Now obviously it is rather early to be naming definite winning predictions for any award but this article will at least serve as a guide to what I believe will be in contention for some of the categories at these award shows.
Now I could be completely off with all of this, so in two months if none of the films I name are even mentioned at the award ceremonies, please don’t walk up to me and say I’m stupid – my brain will be taking care of that anyway.
Firstly for Best Animated Feature.
I’m not going to pretend I don’t love a simple heart-warming children’s story.
However it is when these kind of films weave in some more developed adult message that they really have you blubbering as the credits begin to roll (that’s right Toy Story 3, I still haven’t forgotten what you did you me you beautiful callous bastard).
Now for this award I see it as a toss-up between three films from the last year.
The first is Zootopia, the film works as a simple tale of acceptance for children yet for adults shines a very revealing mirror at our troubling discriminatory society.
The film is beautifully written and quite simply brilliant, anyone who disagrees can fight me.
My only concern is that the film’s release in the US was February 2016 and March in the UK and will not be as fresh in people’s mind as some more recent animated features.
Disney however will not be placing all their eggs in simply the Zootopia basket as I see Moana taking this year’s awards by storm not simply for animation but for Best Original Soundtrack, Best Original Song with “How Far I’ll Go” and possibly, very possibly, Best Picture – now don’t quote me on that but it’s too early to rule it out as a possibility.
The dark horse in this race however is Kubo and The Two Strings, despite the fact that I still haven’t seen this yet, the stop-motion style of animation brought by the Laika studio has not failed to impress in the past, having won Coraline an Academy Award and a Children’s BAFTA in 2010.
I mean who knows really, Sausage Party might inappropriately jump from the back of the pack (of sausages, ayyy!) and orgy it’s way to the winning spot.
Moving on from food puns and orgies, Best Screenplay, both Adapted and Original, are rather essential when it comes to non-factual filmmaking.
I entirely realise that Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay are different categories but I didn’t want to predict a film as a front runner for Original Screenplay to then find out it was in fact based on a novella written by a homeless Venetian writer in the 17th century and look like a total burke.
Quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered with the effort involved in separating the films into the two categories so I’m rolling this into one.
Fences seems to be an obvious pick for the Adapted Screenplay nomination.
Originally a play and now screenplay by August Wilson, Fences focuses on an African-American family in the 1950s trying to get by as best they can despite some traumatic life events earlier in the central characters’ lives.
Directed by Denzel Washington and starring himself and Viola Davis among others, this adaption promises to be one of the more intense dramas from this year.
Another pick for this year’s awards is Arrival, now anyone that read my 2016 screen review knows I bloody love Arrival and will cut anyone who says differently.
Taking the premise of attempting to communicate with an alien race who arrive all over the earth and turning it into a film about humanity’s understanding of language and visual mediums was quite simply genius and deserves some sort of recognition during this year’s award season.
Another film that intrigues me for its script-writing potential is the 21st century war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, written by Jean-Christophe Castelli and directed by Ang Lee.
Focusing on Billy Lynn’s experiences after a widely media-covered battle in Iraq, the film should allow for the script to delve intensely into the horrific effects of PTSD as well as the media’s treatment of their named war heroes.
I also wouldn’t take my eye of Jackie, written by Noah Oppenheim, that follows Jackie Kennedy’s life at several significant point, the most notable being the hours and days following her husband’s assassination.
Nor would I forget to consider Tom Ford’s film Nocturnal Animals, an adaption of Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan.
Now normally I would spend a little time explaining the premise of Ford’s newest feature but having cast my eyes over a sypnosis I could not succinctly do so in less than 200 words as the plot is quite simply complex as hell, for lack of a better phrase.
Bringing our gaze to Britain for a moment I would also not disregard A United Kingdom, written by Guy Hibbert, as a BAFTA Best Screenplay contender. Which focuses on the real life relationship between Seretse Khama, the Prince of Botswana, and Ruth Williams Khama, a London office worker.
