It’s almost time for the best day of the year. That’s right! My birthday is on Monday (I accept cash and puppies as presents). Almost lining up with the second best day of the year: The Oscars Ceremony. Which is what I am here to talk about. It has been an overall kind of bad year for movies, with the best ones coming out right at the end of 2016 and only a few gems sprinkled in from January to October-ish. So naturally, many people haven’t even seen most of the movies up for the most prestigious awards right now. If you have one tiny fraction of knowledge about movies, you know that La La Land is the frontrunner for basically everything, but probably don’t know much else.

That’s why I’m here for your Oscars primer. I’m going to give you the best predictions you can find on who will win, and sprinkle in some of my personal choices as well. Every category will be covered (save the shorts categories) so you can dominate your Oscars pool or just brag to everyone at your watch party. Or tweet things. Or just enjoy my insightful writing. You do you, no judgement here.


Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Who Should Win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Chazelle has taken the win at the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes, and Directors Guild awards, along with a wheelbarrow full of other smaller directing awards. La La Land is phenomenal, and making a musical that invokes the classic feel back when musicals were actually popular but modernizing it is quite a feat. Everything is done perfectly, from the intricate dance numbers (the man shut down part of an LA freeway for the opening) to the consistent tone and pace to the emotional cues in everything from the simple conversations to the singing.

The one challenger with an actual shot is Barry Jenkins who directed Moonlight. Bringing the story of a poor and gay black man to the screen and making it connect with audiences is not exactly the easiest thing. But Jenkins does it really well. The story is not complex and frankly it kind of doesn’t feel as powerful as it should, but making you feel the things the characters are feeling is impressive. Combined with the beautiful look, outstanding direction of the actors (featuring a couple first time children), and subtlety of it all, he might sneak in and steal it. It is pretty unlikely though.

Original Score

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Yeah, going to be tough to beat the musical in this one. Moonlight, Jackie, and Lion all have pretty solid scores themselves, and any other year they’d have a pretty good shot.

Sidenote: Sing Street should be nominated for this or Original Song. In a real, not lame world, it would be neck and neck with La La Land.

Original Song

Who Will Win: “City of Stars” from La La Land

Who Should Win: “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls/Justin Timberlake’s perfect brain

JT has the song you are most likely to hear on the radio/jam to on Spotify. I will fight anyone that says “Can’t Stop the Feeling” isn’t perfect. That said, “City of Stars” is beautiful, as is the other La La Land nominated song, “Audition”. Audition might actually be the better song and more reflective/important in the film. And the “Epilogue” is actually, truly, the most heartbreaking thing in the world (even without visuals, listening to it right now, crying inside) despite being all instrumental so let’s just give La La Land the award for the next three years to be fair.

Adapted Screenplay

Who Will Win: Moonlight

Who Should Win: Arrival

As a person who writes lame blogs and sometimes dabbles in script writing (hmu if you tryna fund one of my million good movie ideas), this is easily the most important category. No problem with Moonlight winning this but Arrival is so good that it really deserves to win something. Also, while the characters in Moonlight are all drawn out completely and are intricately written, that story just isn’t that great. On the other hand, Arrival is dope.

Sidenote: Fences could sneak in here and steal a win, if Denzel and crew has campaigned hard enough. Doubting it though.

Original Screenplay

Who Will Win: Manchester by the Sea

Who Should Win: Manchester by the Sea

La La Land is also nominated here, and this is the category it is especially open to lose out on. This is probably the best category, with cases for each script to win, but ultimately it’s down to La La and ManchesterManchester is basically a book in movie form, and it would be absolutely nothing without the script. It’s logline is basically “Man experiences tragedy; lives with nephew”. Not exactly thrilling stuff. But the script is so good that Manchester jumps all the way to one of the three best movies of the year, and probably my #2. Oddly funny, not overly depressing given the subject matter, but still gut wrenching. Give it that Oscar.

Sidenote: Hell or High Water is also nominated. My number three movie of the year. It is killer. Maybe a better script than La La Land even.


Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Another potential area of upset for La LaArrival and Moonlight are both exceptionally shot and pose a big threat. I don’t think Arrival wins, despite the rising star of their cinematographer (fuck, I sound like a nerd) and the way that the shots in the film propel it to higher areas, but Moonlight was shot on a tiny budget and looks gorgeous, contains some of the better shots of all these movies (example: the circling motion in the fight scene; the final two shots of the movie; the ocean scene) that make it a strong fighter.

But, you can’t beat the look and camera work needed to make La La  as exceptional as it is.

Costume Design

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

La La got some dope clothes in it and they give off that vintage style, but you can’t tell me Fantastic Beasts didn’t make you want a dope wool overcoat and some sick boots. Everyone in that movie looks fresh as all hell.

Production Design

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Do I have a major hard on for Fantastic Beasts? 100%. That thing where they walk down into the suitcase? Actually did that! The actual thing in the suitcase, built that! That’s cooler than anything in La La Land. Beasts made an entire world. La La made LA look cool. Jokes on you La La Land, LA already looks cool. Sometimes, life is unfair. And that is why La La Land is going to win.

Visual Effects

Who Will Win: The Jungle Book

They made Bill Murray a bear. That’s all that needs to be said.


Who Will Win: Zootopia

Note: Zootopia = trash. Sausage Party is the best animated movie of the past forever. Past all the dick and sex jokes, huge food orgy, and stereotyping there is a deep movie about faith and religion. Screw the Academy for this.

Documentary Feature:

Who Will WinOJ: Made in America

Note: OJ is 10 hours long. Not a movie. A mini-series. This is another dumb thing to shout about this year.

Film Editing

Who Will Win: La La Land

Foreign Language

Who Will Win: The Salesman or Toni Erdmann

Note: Take your pick here. Experts are essentially split on the two. Although, the GoldDerby oddsmaking site has Salesman at 1/1 odds, which, doesn’t that mean they think they have a 100% chance to win? *shrug so hard my head falls through my neck and now sits directly between my shoulders*

Makeup and Hairstyling

Who Will Win: Star Trek: Beyond

Note: You’re telling me we couldn’t find a way to get La La Land nominated for this one? Baby Goose’s hair is great per usual, and Emma Stone is very pretty, so, c’mon guys.

Sound Editing

Who Will Win: Hacksaw Ridge

Note: This movie lowkey not good.

Sound Mixing

Who Will Win: La La Land

Alright, we are all done with part 1 of the Oscar predictions. Coming tomorrow is part 2, with the big hitter categories that everyone keeps their eyes on. Be sure to shout me out when you predict the Oscars perfectly and your friends think you are a movie savant.