Oscar Predictions: Part 3

<> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.

Part 3 of my Oscar predictions. You can read part 1 here, part 2 here and my Best Picture pick. This post includes the following categories:

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences
mbs8Will Win: Denzel Washington, Fences
Could Win: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Should Win: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
This category had been pretty much a lock for Casey Affleck for most of the season but after some sexual harassment allegations from his past resurfaced, I’m not as confident. The biggest indicator on who will win the acting categories usually comes from the SAG Awards and this year the Best Actor award went to Denzel Washington. He was great in Fences, but its definitely a big performance. Honestly, it’s like a stage performance – which isn’t bad – but I appreciated Casey Affleck’s smaller, more nuanced tragedy in Manchester by the Sea much more.
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Best Actress
Emma Stone, La La Land
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Ruth Negga, Loving
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
lala8-copyWill Win: Emma Stone, La La Land
Could Win: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Should Win: Emma Stone, La La Land
This is pretty much guaranteed for Emma Stone and she totally deserves it. What’s on the page for her character in La La Land is so flat and two dimensional, but she makes her interesting. Emma Stone makes her relatable and charming, but somehow not sickening. I really think she’s getting this award for a scene that happens just a little more than half way through the film where she expresses some very honest doubt about whether she’s “good enough”. That could have been a throw away moment for a lesser actor but Emma Stone made it very memorable and it was the first time I truly connected with that film. Isabelle Huppert is the strong runner-up in this category but I would be very surprised to see anyone other than Emma Stone win. Also, how is Taraji P. Henson not nominated in this category???
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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
moonlight10Will Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Could Win: Dev Patel, Lion
Should Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
This category is a no-brainer – Mahershala Ali will and absolutely should win this award. His character has very little screen time in Moonlight but his impact is felt throughout the entire film. There’s been sort of a late campaign push for Deve Patel in this category, but I still think this is a lock for Mahershala Ali.
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Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
fences7Will Win: Viola Davis, Fences
Could Win: No one else.
Should Win: Viola Davis, Fences
We’re finally going to give Viola Davis an Oscar! and she TOTALLY deserves it. She gives a stellar performance in Fences. She’s up against some of the best performances this year – this category is definitely my favorite out of all of the acting categories in 2017, but she’s been the crystal clear front-runner pretty much since Fences opened. Honestly, I wish they had submitted her for Best Actress, because I think she could have won over Emma Stone and that would allow Naomie Harris to win this category for her amazing performance in Moonlight.
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Best Director
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
gallery-1477344433-barry-jenkins-01-david-bornfriend-courtesy-of-a24Will Win: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Could Win: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Should Win: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
It’s taken me a lot of thinking to try and figure out how I feel about this category. I’ve listened to interviews with both Chazelle and Jenkins this year about the unique challenges of making their respective films and it’s nearly impossible to compare. These two men represent two completely different things; Chazelle is a super talented, dedicated Ivy League graduate from the east coast who had a large budget to put together La La Land. Even if I wasn’t thrilled with the final product, Damien Chazelle was ambitious and smart about how he put La La Land together. On the other side, Barry Jenkins another super talented man who grew up in the same impoverished area that Moonlight takes place in, took a micro-budget, almost no-name actors and a ridiculously short shooting schedule and made something beautiful. He assembled an excellent team and the final product was impressive and touching. So, I think Damien Chazelle is pretty much a guarantee to win this category, but I think Barry Jenkins did something equally, if not more, effective with very few resources.
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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 one and two of my predictions and my Best Picture pick!

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