The legitimate, objective, no holds barred academy award prediction list
The 89th Academy Awards honours this year’s best films
By Colin Macgillivray, Staff Writer
Oh, award season. The time of year where everyone and their little sister becomes a film critic. The blissful season where people riot when Leonardo DiCaprio is “snubbed” by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The time where my mother insists that she knew Mad Max: Fury Road would win Best Sound Mixing. Luckily for all of you, I am one of the few kind hearted souls that insist on watching movies all year round, good and bad, so that I can deliver a comprehensive look into the potential Oscar winners for the upcoming 89th Academy Awards. So, sit back and relax while I discuss the only categories anyone really cares about at the Oscars.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Starting off with what is potentially the hardest category to truly nail down the actor who will go home with a shiny new mantelpiece, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor could go in a lot of different directions. Seemingly out of left field, Aaron Taylor-Johnson was awarded the Golden Globe for what could potentially be a career making performance as the psychopathic drifter Ray Marcus in Tom Ford’s neo-noir psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals. Unfortunately for Quicksilver, I believe the Academy will go a different route, and award the criminally underrated Mahershala Ali for his brilliant performance as Juan, a conflicted drug-dealing, father figure in Moonlight. Dev Patel will surely grab a nomination for his role in Lion, as will Lucas Hedges for his perfect portrayal of a puberty-stricken teen in Manchester by the Sea. The dark horse for this category is definitely Jeff Bridges, who might be able to add a second Oscar to his collection for his introspective performance as a tough, gritty Texas Sheriff in Hell or High Water. My money’s still on Ali.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Unlike the Best Supporting Actor category, it seems to me this is a one-woman race. Although Michelle Williams turns in an exceptional performance as a grief stricken wife in Manchester by the Sea, Viola Davis is a lock to win her first Oscar for her performance as another grief stricken wife in Fences. Davis completely overshadows Denzel Washington, which is no easy task, in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s play. Playing Rose Maxson, a Pittsburgh housewife who is ultimately bent and broken by her husband’s callous and deceptive behaviour, Davis excels in a role she was meant to play. As long as no one brings up her abysmal effort in the absolutely horrific Suicide Squad, Davis should take home the Oscar.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
There have been some incredible performances by leading actors this year, such as the aforementioned Denzel Washington in Fences, Tom Hanks’ take on the miracle working Captain Sullenberger in Sully, as well as Ryan Gosling’s rendition of a struggling jazz pianist in the genius musical La La Land. Unfortunately for those leading men, Casey Affleck is going to be tough to beat for his role as a tormented, Boston janitor in Manchester by the Sea. In one of the best performances I have seen in recent memory, Affleck has proved once again that he is potentially the most underrated actor in Hollywood today. By conveying complex emotions such as loss, heartbreak and desolation with nothing but a subtle quiver of the lip, Casey Affleck deserves this Oscar, and there is truly no other choice.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
It’s hard to imagine a world where Emma Stone does not win the Oscar for her incredible performance in La La Land. Unlike the severely overrated Jennifer Lawrence, Stone has proved time and time again with her performances in Birdman, La La Land and even Zombieland that she is a true force to be reckoned with on screen. With her signature raspy voice and her insane chemistry with co-star Ryan Gosling, Stone shines. Natalie Portman could potentially give her a run for her money in the biopic Jackie, but if the Academy has any sense, they will award Emma Stone for her fantastic performance, and she will hopefully take over Jennifer Lawrence’s spot as Hollywood golden girl.
In what I presume to be one of the most stacked categories this year, there is still no doubt in my mind that Damian Chazelle will win for his exceptional efforts in La La Land. Although Barry Jenkins definitely deserves a nomination for Moonlight, as well as Denis Villeneuve for his masterclass in science-fiction, Arrival, Chazelle’s stylish and fun musical had me smiling ear to ear the entire time. Although it will not win Best Picture (BOLD PREDICTION), Chazelle will be awarded for being at the helm of a film that was so unique yet so contemporary, as well as being one of the most entertaining and enjoyable film going experiences I have had in a long time.
Usually the only category a lot of people care about, the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture will be viewed by countless movie-goers due solely to the fact it is a Best Picture winner. Luckily, when Moonlight wins Best Picture this February, its incredible story will gain an entirely new audience. More of a work of art than a film, Moonlight tells the story of Chiron, a boy who comes of age while grappling with love, family, sexuality and how society defines him. Broken up into three chapters chronicling three different times in Chiron’s life, Moonlight has a strong message of acceptance, courage and offers some incredible social commentary on the world we live in today. A remarkable and brilliant crafted narrative coupled with gorgeous cinematography and brilliant acting from the entire ensemble cast, Moonlight is an unforgettable film and has my vote as the Best Picture winner next month.