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Who’ll Go For Gold at the 89th Academy Awards?

Who’ll Go For Gold at the 89th Academy Awards?

After Adele’s emotional speech and Beyonce’s dramatic performance at the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, the entertainment world turns their attention to the next major artistic award ceremony: The Oscars.

On Feb. 26, the most decorated and revered actors, directors, producers, and film-making geniuses in the world will come together to continue the rich history of motion picture.

The year of 2016 featured an exciting lineup of blockbusters like “Deadpool,” “Rogue One,” “Captain America: Civil War,” and “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” all of which topped the box office lists at some point over the course of the year.

Yet the most masterful cinematic experiences seemed to fly under the radar, especially in ticket sales, until their popularization by critics and nominations for their achievements appeared in the public eye. Some refer to the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards as “Oscar season,” but many of these critically acclaimed films debuted far before the lead-up to the highly anticipated night in Hollywood.

Three specific movies that went unnoticed for a substantial time are ones receiving the most nominations at this year’s Oscars: “Moonlight” (eight nominations), “Manchester by the Sea” (six nominations) and “La La Land” (14 nominations). For many moviegoers, these pictures were unfortunately not at the top of the watch-list at their premiers, which delayed their rise to fame until the month or two ahead of the next installment of the Academy Awards.

Other films like “Arrival,” “Hidden Figures,” “Hell or High Water,” and “Hacksaw Ridge” couldn’t crack the top of the leader boards despite their exceptional directing, writing, and acting throughout.

Last year’s film lineups featured trailers that took advantage of the star power of A-list actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant,” and Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight,” which captivated audiences and stirred excitement. This year’s selections couldn’t seem to match this.

But what makes this year’s selection of Best Picture nominees special and unique is the accumulation of remarkable lead and supporting casts to tell heart wrenching stories and craft beautiful works of art.

Many categories at first glance seem to have a clear favorite to take home the hardware, yet the realistic possibility of a dark horse within each group adds an extra ounce of tension and suspense to the concoction of competition on the night of the most coveted awards in the industry.

So, next time you’re thinking about heading over to the local theatre to catch the scandalous film “Fifty Shades Darker,” consider instead not only the films that may evoke an emotional experience within the viewing space, but also the ones which remain relevant within you once you exit the theatre and return home, and impact you for the rest of your life.

Check out my predictions for who should and will win in some of the primary categories for the 89th Academy Awards below, and let me know in the comments for who you see etching their names into motion picture lore!


Key: [S] – Should Win      [W] – Will Win

Best Picture:



Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land [W]


Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight [S]

Actor in a Leading Role:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea [S] [W]

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Actress in a Leading Role:

Isabelle Huppert, Elle [S]

Ruth Neggs, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land [W]

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight [S] [W]

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Viola Davis, Fences [W]

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures [S]

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best Director:

Arrival, Denis Villeneuve

 Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson

La La Land, Damien Chazelle [W] [S]

Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan

Moonlight, Barry Jenkins

Documentary (Feature):

Fire at Sea, Gianfranco Rosi

I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck [S]

Life, Animated, Roger Ross Williams

O.J.: Made in America, Ezra Edelman [W]

13th, Ava DuVernay

Music (Original Score):

Jackie, Mica Levi

La La Land, Justin Hurwitz [S] [W]

Lion, Volker Bertelmann and Dustin OHalloran

Moonlight, Nicholas Britell

Passengers, Thomas Newman

Best Original Screenplay:

Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan

La La Land, Damien Chazelle

The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou

Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan [S] [W]

20th Century Women, Mike Mills

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Who’ll Go For Gold at the 89th Academy Awards?