Oscar Picks 2017

Just for the hell of it, here are my picks for who/what should win at the Oscars tonight. La La Land leads all nominations with 14. Is it naive of me to hope that Oscars will share the love between a handful of films, as opposed to awarding everything to just one movie? Maybe, but a girl can dream.

BEST PICTURE

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By the Sea
  • Moonlight

LA LA LAND! I know some people who didn’t like it and thought it was cheesy. That doesn’t change the fact that *I* love it and I love how it makes me feel. It’s the presumed frontrunner and I completely agree. That’s not to say that I didn’t love any of the other films nominated. In fact, I think this is one of the stronger years, with each film making a solid case for itself. [Sidenote: I watched all but one, Hacksaw Ridge, because I really did not care to watch it] I loved Arrival and Moonlight, both of which I saw at TIFF last September, and still stuck with me. Lion, which I didn’t get a chance to see at TIFF, hit me in a way that I totally didn’t expect (in a good way). Hidden Figures was so enjoyable and inspiring. Fences was a great all-around film. Manchester By the Sea was a little slow for me, but I can still see why people liked it because it was a real character study. I’m not normally one for Western-type films, but Hell or High Water surprised me.

BEST ACTRESS

  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

I’m still shocked that Amy Adams didn’t get nominated for Arrival. She was spectacular in that movie (not that she isn’t always awesome) and gave such a nuanced performance, I honestly would’ve put her as my pick to win. But since she’s not nominated, naturally my second choice is Emma Stone. Emma brought a lot of facets to her character Mia, and La La Land is really Emma’s movie. I have to be honest though and say that the only other performance I saw was Natalie Portman in Jackie. I thought Natalie did great work as Jackie Kennedy, but something about the movie just didn’t work for me. You know who else I wish got nominated here? Taraji P. Henson for Hidden Figures.

BEST ACTOR

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

I love me some Ryan Gosling, but surprisingly enough, he’s not my pick to win. For a while, it looked like Casey Affleck was running away with the award, but Denzel is coming in strong and making a play for his third Oscar. I think Denzel is going to eke out the win, but I personally would love to see Viggo Mortensen win. I feel like he doesn’t get as much recognition as he deserves, and his Captain Fantastic character feels so different for him.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Viola Davis, Fences
  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman, Lion
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester By the Sea

In a case of category fraud that surpasses Alicia Vikander’s own nom and win last year, Viola Davis is somehow nominated as Supporting. Nope, she’s just as much a lead as Denzel in Fences. Granted, both the Actress categories are so stacked, it’s ridiculously awesome and frustrating at the same time. Because if it wasn’t for Viola being nominated here, my pick would most certainly be Naomie Harris. So amazing for what she did in THREE days filming Moonlight.

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

Mahershala Ali was my pick to win from the moment I saw Moonlight and I still stand by it. He gave such a subtle but strong performance, and even though he’s only in the first third of the film, he left an impression. Before I even saw Lion, it puzzled me to no end why Dev Patel was being categorized as Supporting, seeing as how ads for the film use his face, but after watching it, I finally got it. I just hope this leads to more opportunities for Dev to really show off his skills as an actor.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea
  • Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

I think Chazelle will win, making him the youngest winner in the category. As a fan of Villeneuve, I’d love to see him win. But ultimately, my pick is for Jenkins, who did such incredible work on such an incredible film.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” Trolls
  • “City of Stars,” La La Land
  • “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana
  • “The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story

It almost happened. At the start of the awards season, I thought to myself: “What if all the songs nominated were not only songs I knew, but also loved?” The Critics Choice Awards was my first glimmer of hope, with 5 out of 6 nominees being songs I indeed loved (including one from my preciously overlooked Sing Street), and I dreamed and hoped those five would make it to Oscars. Alas, it didn’t happen, though I’m still left with FOUR songs I love and adore being nominated. So who do I pick to win? Are you kidding me? I CAN’T CHOOSE!! We have songs from La La Land! Lin-Manuel Miranda is nominated!! JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IS NOMINATED!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!! Am I, JT superfan, seriously not picking JT to win? But, LA LA LAND!! But, EGOT for Lin-Manuel! COME ON!!!

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Jackie – Mica Levi
  • La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
  • Lion – Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka
  • Moonlight – Nicholas Britell
  • Passengers – Thomas Newman

Despite my love of music, I’m not typically a score person. I know the importance of a great score, but I don’t usually pay attention to it. And honestly, this is the first year since Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ nomination and win for The Social Network score, that I’ve cared. That’s because like the movie it belongs to, I fell in love with Justin Hurwitz’s score for La La Land. I have to say though that I’m surprised Pharrell didn’t get nominated for the Hidden Figures score because I think he did a great job overall with all the music in that film as well.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Arrival – Eric Heisserer
  • Fences – August Wilson
  • Hidden Figures – Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
  • Lion – Luke Davies
  • Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney

In an attempt to share the love, my ideal choice to win is Eric Heisserer’s screenplay for Arrival, though I think Barry Jenkins will win, and that’s not a bad thing at all! Actually, any of the nominees here could win and it would be okay.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
  • La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  • The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
  • Manchester By the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  • 20th Century Women – Mike Mills

For all the La La Land love, I’m not sure I’d want it to win here. Not to say it’s not deserving because Chazelle did such a spectacular job creating a new and original musical, which is such a hard sell these days. My pick to win is Kenneth Lonergan’s screenplay for Manchester By the Sea, and I have a feeling voters may go this route as well.

BEST ANIMATED MOVIE

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Keeping in mind that it’s not all about mainstream hits here, I never heard of My Life as a Zucchini. I’m surprised Finding Dory didn’t get nominated. A little less surprised that Trolls wasn’t nominated, even though I love that movie and am clearly biased about it. Want me to pick between my two other Disney favourites, Moana or Zootopia? It’s difficult, but I think I may have to pick Zootopia.

I’m not great with some of these technical categories, but I’m going to give it a shot anyways (picks in BOLD).

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

BEST FILM EDITING

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land
  • Passengers

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

BEST SOUND MIXING

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

As for the Documentary (Feature and Short), Foreign Language, and Short Film (Animated and Live Action) nominees – unfortunately, I haven’t watched any of them, so I can’t really comment.

 

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