This year’s Academy Awards have been as competitive as ever, and while “La La Land” may seem to have a lock on some of the major awards, upsets are never out of the question. While contenders like Damien Chazelle and Mahershala Ali almost certainly will win their categories, who should win?
Oscars night is going to end with a “La La Land” victory, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. While a few critics are making a last minute stand for “Moonlight” or “Hidden Figures,” the odds that either of those films can overtake “La La Land” are incredibly slim. That said, a victory for “Moonlight” would go down in history as not only deserved, but necessary. Keep hope alive!
Will win: La La Land
Should win: Moonlight
Even more of a lock than a Best Picture win for “La La Land” is a Best Director win for Damien Chazelle. Weekend would love to see “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins slip in and upset, but Chazelle is an exciting, talented young director, and the Academy won’t miss this opportunity to reward him.
Will win: Damien Chazelle
Should win: Barry Jenkins
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck had a lock on his Oscar until the very last minute, when Denzel Washington surprised everyone by beating him at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Both men gave incredible performances in their respective films, but the controversy surrounding Affleck’s past sexual assault allegations may finally have turned the tide in Washington’s favor. Considering that Washington gave his best ever performance while directing “Fences,” few could complain about a win for him. That said, our money is on Affleck to power through the backlash and take home gold.
Will win: Casey Affleck
Should win: Denzel Washington
Best Actress in a Leading Role
The Best Actress category is overflowing with talent this year, from Natalie Portman in “Jackie” to Ruth Negga in “Loving.” While Meryl Streep should be happy just to sit back and enjoy her 20th nomination, we can’t say the same for her French counterpart. Isabelle Huppert recieved her first ever Oscar nomination this year for “Elle,” and a win for the delightful French actress would please even the stodgiest of critics. Even so, Emma Stone has dominated awards season so far, and will almost certainly do the same on Oscars night.
Will win: Emma Stone
Should win: Isabelle Huppert
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
It’s Mahershala Ali’s world, and we’re all just living in it. Not only did Ali give a painfully real performance as drug-dealer Juan in “Moonlight,” but he blessed us with his presence in “Hidden Figures” as well. There’s no way he doesn’t win his first Oscar this year — the other Supporting Actor contenders have surely accepted it by now, and so should we.
Will win: Mahershala Ali
Should win: Mahershala Ali
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Should the other nominees even bother to show up? Viola Davis has had this category locked down for months. Our only regret is that she’s nominated in the supporting category, when her role in “Fences” was clearly a lead. But hey, any Oscar for Viola is better than an Oscar for anyone else.
Will win: Viola Davis
Should win: Viola Davis