I'm running very late with this. I have seen most of the nominated movies (except for Hacksaw Ridge and Hell or High Water). I liked many movies I saw this year, but I didn't have the same "This is a classic!" response the way I did when I saw Spotlight last year.
Will win: LaLaLand
Should win: Moonlight
My favorite movie of last year was Arrival, but it may have flown over the heads of many Oscar voters as it's intellectual science fiction. It's a brilliant piece of work, but the nominators also failed to even nominate Amy Adams. LaLaLand was pleasant but not great. Moonlight is an amazingly-good movie that I found quite moving and it just took a bunch of Independent Spirit Awards. I loved Hidden Figures but it may be a bit "movie of the week" to be an Oscar winner. Lion had great photography and a couple of great kid actors. Liked Fences very much. Manchester by the Sea has its moments but also wound up as a very overrated flick. In the "damaged men" trope for this year, Moonlight was the best; it was the movie that MBTS really wanted to be.
Will win: Casey Affleck
Should win: Viggo Mortensen
Viggo was brilliant in Captain Fantastic, and the casting of his kids was outstanding. Casey was good but not quite great. Denzel could also possibly pull this one out as he was very good and didn't get a Best Director nomination for Fences
Will win: Emma Stone
Should win: Natalie Portman
I've loved Emma Stone in almost everything she's done, but feel LaLaLand is quite overrated. Natalie Portman was perfect in Jackie. I did not see Elle.
Will win: Mahershala Ali
Should win: Mahershala Ali
Ali was brilliant, but Lucas and Dev were also extreme good (didn't see Hell or Nocturnal)
Will win: Viola Davis
Should win: Viola Davis
The women were great. I wouldn't be surprised if Naomie Harris won.
I don't have time to complete this today. Will be out most of the rest of today. But here's the rest of the list:
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM Kubo and the Two Strings Moana My Life as a Zucchini The Red Turtle Zootopia ============================= CINEMATOGRAPHY Arrival La La Land Lion Moonlight Silence ============================= COSTUME DESIGN Allied Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Florence Foster Jenkins Jackie La La Land ============================= DIRECTING Arrival Hacksaw Ridge La La Land Manchester by the Sea Moonlight ============================= DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE) Fire at Sea I Am Not Your Negro Life, Animated O.J.: Made in America 13th ============================= DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT) Extremis 4.1 Miles Joe’s Violin Watani: My Homeland The White Helmets ============================= FILM EDITING Arrival Hacksaw Ridge Hell or High Water La La Land Moonlight ============================= FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Land of Mine A Man Called Ove The Salesman Tanna Toni Erdmann ============================= MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING A Man Called Ove Star Trek Beyond Suicide Squad ============================= MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE) Jackie La La Land Lion Moonlight Passengers ============================= MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG) "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" from La La Land Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul "Can’t Stop The Feeling" from Trolls Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster "City Of Stars" from La La Land Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul "The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting "How Far I’ll Go" from Moana Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda ============================= PRODUCTION DESIGN Arrival Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Hail, Caesar! La La Land Passengers ============================= SHORT FILM (ANIMATED) Blind Vaysha Borrowed Time Pear Cider and Cigarettes Pearl Piper ============================= SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) Ennemis Intérieurs La Femme et le TGV Silent Nights Sing Timecode ============================= SOUND EDITING Arrival Deepwater Horizon Hacksaw Ridge La La Land Sully ============================= SOUND MIXING Arrival Hacksaw Ridge La La Land Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi ============================= VISUAL EFFECTS Deepwater Horizon Doctor Strange The Jungle Book Kubo and the Two Strings Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ============================= WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY) Arrival Fences Hidden Figures Lion Moonlight ============================= WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY) Hell or High Water La La Land The Lobster Manchester by the Sea 20th Century Women