Oscars 2017: Film Critic Peter Travers offers his picks on who will win

PHOTO: "Popcorn with Peter Travers," presents the 2017 Oscar predictions. PlayABC News
WATCH Oscars 2017: Peter Travers offers his picks on who will and who should win

In a special edition of “Popcorn with Peter Travers,” film critic Peter Travers looks at the major categories at the upcoming Oscars and offers his take on who will win. Travers has screened some 400 movies this year and he's narrowed down his top picks. Be sure to take notes!

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, “Fences”…PREDICTED WINNER

Naomi Harris, “Moonlight”

Nicole Kidman, “Lion”

Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”

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  • Peter Travers predicts who he thinks will win at the Oscars

Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

PHOTO: Actress Viola Davis poses for photographers upon arrival at a BAFTA Life in Pictures photo call, at BAFTA headquarters in London, Jan. 15, 2017.Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Photo
Actress Viola Davis poses for photographers upon arrival at a BAFTA Life in Pictures photo call, at BAFTA headquarters in London, Jan. 15, 2017.

“If Viola Davis manages to lose this, then something is rumbling wrong in the earth," said Travers. "You can see when you listen to Viola Davis, the passion for this project. It was a major deal to bring August Wilson to the screen. This was the first time any of his great plays have become a movie. And Viola represents and she does it really well."

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”…PREDICTED WINNER

Dev Patel, “Lion”

...POSSIBLE UPSET WINNER

Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”

Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”

Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

PHOTO: Actor Mahershala Ali attends the 42nd annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards at InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, Jan. 14, 2017, in Los Angeles, California.Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Actor Mahershala Ali attends the 42nd annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards at InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, Jan. 14, 2017, in Los Angeles, California.

“Here we’re seeing something a little unique. As we went into awards season, Mahershala Ali was way up front. He was the guy that had to win the Oscar. As far as I’m concerned, he should be the guy that wins the Oscar," said Travers.

PHOTO: Dev Patel attends the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Albert Hall, Feb. 12, 2017, in London, England. Getty Images
Dev Patel attends the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Albert Hall, Feb. 12, 2017, in London, England.

He added, “I think that if Mahershala Ali has any competition, it would come from Dev Patel in 'Lion' because what’s happening as we move toward the actual Oscar night, and the voting, people are seeing 'Lion' way more than anyone expected they would see it. And they’re falling in love with it. They have like an emotional connection to it. And Dev Patel is a person of color. Mahershala is a person of color. I am still saying those two performances are terrific. But what Mahershala Ali does in 'Moonlight' is extraordinary. My money is going with Mahershala Ali."

Best Actress

Emma Stone, “La La Land”…PREDICTED WINNER

Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”…POSSIBLE UPSET WINNER

Ruth Negga, “Loving”

Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

PHOTO: Actress Emma Stone poses for photographers upon arrival at the screening of the film La La Land in London, Jan. 12, 2017.Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Photo
Actress Emma Stone poses for photographers upon arrival at the screening of the film "La La Land" in London, Jan. 12, 2017.

“We have only a race between two people. The favorite is Emma Stone in 'La La Land.' Emma Stone hasn’t won an Oscar, though she was nominated for 'Birdman,'" Travers said. "And 'La La Land' is that movie that everybody has embraced."

PHOTO: Isabelle Huppert attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Feb. 6, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California.Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Isabelle Huppert attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Feb. 6, 2017, in Beverly Hills, California.

He went on, "But out of nowhere comes a French actress, Isabelle Huppert. And in 'Elle' she plays a woman who has been raped who decides to have her own agenda in taking vengeance over what happens to her in that movie. This is one of those categories that can really result in an Oscar surprise. I say that if Emma Stone has a problem, it’s going to be with Isabelle Huppert."

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”...PREDICTED WINNER

Denzel Washington, "Fences"...POSSIBLE UPSET WINNER

Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"

Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"

Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic"

PHOTO: Casey Affleck poses in the press room at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Jan. 8, 2017.Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Casey Affleck poses in the press room at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Jan. 8, 2017.

Travers said, "In the weeks leading up to Oscars, this was Casey Affleck's to lose. Casey Affleck has more than just his subtlety and his brilliance in playing this tragic character to conjure with. He’s now got to conjure with Denzel Washington, who has two Oscars already. Casey has none."

PHOTO: Denzel Washington arrives at the AFI Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel, Jan. 6, 2017, in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Photo
Denzel Washington arrives at the AFI Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel, Jan. 6, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Travers continued, "When you listen to Denzel's passion and you see what he does on screen in 'Fences,' you’re seeing a performance that’s really big. It’s the opposite of what Casey Affleck does. [Denzel Washington] is exceptional. And as we move towards those final votes, the Academy voters are loving what he’s doing. He’s gone out there."

Best Picture of the Year

La La Land…PREDICTED WINNER

Moonlight

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

Lion

Manchester

"La La Land" is nominated for 14 Academy Awards. There are only two other movies in the 89 years of the Academy that have received 14 nominations. One was "All about Eve" in 1950. The other was "Titanic" in 1997.

PHOTO: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are seen here in La La Land.Dale Robinette
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are seen here in La La Land.

"In the end to me, this comes down, despite nine nominees, to two movies," Travers said. "One of them of course is 'La La Land' with the 14 nominations and its young director Damien Chazelle. Chazelle, I think, is a shoo-in to win best director for this movie, because he’s new and Hollywood’s embracing him for basically reinventing the musical for a new century, for a new generation, which is what he’s done."

PHOTO: Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in Moonlight.David Bornfriend courtesy of A24
Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in "Moonlight."

Travers added, "But I think the only movie that has a shot at beating him is 'Moonlight.' It’s written and directed by Barry Jenkins, a black man raised in Miami as the main character in his movie, who is also like Damien Chazelle, writing and creating from his own guts, and from what he believes in and from what turns him on the most. So there are two major contenders for best picture."

Mark your ballots and we’ll see who wins in the end.