oscar nominations

Usually when the Oscar nominations are announced, it is very predictable. Usually there are maybe one or two surprises at most. This year is similar to previous years, however I was surprised by who/what wasn’t nominated in a couple of categories. Even one of my front-runners for a huge award wasn’t nominated! This article’s going to run through the nominees for most of the major categories, and I’ll give some analysis as to who I think has a shot at winning the coveted Oscar on February 26th.

 

Best Picture

This year, out of the 10 possible slots for best picture, nine films were nominated. This is a little bit surprising because usually around 7 films fill the best picture race. I’m quite happy with the nominations though. Out of the nine films nominated, three of them have a majority black cast. I was happy to see that as it means that there’s not another year of #Oscarssowhite. Also I feel that the nominations for Hidden Figures,Moonlight, and Fences  in the best picture category weren’t sympathy votes and I think Hidden Figures and Moonlight have real potential in this category. I’m also so happy to see Arrival nominated (this is my 2nd favorite movie of awards season so far, but I haven’t seen all of the contenders yet) and it’s nice to see that Hacksaw Ridge was also nominated. I was a bit surprised at the nomination for Hell or High Water (I haven’t seen the film yet but I didn’t expect it to be a huge awards contender at the time of release). It’s also very surprising that Lion is the only Harvey Weinstein movie nominated in the best picture category. It certainly shows how bad his efforts were this year at launching a movie for awards recognition.  I’m a little bit surprised that Jackie wasn’t nominated (it seemed like the sort of movie the Academy loves, but then again it wasn’t nominated for best picture at the Golden Globes).

However I think the front runners for this category are La La Land, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea. If I had to choose the winner of this category I’d probably say that La La Land is going to win. It’s an amazing movie, and it’s about Hollywood. If there is one type of film the academy loves, it’s one about Hollywood!

However I wouldn’t be surprised if Moonlight or Hidden Figures takes this one away from La La Land as La La Land has been nominated for a record 14 Oscars, and I doubt that it will win every category it’s been nominated in. Also I think this is one category that is very tight, and I think Hidden Figures may be a surprise winner!

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

 

Best Actor

This category is pretty much the same as the best actor in a drama category was at the Golden Globes (exempt for Ryan Gosling who won a Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy/musical). This is not very surprising, and I don’t think this category is as competitive as it has been in previous years. To be honest, I’m about 99.8% sure that Casey Affleck will win this one. Even though I thought Ryan Gosling was amazing in La La Land (and I haven’t seen Hacksaw Ridge or Fences yet), Casey Affleck is going to win this one. He was so great in Manchester by the Sea and he’s won pretty much every other award so far. The only thing other possible winner of this category is Ryan Gosling, but I think Casey Affleck’s got a fix on this category!

Nominees- Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Winner- Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

 

Best Actress

I was shocked by this category. I was very angry when I read that Amy Adams wasn’t nominated for Arrival. I don’t usually get angry at awards nominations (what’s the point? I’m not actually going to win anything!), but this snub was awful! In my opinion, this award was a three way race between Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, and Emma Stone. Amy Adams gave a beautiful performance in Arrival and, in my opinion, her performance was the best of the year. Since she’s been snubbed for the Oscar, I think Emma Stone is going to win this category. I think Ruth Negga hasn’t got enough momentum to win anything (awards-wise). I also think Meryl Streep’s nomination was just an automatic one for the Academy. I swear that every time Meryl Streep is in a film, she’s nominated for the Oscar  (even if the film was released in May and didn’t get that much buzz awards-wise). Personally I would have replaced Meryl Streep’s nomination or Ruth Negga’s nomination with one for Amy Adams. Amy Adam’s snub is appalling!

I saw Jackie at the weekend, and whilst I thought Natalie Portman’s performance was pretty good, I loved Emma Stone’s performance more. I think Emma Stone gave such a lovely performance as Mia in La La Land, that I think she deserves the Oscar. Also I think it would be a great step for her career if she won an Oscar. I think the same people who usually voted for Jennifer Lawrence, during previous awards seasons, will vote for Emma Stone this time and give her the win.

However I wouldn’t underestimate an upset from Isabelle Huppert for her performance in Elle as she did win a Golden Globe. However she wasn’t nominated for a BAFTA, so I doubt she’ll win the Oscar.

