The 89th Academy Awards… The Winners


Last night (or rather early this morning) marked the first time I was actually glad I had stayed up to watch the Oscars ceremony. For the most part, the ceremony was pretty predictable and I was annoying with Kimmel’s hosting (I always feel they should just announce the awards and stop doing a bunch of weird gags to keep the audience “entertained”) but by the end of the night something very surprising happened. This is mostly the post as I liveblogged it last night, but with my math checked and an intro and conclusions added in.

As a recap, my previous prediction averages are: 68% (2012), 80% (2013), 75% (2014), and 65% (2015).

I have pie, I have whipped cream… let’s do this Oscars liveblog thing. I’m just gonna jump right into it, and I apologize for any typos. Also I’m way too tired to do math so I feel like my averages are wrong. I’m too tired to stay up and fix it so this post will be updated in the morning!

Best Actor in a Supporting role….


Nominees: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight, Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals, Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water, Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea, and Dev Patel for Lion

And the Oscar goes to…. Mahershala Ali in Moonlight!

Yayyyyy!!!! I’m 1/1 so far! I’m so happy he won, and I’m also happy not to be surprised in this case, so my average is really healthy so far. And it means Moonlight is not going home empty handed tonight, yes! 1/1 or 100%.


Makeup and Hairstyling….


Nominees: A Man Called Ove, Star Trek Beyond, and Suicide Squad

And the Oscar goes to… Suicide Squad.

GASP! I was wrong! I predicted A Man Called Ove, but apparently I should have gone with a blockbuster that everyone hated? So now Academy award winner Suicide Squad exists in this universe. Okay….. New average is 1/2 or 50%.


Costume Design….


Nominees: Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, Jackie, and La La Land

And the Oscar goes to… Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

And I did not know Colin Farrell was in that movie, okay. I predicted Jackie, though not really based on anything besides personal preference. At least La La Land is not gonna completely sweep, not to undermine Fantastic Beasts’ win, congrats to them. I am now 1/3 or 33%.


Documentary Feature….


Nominees: Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, OJ: Made in America, and 13th

And the Oscar goes to… OJ: Made in America

I did predict this so I’m happy I got it right, but I’ve also seen it since I made my predictions and am pretty pleased it won! 2/4 so far, or back up to 50%.


Sound Editing….


Nominees: Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, and Sully

And the Oscar goes to… Arrival

Yooooooo Arrival yes! I was rooting for Arrival to win, not just because I love alien sounds, but also because La La Land winning as I predicted would be really annoying! It’s even more not sweeping now! Also I really loved Arrival (my number 3 movie of the year) and am happy it’s not going home empty handed. 2/5 or 20%.


Sound Mixing….


Nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Thirteen Hours

And the Oscar goes to… Hacksaw Ridge

I was really betting La La Land would win this because of the singing. It’s cool that one of the guys was nominated as many times a Meryl and is just winning now. But I also am a little sad I got this wrong and I think it might also be time for me to stop actively rooting against La La Land….? 2/6 or 33%.


Best Supporting Actress…


Nominees: Viola Davis for Fences, Naomi Harris for Moonlight, Nicole Kidman for Lion, Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea

And the Oscar goes to… Viola Davis for Fences

I’m so happy Viola won!!! That was a really great speech and really emotional. I really can’t say anything else except there were a lot of good performances this year but Viola really deserved it. And, my prediction average is a little bit better now. 3/7 or 43%.


Foreign Language Film….


Nominees: Land of Mine from Denmark, A Man Called Ove from Sweeden, Tanna from Australia, The Salesman from Iran, and Toni Erdmann from Germany

And the Oscar goes to… The Salesman from Iran

I love this presenting duo of Charlize Theron and Shirley MacLaine, I gotta say. I’m still kicking myself for not actually seeing The Salesman, but silly me, thought it would be running longer in my city. I’m pleased to see it win nevertheless. And now my predictions are about 4/8 or 50% correct, not too great but getting there hopefully.


