Movies

Who will win an Oscar? Who should?

photo illustration by ryan huddle/ globe staff

Who will win an Oscar? Who should?

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ith a record-tying 14 nominations, “La La Land” is poised to sweep the 89th Academy Awards, and there’s certainly precedent for its dominance — not only during this year’s prize season, where Damien Chazelle’s musical romance has collected a groaning board of bling, but also from previous Oscar years, given Hollywood’s penchant for rewarding movies about Hollywood. Navel-gazing from a pack of overpaid ego hounds? Sure. But also a fond and deserving tribute to a movie that proves they can still (almost) make ’em like they used to. That said, upsets are possible in the acting categories and elsewhere, and it’s by no means a sure thing that “La La Land” will at least tie “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic,” and “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” for the most Oscars (11) ever won by a single film. About all you can predict about next Sunday night is that the speeches are going to be on fire.

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PICTURE

The nominees: ‘‘Arrival,’’ “Fences,’’ “Hacksaw Ridge,’’ “Hell or High Water,’’ “Hidden Figures,’’ “La La Land,’’ “Lion,’’ “Manchester by the Sea,’’ “Moonlight.’’

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “Moonlight”

Shouldn’t BeHere: “Lion”

Was Robbed:“Jackie”

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Short of Donald Trump declaring it his favorite movie, little can stop the “La La Land” juggernaut in this category. Would it be presumptuous to suggest that “Moonlight” is the sharper, smaller, finer work, and possibly the one that will last longer? “Lion” is a crowd-pleaser but the weakest of the bunch; its presence here serves only as notice that Harvey Weinstein still can get a movie nominated. “Jackie” is the opposite — a prickly but brilliant piece of work, hard to like but easy to love.

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “La La Land”

Shouldn’t Be Here: “Lion”

Was Robbed: “O.J.: Made in America”

I stand by what I wrote in early September: “Last year’s ‘Spotlight’ victory is all the evidence you need that consensus is key when it comes to Oscar voting. And if there’s a stronger consensus pick than ‘La La Land’ . . . I’d like to see it.” Actually, I have seen one consensus movie that could have challenged “La La,” but it’s not nominated here. Someday the Oscars will stop ghettoizing documentaries; until then, cinematic triumphs such as “O.J.” can console themselves by double dipping at the Emmys.

DIRECTOR

The nominees: ‘‘Arrival,’’ Denis Villeneuve; ‘‘Hacksaw Ridge’’ Mel Gibson; ‘‘La La Land,’’ Damien Chazelle; ‘‘Manchester by the Sea,’’ Kenneth Lonergan; ‘‘Moonlight,’’ Barry Jenkins.

Rhode Island native Damien Chazelle, director of “La La Land.”
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/ file 2016
Rhode Island native Damien Chazelle, director of “La La Land.”

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Will Win: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Should Win: Chazelle

Shouldn’t Be Here: Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”

Was Robbed: Park Chan-wook, “The Handmaiden”

When and if Chazelle wins, he’ll be, at 32, the youngest best director in Academy history. For reviving the classic movie musical, he deserves it. For crafting a beautifully empathetic character piece about a life in the margins, so does Barry Jenkins of “Moonlight.” For sheer moviemaking mastery, so does “Handmaiden” director Park — but who would you bounce to make room for him? Lonergan, the guy whose talents are (arguably) more literary than cinematic?

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Will Win: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Should Win: Chazelle

Shouldn’t Be Here: Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”

Was Robbed: Ezra Edelman, “O.J.: Made in America”

It isn’t just that Chazelle directed a near-perfect movie lovingly incubated through many years of studio rejection. It’s that the Rhode Island native directed an impossibly perfect musical vision of Los Angeles, one that seduces right from an opening number intricately staged on the 105 freeway. Chazelle has already won the Directors Guild award; this year, director and picture Oscars will align despite many worthy competitors in this category – the least of which, by a wide margin, is Gibson.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The nominees: Casey Affleck, ‘‘Manchester by the Sea”; Denzel Washington, ‘‘Fences”; Ryan Gosling, ‘‘La La Land’’; Viggo Mortensen, ‘‘Captain Fantastic”; Andrew Garfield, ‘‘Hacksaw Ridge.’’

