What will win, what should win


Academy Awards up for grabs Sun­day night.

Ahead of Sun­day’s 89th Academy Awards, As­so­ci­ated Press film writ­ers Lind­sey Bahr and Jake Coyle share their pre­dic­tions for a cer­e­mony many ex­pect will be a “La La Land’’ sweep.


The Nom­i­nees: “Ar­rival,’’ ‘’Fences,” ‘’Hack­saw Ridge,” ‘’Hell or High Wa­ter,” ‘’Hid­den Fig­ures,” ‘’La La Land,” ‘’Lion,” ‘’Manch­ester by the Sea” and ‘’Moon­light.”


Will Win: It has to be “La La Land.’’

Should Win: “La La Land,’’ al­though that’s not the stylish choice of the mo­ment. I think we’ve all been burned too many times, by “The Artist’’ and “Argo’’ and other films that lure us in with their retro, navel gaz­ing sen­si­bil­i­ties and then evap­o­rate from our mem­o­ries come March 1. “La La Land’’ is dif­fer­ent. It’ll be a mod­ern clas­sic that we’ll be watch­ing for years to come.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: Mike Mills’ “20th Cen­tury Women’’ is a film that gets bet­ter with ev­ery view­ing. It is deep and funny and gives a poignant his­tor­i­cal con­text of the lives of women in the very re­cent past.


Will Win: It would be id­i­otic to pick against “La La Land,’’ the 14-time nom­i­nated favourite and Golden Globe win­ner. And, yet, I can’t help my­self. The elec­tion of Don­ald Trump changed the mood so dras­ti­cally in Hol­ly­wood that I just don’t see Chazelle’s ef­fer­ves­cent mu­si­cal waltz­ing off with best pic­ture. “Moon­light,’’ lyri­cal and po­etic, isn’t a so­cial is­sue film. But it feels more of-the-mo­ment. Maybe it pulls off one of the most his­toric up­sets in Os­car his­tory. Just don’t bet the house.

Should Win: “Moon­light,’’ but not be­cause of the post-elec­tion angst. Be­cause it’s beau­ti­ful.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: It had zero shot, but Ter­ence Davies’ “Sun­set Song’’ was a pas­toral hymn of a movie: a ra­di­ant por­trait of Scot­tish farm life and time pass­ing over it. Yeah, so not ex­actly Os­car bait.


The Nom­i­nees: Casey Af­fleck, “Manch­ester by the Sea’’; An­drew Garfield, “Hack­saw Ridge’’; Ryan Gosling, “La La Land’’; Viggo Mortensen, “Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic’’ and Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, “Fences.’’


Will Win: It’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, and it won’t be a bad call ei­ther. Wash­ing­ton has lived in Au­gust Wil­son’s Troy Max­son for years and his is a pow­er­fully res­o­nant in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

Should Win: Casey Af­fleck has be­come an­other un­pop­u­lar choice of late, but his per­for­mance in “Manch­ester by the Sea’’ is so sin­gu­lar and spe­cific to him.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: Hon­estly, Tom Hanks. He was great in “Sully.’’


Will Win: This has turned into a nail-biter. I think the SAG win­ner Den­zel takes it.

Should Win: If you look up “pow­er­house per­for­mance’’ in the dic­tionary, you should just be treated to a tor­rent of words from the ti­tanic Den­zel. Af­fleck, too, is de­serv­ing. But I’m go­ing to go with Gosling, who’s be­ing cu­ri­ously un­der­rated this year de­spite be­ing more-or-less the coolest movie star on the planet. My vote, though, is more for him in “The Nice Guys’’ than “La La Land.’’

Should Have Been a Con­tender: Johnny Depp in “The Art of the Deal.’’ No, the Funny or Die fea­ture film about Trump wasn’t even el­i­gi­ble. But be­fore Alec Bald­win took over the part, Depp turned in his best wigged per­for­mance in years.


The Nom­i­nees: Is­abelle Hup­pert, “Elle’’; Ruth Negga, “Lov­ing’’; Natalie Port­man, “Jackie’’; Emma Stone, “La La Land’’ and Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenk­ins.’’


Will Win: Emma Stone. The academy loves in­genues. It’s even bet­ter when the role it­self is “in­genue.’’

Should Win: This is a tough one. Stone is won­der­ful, but Natalie Port­man had such an im­pos­si­ble task in em­body­ing the pub­lic and pri­vate sides of Jackie Kennedy in a non-campy way, and she pulled it off mag­nif­i­cently.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: An­nette Ben­ing was tran­scen­dent as a the spir­ited sin­gle mom rais­ing a teenage boy in 1979 Santa Bar­bara in Mike Mills’ crisp and vi­brant “20th Cen­tury Women.’’


Will Win: It’s a com­pet­i­tive cat­e­gory, but Stone.

Should Win: Stone. What’s not to like here? She can do it all.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: Hon­or­able men­tion to Bey­once in “Le­mon­ade’’ but Hailee Ste­in­feld, peo­ple. Al­ready a nom­i­nee for “True Grit,’’ the 20-year-old was un­can­nily good — funny, smart, real — in Kelly Fre­mon Craig’s teen com­edy “The Edge of Seven­teen.’’