Nominees- Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Emma Stone (La La Land), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Winner- Emma Stone (La La Land)

 

Best supporting Actor

 

 

I think the thing that surprised me most about this category was that Michael Shannon was nominated for Nocturnal Animals. Don’t get me wrong, I thought his performance in Nocturnal Animals was very good, but after Aaron Taylor-Johnson won the Golden Globe and was nominated for a BAFTA for Nocturnal Animals, I didn’t expect Michael Shannon to be nominated. It was very out of left field since he hasn’t been nominated for anything else and it just seemed a bit odd. I’m glad that Lucas Hedges was nominated for Manchester by the Sea because he was fantastic in that movie (not quite as good as Casey Affleck, but he was amazing for the role he played and for his age). The other three nominees weren’t huge surprises (Mahershala Ali, Jeff Bridges,and Dev Patel) as they had been nominated for other awards.

This is probably the hardest category to decide a winner in, as I’ve not seen all the performances nominated and I’m guessing with limited information. I think Mahershala Ali may win this category as I think the academy will want Moonlight to win some awards especially after the controversy it has faced for ‘Oscars so white’. However I won’t be surprised if any of the other nominees win.

Nominees- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester By the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Winner- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

 

Best Supporting Actress

These nominees are identical to the ones that the Golden Globes and SAG nominated in this category. It’s very nice to see three black women nominated for their work in film (Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, and Octavia Spencer) and it’s a nice change from the previous couple of years. It’s also good to see Michelle Williams nominated for Manchester by the Sea (she was very good in it). Rounding out the five nominees is Nicole Kidman for Lion (I haven’t seen Lion yet so I can’t tell you if she was good in it or not). I think Viola Davis is going to win this because she won the Golden Globe and she’s the first black female to be nominated for 3 Oscars. Also she was on a role last year and what would be better than an Oscar to top it all off. However there may be an upset, and I could see Michelle Williams or Octavia Spencer nabbing this award (Octavia Spencer seems like such a lovely woman and she’s worked hard to get where she is in her career, and Michelle Williams give quite a heartbreaking performance in Manchester by the Sea).

Nominees- Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester By the Sea

Winner- Viola Davis (Fences)

 

Animated Film

Out of the five nominees, I haven’t heard of two of them. This is strange since I love movies, I keep up with awards coverage, and I watch a lot of trailers. I had never heard of My Life as a Courgette or The Red Turtle. I’m surprised they were nominated above this year’s Pixar movie (Finding Dory). Even though I thought Finding Dory was average (at best), I thought the Academy would nominate it because, let’s be honest, best animated feature is full of whatever animated film was popular that year. Finding Dory is a billion dollar club movie, and was huge! It was a huge surprise that it wasn’t nominated. However I’m really happy that Kubo and the two Strings was nominated and I’d love to see it win. It’s my favorite animated movie of the year, and it’s amazing (watch it if you haven’t yet! It’s so good!). However I don’t think it’ll win as I think Zootopia will. Out of Moana and Zootopia, Zootopia is the better film and the more commercial. However I didn’t really love Zootopia (I preferred Moana. Maybe that’s because Moana had me sobbing within the first 20 minutes, or maybe it was because it had a baby pig in it and a lava monster. I think it was the baby pig and the lava monster!).  However Zootopia is a Disney movie and it’s always (with maybe one/two exceptions) a Disney/Pixar movie that wins the Oscar.

Nominees- Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life As a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, Zootopia

Winner- Zootopia (I’m sorry Kubo!)

 

Best Director

I’m very happy to see that Arrival got a director nod. I think Arrival is Denis Villeneuve’s best work so far (it is masterpiece). However I think there’s no way Denis Villeneuve’s going to win this category. I think the clear winner is Damien Chazelle for La La Land. It’s his second directing nomination (the first was for Whiplash) and I think La La Land is so well directed that Chazelle is pretty much a lock for this category.

I’m a little bit surprised Mel Gibson was nominated especially after his scandal about a decade ago, but I’m very excited to see Hacksaw Ridge and I think he deserves the nomination. I very much doubt he’ll win because I can’t see the Oscar’s giving Mel Gibson an award this year. The other nominees were Barry Jankins for Moonlight, and Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea (I thought his directing wasn’t anything special so I doubt Lonergan will win best director).

Nominees- Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By the Sea), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Winner- Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

 

Best Original Song

I was a bit surprised that La La Land got nominated twice in this category (for City of Stars and Audition (The Fools Who Dream)). I’ve been listening  to the whole soundtrack of La La Land at least everyday for the past couple for weeks, and my favorite track is The Fools Who Dream or Another Day Of Sun, but the whole soundtrack is great. I think City of Stars will win because that’s the song every other awards show has nominated from this soundtrack. However I think The Fools Who Dream will probably resonate more with some of the academy members so they may choose that instead.

