2017 Oscar Nominations Predictions And Discussion
Derek gives his predictions and thoughts on the 2017 Academy Award nominations.
With the Golden Globes now behind us, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are preparing to unveil the 89th Oscar nominations. This Tuesday (Jan. 24), the nominations will be revealed, but in the meantime, Film Fad’s own writer Derek has a few of his own predictions.
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water
Thoughts: The Best Picture category has mostly become a three-horse race between “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and “Moonlight,” so they’re all but guaranteed spots here. “Fences,” “Arrival,” and “Lion,” while not quite top-tier candidates, are pretty safe bets as well. The seventh spot onward is where things begin to get tricky. “Hacksaw Ridge” has no shortage of support but there’s always the possibility that some leftover stigma from Mel Gibson keeps this movie off the list. ‘Hell or High Water’ was released back in the summer and has had to rely on a steady stream of other award nominations to keep the buzz going, though to their credit have done so quite successfully. “Hidden Figures” has come in relatively late to the ballgame but has benefited from a very effective marketing campaign and it may be just enough to get in. If by some miracle there is a tenth spot, I believe it comes down to “Jackie,” “Silence,” “Sully,” and “Deadpool,” with “Jackie” getting the slight edge. The buzz for “Sully” has mostly died down, “Silence” has struggled to get any buzz going at all and “Deadpool,” while getting some surprise nominations from the DGA and the WGA, will likely be too mainstream for the Academy.
Damien Chazelle- La La Land
Barry Jenkins- Moonlught
Kenneth Lonergan- Manchester by the Sea
Denzel Washington- Fences
Denis Villeneuve- Arrival
Martin Scorsese- Silence
Mel Gibson- Hacksaw Ridge
Thoughts: Much like the movies themselves, the directors for “La La Land,” “Moonlight,” and “Manchester by the Sea” are all but assured nominations. The last two spots will likely be between Washington, Villeneuve, Scorsese and Gibson. Washington feels like a safe bet as well given his great track record with the Academy in the past. Villeneuve has yet to be nominated but in the last three years he’s directed three Best Picture caliber films and this may very well be the year the voters finally take notice. As for Mel Gibson, while I believe the Academy won’t completely ignore “Hacksaw Ridge,” my gut tells me they’ll have a harder time recognizing Gibson personally. I would normally say a movie that’s generated as little buzz as “Silence” would have zero chance of being nominated but it would be silly to completely count out a legend like Martin Scorsese in this race.
Casey Affleck- Manchester by the Sea
Denzel Washington- Fences
Ryan Gosling- La La Land
Andrew Garfield- Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen- Captain Fantastic
Michael Keaton- The Founder
Thoughts: At this point, the award is Casey Affleck’s to lose so naturally a nomination for him should be expected. Nominations for Washington, Gosling, Garfield and Mortensen also appear to be likely since all but one of them have also been nominated for Best Actor by the Golden Globes, SAG and BAFTA with only Washington missing out on the latter. It’s conceivable that Keaton or Hanks could pull an upset but both actors have timing working against them. “The Founder” was released too late and “Sully” came out too early.
Emma Stone- La La Land
Natalie Portman- Jackie
Amy Adams- Arrival
Isabelle Huppert- Elle
Meryl Streep- Florence Foster Jenkins
Annette Bening- 20th Century Women
Ruth Negga- Loving
Thoughts: This category has consistently had Stone, Portman and Adams at the top of experts list throughout the awards season and there’s little reason to expect that to change now. Typically, the Academy voters like to nominate at least one foreign language performance among the acting categories. Normally these performances are rather under the radar and experts would have a tough time predicting who would get this nomination and for which category. This year though the clear choice appears to be Huppert. She’s had tons of support over the last couple of months and even won a Golden Globe over Portman and Adams. The last spot is most likely to go to Streep since the Academy seems to feel obligated to nominate her at least once every two years and her last nomination came in 2015 for “Into the Woods.”
Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali- Moonlight
Jeff Bridges- Hell or High Water
Dev Patel- Lion
Lucas Hedges- Manchester by the Sea
Michael Shannon- Nocturnal Animals
Hugh Grant- Florence Foster Jenkins
Aaron Taylor-Johnson- Nocturnal Animals
Thoughts; This category might have been the toughest one for me. I’m confident Ali, Bridges and Patel will get in since they’ve all received nominations from the Golden Globes, BAFTA and SAG. While Hedges has been snubbed by BAFTA and the Golden Globes (possibly due to his lack of experience), I’m still relatively confident he’ll make it in. The fifth spot though was a real thinker. Michael Shannon felt like a solid bet a couple months ago but lately his co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson has quickly been generating support as well with a surprise Golden Globe win and a BAFTA nomination. It’s likely only one of them will get in and I think the slight edge goes to Shannon given that the man has been way overdue for his first nomination. Of course, it’s also possible that any votes for “Nocturnal Animals” gets split among them, keeping both actors off the list and clearing the way for Grant.
Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis- Fences
Michelle Williams- Manchester by the Sea
Naomi Harris- Moonlight
Nicole Kidman- Lion
Octavia Spencer- Hidden Figures
Felicity Jones- A Monster Calls
Greta Gerwig- 20th Century Women
Thoughts: Honestly, there’s not a whole lot to say about this category. This has been a relatively weak category compared to the others (though to be fair, it’s not like that’s exactly unusual) and the five women on this list has been the general consensus for some time now. Out of the five, Octavia Spencer is the only one not to get nominations from the Globes, SAG and BAFTA but even then she only missed out on BAFTA. So the chances of an upset while technically still possible, appear to be minimal.
Best Original Screenplay
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water
Thoughts: The only choice I have any significant reservations about is “Zootopia,” which admittedly is more of a wishful thinking prediction than anything else. However, the Academy has shown themselves to be willing to nominate highly regarded animated movies (“Inside Out” was nominated just last year), so it’s entirely possible “Zootopia” gets recognized accordingly.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Thoughts: Given that “Moonlight,” “Fences,” “Arrival,” and “Lion” appear destined for Best Picture nominations, it’s only natural they get screenplay nods as well. “Nocturnal Animals” feels like the most likely choice for the fifth spot given its earlier nods from BAFTA and the Globes.
Best Animated Feature
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zuchinni
Thoughts: “Zootopia,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” and “Moana” have all received Tomatometers of 95 or above, so the idea that any of them would be left out here feels insane. For this category, at least one foreign product usually makes it in, so either “Red Turtle” or “My Life as a Zucchini” is very likely to be included in the fourth spot. If the Academy decides to snub “Finding Dory,” which is very possible, the other film will almost certainly make it in too.