The nominees are • Casey Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea"; Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"; Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"; Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic"; Denzel Washington, "Fences."
Who will win • Affleck, playing a man shut down by grief, has been the favorite through most of the preliminaries before the Oscar ceremony. But he may have peaked early, and voters will instead give it to Washington, who directed himself into a career-defining performance.
Who should win • Of the five, I'd vote for Garfield, who found the humility and the quiet courage within the anti-violence war hero Desmond Doss.
The nominees are • Isabelle Huppert, "Elle"; Ruth Negga, "Loving"; Natalie Portman, "Jackie"; Emma Stone, "La La Land"; Meryl Streep, "Florence Foster Jenkins."
Who will win • Stone has been a lock pretty much since awards season started, picking up a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a SAG Award along the way.
Who should win • Though I loved Stone's and Portman's performances, the quiet resolve of Negga's portrayal of Mildred Loving is the work that resonates.
The nominees are • Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"; Jeff Bridges, "Hell or High Water"; Lucas Hedges, "Manchester by the Sea"; Dev Patel, "Lion"; Michael Shannon, "Nocturnal Animals."
Who will win • Ali has been the prohibitive favorite for the last couple months, and it's not likely anyone will overtake him.
Who should win • Ali, as the drug kingpin and surrogate father figure, was the broken but beating heart of "Moonlight."