Oscar predictions: In my humble opinion

By on January 18, 2017

With the Golden Globes wrapped up, it is only natural to look ahead to Feb. 26 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out Oscars. Like always I’ll try and predict nominees and winners — and more than likely be wrong.

On Jan. 8, “La La Land” stole the show by capturing a record setting seven Golden Globe wins (beating out “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Midnight Express”) and supposedly paving its way to Oscar greatness. The Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”) directed musical stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as Sabastian and Mia, two star-crossed lovers looking for a brighter future. This throwback of filmmaking rocketed from fifth to second on the box office charts over the weekend, and after six weeks looks to be a major win for Lionsgate (“Hacksaw Ridge,” “Patriots Day”). Both Gosling and Stone received Golden Globes for their performance in “La La Land,” and the film captured best comedy picture, director, screenplay, score, and song.

“At first they didn’t know each other and she just kept seeing him everywhere; I liked that,” said Halli U. of New Holland. “I like that she didn’t give up. I like the main song.”

Critic Michael Upton predicts big things for “La La Land,” staring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, when Oscars roll around. Both Gosling and Stone received Golden Globes for their performance in the musical, and the film captured best comedy picture, director, screenplay, score, and song. (Image from CLTure.com)

Critic Michael Upton predicts big things for “La La Land,” staring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, when Oscars roll around. Both Gosling and Stone received Golden Globes for their performance in the musical, and the film captured best comedy picture, director, screenplay, score, and song. (Image from CLTure.com)

The song “City of Stars” was composed by Justin Hurwitz, while the lyrics were provided by Pasek and Paul, a musical theater composing team formed at the University of Michigan.

The Academy doesn’t usually pay much attention to musicals, but I suspect they will not be able to ignore the buzz around “La La Land.”

Look for “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion,” and “Manchester by the Sea” to also vie for best picture. Although the hilarious and movie industry-bashing “Deadpool” was nominated for best musical or comedy motion picture I don’t expect Ryan Reynolds to deliver any acceptance speeches at the Oscars.

As for the ladies, I’m hoping Hailee Steinfeld wins for her portrayal of Nadine in “The Edge of Seventeen,” but more than likely she’ll be up against Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”). Going up against Streep has become a cliché. She wins. She just wins.

Up for male roles should be Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea’), Joel Edgerton (“Loving”), Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”), and Denzel Washington (“Fences”). Although the Globes went for the younger Affleck, I can see Washington walking away with the trophy. The actor who brought us “American Gangster” and “Man on Fire” is hard to deny and has become a bit of an Academy darling since “Glory.” I mean, c’mon, “King Kong ain’t got [expletive] on” him (as his character in “Training Day” stated.)

One of my favorite genres was pretty weak this year. Animated movies made little splash — that’s a ‘Finding Dory” reference — in my opinion. Of course, many did well at the box office, including “Zootopia” and “The Secret Life of Pets,” but I was underwhelmed overall. The Globes put “Zootopia” on a pedestal, but I suspect Pixar will nab yet another victory with “Finding Dory.”

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

2 Comments

  1. Micheal

    January 18, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Do a bit of research in the animated field please! Finding Dory might not even get nominated! It hasn’t even won a single critics award much less the majors AFI, Hollywood Film, Critics Choice, and the Golden Globe have all went to Zootopia! So it’s very reasonable to come to the conclusion it is the front runner and will very likely win! One look at the history of the AFI would tell you that no animated film that has won this award (it’s only happened 10 times in the history of the AFI that a animated film is considered one of the year’s best) has not one the Oscar for Best Animated Feature! The AFI is 100% to this point!

  2. KC

    January 20, 2017 at 2:07 am

    I’m not 100% sure Dory will even be nominated, I feel it’s likely but the way I see it the race is between Zootopia and Kubo with Moana as the long shot.

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