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Arrival (#110 of 9)

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions

Paramount Pictures

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions

This is a complete list of our predicted winners at the 2017 Academy Awards with links to individual articles.

Picture: La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
Original Screenplay: La La Land
Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
Foreign Language: The Salesman
Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America
Animated Feature Film: Zootopia
Documentary Short: The White Helmets
Animated Short: Piper
Live Action Short: Enemies Within
Film Editing: La La Land
Production Design: La La Land
Cinematography: La La Land
Costume Design: La La Land
Makeup and Hairstyling: Star Trek Beyond
Score: La La Land
Song: “City of Stars,” La La Land
Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Sound Mixing: La La Land
Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Picture

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Picture

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Picture

It should’ve surprised no one that Hollywood was interested in remaking the Oscar-nominated Toni Erdmann with Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig, and certainly not for the same reasons that catapulted the film to the top of our list of the best films of 2016. Spending the last month grimly assessing the chances of La La Land to not only tie but potentially surpass the all-time record for Oscar wins, we couldn’t seem to get the hallmark moment from writer-director Maren Ade’s masterpiece out of the back of our heads.

Sandra Hüller’s Ines Conradi, a marginalized and harried cog in the machine of global capitalism, reaches a crisis point in her father’s deprogramming campaign. Staring down the option of assessing her personal responsibility or picking up the musical cue that her Yamaha DX7-tinkling father, Winfried (played by Peter Simonischek), is throwing her way, she submits, howling through the all-time song-of-myself anthem: “Because the greatest love of all is happening to me/The greatest love of all is easy to achieve/Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all!” If ever a foreign film somehow lucked into a temperature read of Hollywood’s state of mind, this one did.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Adapted Screenplay

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

A24

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

Oscar voting ended on February 21, and usually in the last few days one can tell where a film stands—and, in some cases, always stood—from news items related to where the allegiances of certain voters lie. When actors like Mark Duplass lobby in favor of Moonlight, encouraging Oscar voters to contemplate what a best picture victory would “mean” for the Barry Jenkins film, he’s acknowledging both the cultural moment in which Moonlight was fostered and its uphill battle against the received wisdom that La La Land has been the best picture favorite since the start of the awards season.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Sound Editing

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

This is your annual reminder that Eric Henderson and I slap each other silly every year until one of us screams “Auntie Roo!” and accepts the degradation of writing about this category. Because there’s only so many ways one can say that the average Academy member can’t tell the difference between sound mixing and sound editing, but when they’re caught between a show tune and so much sturm und drang, they know where to draw the line in the sand. Or, rather, there are enough techies in the Academy who can tell the difference between sound mixing and editing that a maelstrom like La La Land is unable to get by here simply on sheer force of will. And while we would like to think that enough of these techies will tilt the scales in favor of Arrival and its densely layered aural environment, history favors the most earth-shattering sounds here, however artificially they’ve been fabricated, and Hacksaw Ridge is the more predictable choice for anyone in the La La Land fan club with at least enough sense to not obligatorily check off the film’s name in all of its 14 nominated categories.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Sound Mixing

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

No film has reached the current record for most Academy Awards won (11, at least for the next nine days) without also taking this award. Ben-Hur, Titanic, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King all won it. And La La Land will win it. Even if the film weren’t part of the sort of Oscar tsunami we haven’t really seen much of in the last few decades, Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow could’ve begun memorizing their acceptance speech the moment the nominations were announced. The category is littered with nominations for, as Ed quoted me as saying, “I gotta watch this now?!” movies both somehow inexplicably respectable (Hacksaw Ridge) and not (Template One: A Star Wars Simulacrum and 13 Hours: The Amount of Time Trump Voters Spent Typing the Word ’E-Mails’ in Comment Sections Every Day in 2016). And, as we’ve correctly argued time and time again, musicals have a gam up in sound mixing, even when the musicals take such perpendicular form as in Ray or Whiplash. Only if voters start feeling a tinge of buyer’s remorse this far down the ballot does Arrival have an outside chance, but we’d sooner expect real-life space squids to squirt us with circular Sanskrit.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Production Design

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Production Design

We’re at that point in our rolling Oscar prediction coverage when fatigue inevitably turns to exasperation. It certainly doesn’t help that the near-clean sweep that La La Land looks to achieve on Oscar night is difficult to have to rationalize in one tech category after another without beating a dead horse. It’s why, two days ago, Eric Henderson tried to get away with a two-line assessment of the best editing race that consisted of an obscure reference to an interlude from Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation that prominently features the word “edit” in it (a remnant of said reference remains in yesterday’s published piece). It’s also why I wanted to roll with nothing more than “LOL, La La Land” for today’s column. But that would’ve been as lazy as the likely outcome of this race. As such, see below for a still from Hail, Caesar!

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Editing

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Editing

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Editing

We could do this as fast as Janet Jackson saying “Edit” by swiftly calling another La La Land win. Which, to be clear, we are because it will. Just not in anything resembling a walk. In the not-too-distant past, the film that won best picture would traditionally also win this category, with nearly the same hit-to-miss ratio as best director. But these aren’t your father’s tech categories anymore, thanks to the growing schism between yesterday’s tradition-of-quality filmmaking and today’s prestige-blockbuster product: Spotlight versus Mad Max: Fury Road; 12 Years a Slave versus Gravity; No Country for Old Men versus The Bourne Ultimatum. The picture-editing correlation only happened once in the last six Oscar ceremonies, and arguably residual sympathy for Argo’s Ben Affleck not getting a nomination for best director could have been a factor in that film’s triumph over Life of Pi.

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions Cinematography

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Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Lionsgate

Oscar 2017 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

“Today, we declared war on La La Land,” Bill Maher joked on the most recent episode of HBO’s Real Time, referring to the actions of the world’s preeminent fake-news sleuth and his penchant for alienating entire nations in the span of 140 characters. Maher may or may not have been referencing Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, but even if he just meant the city, his reasoning isn’t incredibly off the mark, since few things currently rival Donald J. Trump in unchecked self-involvement so much as Sebastian and Mia’s vacuum-sealed romance set in the heart of a seemingly deserted Los Angeles.

2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions

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2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Lionsgate

2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions

“While it would be an exaggeration to categorize all this sound and fury about something signifying next-to-nothing ’fun,’ at the very least the hubbub this Oscar year offers welcome respite from the grinding monotony of the presidential race.” So ended the introduction to our Oscar nomination predictions last year. And so ends our collective cautious optimism. Not even Alyssa Edwards’s clicking tongue could summon an exclamation point sharper than the one we now feel reflecting upon the actual stakes of real life amid frivolous, self-congratulating luxury. Unlike we felt when all anyone cared about was getting an Oscar into Leonardo DiCaprio’s hands. Well, we care about a lot more things this year, and so will the Academy. Which means: Expect a lot more films in the Spotlight vein to be nominated, and a lot fewer like Mad Max: Fury Road, with one frivolous exception to the rule that’s going to clearly sing and dance its way to all the wins next month. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Here are our best bets to get past the first heat and maybe earn a few nasty tweets from our future POTUS.