OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2017: The race for Best Picture

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PART 7: THE RACE FOR BEST PICTURE

On February 26th, Jimmy Kimmel will host the 89th Academy Awards and it's time to make predictions. On this website, I've been tabulating all of the minor and lead-up award winners in all of the Oscar categories since last November on my 2017 Awards Tracker.  Those results have been my data trends to predict these winners.  In this seventh and final post, we have reached the top of the mountain: Best Picture.  I've said this through this entire Oscar prediction series and season.  Stick with me and I will win you your Oscar pool!


BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR

The nominees:  “Arrival," “Fences," “Hacksaw Ridge," “Hell or High Water," “Hidden Figures," “La La Land," “Lion," “Manchester by the Sea," “Moonlight”

AWARDS TRACKER DATA:  23- "Moonlight,” 22- "La La Land, 4- "Manchester by the Sea,” 4- "I, Daniel Blake,” 2- "Hell or High Water,” 1- "Hidden Figures,” 1- "The Lobster,” 1- "Arrival,” 1- "The Birth of a Nation”

Who was snubbed:  Ever since the Academy opened the Best Picture field to more than the traditional five nominees in 2009, it’s hard to really pout about snubs.  Nine is overcrowded.  However, I would gladly trade a few of the weaker nominees for films like “Jackie,” “Loving,” “Nocturnal Animals,” “A Monster Calls,” or even “Deadpool.”

Happy to be there- AKA "The First Cut":  From the ranks of my reviews and year-end list, the lowest performers are “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures,” and a coin-toss between “Arrival” and “Lion.”  The worst of the bunch is Mel Gibson’s exhausting and cliched war epic.  It has no business even being close to this field and conversation.  “Lion” loses the coin toss.  

The true finalists- AKA "The Final Five":  “Arrival,” “Fences,” “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and “Moonlight”  

Who should and will win:  In my prediction breakdown of the writing and directing awards, I called “Moonlight” the “most important film of 2016.”  I don’t retract that statement.  Most important doesn’t mean it’s the best.  That honor belongs to “La La Land.”  Combining fantastic production values with peppy performances and a bittersweet romance at its core, Damien Chazelle’s film has it all and does all of it well.  I have never bought into the pretentious backlash that a loud minority section of the audience has assigned this film since its debut and through the awards season.  I have vehemently defended the film all day and until the cows come home.  As I said in my review, this is the kind of movie where you will remember where you were, who you were with, and how you felt when you saw it the first time.  That’s how special this film is as an instant classic.


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