Oscar Nominations and Picks

Oscar Nominations and Picks

La La Land Got Nominated For Everything… Seriously


After a controversial two year run of nominating only white people in every acting category, the Oscars decided to stop playing the, “We can’t be racist, we have black friends!” card and actually nominate some people of colour. So, in that regard alone, we’re off to a much more inclusive (if equally as predictable) start to the awards season than 2016 proved to be.




Anyway, here are this year’s nominees and our speculation as to who will probably win in each category.


Best Picture


Arrival – Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder, and David Linde


Fences – Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, and Todd Black


Hacksaw Ridge – Bill Mechanic and David Permut

(Hahahahahahahaha, no. Fuck off, Mel Gibson.)


Hell or High Water – Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn


Hidden Figures – Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, and Theodore Melfi


La La Land – Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, and Marc Platt

(This has a very good chance of winning, although a musical hasn’t won Best Picture since Chicago in 2002… and before that, it was Oliver! in 1968. Still, I’d say it’s at least 50/50.)


Lion – Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, and Angie Fielder


Manchester by the Sea – Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, and Kevin J. Walsh

(This is a very slim maybe, just based off Casey Affleck’s performance and it’s critical standing.)


Moonlight – Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner

(This will probably win but, seeing as it and La La Land both won the Golden Globe in their respective field and that apparently boasts something like a 48% successful prediction rate, who knows? It won’t be Lion, I’ll tell you that much.)


La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea. Yeah, definitely one of ’em. (Lionsgate/A24/Roadside Attractions)


Best Director


Denis Villeneuve – Arrival


Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

(Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, seriously no.)


Damien Chazelle – La La Land

(I’ll steal the Oscar and give it to him if he doesn’t win.)


Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea


Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

(But, y’know, maaaaybe.)


Then again, maybe Mel Gibson will eat Damien Chazelle before we even get to find out. (The Hollywood Reporter)


Best Actor


Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea as Lee Chandler

(He did win the Golden Globe and his “proper actor” beard seems to suggest that he’s poised for something of a comeback. Then again…)


Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond T. Doss

(Does the academy realise that, at a certain point, trolling Mel Gibson could get a little old. I mean, it hasn’t yet, I’m still finding this all fucking hilarious, but there’s no need to mess with Andrew Garfield like this.)


Ryan Gosling – La La Land as Sebastian Wilder

(Also won the GG and has eyes that can reduce the staunchest of us to puddles of orgasmic filth. So, quite possible.)


Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic as Ben Cash


Denzel Washington – Fences as Troy Maxson

This is from the wrong movie, and I don’t even care. (Warner Bros. Pictures)


Best Actress


Isabelle Huppert – Elle as Michèle LeBlanc

(Won the Globe, though that did seem like something of an upset. Definitely has a decent shot.)


Ruth Negga – Loving as Mildred Loving


Natalie Portman – Jackie as Jackie Kennedy

(People looove a good political biopic, and they fucking adored Jackie Kennedy, so she’s also in with a chance.)


Emma Stone – La La Land as Mia Dolan

(So, in case you haven’t picked up on the pattern here, every La La Land nod will be followed with, “Yeah, probably.” Soooo… yeah, probably.)


Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins as Florence Foster Jenkins

(Ugh, I’m pretty sure that even Meryl’s getting pretty sick of this shit. This will be her 20th nom, for fuck’s sake. I think she knows how good we think she is. Whatever.)


Do you see how tired she is of having to be nominated every fucking year? (The Weinstein Company)


 Best Supporting Actor


Mahershala Ali – Moonlight as Juan

(Talk around tinsel town is that this dude kills it and, seeing as Golden Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson wasn’t even nominated, I’m betting he’ll grab it this time around.)


Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water as Marcus Hamilton


Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea as Patrick Chandler

(There’s a small chance here that Affleck’s awards momentum could extend to his co-star.)


Dev Patel – Lion as Saroo Brierley

(This would be a cool win for a few of reasons: 1) Patel would be the first actor of Indian descent to ever win an Oscar besides Ben Kingsley who, y’know, is pretty white.

2) He’d win for playing a kid raised in Tasmania, with a spot-on accent to match.

3) Dude used to be in Skins. So, it would be a lot of firsts at once.)


Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals as Detective Bobby Andes


Mahershala Ali in Moonlight, trying to think of a good reason why he shouldn’t win. (A24)


 Best Supporting Actress


Viola Davis – Fences as Rose Lee Maxson

(First off, holy shit, there are three black women nominated in one category; that’s so outstanding, I can forgive the fact that one of the others is Nicole Kidman. Second, Davis is gonna get this. There’s not a lot in this world that I’m certain about, but these things I do know: donuts are secretly sex toys we’ve been using wrong, Mumford & Sons suck, and Viola Davis wins Best Supporting Actress.)


