By Matt Neglia
One acting category is pretty much locked at this year's Oscars unless if Hell were prepared to freeze over. The other three categories have their favorites but present some unique scenarios which may or may not play out. This is my in-depth analysis of the acting categories for the 89th Academy Awards and who I predict will ultimately walk away with Oscar gold.
Click below to read my in-depth analysis.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actress...
Viola Davis - "Fences"
Naomie Harris - "Moonlight"
Nicole Kidman - "Lion"
Octavia Spencer - "Hidden Figures"
Michelle Williams - "Manchester By The Sea"
This is one of those races that there is no need for us to even break out the stats. This Oscar is going to Viola Davis. I pity the individual who ends up beating her if god forbid, that happens. It would most likely go down as one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history.
Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Hudson, Mo'Nique, Octavia Spencer, Anne Hathaway and Patricia Arquette are the people who have won the Critics Choice, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG and all of them went on to win the Oscar. No one, since the introduction of SAG back in 1994, has ever gone on to win all of those awards and lose the Oscar. This is Viola's year. She deserves it. And it's going to be sweet.
PREDICTED WINNER: Viola Davis - "Fences"
RUNNER UP: Naomi Harris - "Moonlight"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actor...
Mahershala Ali - "Moonlight"
Jeff Bridges - "Hell Or High Water"
Lucas Hedges - "Manchester By The Sea"
Dev Patel - "Lion"
Michael Shannon - "Nocturnal Animals"
And now it starts to get tougher. Here, for Best Supporting Actor we are going to break out the stats for Critics Choice, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG wins since SAG first came to be in 1994 and see how they all translated to the Oscar.
This is an odd year for Best Supporting Actor. Mahershala Ali did a near critics sweep throughout the whole season which many did not expect. He has taken a total 34 wins throughout the season including Critics Choice and SAG which has worked out only once in favor of Cuba Gooding Jr. back in 1996 who also similarly lost the Golden Globe and BAFTA to two different people. Many feel that a win for Ali here is a way to represent the film "Moonlight" in case it loses Best Adapted Screenplay. Ali also gave a moving speech at SAG which did a lot to help raise his profile with his "I'm a Muslim" proclamation. However, that could have also created some backlash with some voters as well. Let's take a look to see if his competition makes a more compelling argument...
The one who people keep looking to for an upset is Dev Patel in "Lion." After winning the BAFTA, the only people since 1994 to win only the BAFTA and go on to win the Oscar have been Alan Arkin and Mark Rylance. Both films were nominated for Best Picture which Patel's film is and "Lion" has had a groundswell recently with a lot of backing from Harvey Weinstein. Many expect it could squeeze out at least one win and this is the most likely place for it to happen. If people think "Moonlight" is safe in Adapted Screenplay and feel like spreading the wealth, they may go towards Dev Patel here. However, Patel is still young, while Ali is in his early 40's. While there is no guarantee that either will come back for another nomination, I'd bet that Patel has the better chance than Ali does there. It's a lot harder than we initially thought. Ali is featured heavily in the first part of "Moonlight" while Patel is featured in the last part of "Lion." You could flip a coin but I'd argue it's 60-40 Ali.
PREDICTED WINNER: Mahershala Ali - "Moonlight"
RUNNER UP: Dev Patel - "Lion"
Here are the nominees for Best Actress...
Isabelle Huppert - "Elle"
Ruth Negga - "Loving"
Natalie Portman - "Jackie"
Emma Stone - "La La Land"
Meryl Streep - "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Now it's about to get ugly. Best Actress feels like it's signed sealed and delivered for Emma Stone in "La La Land." After winning the Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA, she seems unstoppable. However, there has been talk of a potential upset from Isabelle Huppert in "Elle" which was not eligible for BAFTA and was not nominated at SAG. Let's take a look at the stats and see if they reveal any trends here.
