Jake’s 2017 Oscar Predictions


As some of you might know, The Academy Awards are this Sunday night. This is a good and bad thing. While I always enjoy watching the Oscars in terms of tradition, the ceremony itself can get a little long and overstuffed each year. Watching a three and a half hour awards ceremony doesn’t have the same bite as watching a three and a half hour Bruce Springsteen concert for me (I was wondering how long it would take to shoehorn that one in). But, since the Oscars are coming up, I typically do my predictions in all of the major categories right before the ceremony. If my predictions are right, it should be a pretty straight-forward and surprise-free ceremony this year. I gotta get back to prepping for SXSW in a bit (more on that in the next week or so), so let’s dive straight into this.

The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are:

  • Viola Davis – “Fences”
  • Michelle Williams – “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Naomie Harris – “Moonlight”
  • Nicole Kidman – “Lion”
  • Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures”

I have only seen two of the performances in this category, Naomie Harris’s and Michelle Williams’s. They were both great, but these two don’t have a chance against Viola Davis. I have yet to see Fences, but I hear nothing but great things about this performance. She won the Golden Globe and the SAG Award (the latter being the biggest indicator). While I haven’t seen the film, I want Viola Davis to win. She’s one of the finest actors of not just this generation, but of all time. I’m really happy that she’ll probably end up an Oscar-winner this Sunday night.

The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are:

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

Mahershala Ali basically has this one in the bag. His performance in Moonlight, albeit a short and brief performance, was remarkable. Ali as the charismatic and lovable drug dealer father-figure for Chiron was a beautiful and moving turn by Ali, an actor that I’ve been fond of for years. I don’t see anybody else taking home this award in this category tomorrow night. It’s nice to see Lucas Hedges nominated for Manchester by the Sea, and it’s always great seeing Michael Shannon nominated. Mahershala Ali has this one, and I couldn’t be happier about this.

The nominees for Best Actress are:

  • Emma Stone – “La La Land“
  • Natalie Portman – “Jackie“
  • Meryl Streep – “Florence Foster Jenkins“
  • Isabelle Huppert – “Elle“
  • Ruth Negga – “Loving“
 This category upsets me. Annette Benning gave the best performance of the year in the best movie of the year, 20th Century Women. She’s not nominated here, and 20th Century Women was shut out of most categories except for Best Original Screenplay. Benning’s performance was so beautiful as was the movie, and I’m genuinely upset that she wasn’t nominated. I was drenched in tears watching that movie. Oh well. Emma Stone will win this award. She’s really good in La La Land, but I can’t necessarily its the best performance out of the people nominated. Natalie Portman was terrific in Jackie, and Ruth Negga was just as good in Loving (directed by Austin’s own Jeff Nichols). But it doesn’t matter, as Emma Stone will be winning her first ever Oscar tomorrow night.
The nominees for Best Actor are:
  • Denzel Washington – “Fences“
  • Casey Affleck – “Manchester by the Sea“
  • Ryan Gosling – “La La Land“
  • Viggo Mortensen – “Captain Fantastic“
  • Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge“
 This category is little more tricky. Casey Affleck should technically have this one guaranteed, but not exactly. Denzel Washington won the SAG award for his performance in Fences, even though Casey Affleck won the Golden Globe and BAFTA. As great as Casey Affleck was in Manchester by the Sea, and while I think he deserves to win, I don’t think he will. As many of you might know, Casey Affleck has a bit of a past, and a problem with how he treats women on his sets. I don’t want to get into the details of it, but it doesn’t look good for the actor. But the Academy has looked past the problems of others and looked at the art they created (why do you think Mel Gibson is nominated this year?). It’s going to be close, but my gut is telling me that Denzel will win his 3rd Oscar for Fences.
The nominees for Best Director are:
  • Damien Chazelle – “La La Land“
  • Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight“
  • Denis Villeneuve – “Arrival“
  • Kenneth Lonergan – “Manchester by the Sea“
  • Mel Gibson – “Hacksaw Ridge“
 Damien Chazelle will win this. The Academy loves La La Land, and Chazelle’s terrific vision of a tribute to the Golden-Age of cinema deserves to be honored. I’m happy with all the other nominees (with the exception of Mel Gibson), but they don’t stand a chance against La La Land. Hopefully Barry Jenkins will win Best Adapted Screenplay for Moonlight.
The nominees for Best Picture are:
  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

I’ve seen five of the nine films nominated for Best Picture. I enjoyed all five of them. I’m really happy that Hell or High Water was nominated for Best Picture. That was such a fun little movie, and I’m glad that more people will see the movie now that it’s been nominated. But it doesn’t stand a chance to La La Land. People love this movie, and the Academy obviously loves the film (it’s up for 13 Oscars). Expect La La Land to be the big winner Sunday night.


I hope you enjoyed my brief Oscar predictions. If you want to see my live reaction to it all, I’ll be live tweeting the ceremony tomorrow night. Follow me on Twitter (@MrJakeSalinas) for the latest updates/snarky analysis. Have a good weekend everybody.


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