Oscar Predictions 2017

Oscar is fickle, and famously difficult to predict. But that will not stop me from trying, anyway. mv5bmzuzndm2nzm2mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwntm3ntg4ote-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_

Best Picture

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.

Lead Actor

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.

Lead Actress

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.

Supporting Actor

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.

Supporting Actress

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.




Best Picture?
Best Picture?

As promised, here are my predictions for the winners in the major categories of the 2015 Academy Awards.  I should humbly remind you that I have correctly picked the best picture for the past three years–The Artist, Argo, and 12 Years A Slave.  I am right more often than wrong in the other categories as well.  In case you want to skip straight to best picture first, it is at the end of the post.

Actress in a Supporting Role

The nominees are Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern, Keira Knightley, Emma Stone, and Meryl Streep.

The only major movie I’ve not seen is Wild, so I didn’t see Dern’s performance.  That doesn’t keep me from making an educated prediction, though.  I didn’t think much of either Stone or Streep’s performance, so that leaves it to Knightley and Arquette.  Knightley did a great job in The Imitation Game, but I think it is Arquette who will win.  Oscar will pretend to identify with the single mother trying to raise two kids.

Actor in a Supporting Role

The nominees are Robert Duvall, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo, and J. K. Simmons.

All of these guys put out amazing performances, even Norton who was stuck in a terrible movie.  Robert Duvall could win.  His portrayal in The Judge was just about perfect.  Mark Ruffalo was the best actor in Foxcatcher, but he will not win.  J. K. Simmons will win.  His performance in Whiplash is iconic.  It’s the kind of role people will still be talking about in a decade.

Actress in a Leading Role

The nominees are Marion Cotillard, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, and Reese Witherspoon.

Okay, this is my weakest category in selecting.  As I said earlier I have not seen Wild (Witherspoon) nor have I seen Two Days, One Night or Still Alice because those just arrived this week in our area.  It is very frustrating for Oscar to nominate movies that can’t be seen!   However, this will not stop me from making a prediction.

I did not like Gone Girl, and did not understand why Rosamund Pike was nominated.  Felicity Jones was really good in The Theory of Everything, but she will not win for a role that reminds me a lot of Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind.  I think Julianne Moore will win.  I base this simply on the buzz of her movie and the powerful topic.

Actor in a Leading Role

The nominees are Steve Carrell, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, and Eddie Redmayne.

All of these, with the exception of Michael Keaton, are worthy candidates.  I could see either Cumberbatch or Cooper winning in an upset.  However, Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking is the winner.  There just doesn’t seem to be any other way.  It is a shame that the competition has to be so fierce because I really loved Cooper and Cumberbatch.


The nominees are Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Richard Linklater, Bennette Miller, Wes Anderson, and Morten Tyldum.

It is curious that Clint Eastwood was left off this list for American Sniper.  Certainly his direction of that film was far superior to either Anderson or the miserable slop Iñárritu gave us.  It wouldn’t matter though.  The clear winner here is Linklater.  Making that film over a twelve year period of time, plus the style in which it was filmed, put him head and shoulders above everyone else.

Best Picture

The nominees are American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.

Birdman, Budapest,and Selma have no chance.  The only gemstone in Selma is David Oyelowo.  Aside form that it is only sentiment.  Whiplash has a punchers chance, but it is carried by the acting and I don’t think it will win.  Theory has plot holes and dialogue problems.

It really comes down to Sniper, Boyhood, and ImitationBoyhood is the favorite, having won so many previous awards.  However, I don’t think Boyhood will win.  It is a great groundbreaking film, but the story doesn’t compel the way the others do.  Sniper should win.  You heard me right, it should win.  Put the politics aside and you will see a great movie about a heroically flawed man attempting to do the best he knew how to do.

However, because of the politics, Sniper will not win.  I just don’t think Oscar will do that.

Therefore, my selection is The Imitation Game.  Oscar loves a good story about a social injustice.  By selecting The Imitation Game The Academy can feel good about itself, and that is exactly what they will do.

image from movy.com.au


Before we begin, let me humbly remind you that I picked the winner for the last two years (Argo, The Artist) as well as most of the other categories.  So, having reminded you of that, let’s get straight to the prognostication, shall we?  If you like, you can detour here and read my synopsis of the best picture nominees if you click here or for an analysis of Oscar’s psychological state when choosing these films click here.

Best Picture

Best Picture?  Probably That and More
Best Picture? Probably That and More
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

The winner will be 12 Years A Slave.  It has to be.  Philomena and Nebraska are tied for runner up and I would not be mad if either of them won or even if Gravity or Captain Phillips won.  However, I think in the end, 12 Years a Slave was the best movie of them all.  Her is creepy and Dallas Buyers has too many problems with the overall production.  If Wolf or Hustle win I will be very, very angry.


  • Christian Bale (Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers)

The winner will be Matthew McConaughey.  More than any other actor I’ve seen in years, McConaughey was able to make me forget I was watching a movie and make me think I was watching a documentary of the real person.  Bravo Mr. McConaughey.  Bravo.

As an aside, I wonder if Leo DiCaprio will ever again portray someone who is not rich and powerful.  That seems to be all he plays these days.


  • Amy Adams (Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August:  Osage County)

The Winner will be Judi Dench.  Her only real competition on this list is Bullock who did a great job in Gravity, but this is Dench’s year.  Streep’s portrayal of the matriarch in August:  Osage County was overplayed and caricatured.  Blanchet was good in Blue Jasmine but not Oscar worthy and Amy Adams was not even the most impressive actresses on her own set.  Dench needs to win to make up for the snub she and Skyfall got at the Oscars last year.

Supporting Actor

  • Barkhad Abdi (Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 years)
  • Jonah Hill (Wolf)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers)

The winner will be Michael Fassbender.  Fassbender is a superb actor who conjures great intensity with his eyes and posture.  His portrayal of the cruel slave owner was breathtakingly evil.  Leto and Abdi are close seconds.  Hill and Cooper have no shot.  I personally hope that Jonah Hill’s moment of glory is just about up.  I do not like him.  Besides, Fassbender sports an awesome beard and that is worth a lot of votes right there.

Supporting Actress

  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years)
  • Julia Roberts (August:  Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)

The winner will be Julia Roberts.  It is a tight three-way race between Roberts, Lawrence, and Squibb but I think in the end Roberts will pull it out.  I don’t see how Oscar can give an award to Lawrence, 23 years old, two years in a row.  Squibb was wonderful in Nebraska, but she was overshadowed by Dern.  By contrast, Julia Roberts swiped August out from underneath Meryl Streep and that is not easy to do, so she will win the Oscar.


  • Steve McQueen (12 Years)
  • David O. Russell (Hustle)
  • Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  • Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
  • Martin Scorsese (Wolf)

The winner will be Alfonso Cuaron.  He will win much for the same reasons that Ang Lee won last year.  His film was eye candy from top to bottom and he made a one woman science fiction movie interesting and profitable.  His only real competition is McQueen.  However, in the end, I think it will be Cuaron.

You can be sure that Sunday night I will be watching the Oscars live, and probably tweeting out live during the show.  I do hope Ellen does a better job than that awful man from last year.

Picture from thewrap.com