Since the SAG has been around, they have correctly predicted the winner for Best Actress 16/22 times (73%). The BAFTA has gotten the winner right 11/22 times (50%). The Golden Globe Comedy/Musical Actress winner has gone on to win 5/22 times (23%). Even though the Golden Globe Drama Actress winner has gone on to win the Oscar 13/22 times (59%), the only time the winner for just the Golden Globe and nothing else has gone on to win the Oscar has only happened once and that was for Jessica Lange in "Blue Sky" in 1994.
Quite frankly, the odds simply favor Stone. No winner of the Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA has gone on to lose the Oscar. If she did lose to Isabelle Huppert (Who, to her credit has also won the most critics awards), it would be because they saw that Emma was still relatively young and she would have another opportunity to win again, while this would represent a career win for the 63 year old legendary French actress. As much as I would love to see Huppert get awarded for her entire career, "Elle" is a controversial film for many, while "La La Land" remains the safe choice. I would also argue that Natalie Portman has just as much of a chance of winning here as Ryan Gosling does in Best Actor, which we'll get to in a second.
PREDICTED WINNER: Emma Stone - "La La Land"
RUNNER UP: Isabelle Huppert - "Elle"
And finally, here are the nominees for Best Actor...
Casey Affleck - "Manchester By The Sea"
Andrew Garfield - "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ryan Gosling - "La La Land"
Viggo Mortensen - "Captain Fantastic"
Denzel Washington - "Fences"
Remember Sean Penn vs. Bill Murray? Or Sean Penn again vs. Mickey Rourke? How about Eddie Redmayne vs. Michael Keaton? Well, guess what? We're here again folks. Best Actor is a coin flip. Let's see what the stats say...
While there has never been a moment since SAG has been around that the Critics Choice/Golden Globe/BAFTA Best Actor winner has lost the Oscar to the SAG winner, there has been a time when a performance swept all of the 4 major awards and still went on to lose the Oscar. Russell Crowe lost in 2001 for his performance in "A Beautiful Mind" to...you guessed it, Denzel Washington for "Training Day." Back then, the voting period was longer and the Oscars were held later which allowed for...stuff to happen. Russell Crowe got in trouble for roughing up someone at the BAFTA's and the rest is history. Casey Affleck finds himself in a similar situation this year where a sexual harassment charge from his time making the documentary "I Am Not Here" threatens to derail his Oscar chances.
We have said all season that Affleck would win the majority of critics awards, which he did, and this was surprising as he became the most awarded actor of the season with 40 different award wins. We also said that when the televised awards started that Affleck would still probably win Critics Choice, but then go on to lose Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA to Denzel Washington. Well, Affleck beat Washington at Golden Globe and won the BAFTA because Denzel was not nominated. Denzel did take the SAG which many expected but the question is, did he take it for the right reasons? Did he win because he had never won a SAG before? Or did he win because people like Denzel's performance more? Or, (And in what might be deciding factor here) did he win because simply like Denzel more?
Denzel Washington is one of the most acclaimed actors of our generation. Already a two time Oscar winner, should he win this Sunday he will join a small and illustrious group of people who have ever won three Oscars before and he will become the first African American to do so. An icon to an entire generation of actors and filmgoers, if anyone deserves this distinction, it's Denzel. "Manchester By The Sea" may have more fans than "Fences" does, but the fact remains that Denzel is simply more liked than Casey is. Denzel has also been campaigning hard all awards season while Affleck is trying to keep a low profile. Affleck has had 3 chances to get up on stage and charm the crowd with a speech and he has mumbled his way through them every time. The long beard and hair have also not helped on the awards season trail. Denzel's SAG speech charmed the room and reminded people how much they love him as a performer even if the character he plays in "Fences" is as unlikable as Affleck is perceived to be in this town. People however, sympathize with Affleck's character in "Manchester By The Sea" and in a year where even Mel Gibson could get a nomination for Best Director, perhaps the Academy will be more forgiving towards Affleck and he will continue to sweep through the season without the SAG win.
