My annual Academy Award picks are back! Here’s a guide for tonight.

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land). Building off his momentum from Whiplash, Chazelle gracefully executed the toughest of directing jobs.

Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea). Who is the better thespian: Ben or Casey? The latter now outshines his older brother. But watch out for Denzel Washington, who recently emerged as a late favorite.

Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land). Natalie Portman and Isabelle Huppert will split votes from the Academy’s more avant-garde members, leaving Emma with the cookie.

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight). Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix will be in good company, upon this remarkable actor’s imminent victory.

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences). She too was stunning.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight. Its script, one seamlessly weaved body of ugly realism, will be studied for decades.

Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea. The manner in which Kenneth Lonergan drummed between chronological scenes and layered flashbacks, building emotional extent with every minute, is what distinguished this tragic story.

Best Cinematography: La La Land. ‘Tis crowned by an aura of vibrant artistry.

Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book. Similar to those of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Jungle Book’s visual effects conjured the magic to convince us that humans and animals freely talk to each another.

Best Score: La La Land. Moonlight’s score was more beautiful, but not as dynamic.

Best Original Song: City of Stars (La La Land). Naturally.

Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman. Toni Erdmann left the gates in front, but I’ll bet on The Salesman, a more dramatic racehorse.

Best Animated Film: Zootopia. Surprisingly, Disney trumped Pixar this time.

Best Documentary: OJ: Made in America. Whereas the glove did not, this chilling documentary fits OJ’s act of murder.


Moonlight. Previously siding with the astronomical favorite, La La Land, I, like my father Anakin, have converted to the dark side. Let’s see if Moonlight (watch it on Amazon Video)—a historic, devastatingly brilliant apex of film and its many rudiments—manages the biggest upset in Oscar history.

Let me know what you think. What do you agree with? What you disagree with? Got any further thoughts? Etc. Also, here are my top 10 films of the year.


My sincere apologies for the blog drought. I’m dealing with a vast slew of obligations—as I am applying to transfer universities (Boston University, my surprising favorite, but also NYU, Columbia, Brown, Penn, Northwestern, and The American University of Paris, so it’s quite a stressful ambition), juggling lots of schoolwork, and your typical college student personal issues—but I’m planning on posting more than I ever have once my semester ends and then continuing to increase the production rate for many years. I have 47 drafts chilling in my playbox (and also have solid foundations for each of my first two novels to come). Finally, as usual, don’t hesitate to keep me going with those likes, shares, and subscriptions. Thanks.