The Oscars are here, but not everyone gets to go home victorious.
The Oscars are one of those meaningless topics that is always hotly debated. It starts with the nominations: who got nominated, who should’ve gotten nominated, and who shouldn’t have gotten nominated. Now, with the Oscars only hours away, I’ll tell you who will and who should go home with the golden statue in the major categories come Sunday Night.
Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Who Will Win: Viola Davis
Who Should Win: Naomie Harris
Viola Davis has been nominated in the past for her work in Doubt and The Help. She’s a tremendous actress, and she will win her first Oscar Sunday night. However, it should be Ms. Harris who goes home with the award. Harris expertly plays an abusive, drug addicted mother in Moonlight. She’s not in the movie much, but it’s the kind of performance that aptly describes the best supporting actress category. Some of you may cry foul, but I’ll make up for it later.
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
Who Will/ Should Win: Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali is a lock. He is the darling of the awards season, and deservedly so. Even though he is only present for the 1st 3rd of the film, Ali delivers a captivating performance as a drug dealer with a heart of gold in Moonlight. I really enjoyed Jeff Bridges’ and Lucas Hedges’ performances, but they have no shot against Mr. Ali this year.
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Denis Villenueve, Arrival
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle
Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins
Damien Chazelle masterfully crafted the best movie musical since Dreamgirls. He will be rewarded for his work and commitment to bringing the musical back into the mainstream. However, I believe the award should go to Barry Jenkins. It’s clear Jenkins works well with actors, as he gets the most out of his talented cast in Moonlight. Jenkins also delivers some beautiful shots in Moonlight, the kind that bring straight-up tears to your eyes. Jenkins should be the man of the hour come Sunday night, but Mr. Chazelle is going home as the winner.
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Who Will Win: Emma Stone
Who Should Win: Viola Davis
Emma Stone, the girl you’ve had a crush on since her star turn in Superbad, will walk away the big winner Sunday night. She does a fine job of acting, singing, and dancing her way through La La Land. But not only should Viola Davis be nominated in this category, she should win it. She is the only significant female actor in Fences, and she delivers a powerhouse performance that will stand the tests of time.
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences
Who Will Win: Denzel Washington
Who Should Win: Casey Affleck
The last 13 years, the winner of the Screen Actors Guild award for best actor has gone on to win the Oscar in the same category. Denzel won the SAG, and he will add another Oscar to his legendary career for his gripping performance in Fences. While I will be happy for Denzel, I think the Academy will unjustly snub Casey Affleck. Affleck handles the material he is given very well, making you empathize with a character you’re not entirely supposed to like. Denzel may be my idol, but its Affleck who is most deserving of the award.
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Who Will Win: Hidden Figures
Who Should Win: Moonlight or Hell or High Water
Somebody put La La Land on upset alert. Hidden Figures is going to win Best Picture. Typically, the Academy loves to reward films that celebrate the industry, and La La Land seems primed to win. But with all of the controversy surrounding the Oscars the last 2 years for their lack of diversity, I think the feel good movie of 2016 Hidden Figures will shock the world due to its racial themes. Personally, my vote would go to either Moonlight or Hell or High Water. Hell or High Water is an engrossing modern western, meaning that it has no chance in hell of winning. But it has great performances and high re-watching value because it’s so entertaining. Moonlight is a tour de force in film, featuring tremendous performances from the ensemble cast, and a story that pulls you in from the start. Hidden Figures is a good movie, and it would be a worthy winner any other year. While Hidden Figures will pull the upset of the evening (*maybe even of the century as it pertains to this awards show*), Moonlight or Hell or High Water should be regarded as the finest films 2016 had to offer .