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How’d I Do on This Year’s Oscars?

With this year’s Academy Awards ceremony behind us, it’s time to take a look at how I did on my predictions for the winners in this annual competition, as first outlined in my previous blog, “Who Will Win This Year’s Oscars?” posted on February 13.

And the result? Four out of six correct calls, with two misses. Here are the details:

Best Picture

Projected Winner:La La Land
Actual Winner:Moonlight
Result: Missed call

What a surprise! And what an ever bigger surprise with the way the result was announced! Given the track record “La La Land” amassed during awards season, as well as 14 nominations (tying “Titanic” (1997) and “All About Eve” (1950) for the most ever received by a single film), this seemed like a virtual lock. However, support for this film was apparently quietly softening as awards season rolled on, something I sensed but didn’t put much faith in (I should have listened to my intuition!). Needless to say, I can’t say I was disappointed with the result – “Moonlight” was the film that I believed should win, and thankfully it did.

Best Actor

Projected Winner: Denzel Washington, “Fences
Actual Winner: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea
Result: Missed call

At the start of awards season, this result would not have come as a surprise. However, given the results of the lead actor competition at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, I sensed a momentum shift in Washington’s direction had occurred, one that I thought would carry through to the Oscars. I guess I miscalculated; Affleck apparently had just enough gas left in the tank to propel him to victory. I would have preferred that Washington take the prize, but Affleck’s momentum was obviously strong enough to capture the win.

Best Actress

Projected Winner: Emma Stone, “La La Land
Actual Winner: Emma Stone, “La La Land
Result: Correct call

This wasn’t the easiest call to make, given the competition served up by Isabelle Huppert for “Elle,” but Stone’s popularity, as well as that of the film throughout awards season, was enough to earn her the prize. I would have preferred that Huppert come up the winner, but, given some of the “impediments” working against her (an unlikeable character in a foreign language film), I suppose it’s no surprise that top honors went to a safer, more familiar choice.

Best Supporting Actor

Projected Winner: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight
Actual Winner: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight
Result: Correct call

As with the best actress race, this wasn’t the easiest call to make, given the many different winners who kept claiming honors during awards season. However, no matter how much variation there was during the course of the various competitions, the results always seemed to come back to Ali, who deservedly took home the award for his excellent portrayal of a complicated character.

Best Supporting Actress

Projected Winner: Viola Davis, “Fences
Actual Winner: Viola Davis, “Fences
Result: Correct call

This was a lock, making it the easiest, most predictable call of the night. Davis took virtually every honor conceivable during awards season, making her win a near certainty. Had anyone else’s name been announced on Oscar night, it would have been an utter shock. Yet, despite the fine performances of Naomie Harris in “Moonlight” and Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea,” Davis deservedly claimed the Oscar that truly belonged to her.

Best Director

Projected Winner: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land
Actual Winner: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land
Result: Correct call

Once again, this was a fairly easy win to project, given Chazelle’s victories in all of the major competitions leading up to the Oscars. I still would have preferred Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight,” but the victor clearly had the momentum behind him coming into the Oscars, and it held firm in the end.

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Copyright © 2017, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.

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