BIG BOY EDIT 10:16 AM SUNDAY FEBRUARY 26: CHANGED MY PICK FOR VISUAL EFFECTS BECAUSE WOW WAS I FORGETTING A THING.
Hey guys the Oscars are TOMORROW so TODAY I am releasing my predictions.
A few notes I want to leave you with first and foremost:
I did not see I Am Not Your Negro. Not out of any protest or stupid bullshit or anything. I think it looks excellent. I just couldn’t get to any theaters playing it in time.
I did not see My Life as a Zucchini because it’s not playing anywhere near me.
I won’t be predicting any of the short films because they’re just super hard to find anywhere.
So I want to get another few things out of the way. And those things are my rage.
Silence and Nocturnal Animals are two of the best god damn movies of the year. I didn’t expect The Witch to get nominated for anything (though it deserved QUITE A FEW but FUCK HORROR MOVIES I GUESS). But I really thought Nocturnal Animals and Silence would be nominated for more than ONE EACH. They BOTH deserve Best Picture, Production Design, Cinematography, and Costume Design. Andrew Garfield deserved to be nominated for Best Actor. Without a doubt. For SILENCE. Anyway that and France should have nominated Elle and South Korea should have nominated The Handmaiden.
OK. Got that out of my system. So here we go.
Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing I’m just guessing La La Land. OK? Is that OK with you?
Original Score? La La Land.
Best Original song is going to be “City of Stars” from La La Land also. So those are just all out of the way now.
Prediction: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
If I voted: Affleck
Denzel Washington was fantastic in Fences (and could super duper prove me wrong here), but I think Casey Affleck will win. This is easily the best performance of his career, and his performance coupled with the screenplay made this the most heartbreaking performance of the year (that’s nominated anyway…).
Viggo Mortensen was fantastic in Captain Fantastic (HA. HAHA. HAAAAAAAAAAA), but I think the kids almost outshined him. Andrew Garfield was very good in Hacksaw Ridge, but his best performance of 2016 was Silence. Ryan Gosling was great in La La Land but I predict he’ll be the next DiCaprio in the “attractive white men with a bunch of Oscar nominations and no wins” category.
Prediction: Isabelle Huppert – Elle
If I voted: Huppert
Natalie Portman could definitely win for Jackie. It was spot-on. Like scary spot-on. Emma Stone may win for La La Land, and her emotional range combined with her ability to sing and dance definitely makes her the obvious pick. But Isabelle Huppert owned this story. Her performance is what made the potentially controversial plot work so well.
If I voted, I’d vote for Isabelle Huppert, but if I could vote twice, I’d vote for Ruth Negga. She was amazing in Loving, which was amazing itself.
Meryl Streep was fine in Florence Foster Jenkins, but for her to be nominated over Amy Adams (for Arrival or Nocturnal Animals, take your pick) is outrageous. I also think Viola Davis should have been nominated for lead actress, which I will explain in more detail now…
Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Viola Davis – Fences
If I voted: Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Viola Davis was a lead in Fences. I don’t care, she was the lead actress. She was in the vast majority of the movie, which gives her a leg up on the other four women in the category, who definitely received less screen time. That being said, they made a hell of an impact.
Naomie Harris was heartbreaking as Chrion’s addict mother. The evolution of her performance as her son aged was as impressive as any of the performances by the three actors playing her son.
Michelle Williams’ performance as Casey Affleck’s broken ex-wife was as impacting as his performance, in a significantly smaller amount of time. That alone makes her deserving. Nicole Kidman was really good in Lion and Octavia Spencer was great as usual in Hidden Figures, but I seriously doubt they’ll win.
Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
If I voted: Ali
Aaron Taylor Johnson won the Golden Globe for supporting actor for Nocturnal Animals, and wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar. Instead, Michael Shannon was nominated for the same movie. Now, as happy as I am to see Michael Shannon with an Oscar Nomination, I think Aaron Taylor Johnson deserved it more, for that particular movie. He was terrifying. Like thoroughly terrifying.
