89th Academy Awards


It’s finally that time of year, folks: the movie lovers’ Superbowl! The Oscars. Around August every year, I begin my preliminary Oscar predictions, updating them every month or so, with films that I think will make the cut. This year, I was pretty spot-on with my predictions. However, there were a few surprises, both good and not-so-good.

But now that the nominees are official, it’s time for the MovieGuise to make our predictions for who will take home the coveted golden statuette.

Before we get to that, here are some interesting facts about this years Oscars:

  1. With 14 nominations, La La Land ties (again) the record for the most Oscar nominations by a single film. The only two films to have achieved this feat before are All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997). Both films went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture, with the latter also tying the record for most Oscar wins by a single film.
  2. Earning her 20th nominations, Meryl Streep broke her own record for the most nominated actor of all time. Streep has previously won 3 Oscars. If she wins this year for Florence Foster Jenkins, she will tie Katharine Hepburn for the most Oscars won by an actor.
  3. Of the 20 nominated actors this year, 7 of them are persons of colour, making this the most diverse year for actors at the Oscars.
  4. There are 4 films nominated for Best Picture this year whose casts are made up entirely or almost entirely of actors of colour. This is more than any other year.
  5. Viola Davis is now the most Oscar nominated black, female actor of all time. She has now been nominated three times.
  6. Meanwhile, Octavia Spencer joins the ranks of Viola Davis and Whoopi Goldberg as being the only three black, female actors to receive more than one Oscar nomination. Having previously won, this also makes Spencer the first black, female actor to be nominated after a win.

My happy surprises:

  1. Lucas Hedges earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his beautiful and heart-wrenching performance in Manchester by the Sea.
  2. Hidden Figures earning a nomination for Best Picture.
  3. “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” was one of the only things about La La Land that actually moved me. So seeing it earning a Best Original Song nomination was pretty exciting.
  4. Borrowed Time getting nominated for Best Animated Short. I watched this months ago and had no idea it was even in contention for the Oscars. And I loved it. Seeing it nominated was a very pleasant surprise.

My disappointments:

  1. I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but that doesn’t mean I was any less disappointed when Jessica Chastain was left off the Best Actress list for her powerhouse performance in Miss Sloane.
  2. Again, I knew it wasn’t going to happen, as she’s been left out of every other race this year, but I was bummed that Taraji P. Henson wasn’t nominated for Best Actress for Hidden Figures.
  3. Another one I predicted beforehand, but I’m nonetheless irritated that La La Land has tied the record for most nominations by any film. I really don’t understand all the fuss about this movie. For me, La La Land was rather like getting a gorgeously wrapped gift, but opening it only to find that it’s something you already have tons of and didn’t really like in the first place.
  4. Simon Helberg not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Florence Foster Jenkins.
  5. And yet another one I knew was a long shot, but I was sad that Captain Fantastic didn’t get a Best Picture nod. Second only to Hidden Figures, this was my favourite film of the year. I cried through the last 20 minutes of the movie and probably for another 10 minutes after that.

My “Lolwut???” moments:

  1. Michael Shannon being nominated over costar Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals. I didn’t hate Shannon’s performance, but Taylor-Johnson was the driving force of the film.
  2. While we’re on the subject of Nocturnal Animals, I can’t believe it was only nominated in one category!
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings being nominated for Best Visual Effects. Now, I’m clearly no expert on what is considered visual effects, and Kubo was an amazing film, but should an animated film really qualify for Visual Effects? Technically, isn’t the entire thing visual effects? Again, I don’t know how they decide these things, and I’m mostly just bummed that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them didn’t get a Visual Effects nomination.

And now for the nominations! I will list them ranked from my favourite to my least favourite.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

  1. Hidden Figures
  2. Lion
  3. Moonlight
  4. Arrival
  5. Fences
  6. Manchester by the Sea
  7. Hacksaw Ridge
  8. Hell or High Water
  9. La La Land
    What will win: La La Land

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  1. Denzel Washington for Fences
  2. Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic
  3. Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge
  4. Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea
  5. Ryan Gosling for La La Land
    Who will win: Ryan Gosling for La La Land

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  1. Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins
  2. Emma Stone for La La Land
  3. Natalie Portman for Jackie
  4. Ruth Negga for Loving
  5. Isabelle Huppert for Elle
    Who will win: Emma Stone for La La Land OR Isabelle Huppert for Elle

