Oscar expert Tariq Khan and Gold Derby editor Tom O’Neil often go at each other like furious sumo wrestlers when they disagree on predictions. That’s usually because Kahn loves to go out on thin, shakey limbs and O’Neil loves to slap him for it. But, beware: Kahn often turns out to be right. Where does he stand this year? See his predictions here and listen below to their latest podcast smackdown.
So can “La La Land” lose Best Picture? Well, no. It has a record-tying 14 nominations — only “All About Eve” (1950) and “Titanic” (1997) had ever earned that many — but Khan doesn’t think it will run the board the way many pundits do. He expects the academy to spread the wealth to “Arrival” for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing — they won’t want that eight-time nominated film to go away empty-handed. And he forecasts that “Jackie” will take Best Costume Design for having the most obvious and recognizable wardrobe.
O’Neil also gives Khan an opportunity to boast about Denzel Washington (“Fences”). Khan knew Washington would win the SAG Award for Best Actor while most of us were still backing then-frontrunner Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”). Affleck rebounded with a win at the BAFTA Awards, where Washington wasn’t even nominated, but Khan thinks the showy Washington performance will still trump Affleck’s subtler turn this Sunday night at the Oscars.
Another tight race in those top categories is Best Supporting Actor. Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) has been out front all season, but he lost the Golden Globe to Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals”) and the BAFTA Award to Dev Patel (“Lion”). Now Patel is a threat at the Oscars, but Khan thinks Ali’s winning combo of Critics’ Choice and SAG gives him the deciding advantage.
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.