So it’s time for the final predictions in the last two categories, which, unsurprisingly, are not that suspenseful this year.
- Damian Chazelle, La La Land
- Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
- Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
- Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea
- Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Barring some kind of heretofore unknown resistance to him based on his age perhaps, Damian Chazelle is poised to become the youngest best director winner ever. He won the DGA, BAFTA, Globe, everything. But if there is a second choice, it’s Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins, who would be the first African-American to win this award. It’s a possibility- lately there have been more and more splits in Director and Picture, which used to be rare. But Chazelle is the undisputed frontrunner.
Winner: Damian Chazelle
Alternate: Barry Jenkins
- Hacksaw Ridge
- Hell or High Water
- Hidden Figures
- La La Land
- Manchester By the Sea
There’s not much point in picking anything besides La La Land. I have it pegged to win eight awards- I don’t think it will get more than that, but that would be the highest trophy haul for a BP winner since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire. I really don’t think this movie deserves that many Oscars, but the precursor tally is undeniable. I can’t even make an argument for anything else to win the big prize, since none of the guilds were split this year. Everything lined up for this movie- the guilds, the Golden Globes, BAFTA and the Critics Choice awards. It’d be amazing if anything else won.
Winner: La La Land
Alternate: Moonlight (the second most critics awards)
Dark Horse: Hidden Figures (the box office, cultural importance and affection for it as the public’s choice give it a slim chance)