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Oscars 2017: Nominations & Likely Winners

Oscars 2017: Nominations & Likely Winners

oscar predictions 2017

Another year has gone by and the Academy awards season is in full swing, bringing with it as much excitement as outrage amongst the audience. Excitement in the form of nominations which were announced recently and backlash for snubbing probable winners (Amy Adams, Ryan Reynolds). Unlike last two or three years where it was easy to predict the results considering there wasn’t stiff competition, this year has multiple nominees worthy of the Oscar trophy.


So here go the nominations and our prediction of the likely winners for Oscars 2017 along with those who deserve:


1) Best Foreign Language Film

foreign language oscars 2017

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Land of Mine
  • Tanna
  • The Salesman
  • Toni Erdmann

Likely Winner: A Man Called Ove
Deserving Winner: Toni Erdmann

Picking a winner when you have two equally excellent films is always a tough call. But taking into consideration that the Academy has always been tender to films depicting unheard stories of the elderly (Amour, for instance), Toni Erdmann is certainly going to lose the award to A Man Called Ove. Despite being the most raved foreign language film worldwide. And for featuring the unparalleled, hilarious nude scene filmed ever.


2) Best Documentary Feature

oscar prediction 2017

  • OJ: Made in America
  • Fire at Sea
  • Life, Animated
  • I am not your Negro
  • The 13th

Likely Winner: OJ: Made in America
Deserving Winner: OJ: Made in America

OJ: Made in America is the safest bet this Oscar season for the reason that it’s an entirely different beast. Look at some of the Oscar-winning documentary films. Man on Wire, Amy, Citizen Four. They conveyed stories that were important to be told and about which people had no information. OJ: MIA recounted the story of an individual (OJ Simpson) that a lot of people were already aware of. But there lied its beauty as no film ever was so elaborate (eight-hour long duration) and insightful in etching a life story on celluloid.


3) Best Animated Feature Film

oscars 2017 predictions

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • Moana
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Likely Winner: Kubo and the Two Strings
Deserving Winner: Zootopia

2016 was an excellent year for the animation industry. We had half-a-dozen films which were both refreshing and entertaining for kids and adults alike. Of the nominated five, the contest is primarily between Moana, Kubo and the Two Strings and Zootopia. Laika’s Kubo, which comprised a dark, thrilling story topped with incredible visual effects, might win it. But it misses out the heart and hilariousness of Disney’s Zootopia, which also encompassed mature themes.


4) Best Original Screenplay

4) La La Land-min

  • Damien Chazelle – La La Land
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
  • Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water
  • Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou – The Lobster
  • Mike Mills – 20th Century Women

Likely Winner: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Deserving Winner: Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Novelty and originality are a rarity these days as films are often derivative. All the nominees not only came up with fresh ideas but also crafted fine stories out of them. Kenneth Lonergan and Taylor Sheridan, in particular, did a splendid job in their respective projects. But it’s Damien Chazelle who nailed it to the hilt. Chazelle not only rejuvenated the good-old charm of musicals but the land of dreams itself aka Hollywood.


5) Best Adapted Screenplay

adapted screenplay nominee oscars 2017

  • Eric Heisserer – Arrival
  • Barry Jenkins, Tarell McRaney – Moonlight
  • Luke Davies – Lion
  • August Wilson – Fences
  • Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi – Hidden Figures

Likely Winner: August Wilson – Fences
Deserving Winner: Barry Jenkins, Tarell McRaney – Moonlight

August Wilson’s nomination made it clear that the Academy doesn’t want to let go the opportunity of rewarding a late great artist. However the deserving fellas are Barry Jenkins and Tarell McRaney. They adapted the story (In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue) and wonderfully metamorphosed it into an engrossing screenplay. Segregated into three acts, the film was deeply affecting with broad character development and a masterfully written climax.


6) Best Editing

  • Tom Cross – La La Land
  • Joe Walker – Arrival
  • John Gilbert – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Jake Roberts – Hell or High Water
  • Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders – Moonlight

Likely Winner: Tom Cross, La La Land
Deserving Winner: Tom Cross, La La Land

Tom Cross’s previous collaboration with Damien Chazelle won him an Oscar. Whiplash was an electrifying experience. Thanks to the quick cuts, which were always in sync with the music in play. And once again, he’s done wonders. La La Land’s biggest strength was its watertight editing. There wasn’t a single unnecessary scene in the film, with the prologue and epilogue cut skillfully. Despite strong competition from Joe Walker (Arrival), who breathed life into the film with longer takes, Cross excelled more.


