BWW Experts and Stage and Screen Stars Pick the 2017 Academy Award Winners
Time is running out to get your 2017 Oscars Pool picks in, so we here at BroadwayWorld have put together a team of experts and stage and screen stars to help you in your prognostication.
The stars lending their acting and filmmaking expertise are Broadway and CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND star Donna Lynne Champlin; UNDATEABLE and the West End's Dewey Finn in SCHOOL OF ROCK, David Fynn; Broadway and CHICAGO MED star Patti Murin; and one of the stars of the new Broadway musical COME FROM AWAY, Caesar Samayoa.
Team BWW consists of BWW TV writer and Some Like it Pop co-host, Jennifer McHugh; BWW TV and Movie Managing Editor, Caryn Robbins, BWW TV and Movie Contributor Matt Smith, and BWW Senior TV and Film critic and Some Like it Pop co-host, Matt Tamanini.
McHugh and Tamanini also discussed the major awards on a special "Wish, Want, and Will" episode of "Some Like it Pop." LISTEN HERE:
TOTAL CORRECT PREDICTIONS
Champlin: 6 out of 11
Fynn: 3 out of 11
McHugh: 9 out of 11 | 16 out of 24
Murin: 4 out of 11
Robbins: 8 out of 11
Samayoa: 9.5 out of 11
Smith: 5 out of 11
Tamanini: 8 out of 11 | 13 out of 24
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
Nominees: "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
√Champlin: Rooting for "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" from LA LA LAND. "City of Stars" from LA LA LAND will win.
Fynn: I'm biased towards TROLLS because I'm working on the show for Netflix. So....TROLLS.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- "How Far I'll Go" (because obv...) | Will Win- "City of Stars"
Murin: I know "City of Stars" has been getting all of the attention for Best Song thus far, but I'm throwing my full support behind "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)." Just thinking about it gives me chills. Yay Justin and Benj!!!
√Robbins: I want "How Far I'll Go" to win, but "City of Stars" will.
1/2Samayoa: Come on!!!! LA LA LAND!!!!!!! HAS TO WIN!!!!!!
√Smith: Should Win- "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)," LA LA LAND | Will Win- "City of Stars," LA LA LAND
√Tamanini: While I wish that "Audition" would win, as I think it is a much stronger vocal and more emotional song, I think that it would be a massive upset if anything other than "City of Stars" ends up winning. Obviously, the two LA LA LAND songs could split the vote, clearing the way for Lin-Manuel Miranda to become the youngest EGOT winner in history, but I don't think that's likely. Personally, I would have likely favored MOANA in this category, had "We Know the Way" been nominated instead of "How Far I'll Go." Finally, I'm a bit disappointed that nothing from the fun and frivolous SING STREET got nominated. Either "Drive it Like You Stole it" or "The Riddle of the Model" would have been worthy inclusions.
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Nominees: ARRIVAL | FENCES | HIDDEN FIGURES | LION | MOONLIGHT
√Champlin: Rooting for HIDDEN FIGURES. MOONLIGHT will win.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- LION | Will Win- MOONLIGHT
Murin: HIDDEN FIGURES for the win.
√Robbins: I want MOONLIGHT to win, and I think it will.
√Samayoa: I really want MOONLIGHT to win here.
Smith: Should Win- HIDDEN FIGURED or FENCES | Will Win- HIDDEN FIGURES
√Tamanini: Every fiber of my theatre-loving being wants the inimitable August Wilson to posthumously win this award for adapting FENCES, and in doing so, achieve a fraction of the acclaim that he deserves. However, I think that the prize will go to another esteemed African-American playwright, Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for MOONLIGHT.
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Nominees: HELL OR HIGH WATER | LA LA LAND | THE LOBSTER | MANCHESTER BY THE SEA | 20TH CENTURY WOMEN
Champlin: Rooting for THE LOBSTER. LA LA LAND will win.
Fynn: LA LA LAND or THE LOBSTER
McHugh: Wish Would Win- MANCHESTER BY THE SEA | Will Win- LA LA LAND
Murin: LA LA LAND once again! It's just so, so good.
Robbins: I want MANCHESTER BY THE SEA to win, but I think LA LA LAND will.
√Samayoa: I hope MANCHESTER BY THE SEA is the winner here. Deserves every bit of acclaim it's getting.
Smith: Should Win- LA LA LAND | Will Win- LA LA LAND
Tamanini: HELL OR HIGH WATER is a smart, subversive take on the Western/Bank Robbers genre; MANCHESTER BY THE SEA is a brilliant study in minimalism; 20TH CENTURY WOMEN is a criminally under-recognized film; and THE LOBSTER, though I didn't appreciate the execution, is a chilling, thought-provoking concept. However, LA LA LAND's gonna win. Mark it down.
