Denzel Washington is celebrating his eighth acting nomination (ninth career nomination) for his work in this year’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. He is tied with Paul Newman and Spencer Tracy as third most nominated actor in Oscar history (behind Jack Nicholson with 12 and Laurence Olivier with 10). Washington received his first Oscar nomination 30 years ago for his role as South African activist and martyr for the cause Steve Biko in Cry Freedom (1987).
This weekend the 89th Academy Awards will be held where Hollywood will bestow its highest honor to a deserving few. If you are going to an Oscar party and haven’t had time to see all of the nominated films, fear not, the MoviefiedNYC team has done all of the leg work for you. Managing Editors John David West and Myrna Duarte share their predictions along with Award Season Guru Ariadne Ansbro. Below are our picks for who will win and which of the nominees should win.
Best Picture: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight
Ari – Who will Win: La La Land will take home the gold. This film swept the Golden Globes and won a record setting 7 awards, not to mention it has picked up a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, and it won the Producers Guild Award. See a pattern?Who Should Win: La La Land. It has been a difficult year, and this film lifted its audience into the clouds.
John David – Who will Win: La La Land is clearly set to win, it has 14 nominations, it won the Golden Globe, and it’s a happy movie in depressing year. Oh, and it’s about LA and the movie business, that guarantees a win. Who Should Win: I’m kind of split between Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. A Moonlight upset would be sweet, but Manchester is my best movie of 2016.
Myrna – Who will Win: Ugh .., La La Land, though I do do think Hidden Figures might be giving it a little competition.Who Should Win: Moonlight a deeply affecting, beautifully-made film, indie favorite, a surprise hit with a passionate fan base.
Best Director: Denis Villeneuve, Arrival, Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge, Damien Chazelle, La La Land,Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea, Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Ari – Who will Win: Damien Chazelle will pick up his first Oscar for directing La La Land. This film was a labor of love that took him years to have made. It’s time for that hard work to pay off. Who Should Win: I loved what Chazelle did was Land, so to have him win will not be a disappointment. However, Barry Jenkins beautifully crafted Moonlight with limited resources and turned it into one of the best films of the year.
John David – Who will Win: Damien Chazelle, La La Land, he managed to make an original musical in a time when movie musicals are essentially dead. Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, a beautifully realized work of art.
Myrna – Who will Win: Barry Jenkins for apersonal and intimate work, and done on a shoestring budget. I believe the academy will get this right.Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, but secretly, I am rooting for Denis Villeneuve, Arrival.
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea, Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling, La La Land, Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic, Denzel Washington, Fences
Ari – Who will Win:While Casey Affleck delivered a riveting performance and was considered the front-runner going into Awards Season, he has taken a serious blow due sexual harassment allegations. Please note: While Oscar normally does not give a hoot about this kind of thing years later (see Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, etc.) this is a bit fresh. Therefore I am going to say that Denzel Washington is going to take home the gold, especially since he won the SAG.Who Should Win: Both Washington and Affleck were fantastic in their films. Washington, playing an outwardly combative man who feels that everything happens to him, not because of him, and Affleck, playing a man with the weight of the world and his conscience on his shoulders, both gave breathtaking performances this year. Honestly, I would not be disappointed if there was a tie.
John David – Who will Win: I’m going to take a very minor risk and say, Denzel Washington, Fences will win his third Oscar. Affleck seems to be loosing ground due to his the bad press. Who Should Win: Casey Affleck for his brilliantly restrained performance Manchester. However, Denzel Washington was equally brilliant. For me, it’s really a toss up.
Myrna – Who will Win: Denzel Washington in Fences, but this will be a nail-biter down to to the last second. Casey Affleck has been the frontrunner but is losing steam.Who Should Win: This is tough, both Affleck and Washington deliver tremendous performances, but I think I have to go with Denzel Washington in Fences.
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle, Ruth Negga, Loving, Natalie Portman, Jackie, Emma Stone, La La Land, Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Ari – Who will Win: Emma Stone for La La Land. She has the momentum of a hugely successful film and she has won all of the pre-Oscar awards. This is a lock. Who Should Win: I really enjoyed Ruth Negga in Loving. Negga said more with her eyes and body language than she did with her mouth, and gave a worthy performance playing an amazing woman.