That SAG win however, is extremely important. As you could see above, SAG has only ever gotten this category wrong 4/22 times. It has an 82% success rate. Nobody has yet to win just SAG, SAG only, and still win the Oscar. There is a lot at play here but the one thing I keep going back to in my mind is the image of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis smiling together and holding each of their Oscars up proudly for the deserved work that they did together. It may be the toughest call of the night, but my gut tells me its Denzel.
PREDICTED WINNER: Denzel Washington - "Fences"
RUNNER UP: Casey Affleck - "Manchester By The Sea"
So what do you think? Which performances are you predicting to win the acting categories? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.
You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture
Roma (25) - AACTA, AWFJ, BAFTA, CC, CFCA, DFCS, KCFCC, LAFCA, LEJA, LFCC, LVFCS, MCFCA, NCFCA, NYFCC, NYFCO, OAFFC, OFCC, OFCS, PFCC, SEFCA, SFCS, SFFCC, TFCA, VFCS, WAFCA
The Favourite (8) - AFCC, BIFA, FFCC, GALECA, HFCS, IFCA, KCFCC, PCC
Green Book (8) - AARP, GG, NBR, NFCS, NTFCA, OSCAR, PFCS, PGA
If Beale Street Could Talk (7) - AFCA, BSFC, CIFCC, COFCA, GWNYFCA, IPA, SPIRIT
A Star Is Born (5) - DFCC, DFWFCA, GFCA, IPA, StLFCA
Black Panther (4) - AAFCA, BFCC, CIFCC, SAG
The Hate U Give (2) - IFJA, LAOFCS
The Rider (2) - IFP, NSFC
BlacKkKlansman - IPA
Bohemian Rhapsody - GG
Cold War - EFA
Eighth Grade - DFCS
Leave No Trace - SDFCS
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse - UFCA
You Were Never Really Here - BOFCA
Alfonso Cuaron (39) - AACTA, AFCC, AWFJ, BAFTA, CC, CFCA, COFCA, DFCC, DFCS, DFWFCA, DGA, FFCC, GALECA, GFCA, GG, HFCS, IFCA, IFJA, IPA, KCFCC, LEJA, LFCC, LVFCS, NCFCA, NSFC, NTFCA, NYFCC, NYFCO, OAFFC, OFCC, OFCS, OSCAR, PCC, PFCS, SEFCA, SFCS, TFCA, UFCA, WAFCA
Spike Lee (6) - AARP, CIFCC, LAOFCS, NFCS, SFFCC, StLFCA
Lynne Ramsey (5) - BOFCA, BSFC, LAOFCS, MCFCA, OAFFC
Barry Jenkins (4) - AFCA, GWNYFCA, PFCC, SPIRIT
Bo Burnham (2) - DGA, IFP
Ryan Coogler (2) - AAFCA, BFCC
Debra Granik (2) - LAFCA, SDFCS
Bradley Cooper - NBR
Yorgos Lanthimos - BIFA
Adam McKay - DFCS
Pawel Pawlikowski - EFA
Paul Schrader - VFCS
Ethan Hawke (34) - AFCA, AFCC, AWFJ, BOFCA, CFCA, CIFCC, DFCS, DFCS, GALECA, GFCA, GWNYFCA, IFJA, IFP, KCFCC, LAFCA, LFCC, LVFCS, NCFCA, NSFC, NYFCC, NYFCO, OFCC, OFCS, PCC, SEFCA, SDFCS, SFCS, SFFCC, SPIRIT, StLFCA, TFCA, UFCA, VFCS, WFCC
Rami Malek (10) - AACTA, BAFTA, GG, IFCA, IPA, LAOFCS, OAFFC, OSCAR, NTFCA, SAG
Christian Bale (8) - CC, DFWFCA, GG, HFCS, KCFCC, MCFCA, NFCS, PFCC
