The biggest categories seem pretty well settled at this point. There are a couple of question marks, but I have a fairly good idea of what’s happening two weeks from today.
Best Film: La La Land
Early on this didn’t seem to be a sure thing. It took quite a while for any film to win more than one award, and this missed a couple of seemingly sure things. But at the end it jumped up and won some key awards, finishing with this.
Is there any doubt left about this winning Best Picture? I’ll review all the evidence when I make my final Oscar predictions, but at this point no other film has a real chance at beating it. So it goes.
Best British Film: I, Daniel Blake
No surprise whatever. It was the only contender which had broken through into the major categories. It was about as safe a bet as they come. Now if I could just see it.
Best Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea
Denzel wasn’t in competition here, so I can’t say it’s his Oscar to lose. He is the favorite, but between the sexual harassment suit and Denzel’s SAG win, he’s more like a 60-40 favorite. Ask me another day, I might put them closer than that.
Best Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Again, her biggest competition (in this case, Isabelle Huppert) wasn’t nominated here. So she’s the favorite, but she doesn’t have it in the bag.
A moment, by the way, in memory of Natalie Portman’s chances at winning. You can nominate a great performance, but you can’t make people vote for it.
Best Supporting Actor: Dev Patel, Lion
Good lord, this category. First the Globes pick Aaron-Taylor Johnson, then the Academy doesn’t even nominate him, now Dev Patel wins this, while the SAG went to Mahershala Ali.
I’d be inclined to say Ali is still the favorite. Taylor-Johnson is out and Patel…one, I didn’t think the performance was that impressive, and two, being British might have given him just enough edge to win here.
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
On the other hand, there’s really no question about her. She’s won all the major awards, is viewed as overdue, and deserves it. If she loses, it’ll be a legitimate upset.
Best Original Screenplay: Manchester By the Sea
The WGA still has to weigh in, but I feel like this is the frontrunner here. La La Land could still take it in a sweep, and Hell or High Water is a dark horse, but this feels like the one to beat.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Lion
On the other hand, I can’t see this winning. It’ll be up against Moonlight at the Oscars, and if it doesn’t beat that, I don’t know if it could also beat Arrival. It’s not that good of a script.
Best Cinematography: La La Land
This’ll win the Oscar handily. It’s been the big winner all season, it’s a prettily shot film, and nothing else has the traction to beat it (unless Moonlight surges at the last second).
Best Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
This will probably not win the Oscar. It shouldn’t, either – the film drags outside of the battle scenes – and either La La Land sweeps this as well, or Arrival, very much an editing-driven film, takes it.
Best Production Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
A little bit of an upset, this. As with the two wins for Lion, this being a more Anglo-centric production probably helped it. La La Land should win this Oscar as well.
Best Costume Design: Jackie
Nice that this film won something. I wonder if it’ll also win the Oscar. I’d be more bullish if the film had been more embraced (as it deserved to be), but certainly recreating some of the more iconic fashions of 20th-century America will resonate with the predominantly older Academy.
Best Makeup and Hair: Florence Foster Jenkins
Since the Academy didn’t nominate it (or any of the BAFTAs other nominees), this doesn’t tell us anything. But again, it’s nice to see this film get some attention, even if I’d probably have voted for Hacksaw Ridge instead (or Nocturnal Animals, because why not).
Best Score: La La Land
You don’t say.
Best Sound: Arrival
Very much deserved, this. It would seem that La La Land will win the Sound Mixing Oscar handily, but maybe Arrival will take Sound Editing? It certainly ought to.
Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book
Filmed in downtown Los Angeles.
Best Film Not in the English Language: Son of Saul
Won the Oscar last year, of course. Interesting that this beat out Toni Erdmann, but it’s a hard film to vote against.
Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings
A bit of a surprise, this beating Zootopia (or Zootropolis, as it was titled in the UK). Probably it won’t win the big one, but it’s a well-liked film (and one I really need to rewatch), and certainly a far more artistically accomplished film than Zootopia, even if it stumbles a bit in narrative terms.
Best Documentary: 13th
A documentary about American racism wins the BAFTA? Odd. I mean, it’s apparently extremely well done, but I figured Notes on Blindness would be the one to take it, since it was also up for Best British Film.
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Under the Shadow
It’s an impressive film, especially for a debut. Can’t argue too much with this at all.
Less than two weeks to go now. Soon enough all the major guilds will have announced and I can start making my final predictions.