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My 2017 Oscar Winning Predictions

From the Brooklyn girl who watched every movie nominated.

We’re literally days away from the biggest award show in film — the Oscars!

Every year after the nominations have been announced, I sit through every movie and watch (or re-watch) them to make my own assessments. With 2016 being one of the best years in film, from the stories that were told, to the immense diversity and exceptional actors, this award season is pretty tough to judge and though I am not a pro at reviewing films, I have seen many and always get about 85 percent of the winners correct.

Here are my 2017 Oscar predictions, with my own personal thought on who should actually win if it doesn’t agree with my predictions:

My 2017 Oscar Predictions

Hidden Figures movie poster.

Best Picture

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Predicated Winner: Hidden Figures

Had this movie come out after the Oscars deadline (as I believe it was originally supposed to) Moonlight would have been a sure thing. Though Hidden Figures, sadly, won’t win much in any other category, I do believe they’ll come out on top. The entire cast, direction, music, and story was perfect.

My Personal Pick: Hacksaw Ridge

This phenomenal film tells the true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who saved 75 men in Okinawa, during the bloodiest battle of WWII, without touching a gun and lived to tell the story. The lead is exquisitely played by actor, Andrew Garfield.


Best Actress

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

Predicted Winner: Emma Stone

I don’t want to be a party killer — BUT WHAT IS THE HYPE OVER LA LA LAND? Look, it was a subpar movie. For it to be a musical, the casting directors went with the hottest people in Hollywood, rather than the guys next door who’s vocals blow through the roof. Emma wouldn’t be my choice, but I know they’re going to give it to her. If we’re lucky, the Academy may think twice and give it to Isabelle Huppert, who would be the better choice.

My Personal Pick: Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep was breathtaking in Florence Foster Jenkins. Really, Meryl is always a winner in the roles she chooses but in this film she played Florence — a true character who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer, even though she had a horrible voice — and Meryl slayed every single second of the film.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

Denzel Washington alondside Viola Davis in Fences. | Photo via Vimeo

Best Actor

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Predicted Winner: Denzel Washington

I don’t remember a bad Denzel Washington movie. If the Academy can get past the sad, one dimensional character Casey Affleck played in Manchester by the Sea, Denzel totally has this award in the bag. He gave a riveting performance and Fences will definitely go down as one of the better of the best films Denzel’s ever starred in.

My Personal Pick: Viggo Mortensen

Personally, I believe Captain Fantastic was hugely overlooked during this award circuit. The film follows a father, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), whose wife and six children live in the wilderness. Ben and Leslie devote their lives to raising their children — homeschooling them, training them to be physically fit and becoming one with nature. After his wife dies suddenly, Ben must take his children outside of the wild for the first time. Everything that comes after that is powerful and heartfelt.

Mortensen played the hell out of this role and the entire cast was phenomenal. I would have personally swapped out Arrival for this film’s spot on the Best Picture nominee list.


Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Predicted Winner: Viola Davis

I’m still trying to figure out why Viola Davis was not nominated as Best Actress as she was the lead, alongside Denzel Washington in Fences. She’s a sure win in this category and would have been also under Best Actress. She had snot running down her nose during her insanely powerful monologue for God’s sake.

My Personal Pick: Naomie Harris

I would only go with Naomie Harris because Viola deserves the Best Actress award. If Viola would have been correctly placed, Naomie, playing a drug addicted mother to her gay son in Moonlight, would have snatched this award right up.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

Mahershala Ali in Moonlight. | Photo via A24

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

Predicted Winner: Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali is the reason why Moonlight was such a beautiful film. This movie follows a story that doesn’t always get told in Hollywood — a young gay Black man who accepts but also gravely struggles with his sexuality. Mahershala serves at that boy’s guiding light throughout the film and instantly captures your heart.

My Personal Pick: Mahershala Ali

He’s really the best in this category.


Best Director

Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
Hacksaw Ridge – Mel Gibson
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

Predicted Winner: Damien Chazelle

The director’s main job is to oversee the ‘tone’ of the movie and to direct the actors as to how something should be performed. Damien Chazelle did an amazing job with this in La La Land. From the first cut of the film with hundreds of cars stuck in LA traffic to the singing and dancing while waiting to get out of it, Chazelle nailed the direction.

My Personal Pick: Mel Gibson and Barry Jenkins

I couldn’t decide on just one. Both of these directors, in my humble opinion, did a phenomenal job putting these films together.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

Moonlight movie poster.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival – Eric Heisserer
Fences – August Wilson
Hidden Figures – Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Lion – Luke Davies
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins and Alvin McCraney

Predicted Winner: Moonlight

Moonlight is a beautiful story in which the film made it even more heartfelt. The writing is superb and from the beginning pulls the audience in. No doubt this will go home with this award.

My Personal Pick: Fences

Sometimes taking a book or play and bringing it to the big screen doesn’t translate the same but having seeing Fences on Broadway with the same cast, the film nails it. August Wilson is a genius writer and should be honored for all his historic work.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

LA LA Land movie poster.

