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FINAL 2017 Academy Award Winners Predictions


We are just hours away from the 89th Academy Awards, and while true I waited until the last minute with this blog and there’s a chance you’re seeing this after the fact, it had to be done.  So we’ll go through all twenty-four categories and I’ll list who will win and who or what has the next-best chance, in other words what could upset.  In some categories, there are multiple nominees who could upset, so if that’s the case it’ll be two, and a brief reasoning on why I’m picking what I’m picking.  We’ll start with the smaller categories and work our way up.

Best Live-Action Short Film

The winner will be: Ennemis Interieurs

Could win: Silent Nights or Timecode

This is the one of the five that I’ve heard the most buzz about.  The other two also have their buzz, but it’s not quite as loud as Ennemis Interieurs.

Best Documentary Short Film

The winner will be: Joe’s Violin

Could win: Extremis, Watani: My Homeland, or The White Helmets

Extremis was a front-runner early on, but it seems the buzz on it is dying.  Then with all of the travel bans and everything else liberal Hollywood doesn’t like going on, Watani and White Helmets have been rising, but since they’re both targeting the same audiences, that leaves something else to rise up, in this case Joe’s Violin, which tackles the Holocaust, and those subject matters are also common winners in this category.

Best Animated Short Film

The winner will be: Piper

Could win: Pearl

This is the short category I’m most confident in.  Since the opening of Finding Dory, everyone has been talking about the short that played in front of it, in this case Piper.  I just don’t think anything can take it down.

Best Sound Editing

The winner will be: Hacksaw Ridge

Could win: Arrival or La La Land

Hacksaw Ridge has been doing very well in the past few weeks with the guild awards, including the sound guilds.  Arrival isn’t really a formidable threat in too many other categories, and with eight nominations there’s a chance it goes home with something.  And then La La Land is expected to almost sweep tonight, so if they blindly check this one off, it could win.  I think back to American Sniper (2014) which won this category over nominees like another potential sweeper, Birdman (2014).

Best Sound Mixing

The winner will be: La La Land

Could win: Arrival or Hacksaw Ridge

Sometimes the same film wins both sound categories, so there is a chance if Hacksaw wins the former it will win this one, too.  Still, musicals usually win this one, so the safe bet is La La Land.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

The winner will be: Star Trek Beyond

Could win: Suicide Squad

I just hate the sound of Oscar-winning film Suicide Squad, and while sure it made more money than Star Trek Beyond, the former’s more positive buzz might help it win out in the end, both both films do have great work.

Best Visual Effects

The winner will be: The Jungle Book

Could win: Not really anything else

Jungle Book has not stumbled anywhere, and I just can’t think of anything else they would prefer to award here.

Best Original Song

The winner will be: “City of Stars” from La La Land

Could win: “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

There are two La La Land songs nominated here, so in case they do cross each other out, which I don’t think will happen, Lin Manuel Miranda could win.  But since “City of Stars” has so much more going for it, its hard to say it will lose.

Best Original Score

The winner will be: La La Land

Could win: Not really anything else

Nothing has beat La La in this category all year long, and even non-La La Land Oscar voters have reportedly said they went for it.  I don’t think we need to say anything more.

Best Costume Design

The winner will be: La La Land

Could win: Jackie

Jackie won the BAFTA for costumes, but with that film losing steam all season long and a sweep vote predicted, I really think they’ll blindly vote for La La here, plus the Costume Designers Guild Award for Period Costumes went to Hidden Figures, so if Jackie can’t even win there without the competition of La La, I doubt it can win here.

Best Production Design

The winner will be: La La Land

Could win: Arrival

Even though I put Arrival could win, I seriously doubt it.  La La will probably have this one all to itself.

Best Film Editing

The winner will be: La La Land

Could win: Hacksaw Ridge or Arrival

While editor Tom Cross just won for Whiplash (2014) a little bit ago, Hacksaw won the BAFTA for Film Editing.  So we have that to consider.  This race reminds of the 2011 Oscars, where The Artist (2011) was the presumed winner, but Moneyball (2011) was also in the running.  Then it turned out a third contender no one was talking about, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) won.  So if that happens again, Arrival could take it.  Still, I’ll go with the sweep factor again.

Best Cinematography

The winner will be: La La Land

Could win: Lion

Lion won the Cinematographers Guild, so that could pull this one out, and it has five other nominations, so the Academy liked it overall.  But with almost every other cinematography award going to La La Land, its hard to say it’ll lose.

