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The 89th Academy Awards: Cairo 360’s Top Picks & Predictions

The 89th Academy Awards: Cairo 360’s Top Picks & Predictions
written by
Dina Mokhtar

We’re only a few days away from Hollywood’s biggest bash, the Oscars, which tops any artist’s bucket list, not only in the US, but on the entire planet as well. Taking place at The Dolby Theatre in California on the 26th of February, the 89th version of The Academy Awards will be hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel and the awards to be announced by last year’s winners; including megastar Leonardo DiCaprio, Alicia Vikander and Brie Larson.

While there’s a big part of us that can’t wait to see who wears what on the red carpet, the star-studded nominations, which were announced for the first time in the Academy’s history via live stream on its official website, left us in anticipation for who will be going home with the prestigious awards.

For the time being, here are our predictions, or wishful thinking, for who’ll win: 

Best Picture: And the Oscar goes to…Hidden Figures!


Hidden Figures tells of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who helped NASA team launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962.

We know that La La Land made an incredible impression on everyone, however, we couldn’t help but fall in love with Hidden Figures; the makers of the movie managed to tell a true story in a heartwarming, sassy and funny way.

Best Actor in Leading Role: And the Oscar goes to…Denzel Washington!


The leading actor and director of the drama, Fences, plays Troy Maxson, a waste collector and a father who tries to raise his estranged son in the 1950’s, while coming to terms  with the events of his own life.

Although the nominations for this category include other outstanding performances, like Viggo Mortensen’s in Captain Fantastic, Casey Afflek’s in Manchester by the Sea and Ryan Gosling’s in La La Land, we believe that Washington will do it for the third time, after receiving the Academy Award for his roles in Glory and Training Day.

Best Actress in Leading Role:  And the Oscar goes to…Meryl Streep!


Although she is the most nominated actor/actress in the history of The Academy Awards, Meryl Streep only received three Oscars for her roles in Sophie’s Choice and The Iron Lady as best actress in leading role, and Kramer vs. Kramer as best actress in supporting role. This year, Streep returns with a great performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, which has already earned her a Critic’s Choice Movie Award and about to earn her a fourth Academy Award.

In this comedy drama, Streep plays the role of Florence Foster Jenkins, a real-life amateur soprano, who, despite her terrible voice, became a New York cult sensation in 1930’s.

Best Actor in Supporting Role: And the Oscar goes to…Jeff Bridges!


In Hell or High Water, Jeff Bridges plays the role of Marcus Hamilton, a gruffly old Texas Ranger, who’s about to hit retirement, but goes for a one more chase after two brothers for committing a series of armed robberies. While the movie itself is not our cup of tea, in Hell or High Water, Jeff Bridges astoundingly gives a lot of life to what could be a run-of-the-mill kind of character. Having said this, Jeff Bridges must have his second Oscar, after earning his first as best actor in a leading role in Crazy Heart.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: The Oscar goes to…Viola Davis!


Viola Davis’ role as Rose in Fences has already earned her an award for best actress in supporting role at the Golden Globes, however, we insist that she also receive an Academy Award; Davis’ performance as a wife who takes a blow after another from her flawed husband is beyond amazing.

While heart-rending and emotional roles are prone to be played a little over the top, Davis rendered it so realistic that you forget it was all just an act.

Best Director: And the Oscar goes to… Mel Gibson!


Hacksaw Ridge tells of the true story of Desmond Doss, a combat medic, who, despite having refused to carry or use firearms, received a Medal of Honour for his services in the battle of Okinawa.

Critically acclaimed and a box-office success, the biographical war drama can actually be Mel Gibson’s proper comeback to the Hollywood scene, after years of real-life drama.

Also, it is worth noting that 22 years ago, Mel Gibson’s Braveheart received the Academy Award for best picture and best director, the same categories in which Hacksaw Ridge is nominated this year, among other nominations including sound mixing and editing and actor in leading role.

Music (Original Score): And the Oscar goes to…Nicholas Britell for Moonlight!


Despite being too classical a score for a movie about a young black man who is trying to find a place for himself in the world, Nicholas Britell’s score for Moonlight, maintained the identity of the movie using a minimalistic musical structure intermingled with a number of blues songs.

Nicholas Britell is a pianist, composer and a film producer, who, besides having composed scores for various short movies, has provided the scores of The Big Short and Natalie Portman’s segment in New York, I Love You.

Music (Original Song): And the Oscar goes to…City of Stars from La La Land!


The days following the release of La La Land witnessed a massive celebration for City of Stars on social media. We are not big fans of the movie to be honest, however, one must be fair in acknowledging the immense effort exerted by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who did a brilliant job with the singing.

Written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and composed by Justin Hurwitz, what is good about City of Stars is that it’s altogether enjoyable, whether as part of a musical or a one-off listen.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):  And the Oscar goes to…Hidden Figures!


As bookworms, we usually dread the cinematic adaptations of our favourite books, but we totally endorse Hidden Figure as an adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race – long title, huh?

Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder managed to translate solid facts into a catchy, uplifting and inspirational saga.

Writing (Original Screenplay): And the Oscar goes to…La La Land!


With contenders including Hell or High Water, The Lobster and Manchester by the Sea, we have to admit that it was a tough choice for us. We chose La La Land because we believe that putting a musical screenplay together, whether sung or plainly spoken, is never an easy task.

Damien Chazelle, who is also the director of La La Land, did an amazing job with a script that kept us entertained one song through to the next.