Mahershala Ali was incredible in his relatively short appearance in Moonlight. I mean his character obviously sort of set the movie on course, but the way he played the somewhat kindhearted drug dealer had such a huge impact overall on the film. It’s tied for the most believable performance nominated this year with Naomie Harris from the same movie.
Dev Patel and Jeff Bridges were both fantastic, but it’s just not their year. Lucas Hedges probably won’t win either, but I definitely think his first win isn’t too far off.
Best Animated Feature
If I voted: Kubo and the Two Strings
Zootopia is great, and its relevant message, great story, beautiful animation, and likable cast of characters will almost definitely win the Oscar. And it should. But if I got to pick, I’d pick Kubo. The aesthetic was amazing. The stop-motion animation was the best I’ve ever seen. The story was touching. I loved everything about it and every moment I spent watching it.
The Red Turtle was beautiful, and to tell such an emotionally effective story with virtually no dialogue is a feat. I’d love to see it win. Moana was really good too. I didn’t get a chance to see My Life as a Zucchini, but I wish I could’ve.
If I voted: 13th
13th is an amazing, eye-opening documentary. I’m going to be perfectly honest here with all of you. I thought I was PRETTY aware of how bad race relations are between people of color and you know. Every branch of the state and local United States government. And while I’m well-aware of most aspects of how ingrained racism is into certain aspects of our terrible legal system, I didn’t QUITE see all of the ways it was all connected. That’s not a conspiracy theory (though there are many people who will tell you it is) that’s what the documentary 13th is about. And it’s on netflix. Everybody has netflix right?
OJ: Made in America is fantastic, but it’s about 8 hours long and I’d say it’s more of a tv docuseries then a feature documentary. I’m not even fully confident it should be nominated. But it’s fantastic and may win.
Life, Animated is a beautiful, heartwarming, and inspiring documentary about a man with autism who learned to communicate by watching the animated Disney films that he loves. It is also very deserving, but it doesn’t quite have that gut punch that 13th does.
Fire at Sea is beautifully-made, but without much guided narrative, and being about immigration on an island off the coast of Italy hits home in some ways, but definitely does not in others. I think this one probably just won’t click with voters. And I didn’t get a chance to see I Am Not Your Negro.
Best Foreign Language Film
Prediction: Toni Erdmann
If I voted: Toni Erdmann
The Salesman could easily win. It’s a tight race between that and Toni Erdmann. It was a tight race for me as well. I saw Asghar Farhadi’s latest film earlier this week. I thought it would be impossible for Toni Erdmann to be better than the tense, morally perplexing, high-impact Iranian drama. Especially with recent United States fuck-ups potentially giving him a sympathy vote. Not saying that’s why Salesman will win if it does. It absolutely deserves it. But I’m going with Toni Erdmann because it may just be my favorite movie of the year. I saw it very recently, and it blew me away like few other movies this year have. It deftly balanced black comedy and depressing drama better than almost any other genre-bender I have ever seen.
Land of Mine, the Danish nominee, is another very powerful movie. This is what bothers me about this category. We’re basically getting 5 individual countries’ “best picture.” It’s crazy to have to choose the best one.
I will say that Tanna and A Man Called Ove are the weaker nominees here. Tanna is an impressively-made and beautifully-acted movie, with authentic performances by unprofessional local actors. But I couldn’t really get into the story. Maybe that’s just me. A Man Called Ove was very good, but too frequently edged to closely to obvious sentimentality.
Best Make-Up and Hairstyling
Prediction: Star Trek Beyond
If I voted: Star Trek Beyond
The character pictured is an EXTRA. Let that sink in. AN EXTRA.
A Man Called Ove was fine but they made a 60 year old man look like an angrier 60 year old man. I don’t really understand.
Fuck Suicide Squad.
Best Costume Design
Prediction: Florence Foster Jenkins
If I voted: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Academy likes impressively-faithful recreation, usually. So this or Jackie.