John David – Who will Win: The Best Actress winner should be called the Most Fuckable Hollywood White Girl Award and this year it goes to Emma Stone. She was good but no Huppert in Elle, or Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins, or Ruth Negga…or Amy Adams. Who Should Win: Isabelle Huppert for her complex and brave performance, the most interesting and solid performance of the group. Amy Adams who was not nominated should have been a front runner for Arrival.
Myrna – Who will Win: This is locked up for Emma Stone in La La Land. If there is an upset, it will be Isabelle Huppert, Elle. Who Should Win: Amy Adams for Arrival, she was ROBBED.
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.
Ari –Who will Win: Mahershala Ali is poised to take home the gold. He was in about 15 minutes of the entire film, but his presence is felt throughout the entire film. Who Should Win: Dev Patel was incredible in Lion. His portrayal of a young man driven to find his family with few clues was heart-wrenching and heart-warming all at the same time.
John David – Who will Win: If Mahershala Alidoesn’t win for Moonlight, it’s “Fake News.” Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight – just stop and give it to him!
Myrna – Who will Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlightbut a Dev Patel upset could be possible. Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali in Moonlight is EVERYTHING.
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences, Naomie Harris, Moonlight, Nicole Kidman, Lion, Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures, Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea.
Ari – Who will Win: Viola Davis should have had her Oscar speech written months ago. The third nomination will definitely be the charm for her.Who Should Win: Viola Davis blew me away. I recently read an article where she stated that even though the won a Tony for this role on Broadway, she finally felt that she understood the character when she made the film. It is incredible.
John David – Who will Win: Viola Davis, FencesWho Should Win: Viola Davis, Fences, followed very closely by Michelle Williams.
Myrna – Who will Win:Viola Davis, FencesWho Should Win: Viola Davis, Fences full stop.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Arrival, Eric Heisserer, Fences, August Wilson, Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Lion, Luke Davis, Moonlight, Barry Jenkins with story by Tarell Alvin McCranley
Ari –Who will Win: Since Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins will not be taking home an Oscar for Best Director, he will win in this category. Who Should Win: For me it’s a toss-up between Moonlight and Fences. August Wilson was a masterful playwright, and, since he is deceased, this is his only chance to win an Oscar. However, does this mean that William Shakespeare can be nominated too?
John David – Who will Win:Barry Jenkins for Moonlight and for not winning Best Director. Who Should Win: August Wilson, what language!
Myrna – Who will Win: August Wilson, Fences Who Should Win: August Wilson, Fences the words are musical.
Best Original Screenplay: Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan, La La Land, Damien Chazelle, The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan, 20th Century Women, Mike Mills
Ari – Who will Win: This is actually a tough category. The Screen Writers Guild awarded Moonlight the Original Screenplay award, while the Academy deemed it only eligible as an Adapted Screenplay. This means that La La Land and Manchester by the Sea will duke it out for the final prize. I am going to say that the Academy will give it to Manchester. Kenneth Lonergan worked on this script for several years and it was even included on Hollywood’s Blacklist of best unproduced screenplays at one point.Who Should Win: Manchester by the Sea
John David – Who will Win: It would be quite sad to see La La Land win, it’s the most “unoriginal” screenplay of the group. I mean, it’s full of clichés that we’ve seen in countless other films—oh my coffee get spilled on her white shirt. Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea. He’s not going to win director or best picture and this is a category where they can spread some love. Who Should Win: Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea, but I would love my personal favorite Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou to win for the darkly funny Lobster. By the way, where is Maren Ade for Toni Erdmann on this list?
Myrna – Who will Win: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan Who Should Win:The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos’s dystopian tour de force.
Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, Zootopia.
Ari – Who will Win: Zootopia appealed to children and adults, which is key in this category. Honestly, I loved the idea of a sloth working at the DMV. Who Should Win: Zootopia was very innovative and entertaining, but I did enjoy the beautiful story behind Moana.
John David – Who will Win: ZootopiaWho Should Win: Zootopia. Yes, it’s all about the Sloth.
Myrna – Who will Win: Zootopia Who Should Win: Zootopia, so much wit. The film is filled with lessons about tolerance, diversity and racial profiling delivered with conviction, it is almost a little subversive.
