Everyone’s key prediction for the 89th Academy Awards/ OSCARS 2017 is, of course, that Donald Trump will take quite a kicking. #OSCARS


But that’s also a hope: without such podium fireworks, this might well be one of the most predictable awards shows ever, with showbiz ode La La Land laying waste to the evening.

And so, with that in mind, here’s our final tips for the silverware; a slightly more conservative bit of crystal-ball-gazing than that offered by official awards guru Guy Lodge, who probably has more of a finger on the pulse. So, if you’re still considering a trip to the bookies, best stick off with him.
Picture

Will win: La La Land


The appearance of late momentum for Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight (that board-sweeping at the Independent Spirit Awards, for instance) won’t be enough to dampen Hollywood’s love affair with the film which tells us nothing – nothing – is more important than becoming a really big movie star.
Director

Will win: Damien Chazelle


These two top awards tend to be as inseparable as Stone and Gosling. Plus, one has to give Chazelle credit for all that extra-wrangling. We’re also prepared to suspect Oscar voters will be charitable over the issue of Chazelle’s inordinate youth (he’s 32): encouraging and rewarding him, rather than jealously crossing any other box.
Actor

Will win: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Perhaps the tightest race on the slate is between the brother of Ben who plays a grief-stricken janitor in Kenneth Lonergan’s drama and Washington, who’s already won twice, and is in the running for his performance as an cross yet charismatic garbage man in Fences, which he also directed. The oomph has been favouring Washington in recent weeks, with a Screen Actors Guild victory following Affleck’s Globes win. But despite that, and despite the unhappy background of allegations against the younger man, we still think Affleck will scoop it.
Actress

Will win: Emma Stone, La La Land

Might the momentum just be with Isabelle Huppert, the never-before-nominated grande dame of Gallic cinema? We’d love it to be so, but we suspect too many in Tinseltown are a) gaga for Stone and b) turned off by Elle.
Supporting actor

Will win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Here’s the first lock-in that no-one disputes: pity every other supporting actor tilting for any kind of recognition this season.
Supporting actress

Will win: Viola Davis, Fences

And here’s the second. A few have whispered about Naomie Harris in Moonlight, but if Fences goes home with anything, it’ll be this barnstormer – even, perhaps, showreel – of a supporting turn.
Original screenplay

Will win: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Partly because voters won’t want to reward La La Land for too much, partly because its script is the weakest link – and partly because they see that recognition for Lonergan is long overdue.
Adapted screenplay

Will win: Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight


Here, sadly, will be Barry Jenkins’s consolation prize, shared with the writer of the unperformed play which he adapted. Even those who remain faintly sceptical about the film overall can’t fail but to be impressed by the writing here.
Animation

Will win: Moana

It’s funny, it’s popular, and in a year when only two of the nominees fall into that category, we suspect the cred of Lin-Manuel Miranda will edge this over Zootopia.
Documentary

Will win: O.J.: Made in America

Those who’ve cleared their schedules sufficiently to sit through the eight-hour epic all come back raving: a reflection of time invested, perhaps, but also the quality of Ezra Edelman’s brilliant study. This should ensure victory in an extremely strong category.
Foreign language film

Will win: The Salesman

Poor old Toni Erdmann had this in the bag until Donald Trump’s travel ban threatened the passage of Salesman director Asghar Farhadi, who then boycotted the ceremony. So many voters will be itching to lodge their unhappiness at the new administration, and a tick for Farhadi will be too sweet an opportunity to miss.
Cinematography

Will win: La La Land

Another one in the bag for Chazelle and co: that party scene alone will clinch it, despite the lower-key visual delights of the likes of Moonlight.
Editing

Will win: La La Land

Another another … unless voters see fit to throw a crumb to freshly-out-of-the-doghouse Mel Gibson, for Hacksaw Ridge.
Costume design

Will win: Jackie


Grabbing one back: the team behind the unconventional, underrated Jackie Kennedy biopic in which the togs aren’t just perfect, they’re essential.
Makeup and hair

Will win: Star Trek Beyond

Everybody who’s seen Swedish nominee A Man Called Ove raves about the make up. But so few have, the trusty pointy ears will swing it.
Visual effects

Will win: The Jungle Book

Unless the CGI resurrection of Peter Cushing in Rogue One proves just too irresistible.
Best original score

Will win: La La Land

If there’s one it really ought to win, it’s surely this.
Best song

Will win: ‘City of Stars’

Despite the wild egoism of the lyrics, this is one heck of an earworm.
Production design

Will win: La La Land

This is how the evening will be, just to warn you: endlessly reading the same three words, over and over.
Sound editing

Will win: La La Land

Got the idea yet? Though there is some light here with the dark horse of Arrival, which might just sneak in to grab this one …
Sound mixing

Will win: La La Land

… and, potentially, this one too. Probably not, though.
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