BY ROGER THOMAS
I have said it before and I will say it again, predicting the Oscars is like throwing darts blindfolded. You might get lucky and hit the bullseye, but more likely, you will miss the entire target. I certainly did not predict “Spotlight” was going to win “Best Picture” last year; I went for “The Big Short.” If I had predicted “Spotlight” I would have assumed the it would win several other Oscars with it. “Spotlight” ended up with two wins: Screenplay and Best Picture.
They year before, I was sure that the creative masterpiece “Boyhood” was going to be Best Picture. “Birdman” won.
We have to go back to 2014 ceremony for me to predict the big prize accurately. “12 Years a Slave” won that year. One would have to go all the way back to the ceremony of 2006 to find the next film I failed to predict for Hollywood’s Big Prize. That was “Crash,” It was the film I wanted to win but I did not think they had a chance.
I write all this before I reveal my predictions to say simply this. I have seen most of the 62 films nominated for one or more Oscars. Of those films I have seen 49 of them. Does that help me predicting? No, because who knows what the Academy is thinking. I think they like “La La Land” but do they love it enough. I think they can’t ignore Casey Affleck’s performance in “Manchester by the Sea” but the Academy may give Denzel Washington his third Oscar this weekend. You get my point. Predicting is a game; a game I like to play each year. So here we go…
Best Sound Mixing- “La La Land”
Best Sound Editing- “La La Land”
Best Live Action Short- “Sing”
Best Animated Short- “Piper”
Best Production Design- “La La Land”
Best Original Score- “La La Land”
Best Original Song- “City of Stars” from “La La Land”
Best Makeup and Hairstyling- “Star Trek Beyond”
Best Original Screenplay- “Manchester by the Sea”
Best Adapted Screenplay- “Moonlight”
Best Visual Effects- “The Jungle Book”
Best Foreign Language Film- “The Salesman”
Best Editing- “La La Land”
Best Documentary Short- “Joe’s Violin”
Best Documentary Feature- “O. J.: Made in America”
Best Costume- “La La Land”
Best Cinematography- “La La Land”
Best Animated Feature Film- “Zootopia”
Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis- “Fences”
Best Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali- “Moonlight”
Best Actress- Emma Stone- “La La Land”
Best Actor- Casey Affleck- “Manchester by the Sea”
Best Director- Damien Chazelle- “La La Land”
Best Picture- “La La Land”
Roger Thomas is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association. He reviews films for The Stanly News & Press.