The 2017 Oscar Predictions: La La Land To Dominate?

la la land 2

With the Oscars less than a month away now, it’s time to really sit ourselves down and take a punt at deciding who we think will walk away with the biggest awards in film this year! La La Land has had a huge showing in the nominations, tying the record for the most ever nominations. But nominations are only an indicator, and it’s time to go through every award and guess at the potential winners! I haven’t written my reasoning behind the first ten awards because they’re the more minor awards and in some cases there isn’t a lot of debate to be had.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Star Trek: Beyond
A Man Called Ove
Suicide Squad
Prediction: Star Trek Beyond Wins.

Best Production Design

La La Land
Hail, Caesar
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Prediction: La La Land Wins.

Best Sound Editing

Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Deepwater Horizon
Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge Wins.

Best Sound Mixing

La La Land
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Prediction: La La Land Wins.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Watani- My Homeland
Joe’s Violin
4.1 Miles
The White Helmets
Prediction: Watani- My Homeland Wins.

Best Film Editing

Tom Cross (La La Land)
John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge)
Jake Roberts (Hell Or High Water)
Joi McMilllon (Moonlight)
Joe Walker (Arrival)
Nat Sanders (Moonlight)
Prediction: John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge) Wins.

Best Live Action Short Film

Enemies Within
Silent Nights
The Railroad Lady
Prediction: The Railroad Lady Wins.

Best Visual Effects

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

Best Animated Short Film

Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Prediction: Borrowed Time Wins.

Best Costume Design

Mary Zophres (La La Land)
Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them)
Consolata Boyle (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Joanna Johnston (Allied)
Madeline Fontaine (Jackie)
Prediction: Mary Zophres (La La Land) Wins.

Best Cinematography

James Laxton (Moonlight)
Rodrigo Prieto (Silence)
Greig Fraser (Lion)
Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
Bradford Young (Arrival)
Cinematography can be so tricky to choose a winner for. I’m shocked that Hacksaw Ridge has again been left out in this category. However with what we have, and judging from past winners, I would say Silence has a really good shot at stealing itself an Oscar here. But, with its likely dominance across the awards, and the visually stunning sets, I will just about go with La La Land again.
Prediction: La La Land Wins.

Best Original Song

Audition (La La Land)
The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Song)
City of Stars (La La Land)
How Far I’ll Go (Moana)
Can’t stop the Feeling! (Trolls)
Two nominations for La La Land in this category is hardly surprising, it was full of excellent songs I’m still singing in my head as I write this. Of course, with so many songs that included major dance pieces and instrumentals, only the two complete songs without these have made it on. Nevertheless, only Moana’s beautiful song is capable of challenging them here and even then I cannot imagine it winning. Looking between the two La La Land songs themselves, I would put a guess in that Audition is the winner, it was a truly beautiful piece and Emma Stone stood completely still on-screen and the camera never moved from her the entire time, nothing else was necessary.
Prediction: Audition Wins.

Best Original Music Score

La La Land
I loved the music in Passengers. I really did, I thought it was perfect throughout and tied everything together. However let’s not be ridiculous, it clearly isn’t going to win nor deserves to with a musical on the scale of La La Land around. This is the most sown-up an Oscar can be.
Prediction: La La Land Wins.

Best Documentary Feature

I Am Not Your Negro
O.J: Made In America
Fire At Sea
Life: Animated
Documentaries are hard to predict. The Academy often chooses features based on the life of a specific person, which you think would favour OJ: Made In America, however in my mind the power of 13th and Life: Animated could both easily win out this year. It’s a hard one to call, and as such I think I will merely go with the direction the Academy does often go, and say that OJ will take it home.
Prediction: OJ: Made in America Wins.

Best Foreign Language Film

Land Of Mine
Toni Erdmann
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
While I won’t pretend that I’ve seen all of these films, it seems like we have another very strong category here. Toni Erddman tells a hilarious but powerful tale about family, and how sometimes the harder they cling to you, the more you realise they are a real part of you. Tanna is enacted by the real Yakel Tribe and is a heartfelt story set on a remote Pacific island. Land of Mine focused on a group of German soldiers turned prisoners of war who are forced to dig up millions of land mines in Denmark when World War Two ends. A Man Called Ove is the story of an elderly and lonely man who has given up on life forming a relationship with his new neighbours. All of these are excellent films which again should all be getting recognition. But in my own mind, I cannot see anything beating Iranian film The Salesman this year. The dark film, which focuses on a man doubting his wife when she tells him that she was sexually assaulted, is a very real look into the human mind, and makes you feel terrified at the prospect of something like that happening to your significant other, because the cracks that start appearing in the marriage of these two feel so real that you just want to look away.
Prediction: The Salesman Wins.

Best Animated Feature Film

My Life As A Courgette
The Red Turtle
Kubo and the Two Strings
Another tough category for this award this year. While I have no doubt that The Red Turtle and My Life As A Courgette are strong films, they don’t have the brand or recognition to win this award. Personally, I don’t think Kubo and the Two Strings will be able to get a word in either in this Disney vs Disney battle. Zootopia tackled a lot of important social issues while remaining fairly light and happy. Moana managed to introduce a new Disney princess and pull off a spectacular film. Weighing the two up, it’s a very close battle but while I think Moana does have a chance, I’m going to stick with my personal favourite in Zootopia.
Prediction: Zootopia Wins.

Best Supporting Actress

Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea)
Viola Davis (Fences)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Tricky. I feel shocked that Michelle Williams was nominated considering her miniature amount of screen time and I don’t think that she will win. Aside from that, it’s really a bit of an open category that could go anywhere. I would be surprised if the Academy gave an award to Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, despite her powerful performance I just don’t think the film is the kind to win an Oscar for acting. If you take her out and leave it between Viola Davis, Nicole Kidman and Naomie Harris, I think I’ll have to go for Viola Davis, although it is a truly close contest for me between her and Naomie Harris. I simply feel like Davis’ extended screen time really gives her an advantage, and the constant tension you feel in Fences overall lends itself to brilliant acting performances.
Prediction: Viola Davis Wins.

