The 89th Academy Awards are coming up this Sunday, and Audiences Everywhere readers know what that means: It’s Oscar predictions showdown time! Josh has seized victory two years in a row. Will the third time be the charm for David? Or will Josh come through with yet another decisive win?

Let us know what your picks are and who you think will take the crown this year!

 

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Josh Prediction: The Jungle Book – This film was praised almost exclusively for its visual effects, which are very photorealistic. This is an obvious one, though last year’s Ex Machina upset makes me wonder if I should take it for granted.

Dave Prediction: The Jungle Book – I forgot that I had watched this movie until I started making these predictions. Now I remember thinking, “That’s either winning Best Visual Effects or Best Animated Feature, whichever one it was.”

Best Film Editing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

La La Land

Moonlight

Josh Prediction: La La Land – Unlike the past few years, there’s nothing flashy or showy enough here to be the obvious pick. So I’m giving it to La La Land because of its frontrunner bonus.

Dave Prediction: La La Land  This category, like many of this year’s categories, comes down to two movies, one that I think should win all of them and La La Land. I hate that I’m going against my gut, but this okay-enough movie has all the momentum in all these categories. I’m so annoyed by my assurance that it will win that I’m going to struggle all the way through to provide reasoning for it.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad

Josh Prediction: A Man Called Ove – None of the films in this category are major frontrunners for any other ones, which hasn’t happened in a while. One of the last times this happened was in 2009, when Star Trek won. Suicide Squad would be a contender for the same reason, but it has a really bad stench on it. They didn’t give this to Norbit, you know. But at the end of the day, I think categories like this go to the film that most voters have seen. Star Trek Beyond wasn’t a massive success the way that its 2009 predecessor was, and Ove is a crowd-pleaser that’s also up for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s close, but I’m going with Ove.

Dave Prediction: Star Trek Beyond – No one likes Suicide Squad, and I do not believe enough people of the Academy watched A Man Called Ove to vote for it against two blockbuster titles.

Best Costume Design

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

Josh Prediction: Jackie – This category will always go one of two ways: Period Piece or Genre Piece. Fantastic Beasts is both, which you’d think would increase its chances considerably, but it doesn’t have the pull of some of its competitors here. Jackie is a film about a woman whose outfits are as iconic as she is. It’s hard to see how it loses here.

Dave Prediction: Jackie – Period piece, bio-pic, iconic image recreated through costume, seared into the brain with a blood red ad campaign. The only thing stopping Jackie would be voters hoping to see La La Land break some records.

Best Cinematography

Arrival

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Silence

Josh Prediction: La La Land – Emmanuel Lubezki and his long takes have won this category the past three years in a row. Well, Lubezki’s not nominated this year, but a film with a bunch of long takes is. It would be wonderful to see the very deserving Silence take this one, but the Academy completely ignored it for some reason.

Dave Prediction: La La Land – If there’d been any sort of backing from Paramount or a sliver of strategy regarding their release of the film, I suspect Silence would be the runaway favorite here. As it stands, this will be the point in the broadcast where we start to see the excitement from the La La Land table.

Best Production Design

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land

Passengers

Josh Prediction: La La Land – A lot of the same rules for Costume Design apply here, but Jackie isn’t nominated in this category. Hail, Caesar! is the obvious choice, but its absence in other categories indicates that the Academy really didn’t like it in spite of it being a movie about movies. There’s really no good pick here, so I’ll bet on voters lazily filling in La La Land for this one despite production design not really being its most memorable aspect.

Dave Prediction: La La Land – How the hell did Passengers get a nomination? Anyway, it’s La La Land.

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Josh Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge – It’s a time-honored tradition that Academy members vote in the sound categories despite knowing nothing about what they actually mean. Hacksaw Ridge is very loud. Say no more. La La Land should take it, since it’s a musical, but I actually found the mixing in some scenes noticeably bad, particularly the opening number. 

Dave Prediction: La La Land  I’m going with the musical here, even if it’s imperfect, since I don’t know if voters know how or why they’re voting in this category.

Best Sound Editing

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Sully

Josh Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge – See above. I should also note that this is a safe way for the Academy to honor Mel Gibson’s return to filmmaking without the uncomfortable acknowledgement of Gibson himself.