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Will Win: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Should Win: Affleck

Shouldn’t Be Here: Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”

Was Robbed: Adam Driver, “Paterson”

Some complain that Affleck just doesn’t do much as the grieving hero of Lonergan’s slice of life. Dude, he’s from New England! He’s repressed! We keep our miseries to ourselves and let them eat us from within! You want acting out, go talk to someone like Matthew McConaughey — what Affleck does is a stunning piece of acting in.

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Will Win: Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Should Win: Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”

Shouldn’t Be Here: Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

Was Robbed: Joel Edgerton, “Loving”

I’m one of those who complain that Affleck is just playing Affleck (albeit the mopiest possible version). Washington’s highly theatrical performance is more deserving of the Tony it already received, Andrew Garfield impressed more in “Silence,” and Gosling is just playing Gosling (albeit the McDreamiest possible version). Mortensen elevates everything about “Captain Fantastic,” but a nomination for Edgerton (yes, he belongs here, not in supporting) would have elevated the whole competition.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

The nominees: Isabelle Huppert, ‘‘Elle”; Ruth Negga, ‘‘Loving”; Natalie Portman, ‘‘Jackie”; Emma Stone, ‘‘La La Land”; Meryl Streep, ‘‘Florence Foster Jenkins.’’

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Will Win: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Should Win: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Shouldn’t Be Here: Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Was Robbed: Annette Bening, “20th Century Women”

Who doesn’t love Emma Stone? That’s like saying you don’t like air. Her emotions in “La La Land” are writ large on her face (if rather less in her feet); it’s a heartbreaker of a performance. Still, what Huppert does in “Elle” is acting red meat. Streep is glorious, but her rubber-stamp nominations tend to shut out other deserving actresses, like Bening or Amy Adams in “Arrival.”

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Will Win: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Should Win: Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

Shouldn’t Be Here: Ruth Negga, “Loving”

Was Robbed: Rebecca Hall, “Christine”

I love Isabelle Huppert, but this may not be the awards season for progressives to embrace her self-destructive rape victim. (Post-feminist? Please.) Stone is likely to win because “La La Land” is money and because she’s its doe-eyed Ginger Rogers, doing it backwards and in high heels, in LA traffic. But Hollywood loves it when an actor plays a real person, especially a Kennedy, so this race could actually be close. Meanwhile, it doesn’t get more real than Hall’s disturbing, sadly overlooked portrait of Christine Chubbuck, the Florida newswoman who shot herself on live TV.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The nominees: Jeff Bridges, ‘‘Hell or High Water”; Mahershala Ali, ‘‘Moonlight”; Dev Patel, ‘‘Lion”; Michael Shannon, ‘‘Nocturnal Animals’’; Lucas Hedges, ‘‘Manchester by the Sea.’’

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Will Win: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Should Win: Ali

Shouldn’t Be Here: Dev Patel, “Lion”

Was Robbed: Joel Edgerton, “Loving”

An actor of talent, imagination, and class, Ali is quietly mesmerizing as the mentor and unwilling role model in “Moonlight.” Patel gives a fine performance in “Lion,” but, c’mon, it’s a lead role. Better to give his slot to Edgerton, whose Richard Loving is a masterpiece of grudging, inarticulate honor.

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Will Win: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Should Win: Ali

Shouldn’t Be Here: Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”

Was Robbed: Dan Fogler, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“Moonlight” is a beautiful, important movie that voters want to reward. Ali gives them a way to do that without messing with the “La La” juggernaut (were there any supporting roles in that movie?), and he stands in for a superb cast that could have fielded all five nominees in this category. But I’d have bypassed the very green (sorry) Hedges to make room for the delightful Fogler, who was easily the most fantastic thing about “Fantastic Beasts.”

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The nominees: Viola Davis, ‘‘Fences”; Naomie Harris, ‘‘Moonlight”; Nicole Kidman, ‘‘Lion”; Octavia Spencer, ‘‘Hidden Figures”; Michelle Williams, ‘‘Manchester by the Sea.’’

