Our Picks for the 2017 Oscars (Sorry, ‘La La Land’)
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because you can predict a Hollywood movie pretty easily, but can you predict the Oscars? We try.
Welcome to the only time of the year when the word snubbed reliably begins to trend.
The good old Oscar nominations come out January 24, setting off a month of speculation before the ceremony on February 26. Here are the storybook endings, betrayals and complete shocks that we’re predicting.
And let us know in the comments what you think will happen.
L.A., You’re Not That Vain (La La Land)
La La Land was great — but was it even as good as 500 Days of Summer? Oh, God, my email inbox is already filling with hate mail.
But really, I don’t think the musical that highlights L.A.’s greatest spots (you know, observatories and freeways) will win Best Picture, even though it seems like it was created in a lab meant to appeal to the voters. Voters will choose between happy (La La Land) and sad (Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea) — and given the political climate, sad will win out. Sad! Let’s all remember, before critics got ahold of La La Land, it wasn’t a crowd favorite.
But La La Land may not be doomed, beyond subjectivity:
The five things we learned tonight about the Oscars race:
1. @LaLaLand is now the clear frontrunner for Picture and Director.
— Ben Zauzmer (@BensOscarMath) January 9, 2017
Remember Carol? (Fences)
I could see Fences, even with its star-studded cast of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, getting Carol’ed this year. By that: buzz, critical love and then … Academy Awards Best Picture silence. If I’m right, a whole lot of people are about to get really loud. Meanwhile, Moonlight is almost guaranteed a Best Picture nomination, righting the queer wrong done to Carol in 2016. And there’s no doubt Viola Davis will be considered for Best Supporting Actress. Her running, by the way, as Best Supporting Actress is just another sign that this year the women are formidable.
What’s Right, What’s Wrong
Every year there seems to be an Oscars controversy: Last year was #OscarsSoWhite and then Chris Rock’s accountant jab, using Asian stereotypes. This year’s: It has been and will continue to be sexual assault and what’s acceptable. Nate Parker, director and star of Birth of a Nation, has been practically written off because rape allegations resurfaced. Casey Affleck, star of Manchester by the Sea, is still a frontrunner for Best Actor, though two sexual harassment lawsuits against him have been settled. Affleck denied the allegations. Reports have not stopped him from picking up awards so far, but perhaps the voters will take that into account after last year’s anti–sexual assault performance starring Lady Gaga and Joe Biden at the Oscars.
Remember Brokeback Mountain? (Moonlight)
Back in 2006, Brokeback Mountain won three awards — best director, adapted screenplay and original score. But it lost Best Picture to the more wide-sweeping Crash. This year, the Oscars won’t make that choice again, I don’t think, because Moonlight will win best picture over La La Land and Manchester by the Sea.
— Ben Zauzmer (@BensOscarMath) December 4, 2016
The Return of the Fanboys (Star Wars: Rogue One)
OK, it’s a longshot, but isn’t it time to pander to fanboys? This may just be the year Star Wars sneaks into Best Picture, on the back of the Dark Knight Rule (the Oscars upped the number of nominees to 10 after tights-wearing Batman lovers went all Joker on the academy). It’s been enough years, enough CG and, yes, even though voters don’t care: It would be a boon for the awards show with viewers who couldn’t care less about musicals and Boston guardian disputes. Carrie Fisher’s death may even help rally the supporters.
It’s About to Get Political
This one’s not about who will win or lose, but Hollywood’s a political crowd: Get ready for lots of speeches about how bad 2016 was, President Trump and the power of creative minds to stand up to tyranny. Cue the music!