2017 Oscar predictions but will #OscarsTooWhite sway votes…….?

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This year it seems that the race for Best Film Oscar is between two films  La La Land, a musical fantasy about white lovers in Hollywood, versus Moonlight, an incisive drama about black youth struggling  to survive in Miami and is indicative of how serious Oscar is about diversity after last year’s  #OscarsTooWhite palaver. After two consecutive years in which not a single black actor showed up among the acting nominees, this year’s crop includes seven actors of colour: Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, Ruth Negga, Dev Patel, Octavia Spencer and Denzel Washington. Whether white Oscar voters were guilt tripped into doing the right thing knowing that there’s a huge viewing audience about to make judgement will seen on Oscar night.

The Academy did introduce 683 new members (46% women, 41% people of colour) whether this will recognise talent irrespective of colour remains to be seen . After last year it would seem that winners will also need to represent more than just talent….

Here’s who we think will win this year…

Best Film

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

Four of these are directly about race (FencesHidden FiguresLionMoonlight) but ‘La La Land’ is possibly the whitest of the films and also has made history by having 14 nominations (only ‘All about Eve’ and ‘Titanic’ have ever achieved this. The only film we think acn give it a run for its money is ‘Moonlight’

Probable winner – La La Land – Hollywood loves feel good movies about itself

Contender – Moonlight – after #OscarstooWhite this would give the Academy a self congratulatory slap on the back

Best Actor

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

Probable winner – Affleck

Contender – Garfield is too young and still needs to establish himself as a serious dramatic actor, Gosling will need to get a few more dramatic roles under his belt. Mortensen is too left field which leaves  Denzel giving it his all in a full on fiery performance…he’s also the only black actor in this category.

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

Probable winner – Emma Stone

Contenders – Meryl has had 20 previous nominations and it’s a comedy which don’t usually win but Huppert is building up momentum and has never been nominated before and has been around for years so perhaps it’s her turn this year.

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

Favourite – Ali – a shoe in for the gong

Contender – Hedges is only 20, Bridges has won before, Patel shows promise for future nominations Shannon is probably the only serrious heavyweight here as he is good in pretty much anything he does.

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

Probable winner:  Davis – surely no one can top her for the emotional tour de force in THAT scene.

Contender – Williams who has been good in so many roles over the years  that perhaps it’s her turn for recognition.

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

Probable winner– Chazelle – the academy loves musicals which are few and far between especially ones that celebrate Hollywood

Contender – Gibson has finally been forgiven by Hollywood but he’s won  before, but it is probably Jenkins who without La La Land would be the obvious candidate for his directorial flair  in shooting Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filipou, The Lobster
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea
Mike Mills, 20th Century Women
Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Probable winner – Chazelle

Contender – Londegan – for Manchester – just a great, great script

 

Best Adapted Screenplay
Luke Davies, Lion
Eric Heisserer, Arrival
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures
August Wilson, Fences

Favourite – Jenkins –  ticks all the boxes for the Academy to congratulate itself

Contender:  Heisserer – after misfires with The Thing prequel  and Nightmare on Elm Street reboot he’s finally found box office success with ‘Lights Out’ and credibility with ‘Arrival’ but Wilson could be the posthumous emotional moment of the ceremony as his script was worked on for years and years before he passed away.

Best Foreign-Language Film
Land of Mine (Denmark)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
The Salesman (Iran)
Tanna (Australia)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Probable winner:  Toni Erdmann – no contest

Contender – should have been Paul  Verheoven’s ‘Elle’ but the Academy with their odd rules have ignored it. The Salesman could be in with a shout as the director has refused to attend the awards in protest at Trumps Muslim ban and would be one in the eye for him from the Hollywood liberals.

Best Documentary Feature
Fire At Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J. Made in America
13th

Probable winner –  I am not your Negro – black lives matter – enough said

Contender – 13th  a damning indictment on the 13th amendment to abolish slavery in 1865 – shown here to be a myth of epic proportions.

Best Animated Feature
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life As a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Probable winner – Zootopia / Zootroplois –  politics cunningly disguised as a kids film and still a load of fun for adults and kids alike

Contender – maybe Kubo and the 2 strings……maybe

Best Cinematography
Greig Fraser, Lion
James Laxton, Moonlight
Rodrigo Prieto, Silence
Linus Sandgren, La La Land
Bradford Young, Arrival

Probable winner:  Sandgren – his primary colours and romantic upbeat-ness of La La Land should ensure his award

Contenders:  All new nominees except for Prieto . Laxton shot Moonlight with minimal equipment but each frame is beautifully lit.

 

Best Original Score
Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
Justin Hurwitz, La La Land
Mica Levi, Jackie
Thomas Newman, Passengers
Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka, Lion

Nothing here is on a par with, say, the theme from Jaws but let’s hope the academy do something  daring and go for Levi’s slightly unbalanced score in ‘Jackie’.

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

Never understood why this has a category but it will probably be Trolls with its catchy hit song.

The ceremony is on Sunday 26th February so it’s not long now to see if we’re right or wrong. Lets us know who you think will win…..

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