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Will Win: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Should Win: Davis

Shouldn’t Be Here: Davis

Was Robbed: Lily Gladstone, “Certain Women”

Well, hell, Viola Davis has a lead role, too, and she tears into her screen-time opposite costar Denzel Washington. She’ll win and she’ll deserve to win, even if the statuette should say best actress. Gladstone is remarkable as a lonely ranch hand lit up with longing; too bad no one in the Academy appears to have seen the movie.

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Will Win: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Should Win: Davis

Shouldn’t Be Here: Nicole Kidman, “Lion”

Was Robbed: Elle Fanning, “20th Century Women”

Prepare to toast with coffee cabinets, the drink of choice in Rhode Island, if Davis, who grew up there, joins Chazelle in bringing home Oscar gold. Davis’s three nominations already hold the record for a black actress; she should win for this commanding and transcendent performance (her Tony feels more like a base layer), however mislabeled by the Academy. “Lion” is a half-decent movie; it’s just not the half that Kidman is in. Fanning deserves a nod for keeping pace with the criminally underappreciated Annette Bening.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The nominees: ‘‘Hell or High Water,’’ written by Taylor Sheridan; ‘‘La La Land,’’ written by Damien Chazelle; ‘‘The Lobster,’’ written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou; ‘‘Manchester by the Sea,’’ written by Kenneth Lonergan; ‘‘20th Century Women,’’ written by Mike Mills.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle

Should Win: “Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan

This could go either way. Either Oscar voters will be dazzled by everything Chazelle’s movie does, or they’ll acknowledge the precision dialogue and character development of Lonergan’s masterful “Manchester.”

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Will Win: “Manchester by the Sea”

Should Win: “Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan

Especially if voters bypass Casey Affleck, this may be their mash note to “Manchester.” Lonergan’s script is deserving of their love, but Sheridan’s meaty, muscular, thoroughly enjoyable “Hell or High Water” is more deserving of an Oscar.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The nominees: “Moonlight,’’ screenplay by Barry Jenkins, story by Tarell Alvin McCraney; ‘‘Lion,’’ screenplay by Luke Davies; ‘‘Arrival,’’ screenplay by Eric Heisserer; ‘‘Fences,’’ screenplay by August Wilson; ‘‘Hidden Figures,’’ screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi.’’

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Will Win: “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney

Should win: “Moonlight”

Another tough call. The Academy could honor the muted but daring triptych of the “Moonlight” script or they could opt for the more conventional but equally pleasing “Hidden Figures.”

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Will Win: “Moonlight”

Should win: “Moonlight”

A while ago this looked like a lock. But “Hidden Figures” and/or “Arrival” could give “Moonlight” competition, and the victor may come down to which timely message is most appealing to message-movie voters. Three-way tie?

ANIMATED FEATURE

The nominees: ‘‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’’ Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner; ‘‘Moana,’’ John Musker, Ron Clements, and Osnat Shurer; ‘‘My Life as a Zucchini,’’ Claude Barras and Max Karli; ‘‘The Red Turtle,’’ Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki; ‘‘Zootopia,’’ Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Clark Spencer.

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Will Win: “Zootopia”

Should Win: “Kubo and the Two Strings”

Conventional wisdom has Disney’s inventive can’t-we-all-get-along animal story “Zootopia” taking this category. Conventional wisdom may be wrong if enough voting members get a gander at the astonishing stop-motion origami-animation in “Kubo,” a Japanese fairy tale from edgy production company Laika.

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Will Win: “Zootopia”

Should Win: “Kubo and the Two Strings”

Inventive origami animation does not beat witty talking animals. Never has, never will, unfortunately.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

The nominees: ‘‘Land of Mine,’’ Denmark; ‘‘A Man Called Ove,’’ Sweden; ‘‘The Salesman,’’ Iran; ‘‘Tanna,’’ Australia; ‘‘Toni Erdmann,’’ Germany.

