On Sunday, February 26, the spectacularly cavernous enclave that is the Dolby Theatre plays host to yet another parade of pretty people in expensive garb and jewelry, boasting all sorts of hair-do’s (and don’ts), sharing a laugh over that one time they embarrassed themselves in front of their director — generally doing things to humanize themselves, to ease the tension that invariably arises on this day when famous people, who are about to become more famous, try not to act so famous.

I am left with but a few familiar questions as to how it all goes down this year.

What will the controversy be this time around? What wardrobe malfunction shall befall which hapless celeb?

How awkward will the evening get when Jimmy Kimmel runs out of funny?

Do we really have to wait until February 26 to watch La La Land collect all the gold, or will I need to go back and give this entire post a new title? How predictable will the Oscars be this year?

Will there be enough of the world left this time next year for another one to be held?

Without placing too much emphasis on the term ‘deserving,’ of the names that have been deemed worthy of inclusion, here are those that I feel have the greatest odds of actually taking home a statuette that night in ten categories I consider the most interesting of the night.

Best Picture

The cast and crew of La La Land will skip merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily up on stage because life is but a dream. Never mind the fact it is directed by Best Director lock Damien Chazelle, chances are if you make a musical in today’s day and age and it doesn’t suck, you will probably get an Oscar.

My preference (of those selected): Moonlight

My preference (of those not selected): Swiss Army Man


This is one of many for jazz lover Damien Chazelle (La La Land). 2017 is his year. I can’t say it’s entirely undeserved. He has crafted a passionate, joyous ode to a cinematic trend that has seemed for awhile to be done and dusted, and makes the entire enterprise look effortless — which probably only he can confirm was anything but.

My preference (of those selected): Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

My preference (of those not selected): Jeff Nichols, Loving

Actor in a Leading Role 

It has to be Casey Affleck for his bruising portrait of a man in a deep, unshakable funk in Manchester By the Sea. I’m raising hell if Ryan Gosling gets the call. (And I love Ryan Gosling.)

My preference (of those selected): Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea

My preference (of those not selected): Tom Hanks, Sully

Actress in a Leading Role

We might have the biggest controversy on our hands with this category. The unconscionable exclusion of Amy Adams for her work in the impossibly human drama Arrival (about aliens) has managed to annoy everyone. But if there’s anyone here who could help us possibly get over that farce, it’s Ruth Negga as Mildred Loving. What a wonderful performance. I couldn’t get enough of it.

My preference (of those selected): Ruth Negga, Loving

My preference (of those not selected): Amy Adams, Arrival 

Actor in a Supporting Role

First of all, what is Dev(elopment)* Patel doing in this category? If he’s not a leading role in Lion, who is? Are you telling me his child counterpart is the lead? That there are no leads in this film? What’s going on here . . . But in all reality, it’s irrelevant because he’s not winning this anyway. That honor is going to Mahershala Ali for his sturdy but immensely flawed supporting character Juan in Moonlight. Ali seems to be on the rise, and quickly, ever since I saw him on House of Cards. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you free yourself from the shackles of an Underwood-run White House.

My preference (of those selected): Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

My preference (of those not selected): Daniel Radcliffe, Swiss Army Man

How many have noticed this guy missing on the ballot? How many of you are surprised?

How many have noticed this guy missing on the ballot? How many of you are surprised?

Actress in a Supporting Role

This is too hard to call with any degree of accuracy. But my gut instinct — first of all, it’s going to come down to a head-to-head between Viola Davis (Fences) and Naomie Harris (Moonlight) — my gut instinct tells me the odds are in Harris’, no, wait — Davis’ . . . no, Harris’ favor. Ah, screw it. Can we split the award this year? I cannot choose. But because I must, Naomie Harris as one nasty mama in Moonlight. Damn, was she fierce.

My preference (of those selected): Naomie Harris, Moonlight 

My preference (of those not selected): Lupita Nyong’o, Queen of Katwe

Animated Feature

Zootopia seems to be the frontrunner in this category, and that plays right in to my theme here. How very expected, especially during the times in which we are currently living.

My preference (of those selected): Moana

My preference (of those not selected): The Little Prince


One of my favorite “non-major” categories is that which recognizes outstanding achievement in cinematography. I’m a person who responds strongly to the visual appeal of things. (I’m also a visual learner.) There are a lot of great selections this year, so this one is another that’s going to be tough to predict but my gut is telling me Linus Sandgren’s ability to capture La La Land in ways we have rarely seen before is going to score big.

My preference (of those selected): Rodrigo Prieto, Silence

My preference (of those not selected): Emmanuel Lubezki, Knight of Cups

Costume Design

Here’s a category I actually do not pay much mind to, but the results are always interesting at the ceremony. The obvious choice to me is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Ornate and fun, Colleen Atwood’s wardrobe for this Harry Potter spin-off film is sure to receive confirmation that at least her efforts were worthwhile.

My preference (of those selected): Consolata Boyle, Florence Foster Jenkins

My preference (of those not selected): Timothy Everest and Sammy Sheldon Differ, Assassin’s Creed 

Production Design

Production design and set design are major elements to consider as well, and yet I rarely address them in my reviews (probably an oversight). It’s another of those categories that seems to only become relevant when design elements seem to be the only thing going for a particular movie (like the slightly disappointing Coen brothers’ tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood, Hail, Caesar!) Their farcical celebration of a bygone era is my dubious pick for the Oscar this year.

My preference (of those selected): Jess Gonchor (production design) and Nancy Haigh (set decoration), Hail, Caesar!

My preference (of those not selected): Craig Lathrop (production design) and Mary Kirkland (set decoration), The Witch

* This is an inside joke I share with an longtime follower of my blog, the result of what I would consider one of the best typos of all time.

