Ladies and gentlemen, once again it's that time of year for the grandest film awards ceremony of them all when the 89th Academy Awards take place in Los Angeles. It's set to be another night of judging, whether it be what people are wearing, what people say, how political a speech someone makes and, most importantly, the winners.

With the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of last year forgotten, there is only one topic that I'm sure will feature heavily this year; President Trump. We have heard all of the politically driven speeches at the Golden Globes, SAGs and BAFTAs already so I'm hoping we just get a fun filled evening where we can rightfully celebrate yet another wonderful year of film.

Like every year, I have been unable to watch every single film nominated for every award so I'm just going to be predicting the winners for the following eight awards; Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and, the big one, Best Picture.

So, without further ado...

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan)
La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou)
Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
20th Century Women (Mike Mills)

And the winner is...
I can only see this being won by Kenneth Lonergan who, with his screenplay for Manchester by the Sea, delivered such a powerful and poignant tale of loss and grief in such a realistic and surprisingly humorous manner. It's gut-wrenching stuff, the moment above between Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck being one of the highlights of Lonergan's work.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival (Eric Heisserer)
Fences (August Wilson)
Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi)
Lion (Luke Davies)
Moonlight (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney)

And the winner is...
For me, this is a three horse race between Arrival, Fences and Moonlight, with all three films offering such strong yet vastly different screenplays. Eric Heisserer's work on Arrival though is stuff of true beauty, exploring the use of language as a method of communication while telling a captivating story of Amy Adams' Louise Banks, that packs one hell of an emotional punch.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis - Fences as Rose Maxson
Naomie Harris - Moonlight as Paula
Nicole Kidman - Lion as Sue Brierley
Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures as Dorothy Vaughan
Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea as Randi

And the winner is...
While this is one of the strongest categories at this year's ceremony, the other four women might as well have their losing faces prepared because there is nobody stopping Viola Davis, even though she should be up for Best Actress in my eyes. Her performance in Fences is astonishing and she's won everything going so yeah, expect no surprises.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali - Moonlight as Juan
Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water as Marcus Hamilton
Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea as Patrick Chandler
Dev Patel - Lion as Saroo Brierley
Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals as Detective Bobby Andes

And the winner is...
Another strong category this year where I would be happy for any of the five actors nominated to walk away with the golden statue. Mahershala Ali is the favourite though and it would well and truly be a fully deserved win for his portrayal of Juan in Moonlight. Some may argue that he gets nowhere near the amount of screen time as his fellow nominees however, it's all about the impact you make in the time you're given and in Moonlight, Ali undoubtedly has a massive impact on the story.

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert - Elle as Michele Leblanc
Ruth Negga - Loving as Mildred Loving 
Natalie Portman - Jackie as Jackie Kennedy
Emma Stone - La La Land as Mia Dolan
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins as Florence Foster Jenkins

And the winner is...
Replace Ruth Negga and Meryl Streep with Viola Davis for Fences and Amy Adams for Arrival and you've got yourself a Best Actress field where literally anyone could win. At least Davis has the Best Supporting Actress nomination whereas Adams not being nominated at all is a travesty. Out of these five actresses, it's between Emma Stone and Natalie Portman for me. Portman delivers a mesmerising performance as Jackie Kennedy but I think Stone will win her maiden Academy Award for her fantastic performance in La La Land

Best Actor

Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea as Lee Chandler
Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond T. Doss
Ryan Gosling -  La La Land as Sebastian Wilder 
Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic as Ben Cash
Denzel Washington - Fences as Troy Maxson

And the winner is...
The incredibly strong acting categories are rounded up by a Best Actor race that, quite frankly, should be closer than it seems to be. Casey Affleck will win for his incredible performance in Manchester by the Sea, his confession scene being one of the most powerful moments in film over the past year. It's a testament to the other actors when I find Ryan Gosling to be the weakest performance in this category, and I loved his performance in La La Land. Denzel Washington is Affleck's closest competition while Viggo Mortensen would certainly be the people's champion. Don't rule out Andrew Garfield though as he is so good in Hacksaw Ridge.

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve - Arrival 
Mel Gibson - Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle - La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins - Moonlight

And the winner is...
All of these directors achieved such phenomenal feats with their respective films and we even got a comeback from Mel Gibson to make boot with Hacksaw Ridge. For the sheer audacity of Damien Chazelle to both attempt and succeed in reviving the musical, I'm going with Chazelle to take the prize home. An incredible achievement and deserved win it would be.

Best Picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

And the winner is...
The big award of the night is the one that always leads to the most discussion in the build up to the Academy Awards. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing either Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea or Moonlight winning to be honest they're all brilliant films. La La Land is the clear favourite this year though but you can't rule out Moonlight in any shape or form. I wouldn't even consider it an upset if Moonlight was to win but I've got a feeling La La Land is going to do it, just about. 


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