Best Original Screenplay

20th Century Women – Mike Mills
Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

Predicted Winner: La La Land

This musical was made for the big screen. The story resonates with many. Going after your dreams even when life knocks you down, and turning that into a musical was pretty genius.

My Personal Pick: La La Land

Even thought I don’t get the hype over this film, it is the best in this particular category. Hoping they bring this story to Broadway to see how it would translate live on stage.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

Zootopia movie poster.

Best Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Predicted Winner: Zootopia

I want to believe in this time of grave political controversy that Zootopia and it’s distinct take on ‘animal’ supremacy and a political figure playing fear against inclusivity will win this award. It’s not only perfect timing to do so, but the movie is just that damn good. Zootopia recently won Best Animated Feature at the 44th Annie Awards and also won at the Golden Globes — an Oscar would seal the deal.

My Personal Pick: Zootopia

Every adult should see this film. It goes beyond animation to tell a deeper story. It should win every award it’s nominated for.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

The Salesman movie poster.

Best Foreign Language Film

A Man Called Ove – Sweden
Land of Mine – Denmark
The Salesman – Iran
Tanna – Australia
Toni Erdmann – Germany

So I lied. I heaven’t see any of these films — though I plan to in the coming days and update this category. How amazing would it be to see The Salesman win in America though? Talk about the Academy making a political statement without having to say anything.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

13th movie poster.

Best Documentary Feature

13th
Fire At Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
OJ: Made in America

Predicted Winner: 13th

Ava DuVernay did a powerful job of exploring the history of racial inequality in the United States, and how the 13th Amendment has allowed the nation’s prisons to disproportionately and unjustly be filled with African-Americans.

My Personal Choice: 13th, I Am Not Your Negro

Both of these film are extremely political and important. I was left speechless and informed. Can two documentaries win at the same time?


Best Original Song

La La Land – “Audition” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
La La Land – “City of Stars” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Moana – “How Far I’ll Go” by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Trolls – “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
Jim: The James Foley Story – “The Empty Chair” by J Ralph and Sting

Predicted Winner: “How Far I’ll Go” by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton creator and master composer Lin-Manuel Miranda could be hitting a major milestone by entering the small group of EGOT winners — Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, Tony. Having already won GRAMMYs for both In The Heights and Hamilton cast recordings, three Tony awards and an Emmy, this Oscar could (and would) seal the deal.

My Personal Pick: “How Far I’ll Go” by Lin-Manuel Miranda

I’ve seen both In The Heights and Hamilton on Broadway and Lin-Manuel has yet to fail me with music. I think the Academy will agree.


Best Original Score

Jackie – Mica Levi
La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
Lion – Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
Moonlight – Nicholas Britell
Passengers – Thomas Newton

Predicted Winner: La La Land

It’s the modern musical, and while it won’t win Best Original Song, it’ll take home the award for the full musical.

My Personal Pick: La La Land

It’s the best in this category — pretty sure they’ll take this one home.


Best Cinematography

Arrival – Bradford Young
La La Land – Linus Sandgren
Lion – Greig Fraser
Moonlight – James Laxton
Silence – Rodrigo Prieto

Predicted Winner: La La Land

Cinematography dumbed down is simply visual art or as No Film School puts it — technical mastery, originality and innovation, and artistry and vision. La La Land does that. Though it wouldn’t be my number one pick, I do feel the Academy will award Linus Sandgren with his first Oscar.

My Personal Pick: Moonlight, Lion

When a film is not just great, but also great to look at, that’s amazing cinematography to me. Both Moonlight and Lion captured pure beauty in every scene.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins and Hugh Grant as St Clair Bayfield in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS. | Photo via Paramout Pictures/Nick Wall

Best Costume Design

Allied – Joanna Johnston
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Colleen Atwood
Florence Foster Jenkins – Consolata Boyle
Jackie – Madeline Fontaine
La La Land – Mary Zophres

Predicted Winner: Consolata Boyle

Though a number of reviewers are calling Madeline Fontaine, the costume designer for Jackie, the big winner in this category, I believe Consolata Boyle will be the Academy’s pick and award her her first Oscar.

My Personal Pick: Colleen Atwood, Consolata Boyle

The fashions in both Florence Foster Jenkins and Fantastic Beasts were stunning. Atwood has been previously nominated eleven times for an Academy Award in the Best Costume Design category — winning three times for the films Chicago in 2002, Memoirs of a Geisha in 2005, and Alice in Wonderland in 2010.

Boyle has been previously nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work on The Queen in 2006.


My 2017 Oscar Predictions

Photo via Bago Games/Flickr CC

Best Make-up and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove – Eva Von Bahr and Love Larson
Star Trek Beyond – Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
Suicide Squad – Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Predicted Winner: Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo

Joel Harlow previously won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling in 2009 for his work on Star Trek and I’m pretty sure he’ll win again this year.

My Personal Pick: Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo

The Star Trek series always nails it in hair and make-up. Small category and they’re the best in it.

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