Naomie Harris – Moonlight as Paula


Nicole Kidman – Lion as Sue Brierley


Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures as Dorothy Vaughan


Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea as Randi


Viola Davis, when told Kidman was her chief competition. (Paramount Pictures)


Best Original Screenplay


Mike Mills – 20th Century Women


Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water


Damien Chazelle – La La Land

(Look, I’m not trying to be a cop-out at this stage, but it’s like if you ask me when I’m really drunk what I’ll be having for lunch the next day: all wishful thinking aside, barring a miracle, I’m going to KFC. No question.)


Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Fillippou – The Lobster

(Wow. That this movie got nominated for anything is pretty incredible, let alone it’s utterly jacked screenplay. If I even began to tell you what it’s about, you would probably believe me, but want me to stop. Seriously, though, if you’re curious you should check out the trailer, which gives you some idea of what a batshit experience the whole thing is.)


Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

(I mean, I doubt it, but it’s more likely than The Lobster. For sure.)


This is a fairly standard scene from The Lobster. (Pictorial Press Ltd)


Best Adapted Screenplay


Eric Heisserer – Arrival from Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang


August Wilson – Fences from Fences by August Wilson [posthumous nomination]

(Fences is an adaption from a Pulitzer Prize winning play by its original playwright, who died ten years ago. That entire sentence could give an actual Oscar statue an erection, so it’s hard to think this won’t win.)


Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi – Hidden Figures from Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly


Luke Davies – Lion from A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose


Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney – Moonlight from In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney

(Then again, Moonlight is a coming-of-age tale about a gay black dude, dealing with some troubling shit from his past. Tough call.)


There are no exciting visuals that come with adapting a screenplay, this is basically it. (Google Images)


Best Animated Feature Film


Kubo and the Two Strings – Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner

(A powerful story told with some of the most sumptuous animation I’ve ever seen, Kubo‘s biggest weakness, as far as the Academy is concerned, will be its brave evasion of sentimentality for a downbeat but emotionally mature ending. Also, in a year that seems to be all about diversity, it’s weird that a movie set in Japan has, like, no Japanese actors in it, except George Takei, who’s in everything. So, it won’t win, but perhaps it deserves to.)


Moana – John Musker, Ron Clements, and Osnat Shurer


My Life as a Zucchini – Claude Barras and Max Karli

(I refuse to believe that this is a real movie and you cannot convince me otherwise.)


The Red Turtle – Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki


Zootopia – Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Clark Spencer

(Yeah, Zootopia’s got this. Not only is it a timely parable about racism and police misconduct – seriously – it’s also a lot of fun, doubling as one of the best examples of a platonic friendship between a male and female character in an animated film. I mean, one’s a rabbit and the other’s a fox, so on a lot of levels it’s probably for the best.)


Did I mention the scene in Zootopia with the sloth at the DMV? Funniest shit I’ve seen all year. (Walt Disney Studios)


Best Foreign Language Film


Land of Mine (Denmark) in Danish – Martin Zandvliet


A Man Called Ove (Sweden) in Swedish – Hannes Holm


The Salesman (Iran) in Persian – Asghar Farhadi

(I know virtually nothing about this film, but Asghar Farhadi also directed A Separation, which is one of the best movies of the last decade. So, if this is anywhere near as good, could be in with a chance.)


Tanna (Australia) in Nauvhal – Martin Butler and Bentley Dean

(Fuck yeah, Australia! We’re at six total noms for Lion the year after Mad Max: Fury Road took every technical award under the flaming sun in 2016 and, to top it off, it’s our first Foreign Language nod since Samson & Delilah in 2009. I have severe doubts it will win, but that’d be pretty cool.)


Toni Erdmann (Germany) in German – Maren Ade

(There’s always one foreign film every year that critics cannot shut up about, and in 2016 it was Toni Erdmann. It’s apparently a black comedy about parenting and pranking, and the trailer doesn’t help make that description any less inscrutable. So, my guess is this is gonna win.)


Seriously, what is Toni Erdmann about? Anyone? (Cannes Film Festival)


Best Documentary – Feature


Fire at Sea – Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo


I Am Not Your Negro – Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety, and Hébert Peck


Life, Animated – Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman


O.J.: Made in America – Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

(As has been pointed out, three of the nominees in this category are African-American and, not coincidentally, three of these documentaries regard the plight and image of blacks in America. I have not seen any of the others, but I have seen this one, and holy shit it’s incredible. It was included on our list of Best New TV Shows from last year because, after premiering at Sundance, it aired on ESPN as a five-part series. As a feature length film, it would be a daunting five-plus hour viewing experience, but it still remains a deeply rewarding and unsettling look at O.J. and America’s weird relationship with race and fame. God, I hope this wins.)


