Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Final Nomination Predictions - Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress

Best Actor
Casey Affleck "Manchester By the Sea"
Andrew Garfield "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ryan Gosling "La La Land"
Viggo Mortensen "Captain Fantastic"
Denzel Washington "Fences"

Other Contenders - Jake Gyllenhaal "Nocturnal Animals", Ryan Reynolds "Deadpool", Tom Hanks "Sully", Joel Edgerton "Loving"

Commentary - So yes, Jake Gyllenhaal getting in at BAFTA puts him in contention, as does the sudden rise of Deadpool across the guilds for Ryan Reynolds. But these have been the same five for a while now, and if you think that the Denzel snub at the BAFTAs is a big deal here's an important stat for you: 6 Oscar nominations and 2 wins, ZERO BAFTA nods.

Best Actress
Amy Adams "Arrival"
Emily Blunt "The Girl on the Train"
Natalie Portman "Jackie"
Emma Stone "La La Land"
Meryl Streep "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Other Contenders - Isabelle Huppert "Elle", Annette Bening "20th Century Women", Taraji P. Henson "Hidden Figures", Ruth Negga "Loving"

Commentary - So four slots are looking solid, with Globe, BAFTA, and SAG nominations under their belt: Adams, Stone, Portman, and Streep. But that fifth slot is a freaking mystery. Huppert won the Globe, Henson's Hidden Figures is hitting its stride, and Bening is too good to ignore. But none of them have both a SAG and a BAFTA nomination. In fact, all three have neither. That honor goes to Emily Blunt. I think folks are writing it off because the film wasn't well received, or SAG always nominates one oddball at least, or she's British, so of course she got BAFTA. These are all legitimate reasons, but with I'm sticking the the surprise contender who keeps racking up honors.

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali "Moonlight"
Jeff Bridges "Hell or High Water"
Hugh Grant "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Dev Patel "Lion"
Aaron Taylor-Johnson "Nocturnal Animals"

Other Contenders - Lucas Hedges "Manchester By the Sea", Michael Shannon "Nocturnal Animals", Simon Helberg "Florence Foster Jenkins", Kevin Costner "Hidden Figures, Ben Foster "Hell or High Water"

Commentary - I don't understand the Aaron Taylor-Johnson surge. If it were Michael Shannon, I would completely understand. But this pick just feels off. All of that said, after winning the Globe in a jaw-dropper, he got a BAFTA nomination. I think he is also earning his first Oscar nomination. That unfortunately leaves Lucas Hedges out, which is a real shame because he is so much better. The other four are good to go. Also watch out for Helberg, Costner, Foster, and yes Shannon (if voters want the better Nocturnal Animals performance).

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

Other Contenders - Janelle Monae "Hidden Figures", Hayley Squires "I, Daniel Blake"

Commentary - I don't see the Hayley Squires nomination crossing over from BAFTA, so that leaves the same five women that have dominated this category since SAG and the Globe nods over a month ago. The one to watch for is Janelle Monae. She could either knock out he co-star Spencer, or pull a real shocker and knock one of the other four out.

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