Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Oscar Narrative: And. Here. We. Go...

Tomorrow morning, the Annie Award nominations come out, and tomorrow night is the Gotham Awards. Tuesday we will get the National Board of Review picks, and Wednesday the BFCA and NYFCC, two of the more recognized critics groups announce their nominees and winners respectively. We have been flirting with the Oscar race since Cannes in May, and even though most folks count the start of the film festivals as the official start of Oscar season, in terms of real awards, this is the week where it really begins. And it will be an onslaught. There are critics groups all over the country trying to make their mark on this year's awards race, and they will be fighting each other for the spotlight over the next couple of weeks. I think Moonlight and Manchester By the Sea are going to do extremely well with these groups, with La La Land and Fences getting some notices, and then doing better with the actual guilds and the Oscar voters (although I think all four films will play well with the Academy and will win something on Oscar night). Here are my updated predictions for the top six categories before the onslaught begins:

Best Picture
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea

Best Director
Denzel Washington "Fences"
Damien Chazelle "La La Land"
Kenneth Lonergan "Manchester By the Sea"
Barry Jenkins "Moonlight"
Martin Scorsese "Silence"

Best Actor
Casey Affleck "Manchester By the Sea"
Joel Edgerton "Loving"
Andrew Garfield "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ryan Gosling "La La Land"
Denzel Washington "Fences"

Best Actress
Annette Bening "20th Century Women"
Ruth Negga "Loving"
Natalie Portman "Jackie"
Emma Stone "La La Land"
Meryl Streep "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali "Moonlight"
Jeff Bridges "Hell or High Water"
Hugh Grant "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Lucas Hedges "Manchester By the Sea"
Mykelti Williamson "Fences"

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis "Fences"
Naomie Harris "Moonlight"
Nicole Kidman "Lion"
Janelle Monae "Hidden Figures"
Michelle Williams "Manchester By the Sea"

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