BEST SUPPORING AC­TOR The Nom­i­nees: Ma­her­shala Ali, “Moon­light’’; Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Wa­ter’’; Lu­cas Hedges, “Manch­ester by the Sea’’; Dev Pa­tel, “Lion’’ and Michael Shan­non “Noc­tur­nal An­i­mals.’’


Will Win: Ma­her­shala Ali. Has any­one done so much to win an au­di­ence over with so lit­tle screen time?

Should Win: Ma­her­shala Ali. Full stop. It’s the role that made

us all learn the name of an ac­tor who we’ve all seen many times be­fore. That’s no small thing.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: I’m go­ing to go out on a limb in sup­port of one of my favourite per­for­mances of the year and say Ralph Fi­ennes for “A Big­ger Splash.’’ He never had a chance, but he’s just bursting with joy and en­ergy and delu­sion and it’s one that makes me smile ev­ery time I think about it.


Will Win: Ali. From the vast cast of “Moon­light,’’ he has (de­servedly) been cho­sen

Should Win: Ali should be­cause “Moon­light’’ is at its most soul­ful when he’s on­screen. But we should all be root­ing for a Michael Shan­non speech if not on Sun­day, some Os­cars soon.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: The Academy Awards aren’t re­ally built to suit­ably re­ward the three Chi­rons of “Moon­light.’’ Three ac­tors — Alex Hib­bert, Ash­ton San­der, Tre­vante Rhodes — play­ing the same char­ac­ter across three chap­ters, add up to the year’s best per­for­mance.


The Nom­i­nees: Vi­ola Davis, “Fences’’; Naomie Har­ris, “Moon­light’’; Nicole Kid­man, “Lion’’; Oc­tavia Spencer, “Hid­den Fig­ures’’ and Michelle Wil­liams, “Manch­ester by the Sea.’’


Will Win: It has to be Vi­ola Davis, right? She’s ter­rific in “Fences,’’ even if it is more of a co-lead.

Should Win: “Sup­port­ing’’ quib­bles aside, Davis is still the strong­est can­di­date in a very strong cat­e­gory. Sorry, Michelle.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: Some­times I fear we’ve for­got­ten what a real sup­port­ing part is (i.e., not just who­ever is sec­ond-billed). Kelly Re­ichardt’s “Cer­tain Women’’ was never go­ing to break through the Os­car ranks — it’s too quiet, too slow, and, let’s face it, prob­a­bly too fe­male — but if there were any jus­tice, Lily Glad­stone would have been among the nom­i­nated at least.


Will Win: Davis is the lock of all locks.

Should Win: Davis. It will be her first Os­car, but it won’t be her last.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: It’s a strange thing that Oc­tavia Spencer, a fine ac­tress, has been sin­gled out for “Hid­den Fig­ures.’’ Both of her co-stars, Taraji P. Hen­son and Janelle Monae, are bet­ter in it. Monae, also elec­tric in “Moon­light,’’ re­ally should have been in the run­ning. BEST DI­REC­TOR

The Nom­i­nees: “La La Land,’’ Damien Chazelle; “Hack­saw Ridge,’’ Mel Gib­son; “Moon­light,’’ Barry Jenk­ins; “Manch­ester by the Sea,’’ Ken­neth Lon­er­gan and “Ar­rival,’’ De­nis Vil­leneuve.


Will Win: Damien Chazelle, of course.

Should Win: “La La Land’’ was not an in­evitabil­ity, nor is any orig­i­nal mu­si­cal and Chazelle willed this im­pos­si­ble project into be­ing de­spite all the odds — whether it be the time con­straint of a sun­set for the per­fect shot or shut­ting down a free­way to stage the per­fect open­ing num­ber. The work is on the screen.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: Pablo Lar­rain had not one but two bril­liant, genre de­fy­ing biopics this year in “Neruda’’ and “Jackie.’’


Will Win: The 32-year-old wun­derkind Chazelle ap­pears to have it in the bag.

Should Win: Both Chazelle and Jenk­ins are over­whelm­ingly wor­thy. Just give these two ex­cep­tion­ally tal­ented and an­noy­ingly young film­mak­ers the keys to Hol­ly­wood.

Should Have Been a Con­tender: An­drea Arnold, the Bri­tish di­rec­tor of “Amer­i­can Honey,’’ cre­ated the year’s most in­tox­i­cat­ing sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence in her wild cross-coun­try ex­plo­ration. One of the most of­fen­sive Os­car stats is that no wo­man has been nom­i­nated in this cat­e­gory since 2010.


This im­age re­leased by Lion­s­gate shows Ryan Gosling, right, and Emma Stone in a scene from, “La La Land.” The film was nom­i­nated for an Os­car for best fea­ture film. The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Sun­day.

An un­dated photo pro­vided by Para­mount Pic­tures shows Amy Adams, right, as Louise Banks in “Ar­rival” by Para­mount Pic­tures.

This im­age re­leased by A24 shows Alex Hib­bert, fore­ground, and Ma­her­shala Ali in a scene from the film, “Moon­light.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.