√Champlin: Rooting for Michelle Williams. Viola Davis will win.
√Fynn: Viola Davis. The trailer was enough for me. So good. So many boogers.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- Viola Davis | Will Win- Viola Davis
√Murin: Viola Davis should win this one, mainly as a reward for somehow following the plot of HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER from week to week. I mean, doesn't anyone realize that someone always ends up dead when this group of people are together??
√Robbins: I want Viola Davis to win, and she will.
√Samayoa: Viola Davis! I want Viola to win everything in every category ever....
√Smith: Should Win- Viola Davis or Octavia Spencer | Will Win- Viola Davis
√Tamanini: To me, this is the most stacked category of the evening. All five of the women nominated deliver an incredible performance, and while Michelle Williams absolutely broke my heart in MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, Viola Davis gave one of the best performances I have ever seen. So I hope that she wins and inches within a Grammy of having an EGOT. While I think that she will win, the only thing that concerns me is that, personally, I think that her role could have been considered in the Best Actress category, and Academy members don't often appreciate category jockeying.
Champlin: Rooting for Lucas Hedges. Lucas Hedges....(toi toi toi)....will win?
Fynn: Michael Shannon. Difficult to play a man that tough and macho, whilst also being vulnerable. One of the best actors in the game in my opinion.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- Mahershala Ali | Will Win- Mahershala Ali
√Murin: Mahershala Ali. I think I might love him.
Robbins: I want Mahershala Ali to win, but I think Lucas Hedges will.
√Samayoa: Mahershala Ali for MOONLIGHT. One of the most stirring performances of the season.
Smith: Should Win- Mahershala Ali | Will Win- Mahershala Ali
√Tamanini: I would be more than comfortable if any of these actors took home the trophy. However, for his work in both MOONLIGHT and HIDDEN FIGURES (not to mention Netflix's LUKE CAGE), I hope that Mahershala Ali wins, and I believe that he will.
Nominees: ARRIVAL | LA LA LAND | LION | MOONLIGHT | SILENCE
√Champlin: Rooting for LA LA LAND. LA LA LAND will win.
√Fynn: Tough to call. I'd lean towards arrival as it was so atmospheric and the cinematography was my favourite part of the movie. But it'll be hard to beat LA LA LAND.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- MOONLIGHT | Will Win- LA LA LAND
Murin: ARRIVAL all the way for this one.
√Robbins: I want LA LA LAND to win, and it will.
√Samayoa: LA LA LAND- L.A. has never looked better...
√Smith: Should Win- LA LA LAND | Will Win- LA LA LAND
√Tamanini: Let's be honest, very few of us really have any idea about what goes into the technical artistry of cinematography. To my untrained eye, ARRIVAL's stark, gray composition was a major factor in the film's overall feel, but because of the variations of styles and scenes (not to mention the locomotive of momentum), I will pick LA LA LAND to win.
√Champlin: Rooting for MOONLIGHT. LA LA LAND will win.
√Fynn: LA LA LAND. He's so young it makes me feel like I've wasted my life. I think he'll go down as one of the greats.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- Barry Jenkins | Will Win- Damien Chazelle
√Murin: I'm torn between Damien Chazelle for LA LA LAND and Denis Villeneuve for ARRIVAL. Musicals and aliens are equally challenging to direct, but let's give this one to Damien for dealing with the extreme enthusiasm of musical theatre actors in LA.
√Robbins: I want Denzel Washington to win for FENCES, even though he isn't nominated, but I think Damien Chazelle will for LA LA LAND.
√Samayoa: Damien Chazelle for LA LA LAND. I'm in the camp that loved EVERYTHING about this movie.
√Smith: Should Win- Damien Chazelle | Will Win- Damien Chazelle
√Tamanini: I saw ARRIVAL on November 9th, 2016, less than 24 hours after a certain decision that will remain nameless. Knowing that this "alien first-contact" movie was directed by the same man that did 2015's dreadfully dull SICARIO, I was apprehensive. However, Villeneuve's film was full of so many subtle nuances that I was overcome by its story of acceptance, patience, sacrifice, and communication. Ultimately, it was the exact thing that I needed at that difficult moment in time. Unfortunately, I think that Chazelle will win the award for LA LA LAND. While I have plenty of quibbles with his screenplay, his direction, especially visually, is superb. I also was disappointed that Denzel Washington's remarkable work on FENCES wasn't at least nominated.
√Champlin: Rooting for Meryl Streep. Emma Stone will win.
