Saturday, February 25, 2017

Who Should Win? Who Will Win?

Followers of the blog will know that this is my most stressful post of the year!  I've done a lot of research into what the Oscars "experts" think will win, and then I try to add in my own opinion, as well.  If you win big, send me 5%! (haha)  Actually, if you win big, please help me next year by sharing some of the blog posts and help me turn others onto this lovable hobby of mine.  Without further ado...

Best Picture
Should Win: Hidden Figures
What a beautiful and important film with a story that I'm certain many of us didn't know.  Last week, I felt confident that this would win, much like last year when the conventional wisdom was that The Revenant would win and I still (correctly) called Spotlight.
Will Win: La La Land
To be clear (and if you read my review), I LOVED La La Land.  I'm a musicals groupie and seeing some of the old Hollywood musical brought back to life felt like slipping on a warm bathrobe.  Many have argued that this film is being voted on by people in La La Land who have made it despite their early struggles reflected in the film, and so conventional wisdom suggests that it will win.  I still have a 10% chance hope that Hidden Figures takes the prize.

Actor in a Leading Role
Should Win: Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
The role in Captain Fantastic was so well done and unique, and if you read my post, this was an incredible film.  This was Viggo's top performance in his career.
Will Win: Denzel Washington, Fences
Ok guys, this is a tough one.  Casey Affleck has had the momentum and has been the presumptive winner for the entire awards season.  He's captured a large majority of the awards given out so far. But the SAG awards are the most predictive for acting awards - in the last two years, all four of the winners at SAG were the winners at the Oscars.  It doesn't happen every time in every category, but when Washington won at SAG, it completely changed my prediction.  Having said that, Affleck might still be the safer bet, so choose carefully!

Actor in a Supporting Role
Should Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Will Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Like Dame Judy Dench before him, time on screen is not a good predictor of who should or will win. His performance was so powerful, and he's won almost everything in this category along the way.

Actress in a Leading Role
Should Win: Emma Stone, La La Land
Although that Isabelle Huppert was amazing in Elle.
Will Win: Emma Stone, La La Land

Actress in a Supporting Role
Should Win: Viola Davis, Fences
CAN I GET AN AMEN! Nobody even comes close this year.

Animated Feature Film
Should Win: My Life as a Zucchini or Zootopia
Will Win: Zootopia
In addition to cleaning up in most of the awards shows, this film is the most relevant to what we are seeing today.  The government telling you something doesn't mean it's true and doesn't mean it shouldn't be investigated.  Sound familiar?

Should Win: Arrival
The work on this film was amazing.  Shooting in dark spaces with strange lighting, multiple kinds of settings, landscape and tight spaces, really great work.
Will Win: La La Land
Also wonderful work, but I thought Arrival was better.

Costume Design
Should Win: Jackie
It was a gratuitous part of the film, but that scene where Jackie tries on all of her favorite outfits was priceless.
Will Win: Well..... it's going to be La La Land or Jackie
Here's the thing, Jackie did not win it's award at the costumers awards show and La La Land did.  I still can't decide, but the odds are that the "sweeper" film will do better than not, so if you're betting, I suspect the safer bet is La La Land.  But historically, the costume awards really go to period or fantasy pieces, somehow the costume design category isn't colored by rose glasses.  But I admit I have a secret suspicion this could be one of the rare upsets.

Should Win: Damian Chazelle
Will Win: Damian Chazelle

Documentary Feature
Should Win: 13th
Possibly the most important documentary of the year.
Will Win: OJ: Made in America
This epic 8 hour documentary is an unbelievable accomplishment (read my blog post about Documentary Features to see why), and I think people will want to honor the craft of this film as much as the story it tells.  Want to hear something interesting? This film, 13th, and I Am Not Your Negro all used the exact same piece of historical footage in their documentaries.  Watch for it.

Documentary Short Subject
Should Win: Extremis
I sobbed.  I sobbed.  I sobbed.
Will Win: The White Helmets
I know my rule is generally "never bet against the Holocaust story" (Joe's Violin), but this film is so timely, and Hollywood will relish showing good people doing heroic things in Syria, as much as a snub to this administration as anything else.  Also, I cried... a lot.

Film Editing
Should Win: La La Land
Will Win: La La Land
The freeway scene alone.

Foreign Language Film
Should Win: A Man Called Ove
Can I please beg you to see this movie?  It's available as a DVD on Netflix.
Will Win: The Salesman
It's enough that this film was very good and shows a different side of how we think about average Iranians, but the travel ban/suspension is more than enough for Hollywood to send a screw you to the President to get them to vote for this film.

Makeup and Hairstyling
Should Win: Star Trek Beyond
Will Win: Star Trek Beyond

Original Score
Should Win: La La Land
Will Win: La La Land

Original Song:
Should Win: How Far I'll Go, Moana 
Can I get a what what for my man Lin-Manuel Miranda!
Will Win: City of Stars, La La Land

Production Design
Should Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I mean, every Harry Potter film SHOULD HAVE won this category.
Will Win: La La Land
For that very last montage alone.

Animated Short Film
Should Win: Piper
Will Win: Piper
I'm notoriously bad at picking this category but my other favorite was Pearl.

Live Action Short Film
Should Win: Ennemis Interieurs
This film is incredibly important and timely and is tied for my two favorites.
Will Win: Timecode
Ok, my favorite Oscars predictors have picked Ennemis Interieurs and La Femme et le TGV.  But the live action short category has a history of picking lighthearted, adorable, funny films over their more serious competitors.  You absolutely must see this film, so I'm going with Timecode.

Sound Editing
Should Win: Deepwater Horizon
Will Win: Hacksaw Ridge
Sound Editing loves war movies.  Full stop.

Sound Mixing
Should Win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Will Win: La La Land
Sound Mixing loves musicals.  Full stop.

Visual Effects
Should Win: Dr. Strange
No kidding, that was the most creative, beautiful effects I've seen since Avatar.
Will Win: The Jungle Book
The entire movie was basically visual effects of animals around one live kid.  That's pretty impressive.

Adapted Screenplay
Should Win: Moonlight
My second choice would be Lion, but Moonlight is the darling of Hollywood.  There was even talk of this upsetting the Best Picture category!
Will Win: Moonlight

Original Screenplay
Should Win: I'd like to make a plug for 20th Century Women here, and also for The Lobster.
Will Win: Manchester By The Sea
The "big reveal" is so gut wrenching.  Very well told story (sorry, my friends who hated it.)

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