The premise holds potential to show how racism can work two ways depicting exactly how caucasian Ruth had to deal with extreme prejudices as a white woman trying to mary a Botswanian Prince in 1948.
Another possibility (although I’m not sure how much faith I have in the academy after last year’s shit show) for Best Screenplay is Moonlight, an LGBT film written by Barry Jenkins that focusses on one boy-come-man over three stages of growing up and coming to terms with his identity.
From trailers and clips I also do not rule this out as a potential nominee for cinematography and maybe even Best Film – again, don’t quote me, this is wishful thinking.
Finally, I believe Lion is in with a chance of taking the title.
Written by Luke Davies set in India and Australia, Lion depicts the story of a boy who loses his parents at young age and 25 years later faces the struggle of trying to find them, Lion hold the potential to be a moving tale about determination against adversity centring around the theme of family.
Now onto Best Performance predictions.
With the low number of films I have seen it’s hard to make predictions about performances I have not seen, for this reason I will just be naming both Males and Females who I have either seen do incredibly in a film this year or who I know to be starring in films yet to be released in the UK but who I adore as performance and am sure will play the role wonderfully.
First I am almost certain Amy Adams will receive at least one nomination, if not two, for either Arrival or Nocturnal Animals. The worry here being she gets nominated twice, splits the vote and so letting another actress slide up and take the title.
Viola Davis is another actress I have complete faith in. Fences is very much at the top of my cinema trip list and I’m sure Davis will be one of the film’s highlights.
Putting Suicide Squad out of our heads forever, Davis has proven on several occasions that she is quite simply not to be fucked with when it comes to very visibly losing her shit on cue. Fans of How To Get Away With Murder know well that Davis’ range is beyond description and if she brings even a fraction of the talent she took to Prof. Analise Keating I know her performance in Fences will earn her a nomination.
Emma Stone and Natalie Portman also shouldn’t be counted out of the race too early for their roles in La La Land and Jackie, respectively; the game is still very much in play in this category in my opinion.
Now for the males in the Best Performance, I admit I am fairly unsure what way it will go.
Tom Hanks seems like a shoe-in for his role as airline pilot Capt. Chesley Sullenberger in Sully.
Although the film and its message seems to be dividing opinion with critics and audiences alike, one thing that isn’t being debated is that this film contains yet another breath-taking performance from Hanks.
I would be rather shocked in all honesty if at least a nomination didn’t find its way to the actor.
From word of mouth I also say that Jake Gyllenhaal and Aaron Taylor-Johnstone are both in the running for nominations for their strong performances in Nocturnal Animals.
Joel Edgerton is also surrounded by online buzz right now for his role in the true story film Loving about the struggle a mixed-race couple face as they try to be married, cohabitate and have children in Virginia in 1958.
Now I openly admit I have not come close at all to make any informed predictions about Best Picture nominations, or any nominations to be honest yet simply with my own high expectation and own opinions I would like to see a few films in the running for the top billed award.
La La Land would personally make me very happy as so few musicals are even considered of quality enough to be academy award worthy and when they come along I want them to be praised. Also the film just looks infectiously fun, beautifully shot and well led by the two leads, Stone and Gosling.
As mentioned before Arrival is amazing and at this point I personally vow to never watch the Oscars until the day I die unless Arrival is nominated for Best Picture, that is all I have to say on that matter.
Moonlight also would be an incredible thing to win Best Picture as after a rough 2016, the LGBT community could do with a queer text taking home the big prize.
And finally simply because of my love of Tom Ford I would also put Nocturnal Animals in the running for Best Picture as the film looks complex, dark and so very violent – in an exciting “please don’t kill Amy Adams” sort of way.
If you have any films, actors or scripts you feel like should have made this list then… I dunno, find out what I look like and shout them at me across the atrium, does that work?
Brig’s award season coverage shall hopefully continue online so follow Brig Newspaper on Facebook for more articles (probably not quite as long as this one) for our writers thoughts an opinions of award worthy big screens hit from the last year.