This Sunday marks the 89th Academy Awards. After a very disappointing summer, 2016 turned out to be a very good year for movies with some of the best movies released in quite a few years. Here are my predictions for the major awards along with who I think should win.
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea
Who Should Win: La La Land was a glorious throwback to classic Hollywood. It speaks to movie lovers unlike any other film this year. From the dazzling opening number to the heartbreaking, yet magical finale. There is no question, La La Land absolutely deserves all the praise it’s received and the Oscar for Best Picture.
Who Will Win: La La Land is the favourite. Any other movie winning would be an upset.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences
Who Should Win: Casey Affleck gave a subdued, but powerful performance in Manchester By The Sea. It was extremely raw and heartfelt. He gives it everything. There is a scene in particular, which will be brought up again later I suspect, that is one of the most real and heartfelt scenes I have seen in years. It’s incredible. He deserves the award.
Who Will Win: Casey Affleck. This is a really competitive category. It’s down to a three man race between Affleck, Gosling, and Washington. I am going to say Affleck will take it, but if La La Land just steam rolls the Oscars, Gosling could easily take it, and because Washington won the SAG, he appears to be the front runner right now. All three gave powerhouse performances (as did Andrew Garfield), but Affleck was the early favourite and I think he will end up wining.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
Who Should Win: Emma Stone was charming, charismatic, and captivating from beginning to end. She sings, she dances, she’s funny, dramatic. It’s the kind of performance you go to the movies to see. While Natalie Portman was also very good, Stone is what really drives La La Land’s charming story. Without her, La La Land would not work.
Who Will Win: Emma Stone has got it in the bag.
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
Who Should Win: Damien Chazelle has created a musical masterpiece. All you need to do is watch the first sequence to understand why Chazelle deserves the award. The gorgeous one take dance sequences, the use of lighting to bring focus to the characters emotional states. This is one of the best directed films I have ever seen in a very long time. Chazelle deserves this award. No question.
Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle is almost the biggest lock of the night.
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
Who Should Win: Dev Patel was so good in Lion. I’ve been a huge fan of him since Slumdog Millionaire, my favourite movie, and here he gives and even better performance. He brings so much heart to the role. Should he actually be in the Best Lead Actor category? Probably, but his performance is the one that moved me the most out of the nominees and he is the one that I think does deserve to win, but they all gave great performances.
Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali. Just like the Lead Actor category, this is another tough one. The wins have been all over the map this year. The BAFTA went to Dev Patel, the SAG went to Mahershala Ali and the Golden Globe winner wasn’t even nominated! The SAG award is the biggest predictor and so if you have to put money on it, bet on Ali.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spence – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea
Who Should Win: This is one of the best acting categories I have seen in years. Besides Octavia Spencer (sorry) all of them are deserving and I would be extremely happy with any of the other four winning. Not that Octavia Spencer was bad, she was still very good, she just didn’t much compared to the other four nominees. The four other nominees all gave terrific, moving, powerful performances. Viola Davis was the best part of Fences for me. I didn’t care much for the movie, but she was terrific in it. Nicol Kidman gives an incredibly moving performance as the adoptive mother of Dev Patel’s character. She brings a lot of humanity, and motherly love to the movie. Naomie Harris is incredibly convincing as a poor, drug addicted mom who struggles to raise her son. One of the final scenes between her and her son is incredibly moving and heartbreaking. Michelle Williams gives a heartbreaking performance as a woman struggling with loss. The scene between her and Casey Affleck near the end of the movie is one of the most real, raw, and emotional scenes I can think of in a very long time. All four are deserving. If I were giving the award out though, it would go to Michelle Williams. Just watch that scene. It is heartbreaking.
Who Will Win: Viola Davis gave such a powerful performance. Just like Michelle Williams, she has an incredible, powerful scene where she just lays it all on the floor. It’s mesmerizing. She is pretty much a lock.
I love the Oscars. As a movie lover, I love having a night that celebrates all things movies. Yes there are politics involved, but politics are in nearly everything nowadays. For me, this is my Super Bowl. It’s a night that I get excited for, and it is a night that I can sit down and enjoy my love for the movies.