7) Best Cinematography

  • Linus Sandgren – La La Land
  • Bradford Young – Arrival
  • Rodrigo Prieto – Silence
  • James Laxton – Moonlight
  • Grieg Fraser – Lion

Likely Winner: Linus Sandgren – La La Land
Deserving Winner: Linus Sandgren – La La Land

Cinematography is the backbone of filmmaking. It’s a job of making things look bonny and artistic at the same time. While almost everyone loved La La Land, even those who had any sort of niggle can’t deny that the film looked good. Linus Sandgren sumptuously captured Los Angeles and conveyed half of the story through visuals alone. The final sequence is compelling enough for the jury to hand him over the trophy.


8) Best Original Song

  • “City of Stars” – La La Land
  • “How far I’ll go” – Moana
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Trolls
  • “The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story
  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” – La La Land

Likely Winner: “City of Stars” – La La Land
Deserving Winner: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” – La La Land

Sam Smith’s Oscar win last year brought more reprisal than acceptance. If it wasn’t for the lack of competition, he wouldn’t have won the trophy. This time though, things are different. We have five delightful tracks that can be listened on loop. While Moana’s “How far I’ll go” seemed liked the initial winner, La La Land changed everything. It didn’t take much time for people to begin humming its songs. Thanks to the love and appreciation, especially at the Golden Globes, “City of Stars” looks set to win the Oscar now. However, it’s “The Fools who dream” which must be recognized for the sheer insightful lyrics and Emma Stone’s voice.


9) Best Original Score

  • Justin Hurwitz – La La Land
  • Nicholas Hurwitz – Moonlight
  • Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka – Lion
  • Mica Levi – Jackie
  • Thomas Newman – Passengers

Likely Winner: Justin Hurwitz – La La Land
Deserving Winner: Justin Hurwitz – La La Land

How do you make classic themes for characters in movies? Ask Justin Hurwitz. Collaborating second time with Damien, the composer has rendered a wonderful soundtrack. From Mia & Sebastian’s theme to the entire Planetarium bit, it’s a pleasure to listen to his compositions. Given that Justin has enthralled us twice consecutively, it’s now the job of the Academy to remunerate the artist.


10) Best Visual Effects

oscars 2017 nominees visual effects

  • The Jungle Book
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • Kubo and the Two Strings

Likely Winner: The Jungle Book
Deserving Winner: Doctor Strange


Now, this is a category that has a lot of moviegoers excited, for the inclusion of superhero/blockbuster films. While the Jury members are sure to vote for Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, Marvel righteously deserves the honor. The Jungle Book was surely an outright CGI film but it couldn’t create an experience as immersive as Doctor Strange. The kaleidoscopic animation blew us all away. Even those who disliked the film strongly recommended a viewing just for the vfx. And it speaks volumes about the digital craftiness.


11) Best Costume Design

  • Jackie
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • La La Land
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Allied

Likely Winner: La La Land
Deserving Winner: La La Land

It’s very hard to say which film will win in this category considering all the nominated films featured dazzling outfits. From the vintage clothing in Fantastic Beasts to the elite attires in Jackie, we had all kinds of garbs. However, the most striking costume design was seen in La La Land. Apart from the production and cinematography, it were the outfits that shone the brightest. Both under the sun and the stars, complementing the film’s proceedings and grabbing our eyeballs.


12) Best Makeup/Hairstyling

oscars 2017 best hairstyling

  • Suicide Squad
  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond

Likely Winner: A Man Called Ove
Deserving Winner: Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad‘s nomination spawned a debate about its deservedness. For me it certainly does deserve. The film comprised half-a-dozen colorful characters, most prominently Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Jared Leto’s Joker. The weird posters of the film featuring them build significant amount of hype. Taking into consideration that fact and that Harley Quinn’s costume was the most worn outfit last Halloween, it shouldn’t be a startling thing. However, the jury always takes into account the film as a whole. On that front, A Man Called Ove will win.


13) Best Production Design

  • La La Land
  • Passengers
  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!

Likely Winner: La La Land
Deserving Winner: La La Land

When was the last time you saw set-pieces as astonishing as in La La Land? Well, credit goes to the production team for their incredible work. While the drop-dead dazzler opener was filmed on an overpass, the majority of the film comprised of killer and fairly original sets. From eye-popping streets to the mesmeric planetarium stage, everything was beyond awesome. The tiniest of detail contributed significantly to the film’s overall impact.


14) Best Sound Editing

  • Sylvain Bellemare – Arrival
  • Wylie Stateman, Renee Tondelli – Deepwater Horizon
  • Robert Mackenzie, Andy Wright – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ai-ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan – La La Land
  • Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman – Sully

Likely Winner: Deepwater Horizon
Deserving Winner: Deepwater Horizon

Mark Wahlberg’s Deepwater Horizon could have potentially bagged a Best Picture nomination. Unfortunately, the subpar character development snapped all possibilities. Still, it was expected to get nominated for its technicalities. And given the astute chances, it looks certain to win the Oscar for sound editing, for creating an immersive and uniquely believable feel of being stuck in an oil rig.


