Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will, Could and Should Win

The big night is just hours away, and I have to say I’m happy this long awards season is finally over. What started out as a promising year for awards season turned into a dull steamroll for La La Land, which confuses me given its competition. Then again, we are talking about the Oscars after all, so maybe it’s not all that shocking. 

So yeah, La La Land will probably win everything it’s fun to think about Moonlight or Arrival upsetting in a few of the major categories. So while I’ve tried to be “realistic” and predicted Damien Chazelle’s movie musical to win just about everything from Picture, Actress to Editing and Production Design, I’m holding out for some surprises. 

But aren’t we all? 

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Screen Actor’s Guild Predictions: Can “Moonlight” Emerge As “La La Land’s” Biggest Competition?

We have now entered Phase 2 of awards season: Oscar nominations have been announced, and now it’s about threading a narrative to create/build and/or maintain enough momentum to win an Oscar.

Last year, we saw the tide turn quickly against The Revenant, which came into Oscar night with a whopping 12 nominations and losing Best Picture to Spotlight and other technical awards to Mad Max: Fury Road. The same thing happened to American Hustle a few years ago; it scored 13 nominations and a ton of late breaking heat from the Golden Globes and Screen Actor’s Guild and won nothing on Oscar night. This year is obviously much different than those years, with La La Land being much more of an Oscar-friendly and consensus title than the other ones I mentioned. 

Curiously enough, La La Land only managed nominations for Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and did not appear in the line up for Best Ensemble which is worth noting. It’s true that La La Land is a lot of just Stone and Gosling, but that hasn’t stopped SAG from nominating films with smaller ensembles before (remember Beasts of No Nation last year? It only had three actors cited). The Producer’s Guild also announces their winner this weekend, which La La Land will almost certainly win. But SAG represents the actors, which outnumber the producers that vote within the Academy which is why I think Moonlight can emerge as a big threat this weekend (but more on that later). 

Let’s go through the categories. 

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Who Will, And Should, Win at the Golden Globes

Just how many awards is Damien Chazelle’s La La Land going to win tomorrow night at the Golden Globes? It’s a film that seems tailor made for this particularly group, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and benefits from the split by genre in Motion Picture awards. It will no doubt win Best Film and Actress, but can it go all the way in categories like Screenplay, Score, Song, Actor and Director too?

The other big question heading into tomorrow night is who will emerge victorious in the Drama categories: Manchester By The Sea or Moonlight? All three of these films are the big names heading into the Oscar nominations, so who can make the biggest mark prior to nomination day?

Let’s take a look at all of the major categories.

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“La La Land” and “Moonlight” Lead Golden Globe Nominations

As they always do, the Globes threw us some curveballs. Nocturnal Animals surprised in a number of categories (Supporting Actor, Screenplay and Director) in a way I don’t think it will repeat with future awards. Hacksaw Ridge and Hell or High Water showed their continued strength, with the former getting both a Picture and a Director nomination. 

DeadpoolFlorence Foster Jenkins and 20th Century Women were all helped by the Musical or Comedy categories (which I predict will swing in La La Land‘s direction) paving the way for a battle between Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight in the Drama categories. 

With two of the presumed big names (Annette Bening and Emma Stone) over in Best Actress Comedy or Musical, that left two slots open in the Drama categories. Both Portman and Huppert showed up, as did Amy Adams, Ruth Negga and Jessica Chastain. Two of those ladies won’t repeat as we near closer to SAG and Oscar, but who will it be? 

The Globes will air on Sunday January 8th, hosted by Jimmy Fallon on ABC.

See the full list of nominations below.

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Broadcast Film Critics Go Wild For “La La Land”

It was clear that the Broadcast Film Critics loved La La Land; they gave it the most nominations of any film with 12, and ended up winning eight including the top prizes: Picture and Director while picking up a lot of the below the line prizes in Editing, Production Design and Cinematography. Many have predicted La La Land will sweep in a similar fashion at the Oscars. And while it’s true the Broadcast critics don’t vote on the Oscars, they are more predictive and align more accurately with the Oscars than any other precursor group, including the Globes and even Screen Actors Guild (sometimes).

Where La La Land missed out, however, was in Best Actress which surprisingly went to Natalie Portman. After suffering from missed citations from recent critics groups, Portman roared back into the race and Jackie picked up additional awards in Costumes and Hair & Makeup. Only two actresses in the past 6 years that have won this award missed out on winning the Oscar; though many were quick to declare this a cakewalk for Emma Stone, it’s clear Best Actress is still a two woman race. 

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The other two frontrunners, Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea, had their moments as well. Mahershala Ali won yet another trophy for Supporting Actor with the cast winning the group’s ensemble prize. Casey Affleck beat out his biggest competition in Denzel Washington for Best Actor, while Kenneth Lonergan tied in Original Screenplay with Damien Chazelle’s screenplay for La La Land. After winning some notices with the critics, Michelle Williams lost Supporting Actress to Viola Davis, who has begun what I suspect will be a clean sweep of the televised awards. Look out for her next conquest: the Golden Globes (nominations are announced tomorrow). 

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Read the full list of (film) winners below.

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“Manchester By The Sea” is By Far the Year’s Most Frustratingly Overrated Film

For months I’ve been hearing nonstop talk about Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, which seemed to be the only film out of Sundance that could, at the time, find any coverage outside of Nate Parker’s Birth Of A Nation. As the year has gone on, Manchester has chugged along and slowly been building steam as one of the three Oscar heavyweights. It was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review, with lead actor Casey Affleck winning Best Actor honors from both the Gotham Independent Awards and New York Film Critic’s circle.

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National Board of Review Names “Manchester By The Sea” Best Film, Barry Jenkins Best Director

After winning big at last night’s Gotham Awards, Moonlight picked up two more wins with the National Board of Review for director Barry Jenkins and Naomie Harris’ supporting performance.

The big winner here was Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, which won big in the Best Film, Actor, Original Screenplay and Breakthrough Performance (Male) categories. Other winners include Jeff Bridges from Hell or High Water in Supporting Actor (which remains an extremely wide-open race) and Amy Adams for her outstanding performance in Arrival. With the Actress race so extremely competitive, any sort of precursor award helps those contenders who are on the bubble for those fourth and fifth slots (Adams, Ruth Negga, Isabelle Huppert, Taraji P. Henson and Meryl Streep).

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Hidden Figures, which opens in limited release Christmas Day, grabbed the Best Ensemble Award, Kubo and the Two Strings won in Animated Feature and the largely unseen Silence won an Adapted Screenplay award.

The NBR is known for their sometimes out of left field choices; they’re famous for choosing to vote for what they like rather than consensus favorites. And while many of the films/performances they choose to honor do go on to at the very least be nominated for the Oscars, they don’t have the accuracy in being “predictive” that other non-industry groups like the Broadcast Film Critics do. So take these wins with a grain of salt as we start reading the tea leaves and hearing from more groups this weekend.

Read the full list of winners below.

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