Casey Affleck was seen as the front runner in the Best Actor category for his powerful performance in "Manchester by the Sea", after winning most of the critics' group prizes a year ago, but then Denzel Washington beat him in the Screen Actors Guild race for his performance in "Fences".
Huppert could eke out a win if some of Stone's votes go to Natalie Portman, whose portrayal of a bereaved Jackie Kennedy has been nominated for many awards this season, though she only won at a few more minor ceremonies. It is hard to decipher if the nomination process that the movies go through is fair, but O'Leary believes one thing for certain.
At the Grammys, by contrast, producer Ken Ehrlich came out before the show and urged award recipients during the broadcast to "say something important". One of the more memorable moments occurred in 1978 when Vanessa Redgrave won best supporting actress for "Julia" and used her acceptance speech to condemn the "Zionist hoodlums" that had been campaigning against her because of her pro-Palestinian views. If anyone can challenge him, it's Ryan Gosling ("La La Land"), but the Academy virtually always prefers poignant dramatic work over charming comedic work.
Though Katharine Hepburn would still have the most awards as a lead actor, Streep could match the legendary screen star's 35-year-old feat for most acting awards, period, with a fourth win for Florence Foster Jenkins. Give one to the kid. That same night, they will file inside to see what the 6,687 member Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chose as the best of film in 2017.
On the male side, Casey Affleck ("Manchester by the Sea") looks poised to take the award. Even if Hedges doesn't win, he's a talent worth keeping an eye on. The other nominees Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams all pale into comparison in front of Viola Davis's riveting performance opposite Denzel Washington in Fences. The Academy ignored her excellent performance in favor of another Meryl Streep nod.
What Will Win: "La La Land".
Prozac won't cut it after watching "Manchester by the Sea", but therapy might help. Any other year, she would be the clear-cut victor.
Of the original screenplays, the race is between Chazelle's "La La Land" and Lonergan's "Manchester by the Sea". But discounting any last minute surprises we would like to place our bets with Damien Chazelle. The timeless themes and rich, overlapping dialogue make it a literary masterpiece. "For a pick to win, I would like it to be Moonlight". Find out Sunday night. Sure, it's 467 minutes long and mainly about a court case that happened over 20 years ago, but it could be the greatest documentary I've ever seen. Recent examples include 2015 Best Picture victor Birdman, starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up action star; 2013 victor Argo, in which Hollywood producers are part of a Central Intelligence Agency plot during the Iran hostage crisis; and 2012 victor The Artist, about the end of Hollywood's "silent era".
Best Animated Feature "Zootopia"-though at times fun and carefree-focuses on big time issues like race, prejudice and social justice".
But Elle is a controversial film about rape, which might not do as well with Academy viewers.