlight6Will Win: La La Land, Tom Cross
Could Win: Hacksaw Ridge, John Gilbert
Should Win: Moonlight, Joi McMilon, Nat Sanders
This is a strong year for editing, I’d be thrilled to see any of these films win in this category. It looks like La La Land will likely win this category, but the more I think about it the more I appreciated the editing in Moonlight. It’s so deliberately paced and exposes a lot about its characters. I wish Manchester by the Sea had been nominated for Best Editing, I think that was a missed opportunity.
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Best Original Screenplay
Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan
La La Land, Damien Chazelle
The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
20th Century Women, Mike Mills
manchesterWill Win: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
Could Win: La La Land, Damien Chazelle
Should Win: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
This category is exceptionally tricky to predict this year. Usually the winners in the Writers Guild Awards are a good indicator of what will win, but this year the Academy had a different definition of what constituted an “Original” screenplay, meaning that at the Oscars, La La Land isn’t competing against the obvious adapted screenplay winner, Moonlight. So, I’m putting my faith in the Academy to not repeat the mistakes of the Golden Globes and give this award to Manchester by the Sea. The worst part about La La Land was the screenplay and Kenneth Lonergan wrote a film with subtlety and complexity and substance.
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Best Adapted Screenplay
Arrival, Eric Heisserer
Fences, August Wilson
Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
Lion, Luke Davies
Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
moonlight8Will Win: Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Could Win: Arrival, Eric Heisserer
Should Win: Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
It’s pretty clear that this award should and absolutely will go to Moonlight. Again, due to the Writers Guild Awards criteria, this is a bit harder to predict, but all signs are pointing to Moonlight. Arrival actually took this category at the Writers Guild Awards and it’s a clear runner-up. I was actively disappointed by the screenplays for Fences, Hidden Figures and Lion, their screenplays were actually their weakest points. One of those three should absolutely be omitted from this ballot to include Nocturnal Animals.
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Best Foreign Language Film
Land of Mine, Martin Zandvliet, Denmark
A Man Called Ove, Hannes Holm, Sweden
The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi, Iran
Tanna, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, Australia,
Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade, Germany
salesmanWill Win: The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi, Iran
Could Win: Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade, Germany
I didn’t get the opportunity to catch up with the foreign language nominees this year, but the political implications of The Salesman might actually push it far enough to win the award. The fact that the Academy can make an active statement against the Trump administration travel ban by inviting an Iranian director to accept an award should not play in to how people vote, but unfortunately, that’s not always the reality.
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The Oscars are TONIGHT on ABC at 7:30 (CT). I’ll be live tweeting during the event! Check out Parts 2 and 3 for the rest of my predictions.

**full disclosure: I was not able to catch up with the animated, live action and documentary shorts this year, so they have been omitted from my 2017 predictions**

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