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Will Win: “The Salesman” (Iran)

Should Win: “Toni Erdmann” (Germany)

With “Salesman” director Asghar Farhadi, an Oscar-winner for “A Separation” (2011), boycotting the ceremonies to protest President Trump’s ban, look for the Academy to make a statement of support. The movie’s excellent — but the shaggy German father-daughter comedy “Toni Erdmann” is harder to shake.

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Will Win: “The Salesman”

Should Win: “A Man Called Ove” (Sweden)

“The Salesman” was just another well-made Farhadi film until Trump attempted to bar travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. Farhadi will win for protesting the illegal ban by staying home, and his scathing acceptance speech will be the Skype shot heard round the world. “Toni Erdmann” is the critical darling of this race, but “Ove” has a love-thy-neighbor theme that resonates.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The nominees: ‘‘Fire at Sea,’’ Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo; ‘‘I am Not Your Negro,’’ Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety, and Hebert Peck; ‘‘Life Animated,’’ Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman; ‘‘OJ: Made in America,’’ Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow; ‘‘13th,’’ Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick, and Howard Barish.

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Will Win: “O.J.: Made in America”

Should Win: “O.J.: Made in America”

Lots of provocative quality in this category, but the epic canvas of the 7½-hour “America” should put it over. Unless voters don’t get through the whole thing and opt for the feel-better “Life, Animated.”

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Will Win: “O.J.: Made in America”

Should Win: “O.J.: Made in America”

Ava DuVernay’s “13th” is a searing indictment of our prison system as an extension of slavery. Any other year, it would be a favorite to win. This year, “O.J.” is unstoppable.

VISUAL EFFECTS

The nominees: ‘‘Deepwater Horizon,’’ Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington, and Burt Dalton; “Doctor Strange,’’ Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli, and Paul Corbould; ‘‘The Jungle Book,’’ Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Dan Lemmon; “Kubo and the Two Strings,’’ Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean, and Brad Schiff; ‘‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,’’ John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel, and Neil Corbould.

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Will Win: “The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Dan Lemmon

Should Win: “Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean, and Brad Schiff

Director Jon Favreau’s use of digital photorealism in this Disney “live-action” remake positions him on the bleeding edge of Hollywood tech (he’s working on a virtual reality project, too). He’ll get the win over the old-school hands-on artisanship of “Kubo.”

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Will Win: “The Jungle Book”

Should Win: “Kubo and the Two Strings”

I could be underestimating fans of “Doctor Strange,” but Disney’s reimagined “Jungle Book” seems most likely to win over a voting body that is famously aged and vanilla. The masterful “Kubo” isn’t getting much love on the awards circuit. Its revenge will be to stand the test of time.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

The nominees: ‘‘Arrival,’’ Bradford Young; ‘‘La La Land,’’ Linus Sandgren; ‘‘Lion,’’ Greig Fraser; ‘‘Moonlight,’’ James Laxton; ‘‘Silence,’’ Rodrigo Prieto.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” Linus Sandgren

Should Win: “Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

I’m guessing this will be part of the “La La Land” sweep, even if it’s possibly the weakest nominee in a strong category. What Prieto does in Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” is above and beyond.

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “Moonlight,” James Laxton

If you love LA, then you probably love the way LA looks in “La La Land.” That might be enough to make you overlook the extraordinary way Laxton plays with light and color in “Moonlight.” And you might be forgiven for that, in Hollywood.

FILM EDITING

The nominees: ‘‘Arrival,’’ Joe Walker; ‘‘Hacksaw Ridge’’ John Gilbert; ‘‘Hell or High Water,’’ Jake Roberts; ‘‘La La Land,’’ Tom Cross; ‘‘Moonlight,’’ Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” Tom Cross

Should Win: “Arrival,” Joe Walker

“La La Land” will take this category for the rhythmic delights of the musical numbers and that swooning final act. The climactic mind games of “Arrival” are all created in the cutting room, though, and they start from the film’s first frame.

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “Arrival”

Editors guild awards went to “Arrival” for drama and “La La Land” for comedy. The dramatic winner usually prevails at the Oscars, but it’s not usually up against a musical tsunami. Too bad for Joe Walker, without whom the satisfying puzzle that is “Arrival” might never have come together.

