Friday, December 09, 2016

89th Academy Award Predictions (summary)

Updated: 9 December 2016

PICTURE
Arrival
Fences
Hell or High Water
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Loving
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Silence

DIRECTING
Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Martin Scorsese (Silence)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Andrew Garfield (Silence)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Tom Hanks (Sully)
Denzel Washington (Fences)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Amy Adams (Arrival)
Annette Bening (20th Century Women)
Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Emma Stone (La La Land)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Viola Davis (Fences)
Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Eric Heisserer, based on the short story by Ted Chiang (Arrival)
August Wilson, based on his play (Fences)
James Schamus, based on the novel by Philip Roth (Indignation)
Luke Davies, based on the book by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose (Lion)
Jay Cocks, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô (Silence)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water)
Noah Oppenheim (Jackie)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

ANIMATED FEATURE
Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane (Finding Dory)
Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings)
Ron Clements, John Musker (Moana)
Michael Dudok de Wit (The Red Turtle)
Byron Howard, Rich Moore (Zootopia)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Neruda (Chile)
Elle (France)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Julieta (Spain)
My Life as a Courgette (Switzerland)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Bradford Young (Arrival)
Stéphane Fontaine (Jackie)
Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
Caleb Deschanel (Rules Don't Apply)
Rodrigo Prieto (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Madeline Fontaine (Jackie)
Mary Zophres (La La Land)
Albert Wolsky (Rules Don't Apply)
Sandy Powell (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Joe Walker (Arrival)
Sebastián Sepúlveda (Jackie)
Tom Cross (La La Land)
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders (Moonlight)
Ruy Diaz, Thelma Schoonmaker (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Jackie
La La Land

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival)
Mica Levi (Jackie)
Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
Opetaia Foa'i, Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana)
Kathryn Kluge, Kim Allen Kluge (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
"Audition: The Fools Who Dream" (La La Land)
"City of Stars" (La La Land)
"How Far I'll Go" (Moana)
"We Know the Way" (Moana
"Try Everything" (Zootopia)

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
Stuart Craig, James Hambidge (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Jean Rabasse (Jackie)
David Wasco (La La Land)
Guy Hendrix Dyas (Passengers)
Dante Ferretti (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Allied
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Moana
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Silence

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Arrival
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Jungle Book
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Other Categories 2017

Updated: 9 December 2016

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Eric Heisserer, based on the short story by Ted Chiang (Arrival)
August Wilson, based on his play (Fences)
James Schamus, based on the novel by Philip Roth (Indignation)
Luke Davies, based on the book by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose (Lion)
Jay Cocks, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô (Silence)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water)
Noah Oppenheim (Jackie)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

ANIMATED FEATURE
Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane (Finding Dory)
Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings)
Ron Clements, John Musker (Moana)
Michael Dudok de Wit (The Red Turtle)
Byron Howard, Rich Moore (Zootopia)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Neruda (Chile)
Elle (France)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Julieta (Spain)
My Life as a Courgette (Switzerland)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Bradford Young (Arrival)
Stéphane Fontaine (Jackie)
Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
Caleb Deschanel (Rules Don't Apply)
Rodrigo Prieto (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Madeline Fontaine (Jackie)
Mary Zophres (La La Land)
Albert Wolsky (Rules Don't Apply)
Sandy Powell (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Joe Walker (Arrival)
Sebastián Sepúlveda (Jackie)
Tom Cross (La La Land)
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders (Moonlight)
Ruy Diaz, Thelma Schoonmaker (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Jackie
La La Land

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival)
Mica Levi (Jackie)
Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
Opetaia Foa'i, Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana)
Kathryn Kluge, Kim Allen Kluge (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
"Audition: The Fools Who Dream" (La La Land)
"City of Stars" (La La Land)
"How Far I'll Go" (Moana)
"We Know the Way" (Moana
"Try Everything" (Zootopia)

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
Stuart Craig, James Hambidge (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Jean Rabasse (Jackie)
David Wasco (La La Land)
Guy Hendrix Dyas (Passengers)
Dante Ferretti (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Allied
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Moana
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Silence

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Arrival
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Jungle Book
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Friday, December 02, 2016

BEST DIRECTOR 2017

Updated: 2 December 2016

ESSENTIAL LOCK

1. DAMIEN CHAZELLE (LA LA LAND)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination as writer, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Director, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Runner-up, Best Director, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Win, Best Director, Atlanta Film Critics Society


2. BARRY JENKINS (MOONLIGHT)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Independent Spirit Awards
Win, Best Director, National Board of Review
Win, Best Director, New York Film Critics Circle
Nomination, Best Director, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Director, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Win, Best Director, Los Angeles Film Critics Association