13th – Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick, and Howard Barish


Yep, this is that rare occasion when I’m actually rooting for O.J. to win. (Myung J. Chun/AP/Daily News Pool)


To the extent that I have any idea what I’m talking about when it comes to my predictions above, I have fuck-all of a clue as to who is gonna win the following categories. Sure, in Editing and Sound Design, I can make an educated guess but, otherwise, meh, I basically just chose whatever sounded the most winner-ish. So, yeah, grain of salt and all that…

Best Documentary – Short Subject


Extremis – Dan Krauss


4.1 Miles – Daphne Matziaraki


Joe’s Violin – Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen


Watani: My Homeland – Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis

(Uuuuuh, this one?)


The White Helmets – Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara


Best Live Action Short Film


Ennemis Interieurs – Sélim Azzazi


La Femme et le TGV – Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff


Silent Nights – Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson

(Picked because I now know there is a human being in the world named “Aske Bang”. That deserves a win.)


Sing – Kristóf Deák and Anna Udvardy


Timecode – Juanjo Giménez


Best Animated Short Film


Blind Vaysha – Theodore Ushev


Borrowed Time – Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj


Pear Cider and Cigarettes – Robert Valley and Cara Speller

(Based on the title, I want to see this. And maybe live on that diet.)


Pearl – Patrick Osborne


Piper – Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer


Best Original Score


Jackie – Mica Levi


La La Land – Justin Hurwitz

([Deep inhale])


Lion – Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka


Moonlight – Nicholas Britell


Passengers – Thomas Newman


Best Original Song


“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land – Music by Justin Hurwitz, Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul


“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls – Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, and Karl Johan Schuster (Shellback)

(Don’t you fucking do it, Oscars. I spend enough time listening to this shit everytime I walk into a Woolworths without having to think, “Oh, it’s J.T.’s Oscar winning song about trolls again. Say, I wonder where they sell the handguns…”)


“City of Stars” from La La Land – Music by Justin Hurwitz, Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

([Huuuge sigh])


“The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story – Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting


“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana – Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda


Best Sound Editing

Arrival – Sylvain Bellemare


Deepwater Horizon – Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli


Hacksaw Ridge – Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright


La La Land – Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan

([One more deep breath])


Sully – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman


Best Sound Mixing


Arrival – Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye


Hacksaw Ridge – Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace


La La Land – Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow

(Duuh. Although, honestly, if the people who vote for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing actually focus on more than the music in La La Land, they’ll probably award something else. Like Hacksaw Ridge……….



Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson

(Meh, maybe. I haven’t seen it, but that Star Wars soundscape is pretty iconic.)


13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Mac Ruth


Best Production Design


Arrival – Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock

(Always possible.)


Hail, Caesar! – Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh

(This was a fun Coen brothers excursion that did actually look like it took place on a studio lot in the 1950s. So, who knows?)


La La Land – Sandy Reynolds-Wasco and David Wasco

(I mean, whatever, at this point.)


Passengers – Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena


Best Cinematography


Arrival – Bradford Young

(It’s about aliens, and space and stuff, so there could be some nice lens flair that’ll get people excited… I don’t know, look, it’s probably going to La La Land.)


La La Land – Linus Sandgren

([Violently loud burp])


Lion – Greig Fraser


Moonlight – James Laxton


Silence – Rodrigo Prieto

(The only nod for Martin Scorsese’s most recent film. Goddammit, Oscars, what does Mel Gibson have on you people?)


Best Makeup and Hairstyling


A Man Called Ove – Eva von Bahr and Love Larson


Star Trek Beyond – Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo


Suicide Squad – Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini, and Christopher Nelson

(Please, please don’t give this movie an Oscar. Jared Leto needs to stop getting affirmation from you people, even indirectly.)


Best Costume Design


Allied – Joanna Johnston


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Colleen Atwood

(That outfit they put Eddie Redmayne in managed to hide his giant hunchback, so that’s not bad.)


Florence Foster Jenkins – Consolata Boyle


Jackie – Madeline Fontaine

(Period pieces always get a leg-up here, especially if they capture the look of the characters well enough. From the looks of it, could work out.)


La La Land – Mary Zophres

(Why the fuck not, right?)


Best Film Editing


Arrival – Joe Walker


Hacksaw Ridge – John Gilbert


Hell or High Water – Jake Roberts


La La Land – Tom Cross

(There’s only so many ways I can come up with to dismissively say, “Yep.” Sooooo… yep.)


Moonlight – Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon


Best Visual Effects


Deepwater Horizon – Craig Hammeck, Jason Snell, Jason Billington, and Burt Dalton


Doctor Strange – Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli, and Paul Corbould

(Sight unseen, with all the hubbub about the scenes of the city fucking itself into oblivion, this has surely got to win.)


The Jungle Book – Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Dan Lemmon


Kubo and the Two Strings – Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean, and Brad Schiff

(It’s a nice thought.)


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel, and Neil Corbould



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