Today is the finale. Today is the finale of the 2016 film award season, and with Jimmy Kimmel hosting, I think it will be a grand one.
Coming into tonight, La La Land—nominated for 14 awards—is the projected to be the film that sweeps The Academy. I will not be mad if that were the case because La La Land is indeed a magical cinematic experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, does it deserve all of the attention tonight? Not at all.
2016 had a few great gems that deserve more attention. Moonlight, for example, is nominated for eight awards tonight, but I fear that they may not win as many as they should. Moonlight was the best film of 2016, hands down; it was a true work of art, and seeing it get undermined by La La Land truly hurts my heart.
Additionally, Hidden Figures is the real underestimated gem that may go unacknowledged tonight. Nominated for three Oscars, I fear that Hidden Figures will walk away empty handed.
This is going to be an interesting night, and I’m oh so excited. With that being said, please check out my Oscar predictions for 2017.
The Nominees: La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Fences, Lion, Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water
Reaction: This is the strongest Best Picture category since the 2013 class. It genuinely feels wonderful to see such a robust list of black films, from Moonlight, to Fences, to Hidden Figures. I am moved. I am proud. I am ecstatic.
Prediction: Like mentioned before, 2016 was a great year for cinema. So much so, that I think more than one film in this category is Oscar worthy. With that being said, Moonlight deserves this honor, most of all. La La Land will win tonight, but Moonlight gave us an authentic tale that followed a character that Hollywood needed. Moonlight tackled the intersections of class, race and sexuality, which is essential for the big screen. It would be pleasant if Moonlight won the Oscar, but base off award season momentum, La La Land will be the 2017 Best Picture winner.
Best Actor in a Leading Role:
The Nominees: Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Denzel Washington (Fences), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Prediction: This category is tricky. At the inception of the award season, Casey Affleck was receiving all of the buzz. However, when Denzel Washington won the Screen Actors Guild, it made this race a tad more interesting. I think Denzel Washington will win, especially since he is the most deserving. If he doesn’t, Affleck will win his first Oscar tonight.
The Nominees: Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Ruth Negga (Loving)
Natalie Portman was the frontrunner before the season even started, but as time progressed, the frontrunner became difficult to label. Emma Stone is one of my favorite Hollywood actresses, but she does NOT deserve this award tonight. However, I think that she will take home the Oscar.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
The Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
Mahershala Ali was only in the first act of Moonlight, but he was brilliant in every second. He will win tonight. Make sure you all tune in to watch his acceptance speech.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
The Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Prediction: Viola Davis has swept the season, and she will tonight :)
The Nominees: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge),
Prediction: Damien Chazelle has won just about every award this year. He will certainly win the Oscar.
Best Original Screenplay:
The Nominees: La La Land: Damien Chazelle, Hell or High Water: Taylor Sheridan, Manchester by the Sea: Kenneth Lonergan, The Lobster: Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, 20th Century Women: Mike Mills
Prediction: La La Land
Best Writing Adapted Screenplay
The Nominees: Moonlight: Barry Jenkins and Tarell McCraney, Arrival: Eric Heisserer, Lion: Luke Davies, Fences: August Wilson, Hidden Figures: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Prediction: Though this is a difficult category, I think Moonlight will win.
Best Cinematography: La La Land
Best Original Song: “City of Stars” from La La Land
Best Original Score: La La Land
Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia
Best Documentary Feature: 13th
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman (Iran)
Best Sound Editing: Arrival
Best Sound Mixing: La La Land
Production Design: Arrival
Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad
Best Costume Design: Jackie
Best Film Editing: Arrival