Fynn: Ruth Negga. Probably an underdog in this category. She's been brilliant in UK theatre for years and great to see her break through in the last year or so. Really understated, nuanced performance.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- Isabelle Huppert | Will Win- Emma Stone
√Murin: My BFF Emma Stone! I met her after CABARET and she was the nicest human ever, so I've decided that we are now best friends.
√Robbins: I want Emma Stone to win, and she will.
√Samayoa: Natalie Portman was riveting in JACKIE, but Emma Stone has my vote for LA LA LAND. She beautifully showed every aspect of "Making It" in this insane industry.
√Smith: Should Win- Emma Stone | Will Win- Emma Stone
√Tamanini: In terms of who I want to win this award, I am going with Emma Stone both because I am madly in love with her, and by process of elimination. I did not see Isabelle Huppert in ELLE; as much as I enjoy Ruth Negga in PREACHER, she was a bit one-note in LOVING; JACKIE is a disastrously bad film, despite a great performance from Natalie Portman; and I love Meryl, but getting her 20th nomination for Florence Foster JENKINS? Come on now. So I think and hope that Emma wins her first Academy Award.
Champlin: Rooting for Viggo Mortensen. Ryan Gosling will win.
Fynn: Vigo Mortensen. Brilliant actor. Brilliant performance. That is all.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- Denzel Washington | Will Win- Casey Affleck
Murin: I want to say that Denzel Washington is going to take this one, even though Ryan Gosling should win just for being the best Ryan Gosling in the world.
√Robbins: I want Denzel Washington to win, but I think Casey Affleck will.
Samayoa: I loved Denzel Washington in FENCES on Broadway and thought his performance was just as riveting on screen.
Smith: Should Win- Denzel Washington | Will Win- Ryan Gosling
Tamanini: As I said above, I was a bit disappointed that Denzel was nominated for his masterful work behind the scenes of FENCES. However, he was rightly nominated in this category. I found his performance full of so many layers that Troy went from being a character to someone that I knew to actually feeling as if he was me. Washington's chief rival is Affleck, who has been hit with a bit of personal blowback. So, I am hoping and thinking that Denzel will win his third Academy Award.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Nominees: KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS | MOANA | MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI | THE RED TURTLE | ZOOTOPIA
Champlin: Rooting for KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS. KUBO will win.
Fynn: MOANA. Hands Down.
√McHugh: Wish Would Win- MOANA (because it's unequivocally better) | Will Win- ZOOTOPIA (inexplicably)
Murin: MOANA! Boom.
√Robbins: I want MOANA to win, but ZOOTOPIA will.
√Samayoa: Gotta be honest that I haven't seen all of the films but I LOVED ZOOTOPIA!
Smith: Should Win- ZOOTOPIA | Will Win- MOANA
√Tamanini: If I had my druthers, KUBO would win this one (and might have even been nominated for Best Picture), however, that is quite unlikely to happen. So, then I would default to MOANA, which is a gorgeous film with fantastic music that both leans into and subverts the classic Disney princess trope. However, I think that Disney's non-musical entry, ZOOTOPIA, is going to end up taking home the prize.
Nominees: ARRIVAL | FENCES | HACKSAW RIDGE | HELL OR HIGH WATER | HIDDEN FIGURES | LA LA LAND | LION | MANCHESTER BY THE SEA | MOONLIGHT
Champlin: Rooting for HIDDEN FIGURES. LA LA LAND will win.
Fynn: LA LA LAND. I'm an absolute sucker for the old studio musicals. This has that threaded through it with enough of a contemporary take to make it relevant to today's audiences. It's rare that you see such unpretentious joy nowadays in film and this made for a refreshing change! Also Gosling can MOVE!
McHugh: Wish Would Win- MOONLIGHT | Will Win- LA LA LAND
Murin: I would be committing treason against my chosen way of life if I did not vote for LA LA LAND.
Robbins: I want LA LA LAND to win, and I think it will.
√Samayoa: I felt like a kid completely engrossed in a grand movie musical during LA LA LAND but my vote is going to MOONLIGHT. A poignant, simple and exquisite movie - perfect for this time in history.
Smith: Should Win- LA LA LAND | Will Win- LA LA LAND
Tamanini: In our "Best of 2016" podcast, ARRIVAL was my favorite movie of the year. However, that is not the film that I hope wins this award. Instead, I will be pulling for FENCES to upset LA LA LAND, because it is rare that we see a classic play adapted for the big screen with such marvelous results. That being typed, I don't see any way that LA LA LAND doesn't take home the night's biggest prize.