Dave Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge All of my reasoning this year boils down to snark against the Academy, probably because I hate those “anonymous” and “brutally honest” Oscar voter articles and I just recently read both. But, there seems to be a narrative that Sound Editing and Sound Mixing always go to the same nominee because the voters have no idea what the difference is between the two distinctions. For some reason, I expect them to rebuke that mythology this year, unknowingly proving that they have no idea what the difference is between the two distinctions.

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

Josh Prediction: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” – There’s basically no way it’s not going to be something from La La Land. “City of Stars” is just unbearably boring, and “Audition” (while I don’t think it gets there) is intended as a belter/showstopper. It’s also a song about art and how the best people are artists and we all know how much the Academy loves that.

Dave Prediction: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” In spite of the subliminal implantation (I expect “City of Stars” to be all over the goddamn ceremony) and in spite of the vote for the musical’s music being split between two La La Land nominations, it’s not a good sign that I had to Google the other nominees. I’m going with the more powerful of the two entries to win this category. This should have been “Bin Laden” from Popstar, though.

Best Original Score

Jackie

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Passengers

Josh Prediction: La La Land – A musical hasn’t been nominated in this category since they stopped splitting it into “Dramatic Score” and “Musical or Comedy Score.” This means there’s not a lot of historical precedent to go off of. Still, you can usually predict this category based on how memorable the scores are, and being a musical, La La Land sort of cheats its way into a victory on that basis.

Dave Prediction: La La Land – Another instance in which I’m making myself sick voting against Moonlight. I can’t explain why I’m doing this. I’m not happy about it.

Best Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Tanna

Toni Erdmann

Josh Prediction: The Salesman – It’s either this or A Man Called Ove, which makes it a choice between a Political Statement or something simple and safe. Regardless of its actual content, The Salesman probably seems like the more “important” pick to a lot of voters. I’m totally discounting the frontrunner, Toni Erdmann, because I really don’t think a three-hour German comedy really fits the standard Academy taste profile.

Dave Prediction: Toni Erdmann – Of the voters who watched all or most of these films, I’d bet that The Salesman would stand out as the consensus favorite, but I’m betting there are more people who didn’t watch most or all of the nominees who will vote for the Cannes-darling frontrunner.

Best Documentary Feature

Fire at Sea

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America

13th

Josh Prediction: 13th – O.J.: Made in America is the frontrunner in this category, and with good reason, but will voters really sit through such a long film in such a niche category? Especially when that film isn’t exactly gentle in its depiction of Los Angeles and the media? 13th is arguably the most easily accessible film nominated in any category. 

Dave Prediction: O.J.: Made in America – O.J.: Made in America‘s Oscar chances have been brutally discussed since its Sundance release and ESPN premiere, resulting in what I think will prove to be a circumstantial campaign for the film. Plus, it’s 2016’s single best cinematic achievement, so if I have to vote against Moonlight over and over, I’m at least riding my favorite film of the year to a victory in a single category.

Best Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

Josh Prediction: Zootopia – This will be a safe and easy way for the Academy to signal that they think racism is bad, which is a message they’ll really want to get across on the night that La La Land is the star of the show.

Dave Prediction: Zootopia Hasn’t this won all of the awards leading up to this? This should be the most contentious and aggressively close category in this a year with the best nominees in years. But Zootopia has all the momentum.

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

20th Century Women

Josh Prediction: Manchester by the Sea – I’d love to see The Lobster sneak away with it, but I expect this is where the Academy will give the film its due, especially if Affleck loses to Washington. La La Land should have the advantage as the Best Picture frontrunner, but it’s not its screenplay that voters like about it. Lonergan’s been an also-ran in this category a couple times, so this might be his year.

Dave Prediction: Manchester by the Sea I think Hell or High Water has far and away the best script in this category, and La La Land is the movie to beat in everything, but Longeran’s working class grief porn, I think, will speak loudly to voters.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion

Moonlight

Josh Prediction: Moonlight – It’s neck-and-neck for Best Picture, and it doesn’t have to deal with La La Land in this category. Easy pick.

