Sunday, February 26, 2017 12:15 pm ·  0 Comments
Tonight is the presentation of the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood, and the ceremony is going to honour the best work in cinema from 2016. There’s a crowded field of exceptional movies this year, though some races to win the Oscar are far more competitive than others.
One popular activity to mark the event tonight are Oscar viewing parties, where people gather to watch the Red Carpet show and Academy Award presentation on television. Tonight’s show begins airing on various networks at 6:30pm EST for the Red Carpet arrivals, and the actual ceremony beginning at 8:30pm EST, with comedian Jimmy Kimmel hosting for the first time.
But arguably the best part of Oscar parties are the ballots – where guests fill out sheets with who they predict will win the awards in the 24 different categories. Some people have a harder time doing this because it’s hard to guess winners between movies you haven’t seen.
Luckily, I have seen all the nominated movies this year. It’s been a great joy at the cinema in 2016, and it’s helped make educated guesses for who’s going to win tonight. Remember, predicting the Oscars isn’t about who you want to win, or who you think deserves to win. It’s about who you think the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science actually voted to win.
Here are my predictions for the eight major categories in this year’s ceremony. You can use my background and prediction to help you win your Oscar ballot tonight.
La La Land
Damien Chazelle, for La La Land
It’s no surprise the popular musical La La Land is going to win the most awards tonight. But it’s the captivating joy and subtle charm that make it the clear frontrunner for Best Picture tonight, and that’s also thanks to director Damien Chazelle’s vision. (You can also read my original review for the movie here.)
Emma Stone as Mia Dolan, La La Land
For months Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea was the big contender for Best Actor, but Washington’s Spirit and BAFTA Award wins make him almost the guaranteed winner here. And Emma Stone is a complete charmer who commands La La Land. Both are the likely winners, but Affleck may pull an upset here, as could any of the other four very deserving ladies for Best Actress.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Kenneth Lonergan, for Manchester by the Sea
This one’s simple. These are the two best screenplays this year, and there’s almost no competition or suspected winners in either category. This would’ve been tougher if the two screenplays were competing against each other, but that was solved when Moonlight was deemed eligible as an Adapted Screenplay last November.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali as Juan, Moonlight
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis as Rose Maxon, Fences
These two are the scene stealers in their respective movies, each getting the scenes that exemplify the soul and power of their stories. Ali has won almost every supporting actor prize since December, and Davis actually won the Tony Award in 2010 for the same part on Broadway. Both of them are almost guaranteed to win statues tonight.
Some other probably winners include Zootopia for Best Animated Feature, O.J.: Made in America for Best Documentary Feature, The Salesman for Best Foreign Language Film and La La Land will win both Best Score and Best Song for “City of Stars”, though Song isn’t a certainty.
It’s also worth mentioning perhaps among the dozens of nominees from both Canada and graduates of Sheridan College (many for Denis Villeneuve’s Canadian produced Arrival), the only one likely to win is Sheridan alumnus Alan Barillaro for his animated short film Piper. He’s a graduate of the animation department, and will win for Pixar in Best Animated Short Film.
If you’re interested in reading more about my full in-depth analysis for all 24 categories tonight, including my full predictions for tonight’s Academy Awards, you can read and download my annual film essay here for free. It also includes a recap of my movie watching habits and thoughts on movies from the last year.
Finally, if you’re looking for the biggest Oscars party in Oakville tonight, the Film.Ca Cinemas is hosting their annual Oscar viewing party at the Film.Ca Cinemas at 171 Speers Road in Oakville. Tickets are available for free at Film.Ca and at the door. The show begins at 6:30pm with the Red Carpet and 8:30pm with the Awards. There is also a Oscar ballot contest and prizes for the top three winners, including VIP unlimited movie passes.
For tonight’s show, no matter where you watch it, there’s sure to be a few surprises. And with the tense political climate in the United States, Hollywood is sure to continue with it’s vocal protest with the ceremony and acceptance speeches tonight. As Bette Davis said in the 1951 Best Picture winner All About Eve, “Fasten you seatbelts: It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
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