Here are my Oscar predictions in the five major categories, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Actor and Actress and for Best Movie, for this Sunday's 89th Oscars.
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis is a shoe-in for her performance in FENCES. She faces some stiff competition in the field against Naomie Harris in the movie MOONLIGHT and Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures, but I think Davis' performance is the best of the year.
Best Supporting Actor: Dev Patel in a little known movie called LION is my pick in this category. He plays an Indian boy who is separated from his mother as a small boy and gets adopted by an Australian family. As a college student, after a lifetime of wondering, he begins a search to find his birth mother in India. It's a very emotional and inspiring performance given by the young actor.
Best Actress: Emma Stone in LA LA LAND is the favorite, but my vote is for Natalie Portman for her portrayal of Jackie O in the biopic JACKIE.
Best Actor: Denzel Washington in FENCES is my pick. He gives an amazing performance in the movie version of August Wilson's stage play. My fear is his intelligent performance may be a bit "high brow" and therefore get overlooked. My gut feeling is that Ryan Gosling will win for LA LA LAND.
Best Movie: LA LA LAND, a movie that I surprisingly enjoyed, is my pick for Best Movie. It's a modern version of an old school Hollywood musical and it hits on all cylinders. While it has the feel of an old musical it breaks all of the rules in the storytelling of a Hollywood film.
The 89th Oscars will be broadcast live from LA on Sunday night, starting at 7 (CT) on ABC-TV.