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Predictions Friday: Because We All Need a Distraction – Final Oscar Predictions

Last year I did better than I ever have, winning the Oscar predictions contest over at Gold Derby. I do not expect to repeat that – in fact, I feel pretty sure I will not do well at all. The reason is that there is no clear consensus at the moment beyond the few films at the center of the race that have been there since Telluride. In that respect, it has not been all that exciting of a year.

But 2016 is, so far, a year that has broken diversity records across the board, albeit quietly. I think everyone is sort of holding their collective breath to see whether not the Academy will follow suit and break their own kinds of records, as the SAG and PGA have.

The irony is that Donald Trump, a racist birther who laid claim to the phrase “Make America Great Again” right after Obama won his second term will ascend to power concurrently with what could be the most diverse Oscar race in Academy history.

The biggest risk I’m taking is in predicting Martin Scorsese to take the fifth slot. It’s a risk because so far Silence has not shown up anywhere else. My reason is that there probably isn’t a more revered director in the industry. He took a gamble to finally bring Silence to the big screen. It’s a massive undertaking and though it isn’t a crowdpleaser, and probably not a Best Picture contender, I can see the Academy directors paying him respect with a nod. They did before with The Last Temptation of Christ. And then again, maybe not. The directors branch is the one that saw the most change this year in terms of membership – who knows how that one will break down.

In some ways, because of the change in membership, this is the most unpredictable year for the Oscar race since I started. We just have no idea how those changes will manifest themselves, as I keep saying. They might make no difference at all. They might make all of the difference.

I’m also betting on Hail, Caesar! to show up places like cinematography. That is probably just bias on my part, but I do know it’s deserving. I expect to be wrong in a lot of categories on a lot of things. Don’t you be like me!

Onward to predictions. Fair warning, I may change a few of these before Tuesday.

Best Picture
1. La La Land (DGA/PGA/WGA/ACE/BAFTA)
2. Moonlight (SAG/DGA/PGA/WGA/ACE/BAFTA)
3. Manchester by the Sea (SAG/DGA/PGA/WGA/ACE/BAFTA)
4. Arrival (DGA/PGA/WGA/ACE/BAFTA)
5. Lion (DGA/PGA)
6. Hidden Figures (SAG/PGA/WGA)
7. Fences (SAG/PGA/WGA)
8. Hell or High Water (PGA/WGA/ACE)
9. Hacksaw Ridge (PGA/WGA/ACE)
10. Silence
Alt. 20th Century Women

Best Actor
1. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (SAG/BAFTA)
2. Denzel Washington, Fences (SAG)
3. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (SAG/BAFTA)
4. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (SAG/BAFTA)
5. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (SAG/BAFTA)
Alt. Sunny Pawar, Lion

Best Actress
1. Emma Stone, La La Land (SAG/BAFTA)
2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (SAG/BAFTA)
3. Amy Adams, Arrival (SAG/BAFTA)
4. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (SAG/BAFTA)
5. Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Alt. Emily Blunt, Girl on the Train (SAG/BAFTA)

Supporting Actor
1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (SAG/BAFTA)
2. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (SAG/BAFTA)
3. Dev Patel, Lion (SAG/BAFTA)
4. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (SAG)
5. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (SAG/BAFTA)
Alt. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (BAFTA)

Supporting Actress
1. Viola Davis, Fences (SAG/BAFTA)
2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (SAG/BAFTA)
3. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (SAG/BAFTA)
4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (SAG/BAFTA)
5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (SAG)
Alt. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures

Best Director
1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (DGA/BAFTA)
2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (DGA)
3. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (DGA/BAFTA)
4. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (DGA/BAFTA)
5. Martin Scorsese, Silence
Alt. Garth Davis, Lion (DGA)

Original Screenplay
1. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (WGA/BAFTA)
2. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (WGA/BAFTA)
3. Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water (WGA/BAFTA)
4. Yorgos Lanthimos/Efthimis Filippou, The Lobster
5. 20th Century Women

Adapted Screenplay
1. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (WGA/BAFTA)
2. Eric Heisserer, Arrival (WGA/BAFTA)
3. August Wilson, Fences (WGA)
4. Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (WGA/BAFTA)
5. Luke Davies, Lion (BAFTA)
Alt. Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals (WGA/BAFTA)

Editing
1. La La Land (ACE)
2. Arrival (ACE)
3. Moonlight (ACE)
4. Hell or High Water (ACE)
5. Hacksaw Ridge (ACE)
Alt. Manchester by the Sea (ACE)

Cinematography
1. Arrival (ASC)
2. La La Land (ASC)
3. Moonlight (ASC)
4. Silence (ASC)
5. Hail, Caesar!
Alt. Lion (ASC)

Production Design
1. Arrival
2. La La Land
3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
4. Hail, Caesar!
5. Nocturnal Animals

Sound Mixing
1. La La Land
2. Arrival
3. Hacksaw Ridge
4. Patriots Day
5. Rogue One

Sound Editing
1. Arrival
2. Deadpool
3. Patriots Day
4. Hacksaw Ridge
5. Rogue One

Costume Design
1. Jackie
2. La La Land
3. Fantastic Beasts
4. Florence Foster Jenkins
5. Hail, Caesar!

Original Score
1. La La Land
2. Jackie
3. Moonlight
4. Lion
5. Hidden Figures

Song
1. City of Stars
2. How Far I’ll Go
3. Runnin’
4. Letter to the free
5. Audition

Foreign Language Feature
1. Toni Erdmann (Germany)
2. The Salesman (Iran)
3. Land of Mine (Denmark)
4. Paradise (Russia)
5. A Man Called Ove (Sweden)

Documentary Feature
1. O.J.: Made in America
2. 13th
3. Weiner
4. The Ivory Game
5. I Am Not Your Negro

Animated Feature
1. Zootopia
2. Kubo and the Two Strings
3. Moana
4. Sing
5. Finding Dory

Visual Effects
1. Jungle Book
2. Arrival
3. Fantastic Beasts
4. Rogue One
5. Doctor Strange

Makeup and Hair
1. Florence Foster Jenkins
2. Hail, Caesar!
3. A Man Called Ove

Live Action Short
Graffiti
Nocturne in Black
Sing (Mindenki)
Silent Nights
The Way of Tea (Les Frémissements du Thé)
Alt. La Femme et le TGV

Animated Short
Borrowed Time
The Head Vanishes
Inner Workings
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Piper
Alt. Pearl

Documentary Short
Joe’s Violin
The White Helmets
4.1 Miles
The Mute’s House
Watani: My Homeland
Alt. Frame 394