The Oscar Outlook 2017 – Part 2

There are generally two big stories about the Academy Awards this year. One, is that they nominated people who aren’t below “The Sun” on the food chain. Another is the record -matching total of nominations for La La Land. The record number of awards won by a film is a three way tie between Ben Hur, Titanic, and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King at eleven apiece. Is it possible for La La Land to match them? Yes, but it’s going to be difficult. First, two of its nominations it cannot win because it’s nominated three times in one category. Then there’s Best Actor, which it’s very unlikely to win. It would have to stick to the land the other 11 times, and that’s going to be difficult. In these more  ̶e̶n̶l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶n̶e̶d̶ cynical times, movies tend to get backlash much more quickly, and as it is, people see La La Land’s record nominations for a movie that isn’t tech heavy to be rather excessive. The second obstacle is, since the expansion of the field, voters seem more inclined to spread the wealth around–it’s kind of humiliating to be a movie that was nominated and couldn’t close the deal one one.

Best Cinematography:

Arrival

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Silence

Silence is almost Malickian in how haunting it looks, but I think it’s an easy enough win for La La Land. The movie’s not an outright period piece, but this is definitely the category where it most feels like one, creating many different styles and dream sequences and evoking an old timey feeling even though it’s widescreen, and guess what? Classic movies aren’t widescreen. I bet you like to conveniently forget that, cinema-snobs who wish we still lived in Gatsby times.
Best Costume Design:

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jacki”

La La Land

La La Land is definitely not the most elaborate, and so I think it’s the most vulnerable here of all the technicals, though  it would be neat to see someone win for meticulously creating a bad Flock of Seagulls outfit. I’m going to go with Jackie. Jackie Kennedy is the most recognizable  first lady of all time, and 1960’s camelot is considered the last gasp of dressing sharp, before the open collars ruined everything.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad

I don’t even know what a A Man Called Ove is, but I guess it could win if they feel they want to give it to a non-franchise film. But it seems it’s a battle between Star Trek and Suicide Squad. The former would be a nice 50th anniversary gift to a franchise that was a gamechanger in makeup. But I really don’t want Suicide Squad to win. First because “Oh, how do we make iconic comic book characters look more racist?” is not a damn achievement. Secondly, do you know how unbearable the DC stans would be if they got this before Marvel got one? I know you’re not into the culture academy, but if you do this you would be the Gavrilo Princip of a bloody nerd war.

Best Original Score:

Jackie

La La Land 

Lion

Moonlight

Passengers

Lion is sweeping and everything, so if anybody is the spoiler, it will be that. La La Land is musical, Moonlight will get awards elsewhere, and man, how did Passengers get in there? I mean, it’s not a bad score or anything, but you would have thought “Panned space movie” would have been enough for members to use the screeners as coasters. I guess we can’t go a year without a Jennifer Lawrence vehicle being nominated for something.

Best Film Editing:

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

La La Land

Moonlight

Even though this is a category that often goes hand-in-hand with best picture, I’m thinking Arrival is going to claim it. To explain why would spoil the movie, even though you should have seen it by now. Come on, it has aliens and Amy Adams, who’s the dreamiest. I mean, if you only one saw one movie with Amy Adams and aliens in it, and you chose Batman v Superman, I’m not sure why you’re even reading this. You should be bandaging your cuts. Cutting will not solve your problems, guys.

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

Which adequately-sung song from La La La Land will win out? I’m thinking City of Stars–it’s a little more catchy, and Audition is basically winning by proxy via Stone’s eventual win. It’s a great way to say to say to Ryan Gosling “Hey, boy, We remember you were in the movie too, you can be my star anytime.”

Best Production Design:

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land

Passengers

A lot of people think this is a bone they can throw for Arrival, especially since La La Land was contemporary and not super high budget, but I’m going to say the biggest competitor is Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them. At the end of the day, recreating both a depression era New York and the secret world of Wizards and Goblins beneath is just more of a sumptuous effort. Well, okay, maybe it’s not that amazing if you’ve been to parts of Williamsburg, but still, a lot of Arrival’s Design was putting laptops in tents.

Best Sound Editing:

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Sully

If Triple L doesn’t make a sweep, I think this will go to Hacksaw Ridge. It’s one of the BP nominees, and this is a category a lot of war films tend to do well in. You know, because of explosions, but important explosions. Plus, Mel Gibson wanted to meticulously render Hugo Weaving’s drunken father abusively breaking furniture in immaculate detail. God, Hacksaw Ridge is the biggest self-insert this side of a fanfiction of a new student getting into Hogwarts and marrying Legolas.

Best Sound Mixing:

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

This is, in my opinion, one of the bigger cinches for La La Land. This is one of the categories musicals tend to be most competitive in–more than “Best Original Song:, even! I mean, they could have done a better job at making Ryan Gosling better at music than John Legend, but still. People sometimes ask me what the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing is. Well, war movies do better in the former, musical movies better in the latter. I thought I mde that perfectly clear.

Best Visual Effects:

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The Jungle Book is not only a fully immersive world that bridges the gap between nature film and fairy tale, but it’s going to be the foundation for technology we’re going to need when we want to see what animals and rainforests look like because we paved them over to make condos. It’s funny, Favreau is blurring the line between live action and animation, basically created cinematic universes with Iron Man, and when you think about it, codified The Bro with Swingers. Behind his affable, goofy demeanor is a megalomaniac who’s intent on remaking the world in his image.

Best Animated Short

Blind Vashyi
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and CIgarettes
Pearl
Piper

Animation buffs seem to agree it’s between the adorable and heartwarming Piper and the techno-innovative Pearl. Well, this is the year of La La Land domination, so they’re definitely about adorable and heartwarming, if you’re into that kind of thing. Piper wins.
Best Animated Feature Film:

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

For a while, it seemed like Zootopia was going to take this one easy, but then they might have time to find out what furries were. And that they are fascist. It may also split the vote with stablemate Moana, which people also like. They like the songs more, anyways, despite Zootopia’s being sung by Shakira’s very alluring gazelle-woman er…see what I mean about the furrydom and the dangerous rabbit hole…forget I said that. Anyways, I’m going to take a chance on Kubo and the Two Strings despite being a dark horse. And no, a dark horse is not a horse people dress up like and have sex as.



R.A. Bartlett

R.A. is a contributor for UnSceneComedy.com