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.imdb.com 

34 thoughts on “#OscarsSoPredictable

  1. Pingback: #OscarsQuiteUnpredictable | Thomas J

  2. Pingback: Month in Review: January ’17 | Thomas J

  3. “…chances are if you make a musical in today’s day and age and it doesn’t suck, you will probably get an Oscar.” Ha ha. I think ‘La La Land’ is better than just “not sucking” but ‘Sing Street’ was incredible too and that was completely ignored. Not even a single nomination for Best Song? Wow. That’s was my biggest outrage. The rest, yeah predictable, but that’s what happens in a year when it’s so obvious I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah La La Land is a really good movie — I think this year I’m finding myself outside the camp of those wanting to crown the obvious choice for Best Pic, there’s a little resentment coming from this side there’s no doubt about it! Haha! You know how I felt about Sing Street . . . although yeah a few of those songs were really good. Surprised they’d did not get picked at all.


  4. Wow – you spent some time thinking about this! 🙂 And you’re so right – Oscars so damn predictable. And… Amy Adams!!! Dammit. F*^k you, Oscars! Arrival should win ALL (and, like, also be nominated at least!). I’ve seen SO little that’s nominated this year… (But most aren’t even out here yet or barely got played). Can’t believe Your Name isn’t up for Animated film or the songs in Sing Street (which are far more memorable than those in La La Land).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, speaking on behalf of ME, I wasn’t exactly head-over-heels for La La Land but it’s absolutely a good movie. Really fun and passionate. But I didn’t think thematically speaking it was anything that special, if I’m being honest. But there’s plenty of testimony confirming I’m way in the minority there, and I think you’ll probably like it more than I natasha.

      And yes, the Amy Adam’s thing is a debacle. She was astoundingly good in Arrival. It confuses me how the thing is up for Best Picture and she’s not up for Best Actress in a leading role. But there you have it.


  5. Man, I seriously feel well out of the loop regarding La La Land. Perhaps I need another try, but I had to walk out. It made my head hurt, the relentless optimism almost killed me. At least I got my money back 😉

    Still haven’t seen most of these films, so its hard to say much. Needless to say though I’m with you on everything re- Swiss Army Man!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I couldn’t take it man. Perhaps I’m just too much of a cynical ass, but it literally made my head hurt. No denying that it looked incredible, and all that choreography must have taken hours (though all I really saw was the highway scene before I left :P) but, I dunno man… I always hated it when a Simpsons episode would lapse into song. So an entire movie of that? With dancing on top of the singing? Nope, too big an ask for me.

        I wish I could like it because it does look incredible, but I don’t like dancing and I just found it incredibly grating when people just launched into song and dance for no apparent reason. I seem to be the only person I know feels this way though. Perhaps in ten years I’ll love it.

        Stupid thing is, music is my main passion. Theoretically I should like musicals. But I can’t fucking stand them! =/


        • I’m just a little confused I guess as to why you would see something you probably wouldn’t like . . . Not that I’m challenging you but the advertising made it pretty clear what La La Land was. Maybe you weren’t expecting the overt romanticism that the movie offered? I’ve had experiences like that though. The new M. Night Shyamalan movie was something I actually was preparing not to like and lo and behold I left pretty annoyed, but actually for different reasons. Not because I flat-out dismiss Shyamalan as a filmmaker. But because once again he does something to completely undo all the good he does.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That sucks to hear about Split, I thought that one had a chance of being a return to form. I still wanna see it for McAvoy though.

            I saw La La Land because it was Chazelle, and I knew I’d get my money back if I did walk out within the first 30 minutes.

            I wasn’t expecting the overly romantic element either no, which is almost always a turn off for me as you probably know 😛

            I’ll certainly give it another chance, but I’m not paying cinema prices for it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • We all have our preferences, that’s for sure. It’s been some time since I have walked out on a movie but it has happened. It has to be really, really awful though. Even if I get my money refunded, I am pretty upset that the movie couldn’t get me to stick around.


    • (and in the interest of full disclosure, I am not over the moon about La La Land myself, I think it’s a great film but it’s not one of my favorites. Thematic elements felt all too familiar to me.)


    • I actually didn’t double check the release date for TLP, I actually do think it was a 2015 one. I’ll need to go with something else I think… either way that movie was awesome!


  6. Having seen the Globes and there’s not much difference for the Oscars, I can’t imagine La La Land NOT winning. This is a year I’m not too excited about watching. I’d like to see a surprise win, maybe Patel. Maybe Mel Gibson for Best Director. It would be cool if Viggio won for Acting.


    • Yeah I don’t know what it is, but there’s a sense of fatigue associated with the awards season for me this year. Maybe it’s because I have personally gotten to a place where the cyclical release calendar no longer holds any mystery for me, and that I am better at predicting which releases end up carrying weight at the end of the year. There are a lot of great choices this year, but I feel it’s all going to come down to “how many” Moonlight and La La Land will pick up. Either way, I’ll likely be watching the ceremony but I can’t say I’m looking forward to too many upsets.

      I’ve heard a great many things about Mortensen’s turn in Captain Fantastic. I can’t believe I haven’t seen that thing yet. I eagerly await my turn!


  7. Good stuff! I too think it’ll be a good night for La La Land and I won’t mind I adore that movie. At the risk of saying the unconscionable and raising the ire of the masses, I liked Moonlight. Didn’t love it. Still think it has an outside shot to make some noise on Oscar night.


    • Moonlight is my choice, but La La Land will probably sweep. I believe I’m in the same position you are with that film (Moonlight). I respected La La Land more than I enjoyed it. I really didn’t think it was life-changing as everyone is claiming it to be.


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