LIKELY

3. KENNETH LONERGAN (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Oscar Record: 2 nominations as writer, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Director, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

MAYBE

4. MARTIN SCORSESE (SILENCE)

Oscar Record: 12 nominations as producer, director, writer, with a win for directing The Departed

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

POSSIBLE

5. PABLO LARRAÍN (JACKIE)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Independent Spirit Awards


6. DENZEL WASHINGTON (FENCES)

Oscar Record: 6 nominations as actor, with wins for acting in Glory and Training Day

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Critics' Choice Awards


7. DENIS VILLENEUVE (ARRIVAL)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Director, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


8. JEFF NICHOLS (LOVING)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Independent Spirit Awards


9. GARTH DAVIS (LION)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. DAVID MACKENZIE (HELL OR HIGH WATER)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Director, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Director, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


Other Contenders:
Nate Parker (The Birth of a Nation)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) - Nomination, Best Director, Critics' Choice Awards
Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals)
Warren Beatty (Rules Don't Apply)
Oliver Stone (Snowden)
Clint Eastwood (Sully)
Mike Miller (20th Century Women)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 2017

Updated: 2 December 2016

MOST LIKELY

1. MAHERSHALA ALI (MOONLIGHT)

Role: Juan, a drug dealer who acts as a surrogate father to a young gay black man

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actor, New York Film Critics Circle
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Win, Best Supporting Actor, Atlanta Film Critics Society

Critics and audiences are absolutely loving the film. Mahershala Ali's screentime isn't so long, but he makes a huge impact with his sentimentality and warmth. Contrast this with his impressive turn in "Luke Cage," a hit on TV, and he'll be on a lot of voters' minds in the next few months. He even has a good shot of winning this, especially after winning the award from the NYFCC.

LIKELY

2. DEV PATEL (LION)

Role: Saroo Brierly, a young Indian man adopted by an Australian family and searching for his real family

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Critics' Choice Awards

Critics are all abuzz about Dev Patel's stirring performance in the film Lion, which given its quality and the backing by Harvey Weinstein is likely a major player. It would certainly add diversity to the line-up of nominees, and Patel still has residual goodwill from his endearing performance in Slumdog Millionaire. The switch to a campaign in the supporting category may have done him much good, though many may call it category fraud.

MAYBE

3. LUCAS HEDGES (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Role: Patrick Chandler, a boy who loses his father and gets his estranged uncle as his legal guardian

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Male, Independent Spirit Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

Lucas Hedges has been getting a lot of praise from critics and audiences. He's probably a very likely bet for at least a nomination even if he's quite young for Oscar, especially in this relatively weak and unpredictable category.


4. JEFF BRIDGES (HELL OR HIGH WATER)

Role: Marcus Hamilton, a Texas Ranger searching for two bank robber brothers

Oscar Record: 6 nominations, with a win for Crazy Heart

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actor, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

The always great Jeff Bridges is aces once again as an about-to-retire Texas ranger who goes on a hunt for thieving brothers. He's gruff and earnest and, in certain key moments, vulnerable. It's the type of performance that the Academy loves honoring, especially from one of their favorites.

POSSIBLE

5. HUGH GRANT (FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS)

Role: St. Clair Bayfield, British stage actor and life partner of operatic singer Florence Foster Jenkins

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

It's not too crazy that Hugh Grant does not have a single Oscar nomination to his name considering his past roles, but wouldn't it be awesome for him to finally get one? And it would be richly deserved, as he is amazingly charming and touching in this film. Never better. Hopefully the early release date does not hurt his chances. It's going to depend on the campaign now.


6. LIAM NEESON (SILENCE)

Role: Father Cristóvão Ferreira, a priest in Japan sought by his fellow Jesuits

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


7. BEN FOSTER (HELL OR HIGH WATER)

Role: Tanner Howard, an ex-con who goes on a bank robbing spree with his brother

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Male, Independent Spirit Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


8. MICHAEL SHANNON (NOCTURNAL ANIMALS)

Role: Detective Bobby Andes, who investigates a case of abduction in a story

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


9. WARREN BEATTY (RULES DON'T APPLY)

Role: Howard Hughes, the eccentric entrepreneur, aviator, and film maker

Oscar Record: 14 nominations as actor, producer, director, writer, with a win for directing Reds and an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. JOVAN ADEPO (FENCES)

Role: Cory Maxson, son of a former baseball player struggling to provide for his family

