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2017 Oscar Predictions: Will ‘La La Land’ Sweep? Is Casey Affleck a Shoo-In? We Call the Winners in All 24 Categories!

Spotlight, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Mark Rylance, Alicia Vikander. Show me someone who can rattle off that list of 2016 Oscars winners without a Google search, and I’ll show you a liar. (Or I’ll show you the president of the Academy. Or Vikander’s mom.) The sad fact is that a moment of glory on Hollywood’s biggest night is often just that. But is that going to stop Us from using probing analysis to pick who will take home the little — and apparently very heavy — gold man in 2017? Heck to the no! So let’s temporarily table that Adele vs. Beyoncé argument and put the spotlight on who’s going to say hello to an Oscar for the 89th annual Academy Awards. Watch the video above and read on for our predictions!

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in ‘La La Land’

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

And the Oscar goes to …  La La Land

Spoiler Alert! Moonlight

A funny thing happened to the marvelous La La Land on the way to the Oscars. An “I didn’t like it” backlash movement spread, culminating in a biting Saturday Night Live sketch during which host Aziz Ansari listed all his grievances with the picture. No matter. With its record-tying 14 nominations, the candy-colored musical about following your dreams will still nab the top prize. Hollywood loves to laud Hollywood — three out of the past five Best Picture winners (The Artist, Argo, Birdman) prove it. And in a year of real-world turmoil, it makes perfect sense to once again reach for the happy ending. Those factors will sink Moonlight, arguably 2016’s most relevant film. This doesn’t mean La La Land is the Forrest Gump to Moonlight‘s Pulp Fiction. Both are innovative gems.

Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck in ‘Manchester by the Sea’

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

And the Oscar goes to   Casey Affleck

Spoiler alert! Denzel Washington

Casey Affleck practically had his trophy gift-wrapped until Denzel Washington won the Screen Actors Guild award last month. Now this previous sure thing is anything but. From a political perspective — the Washington, D.C., beltway has nothing on Hollywood power playing — there is strong buzz that Affleck’s sexual harassment lawsuit settlement (stemming from the making of that dreadful Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary) will be his downfall from the podium. If that’s the case, the always-venerable Washington will glide in with his third Oscar. Here’s guessing that voters will still go with their gut and pick Affleck for his devastating, career-defining performance.

Emma Stone La La Land

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

And the Oscar goes to … Emma Stone

Spoiler alert! Isabelle Huppert

Even those who tsk-tsk La La must admit that Emma Stone is the heart of the film. As aspiring actress Mia, she exposed her vulnerabilities — not to mention her comic chops — each time she stood up and auditioned for a role. Mia was robbed out of landing that Dangerous Minds–meets–The O.C. TV pilot, but Stone herself will not be denied! (She’s also gamely worked the campaign trail like a seasoned politician.) If Golden Globe winner Isabelle Huppert pulls an upset, tell everyone at your Oscar screening party that the legendary French actress rivets as a rape survivor with ice water in her veins in an ultraprovocative drama. P.S. One last shout-out to Annette Bening, Amy Adams and Taraji P. Henson, who all got shut out of this blessedly loaded category.

Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali
Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in ‘Moonlight’

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

And the Oscar goes to  Mahershala Ali

Spoiler Alert! Dev Patel

Just to be clear: Mahershala Ali, a veteran character actor best known for House of Cards, is not going to win as some sort of make-good on the #Oscarssowhite controversy of the past two years. His performance as an unlikely father figure in gang-ridden Miami is truly that indelible. (I maintain the acting is stronger than the role itself.) Same goes for Dev Patel, who showed newfound maturity and nuance in the seriously beloved Lion. He also recently won a BAFTA, i.e., the British version of the Oscars. Tie? Please?

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in ‘Fences’

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester of the Sea

And the Oscar goes to  Viola Davis

Spoiler Alert! Michelle Williams

“I’ve been standing here with you!” We’ve all seen the clip of Viola Davis shouting those words to her husband in Fences, tears streaming down her cheeks. The Emmy winner and three-time Oscar nominee is one of the few actresses who could believably dish it back to Washington. And for that, Davis, who has filled her mantel with an impressive set of trophies since December, is the no-brainer front-runner. In fact, the only mild controversy is whether she actually belonged in that crowded Best Actress category. (Cough, yes.) Had she put herself with Stone et al., then Michelle Williams would take the gold. She has minimal screen time in Manchester by the Sea, but, wow, did she make the most of it.

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

And the Oscar goes to   “City of Stars”

Spoiler alert! “How Far I’ll Go”

Justin Timberlake vs. Lin-Manuel Miranda vs. Sting vs. the La La Land maestros. If we ran the Oscars, this hotly contested category would be earmarked for the last award of the night. Let’s do it here instead! Sting gets the first cut. His low-tempo guitar ballad plays over the closing credits of an incredible documentary that too few people have seen. (Stream it now on HBO GO.) JT goes next. He’s not officially allowed to land the Z100 Song of the Summer and the Oscar. That leaves Miranda’s soaring girl-power anthem and the La La numbers. In any other year, Miranda would complete his EGOT quest. But his only hope is that the dual nominees cancel each other out. Bottom line: A much-nominated musical is not going to lose in a music category. “City of Stars” isn’t remotely the best song in the movie, but it does showcase both leads — and thanks to its affirming message, it might as well be titled, “Hollywood Is the Best!!!” We have a winner.

Zootopia
Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps in ‘Zootopia’

Best of the Rest

Animated Feature Film — Zootopia

Director — Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Original Screenplay — Manchester by the Sea

Adapted Screenplay — Moonlight

Cinematography — La La Land

Costume Design — La La Land

Documentary Feature — O.J. Simpson: Made in America

Documentary Short — Joe’s Violin

Editing — La La Land

Foreign Language Film — The Salesman

Music Score — La La Land

Production Design — La La Land

Short Film (Animated) — Piper

Short Film (Live) — Ennemis Intérieurs

Sound Editing — Hacksaw Ridge

Sound Mixing — La La Land

Makeup — Star Trek Beyond

Visual Effects — The Jungle Book

(The Oscars air on ABC on February 26 at 8 P.M.)

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