Another “Will, Should, Could Win” Oscar Prediction Article

On the surface, it looks like tomorrow night may be an English Patient kind of Oscar night. You know what I mean – a night in which the same film continually gets honored. A few years back, it felt like a Gravity night but the momentum stalled. Anyway, La La Land, with its 14 nominations, should reign tomorrow night at the Oscars. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have some jaw-dropping surprises. With that, I unleash my predictions for the big show – just like every “fake news” journalist out there. Enjoy the Trump-rightfully-under-the-bus show, and enjoy Jimmy Kimmel. Methinks the host is going to kill tomorrow evening, and will be the first repeat host since Billy Crystal (1997-1998). But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Best Picture

Arrival has no shot. Sadly, it’s best shot was for its star Amy Adams who deserved to win Best Actress but wasn’t even nominated. Fences is going to win for its acting, but it felt too much like a play so there goes that. Hacksaw Ridge is a fine by-the-book war movie that officially forgave Mel Gibson for his downward spiral decades back. So I guess that’s enough? Hell or High Water is a modern classic but it’s not going to score win here especially when you consider its director wasn’t nominated. So where does that leave us? Lion, a film I thought deserved a lot more praise than it received and packed an emotional wallop like no other, has little chance of winning. I think it should but I’m probably the only dude who you’d find writing that. The nomination alone is an accomplishment. Manchester By the Sea is another emotional wallop, but it’s dialogue and acting make it a standout – the sum isn’t better than its parts. Is that the expression? Anyway, this all comes down to La La Land vs. Hidden Figures vs. Moonlight. La La Land should easily win this with Moonlight – a much deeper, meaningful film – possibly playing spoiler. I doubt it. Hidden Figures gained some momentum with the SAG Award Ensemble win, but the film, while historically important and relevant, is overall a standard Hollywood film. Long story short – it’s La La over Moonlight but closer than once thought.

Best Actor
Casey Affleck has been a lock for so long that when Denzel Washington won the SAG Award a few weeks back you could probably hear the jaws dropping on the floor. Momentum has swung toward Washington as Affleck’s (alleged)checkered past caught up with him, but I’m still going to say Affleck squeaks this one out. If it was my call, I’d pick Washington, who delivers arguably his best performance ever – a masterful, nuanced work in a brilliant career.

Best Actress

This is the category where we’ll likely see a surprise. I’m going to say Isabelle Huppert takes home the Oscar over favorite Emma Stone but it’s a toss up. Personally, I want to see Stone take it. Natalie Portman, once the frontrunner, is a non-factor and so are Ruth Negga and Meryl Streep.

Best Supporting Actor

This is such a strong category, but count on odds-on favorite Mahershala Ali to take home the gold guy for his stellar, tender work in Moonlight. I wouldn’t be surprised if my personal fav Jeff Bridges pulled it out for Hell or High Water though. He makes it look so easy. As for Ali, I can’t wait for his speech.

Best Supporting Actress

Finally. Viola. Period.

Best Director

Oscar has shocked before. Damien Chazelle should go on to win this prize, and become the youngest ever to do so. That said, given the political climate, wouldn’t right NOW be the appropriate time for the Academy to honor the first African American Best Director? Here’s looking at you Barry Jenkins. It likely won’t happen but don’t be shocked if this shocker happens. (It probably won’t.)

Adapted Screenplay

Nocturnal Animals should be here. It’s not. Moonlight easily takes this home.

Original Screenplay

I don’t care what anyone says the most original one here is The Lobster. It’s just not the best one. I know people are picking La La Land here but no way. Manchester by the Sea needs to be honored here, and will be.

Animated Feature

Look for Kubo and the Two Strings to upset here. If not, Zootopia reigns.

Animated Short

Donald Trump’s hands a close runner-up to Piper.

Live Action Short

I haven’t seen all of these but I’ll just say Timecode.

Documentary Feature

It was a great year for O.J. (in name only) Made in America should take it.

Documentary Short

Look for Extremis though Joe’s Violin could slide in.

Foreign Language Film

Making a statement, I fully expect The Salesman to be honored here.

Original Score

La La Land hands down. Lion deserves some consideration.

Original Song

“City of Stars” from La La Land will win but for me, and what really makes Emma Stone’s performance, is “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).” Still, the former will win though the latter sums up the film’s wonder perfectly.


I’d give it to Lion or Arrival, but this is another La La victory.


Pay attention here because if La La Land loses this one (it won’t), then we might be in for an unpredictable night. It’s only competition is Moonlight or Arrival.

Costume Design

La La Land is the favorite here but I’m going to go with Jackie. I also wouldn’t be shocked if Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them upset.

Makeup and Hairstyling

I can’t see the Academy honoring drivel like Suicide Squad with anything so I’ll say A Man Called Ove edges Star Trek Beyond or not. Yeah, not. I’ll go with Star Trek I guess.

Production Design

La La. Duh.

Sound Editing

I’m going with Hacksaw Ridge here. La La Land is the favorite I would think but this is the only category I can legitimately see Hacksaw winning. By the way, I can’t see Hacksaw Jim Duggan winning anything tomorrow. Sorry wrestling fans.

Sound Mixing

I’m going to go with Hacksaw Ridge again because the nominee never won and I just think La La can’t win everything. I’m likely wrong here but I’ll just saw Gibson’s film sweeps the sound awards.

Visual Effects

The Jungle Book. Hands down.

Good luck with your ballots. Get ready for a roast, Donald.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman –

Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Elle King, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.