Bradley Cooper (4) - BFCC, DFCC, LEJA, WAFCA
Viggo Mortensen (3) - AARP, NBR, PFCS
Joe Cole - BIFA
Willem Dafoe - IPA
Marcello Fonte - EFA
Ben Foster - COFCA
Joaquin Phoenix - FFCC
John C. Reilly - BSFC
John David Washington - AAFCA
Olivia Colman (25) - AACTA, AFCA, AFCC, AWFJ, BAFTA, BIFA, COFCA, DFCS, DFWFCA, GALECA, GG, IFCA, IPA, KCFCC, LAFCA, LFCC, MCFCA, NCFCA, NSFC, OAFFC, OSCAR, SEFCA, TFCA, VFCS, WFCC
Toni Collette (13) - BOFCA, CFCA, DFCS, GFCA, HFCS, IFP, LAOFCS, NFCS, NTFCA, OFCS, SFCS, StLFCA, VFCS
Glenn Close (7) - AARP, CC, GG, IPA, SAG, SDFCS, SPIRIT
Lady Gaga (6) - CC, DFCC, LVFCS, NBR, PFCS, WAFCA
Melissa McCarthy (6) - BSFC, FFCC, NYFCO, PCC, SFFCC, VFCS
Yalitzia Aparicio (3) - GWNYFCA, LEJA, OFCC
Regina Hall (3) - AAFCA, NYFCC, VFCS
Viola Davis (2) - BFCC, PFCC
Elsie Fisher (2) - CIFCC, UFCA
Nicole Kidman - NFCS
Joanna Kulig - EFA
Amandla Stenberg - IFJA
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Richard E. Grant (24) - AARP, AFCA, AWFJ, BOFCA, BSFC, CFCA, CIFCC, COFCA, GALECA, IPA, KCFCC, LFCC, NFCS, NYFCC, NYFCO, OAFFC, PCC, PFCC, SEFCA, SDFCS, SFCS, SPIRIT, StLFCA, VFCS
Mahershala Ali (16) - AACTA, BAFTA, BFCC, CC, DFCS, DFWFCA, GG, HFCS, IFCA, LAOFCS, LEJA, NTFCA, OSCAR, PFCS, SAG, WAFCA
Sam Elliott (5) - AFCC, GFCA, IFJA, LVFCS, NBR
Michael B. Jordan (5) - MCFCA, NCFCA, OFCC, OFCS, SFFCC
Steven Yeun (5) - FFCC, GWNYFCA, LAFCA, NSFC, TFCA
Russell Hornsby (3) - AAFCA, LAOFCS, UFCA
Timothee Chalamet - SDFCS
Hugh Grant - UFCA
Josh Hamilton - DFCS
Alessandro Nivola - BIFA
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Regina King (39) - AFCA, AAFCA, AWFJ, BFCC, BOFCA, BSFC, CC, CIFCC, COFCA, DFCS, DFWFCA, GALECA, GG, GWNYFCA, IFCA, IFJA, IPA, LAFCA, LAOFCS, LEJA, LVFCS, MCFCA, NBR, NCFCA, NSFC, NYFCC, NYFCO, OFCC, OFCS, OSCAR, PCC, PFCC, SEFCA, SFCS, SFFCC, SPIRIT, StLFCA, TFCA, WAFCA
Rachel Weisz (8) - BAFTA, BIFA, DFCS, HFCS, NFCS, LFCC, OAFFC, VFCS
Emma Stone (4) - AFCC, GFCA, NTFCA, PFCS
Olivia Colman (2) - CFCA, UFCA
Nicole Kidman (2) - AACTA, SDFCS
Amy Adams - KCFCC
Sakura Ando - FFCC
Emily Blunt - SAG
Judi Dench - AARP
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BlacKkKlansman (12) - AAFCA, BAFTA, CIFCC, COFCA, DFCS, GFCA, KCFCC, OFCC, OSCAR, SEFCA, SFFCC, StLFCA
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (10) - AARP, AWFJ, BSFC, FFCC, IPA, LAFCA, PFCS, SPIRIT, WAFCA, WGA
If Beale Street Could Talk (10) - AFCA, BFCC, CC, CFCA, GWNYFCA, LEJA, NBR, NCFCA, OAFFC, OFCS
The Hate U Give (3) - IFJA, LAOFCS, PFCC
The Death Of Stalin (2) - NSFC, SDFCS