Best Animated Short: Blind Vaysha, Borrowed Time, Pear Cider and Cigarettes, Pearl, Piper
Ari – Who will Win: Piper because Pixar short films are AWESOME!!! Who Should Win: Piper because Pixar short films are AWESOME!!!
John David – Who will Win: PiperWho Should Win: One of the better movies of the year was Piper.
Myrna – Who will Win: Didn’t see them, boo.Who Should Win:
Best Cinematography: Arrival, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Silence
Ari – Who will Win: La La Land turned a concrete city that I really have no love for (ahem, Los Angeles) into a beautiful world where love is just around the next corner.Who Should Win: Lion’s sweeping views of Mumbai and Tasmania were a travel junkie’s eye-candy. Yes, I am that junkie.
John David – Who will Win: La La Land, it had pretty lighting. Who Should Win: missing from the nominees is Cafe Society (Vittorio Storaro), but Arrival is my pick.
Myrna – Who will Win: The safest bet, La La Land, Linus Sandgren will win. Who Should Win: Bradford Young for Arrival. He is the first African-American cinematographer ever nominated for the award. He also shot two amazing films of 2014, Selma and A Most Violent Year.
Best Costume Design: Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster, Jenkins, Jackie, La La Land
Ari – Who will Win: Mary Zophres costumes in La La Land were both timeless and evocative of Old Hollywood. Who Should Win: I have issues with films that are based on famous people, as there is a mountain of photographic evidence to base portrayals and styling on. However, Madeline Fontaine’s costumes in Jackie were meticulously done. She took one of the most photographed dresses of the 20th century and brought it back to life. It makes other attempts pale in comparison.
John David – Who will Win: La La Land for its TJ Max knock offs! Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Myrna – Who will Win: La La Land, the primary color palette was easy on the eye but no real thrill. Who Should Win: Jackie
Best Documentary Feature: Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, Life Animate, , O.J.: Made in America, 13th.
Ari – Who will Win: I have the feeling that 13th is going to be the winner in this category. This is mostly because 1.) The Academy will try to make it up to Ava DuVernay for not being nominated for directing Selma several years ago, and 2.) O.J.: Made in America was five hours long. I don’t know if the Academy voters had the stamina to sit through the whole thing. Who Should Win: I watched O.J. over the course of one weekend and I am considering doing it again.
John David – Who will Win: I have an odd feeling that 13th will win over O.J. both are fantastic documentaries but I think that 13th has this one. Who Should Win: O.J. was riveting and extremely well done, but it’s really a TV doc. My vote goes to 13th the most important documentary of the year.
Myrna – Who will Win: What an AMAZING year for documentaries. O.J.: Made in America, is a statement about celebrity and race relations in America, as it also was about a high profile murder case. Incredibly compelling.Who Should Win: 13th a game changer of a film.
Best Film Editing: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Moonlight.
Ari – Who will Win:La La Land, but I could see Moonlight pulling an upset. Who Should Win:La La Land
John David – Who will Win: La La LandWho Should Win: La La Land
Myrna – Who will Win: La La Land, Tom Cross Who Should Win: Arrival, Joe Walker a sci-fi parable about time, memory, and unity.
Best Foreign Language Film: Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, Tanna, Toni Erdmann.
Ari – Who will Win: I honestly think that Iran is going to win its second Academy Award for The Salesman.Who Should Win: Toni Erdmann was hilarious. I wish comedies won more awards.
John David – Who will Win: This is a tough one to call but I think it’s going to be Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman edging out the rest, not only because it’s a great film but it may get some help from Farhadi’s boycott of the Oscars over Trump’s Muslim Ban. Who Should Win:Toni Erdmann and The Salesman are both in my top 10 movies of 2016 with The Salesman having an edge.
Myrna – Who will Win: The Salesman,Asghar Farhadi Who Should Win: The Salesman,Asghar Farhadi, though I was secretly charmed by A Man Called Ove.
Best Documentary Short: Extremis, 4.1 Miles, Joe’s Violin, Watani: My Homeland, The White Helmets
Ari – Who will Win: Three of the documentaries have to do with war in Syria, so I think that they may split the vote. What do Academy voters love to award outside of a timely issue? That’s right, the Holocaust! Joe’s Violin is about a Holocaust survivor who donates his violin to a little girl in the Bronx. Who Should Win: I thought that White Helmets truly captured the feeling of civilians in war, and the need to help your fellow man.