Here are McHugh and Tamanini's remaining picks for their "Some Like It Pop" forced binge-watching wager.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Nominees: BLIND VAYSHA | BORROWED TIME | PEAR CIDER AND CIGARETTES | PEARL | PIPER
√Tamanini: I personally loved BLIND VAYSHA and PEAR CIDER AND CIGARETTES, but I believe that PIPER will win.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Nominees: ALLIED | FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM | Florence Foster JENKINS | JACKIE | LA LA LAND
Tamanini: I'm thinking that the period pieces will all cancel each other out, giving LA LA LAND's monochromatic costumes the win.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Nominees: FIRE AT SEA | I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO | LIFE, ANIMATED | O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA | 13TH
√McHugh: O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA
√Tamanini: As always, this category is stacked with incredibly powerful films, but O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA got serious Best Picture consideration, so I would be surprised if it didn't win.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Nominees: EXTREMIS | 4.1 MILES | JOE'S VIOLIN | WATANI: MY HOMELAND | THE WHITE HELMETS
√McHugh: THE WHITE HELMETS
Tamanini: I'm not going to lie, I haven't seen any of these, so based exclusively on synopses, I'll go JOE'S VIOLIN.
BEST FILM EDITING
Nominees: ARRIVAL | HACKSAW RIDGE | HELL OR HIGH WATER | LA LA LAND | MOONLIGHT
McHugh: LA LA LAND
Tamanini: War movies often do well in the technical categories, but I think the LA LA LAND train is just too strong, and that opening seen on the freeway is incredible; so I am going with the musical.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Nominee: LAND OF MINE | A MAN CALLED OVE | THE SALESMAN | TANNA | TONI ERDMANN
√McHugh: THE SALESMAN
Tamanini: TONI ERDMANN is getting a ton of love, including reports that Jack Nicholson will star in a Hollywood remake. So, I'm going with that.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Nominees: ENNEMIS INTÉRIEURS | LA FEMME ET LE TGV | SILENT NIGHTS | SING | TIMECODE
McHugh: ENNEMIS INTÉRIEURS
Tamanini: TIME CODE is my personal favorite here, because it is surprising and fun, but I think the message of ENNEMIS INTÉRIEURS (ENEMIES WITHIN) will carry it to a victory. Also, maybe I don't pay enough attention to this category, but it is weird to anyone else that all of the Live Action Shorts are foreign films?
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Nominees: A MAN CALLED OVE | STAR TREK BEYOND | SUICIDE SQUAD
McHugh: STAR TREK BEYOND
Tamanini: I know nothing about A MAN CALLED OVE, and there is no way that ANY Academy voter with a modicum of dignity is going to vote for SUICIDE SQUAD for anything other than a Razzie, so I'll go STAR TREK.
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Nominees: JACKIE | LA LA LAND | LION | MOONLIGHT | PASSENGERS
√McHugh: LA LA LAND
√Tamanini: I mean... really? LA LA LAND
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Nominees: ARRIVAL | FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM | HAIL, CAESAR! | LA LA LAND | PASSENGERS
√McHugh: LA LA LAND
√Tamanini: Toot toot, come on ride the LA LA LAND train, and ride it.
BEST SOUND EDITING
Nominees: ARRIVAL | DEEPWATER HORIZON | HACKSAW RIDGE | LA LA LAND | SULLY
McHugh: HACKSAW RIDGE
Tamanini: Remember what I said about war movies doing well in technical categories? This is where I think HACKSAW RIDGE gets a win.
BEST SOUND MIXING
Nominees: ARRIVAL | HACKSAW RIDGE | LA LA LAND | ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY | 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI
McHugh: LA LA LAND
Tamanini: Anyone who has ever seen a musical on stage knows how important Sound Designers are (#TonysCanYouHearMe), and this is the big screen equivalent, so I am sticking with LA LA LAND.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Nominees: DEEPWATER HORIZON | DOCTOR STRANGE | THE JUNGLE BOOK | KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS | ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
√McHugh: THE JUNGLE BOOK
√Tamanini: I have joked throughout the year about Disney's "live action" adaptation of THE JUNGLE BOOK was not actually live action, because other than Neel Sethi, who played Mowgli, there was nothing "live" about it. That being said, if you told me that director Jon Favreau taught wild animals to talk for this film, I probably would have believed you, so I'm going with THE JUNGLE BOOK.
The 89th Academy Awards telecast will air live coast-to-coast on Sunday, February 26, 2017 (8:30 p.m.ET/5:30 p.m.PT) on ABC. Be sure to visit BWW for live coverage of the 2017 Academy Awards, with a theatrical slant.
Also, stick with BroadwayWorld all weekend for in-depth Oscars coverage from a decidedly theatre perspective, including all of the winners, a live Red Carpet blog, a live-recap, video of all of the best moments, and more on Sunday night.
Photo Credit: The Academy Awards