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Tadanobu Asano (Silence)
Adam Driver (Silence)
Stephen Henderson (Fences)
Issei Ogata (Silence) - Runner-up, Best Supporting Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Alan Rickman (Eye in the Sky)
Mykelti Williamson (Fences)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2017

Updated: 2 December 2016

MOST LIKELY

1. VIOLA DAVIS (FENCES)

Role: Rose Maxson, wife of a former baseball player struggling to provide for his family

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

It's her category to lose now that she has officially been campaigned in this category. It's likely a huge supporting role, and if the trailer and the Tony Award for the same role on stage are any indication, she'll knock it out of the park. General consensus is she's overdue. Sorry, Michelle Williams. The only reason why I'm not declaring her an "essential lock" is because the voters might still decide to place her in the lead category.


2. MICHELLE WILLIAMS (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Role: Randi, ex-wife of a man who is forced by circumstances to return to his hometown

Oscar Record: 3 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actress, New York Film Critics Circle
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Runner-up, Best Supporting Actress, Los Angeles Film Critics Association

With three nominations to her name, Michelle Williams is much liked by the Academy. She has only a short screentime in this film, but it's said that she makes very good use of it and packs a punch. Many can argue that she's also overdue a win, but it's tough to argue that with Davis in the mix. Plus, Williams has the Janis Joplin biopic in a few years.

LIKELY

3. NAOMIE HARRIS (MOONLIGHT)

Role: Paula, a crack addict who's the mother of a black gay man

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Supporting Actress, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

The film is receiving very very positive reviews and will probably be a major player given its themes and the general love. Naomie Harris has the type of scene-chewing role that Oscar loves. She's in a much better position now that Kristen Stewart's chances have dwindled due to the cold reception to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

MAYBE

4. NICOLE KIDMAN (LION)

Role: Sue Brierley, adoptive mother to an Indian boy seeking his past

Oscar Record: 3 nominations, with a win for The Hours

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Awards

If the film catches on and Harvey Weinstein's very vocal campaigning works, Nicole Kidman might get a fourth nomination (and it's a wonder why this excellent actress has only three at this point). The role is definitely Oscar fodder: an adoptive mother who's torn between keeping her family together and allowing her son to explore his true parentage. The tears are sure to come with scenes involving her character.

POSSIBLE

5. GRETA GERWIG (20TH CENTURY WOMEN)

Role: Abbie, an art photographer

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

It's a strong and buzzed role played by an actress who has been getting good ink in recent years with her projects with Noah Baumbach. Plus she's also in Jackie (for which she might actually get nominated instead). Now that Kristen Stewart has likely dropped off the race, the fifth slot is up for grabs and Greta Gerwig just seems to be the best bet on paper...at least until we have a better idea of how good (or not) Hidden Figures is.


6. JANELLE MONÁE (HIDDEN FIGURES)

Role: Mary Jackson, one of the team of black female mathematicians who helped NASA win the space race

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Awards


7. OCTAVIA SPENCER (HIDDEN FIGURES)

Role: Dorothy Vaughan, one of the team of black female mathematicians who helped NASA win the space race

Oscar Record: 1 nomination and win for The Help

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


8. MOLLY SHANNON (OTHER PEOPLE)

Role: Joanne, the dying mother of a struggling comedy writer

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Female, Independent Spirit Awards
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


9. LUPITA NYONG'O (QUEEN OF KATWE)

Role: Harriet Nakku, mother of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi

Oscar Record: 1 nomination and win for 12 Years a Slave

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. FELICITY JONES (A MONSTER CALLS)

Role: Conor's Mother, who has a terminal illness but is helping her son the best she can

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Laura Dern (The Founder)
Elle Fanning (20th Century Women)
Lily Gladstone (Certain Women) - Win, Best Supporting Actress, Los Angeles Film Critics AssociationWin, Best Supporting Actress, Atlanta Film Critics Society
Keira Knightley (Collateral Beauty)
Helen Mirren (Collateral Beauty)
Julianne Moore (Maggie's Plan)

BEST ACTOR 2017

Updated: 2 December 2016

ESSENTIAL LOCKS

1. CASEY AFFLECK (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Role: Lee Chandler, a man forced to return to his hometown to become the legal guardian of his nephew

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Actor, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Male Lead, Independent Spirit Awards
Win, Best Actor, National Board of Review
Win, Best Actor, New York Film Critics Circle
Nomination, Best Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Runner-up, Best Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Win, Best Actor, Atlanta Film Critics Society

It's not everyday that an actor receives "career-best performance" notices. And Casey Affleck is no slouch, having turned in some great performances in the past. The film's expected to be a major Oscar player, so he's a very likely nominee and a solid contender for the win. He's been winning several precursor awards so far, including the NBR and the NYFCC.



