February 23

James A. Molnar: Gold Knight’s Oscar predictions

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By James A. Molnar

When the golden envelopes are opened Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre, there could be more than one surprise awaiting the audience at the 89th Academy Awards.
Will one film — “La La Land” — break records and leave the night with double-digit Oscars? Or will a few dark horses waiting in the wings steal the most nominated film’s thunder?

The movie musical does seem to have a majority of its categories locked, including Picture, Director, Actress, Cinematography, Editing, both music categories and Production Design. That’s eight Oscars right there. The rest of the categories in which the film is nominated  — five, if you’re keeping track — may not go its way.

That may sound dramatic, but Oscar Sunday always has the ability to surprise and excite over certain categories. There are 6,687 voting members of the Academy, with 683 newly invited members. Forty percent of the new members are international — from more than 50 different countries. Those new members could impact the final vote.

Quite a few of the top nominated films could walk away empty handed or, if lucky, with one or two wins. “Arrival” seems to be in the former slot – zero wins out of eight possible. “Moonlight,” however, should pick up at least one win with Mahershala Ali for Supporting Actor. Other categories may fall its way, if the voters want to share the love.

Manchester by the Sea” is looking to pick up at least one Oscar as well, whether it’s for Lead Actor Casey Affleck — I predict Denzel Washington for “Fences” — or Original Screenplay, which could go to “La La Land.”

We’ll all find out Sunday night. In the meantime, we’re here to help you win your Oscar pool or ballot  contest.

When the golden envelopes are opened Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre, there could be more than one surprise awaiting the audience at the 89th Academy Awards.

Will one film — “La La Land” — break records and leave the night with double-digit Oscars? Or will a few dark horses waiting in the wings steal the most nominated film’s thunder?

The movie musical does seem to have a majority of its categories locked, including Picture, Director, Actress, Cinematography, Editing, both music categories and Production Design. That’s eight Oscars right there. The rest of the categories in which the film is nominated — five, if you’re keeping track — may not go its way.

That may sound dramatic, but Oscar Sunday always has the ability to surprise and excite over certain categories. There are 6,687 voting members of the Academy, with 683 newly invited members. Forty percent of the new members are international — from more than 50 different countries. Those new members could impact the final vote.

Quite a few of the top nominated films could walk away empty handed or, if lucky, with one or two wins. “Arrival” seems to be in the former slot – zero wins out of eight possible. “Moonlight,” however, should pick up at least one win with Mahershala Ali for Supporting Actor. Other categories may fall its way, if the voters want to share the love.

“Manchester by the Sea” is looking to pick up at least one Oscar as well, whether it’s for Lead Actor Casey Affleck — I predict Denzel Washington for “Fences” — or Original Screenplay, which could go to “La La Land.”

We’ll all find out Sunday night. In the meantime, we’re here to help you win your Oscar pool or ballot contest.

Here are my final predictions (and the possible spoilers):

Link to printable 2017 Oscar ballot

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