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Oscar Predictions 2017

 

I am a movie fan — pure and simple. I have even been known to take movie vacations, where I catch up on movies and see one every day. One of my favorite things is predicting who will win at the Academy Awards. It is not just about whether a performance was better than others, but you have to factor in such things as have they won before, are they or the movie too popular, have they been overlooked before, and so on. This is one of the most open fields in years. Here are my picks for the Top Six Awards.8035

Best Actor (Casey Affleck “Manchester by the Sea,” Andrew Garfield “Hacksaw Ridge,” Ryan Gosling “La La Land,” Viggo Mortensen “Captain Fantastic,” Denzel Washington “Fences”) You have one previous nominee (Viggo Mortensen) and one 2-time winner (Denzel Washington). The rest are first-time nominees. Viggo’s movie was not so well seen. “La La Land” may be seen as too light for some. That leaves Casey, Denzel and Andrew. Casey Affleck has the momentum — he is coming into his own. But then again, Denzel is a possibility too. Final choice: Casey Affleck

Best Actress (Isabelle Huppert “Elle,” Ruth Negga “Loving,” Natalie Portman “Jackie,” Emma Stone “La La Land,” Meryl Streep “Florence Foster Jenkins”) You have 2 former Oscar winners: Portman and Streep. Streep is out, she will not win a 4th time. I found “Elle” a bit of a Lifetime movie w/ more sex. Plus it in French. That leaves Negga and Stone. Stone could ride the momentum with “La La Land” and win. Plus, they like ingénues in this category. But Portman is a formidable competitor. Final choice: Emma Stone

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”) Only 1 previous winner: Jeff Bridges. Ali has made quite an impression with a small role in an independent film. This is a tough category. Hedges is young, and will have another chance. Shannon has been nominated before, but not won. Final Choice: Mahershala Ali

Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis “Fences,” Naomie Harris “Moonlight,” Nicole Kidman “Lion,” Octavia Spencer “Hidden Figures,” Michelle Williams “Manchester by the Sea”) You have previous winners here: Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer. Michelle Williams role is pretty small. I think it is between Viola and Naomie. Viola is higher profile, having lost before when she was supposedly a sure thing for “The Help.” Plus she is on a hit TV show too. Final choice: Viola Davis

Best Director (Damien Chazelle “La La Land,” Mel Gibson “Hacksaw Ridge,” Barry Jenkins “Moonlight,” Kenneth Lonergan “Manchester by the Sea,” Denis Villeneuve “Arrival”) One previous Oscar winner: Mel Gibson. Kenneth has been nominated before but for writing. For me, it is between Kenneth Lonergan and Damien Chazelle. I am picking Chazelle: he’s only had 2 features and both have been critical and commercial hits. Plus extra pointing for bringing the modern musical back. I am sure a lot of actors can’t wait to work for him. Final choice: Damien Chazelle

Best Picture (Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight) What an interesting batch of films! I picked “Hell or High Water” as my personal favorite from last year. Sci-fi doesn’t tend to play well here, so “Arrival” is out. “Fences” is good, but it felt like a filmed play, and it was. “Lion” moved me to tears. “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” are depressing, but well done. “Hacksaw Ridge” is lucky just to be nominated. “Hidden Figures” is rising at the right time, and it just won the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Ensemble. I think it is between “Hidden Figures” and “La La Land.” We need a movie we can all rally behind. Final choice: La La Land

Those are my picks. If you think differently, then please sound off in the comments. And if you win big in an Oscar pool, please let me know too.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

 

 

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Oscar Picks 2014

The past year was another great year at the movies. We had fun blockbusters like “Fast and Furious 6” and “Iron Man 3” as well as more serious fare like “Prisoners” and “Captain Phillips.” Not to mention quirky indie movies like “Frances Ha”.oscars 2014

Here are my picks for the top 6 awards. And in case you question my judgment, I won the Oscar Pool last year, and have gotten close a couple of times in previous years too. I am an avid movie fan, even taking a few movie vacations where I go to the movies every day that I am off. So here are my predictions:

Predicting a winner is as much about politics, as it is about the performances. Has someone won before? Have they never won before? Are they likable? Do they (or the movie) make too much money? So here are my predictions:

Best Picture

The nominees are: American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street

Oddsmakers are claiming this is  3-picture race: American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. After seeing American Hustle, I beg to differ. That movie is too slight… and has gotten as much attention as it has based on the likability of the cast and respect for the director. The serious contenders are Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. I would like 12 Years a Slave to win, but due to its difficult subject matter, I think it will be Gravity instead.
Final pick: Gravity

Best Actress

The nominees are: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Amy Adams is the only one who has been nominated, but never won. So who’s time will it be this year? Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock lead the pack. It will be the second Oscar for both. Meryl Streep has won 3 times before, so she is out — no way will she win a 4th time. That would be a record. Based on the Academy’s love for Woody Allen and his movies at the Oscars, I would pick Cate.
Final pick: Cate Blanchett

Best Actor

The nominees are: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Christian Bale is out, he won fairly recently. Leonardo has never won, and is overdue to win, but not this year. Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughhey are the rest of the nominees. Bruce Dern is probably happy just to be back on Hollywood’s radar. That leaves Chiwetel and Matthew. Based on his physical transformation, and his recent string of good performances, I think it is McConaughey’s time.
Final pick: Matthew McConaughey

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees are: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska)

This is always the most difficult one to predict. You have newcomers against seasoned veterans. Early awards have gone to Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave, but I wouldn’t count out Julia Roberts — she hasn’t been this good in years. Jennfier Lawrence has won too recently to be considered.
Final pick: Lupita Nyong’o

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees are: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Final pick: Oddmakers have been favoring Jared Leto for his heart breaking turn as a transgendered AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club. But I wouldn’t rule out Fassbender or Abdi either. Both were crucial to their movies.
Final pick: Jared Leto

Best Director

The nominees are: David O. Russell (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Final pick: Scorsese is definitely out, he has won before and The Wolf of Wall Street was divisive. David O. Russell is well liked by his actors, as they keep coming back to work with him. But the movie is slight compared to his previous films. Payne has had his time in the sun before too, so he is out also. That leaves Cuarón and McQueen. For technical merit, I think it will be Cuarón.
Final pick: Alfonso Cuarón

So enjoy the show, and let me know if you did well in any Oscar Pools. I will see you at the movies.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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