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Dev Patel for Lion
  2. Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea
  3. Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
  4. Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water
  5. Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals
    Who will win: This one is tough. I’m going to say it will be either Dev Patel for Lion or Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  1. Viola Davis for Fences
  2. Naomie Harris for Moonlight
  3. Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
  4. Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea
  5. Nicole Kidman for Lion
    Who will win: Viola Davis for Fences

Best Achievement in Directing

  1. Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
  2. Denis Villeneuve for Arrival
  3. Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
  4. Damien Chazelle for La La Land
  5. Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge
    Who will win: Damien Chazelle for La La Land

Best Adapted Screenplay
(not ranked, because I loved all of them)

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
    What will win: Literally no idea, they’re all so great! Moonlight, maybe?

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Manchester by the Sea
  2. Hell or High Water
  3. La La Land
  4. The Lobster
    20th Century Women (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 
    Manchester by the Sea

Best Achievement in Film Editing

  1. Moonlight
  2. Arrival
  3. La La Land
  4. Hacksaw Ridge
  5. Hell or High Water
    What will win: La La Land

Best Achievement in Production Design

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  2. Passengers
  3. Arrival
  4. La La Land
    Hail, Caesar! 
    (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 
    La La Land

Best Achievement in Cinematography

  1. Moonlight
  2. La La Land
  3. Arrival
  4. Lion
    Silence (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 
    La La Land

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

  1. The Jungle Book
  2. Doctor Strange
  3. Rogue One
  4. Kubo and the Two Strings
    Deepwater Horizon
    (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 
    The Jungle Book

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

  1. Arrival
  2. Rogue One
  3. Hacksaw Ridge
  4. La La Land
    13 Hours 
    (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 
    La La Land

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

  1. Arrival
  2. Hacksaw Ridge
  3. La La Land
    (haven’t seen)
    Deepwater Horizon (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 
    La La Land

Best Achievement in Costume Design

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Colleen Atwood)
  2. Jackie (Madeline Fontaine)
  3. Florence Foster Jenkins (Consolata Boyle)
  4. La La Land (Mary Zophres)
    Allied (Joanna Johnston) (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 
    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
(can’t rank, have only seen one)

  • En man some heter Ove (A Man Called Ove)
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad
    What will win: Suicide Squad

Best Original Score

  1. Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)
  2. Lion (Dustin O’Halloran, Volker Bertelmann)
  3. Passengers (Thomas Newman)
  4. Jackie (Mica Levi)
  5. La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
    What will win: La La Land

Best Original Song

  1. “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
  2. “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land (Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul)
  3. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls (Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, Shellback)
  4. “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story (J. Ralph, Sting)
  5. “City of Stars” from La La Land (Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul)
    What will win: “City of Stars” from La La Land

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

  1. Moana
  2. Zootopia
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings
    The Red Turtle
    (haven’t seen)
    My Life as a Zucchini (haven’t seen)
    What will win: 

Best Foreign Language Film
(can’t rank, have only seen one)

  • En man som heter Ove (A Man Called Ove)
  • Forushande (The Salesman)
  • Tanna
  • Toni Erdmann
  • Under sandet (Land of Mine)

Best Live Action Short Film
(haven’t seen any of them)

  • Ennemis intérieurs
  • La femme et le TGV
  • Mindenki
  • Timecode
  • Silent Nights

Best Animated Short Film
(can’t rate, have only seen one)

  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper

Best Documentary Feature
(haven’t seen any of them)

  • Fire at Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • O.J.: Made in America
  • 13th

Best Documentary Short Subject
(haven’t seen any of them)

  • Extremis
  • 4.1 Miles
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets

Predicted Total Wins:

  • La La Land – 11*
  • Moonlight – 2*
  • Elle – 1*
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – 1
  • Fences – 1
  • The Jungle Book – 1
  • Lion – 1*
  • Manchester by the Sea – 1
  • Zootopia – 1
    * Denotes my indecision with one of the categories the film is nominated for.

If All of My Favourites Win:

  • Moonlight – 6*
  • Arrival – 3*
  • Fences – 3*
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – 2
  • Hidden Figures – 2*
  • Lion – 2*
  • Moana – 2
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – 1
  • The Jungle Book – 1
  • Manchester by the Sea – 1
    * Denotes including Best Adapted Screenplay, where I chose all 5 nominees.