2017 Oscar Predictions
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DISCLAIMER: I have not seen every movie nominated for an award. As much as I wish I was able to watch movies as a living, I have homework, and that has prevented my movie viewing ability. Take my opinion with a grain of salt.
BEST PICTURE: Moonlight
Moonlight is a brave film that covers an aspect to African-American life not often discussed in mainstream media. It handles its subject material with authenticity and respect. Moonlight is the most progressive film of the year, and that is why it should get Best Picture.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
When I was watching Manchester by the Sea, I forgot that the people I was watching were actors. That is quite possibly the best compliment anyone in the acting business can get. Casey Affleck led the movie with a nuanced performance that was equal parts depressing, humorous, honest, and real, and no one deserves this award more than him.
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Emma Stone – La La Land
This category was a bit of a toss up, as both Natalie Portman (Jackie) and Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) both have great performances that are nominated. I chose Stone because while her role wasn’t necessarily deeper than Streep and Portman’s, I found it to be more effective. Her expressions alone could tell you all you need to know about her character.
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Mahershala Ali was the perfect role model/surrogate father in Moonlight, and while the other nominated actors did well in their roles, no one embodied their character as fully as Ali.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea
Michelle Williams did not have a lot of time on screen in Manchester by the Sea, but her performance was still gripping. As stated before, everyone in this film felt like a real person, and Williams’ performance was no different.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Moana
To be fair, Zootopia is probably going to win this one due to its racial commentary, but Moana was the objectively better made film. It’s animation was lighter and more fun, it had a fantastic soundtrack from Lin Manuel-Miranda, and its voice cast brought the characters to life more than Zootopia’s.
Every shot in this movie was beautiful. If you pause at any time, the frame is a masterpiece in visuals. What more is there to say?
COSTUME DESIGN: La La Land
La La Land should win simply because none of the other films (Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, and Jackie) did a particularly spectacular job. While the clothing in La La Land didn’t reinvent the wheel, is was colorful and interesting, which is more than the other films did.
DIRECTING: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Damien Chazelle has a passion for music, and he makes it abundantly clear through his movies. He understands music and can translate it to cinema with a refinement that is highly underrated. Chazelle maintained his vision for La La Land, and the result is a beautiful to watch modern musical masterpiece.
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Suicide Squad
I hate Suicide Squad with a passion. The only slightly redeeming thing about it are the performances and the makeup. Unfortunately, the latter was enough for the Academy to take notice. The other films nominated (A Man Called Ove, and Star Trek Beyond) didn’t do anything new, but then again neither did Suicide Squad really. At least Suicide Squad has a lizard man.
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE): La La Land
Is there any question for this category? La La Land is the best original musical of this millennium.
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG): “How Far I’ll Go”
This category could’ve had more of a competition if the Academy chose one of the better songs from La La Land. While “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” is by no means a bad song, “How Far I’ll Go” is much more empowering and a better listen altogether. I just wish “You’re Welcome” from Moana could have gotten nominated. Where’s the love for the Rock?