THEY'RE BACK! The Academy Awards, aka The Oscars, ARE BACK! Mercifully, we didn't get another repeat of #OscarsSoWhite. As per usual, I like to observe the acting categories and Best Picture to determine who/what should and will win. That will not change. Now, time to get cracking!
Should: Regrettably, I haven't seen as many movies as I'd like from last year. Also, I made a mistake with one of my previous prediction pieces, having not seen the trailers for Fences and thinking it wouldn't catch fire. By the trailers alone, Denzel Washington should win an Oscar.
Will: If everything was hunky dory, Casey Affleck would be absolutely soaring right now, with virtually everyone loving his performance in Manchester by the Sea, appearing on SNL, and snagging the Golden Globe and BAFTA. However, the allegations towards him have recently been called out. In which case, let's give it to Denzel, who won the SAG.
Should: The only movie I saw in this category was Florence Foster Jenkins, and while Streep was characteristically wonderful, nominating her for every performance dilutes its impact over time. However, for an unknown like Ruth Negga to snag a nomination for Loving takes true talent and star power. Negga has a bright future ahead of her. On the other hand, Emma Stone somehow she hasn't received an Oscar yet, though she did get a nomination for Birdman.
Will: Looking at the big three (Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards), a striking pattern emerges: Emma Stone won in all three of them for her performance in La La Land. So, it's safe to say that she'll win her first Oscar as well.
Best Supporting Actor
Should: This year has been kind to first-time nominees. It's likely that the Academy will continue this trend, and for someone like Mahershala Ali, it'll be well-deserved.
Will: This category has been a mess. While Ali won the SAG, Dev Patel (who's alos nominated for an Oscar in Lion) won the BAFTA, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson won the Globe for his performance in Nocturnal Animals, and he wasn't even nominated for the Oscars (though his co-star Michael Shannon was). Given all of this, if Moonlight continues being a heavy contender, Ali will win the award.
Best Supporting Actress
Should: The Academy outdid themselves in this category, nominating three black actresses for different movies. Curiously, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who were both in The Help, are nominees here for different movies. However, Spencer won an award for that movie, while Davis lost to Meryl Streep. It's time for Davis to win the Oscar.
Will: This category has been another sweep. Davis won all three awards. She's now one of the biggest stars around, thanks to How To Get Away With Murder. She's gonna get the Oscar.
Should: This one is honestly tough. It basically boils down to three heavy favorites: Moonlight, about a black boy from the Miami area who struggles to accept his homosexuality; La La Land, which is worth watching for the trailers alone (those colors!); and Hidden Figures, which not only unearthed a deservedly-told piece of history to the masses, but became the first movie to beat Rogue One at the box-office. I can't decide!
Will: The horse race tells a different story. Moonlight won the Globe, but so did La La Land (the Globes are weird). The SAG's version of Best Picture is "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture", which went to Hidden Figures. And while Hidden Figures beat a Star Wars movie at the box office, La La Land won the BAFTA. To be safe, I'm going with La La Land. The Academy has learned its lesson in regards to acting, but I doubt that sentiment has extended to Best Picture.
There you have it. Many different categories populate the Oscars, but that requires a lot more writing. In the meantime, mark your calendars for Feb. 26th, the day of the Oscars. See you on the red carpet!