Friday, February 17, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Final Oscar Predictions - Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, and Production Design

Best Cinematography
Will Win - Linus Sandgren "La La Land"
Could Win - Greig Fraser "Lion" or Bradford Young "Arrival"
Should Win - Linus Sandgren "La La Land" or Bradford Young "Arrival"
Commentary - The ASC win put Fraser in this race for Lion, but BAFTA went for the front runner Sandgren, and I think the Oscars will follow the same path. I also am not ruling out Bradford Young's work in Arrival. Let's face it, of the three, Arrival fits more in line with the type of films that have won this category recently. But the La La Land scene on the highway is enough to woo voters to Sandgren, who really did knock it out of the park.

Best Film Editing
Will Win - La La Land
Could Win - Arrival or Hacksaw Ridge
Should Win - La La Land
Commentary - Arrival took the drama Eddie, and Hacksaw upset at the BAFTAs, and this makes this race a lot closer than most folks probably think. Also, this category has been fraught with upsets in the last decade. This would be a way to honor Arrival or Hacksaw, and while I love La La Land, honestly, in terms of editing, both of them are actually a bit better. But Tom Cross has won before (for a much more taut Whiplash), and while I think there are some cracks in the La La Land sweep, I don't think this is one of them.

Best Costume Design
Will Win - Jackie
Could Win - La La Land or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Should Win - Jackie
Commentary - Speaking of cracks, this is one that I think La La Land is not going to win. While it is actually brilliant contemporary design, those kinds of looks just don't win this Oscar. Colleen Atwood has won a bunch here recently, and Fantastic Beasts is both fantasy and period. But Jackie won the Critics Choice, will probably win the period category at the CDG Monday (actually, I think all three will win at CDG), and it upset at BAFTA last weekend. There are not many precursors for this award, but it looks like it is going to be a Jackie sweep. I think Oscar voters will respond in kind.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Will Win - Star Trek Beyond
Could Win - The other two
Should Win - Star Trek Beyond
Commentary - The makeup work of Star Trek Beyond is clearly the best of the bunch, and it also happens to be the kind of bold makeup work that Oscar voters love. But Suicide Squad has its merits (at least in this category), and A Man Called Ove will probably get a lot of votes based on the love of the film alone. In a weird race without a clear front runner, I am picking the most obvious choice.

Best Production Design
Will Win - Arrival
Could Win - La La Land or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Should Win - The final crack in La La Land's possible record-breaking night. Here's the thing. If La La Land is sweeping it wins. But if BAFTA is any indication, there are other films they like too. Let's face it, a contemporary film has not won this award in ages (I honestly can't find one, seriously, maybe All the President's Men in 1976?). So voters are either going to go for the period/fantasy elements of Fantastic Beasts as BAFTA voters did, or they are going to follow their trend of films like Mad Max, Hugo, Alice in Wonderland, Avatar, where visual effects were blended in with more traditional elements to create a truly modern production design. I think the latter, and Arrival is that film. This is a bit of a limb, and honestly, I just really don't know where to go here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that, at least in the tech categories, Arrival is stronger than we think.

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