I have been completely silent on the subject of the Academy Awards for a couple of reasons. One, the nominations were announced when we were on vacation in Florida, so I was unable to strike while the iron was hot, as it were, and once we got back home, well, I just never found the time to do so. Two, I have been unable to see all of the nominated performances, or even a lot of them, so I go on the theory that No Prediction is better than an Uniformed Prediction.
Still, what fun is that, so I've decided to blow some smoke anyway. Here goes.
Nine films have been nominated for Best Picture. I have seen four of them: "Hell or High Water", "Hidden Figures", "La La Land", and "Manchester by the Sea". Of the remaining five, I do want to see "Fences", and I kinda sorta want to see "Arrival". "Hacksaw Ridge", "Lion", and "Moonlight" all fall into the category of "Didn't see it, don't wanna see it."
BEST PICTURE: I am saying that the winner will come from among the four movies that I have seen. If we used The Grandstander's standard of What Movie Am I Most Likely To Watch Again And Again Over The Years, then the winner would be "Hell or High Water" in a landslide, but I am going to call this one for another terrific movie, which is also one that I will watch more than once, "Hidden Figures".
ACTOR: Once again, I have only seen two of these nominees, Ryan Gosling and Casey Affleck. I believe that it will come down as a race between Affleck and Denzel Washington. Washington has already won two Oscars, but will he benefit from Hollywood reacting to last year's #oscarssowhite controversy? Possibly, but I say that the Oscar this year goes to Casey Affleck.
ACTRESS: I have seen two nominated performances, Meryl Streep in "Florence Foster Jenkins", and Emma Stone in "La La Land". I love them both, and both were great performances, but the buzz seems to be heaviest for Natalie Portman in "Jackie", and I say that Miss Portman takes home her second Oscar come Sunday night.
Supporting Actor: Again, only saw two of the five nominees, so this prediction is based solely on personal preference: Jeff Bridges wins for "Hell or High Water". Lucas Hedges, the kid in "Manchester by the Seas" was terrific, and I'd have no problem if he won, but Bridges was just SO good, and this award will be a way for Hollywood to honor this terrific movie.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Michelle Williams gave a wonderful performance in "Manchester By The Sea", but the one category that seems to be a slam dunk this year is a win for Viola Davis in Fences", so Davis it is.
DIRECTOR: "La La Land" was everybody's darling to sweep the Oscars this year, but in recent months, it has been hit with a strange and bitchy sort of Hollywood backlash. I mean, have you read some of those "this movie really stinks" types of stories? Unfair, but I think it will hurt the the movie, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone in the voting. However, Hollywood will honor this movie by naming Damien Chazelle as Best Director.
ORIGINAL SONG: The Oscar goes to "How Far I'll Go" from the movie "Moana" written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Why? Because it was written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and at the age of 37, Miranda will now have achieved an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), plus a Pulitzer Prize. It's good to be Lin-Manuel Miranda.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Never made a prediction in this category before, but what the hell, I am calling for Ezra Edelman's amazing five part, seven and one-half hour documentary, "O.J. Made In America" to win the Oscar.
And here are two more predictions for you. Strictly semi-educated guesses on my part:
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester By The Sea".
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: August Wilson, "Fences.
There you go. Ten predictions will make it easy to calculate my winning percentage. As always....Watch, But Don't Bet.