SOUND EDITING

The nominees: ‘‘Arrival,’’ Sylvain Bellemare; “Deepwater Horizon,’’ Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli; “Hacksaw Ridge’’ Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright; ‘‘La La Land,’’ Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan; “Sully,’’ Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman.

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Will Win: “Hacksaw Ridge,” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright

Should Win: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Sound editing is the art of assembling all the things you hear (and don’t even realize you’re hearing) in a film; it’s about collecting and collating the many pieces of an aural quilt. “Ridge” should win for its complex battle scenes.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan

Should Win: “Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare

If volume counts for anything, “Hacksaw Ridge” will take this. If nuance prevails, “Arrival” has a chance. But if the film editing award goes to a musical, and if that musical is on the kind of roll we’re predicting, it’s hard to imagine sound editing not going the same way.

SOUND MIXING

The nominees: ‘‘Arrival,’’ Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye; ‘‘Hacksaw Ridge,’’ Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace; ‘‘La La Land,’’ Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow; ‘‘Rogue One,’’ David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson; “13 Hours,’’ Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Mac Ruth.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow

Should Win: “Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye

Sound mixing is the art of combining all the above pieces into a coherent, balanced whole; it’s about stitching the quilt together so it works. “La La Land” will probably win, but the sound-world of “Arrival” is a majestic thing indeed.

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “Arrival”

Musicals almost always win this award. Oh, look, we have one of those.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

The nominees: ‘‘Arrival,’’ Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte; ‘‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’’ Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock; ‘‘Hail, Caesar!’’ Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh; “La La Land,’’ Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco; ‘‘Passengers,’’ Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco

Should Win: “Arrival,” Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte

The candy-colored Los Angeles settings of “La La Land” will score an easy win here, and they look beautifully back toward classic Hollywood. Those spaceship scenes in “Arrival” look to the future, though.

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “La La Land”

Ever wish you could crawl through the screen, right into “Singin’ in the Rain”? The production design of “La La Land” suggests it’s possible, even in scary 2017. It doesn’t matter that this Technicolor Los Angeles never really existed. What matters is that you’re seduced into thinking it could.

COSTUME DESIGN

The nominees: ‘‘Allied,’’ Joanna Johnston; ‘‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’’ Colleen Atwood; ‘‘Florence Foster Jenkins,’’ Consolata Boyle; ‘‘Jackie,’’ Madeline Fontaine; ‘‘La La Land,’’ Mary Zophres.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” Mary Zophres

Should Win: “Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine

A hard one to call. The “La La Land” sweep may extend here, despite the relative drabness of the clothes; Colleen Atwood of “Fantastic Beasts” is a multiple Oscar winner; voters may go for the period wear of “Florence Foster Jenkins” — or the glitzy gravitas and bloody pink dress of “Jackie.”

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “La La Land”

Two words: retro realism. Think Emma Stone’s romantic, color-saturated dresses. Think Ryan Gosling’s two-toned shoes. Try to think of any other movie this year with costumes that wooed you as determinedly.

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

The nominees: ‘‘A Man Called One,’’ Eva von Bahr and Love Larson; ‘‘Star Trek Beyond,’’ Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo; ‘‘Suicide Squad,’’ Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini, and Christopher Nelson.

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Will Win: “Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo

Should Win: “Star Trek Beyond”

What a weird category. I’m guessing that not enough voters will have seen “A Man Called Ove” and not enough voters will have liked “Suicide Squad.”

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Will Win: “Star Trek Beyond”

Should Win: “Star Trek Beyond”

Harlow won an Oscar in this category for the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot. There’s not much standing in the way of him taking home a younger brother in 2017.

ORIGINAL SCORE

The nominees: ‘‘‘Jackie,’’ Mica Levi; ‘‘La La Land,’’ Justin Hurwitz; ‘‘Lion,’’ Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka; “Moonlight,’’ Nicholas Britell; ‘‘Passengers,’’ Thomas Newman.

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Will Win: “La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz

Should Win: “Jackie,” Mica Levi

You can pretty much bet that the musical with the historic number of nominations is going to take the Oscar for best original score. But what Mica Levi does with the breathtaking music for “Jackie” is actually original.

