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Oscars 2017 Predictions - Best Picture

Author: Shanmukha Kotha

1. La La Land
Odds for getting nominated: 10/10
Odds for winning: 9/10

Making a musical with romance & drama as the underlying themes is not something that sings to the patience levels of this generation filmmakers and audience. Casting the two biggest Hollywood heartthrobs, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone added up to the visual and musical brilliance of this grandiose. Damien Chazelle is a special and rare species of filmmaker and he made that loud and clear with his last film 'Whiplash' and with 'La La Land' he crafts nothing short of magic. The numerous songs blend perfectly with the pace of the film, leaving no room for you to take your eyes off the film. La La Land could be the big winner at the Oscars 2017. It has the potential to win the Best Picture Award this year along with Best Director for Damien Chazelle, Best Actress for Emma Stone(though she may lose against Natalie Portman), 'City of Stars' as the Best Original Song and its magical cinematography by Linus Sandgren.

2. Moonlight
Odds for getting nominated: 10/10
Odds for winning: 8/10
Moonlight follows the life and times of Chiron, young boy growing up gay and black in a crime-addled neighborhood in Liberty City, Miami. Based on a play, the film is told in three parts, each act charting a different part of Chiron's experience from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood. Managing bullies, a drug addict mother and the tumultuous war inside himself, Chiron is a character who bleeds hurt. Berry Jenkins made Moonlight unparalleled in its precision with its stylized lighting and artfully symmetrical establishing shots are flecked through long, languid handheld shots of naturalistic conversation.No doubt Moonlight gets good grab at the Academy Awards in leading categories and likely to receive over 6 nominations including Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor and Cinematography.

3. Manchester by the Sea
Odds for getting nominated: 10/10
Odds for winning: 8/10 
Manchester By The Sea is yet another story about grief and loss. It is about the story of Lee, who tackles with the many negatives in life like losing his 3 children in a fire accident, getting divorced, leading a pathetic work life and in the midst of all this, he loses his brother and had been assigned as a guardian for his teenage troubled son. Lonergan’s film deals with the heaviest of themes like unbearable personal tragedy and guilt, although with a notably lighter touch. Every moment of the film, every quiet gesture, speaks of unspeakable sorrow. It’s gritty and often devastating and is bound for the Oscars. Casey Affleck overflows with melancholy and delivered almost a sure shot Oscar winning performance.

4. Fences
Odds for getting nominated: 9/10
Odds for winning: 7/10
 It’s taken nearly 30 years for August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Fences” to make it to movie screens since its roiling portrait of an embittered African-American mid-20th-century man exploded on Broadway in 1987. Who better can do justice to it than Denzel Washington.The best part of about Fences is that we have witnessed two towering perfperformances from Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Denzel does total justice for his dual role as both the leading actor and director of the film, but he is likely to get an Oscar nod for Best Actor nomination.

5. Arrival
Odds for getting nominated: 9/10
Odds for winning: 6/10 
Planet Earth is thrown into chaos when 12 mysterious, extra-terrestrial craft appear around the world. The alien crafts are immense, lens-shaped, black-rocky obelisks which levitate noiselessly several metres above the Earth’s surface.Their inhabitants want to talk, so it’s up to linguistics professor Dr Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to try to decipher their mindbending language before global panic turns into inter-species war. Amy delivers a brilliant performance and hopefully got herself an Oscar nod. Denis Villeneuve has achieved something genius that Steven Spielberg has achieved previously with Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And this will go into the history of cinema as one of the best sci-fi movie. 
6. Hell or High Water
Odds for getting nominated:8/10
Odds for winning: 5/10
Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges, that is one hell of a casting. Especially Jeff shines out as usual in this modern-day western. Set in West Texas, this fierce and funny hellraiser takes turns into areas where there's no moral compass, just like the No Country for Old Men, which it tried really hard to be. Tight script by Taylor Sheridan of Sicario fame and dynamic direction by David Mackenzie, made sure that this modern-western-heist film deserves a high spot at the Oscars.

7. Hidden Figures
Odds for getting nominated: 7/10
Odds for winning: 5/10

Hidden Figures is a feel-good and a rare film based on historical events that feels both relevant and new. The women of this film use their brilliant minds to see numbers that others can’t — complex calculations for space travel, the language of computers, the math necessary to build a rocket — but they’re hidden, themselves. So that justifies the title. It might inspire a few more young girls to reach for the stars, or at least for a pencil, and few things are more feel-good than that.

8. Lion
Odds for getting nominated: 7/10
Odds for winning: 5/10
Saroo Brierley’s extraordinary life made worldwide headlines five years ago. Lost on a train as a five-year-old child in rural India, then adopted by a family in Tasmania, as an adult Brierley used Google Earth to track down his hometown and his birth family. It’s a story of courage and determination as big as India itself. Nicole Kidman delivers some of the finest work of her career as Sue, mother to Saroo and his adoptive brother. Nicole Kidman is likely to get a nomination as Best Supporting Actress along with Dev Patel in the Best Supporting Actor category. And Gareth Davis made a promising debut as a director.

9. Hacksaw Ridge
Odds for getting nominated: 6/10
Odds for winning: 4/10
Hands down, Mel Gibson's best directorial achievement since 'Brave Heart' and one of Garfield's best performance standing alongside 'The Social Network' and 'Silence'. An inspiring story of Desmond Doss, an American war medic who walked into the Battle of Okinawa without yielding a weapon and saved the lives of 74 soldiers at Hacksaw Ridge. The movies is emotionally riveting and bloody like the other movies of Gibson. The movie have a good scope to getting nominated in the Best Picture but the jury always have low esteem towards world war epics. When 'Saving Private Ryan' gets snubbed then "Hacksaw Ridge' won't stand a chance to win it this year. Andrew Garfield may get nominated as Best Actor but he made a higher impact in Scorsese's 'Silence'. 

Likely to be Snubbed

Martin Scorsese is one of the most famous director, in getting snubbed by the Academy. His most awaited dream project finally got on rails with three great actors like Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver. But since it's release, it is not received as expected and has been turned dow by the SAGs and the Golden Globes. It may be because of it's darker theme and a plot that does not go well with all sections of audiences. It is the story of two Christian missionaries, who set on to search for their missing mentor in Japan, where they face a real test of faith. Filled with undeniably stunning visuals, the film may be too long and dragging to be turned down for top grabs. It would be good to watch Silence getting nominated for its genuine story telling, but it is not likely to win.

Likely Surprises



20th Century Women 


Florence Foster Jenkins