This year marks the 89th iteration of the Academy Awards, the culmination of awards-show season and the arguably the most exciting and influential night in the entertainment industry. Though the show has aced divisive backlash in recent history due to its lack of diversity, this year proved a marked step forward: 2017 is the first time that a black actor has been nominated in every major acting category at the Oscars — Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. In addition to the inclusivity of actor and actress nominations, Moonlight (nominated for eight awards), Fences (nominated for four awards), and Hidden Figures (three) were all nominated for Best Picture. Ava DuVernay also earned a nomination for the groundbreaking documentary 13th.
Film critic Peter Travers sat down with GQ recently to announce his predictions for this year’s most-heated race in Hollywood. Travers suspects La La Land will be the film to take home the Best Picture Oscar, but warns that Moonlight could have what it takes to upset the Hollywood favorite. When it comes to Best Actor, Travers says that though Casey Affleck is the critics’ favorite, Denzel Washington could be the one to take home the honor. When it comes to Viola Davis’ reign, the only actress who could possibly threaten her chance at the Best Supporting Actress Oscar would be Michelle Williams, whose work in Manchester by the Sea was nothing if not masterful.
The Oscars air Sunday, February 26, from the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the show will air at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.