Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win vs. Who Should Win

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There are currently almost 6,000 members in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). These people are professionals who have worked in the film industry and every year it is their votes which decide the films and individuals which receive Oscar nominations. Each member will select 5 nominees in the category of their work, and they also select nominees for best picture. These votes are tabulated and the people and films that get the most votes end up with the nominations, which are then voted on again by the Academy to select the winners.

It’s not an easy task to sift through hundreds of films a year to determine which ones are the “best”. Consider that each of the nearly 6,000 voters this year brings their own unique experiences and perspectives to the process. Films that may appeal to one person, may not appeal to another. Some voters may be more in tune with current filmmaking trends, whereas others prefer traditional techniques and styles. From this procedure, you can also see how word-of-mouth popularity, film advertising, and even bad publicity can come into play. This process has been in place now for 89 years, and during that time it’s no surprise that a few great films and filmmakers have been left without a deserving Oscar nomination. Likewise, it’s no surprise that there have been some nominees and winners that just seem out of place.

This year is no different. There are films/people on the list of this year’s nominees that we expected to be there, and there are films/people on the list of this year’s nominees that we didn’t expect. Below, Aaron, Jordan and I try our best to cut through all of the confusion and make our picks for the winners in each category. Here we try our best to get inside of the minds of voters based on the events of the last couple months, but we also share our opinions about who we personally think should win in each case. Who will make the most accurate picks? Who will be this year’s Oscar Champion?

We want to see your picks too. Tell us who you think will win/should win in the comments below!

6362131604899639611269980815 2017 Oscars 89th Academy Awards

 

Aaron

Garrett

Jordan

Best Picture

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Moonlight

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Comment: No other film this year has been as impactful and been as well-rounded as Damien Chazelle’s modern musical.

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Arrival

Comment: This is a toss up for me. On one hand, Arrival and Hidden Figures have a more important message/story (which trumps everything for me), but there’s no denying the power of La La Land.  

Best Director

Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle

Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins

Comment:

Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle

Who Should Win: Damien Chazelle

Comment: La La Land is the clear standout this year. The Academy needs to recognize the man who made it happen.

Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle

Who Should Win: Damien Chazelle

Comment: It’s rare that the best picture doesn’t also land the best director, not to mention La La Land is incredibly well done.  

Best Actor

Who Will Win: Casey Affleck

Who Should Win: Casey Affleck

Comment:

Who Will Win: Casey Affleck

Who Should Win: Casey Affleck

Comment: No surprises here.

Who Will Win: Casey Affleck

Who Should Win: Viggo Mortensen

Comment: My disdain for Casey Affleck is pretty clear, but the buzz is currently in his favor. That said, I think Viggo’s turn in Captain Fantastic should bring him much deserved recognition.  

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman

Who Should Win: Isabelle Huppert

Comment:

Who Will Win: Emma Stone

Who Should Win: Amy Adams

Comment: Adams has been nominated for 5 Oscars without a win. This was supposed to be her year, but the lack of even a nomination is a disgrace. Arrival was a great film because of her performance, and I feel she had a bigger impact on elevating her film than any of the other candidates.

Who Will Win: Natalie Portman

Who Should Win: Ruth Negga

Comment: I’m with Garrett on this, the one who SHOULD win wasn’t even nominated…but whatever. Out of those on the list, however, I’m pulling for Ruth Negga, though I can see Portman snagging the Oscar for her portrayal in Jackie.  

Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali

Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali

Comment:

Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali

Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali

Comment: What a great year for Mahershala in film and TV. He deserves it!

Who Will Win: Jeff Bridges

Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali

Comment: Ali absolutely deserves this award, and I hope that I’m wrong about this one.  I could see Bridges snagging the award (he was excellent in the film), simply because of his legacy, but I hope the Academy wises up this year.

Supporting Actress

Who Will Win: Viola Davis

Who Should Win: Viola Davis

Comment:

Who Will Win: Viola Davis

Who Should Win: Viola Davis

Comment: Davis seemed to have the largest role among this year’s nominees, and due to that I think she should win.

Who Will Win: Viola Davis

Who Should Win: Viola Davis

Comment: Davis is definitely deserving of the recognition for her role in Fences, though I wouldn’t be surprised (or upset) if Octavia Spencer took it.

Original Screenplay

Who Will Win: Manchester By The Sea

Who Should Win: 20th Century Women

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Hell or High Water

Comment: La La Land is primed to run away with all the awards this year, in a clean sweep, but Hell or High Water is a poignant film that’s political without choosing a side.

Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: Moonlight

Who Should Win: Moonlight

Comment:

Who Will Win: Moonlight

Who Should Win: Moonlight

Comment: Moonlight deserves a lot of recognition, and its strongest attribute, its screenplay, is what should get that recognition.

Who Will Win: Arrival

Who Should Win: Arrival

Comment: I was so angry last year when The Martian was denied the Adapted screenplay, so I’m pinning my hopes on another Sci-Fi pic this year.

Animated Feature

Who Will Win: Zootopia

Who Should Win: The Red Turtle

Comment:

Who Will Win: Zootopia

Who Should Win: Kubo and the Two Strings

Comment: Although a good all-around movie, Zootopia seems like par for the course from Disney these days. This award needed to go to a groundbreaking animated film that really stood out, and Kubo was that film.

Who Will Win: Kubo and the Two Strings

Who Should Win: Kubo and the Two Strongs

Comment: Kubo is clearly the most impactful film of the nominees, and despite the general buzz for Zootopia, it’s artsy enough to attract Academy voters.

