The 2017 Oscar Predictions: What I Would Like To See & What We’ll Get.
By Chip Kaufmann.
While 2016 is a year that many people would like to forget for a number of reasons (one primarily), it was a very good year at the movies. In addition to the expected Marvel Universe sagas and the first of a series of Star Wars spinoffs, there were several small and/or creative offerings covering a variety of topics.
The most noteworthy occurrence was to be seen in the increase in diversity in Hollywood films. Not just performers but writers and directors as well. Movies such as Loving, Fences, Moonlight, & Lion focused on people of color while one movie, Hidden Figures, proved to both a critical and a box office success.
This brings us to the elephant in the room, Damien Chazille’s La La Land. This throwback to the Hollywood musicals of yore has been nominated for an astonishing 14 Oscars. I am sorry to say that I do not share most of my critical colleagues’ enthusiasm for it. It’s certainly good with solid performances and a few astonishing set pieces but I prefer musicals where the performers can actually sing (or are dubbed to sound like it).
After the “Oscars So White” controversy of last year, if La La Land were to win the bulk of the major Oscars, there could be a major backlash (in fact one has already started) especially after the results of the recent election. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Before announcing my Oscar picks, I would like to point out that only 3 movies from my SEFCA Top 10 List (Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, & Fences) made the Oscar Best Picture list of 9. Below are the lists of the 2017 nominees with my predictions of what I would like to see along with how I really think it will turn out.
BEST PICTURE: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight.
BEST ACTOR: Casey Affleck (Manchester), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences).
BEST ACTRESS: Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Moonlight), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins).
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Marhersala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester), Dev Patel (Lion), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals).
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester).
BEST DIRECTOR: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester), Denis Villaneuve (Arrival).
And now…MY PICKS –vs- MY PREDICTIONS.
Best Picture: Manchester by the Sea (CK) / La La Land (OSCAR).
Best Actor: Casey Affleck (CK) / Casey Affleck (OSCAR).
Best Actress: Natalie Portman (CK) / Emma Stone (OSCAR).
Best Supporting Actor: Lucas Hedges (CK) / Marharsaa Ali (OSCAR)
Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris (CK) / Octavia Spencer (OSCAR)
Best Director: Barry Jenkins (CK) / Damien Chazelle ( OSCAR).
As you can see, in only one instance (Best Actor) do I agree with how I think it will turn out on Oscar night. Only time will tell. Live coverage of the Oscars will begin at 7pm on Sunday February 26 on ABC (WLOS-TV locally).