The Academy Awards are once again upon us and tonight we shall see who will be taking home those golden statues.
Of course the most coveted and biggest prize is saved for last – the Academy Award for Best Picture.
This year nine films have been nominated but which one stands the best chance of winning?
When it was revealed that Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival had been nominated for Best Picture everyone was taken aback with surprise.
This wasn’t because the film didn’t deserve to be nominated; it was because the Academy are not exactly fans of science-fiction.
Very few sci-fi films have scored Best Picture nominations in the past and when they have been nominated they always leave empty-handed, although the incredible Gravity did come very close to taking home that golden gong.
Arrival did indeed deserve that Best Picture nomination for the sheer beauty, drama and emotion that made it one of the finest films of last year.
However, it is very likely that it will just win the awards for sound.
Denzel Washington’s film adaptation of August Wilson’s great play Fences certainly divided audiences.
Everyone’s in agreement that the performances in the film are just stunning and the particularly phenomenal Viola Davis is guaranteed to win the Oscar for Supporting Actress, an award which she deserves.
However, many were left unimpressed with the staginess and dullness of the film which seemingly dragged on for hours and hours.
It is easy to see why the Academy put the film up for a Best Picture nomination as they were clearly blown away by the incredible performances.
Thankfully though Fences is an outsider in the race as it lacks that one vital factor which all Best Picture winners have; it is just not cinematic.
Another surprise Best Picture nomination went to Hacksaw Ridge, a film that has been seen as being something of a comeback for Mel Gibson, a man whom Hollywood fell out of love with.
This tale of American heroism was clear Oscars bait and indeed it has been nominated for six awards.
It is rather fantastic and one of the best war films we have seen on our screens recently so it thoroughly deserves the nomination.
Although it is unlikely to win it is great to see the talented Gibson being welcomed back into Hollywood again.
Hell or High Water
Another outsider in the race is the brilliant Hell or High Water.
The Academy has a history of awarding Westerns and in another era this thrilling drama would have been the guaranteed winner.
However, this is 2017 and unfortunately for this great film things have changed.
At least its nomination has drawn attention to it meaning more and more people have enjoyed this wonderful film which rather fell off the radar when it was released in cinemas.
One of the films that stands a chance of taking home that Best Picture prize is Hidden Figures.
If there was a checklist for the Best Picture winner then this entertaining drama which tells the story of how three black women helped send a man into space in 1960s America would tick all the boxes.
It has also done incredibly well at the box office and would certainly be a popular choice.
However, this year’s contest is really a one-horse race…
La La Land
There’s no doubt about it; La La Land will win Best Picture at the Academy Awards tonight and blimey it deserves that award!
I mean is there anything that it will not win?
The gorgeous musical that I would argue is one of the best films of all time has been nominated for a spectacular 14 awards, quite the feat.
Not only will it take home Best Picture but it is very likely to take home the awards for Best Actress, Director, Cinematography, Original Song, Original Score and so the list goes on.
Some of you may argue that it is overhyped and yes it does help that it is a film about Hollywood itself, something that the Academy always falls heads over hells for, but this magical and magnificent movie is a deserving winner.
The Academy loves anything based on a true story and so they of course nominated Lion.
The film follows Saroo, an Indian boy who gets nominated by an Australian family after he gets lost on the streets of Calcutta.
Years later he sets out to find his lost family.
Again it is Oscars bait however it feels too average to have even been nominated for Best Picture.
Dev Patel does have a chance at winning Best Supporting Actor though.
Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck has that Best Actor gong in the bag but it is unlikely that Manchester by the Sea will be winning that Best Picture prize.
The Academy likes serious and gritty films and so of course it was always going to get a nomination but it does not have that spark which all Best Picture winners have.
Yes at moments it is awfully heart-breaking and emotional but overall it is just too dull and dreary to even deserve a nomination in my eyes.
If La La Land didn’t exist then the guaranteed winner of the night would have been the delightful Moonlight.
The second favourite for the coveted prize tells the story of a young black man growing up in America who is trying to find his place in the world.
It is an easy film to fall for and that is clearly what happened to the Academy.
Everyone loves an underdog and that is exactly what Moonlight is.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.