The other songs nominates were How Far I’ll Go (from Moana), Can’t Stop The Feeling (From Trolls), and The Empty Chair (from Jim: The James Foley Story).

Nominees- Audition (La La Land), Can’t Stop the Feeling! (Trolls), City of Stars (La La Land), The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story), How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

Winner- City of Stars (La La Land)

Visual Effects

I’m surprised by a couple of the picks in this category. Deepwater Horizon is probably the most shocking for me because I didn’t think the film was very VFX heavy and it’s not got extraordinary visuals. I thought this choice was odd. Another one I was surprised about was Kubo and the Two Strings. However the more I think about it the more I understand the nomination as it was a stop-motion animated movie and I suppose the visual effects took months to get right in this movie. I like that The Jungle Book was nominated as so much VFX had to be used and it all looked spectacular! It was the most beautiful I’ve seen VFX look in a movie in a long while. Also Rogue One was nominated. The VFX was good in that movie too, but nothing particularly groundbreaking. Also Doctor Strange was nominated. I thought the visuals were epically stunning in Doctor Strange and I think it’s going to win the Oscar for Visual effects unless the Jungle Book surprises me.

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

Winner- Doctor Strange

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

I’m surprised that Nocturnal animals didn’t get a nomination in this category. It’s been nominated for the BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe in best overall screenplay. However it wasn’t nominated for the Oscar. Whilst I didn’t love the movie, I thought that parts of it were a bit boring and a bit uneven, but some of the movie was really amazing and I thought it told a gripping story. I’m surprised it didn’t get the nomination.I’m also surprised that Hacksaw Ridge didn’t get nominated in this category either (but not as surprised as I was when I saw that Nocturnal Animals hadn’t been nominated).

However, it was nice to see Arrival get a nomination. I doubt Arrival will win any of the big awards (it might pick up a couple in the technical categories (e.g.sound mixing) but I doubt it) as I think La La Land, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight will sweep most of the categories and I think they will shut out most of the competition. It was also not a surprise to see Lion and Hidden Figures get nominated (especially after their Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations). It was also not very surprising to see Moonlight nominated.I was a little bit surprised with Fences’ nomination (after it hadn’t been nominated for a Golden Globe or BAFTA) but it wasn’t a huge surprise. I think out of these nominees Moonlight or Hidden Figures will win because I think the Academy will give awards to Moonlight and Hidden Figures in less competitive categories. If I had to choose one, I’d go for Moonlight but I’m not 100% sure who’s going to win this category.

Nominees- Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion, Moonlight

Winner- Moonlight

 

Best Original Screenplay

A couple of surprises were in this category (mainly The Lobster and 20th Century Women). Like Hell or High Water, I doubted that The Lobster would be an awards contender (to be honest I thought it looked like a weird, little indie film with no awards momentum) so I haven’t seen it. However I was even more surprised by The Lobster’s nominations than Hell or  High Water’s as it seemed like no-one was really talking about The Lobster (in awards terms), so I’ll be surprised if this wins the award. 20th Century women wasn’t nominated for a screenplay award at the Golden Globes or BAFTA’s so seeing it nominated here was a little bit surprising.

The other three nominees were Hell or High Water, La La Land, and Manchester by the Sea. I think this is going to be another win for La La Land as it was such a great movie and Damien Chazelle is a very talented writer/director. However there is potential for Manchester by the Sea to cause a little bit of an upset if the Academy decided not to let La La Land sweep the Oscars like it did the Golden Globes.

Nominees- Hell or High Water, La La Land, The Lobster, Manchester By the Sea, 20th Century Women

Winner- La La Land

 

The  Academy announced other nominations in other categories (like best sound mixing or short film) but  I’d be lying if I said to you that I had any knowledge about some of these categories (e.g. the best documentary feature) . I think the things that surprised me most about this year’s Oscar nominations was the films/people who were snubbed (especially Amy Adams, and Nocturnal Animals). There were a couple of nominations that seemed a little bit strange and there were a couple where I thought ‘The Academy nominates people on who they are, not what they’ve done in their performance.’ (e.g. Meryl Streep). Also I think this year’s Oscar’s isn’t as competitive as previous years have been. There are some brilliant films that have been nominated, but there is only one main front runner. La La Land has the potential to sweep the Oscars, but I think Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, and Hidden figures could cause a couple of upsets on February 26th. However as a movie fan, I’m excited to see what movies will actually win Oscars.

 

Chelsea Baines covers Entertainment for MFST, you can follow her on Twitter @ChelseaBaines

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