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Will Win: “La La Land”

Should Win: “La La Land”

Not memorable enough, some people say. Then why do I hear the music of “La La Land” playing in my head, day after day? This one’s not even a contest. Make room on your mantel, Mr. Hurwitz.

ORIGINAL SONG

The nominees: ‘‘Audition (The Fools Who Dream),’’ from ‘‘La La Land,’’ music by Justin Hurwitz, lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; ‘‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’’ from ‘‘Trolls,’’ music and lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, and Karl Johan Schuster; “City of Stars’’ from ‘‘La La Land,’’ music by Justin Hurwitz, lyric by Ben Pasek and Justin Paul; ‘‘The Empty Chair’’ from ‘‘Jim: The James Foley Story,’’ music and lyric by J. Ralph and Sting; ‘‘How Far I’ll Go’’ from ‘‘Moana,’’ music and lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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Will Win: “City of Stars” (“La La Land”), Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul

Should Win: “City of Stars”

Will the two songs from “La La Land” cancel each other out? It could happen, in which case Lin-Manuel Miranda will get his EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) sooner than anyone expected for his song from “Moana.”

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Will Win: “City of Stars”

Should Win: “City of Stars”

Make more room on your mantel, Mr. Hurwitz.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

The nominees: ‘‘Extremis,’’ Dan Krauss; ‘‘4.1 Miles’’ Daphne Matziaraki; “Joe’s Violin,’’ Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen; ‘‘Watani: My Homeland,’’ Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis; ‘‘The White Helmets,’’ Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara.

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Will Win: “Joe’s Violin”

Should Win: “The White Helmets”

The toughest — and toughest to watch — category of the night. The ICU heartbreak of “Extremis,” the moving Holocaust survivor’s drama of “Joe’s Violin,” and the devastating courage of Syrian rescue workers in “The White Helmets” all deserve awards(and wider audiences).

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Will Win: “The White Helmets”

Should Win: “The White Helmets”

Most years, the smart money would be on the feel-good documentary about the Holocaust survivor who donates his violin to a program for underprivileged youths. This year, big statements could carry the littlest films to victory. “White Helmets” says something about the plight of Syria, and the everyday heroes under fire there, that the whole world needs to hear.

LIVE ACTION SHORT

The nominees: ‘‘Ennemis Interieurs,’’ Selim Azzazi; “La Femme et le TGV,’’ Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff; ‘‘Silent Nights,’’ Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson; ‘‘Sing,’’ Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy; ‘‘Timecode,’’ Juanjo Gimenez.

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Will Win: “Timecode”

Should Win: “Ennemis Interieurs”

Also a toss-up.Will voters opt for the topicality of the brooding “Ennemis Interieurs,” about an Arab immigrant, or for the poker-faced whimsy of “Timecode” — or for “Sing,” which puts a tyrant teacher in her place?

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Will Win: “Ennemis Interieurs”

Should Win: “Ennemis Interieurs”

Sélim Azzazi’s powerful drama (“Enemies Within”) about the unprovoked interrogation of a French-Algerian man is a chilling testament to the fearful times in which we live. It’s another big statement that should impress voters.

ANIMATED SHORT

The nominees: ‘‘Blind Vaysha,’’ Theodore Ushev; “Borrowed Time,’’ Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj; “Pear Cider and Cigarettes,’’ Robert Valley and Cara Speller; “Pearl,’’ Patrick Osborne; ‘‘Piper,’’ Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer.

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Will Win: “Piper”

Should Win: “Blind Vaysha”

This one’s easy. Pixar’s adorable “Piper,” about a plucky newborn shorebird, will almost certainly beat the competition, includingthe eerie folktale woodcut animations of “Blind Vaysha.”

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Will Win: “Piper”

Should Win: “Piper”

“Finding Dory” failed to make the cut in the animated feature category. Pixar makes up for it here. Otherwise, it’s not a big statement movie; the critters in “Piper” don’t even talk. They’re more into burying their heads in the sand.

Ty Burr can be reached at ty.burr@globe.com. Janice Page can be reached at janice.page@globe.com.