Oscar is fickle, and famously difficult to predict. But that will not stop me from trying, anyway.
The nominees are Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Lion, Manchester By The Sea, and Moonlight.
I would like for Arrival, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, or Hidden Figures to win. I don’t think any of them will. Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight are the arthousish favorites, but I don’t think those will win either. Hollywood loves itself more than anything else, and that is why La La Land will win. I am four of the last five on this, with the only recent year I was wrong being the dreaded Birdman year. I am still angry that Birdman won. For a complete summary of my take on all the best picture nominees, click here.
The nominees are Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), and Denzel Washington (Fences).
Let’s narrow this down. Gosling can’t win because Emma Stone upstaged him in every scene they were in. Casey Affleck can’t win because his character was not that complicated. Viggo Mortensen–just no. No. So that leaves Garfield and Washington (sounds like a Presidential election, doesn’t it?) to consider. I think Garfield has a punchers chance, but Denzel Washington wins this one.
The nominees are Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins).
Disclaimer–I didn’t seen Elle. I can’t find it anywhere. That doesn’t keep me from saying Ruth Negga should win this award, hands down. Her work in Loving was beyond superlatives. Portman and Streep were great in their movies, but not even in the same universe as Negga. Emma Stone could win, because La La Land is so beloved and Emma Stone did a great job in that movie, but I think it should go to Negga because of the beautiful way she played such a complicated character.
The nominees are Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), and Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals).
Disclaimer: I didn’t see Nocturnal Animals.
I’d like Jeff Bridges to win, just because he plays a Texas Ranger so well, but I don’t think he will. I think this award goes to Mahershala Ali, and that is okay with me because he did a fantastic job in Moonlight.
The nominees are Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), and Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea).
First, Nicole Kidman doesn’t belong on this list. Second, Oscar got the wrong woman from Hidden Figures. It should have been Taraji P. Henson who got the nomination. Third, Viola Davis should be nominated for lead actress, not supporting actress.
The winner should be Viola Davis, without any other discussion.
Dennis Villeneuve (Arrival), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Damien Chazelle (La La Land) Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight).
The big story here is Mel Gibson. It seems like his time in exile might be over. He will not win, though. I would give the award to Villeneuve for Arrival, but the winner will be Chazelle for La La Land.
Okay, those are my picks for the big categories. You know I’ll have the popcorn popped and the red Kool-Aid a plenty Sunday night.