Best Animated Short….

Nominees: “Piper”, “Borrowed Time”, “Pear Cider and Cigarettes”, “Blind Vaysha”, and “Pearl” 

And the Oscar goes to… “Piper”

I actually saw this one! At the front of Finding Dory which I actually saw in theaters. Weird. I didn’t predict it but maybe I should have, and congrats to Pixar.


Best Animated Feature…


Nominees:  Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, and Zootopia  

And the Oscar goes to…. Zootopia

I got another one right! I didn’t see any of the other nominees, which I’m disappointed in myself for, and while I don’t know that Zootopia is the best film ever it was pretty enjoyable when I saw it. Now I’m up to 5/9 or 56%.


Production Design…


Nominees: La La Land, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Arrival, Hail, Caesar!, and Passengers

And the Oscar goes to… La La Land

I really wanted Hail, Caesar! to win this, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I get La La Land winning, for sure, and this makes it its first win tonight. I’m sure it’ll get many more, and at least my prediction average is going up for now, 6/10 or 60%.


Visual Effects…


Nominees: Deepwater Horizon, Dr. Strange, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

And the Oscar goes to… The Jungle Book

I haven’t seen most of these and didn’t have much of an opinion on what won (though I’m happy it’s not the movie that included creepy CGI Peter Cushing), but I’m glad The Jungle Book won. Mostly because I predicted that it would. So we’re at 7/11 or 64%.


I actually think this thing of the movie presenters picking a movie they loved when they were younger and then the awards getting that person is pretty dope. Plus, it gives us Michael J. Fox, which is always good.


Film Editing…


Nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, and Moonlight

And the Oscar goes to… Hacksaw Ridge

Wow, that is surprising. La La Land strikes out again, and I’m wrong. Hacksaw Ridge is the only film here I haven’t seen, so I really can’t question the Academy’s choice, but I feel like it’s very unexpected…? 7/12 or 58%.


Documentary short subject…

Nominees: “Extremis”, “4.1 Miles”, “Joe’s Violin”, “Watani: My Homeland”, and “The White Helmets”

And the Oscar goes to… “The White Helmets”

I don’t predict this category because I know nothing about it, but congrats to “The White Helmets” team!


Live Action short…

Nominees:  “Timecode”, “Sing”, “Silent Nights”, “Ennemis Interieurs”, and “La Femme et le TGV”

And the Oscar goes to… “Sing”

Again, I don’t predict this category because I know nothing about it, but congrats to the “Sing” team!


I really am a fan of this presenting gimmick. I’ve never seen The Bridges of Madison County but Bardem spoke really impressively on it.




Nominees:  Bradford Young for Arrival, Linus Sandgren for La La Land, Greig Fraser for Lion, James Laxton for Moonlight, Rodrigo Pieto for Silence   

And the Oscar goes to… Linus Sandgren for La La Land

Ah yes, my favorite category! This year was a bit weird because I didn’t have a strong favorite out of these nominees for some reason I couldn’t really put my finger on. That doesn’t mean I don’t like La La Land‘s cinematography, because I do. I really feel like I gotta see it again after the hype dies down. Also a plus, shot on film whoot! 8/13 or 62%.


Original Score…

I'm rooting for Moonlight, but the award will go to La La Land.

Nominees: Jackie, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, and Passengers

And the Oscar goes to… La La Land 

Was not really my choice, but it makes sense because people associate the movie with music. I feel like it deserves song more…? Hopefully Mica Levi will get an award in another year, she’s writing some of the most interesting and effective scores in recent years in my opinion. 9/14 or 64%


Original Song…

I'm rooting for Natalie Portman, but the award will go to Emma Stone.

Nominees:  “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, “City of Stars” from La La Land, “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls, and “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story

And the award goes to… “City of Stars” from La La Land

I actually was technically rooting for this song, but I was also kind of rooting for Lin Manuel Miranda to EGOT. Oh well, hopefully another year. I do like “City of Stars,” especially compared to La La Land‘s other nomination. Unfortunately I’m down to 9/15 or 60%.