Dave Prediction: Moonlight – Barry Jenkins is going to get on that stage.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Josh Prediction: Viola Davis – Did you see that scene in the trailer where she’s crying like really really hard? They started engraving her name on the trophy right then and there. Now, had there not been category fraud and had Davis been rightfully nominated for Best Actress, Williams would take this one, also for lots of crying. The Academy just loves crying, y’all.

Dave Prediction: Viola Davis – You might think this category is going to Harris or Williams, because, as Josh points out, this category is usually about the tears. But this year, it’s snot.

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

Josh Prediction: Mahershala Ali – There’s really no contest in this category. Patel’s inclusion is blatant category fraud, no one saw Nocturnal Animals, and Bridges feels like he’s only there to fill the fifth seat. Ali is going to walk away with this one, and rightfully so.

Dave Prediction: Mahershala Ali –Ali is the easiest favorite (and pick) of the night, and there is no chance that they’re putting the second favorite, Jeff Bridges, on stage this year without a script.

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Josh Prediction: Emma Stone – This is a tough category. My gut reaction is Portman, because the Academy loves impressions of historical figures. Stone had the good fortune to star in the Best Picture frontrunner, and it’s a good performance, but will that be enough when the field is so strong? There’s also Huppert, Film Twitter’s favorite, in a controversial film that may repel as many voters as it attracts. And of course we have to seriously consider Streep, who could film a Vine of herself sneezing and still land a nomination. This category is totally up in the air for me, so I’m going to say that Stone will take it.

Dave Prediction: Natalie Portman – This isn’t an easy category, but even having already won an Oscar, Portman has been the odds on favorite all year, and even with all of the unexpected wins in the other awards shows for Stone and Huppert, I’m not sure either has done enough to disrupt the Academy’s love for prestige biography performances. And it better not go to Streep. I’ll also accept a loss in this category if Negga wins, because she’s my favorite in the group.

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Josh Prediction: Denzel Washington – This is basically a coin-flip between Washington and Casey Affleck. Affleck’s history of sexual harassment may make voters antsy, but they nominated Mel Gibson this year, so it probably doesn’t matter to them. And Washington has won an acting Oscar twice before, out of six nominations. But at the end of the day, the old “best = most” rule applies here. Affleck’s performance, which a kinder person would call “understated,” is almost entirely mumbled. Washington, by comparison, seems to actually be performing

Dave Prediction: Casey Affleck – Oh, man. I’m betting against Denzel and I don’t know why. I just have a suspicion that Affleck’s sad turn landed with these folks and I have no belief that the muted campaign had any influence over anyone. At this point in the ceremony, Josh will have either have had their win streak ended by my finally triumphant comeback effort or they will have officially become my Oscar predicting sensei.

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Josh Prediction: Damien Chazelle – They’ve been splitting Best Director and Best Picture a lot over the past few years, usually to acknowledge some major technical achievement (Ang Lee for Life of Pi and Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity) or the nominee who was the coldest during shooting (Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant). There’s nothing this year that really fits the bill, so I expect Chazelle will take it home. It’s possible that they’ll toss Barry Jenkins a bone here, though.

Dave Prediction: Damien Chazelle – Barry Jenkins has just gotten too good at his modest congratulations for Chazelle this awards season. I hate it, but he’ll have to pull that act one more time.

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Josh Prediction: La La Land – When I walked out of this film, I thought to myself, “If the Academy could give that thing Best Picture every year, they would.” Everyone knows that their penchant for flattery compels them to award movies about movies, but La La Land goes one step further by being a movie about people who make movies, sort of. It’s about how chasing your Hollywood dream is a noble and meaningful pursuit, and how the only thing standing in the way of one’s success is their willingness to go the distance. It’s also an attempted throwback to classic movie musicals, and you know they’re just gonna eat that right up. There’s no serious challenger besides Moonlight, and I think a lot of voters are going to pat themselves on the back for nominating so many “black movies” and ignore them when it comes time to actually crown a winner. It’s La La Land in a walk this year.

Dave Predictions: La La Land – Narratively, it just makes sense in 2017. We’ll likely enjoy the most politically charged Oscar ceremony ever. There will be fiery speeches about inclusion and progressiveness and LGBT rights and condemnation of the White House’s racism, and at the end of the night, we’ll give the highest award to La La Land and watch reaction shots from the Moonlight table. God help us all.

Featured Image: Summit Entertainment