On Sunday night, Hollywood will gather in Los Angeles to celebrate the Academy Awards and close the book on film in 2016. There will be plenty on fanfare, fashion, and I’m sure numerous jokes/references to Donald Trump. Either way, I’m excited to share my picks of who will win this year.
Like my previous prediction article, I will keep it brief and only discuss the awards for acting, directing, and best picture.
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
Even though Aaron Taylor-Johnson won the Golden Globe back in January, the Academy decided he wasn’t good enough to be nominated for an Oscar. The ever dependable Michael Shannon slots in his place. But no matter either way, Mahershala Ali will win for his portrayal of Juan in Moonlight. Hopefully his speech will be as good as the one he gave at the SAG Awards.
Best Supporting Actress
- Viola Davis, Fences
- Naomie Harris, Moonlight
- Nicole Kidman, Lion
- Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
- Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
I am no gambler – I leave that to the pros – but if I did I would absolutely throw money on Viola Davis winning. She is a virtual lock since she won the Golden Globes and the SAGs. Michelle Williams did a great job in Manchester by the Sea, but it was never going to eclipse Davis’ turn in Fences.
- Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
- Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
- Ryan Gosling, La La Land
- Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
- Denzel Washington, Fences
This category (and Best Director, more on that later) is one of the most difficult to predict. The front runner has always been Casey Affleck for his turn as grieving janitor Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea. However, Affleck has some demons from his past that are hindering his chances. It is now a two-horse race between him and Denzel Washington for his role in Fences after he upset Affleck at the SAGs. This would be Washington’s third Oscar and he already won a Tony when he did Fences on Broadway.
I do believe that Casey Affleck will win though. His performance is more nuanced and the Academy is known for awarding first timers – unless your last name is Streep.
If this was the award for Best Actor Who Played a Keytar then Gosling has it all but wrapped up.
- Isabelle Huppert, Elle
- Ruth Negga, Loving
- Natalie Portman, Jackie
- Emma Stone, La La Land
- Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
I got this category totally wrong in my predictions, inserting Amy Adams and Anette Benning over Streep (that was dumb) and Negga. Huppert nabbed the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama, but it will be Emma Stone who takes home the gold on Sunday. Her performance overshadowed a pretty decent Ryan Gosling, and will be vindication for having to be Jonah Hill’s girlfriend in Superbad.
- Damien Chazelle, La La Land
- Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
- Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
- Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
- Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Like Best Actor above, this is a two horse between Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins. Both did incredible jobs on each of their films but I do think the Academy is going to vote for Damien Chazelle. Jenkins seems like one of the most humble and genuine human beings on the planet, and I think he will get some solace for taking home Best Adapted Screenplay. Chazelle had his hand in pretty much every facet of La La Land, plus he also took home the Golden Globe and the Directors Guild Award. Just let it sink in that he’s only 32 .
- Hacksaw Ridge
- Hell or High Water
- Hidden Figures
- La La Land
- Manchester by the Sea
Once again, this is going to be a La La Land versus Moonlight matchup. For good measures I’ll also throw in Hidden Figures as a dark horse since it was insanely popular at the box office. Most signs point that La La Land will win this category, along with every other award it’s up for. But I have a feeling that Moonlight is going to pull the upset. I don’t need to go into how much I love Moonlight (I actually recently watched La La Land and actually didn’t like it as much as I did before: Gosling’s character is super annoying and their fight is super weak/easily avoidable), but this little film has affected a lot of people. Or it could be another instance where a film celebrating Los Angeles beats out a better movie.
Cover Photo courtesy of www.oscars.org
You can find JP on Twitter at @jp_rcs.