2017 Oscar Predictions: The ScreenCrush Staff Picks the Winners
It’s that time of the year again, when we must set aside our personal opinions and favorites to try and guess which movies the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will deem the most culturally significant. A lot has changed since our initial Oscar predictions last December. Manchester By the Sea is no longer a Best Picture frontrunner, a race dominated by La La Land and Moonlight. The days of calling Natalie Portman a Best Actress shoo-in last fall feel like a distant dream, and Lion and Hacksaw Ridge might just lend this year’s Oscars some surprising upsets.
To ensure your Oscar ballot is as foolproof as possible, the ScreenCrush team has three different sets of predictions for the big night from each of our three editors. Will La La Land, which earned a record-tying total of 14 nominations, continue its sweep or can we bet on some surprises? Find out on Sunday when Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 89th Academy Awards, airing on ABC at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT.
|Matt Singer||E. Oliver Whitney||Britt Hayes|
|Best Picture||La La Land||La La Land||La La Land|
|Best Actor||Denzel Washington||Denzel Washington||Casey Affleck|
|Best Actress||Emma Stone||Emma Stone||Natalie Portman|
|Best Supporting Actor||Mahershala Ali||Mahershala Ali||Dev Patel|
|Best Supporting Actress||Viola Davis||Viola Davis||Viola Davis|
|Best Director||Damien Chazelle||Damien Chazelle||Barry Jenkins|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Moonlight||Moonlight||Arrival|
|Best Original Screenplay||Manchester By the Sea||Manchester By the Sea||Hell or High Water|
|Best Cinematography||La La Land||La La Land||Silence|
|Best Costume Design||La La Land||Jackie||Jackie|
|Best Film Editing||La La Land||La La Land||Hacksaw Ridge|
|Best Makeup/ Hair||Star Trek Beyond||Star Trek Beyond||A Man Called Ove|
|Best Original Score||La La Land||La La Land||La La Land|
|Best Original Song||“City of Stars,” La La Land||“City of Stars,” La La Land||“City of Stars,” La La Land|
|Best Production Design||Arrival||Fantastic Beasts||Fantastic Beasts|
|Best Sound Editing||Hacksaw Ridge||Hacksaw Ridge||Hacksaw Ridge|
|Best Sound Mixing||La La Land||La La Land||Hacksaw Ridge|
|Best Visual Effects||The Jungle Book||The Jungle Book||The Jungle Book|
|Best Animated Film||Zootopia||Zootopia||Moana|
|Best Foreign Language Film||The Salesman||Toni Erdmann||A Man Called Ove|
|Best Documentary Feature||O.J.: Made in America||O.J.: Made in America||O.J.: Made in America|
|Best Documentary Short||Joe’s Violin||The White Helmets||Watani: My Homeland|
|Best Animated Short Film||Piper||Piper||Blind Vaysha|
|Best Live-Action Short Film||Silent Nights||Ennemis Interieurs||Silent Nights|
Matt: When screenwriter William Goldman coined his famous phrase “Nobody knows anything,” he was talking about the film industry in general. But that slogan applies equally well to the Academy Awards. Even with an entire cottage industry now built around Oscar prognostication, there are still surprises every year. (Remember when, as almost everyone predicted, The Revenant won Best Picture? Good times.) Keep that in mind before you try to win your Oscar pool with my picks. My one bit of advice when filling out your ballot: Remove emotion from the equation. Just because you love Moonlight or Arrival doesn’t mean the notorious fuddy-duddies of the Academy will as well. Don’t vote with your heart; vote with your head, after you put yourself into that mindset. And this year, when in doubt, vote for La La Land.
E. Oliver: If the Oscars were up to me, Moonlight and Jackie would go home with the most statues. But this isn’t Oliver’s Oscars (sadly), and I have little faith that the very white and very male Academy membership will give awards to anything but La La Land. Chazelle’s musical is a charming homage to Hollywood, it’s not political, and is more digestible than Moonlight, Manchester By the Sea, and Hidden Figures, which grapple with heavier and more complex themes. Outside of my mostly cynical predictions above, I have some tiny bit of hope for a welcome upset or two — could La La Land take Best Picture while Barry Jenkins gets Best Director, or vice versa? Or, even more surprising, could Hidden Figures, both a box-office hit and SAG Best Ensemble winner (often an Oscar predictor), take Best Picture? I have no clue. In the worst case scenario, the Academy gives everything to Lion and Hacksaw Ridge so we can remember 2016 for the true garbage fire it was.
Britt: Trying to predict Oscar winners is difficult. The Academy has been consistently safe for decades, but every once in a while they throw in some curveballs — the obvious choice doesn’t always win. At the same time, my instinct is to choose who I want to win, and not who will win. While I’d love to see Isabelle Huppert take home an Oscar for the greatest performance of 2016, that might not happen; that she was nominated at all is satisfying in its own right. I’d also love to see Moonlight sweep the hell out of the Oscars, but I sense that there will ultimately be some sort of compromise in which Barry Jenkins is given the Best Director statue while La La Land takes home Best Picture. That seems about right, though I don’t personally endorse it — nothing against La La Land, but it’s exactly the sort of agreeably pleasant and nice movie that often seems to win Best Picture. As for the rest, correctly predicting the Oscars is really about nailing the technical, documentaries, and shorts categories. If you can get those right, you have a much higher chance of winning your Oscar pool. (I will probably not get these right.)