Best Foreign Language Film

The winner will be: The Salesman

Could win: Toni Erdmann

The early front-runner, Toni Erdmann, could still pull out a win here, especially with an American remake on the way starring Jack Nicholson, who came out of retirement to do the film.  But then again with the director of The Salesman refusing to go to the ceremony with Trump’s travel ban, the political movement there will help it to a victory.

Best Animated Feature

The winner will be: Zootopia

Could win: Kubo and the Two Strings

Zootopia has won just about everything under the sun, but with Kubo being the winner at BAFTA, that has a chance.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The winner will be: Moonlight

Could win: Hidden Figures

Moonlight won the Best Original Screenplay award at WGA, against competitors La La Land and Manchester by the Sea, who will be in the Oscar Original Screenplay category.  So while Hidden Figures won at SAG for Outstanding Cast and a lot of box office support, there’s just no other place to award it.  It’s still got an off chance, but I’ll stick with Moonlight.

Best Original Screenplay

The winner will be: Manchester by the Sea

Could win: La La Land

This is the toughest showdown we’ll have tonight.  While the former, Manchester, has the BAFTA win on its side, it also, at least by my calculations, won’t win anything else, and having five other nominations shows it does have support, so I’ll pick it.  But after The Artist, every Best Picture winner has also won its screenplay prize.  So La La Land, which won the Globe and tied at the Critic’s Choice Awards with Manchester, has some steam behind it, and again that sweep factor might play into its favor here.  Man, it’ll be close.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

The winner will be: Viola Davis for Fences

Could win: nobody else

This would be the upsets of upsets if Viola lost.  Even when she was the only nominee for the film at BAFTA and she’d already won two SAG awards, she won at all of those.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The winner will be: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Could win: Dev Patel for Lion

I did post a little while ago that I was going with Patel, put I’m wussing out and going with Mahershala for the win.  Moonlight has a lot more support than Lion does, he’s won more places like Critic’s Choice and SAG, and that was enough for both Alicia Vikander and Lupita Nyong’o to win their respective categories in the past even if they lost the other races.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

The winner will be: Emma Stone for La La Land

Could win: Isabelle Huppert for Elle

I really think Emma will win, but there’s an off chance Huppert could pull it out.  Sure, she’s missed out at a lot of awards ceremonies with just the nominations phase, but still there’s a lot of support for her.  But we have to think of other examples like Brie Larson and Jennifer Lawrence, younger actresses making great impressions with their work, like Emma did in La La, and that’s been enough to win, especially for Lawrence, who was in a close battle with Emmanuelle Riva that year.  And what happened?  The younger won.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

The winner will be: Denzel Washington for Fences

Could win: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea

Depending on when the screenplay categories are announced, I’ll either be very pleased or very upset with myself.  If Manchester loses that one, there is a high probability that Casey wins.  The thing that’s keeping me against going that way is Denzel’s win at SAG, which has correctly predicted this category for over a decade.  Plus Denzel’s role shows more outward acting and shouting and all that good stuff, whereas Casey’s role is quieter and more inward.  Usually the winner is the former when it comes down to that, so that’s why I’m going with Denzel.  Plus if he, Viola, and Mahershala win, it’ll be the first time in Oscar history that 3 out of the 4 acting winners are people of color.  And if Denzel wins, it’ll be his third, and he’ll be the first African-American actor to do so.

Best Director

The winner will be: Damien Chazelle for La La Land

Could win: Not really anybody else

He’s won DGA, BAFTA, Globe, you name it, he’s won it.  Damien better have his speech ready, cause he’s heading for the stage.

Best Picture

The winner will be: La La Land

Could win: Moonlight

I’ll say Moonlight could win just because, but seriously I doubt it.  Sure, it’s a good movie and everything, but everything has been going in La La‘s favor from the get-go in August with its premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

That’s all I’ve got for you.  Depending on how late the show goes, I might have a follow-up blog on how well I did and possibly offering any explanations for anything I missed, but if it does go very late I’ll just wait until the next day.  If anyone else is predicting, best of luck to you, and if you haven’t filled out a ballot yet, and you’ve just read my choices, hope I’ve helped.

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I am a gigantic movie nerd who spends his free time memorizing Oscar winners and nominees and seeing as many good movies as I can. I have always wanted to write about films, review films, and speculate on films, and hope that this site helps me get a couple of people who can agree or disagree with me.