Oscars predictions: ‘La La Land’ a favorite to win multiple Academy Awards | VailDaily.com

Oscars predictions: ‘La La Land’ a favorite to win multiple Academy Awards

Jared Rasic
Special to the Daily

The 89th annual Academy Awards hits the airwaves on Sunday. Since it's so much fun to predict which way the Academy will vote, only to get mad when the things you love lose horribly, this year we'll look at the movies and people we want to win, versus the things we think will win.

Best Picture

Nominees: "Arrival," "Fences," "Hacksaw Ridge," "Hell or High Water," "Hidden Figures," "La La Land," "Lion," "Manchester By the Sea" and "Moonlight."

What should win: "Fences" or "Moonlight."

What will win: "La La Land" — The success of this movie is just too broad for it not to take the grand prize. The movie that everyone has seen is usually the one that wins the night.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

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Nominees: Casey Affleck for "Manchester By the Sea," Andrew Garfield for "Hacksaw Ridge," Ryan Gosling for "La La Land," Viggo Mortensen for "Captain Fantastic" and Denzel Washington for "Fences."

Who should win: Washington — His Troy Maxson is a hero, a villain and a complicated sack of failures and tiny victories rolled up into the most heartbreaking smile seen on film in years.

Who will win: Affleck — He's astonishing in "Manchester" and manages to convey every stage of grief without overselling a single emotion.

Actress in a Leading Role

Nominees: Isabelle Huppert for "Elle," Ruth Negga for "Loving," Natalie Portman for "Jackie," Emma Stone for "La La Land" and Meryl Streep for "Florence Foster Jenkins."

Who should win: Ruth Negga — I mean, Huppert is chewing the scenery and Stone is a delight, but Negga creates art here.

Who will win: I think Negga will take it. Streep is extra popular this year, but the role isn't strong enough for her to finally win the award. Stone could win in an upset, but I'm calling it for Negga.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Mahershala Ali for "Moonlight," Jeff Bridges for "Hell or High Water," Lucas Hedges for "Manchester by the Sea," Dev Patel for "Lion" and Michael Shannon for "Nocturnal Animals."

Who should win: I love all five of these performances deeply, but it has to be Ali.

Who will win: Ali — He is a revelation.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Viola Davis for "Fences," Naomie Harris for "Moonlight," Nicole Kidman for "Lion," Octavia Spencer for "Hidden Figures" and Michelle Williams for "Manchester By the Sea."

Who should win: Viola Davis — She invented acting in "Fences."

Who will win: It's a toss-up between Harris, Davis and Spencer, but Davis' work is too powerful to deny.

Animated Feature Film

Nominees: "Kubo and the Two Strings," "Moana," "My Life as a Zucchini," "The Red Turtle" and "Zootopia."

Who should win: "Kubo" and "Moana" are both great, but "Zootopia" is a modern classic.

Who will win: "Zootopia's" message is too timely for the film not to win. A lock.

Cinematography

Nominees: Bradford Young for "Arrival," Linus Sandgren for "La La Land," Greig Fraser for "Lion," James Laxton for "Moonlight" and Rodrigo Prieto for "Silence."

Who should win: Prieto for "Silence" — The other nominees are excellent, but "Silence" is a masterpiece.

Who will win: Sandgren for "La La Land" — Hollywood loves it when Los Angeles is made to look dreamy and beautiful.

Costume Design

Nominees: Joanna Johnston for "Allied," Colleen Atwood for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Consolata Boyle for "Florence Foster Jenkins," Madeline Fontaine for "Jackie" and Mary Zophres for "La La Land."

Who should win: Atwood for "Beasts" — Fantasy movies usually always deserve this.

Who will win: Johnston for "Allied" — The Academy loves World War II movie costumes.

Directing

Nominees: Denis Villeneuve for "Arrival," Mel Gibson for "Hacksaw Ridge," Damien Chazelle for "La La Land," Kenneth Lonergan for "Manchester by the Sea" and Barry Jenkins for "Moonlight."

Who should win: Jenkins or Villeneuve.

Who will win: Chazelle — "La La Land" is a technical marvel.

Documentary Feature

Nominees: "Fire at Sea," "I am Not Your Negro," "Life, Animated," "13th," and "O.J.: Made in America."

What should win: "I Am Not Your Negro" and "13th" are powerhouses.

What will win: "O.J." — The most people have seen it and, with docs, that's usually what matters.

Film Editing

Nominees: Joe Walker for "Arrival," John Gilbert for "Hacksaw Ridge," Jake Roberts for "Hell or High Water," Tom Cross for "La La Land" and Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon for "Moonlight."

Who should win: McMillon for "Moonlight" — The editing here shapes the tone and mood of the film like no other nominee.

Who will win: McMillon for "Moonlight" — The editing is just too good to ignore.

Foreign Film

Nominees: "Land of Mine," "A Man Called Ove," "The Salesman," "Tanna" and "Toni Erdmann."

What should win: "The Salesman" — Asghar Farhadi is a master.

What will win: "The Salesman."

Makeup and Hairstyling

Nominees: "A Man Called Ove," "Star Trek: Beyond" and "Suicide Squad."

What should win: "Star Trek: Beyond."

What will win: "Star Trek: Beyond."

Music (Score)

Nominees: "Jackie," "La La Land," "Lion," "Moonlight" and "Passengers."

What should win: "Moonlight " — It's one hell of a beautiful mood piece by Nicholas Britell.

What will win: "La La Land" on lock.

Music (Original Song)

Nominees: "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" from "La La Land," "Can't Stop the Feeling" from "Trolls," "City of Stars" from "La La Land," "The Empty Chair" from "Jim: The James Foley Story" and "How Far I'll Go" from "Moana."

What should win: As good as "La La Land" is, the songs are the least memorable aspect of the film, so I would go with the song from "Moana." Plus, the academy really wants to give Lin-Manuel Miranda an Oscar.

What will win: "City of Stars."

Production Design

Nominees: "Arrival," "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," "Hail, Caesar!" "La La Land" and "Passengers.

What should win: "Arrival."

What will win: "La La Land" — See a pattern here?

Sound Editing

Nominees: "Arrival," "Deepwater Horizon," "Hacksaw Ridge," "La La Land" and "Sully."

What should win: "Arrival."

What will win: "Arrival" — So many sounds are invented here.

Sound Mixing

Nominees: "Arrival," "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," "Hacksaw Ridge," "La La Land" and "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi."

What should win: "Star Wars"

What will win: "Star Wars," simply for the final 15 minutes.

Visual Effects

Nominees: "Deepwater Horizon," "Doctor Strange," "The Jungle Book," Kubo and the Two Strings" and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

What should win: "The Jungle Book" is absolute magic.

What will win: "The Jungle Book."

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Nominees: Eric Heisserer for "Arrival," August Wilson for "Fences," Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi for "Hidden Figures," Luke Davies for "Lion" and Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for "Moonlight."

Who should win: Wilson should take the award (posthumously) for the blisteringly brilliant "Fences."

Who will win: Heisserer's adaptation of "Arrival" might actually take this one.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Nominees: Taylor Sheridan for "Hell or High Water," Damien Chazelle for "La La Land," Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou for "The Lobster," Kenneth Lonergan for "Manchester by the Sea" and Mike Mills for "20th Century Women."

Who should win: Lonergan — "Manchester By the Sea" has a perfect script.

Who will win: Lonergan has to win this or else everything else is meaningless.

Tune in

What: 89th annual Academy Awards.

When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26.

Where: ABC, check your provider’s listings for channels.

More information: Read more about the nominees and view trailers at oscar.go.com.