Aw man In Memoriam, time to cry. And she’s singing “Both Sides Now” and I love that song no…


There were so many celebrity deaths in the past year it’s impossible to sum them all up, but I’ll list a few of the amazing performers who’s work I’ve admired in the past: Gene Wilder, Anton Yelchin, Debbie Reynolds, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carrie Fischer. RIP.


Okay this films that inspired me gag does not need to be ruined by Kimmel talking about We Bought A Zoo. Also, I don’t care that they’re making fun of Matt Damon, but why are they making fun of Matt Damon so much? I’m missing something here I feel like…


Best Original Screenplay…



Nominees: Hell or High Water, La La Land, The Lobster, Manchester by the Sea, and 20th Century Women

And the award goes to… Manchester by the Sea  

I don’t agree with it, but I understand it and I predicted it, so that’s the most important thing. 10/16 or 63%.


Adapted Screenplay….



Nominees: Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Lion

And the Oscar goes to… Moonlight

I’m so relieved Moonlight won this award. Wonderful speech by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, and just an amazing achievement overall and I couldn’t be happier that the Academy recognized it as such. I hope it gets some more awards later in the ceremony, but at least it got this one and Ali’s no matter what. 11/17 or 65%.




Nominees: Denis Villeneuve for Arrival, Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge, Damien Chazelle for La La Land, Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea, and Barry Jenkins for Moonlight

And the Oscar goes to… Damien Chazelle for La La Land

In a twist that surprises no one, Chazelle becomes the youngest director to win this award. Congrats to him and me because I got that one right! 12/18 or 67%


Leading Actor…



Nominees: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea, Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling for La La Land, Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic, and Denzel Washington for Fences 

And the Oscar goes to… Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea

Noooooooo Denzel…… It’s weird that this turned out to be the most contested race of the night, at least from my point of view. I really thought Denzel had the momentum after the SAG win. Ah well, shows what I know. 12/19 or 63%.


Leading Actress…


Nominees:   Isabelle Huppert for Elle, Natalie Portman for Jackie, Emma Stone for La La Land, Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins, and Ruth Negga for Loving 

And the Oscar goes to… Emma Stone for La La Land

I didn’t really expect anything else to happen here, but I have to say again Portman’s was my favorite performance in this category. Congrats to Stone anyway though, and at least I got this one right. 13/20 or 65%.


Best Picture….


Nominees:  Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight

And the Oscar goes to…. La La Land

Congrats to La La Land! It wasn’t my favorite film of the year, but more importantly perhaps, it wasn’t my least favorite film of the year. I hope I really grow to love this film in the coming years, or maybe even it kicks off some more original modern movie musicals that I will absolutely love. I did really like La La Land though, and *record scratch*

WHAT WARREN BEATTY WHAT??!?!?! Apparently they gave the presenters the wrong envelope and Moonlight is actually the winner?!?! THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!


And the Oscar actually for real goes to… Moonlight

Guys, I know this moment is not about me, but my favorite film just surprise won the Oscars, and my favorite film of the year has never won the Oscars. I was hoping the Oscars might differentiate itself from other awards shows by picking Moonlight, though in the lead up to tonight that looked like more and more of an impossibility. This did turn out to be exactly what happened last year though; I thought the favorite was going to win against the more socially relevant movie, but the Oscars have been seriously stepping up their game. I can’t say how much it means for the Oscars right now to forgo the easy (on a story and content level, not on a technical level) and escapist choice and go towards one that tells a story that until now hasn’t gotten a lot of attention. I felt Spotlight‘s win last year was somewhat similar, though one has to admit that Moonlight is much more interesting on a formal level than that film (not to diminish the work of Spotlight which is still an amazing film). I’m kind of rambling now but I really love that Moonlight won!

