Oscar Predictions 2016

Another year, another Oscar’s crop. While not as controversial as last year’s #Oscarssowhite, there’s still plenty to discuss for 2016 in film, including: who’s going to lose to La La Land? Is 14 nominations really enough for a movie like La La Land? And, most importantly, who the hell doesn’t like La La Land? Anyway, lets get to it.

I’ll be grading my predictions in the inevitable breakdown coming in the next few days, so these actually count for something. Sorta.

 

Best Picture

Who Will Win:

la-la-land

La La Land. As much as I love this film, it ticks almost every Oscar box under the sun. About Hollywood? Check. Two attractive, popular (and white) leads? Check. Showcases how important films are in order to stroke the academy’s ego? Check and check. If there’s any sure win on the night, its going to be this one.

Who Should Win:

la-la-land

La La Land. For anyone paying attention, that is rather obvious at this point. Both my favourite film of 2016 and one of my favourite of the decade so far seems like a sure fire way for me to think La La Land deserves Best Picture.

 

Best Director

Who Will Win:

la-la-land

Damien Chazelle for La La Land. See every reason above plus the fact that he’s already received acclaim (and an Oscar nod) for Whiplash to ensure he’s not a total newcomer.

Who Should Win:

la-la-land

Damien Chazelle for La La Land. Also see every reason above regarding La La Land. And that film wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Mr Chazelle himself.

 

Best Actor

Who Will Win:

Denzel Washington.jpg

Denzel Washington for Fences. While Affleck has been the lead choice for some time now, Washington’s turn in Fences has steadily been gaining steam and coupled with his previous Oscars love and the controversy surrounding Affleck’s sexual assault allegation, I don’t see it being much of a stretch that Washington takes home his third Oscar.

Who Should Win:

Casey Affleck.jpg

Casey Affleck for Manchester By the Sea. If one takes the approach of separating art from person, then Affleck comfortably deserves to finally get recognition for his amazing performance not only in Manchester but also the whole swath of films from Gone Baby Gone to The Town that he was also fantastic. Honestly, I just think the guy deserves his place in the sun – acting wise. Taking in the wider context of the accusation and I won’t be sad if Washington wins.

 

Best Actress

Who Will Win:

Emma Stone.jpg

Emma Stone for La La Land. While I won’t be surprised if Natalie Portman takes the honour, at this moment Stone is leading the odds with her fantastic turn in La La Land. As for Meryl Streep, well… she got nominated but a win would be an upset for the ages.

Who Should Win:

emma-stone

Emma Stone for La La Land. She was at the centre of my favourite film of 2016, and if she hadn’t been on her A-game the movie would have fallen apart. Singing, dancing and acting the hell out of scenes with Ryan Gosling, Stone created one of my favourite performances of the year.

 

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win:

Mahershala Ali.jpg

Mahershala Ali for Moonlight. While I haven’t seen the film which makes me tough to judge, he seems to have all the right Oscar boxes ticked and enough forward momentum to snag a win. Plus, the lack of strong competition doesn’t hurt.

Who Should Win:

Lucas Hedges.jpg

Lucas Hedges for Manchester. While too much of a newcomer to have a good chance at winning, Lucas stood toe-to-toe with Affleck through much of Manchester and considering his age and lack of experience that is quite incredible. Obviously its tough to compare with Ali considering I still need to see Moonlight (working on that), but compared to the rest of the category, Hedges is a genuine standout.

 

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will Win:

Viola Davis.jpg

Viola Davis for Fences. Not only is she in a rather showy and dramatic role in Fences, she seems to have pushed up into the likeliest candidate to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Who Should Win:

michelle-williams

Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea. I’m showing my bias towards authentic performances here, but Williams in Manchester is utterly captivating and heart-breakingly real. One scene in particular should be enough to garn her the nom, but only time will tell whether Davis’ over-acting will be able to trump William’s subdued (yet considerably more powerful) performance.

 

Best Animated Feature

Who Will Win:

Zootopia

Zootopia. A category that Disney tends to sweep, 2016 is going to be no different, particularly considering the success, acclaim and topical elements at play in regards to Zootopia.

Who Should Win:

Zootopia

Zootopia. On top of all the reasons it should win, Zootopia was also comfortably the best animated film in an incredibly cluttered year. Sure, Kubo is great and foreign efforts like The Red Turtle and My life as a Zucchini are supposedly excellent, but from what I’ve seen, Zootopia takes it lying down.

 

Best Cinematography

Who Will Win:

la-la-land

La La Land. One of the most elegant and beautiful films of the year, and the odds seem to know it.

Who Should Win:

la-la-land

La La Land. Its visual style is one of the reasons the film works so well, and so deservedly should be receiving this win. Special mentions to Arrival and particularly Silence as well, but their chances of winning are looking rather unlikely.

 

Best Visual Effects

Who Will Win:

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book. Considering the sheer scope of the VFX on display in that film, its no wonder that this 99.5% fully CGI movie may end up winning Best Visual Effects.

Who Should Win:

kubo-and-the-two-strings

Kubo and the Two Strings. While I respect what The Jungle Book attempted, its easily my least favourite film in the entire category and for pure artistry, visual style and just simply beauty, I think Kubo should be the actual winner. The chances of that happening are slim against the billion dollar Disney juggernaut, but one can only hope.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win:

moonlight

Moonlight. Tough to judge, but on inspection Moonlight seems to tick every single box the Academy looks for in a film. While its not going to win Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay may end up being its consolation prize.

Who Should Win:

arrival

Arrival. While it has the lowest odds of the entire category, there’s no doubt in my mind that its also the strongest screenplay on display. The intricacies, ideas and overall scope of Arrival‘s script is unparalleled by all the dramas its competing against and while the Academy won’t see that, I can damn well continue to sing its praises.

 

Best Original Screenplay

Who Will Win:

manchester-by-the-sea

Manchester by the Sea. See the same reasons Moonlight is going to win Best Adapted. All the right boxes, consolation prize etc.

Who Should Win:

hell-or-high-water

Hell or High Water. Not only does it deserve at least a little Oscar love, the focus and subtle themes of High Water‘s script is the backbone of that film’s success. It won’t win, but if there’s any upset on the night, I’d love it to be this one.

 

And that’s my picks (for the categories I feel like I can actually comment on). Check out my piece going up after the Oscars to see how close my predictions end up being.

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