Leave No Trace (2) - LVFCS, USC
Black Panther - NFCS
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse - UFCA
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Favourite (19) - AACTA, AFCC, AWFJ, BAFTA, BIFA, DFWFCA, GALECA, HFCS, KCFCC, LFCC, NCFCA, NFCS, NYFCO, OAFFC, PCC, SEFCA, SFCS, TFCA, WAFCA
First Reformed (12) - BOFCA, CC, CFCA, IFJA, IFP, NBR, NYFCC, OFCC, OFCS, SFFCC, TFCA, VFCS
Eighth Grade (7) - CIFCC, COFCA, GFCA, SDFCS, SPIRIT, UFCA, WGA
Sorry To Bother You (5) - AFCA, BFCC, FFCC, GWNYFCA, MCFCA
Green Book (4) - DFCS, GG, OSCAR, PFCS
Vice (3) - DFCS, LAOFCS, StLFCA
A Quiet Place (2) - DFCS, LVFCS
Roma (2) - IPA, LEJA
Cold War - EFA
Roma (37) - AFCA, AFCC, AWFJ, BAFTA, BFCC, BOFCA, BSFC, CC, CFCA, CIFCC, COFCA, DFWFCA, GFCA, GWNYFCA, HFCS, LAFCA, LAOFCS, LEJA, LVFCS, MCFCA, NCFCA, NFCS, NSFC, NTFCA, NYFCC, NYFCO, OAFFC, OFCS, OSCAR, PFCC, PFCS, SEFCA, SFCS, SFFCC, StLFCA, UFCA, WAFCA
Cold War (2) - ASC, FFCC
The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs - SDFCS
The Favourite - BIFA
First Man - DFCC
U-July 22 - EFA
The Rider - SDFCS
Suspiria - SPIRIT
A Star Is Born - IPA
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Favourite (7) - BAFTA, BIFA, CDG, IPA, LVFCS, PFCS, SDFCS
Black Panther (6) - CC, CDG, CIFCC, LEJA, OSCAR, SFCS
Crazy Rich Asians - CDG
Dogman - EFA
BEST FILM EDITING
Roma (7) - AWFJ, CFCA, CIFCC, IPA, LEJA, LVFCS, PFCS
First Man (4) - AFCA, BSFC, CC, WAFCA
Bohemian Rhapsody (2) - ACE, OSCAR
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2) - OFCS, SFCS
Vice (2) - BAFTA, StLFCA
Widows (2) - COFCA, MCFCA
You Were Never Really Here (2) - BOFCA, SPIRIT
American Animals - BIFA
Cold War - EFA
The Favourite - ACE
Game Night - SDFCS
If Beale Street Could Talk - GWNYFCA
Minding The Gap - LAFCA
The Other Side Of The Wind - SFFCC
Searching - LAOFCS
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Vice (3) - CC, MUAHS, OSCAR
The Favourite (2) - BAFTA, BIFA
Black Panther - LEJA
Crazy Rich Asians - MUAHS
Dogman - EFA
Mary Queen of Scots - MUAHS
A Star Is Born -MUAHS
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
If Beale Street Could Talk (13) - BSFC, CFCA, CIFCC, COFCA, HFCS, IFCA, LAFCA, LAOFCS, LEJA, NYFCO, OFCS, PCC, WAFCA
First Man (7) - AFCC, CC, FFCC, GFCA, GG, IPA, PFCS
Black Panther (4) - DFCS, HMMA, MCFCA, OSCAR
BlacKkKlansman (2) - SFFCC, StLFCA
Isle Of Dogs (2) - DFWFCA, HMMA
Mandy (2) - AFCA, SFCS
Suspiria (2) - IFJA, LVFCS
You Were Never Really Here (2) - BIFA, BOFCA
Annihilation - UFCA
Mary Queen Of Scots - HMMA
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