I’m at 13/21 or 62%.

(This is written on Monday after the Oscars) As I said in my intro, this is the only year I was actually pleased that I put in the effort to watch the Oscar ceremony (except for probably the first year I did so, but that wasn’t because of what happened at the ceremony but just because I had actually watched it). It’s so heartening to see such a beautiful and meaningful film win, and it’s kind of a relief that I don’t have to consider La La Land as a relatively undeserving BP winner now. The Academy “getting it right” makes me feel more charitable towards both films. It’s of course silly to make a competition out of art, but the Oscars as a concept make a little more sense when you think of it as the film that Hollywood wants to represent itself in any given year. To have it hold up a unique film like Moonlight after the year we’ve had is incredible.

Also, what a great part of Oscar history that we’ve witnessed this year. It might be something that doesn’t mean much, but I’m glad I stayed up to watch that crazy random mix-up that happened. On some level it is a bit sad to imagine what the La La Land team must have felt going up there, but also I have to believe that Chazelle and company will be back in the years to come. It was also pretty much the classiest way an unfortunately mix-up like that could have been handled. As of the news right now, it seems just like an honest mistake that Beatty was given the wrong envelope, and while it is a bit unfortunate, it’s probably the closest we’ll ever come to see a tie for Best Picture in a way.

Meanwhile, in other news, here are my pre-written paragraphs about BP month:

Best Picture month was a pretty great success this year, unparalleled since I first started doing it in February of 2013. I reviewed 11 previous best picture winners on the blog, 7 of them new to me and 4 of them rewatches. I’m not going to rank them because they’re a pretty random group of films, but I will quickly sum up my thoughts on them.

I kicked off BP month with a rewatch of In the Heat of the Night, which was a lot better the second time around. Next came Cavalcade from 1933, which wasn’t an amazing film but I enjoyed for its historical context. Basically the same, but more on a technical level, with Around the World in Eighty Days. Annie Hall seems to get more annoying every time I watch it, but you can’t deny Allen puts worth an amazing style. The Broadway Melody may not be considered a great BP, but I actually really liked it’s roughness around the edges (and the novelty of it being pre-code). Out of Africa was a little disappointing as it didn’t really deliver on the scope for me, but Meryl didn’t disappoint by any means. The Great Ziegfeld was definitely the worst of the month, showing the weaknesses of both the year 1936 and the biopic genre in general. The Hurt Locker was one of the most impressive films of the month, a lean and direct portrait of the addictions of war. My rewatch of Ordinary People made me confront again how powerful the simple family drama can be. Another rewatch, this time of 1942’s Mrs. Miniver, again showed me a film with an interesting historical context, which gave the film a power that slightly outweighed its blatant propaganda. My blindspot review of Braveheart is coming up, but let’s just say I feel bad about judging it after my Netflix viewing.

In final conclusion, this Oscar season started out as a pretty safe, but became a wild and crazy ride. My average was historically low, which hurts my pride a bit but I much rather have an unpredictable Oscar ceremony than incredible knowledge and foresight. I ended up with a 62%, down even from my historic low of last year of 65%. For the second time, BP has been an upset. These are exciting times to be alive, people. (at least in terms of the Oscars, lol)

Here’s the final tally of awards: Despite its best picture loss, La La Land still comes out the victor of the night in terms of quantity, though not up to my original predictions. It wins 6 awards. Best picture winner Moonlight comes in second with 3 awards. Hacksaw Ridge and Manchester by the Sea come in third with 2 awards each. Suicide Squad, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, OJ: Made in America, Arrival, Fences, The Salesman, Zootopia, and The Jungle Book all bring home one award. Sadly, some films were sent home empty handed, including Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion, Jackie, Moana, and A Man Called Ove. All in all, this was a crazy Oscars ceremony everyone. No matter what your feelings on the results, we can all put it behind us and look forward to other great year and film (and hopefully another exciting awards season) in 2017.


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