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  • Benjamin Maio Mackay

Oscar Predictions - 2017

This year’s Academy Awards are a mere two days away, so it’s time for me to present my predicted outcome of this year’s ceremony. Much like last year a great number of the films are yet to be released in Australia, though all 10 Best Picture Nominees are playing in cinemas now. La La Land is certainly the favourite for most categories, but you’ll have to read on to see what I think!

Animated Short

All of these shorts aren’t easily available to view in Australia, but the one I’ve seen (and enjoyed) was Disney’s Piper.

Predicted Win: Piper

Animated Feature

These animated films feature three mainstream releases, in addition to some smaller budget films. However, while the Academy often recognises the smaller releases, they rarely win. Disney’s Zootopia certainly has the best odds, as not only does it look amazing, but offers some important messages to younger viewers.

Predicted Win: Zootopia

Production Design

This is a difficult category to pick, it’s one of the only nominations for both Fantastics Beasts and Where to Find Them and Hail, Caesar!, but I think Arrival is designed to win.

Predicted Win: Arrival

Documentary, Short Subject

Another hard category to pick, due to lack of availability of this content. With only reading about these shorts my money is on Extremis.

Predicted Win: Extremis

Documentary Feature

Some of these have been highly contentious overseas, while most still aren’t available here. However, my pick, Life Animated was released in cinemas late last year and is a insightful documentary.

Predicted Win: Life Animated

Costume Design

This is where we start to see discrepancies in what I’d like to win and what I think will win. The costumes in Jackie were fantastic, the 60s were recreated in front of your eyes. However, La La Land is predicted to sweep the Academy Awards and it’s costumes are pretty spectacular.

Predicted Win: La La Land

Ideal Win: Jackie

Adapted Screenplay

Moonlight is probably the most deserving film nominated this season. It’s a masterpiece that also tells a real, meaningful story. The only other film that stands a chance here is Hidden Figures. While Hidden Figures is a more enjoyable “romp,” it just doesn’t hold the same gravitas.

Predicted Win: Moonlight

Original Screenplay

With 20th Century Women still to be released I don’t have a full picture of the nominees. Hell or High Water is certainly the most original, but again, I fear La La Land will dominate this category.

Predicted Win: La La Land

Ideal Win: Hell or High Water

Sound Editing

This one’s easy.

Predicted Win: La La Land

Original Song

Two songs from La La Land, a song by sensational composer Lin Manuel Miranda, a Justin Timberlake pop song and one more. It’s really hard to pick, How Far I’ll Go (Moana) is a great song and Lin-Manuel deserves the Oscar, but I think City of Stars will pick this one up.

Predicted Win: City of Stars (La La Land)

Ideal Win: How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

Original Score

Again, easy.

Predicted Win: La La Land

Visual Effects

Another difficult category to predict, while I personally hated The Jungle Book it did very well critically. Doctor Strange is a visual masterpiece reminiscent of Inception, but I think Star Wars fever may have finally swept the Oscars.

Predicted Win: Rouge One: A Star Wars Story

Sound Mixing

Hacksaw Ridge seems like the obvious choice, the war scenes sounded well-balanced, yet horrific. However, La La Land is the general favourite to win. I loved La La Lan, I’m a huge fan of musicals and this one is great. However, I don’t think it deserves to win ever category.

Predicted Win: Hacksaw Ridge

Short Film, Live Action

Another category of films that haven’t been released in Australia. My best, educated guess though is La Femme et le TGV.

Predicted Win: La Femme et le TGV

Film Editing

I know the odds are on La La Land, but I think Arrival’s editing was actually stronger.

Predicted Win: Arrival

Cinematography

La La Land will definitely pick this one up, but Martin Scorsese’s overlooked film Silence is more deserving.

Predicted Win: La La Land

Ideal Win: Silence

Makeup and Hairstyling

This is always a fascinating category, because it’s often filled with film’s that don’t deserve to put “Oscar Nominee” in front of their billing. While Suicide Squad’s Joker was impressive, the overall makeup design was lacking. Star Trek’s lavish array of alien characters provided the artist with a lot more opportunity to shine.

Predicted Win: Star Trek Beyond

Foreign Language Film

Toni Erdmann is already being remade into an English language film and is the talk of Hollywood. If this film didn’t win I’d be flabbergasted.

Predicted Win: Toni Erdmann

Actress in a Supporting Role

Now we enter the final six categories, the ones some people argue are the most important. All of these women offer wonderful performances. Viola Davis is the least consistent and is in the worst film, so we can rule her out. Nicole Kidman doesn’t actually get that much screen time, even for a supporting role, so I think she’s out too. Naomie Harris is great in Moonlight, but I think the best performance here is Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures.

Predicted Win: Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)

Actor in a Supporting Role

There are only two truly deserving men in this category, Mahershala Ali and Michael Shannon. Nocturnal Animals was grossly overlook this awards season and Shannon’s performance in it is amazing. While I’d truly like him to win, Ali’s performance in Moonlight is heartbreaking and it probably meets with a few more of the Academy’s criteria.

Predicted Win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Actress in a Leading Role

While Meryl Streep is great and Natalie Portman shines, we know there is only one true winner this year.

Predicted Win: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Actor in a Leading Role

I don’t think La La Land’s Ryan Gosling will win. I think Casey Affleck’s performance in Manchester by the Sea is more compelling and his subtlety is unique.

Predicted Win: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Director

Again, it comes down to two directors, Barry Jenkins and Damien Chazelle. Both have brought excellent films to life in very different ways. Both offer unique styles and bring a new type of film to light at the Academy. While La La Land is tipped to win (Chazelle), I think we may get an upset here and Jenkins will take the award for Moonlight.

Predicted Win: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Best Picture

La La Land or Moonlight? It’s the question we continue to face throughout the 2017 Oscars. I think whoever wins best director will NOT win best picture, which typically goes against Oscar style. If Chazelle ends up taking home the award and I’m wrong, I think Moonlight will win best picture. If Jenkins wins director, then La La Land will be this year’s victor. It’s a difficult year, because both films are great. Yet they are so different, La La Land is pure entertainment and it’s a tribute to Hollywood. Moonlight, however is a true story, presented in an artistic fashion based on a play and is deeply moving. Overall it’s a challenging race to pick the winner.

Predicted Win: La La Land

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