A Star Is Born (14) - CC, DFCS, GFCA, GG, HFCS, HMMA, IFCA, IPA, LAOFCS, LEJA, LVFCS, MCFCA, OSCAR, PFCS
Black Panther (2) - AAFCA, HMMA
RBG - HMMA
Sherlock Gnomes - HMMA
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Favourite (11) - ADG, BAFTA, BIFA, CFCA, CIFCC, FFCC, GFCA, NFCS, PFCS, SDFCS, SFCS
Black Panther (8) - ADG, CC, LAFCA, MCFCA, OSCAR, SFFCC, StLFCA, WAFCA
Crazy Rich Asians - ADG
Isle Of Dogs - LVFCS
Mary Poppins Returns - IPA
Roma - LEJA
The Summer - EFA
BEST SOUND MIXING
Bohemian Rhapsody (3) - BAFTA, CAS, OSCAR
The Captain - EFA
First Man - MCFCA
A Quiet Place - IPA
Roma - LEJA
You Were Never Really Here - BIFA
BEST SOUND EDITING
A Quiet Place (2) - IPA, MPSE
Bohemian Rhapsody - OSCAR
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Black Panther (6) - BAFTA, CC, IPA, LEJA, NCFCA, PFCS
Avengers: Infinity War (5) - DFCS, LAOFCS, NFCS, StLFCA, VES
First Man (4) - CIFCC, HFCS, OSCAR, VES
Ready Player One (2) - LVFCS, SDFCS
Annihilation - FFCC
Border - EFA
Early Man - BIFA
Mission: Impossible - Fallout - SFCS
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (33) - AFCA, AAFCA, AWFJ, BAFTA, BFCC, BOFCA, CC, CFCA, CIFCC, COFCA, DFCS, DFCS, GFCA, GG, GWNYFCA, IFJA, KCFCC, LAFCA, LAOFCS, LEJA, MCFCA, NCFCA, NYFCC, NYFCO, OFCC, OFCS, OSCAR, PCC, PGA, SFCS, SFFCC, StLFCA, UFCA
Isle Of Dogs (13) - BSFC, DFWFCA, HFCS, IPA, LVFCS, NFCS, NTFCA, OAFFC, PFCS, SEFCA, SDFCS, TFCA, WAFCA
Incredibles 2 (3) - IFCA, NBR, PFCC
Mirai - FFCC
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Roma (41) - AAFCA, AARP, AFCC, AWFJ, BAFTA, BFCC, BOFCA, CC, CFCA, CIFCC, DFCS, DFWFCA, GALECA, GFCA, GG, GWNYFCA, HFCS, IFJA, IPA, KCFCC, LAOFCS, LEJA, LVFCS, MCFCA, NCFCA, NSFC, NTFCA, OFCC, OFCS, OSCAR, PCC, PFCC, PFCS, SEFCA, SFCS, SFFCC, SPIRIT, StLFCA, UFCA, VFCS, WAFCA
Shoplifters (5) - BSFC, COFCA, FFCC, LAFCA, SDFCS
Burning (4) - AFCA, GWNYFCA, LAFCA, TFCA
Cold War (4) - LFCC, NBR, NYFCC, NYFCO
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Won't You Be My Neighbor? (37) - AARP, AFCA, AFCC, AWFJ, BOFCA, BSFC, CC, DFCS, DFWFCA, GALECA, GFCA, HFCS, IFCA, IFJA, KCFCC, LAOFCS, LEJA, LVFCS, MCFCA, NCFCA, NFCS, NTFCA, NYFCO, OAFFC, OFCC, OFCS, PCC, PFCC, PFCS, PGA, SEFCA, SFFCC, SPIRIT, StLFCA, TFCA, UFCA, WAFCA
Minding The Gap (8) - CFCA, CIFCC, GWNYFCA, IDA, IPA, NSFC, NYFCC, VFCS
Free Solo (3) - BAFTA, OSCAR, SFCS
Shirkers (3) - COFCA, FFCC, LAFCA
Three Identical Strangers - (3) DFCC, DFCS, SDFCS
Quincy (2) - AAFCA, BFCC
Bergman - A Year In A Life - EFA
Hale County This Morning, This Evening - IFP
RBG - NBR