15) Best Sound Mixing

  • Bernard Gariépy Strobl, Claude La Haye – Arrival
  • Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, Peter Grace – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, Steve A. Morrow – La La Land
  • David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, MacRuth – 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Likely Winner: La La Land
Deserving Winner: La La Land

See Also
Yasujirō Ozu films

In a category apportioned to blockbuster movies, La La Land marks a surprise entry. No disregard to the roaring sounds of AT-ACT walkers or the Alien ships. But the sound mixing done by Nelson, Lee and Morrow deserves applause. Alluring us with catchy music than any other explosion, La La Land had the best elements. Seamlessly infusing ‘Another Day of Sun‘ with sounds of car horns, the trio got themselves registered right away.


16) Best Director

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

Likely Winner: Damien Chazelle –La La Land
Deserving Winner: Damien Chazelle –La La Land

This is the most fascinating lot of nominees. Each one of them gave us films to remember. Be it the riveting war drama Hacksaw Ridge or the first contact film Arrival. We had a blast throughout the fall. But speaking of the possible winner, it’s definitely going to be Damien Chazelle. Marching ahead at the pace of Spielberg and Nolan, the two-movie old director Chazelle has earned the honor. A party that was spoiled in 2014 by Alejandro Inarritu’s Birdman, La La Land is soon to give him a night to rejoice.


17) Best Supporting Actress

oscars 2017 predictions

  • Viola Davis – Fences
  • Naomie Harris – Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman – Lion
  • Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
  • Michelle WilliamsManchester By the Sea

Likely Winner: Viola Davis – Fences
Deserving Winner: Naomie Harris – Moonlight

While only one actor will be receiving the award, the performances were uniformly top notch. It is although arguable as to who was the better one. Viola Davis will be the likely winner considering the acclaim she has been receiving. Her Golden Globe win makes her odds better than the rest. However, in my opinion, Naomie Harris gave the strongest performance. Her portrayal of a drug addict mother was very hard hitting and she played her part ably.


18) Best Supporting Actor

supporting actor nominations 2017 oscars

  • Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
  • Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
  • Dev Patel – Lion
  • Lucas Hedges – Manchester By the Sea
  • Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Likely Winner: Michael Shannon/Jeff Bridges – Nocturnal Animals/Hell or High Water
Deserving Winner: Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Despite knowing the nominee that deserves it the most, it’s hard to predict the winner. Both Michael Shannon and Jeff Bridges are dark horses. While the former has been nominated once before, it’s the seventh Oscar nomination for Bridges, who has already won one. Both gave terrific performances in their respective roles. But it’s Mahershala Ali who everybody will be rooting for. Even in a brief role, he emanated immense enthusiasm and compassion that is hard to forget.


19) Best Actress

best actress oscars 2017 nominee

  • Emma Stone – La La Land
  • Natalie Portman – Jackie
  • Ruth Negga – Loving
  • Isabelle Huppert – Elle
  • Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Likely Winner: Emma Stone – La La Land
Deserving Winner: Emma Stone – La La Land

If it wasn’t for the Academy’s ruthless decision to omit Amy Adams from this one, picking a winner would’ve been excruciatingly hard. (Adams was outstanding in Arrival as she single-handedly shouldered the film).

Despite a bunch of strong performances, none could match Emma Stone’s portrayal as Mia in La La Land. Stone, who has been nominated once before but failed to make the cut, is sure to grab her first Oscar. Be it singing, dancing, sporting lustrous costumes, or conveying emotions through her eyes, she was bewitching. And she totally knocked the ball out the park in the audition scene!


20) Best Actor

oscars 2017 best actor nominations

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

Likely Winner: Casey Affleck/Denzel Washington – Manchester By the Sea/Fences
Deserving Winner: Casey Affleck – Manchester By the Sea

Hands down, it’s Casey Affleck who deserves all the Best Actor trophies this season. It was a once-in-a-lifetime performance of his career. Even though Gosling is nominated, he surely wouldn’t be the pick of the Jury given Affleck had a more complex character. On the contrary, Denzel Washington could pull off a surprise win as well for his work in Fences. The actor already has two Oscar trophies. But since the jury loves him no less than Meryl Streep, he could win another one.


21) Best Picture

moonlight oscars 2017 nominations

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

Likely Winner: La La Land
Deserving Winner: Moonlight

The most prestigious award of the evening will likely go to La La Land. Though, it’d be more satisfying to see Moonlight being rewarded. There is no niggling with La La Land winning the award. But Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight was a more groundbreaking film. Valiant and socially relevant, it needed guts and sheer talent to deliver a film as affecting as this one. For the latter reason alone, Moonlight deserves the Oscar. Else there will be another day of Sun.


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