Best Supporting Actor

Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea)
It is a rather strange feeling to say that legendary actors like Michael Shannon and Jeff Bridges are underdogs in this category, but that is exactly what they are. Lucas Hedges was great in Manchester By The Sea, but personally I can’t imagine him walking away with the Oscar this time. Shannon and Bridges have a huge nine acting Oscar nominations between them, including a win for Bridges, but I feel like their respective performances won’t win out this year over Dev Patel and Mahershala Ali. Both of these men are in hot demand right now, and both play what are essentially leading roles in films which show their characters growing from child to man, meaning they don’t get leading actor nominations. That’s sad, but it does lead both into a slightly easier category potentially. I will say that for me, the Oscars snub of the year came In this category, because Hugo Weaving in Hacksaw Ridge was truly incredible as well, and if Michelle Williams can get a nomination in best supporting actress for her short amount of screen time in Manchester By The Sea, surely Weaving could have received one for his performance. Back the point, I think I’m going to side with Ali in this category. His performance in Moonlight is truly inspirational and a sight to behold. I think he’s got to get this Oscar after what he did in Moonlight, it was truly exhilarating to see.
Prediction: Mahershala Ali Wins.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Hidden Figures
Oh this is hard too. It seems like all of these films have been so well adapted from their original versions that you can hardly call it. I again kind of doubt that Hidden Figures could win out here, it doesn’t feel quite on that level. I would also be surprised by Arrival getting an Oscar on this level, but aside from that any of Moonlight, Lion or Fences could take it. Much like best supporting actress, I feel like it will come down to Fences and Moonlight, and again I think I will side with Fences, though it hurts my head trying to figure out which one will take it.
Prediction: Fences Wins.

Best Original Screenplay

La La Land
Hell Or High Water
The Lobster
Manchester By The Sea
20th Century Women
Possibly my favourite category. I always respect the writers behind films so much, I think they’re the real geniuses who are able to picture everything in their mind in such a brilliant way that they can write it down so everybody else gets exactly how it should be. Looking at this list, I hate to get repetitive but I’m thinking that La La Land wins again. The script for that film was something special, and the ending especially makes it stand out so significantly from the crowd that you start to realise you’ve never seen a film like it.
Prediction: La La Land Wins.

Best Director

Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
This is interesting and I’ll tell you why. To get a Sci-fi film like Arrival on the Oscars stage, you must be a complete genius. To put together a film like Manchester By The Sea, where not a lot honestly happens, must take a genius. Moonlight is a very unusual film which could have gone completely wrong, and a genius was surely helming that as well. La La Land and Hacksaw Ridge speak for themselves, both the works of absolute geniuses. That isn’t normally a word I’d throw about so carelessly, but this year the best director category is full of them. Here’s the interesting part though. Mel Gibson is not particularly likely to be given an Oscar by the Academy, they just don’t like him very much. With that in mind, I have to go with what I feel and say that La La Land will win out again in this category.
Prediction: Damien Chazelle Wins.

Best Actress

Emma Stone (La La Land)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
In my mind, this is honestly a weaker category for performances than the men’s this year. In past years I have found myself totally unable to pick a winner due to the standard of the list, but while I have found all of these ladies to be impressive in their respective roles, it seems to me that there is an obvious winner this year, and that has to be Emma Stone. The sheer volume of emotion poured into her role in La La Land brought the film to life alongside Ryan Gosling, and while I feel like Andrew Garfield may sneak past Gosling this year, I don’t think that anybody has the calibre to beat out Emma Stone.
Prediction: Emma Stone Wins.

Best Actor

Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Denzel Washington (Fences)
Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
I have to say, if the battle between La La Land and Hacksaw Ridge is a hard one in Best Picture, it is even harder in the Best Actor category. I truly can’t call this one, it’s a category without any throwaway nominations in it. Viggo Mortensen may not have the advantage of an Oscar season release date, but his performance carried Captain Fantastic. Denzel Washington was a powerhouse as he has always been when it comes to these sort of films. Casey Affleck just produced the performance of a lifetime in Manchester By The Sea, Ryan Gosling brought La La Land to life with his charm and incredible dedication to the choreography, and to learning piano from scratch to become a master for it. And then there’s Andrew Garfield. Garfield really brought Desmond Doss to life, he played the epic war hero to perfection and left me feeling stunned at several points throughout the experience. For a two and a half hour film, there really wasn’t anything that I would take out of it, and Garfield managed to perform the whole way through. In my mind, despite how much I appreciated the other performers on this list (especially Gosling), I have to give the Oscar to Garfield.
Prediction: Andrew Garfield Wins.

Best Picture

La La Land
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
Hacksaw Ridge
Manchester By The Sea
Despite a plethora of incredible releases, a winner must be chosen. La La Land, in my mind, is surely the best film to have come out this entire year. After seeing it a number of times in the cinema I can now safely say that it is one of my new favourite films of all time. I have managed to see most of the nominees for best picture this year, and I’ll say that if anything manages to get the major shock victory over La La Land here, it’ll probably be Hacksaw Ridge, another stunning film which had me riveted to my chair for what ended up being two and a half hours. Both films are deserving of the Best Picture Oscar in my mind, but La La Land is much more likely to take the cake this year.
Prediction: La La Land Wins.


And there it is folks! What do you think of my Oscars predictions for the year? Let me know in the comments and check out more of my mad ravings on Facebook at The Comical Theory and on Twitter at @ComicalTheory.

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