Foreign Language Film

Who Will Win: Toni Erdmann

Who Should Win: Toni Erdmann

Comment:

Who Will Win: The Salesman

Who Should Win: The Salesman

Comment: The Salesman is a fantastic film. Intense, interesting, and now thanks to Trump, politically relevant. I have a feeling many voters will choose this film due to their distaste with the current political atmosphere.  

Who Will Win: Toni Erdmann

Who Should Win: Land of Mine

Comment: To be honest, these are the only films I’ve seen in this category, so I’m kinda limited.

Documentary – Feature Length

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Who Will Win: O.J.: Made in America

Who Should Win: I Am Not Your Negro

Comment: The story of OJ Simpson seems to be on TV and in the news a lot lately. Time to give someone else attention.  

Who Will Win: O.J.: Made in America

Who Should Win: I Am Not Your Negro

Comment: The OJ story has a boost in pop-culture going for it, making it the most likely to win, but I Am Not Your Negro is engrossing and important.

Documentary – Short

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Who Will Win: The White Helmets

Who Should Win: The White Helmets

Comment:

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment: Didn’t get the chance to watch these/check them out.  So I’m deferring the guess to my fellow writers.

Live Action Short

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Who Will Win: Silent Night

Who Should Win: Timecode

Comment:

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment: Didn’t get the chance to watch these/check them out.  So I’m deferring the guess to my fellow writers.

Animated Short

Who Will Win: Piper

Who Should Win: Piper

Comment:

Who Will Win: Piper

Who Should Win: Piper

Comment:

Who Will Win: Piper

Who Should Win: Piper

Comment: This is easly one of Pixar’s best short films in a LONG time (if not the best period).  I’m not sure how I’ll react if it gets passed over.

Original Score

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Comment: Not much of a competition…Chazelle does magic with film and music.

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Comment: I don’t see any real reason for La La Land to miss out on this one.  A no brainer for sure.  

Original Song

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Who Will Win: City of Stars – La La Land

Who Should Win: City of Stars – La La Land

Comment: Easily the most memorable song in film this year.

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Sound Editing

Who Will Win: Hacksaw Ridge

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Who Will Win: Hacksaw Ridge

Who Should Win: Arrival

Comment: Arrival has some of the greatest sound editing I’ve heard in a film in some time. It thrives off of the sound environment that the filmmakers created.

Who Will Win: Arrival

Who Should Win: Arrival

Comment: Man, Arrival does some great stuff with its soundtrack, all of which goes towards serving the story and eliciting genuine emotions. It’s incredibly well done and very purposefully planned.  

Sound Mixing

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Hacksaw Ridge

Comment: This is the category I think a war or action movie should excel in.

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Comment: Being a musical, it’s hard to beat La La Land in this category, but Rogue One deserves it.  The sound mix transports you to brand new worlds seamlessly, and thoroughly engrosses you in the epic final battle.

Production Design

Who Will Win: No pick

Who Should Win: No pick

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Comment: The production of La La Land simply feels elevated over everything else this year. It felt new and old at the same time, which was interesting and cohesive with the story.

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts

Comment: I really enjoyed the way Fantastic Beasts brought the magic of the “Wizarding World” not only to a new location, but an all new time period.  The design felt incredible, simultaneously taking you to a different period of history, while incorporating fantastical styles as well.  

Cinematography

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win:

Silence

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Silence

Comment: If Silence deserved to win anything, it was this. Otherwise, La La Land is a solid choice. In my opinion all of the nominees were equal in terms of execution. La La Land has the momentum and the more memorable shots, so I think that’s what will carry it to the win.  

Who Will Win: Silence

Who Should Win: Silence

Comment: The fact that Silence seemed shut out this year is still kind of surprising, but it seems like a Cinematography would be an easy score for the flick.  That said, I’m also pulling for Arrival.  

Makeup and Hairstyling

Who Will Win:  Star Trek Beyond

Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond

Comment:

Who Will Win: Star Trek Beyond

Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond

Comment: Not just one character in makeup – but hundreds. They had to create 50 new species for this film. That’s a lot of work, and it was executed well.

Who Will Win: Star Trek Beyond

Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond

Comment: As good as Suicide Squad did with their makeup designs (one of the few things the film did right), there’s no reason Star Trek Beyond should be passed over.  They created believable aliens and incorporated them effortlessly.   

Costume Design

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Allied

Comment: Modern hipster will win over historically interesting fashion.

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts

Comment: Garrett’s right about the hipster style winning over, but that doesn’t make Fantastic Beasts costumes any less cool.  

Film Editing

Who Will Win: Arrival

Who Should Win: Moonlight

Comment:

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Arrival

Comment: The way that Arrival spliced together it’s looping storyline is unlike anything you’ve seen before. The fact that it was done organically and while adding depth to the film experience is something that made it stand out in my mind.

Who Will Win: Arrival

Who Should Win: Arrival

Comment: I don’t think there’s any competition here.  As well executed as La La Land was in editing, Arrival’s STORY was dependent on the way in which is was edited together.  The editing was just as important to how the story came together as anything else.  

Visual Effects

Who Will Win: The Jungle Book

Who Should Win: The Jungle Book

Comment:

Who Will Win: The Jungle Book

Who Should Win: Dr. Strange

Comment: Life-like CGI animals is nothing new, although it is impressive. I feel like Dr. Strange was the most visually exciting film this year. Those action scenes required a lot of coordination and stunt work, not just CGI.

Who Will Win: Jungle Book

Who Should Win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Comment: I will die on this hill if I have to.  I know the CGI Tarkin and Leia didn’t work for everyone, but it’s impossible to deny the technical mastery that went into it.  It was a bold risk and one I feel will launch VFX forward even more so than digital animals.