David – Who will Win: The White HelmetsWho Should Win:The White Helmets
Myrna – Who will Win: The White Helmets, Grain Media and Violet Films inspired by a Quranic verse that says “to save a life is to save all of humanity,” the group has rescued more than 60,000 people Who Should Win:The White Helmets, Grain Media and Violet Films
Best Live Action Short: Ennemis Intérieurs, La Femme et le TGV, Silent Nights, Sing, Timecode
Ari – Who will Win: Ennemis Intérieurs, is a very timely film as it deals with a French-Algerian man accused of hiding the identities of possible terrorists. Who Should Win: Ennemis Intérieurs
David – Who will Win: Silent NightsWho Should Win: There were some really good choices in this category, including Timecode and Ennemis Intérieurs, but La Femme et le TGV was a beautiful shot movie with an engaging story– it’s a complete little film that should take home the Oscar.
Myrna – Who will Win: Did not see them.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: A Man Called Ove, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad
Ari – Who will Win: Star Trek Beyond Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond!
David – Who will Win: Star Trek Beyond. Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond – I guess we are in agreement on this one!
Myrna – Who will Win: Star Trek Beyond Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond
Best Original Score: Jackie, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Passengers.
Ari – Who will Win: La La Land’s score was upbeat, romantic, haunting, and wistful. Not to mention I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack. Congrats Justin Hurwitz on your first Oscar. Who Should Win: See above.
John David – Who will Win: La La Land, after all it’s a musical—with 14 nominations! Who Should Win: La La Land, would like to see Moonlight’s moving soundtrack score upset.
Myrna – Who will Win: The musical, La La Land. Who Should Win: Moonlight so moving.
Best Original Song: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls, “City of Stars,” La La Land, “The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story, “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana
Ari – Who will Win: “City of Stars” was the perfect song to encapsulate the love of Mia and Sebastian. Expect it to win.Who Should Win: While I loved “City of Stars”, I might have to go with “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” as it was Emma Stone’s best moment in the film.
John David – Who will Win: Of course “City of Stars,” it’s an adorable, simple little tune about Los Angles. Who Should Win: “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana. The song actually moves the story along and gives insight into the character’s struggle. Oh, and it’s a song by Lin Manuel Miranda–it’s his year! …or are we bored with him yet? I second Mryna’s Sing Street comment below!
Myrna – Who will Win:“City of Stars,” La La Land but Trolls might just pull an upset Who Should Win: “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana or anything from Sing Street.
Best Production Design: Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail, Caesar!, La La Land, Passengers
Ari – Who will Win: La La Land, yay Hollywood! Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts made a fantastic world come to life. (See what I did there?)
John David – Who will Win: La La LandWho Should Win: Hail, Caesar!
Myrna – Who will Win: La La Land, it’s pretty. Who Should Win: Arrival, stylish, with a look that will inspire so many sci-fi films to come.
Best Sound Editing: Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Sully
Ari – Who will Win: I know nothing about Sound Editing or Sound Mixing. However, a war film normally wins in this category when it is nominated, so welcome to your only win Hacksaw Ridge. Who Should Win: Probably Hacksaw simply for bringing war to life.
John David – Who will Win: Hacksaw RidgeWho Should Win: Hacksaw Ridge
Myrna – Who will Win:Hacksaw RidgeWho Should Win: Arrival
Best Sound Mixing: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Ari – Who will Win:La La Land because it is a musical! Who Should Win:La La Land. Let’s just say that it seems easier to mix live action with live action than making a seamless sound transition in pre-recorded music from a studio.
John David – Who will Win: La La LandWho Should Win: La La Land
Myrna – Who will Win: Hacksaw Ridge Who Should Win:Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:
Best Visual Effects: Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Ari – Who will Win: The Jungle Book cause I want to play with Baloo. Who Should Win: All kidding aside, The Jungle Book’s visual effects were pretty incredible.
John David – Who will Win: The Jungle Book Who Should Win: The Jungle Book
Myrna – Who will Win: The Jungle Book, too bad the couldn’t animate the kid. Who Should Win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The 89th Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, February 26 on ABC. Join MoviefiedNYC for live streaming at @MoviefiedNYC