I think it’s more impressive to come up with fictional costumes that accurately reflect the aesthetic of the fictional setting.
To each their own.
Best Production Design
Prediction: Hail, Caesar!
If I voted: Hail, Caesar!
Ignore what I just said about costume design for a minute.
What this movie did was give us an old-hollywood-style movie about old hollywood. I’m having trouble putting this into words. Hang on.
OK so it’s a movie about the golden age of hollywood. About the process of creating movies, and of the political and social atmosphere of the studio lot. But it’s made in the style of the movies that came out at the time this movie took place. I hope that makes sense. Anyway I was really impressed by the production design here because it’s like old hollywood created old hollywood. Whatever.
Best Visual Effects
Prediction: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
If I voted: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
EDIT 10:16 SUNDAY DAY OF OSCARS
I originally picked Doctor Strange to win this but I have changed my mind upon remembering CGI Peter Cushing. I think that could tip the scales in favor of Rogue One.
If I voted: Moonlight
This could definitely go to La La Land, but I don’t think it will. I think Moonlight will take this and I’ll be pretty pissed if it doesn’t. The way this movie can make even the most normal and boring of locations beautiful is one of the many astonishing things about this movie. I think that will carry into the minds of the voters.
Prediction: La La Land
If I voted: La La Land
This could be the one Hacksaw Ridge takes, especially considering how tight the war scenes were. It set me on edge, and the intensity was tangible. But I would say, even for the ending sequence alone, La La Land deserves to and will win this one. This is one of the most perfectly-paced movies I’ve seen this year.
I would not be the least bit upset if this went to Hell or High Water. I think that’s going to end up being the dark horse this year, winning a few unexpected awards.
HEY SORRY THERE’S REALLY NO POINT TO TAKING A PICTURE OF A SCREENPLAY SO UH. THESE NEXT TWO HAVE NO PICTURES.
Best Original Screenplay
Prediction: Manchester by the Sea
If I voted: Oh god I have no idea
I’ll be thrilled to see Manchester by the Sea, and it probably deserves it the most. But the lyrics in La La Land are great as well. This is definitely La La Land‘s shakiest nomination.
Holy shit I will freak out if The Lobster wins. I will be so happy and excited to see that absurd, nonsensical screenplay emerge victorious. YORGOS IS AMAZING.
20th Century Women was also fantastic, and deserved to be nominated for more than this. That would be a great win as well. The same for Hell or High Water.
Best Adapted Screenplay
If I voted: Arrival
I think Fences COULD win, but I mean it was barely “adapted.” It’s a fantastic screenplay though, and could easily take this one. But I think it will be Moonlight. Just such a powerful movie.
Arrival would be my vote because of how creatively it uses time. Just like. Just complicated enough to throw you for a loop, but not so abstract that it’s difficult to understand after a little thought.
Prediction: Damien Chazelle
If I voted: Damien Chazelle
If I voted I’d actually write-in Martin Scorsese but I don’t think you can do that for the Oscars so whatever. Barry Jenkins could upset, and that would be cool too. Honestly, they would ideally tie. I’d also be so happy to see Denis Villeneuve win the award he SHOULD HAVE WON for Prisoners.
OK guys. You’ll think I’m an insane person but damn it. I’m going with my gut here.
My pick for Best Picture is
Obviously La La Land is the favorite here. But so was Boyhood. And you were all here when I was like “nah it’s going to be Birdman” and then it WAS. Moonlight is my Birdman this year (although unlike Birdman it’s not my ultimate very favorite movie of this year, more on that in the coming weeks).
I think part of this is because people will be like “well La La Land will win a bunch so maybe I’ll vote for Moonlight because the story of a gay black man throughout his life is super important for people to watch, and the movie was made beautifully, and Chiron is one of the most compelling single characters of the 2010s” and I’m hoping I’m right because that is all true.
THAT’S IT SEE YOU TOMORROW NIGHT.