Sure we are predicting that Emma Stone will get swept along by the “La La Land” juggernaut at the Oscars and win Best Actress. And that critics darling Mahershala Ali is a sure-thing to take home the Best Supporting Actor award for his scene-stealing performance in “Moonlight.”
But the Academy Awards don’t always go according to plan. Just ask Oscar champs Sylvester Stallone and Michael Keaton. Whoops, that’s right, these fellows didn’t win even though they were predicted to prevail for “Creed” and “Birdman” respectively. Instead, the academy went with British actors Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”).
Who could have the same fate befall them this year? In our survey (vote below if you haven’t yet), we listed a slew of possible upsets and your top picks so far were as follows:
Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) wins Best Actress despite odds of 11/2
This Gallic beauty is the Meryl Streep of the Caesars in her native France, racking up a record number of nominations. She has already won Best Actress from both the New York and Los Angeles film critics this award season and gave a charming acceptance speech when she picked up her Golden Globe for Best Drama Actress. Sure, Stone won over on the comedy/musical side that night and was delightful too. But Oscar voters may want to reward a veteran actress over an ingenue.
Dev Patel (“Lion”) wins Best Supporting Actor despite odds of 10/1
Almost a decade after starring in the 2008 Best Picture champ “Slumdog Millionaire,” this British import finally reaped his first Oscar bid. While his only win to date was at the BAFTAs in his native London, that was also the only prize that Rylance picked up last year before hearing his name called at the Dolby Theater. Patel certainly wins the award for best campaigner as he has worked tirelessly to promote his picture for months now, as has the film’s producer, the indomitable Harvey Weinstein. And given that the actor dominates the second half of his film, including a final scene that leaves audience in tears, he could well be the one that Oscar voters remember when filling out their ballots.
“La La Land” wins Best Original Screenplay despite odds of 7/2
Yes, “Manchester by the Sea” has led this race all season long. But playwright turned filmmaker Kenneth Longeran failed to prevail at the WGA Awards on Sunday. Instead, “Moonlight,” which had been classified by the guild as an original screenplay, won that race. While that film will contend over in adapted at the Oscars, Lonergan will have to fight off a challenge from another multi-hypenate, Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”). After all, they shared this award at the Critics’ Choice and Oscar voters may want to reward Chazelle as often as they can his sensational singular vision.
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 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.