"Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards                Review Round-Up: "Bodied", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", and "The Other Side of the Wind"                Rosamund Pike is a force to be reckoned with in "A Private War"                Black Panther, Incredibles 2 to Receive Hollywood Film Awards                "Boy Erased" has Joel Edgerton stretching himself as a prestige filmmaker        

Final Predictions for the Academy Awards


It all comes down to this. Ladies and gentlemen, the Oscars are this weekend. In about 48 hours, we’ll know all of the Academy Award winners and losers. As such, it’s obviously time for final predictions. They’re here for you, along with a bit more than usual, because that’s just how we do things on the Friday before the Academy Awards. Yes, Oscar will have their say soon enough, but first, we attempt one last bit of analysis. Included in my picks is some slight commentary on how the ceremony might go. Take it with a grain of salt, but I do feel pretty good about these predictions. I’ll second guess myself plenty between now and Sunday, but at the moment, I think I’m on to the Academy and how the Oscars might end up going down.

Take a deep breath. Relax. Maybe grab a drink? Ready? Good. Here we go. Below you will find my final predictions, literally only finalized a few hours ago. First up, though…something a bit special. I’ve been talking with voters all season long, but took it a step further for today. I actually have the ballot of one anonymous Academy member to share with you. They’re hardly indicative of the entire membership, but any inside information is always appreciate in trying to crack the Oscar code. Anyway, here is what they’re voting for, or more specifically, what they’ve already voted for when ballots were due earlier this week:

Best Picture – La La Land
Best Director – Damien Chazelle
Best Actor – Casey Affleck
Best Actress – Emma Stone
Best Supporting Actor – Jeff Bridges
Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis
Best Original Screenplay – La La Land
Best Adapted Screenplay – Hidden Figures
Best Animated Feature – Zootopia
Best Production Design – La La Land
Best Cinematography – La La Land
Best Costume Design – La La Land
Best Film Editing – Hacksaw Ridge
Best Makeup & Hairstyling – A Man Called Ove
Best Sound Editing – La La Land
Best Sound Mixing – Hacksaw Ridge
Best Original Score – La La Land
Best Original Song – Audition (The Fools Who Dream)
Best Visual Effects – Doctor Strange
Best Documentary Feature – Life Animated
Best Foreign Language Feature – A Man Called Ove
Best Animated Short – Piper
Best Documentary Short – Timecode
Best Live Action Short – 4.1 Miles

For further elaboration, this is how they rank the Best Picture lineup:

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

Now, as for my picks, I’m still looking at a great night for La La Land. In fact, I have it winning 11 Academy Awards, tying the all time record. I also have Casey Affleck and Mahershala Ali fending off competition in Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, while Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight also get wins in Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay as well. Below the line, it’s almost exclusively La La Land. Maybe I went too far? We’ll see. For now, it seems like a safe bet to all in on Damien Chazelle’s film. We’ll have the answers by the end of Sunday, so sit tight. Take a look my predictions, use them in making your own, and enjoy the show in a few days…


Here goes nothing. My final Oscar predictions:

BEST PICTURE

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

(La La Land should win in a walk, but if there’s a shock, it’s either Hidden Figures or Moonlight)

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Damien Chazelle – La La Land
2. Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
3. Denis Villenueve – Arrival
4. Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
5. Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

(Damien Chazelle is a foregone conclusion, with Barry Jenkins just hoping to pull a shocker)

BEST ACTOR

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

(Flip a coin between Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington. Yes, it’s that close)

BEST ACTRESS

1. Emma Stone – La La Land
2. Natalie Portman – Jackie
3. Isabelle Huppert – Elle
4. Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
5. Ruth Negga – Loving

(Emma Stone should have this. Isabelle Huppert and Natalie Portman cross their fingers for an upset)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
2. Dev Patel – Lion
3. Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
4. Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
5. Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

(Mahershala Ali is a weak frontrunner, but no one has fully challenged. If Ali loses, look for Dev Patel to win)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Viola Davis – Fences
2. Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea
3. Naomi Harris – Moonlight
4. Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
5. Nicole Kidman – Lion

(The most wrapped up major category of the night. Viola Davis in a walk)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. La La Land
3. Hell or High Water
4. 20th Century Women
5. The Lobster

(Another close call. This could be one of the few La La Land losses, benefiting Manchester by the Sea and Kenneth Lonergan)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. Moonlight
2. Lion
3. Arrival
4. Hidden Figures
5. Fences

(Jenkins gets his Oscar here)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Zootopia
2. Kubo and the Two Strings
3. Moana
4. The Red Turtle
5. My Life as a Zucchini

(Zootopia has won everything it has needed to. An upset seems out of reach)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. La La Land
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
3. Arrival
4. Passengers
5. Hail, Caesar!

(If La La Land wins this, you’ll know it’s on pace for a real good night)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. La La Land
2. Lion
3. Arrival
4. Moonlight
5. Silence

(Ditto this category for La La Land)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. La La Land
2. Jackie
3. Florence Foster Jenkins
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
5. Allied

(This as well, where it probably should be falling short to Jackie)

BEST FILM EDITING

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

(This, however, seems pretty likely, especially considering how rarely this category splits with Best Picture)

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. Star Trek Beyond
2. A Man Called Ove
3. Suicide Squad

(Who knows? This category is a near embarrassment)

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. La La Land
2. Hacksaw Ridge
3. Arrival
4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
5. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

(The final La La Land test…will Sound Editing and Sound Mixing split or not?)

BEST SOUND EDITING

1. La La Land
2. Hacksaw Ridge
3. Arrival
4. Deepwater Horizon
5. Sully

(See above)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. The Jungle Book
2. Deepwater Horizon
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
4. Doctor Strange
5. Kubo and the Two Strings

(An upset could be in the cards at the last minute, but if not, The Jungle Book takes it)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. La La Land
2. Moonlight
3. Lion
4. Jackie
5. Passengers

(An easy call)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. La La Land – “City of Stars”
2. Moana – “How Far I’ll Go”
3. La La Land – “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”
4. Trolls – “Can’t Stop the Feeling”
5. Jim: The James Foley Story – “The Empty Chair”

(Another easy call, unless the two La La Land songs suddenly split the vote)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. O.J.: Made in America
2. 13th
3. Fire at Sea
4. I Am Not Your Negro
5. Life, Animated

(Any of these five can win. It comes down to if voters saw OJ: Made in America as a film or a TV series)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

1. The Salesman
2. Toni Erdmann
3. Land of Mine
4. A Man Called Ove
5. Tanna

(A fight to the finish between The Salesman and Toni Erdmann)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

1. Pearl
2. Piper
3. Pear Cider and Cigarettes
4. Borrowed Time
5. Blind Vaysha

(A crapshoot)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

1. Joe’s Violin
2. The White Helmets
3. Watani: My Homeland
4. Extremis
5. 4.1 Miles

(Another crapshoot)

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

1. Sing
2. Ennemis Interieurs
3. La Femme et le TGV
4. Timecode
5. Silent Nights

(One final crapshoot)

Stay tuned to see what happens at the Academy Awards this Sunday evening!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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