The Leap: Staff predicts 90th Academy Awards moments

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After a year of “Wonder Woman,” #MeToo, Timothée Chalamet, exposed celebrities, emotional indie films and many biopics, it all comes down to one final night: The Oscars. The 90th Academy Awards are on Sunday, and here is what our staff is predicting– whether it’s best director, best film or what they think celebrities will be wearing on the red carpet.

Red Carpet Galore 

Brie Larson arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

I don’t think there will be any organized fashion attire for the Time’s Up movement because information would have been leaked (because we all know how fast word travels in Hollywood). Viola Davis stunned in a blazing red dress in 2017, so I’m looking forward to see what daring dress she wears this year. Another person I know won’t disappoint is Brie Larson. Last year she wore a sleek black dress, which had the perfect balance of sophisticated and graceful. This year, I think she will wear a neutral color in light of what is happening in Hollywood. -Taylor Boser

Allison Williams arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Last year, Alison Williams absolutely stunned in a midnight blue Miu Miu gown at the Oscars Vanity Fair after-party. Williams is always beautiful on the red carpet. Despite the all-black memo passed around Hollywood for the Golden Globes, Williams put a twist on the trend. She wore a gorgeous black and red jeweled Giorgio Armani gown. With a strong track record of award show gowns, I expect Williams to amaze at this year’s Oscars. -Megan Guter

Acceptance Speeches

“A new day is on the horizon!” Oprah Winfrey declared in her lengthy acceptance speech at the Golden Globes condemning sexual misconduct. Her sentiments were emotionally charged and widely heralded by fellow Hollywood stars as the #MeToo movement gained more traction. Unfortunately, Feb. 14 marked a new day too– a grim one that suddenly pivoted the national conversation. Seventeen children were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. after a student open fired on his classmates with an assault rifle. Now, it’s guns under public scrutiny. Gun control debate has dominated news coverage as activists demand stricter gun laws from the president and the NRA and conservatives move to resist the pressure. Naturally, the Oscars is an ideal opportunity for liberal Hollywood stars to raise their voices. Host Jimmy Kimmel has already spoken out about Parkland on his late-night show with a teary-eyed, angry monologue. Others have offered donations and verbal support- Winfrey and George Clooney chief among them. With gun control at the forefront of public debate, it’s highly likely that the 90th Academy Awards will shift the spotlight to Parkland, whether it be through an emotive Kimmel monologue, a solemn memorial for those killed in the shooting, rousing speeches or all of the above. As stars approach the microphone with an Oscar in hand, they’ll have only a few minutes to give thanks and opinions. My prediction is that Hollywood may not make time for #MeToo. -Shane Battis

And the Oscar goes to…

“Loving Vincent” should totally win Best Animated Feature Film. The movie, directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, is up against “The Breadwinner”, Disney Pixar’s “Coco”, “Ferdinand” and “The Boss Baby”. Half of these movies aren’t even in the same realm as “Loving Vincent.” Comparing such a groundbreaking film to “The Boss Baby” is almost disrespectful. “Loving Vincent” is the first ever fully painted feature film. Over 100 artists hand painted each of the 65,000 frames in the movie. Painters used variants of oil paints and used over 800 canvases. The sheer amount of talent that went into making this movie is revolutionary. The movie follows the story of Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth), the son of a postman who is tasked to deliver a handwritten letter from Van Gogh to his brother Theo. This task is simple but turns into a moment of grievance and an investigation on the part of Roulin, who become obsessed with Van Gogh’s mysterious death. It raises questions about Van Gogh’s death: “Why was he so depressed?” “Why wasn’t there more investigation into his death?” and “How important are the messages portrayed in his paintings?” The acting was superb. As you watch the movie, you become even more entranced in the detective role that Roulin takes on. This film was incredibly enjoyable, tantalizing and makes you think long after the movie is over. Also, the movie’s featured soundtrack is phenomenal and adds to the nature of the film. Plus, the movie was just plain good. -Bernice Ogbondah

Guillermo del Toro deserves the award for Best Director. He put a large amount of work into his film and should be awarded for his talents. However, if the Academy Awards turned into the “Andrew Awards,” then Greta Gerwig would be receiving Best Director on Sunday for her work on “Lady Bird.” Gerwig was shut out at the Golden Globes but was finally given some recognition that should not go unnoticed. She created a gorgeous film about adolescence, relationships and Sacramento. All of the characters have a story and she brought this story to life with her cast. Every shot was well thought-out. Gerwig is not the only new director on the block that deserves this award. Jordan Peele created an intense film, “Get Out”, that could also land him the Oscar Sunday. He constructed a social movement horror film and characters that were either likable or very easy to hate – and I mean it when I say “very easy.” It would be nice to land in a world where Gerwig or Peele wins the award and I’m not saying it’s impossible, but Guillermo del Toro is the clear frontrunner.  -Andrew Van Heusden

For some odd reason, I’m going to predict that “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” will beat “The Shape of Water.” Don’t ask me why, but I just have this psychic feeling. I think “The Shape of Water” will not win because of the sci-fi elements throughout the movie. Personally I’m not the biggest sci-fi person, and the traditional voters are the same. We shall see who comes out on top! I’m not too sure which song will win Best Original Song, but I will add the performing lineup is great. I’m predicting Keala Settle’s performance of “This Is Me” at the Academy Awards will be the crowd’s favorite and the award frontrunner because the movie came out recently. Additionally, Settle’s vocal range is unlike any other performers on stage Sunday night. -Michelle Ross

I’m predicting “Get Out” to win Best Picture. With the recent racial tension and unrest in the country over the past year, the film chose the perfect time to shed light on the issue, all while creating a successfully thrilling horror movie. The acting itself was amazing, with each cast member delivering a fantastic performance. I also gained a lot of respect for TSA. For best Lead Actress, I’m going with my girl Margot Robbie. Not only is she an engaging and flexible performer, but she proved her dedication to her craft with training. She did almost all of her own stunts– minus some crazy jumps– and managed to pull off the persona of a professional ice skater. Go look up her training schedule for the movie. Trust me, you’ll be amazed. -Riley Knight