Early Tuesday, the Academy released their nominations for the Oscars that will air on February 26th, 2017 on ABC.  With the release of the nominations comes predictions for what the Academy Awards will reward as the best in cinema in a certain field, so let’s discuss the major categories and the possible winners in each!  To note, I’ll pick who I think the Academy will choose to win as well as who I thought deserved to win.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

I see this award as a three person race between Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, and Michelle Williams.  Each woman has a signature moment from each of their films to remember them by with Davis having snot running down her face while she yells at Denzel, Harris drugged out and yelling at Chiron, and Williams losing it on the street when talking to Casey Affleck.  Davis won the Golden Globe, but is that enough for her to take home the Oscar?

Predicted Winner: Viola Davis

MovieBabble Winner: Naomie Harris

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image via Collider

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

While the award will probably go to Mahershala Ali (who stood out in an amazingly short amount of time on screen), I must say that one of my favorite characters in all of film this year was Michael Shannon as Bobby Andes in Nocturnal Animals.  Shannon completely lost himself in this character, applying a great accent to go along with his intense stare.  But I actually wouldn’t mind if any of these actors won since they were all so great.

Predicted Winner: Mahershala Ali

MovieBabble Winner: Michael Shannon

Image result for michael shannon nocturnal animals
image via The Playlist

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

People fail to realize just how much CGI is in Deepwater Horizon (and I have a little bit of a soft spot for the movie since it was my first ever review), but I think this award comes down to The Jungle Book or Doctor Strange.  The Jungle Book is so great in that you forget sometimes that the entire movie was on a green screen.  Yet Doctor Strange explored so many different dimensions that were incredibly riveting.  I’d say this is close to a toss up.

Predicted Winner: The Jungle Book

MovieBabble Winner: Doctor Strange

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image via Vox

Best Adapted Screenplay

Eric Heisserer, Arrival

August Wilson, Fences

Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures

Luke Davies, Lion

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

While August Wilson definitely wrote a very powerful play, the movie felt exactly like the play so I wonder how difficult his job actually was to complete.  I think this award goes to Barry Jenkins since Moonlight is so layered in its execution and is a very important story to tell.  I would, however, watch out for Eric Heisserer since Arrival was so intelligently told with science fiction elements yet had true, genuine emotion.

Predicted Winner: Barry Jenkins

MovieBabble Winner: Eric Heisserer

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image via CraveOnline

Best Original Screenplay

Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, The Lobster

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

I would seriously consider giving this award to The Lobster for how absurd the movie is and how it strangely works, but I think this is a two horse race between Damien Chazelle and Kenneth Lonergan.  Manchester by the Sea is a really tough watch, but it is definitely a great lesson in writing.  However, considering La La Land is a movie about Hollywood, for Hollywood, so it’ll probably get the award, and deservedly so.

Predicted Winner: Damien Chazelle

MovieBabble Winner: Damien Chazelle

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image via IndieWire

 Best Animated Feature Film

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

It’s nice to see some lesser known movies such as My Life as a Zucchini and The Red Turtle get recognition instead of more commercial hits like Sing or The Secret Life of Pets that definitely had no business being considered.  However, I think the clear winner here is Zootopia since it was so accessible to kids but also had some great themes for adults to get wrapped up in.

Predicted Winner: Zootopia

MovieBabble Winner: Zootopia

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image via Den of Geek

Best Director

Denis Villenueve, Arrival

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Whether you like him or not, it was nice to see Mel Gibson make the cut.  It speaks to the Academy’s ability to objectively view movies which is definitely something to be admired.  However, it seems that the front-runners for the award will be Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins.  Chazelle probably pulled off the hardest task in creating a beautifully filmed musical with greatly choreographed musical set pieces.  However, Barry Jenkins (and even Denis Villenueve) probably gives a more layered performance, allowing us to understand characters in completely different situations and circumstances than we are accustomed.

Predicted Winner: Damien Chazelle

MovieBabble Winner: Damien Chazelle

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image via Twiter

Best Actress

Isabelle Ruppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

This could possibly be the most contested race of any of the categories.  Meryl Streep is at it again with the 2oth nomination of her illustrious career.  However, she is most likely fourth or fifth in the running for this award.  Could the lesser known Isabelle Huppert walk away with the award after winning the Golden Globe?  I doubt it, but look out for her to be a surprise winner.  I think this boils down to a two women race between Emma Stone and Natalie Portman.  Jackie isn’t necessarily the best movie, but boy is Portman a marvel to watch.  I may lean that way if it were up to me.

Predicted Winner: Emma Stone

MovieBabble Winner: Natalie Portman

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image via Elle

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

The word surrounding the Academy is that this is Casey Affleck’s award to lose.  However, I would tend to disagree with this sentiment, since Affleck’s performance hasn’t really stuck with me since I viewed the movie.  I have a bit of a soft spot for Andrew Garfield’s performance in Hacksaw Ridge which really moved me in the theater and how he committed to the character, but watch out for Denzel as a dark horse.  Fences does not really work as a film without his performance.

Predicted Winner: Casey Affleck

MovieBabble Winner: Denzel Washington 

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image via IndieWire

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

This is a pretty stacked list.  Although I would’ve liked to see Silence get nominated, there isn’t really any major gripes from my point of view.  It appears that La La Land may be the front runner since it tied the record for most total nominations with fourteen, and I may have to agree with that sentiment since La La Land was my favorite movie of 2016.  I would watch out for Moonlight as a possible dark horse to win this award since it bears a higher societal importance than practically every other movie on the list.

Predicted Winner: La La Land

MovieBabble Winner: La La Land

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image via IndieWire

Those are my choices!  What are your thoughts?  Are there any categories you would have picked differently?  Comment down below and let me know!

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What movie topic should I discuss next?  Whether it’s old or new, the choice is up to you!

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