It’s that time of year again! Oscar Season! The Academy Awards get handed out a week from today and that means that we have to fill out our best guesses for who wins what.

Please, no wagering unless it is legal in your jurisdiction to do so.

We’ll start with the most interesting ones: Best Supporting Role

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

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

For these, there are generally two ways that they pick to hand these out. The first is to look for which movies got the word “harrowing” to show up the most times in their reviews. The second is to look to see who has been nominated 2-3 times before but never won anything.

As such, I’m going with Michelle Williams for Best Supporting Actress. I was going to jump on Jeff Bridges for Best Supporting Actor but, ah-ha! He *WON* in 2010 for Crazy Heart! So he’s not going to win it this year. Since I think that Michelle Williams will win Best Supporting Actress, I’m stuck with guessing whether Manchester by the Sea will be one that sweeps at the Oscars or if we’re going to have another year with 4-5 different winners for the top 4-5 different categories. Let’s say it’s the latter. So Lucas Hedges is out, we’re stuck with Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, or Michael Shannon. Checking out the Wikipedia entries for these films, which seems the most harrowing? Looks like Lion. Dev Patel it is.

Without getting into politics, I’ll just say that the next set, Best Actress/Best Actor, has all sorts of dynamics.

Best Actress:

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

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

The main question is the extent to which the judges will be considering what will be said on the day after the awards are handed out as they are filling out their voting cards. This isn’t a “well, I have to vote for *THIS* person” dynamic, I think, as much as a “Well, I can’t vote for *THAT* person…” dynamic.

I’m going to guess that it’d be Natalie Portman for Best Actress and I’m torn between Denzel Washington and Andrew Garfield for Best Actor. Denzel has won for Glory and Training Day before, though… which might give Andrew Garfield a leg up.

(Of course, if the judges at home are assuming that everyone else will be voting their conscience and that gives them room to vote for their own guilty pleasures, it’ll be Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.)

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

When it comes to “Best Picture”, the main rule of thumb I have is “which one celebrates an idea of Hollywood?” and that gets me to say “La La Land”.

So… what are your picks?

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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7 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. Octavia Spencer was the best part of Hidden Figures. Her one scene with Kirsten Dunst toward the end totally p0wned. (& I didn’t recognize that was Kirsten Dunst till the credits rolled). Given that and that Octavia Spencer is in every movie this coming year based on the current movie sneak preview package, I’m giving the edge to Spencer for the Oscar.


    • They *DID* give Best Actress to Brie Larson last year… so that may provide a year’s respite to the “Harrowing” requirement.

      (And Leonardo winning for his scene with the bear probably seals that particular deal.)

      Okay. I’m on board.


  2. I agree with you on the fact that Hollywood loves, above all else, movies about Hollywood, but this is the year the voters may become genre savy and so give Best Pic to Manchester by the Sea (with the dark horse being Lion)


    • Genre Savvy is one of those really tough things to distribute, though. It’s too easy to say “well, since everybody else is going to vote for Manchester by the Sea, it’s okay for me to vote for this… one vote won’t make a difference…”

      But now we’re getting into dangerous political waters so I’ll stop there.


      • To be clear the only movies I’ve seen in any of the categories you listed were Hidden Figures and La La Land. My take is otherwise based on trailers, reviews, and reputation of the rest (and using the two movies I have seen as an instrument alignment)

        Just from the trailers and the genre (and past performances), I’m really surprised Manchester by the Sea is getting as good as reviews as it has and by all accounts, has the inside track. Especially since ‘stories about white working class Massachusetts(?)’ seem someone over represented in Hollywood (even putting aside Marky Mark and Damfleck.) But maybe that’s also why Moonlight (not Lion, I’m not sure why I wrote that above) has the edge as the ‘serious’ movie and thus Best Pic.


  3. Have been buried deep in book-land this week. Read Neil Gaiman’s new book Norse Mythology, Iain Pears Arcadia, and Elsa Heart’s The White Mirror. High recommendations for the first two, medium recommendation for the latter.

    I’ve just started Tomm Bissel’s Apostle, which so far is fascinating. It’s a combination history lesson, theology review, and travelogue by a lapsed Catholic who visits the supposed tomb of each of the twelve Apostles. I’ve also started A Field Guide to Lies, which is sort of like a more modern version of the classic A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper for the internet age. Finally, I’ve started both Jane Eyre and The Wild Sargasso Sea, which I ‘m trying to read somewhat simultaneously (for obvious reasons).

    As far as watching, I’ve (barely) started The Young Pope, which is bloody gorgeous. I am not yet sure I fully understand it, but am enjoying the journey nonetheless.


  4. Finally (already knowing it’s been canceled) started watching Timeless. It’s really good (battling time travel operatives) and you can watch it for free on the NBC website – too late to affect the cancelation but maybe Netflix will pick it up…

    Been reading a lot of comics, most notably the first volume of Hickman’s Manhattan Projects, which is… demented. And awful. And fabulous.


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