2. DENZEL WASHINGTON (FENCES)

Role: Troy Maxson, a former baseball player and now a waste collector struggling to provide for his family

Oscar Record: 6 nominations, with wins for Glory and Training Day

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood's most respected actors, and this role won him a Tony when he played it on the stage. Plays don't always carry over well to cinema, but if this one does, Washington is a surefire nominee and also a highly probably winner.

MAYBE

3. RYAN GOSLING (LA LA LAND)

Role: Sebastian, a Los Angeles jazz musician

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

Men have historically found it more difficult to break through into Oscar glory for a musical. And while the film is being praised to high heavens and his performance is getting good ink (and the chemisty between him and Emma Stone is said to be perfect), it's Stone who's getting the lion's share of hallelujahs and Oscar buzz. Still, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where only Stone gets nominated.

POSSIBLE

4. TOM HANKS (SULLY)

Role: Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who gets embroiled in controversy after doing an emergency landing in the Hudson River

Oscar Record: 5 nominations, with wins for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actor, Critics' Choice Awards

The Academy has had at least three opportunities to reward Tom Hanks with a sixth nomination in the last few years, his exceptional turn in Captain Phillips being one of them. He got rave reviews again for Sully. It might be enough to bring this beloved icon back to the Oscar race.


5. ANDREW GARFIELD (SILENCE)

Role: Father Sebastião Rodrigues, a Jesuit priest persecuted in Japan

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Now that the trailer has come out, we can now be sure that 1) Andrew Garfield is the lead and 2) it's a demanding, very dramatic role. Garfield is a gifted and hardworking actor (phenomenal in last year's overlooked 99 Homes) and probably came close to a nomination for The Social Network. With this and another acclaimed film, Hacksaw Ridge, out in the same year, his chances for a first nom are looking pretty good.


6. JOEL EDGERTON (LOVING)

Role: Richard Loving, one half of an interracial couple being persecuted by the law and society

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actor, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


7. ANDREW GARFIELD (HACKSAW RIDGE)

Role: Desmond Doss, a World War II American Army medic who becomes the first Medal of Honor winner without firing a shot

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actor, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


8. WARREN BEATTY (RULES DON'T APPLY)

Role: Howard Hughes, the eccentric entrepreneur, aviator, and film maker

Oscar Record: 14 nominations as actor, producer, director, writer, with a win for directing Reds and an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


9. VIGGO MORTENSEN (CAPTAIN FANTASTIC)

Role: Ben Cash, the patriarch of a family that needs to reintegrate into society after a long isolation

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Male Lead, Independent Spirit Awards


10. MICHAEL KEATON (THE FOUNDER)

Role: Ray Kroc, the Illinois businessman whose cunning and savvy allows him to take over the McDonald's fast food chain

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Adam Driver (Paterson) - Win, Best Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Snowden)
Logan Lerman (Indignation)
Nate Parker (The Birth of a Nation)
Chris Pine (Hell or High Water)
Brad Pitt (Allied)
Chris Pratt (Passengers)
Will Smith (Collateral Beauty)

BEST ACTRESS 2017

Updated: 2 December 2016

ESSENTIAL LOCKS

1. EMMA STONE (LA LA LAND)

Role: Mia, an aspiring actress in Los Angeles

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Volpi Cup for Best Actress, Venice Film Festival
Nomination, Best Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

Emma Stone is America's Sweetheart, with one nomination already under her belt. But this is her true breakthrough performance for awards consideration, according to the same critics who have rained lavish praise on the film. Though it does not often translate to an Oscar win, the win in Venice is BIG. At this point, a win is very likely.


2. NATALIE PORTMAN (JACKIE)

Role: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, with a win for Black Swan

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actress, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Female Lead, Independent Spirit Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

The adjectives "astonishing" and "spectacular" don't get thrown around so easily when it comes to performances (unless you're Meryl Streep or Cate Blanchett, I suppose), but those are the very words that have been used to describe Natalie Portman's perf as Jackie Kennedy. Some even say it tops her Oscar-winning turn in Black Swan. Hillary Clinton's loss may have been Portman's gain.

LIKELY

3. ANNETTE BENING (20TH CENTURY WOMEN)

Role: Dorothea Fields, a single mother trying to teach her teenage son about freedom and love

Oscar Record: 4 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actress, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Female Lead, Independent Spirit Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Win, Best Actress, Atlanta Film Critics Society

Annette Bening has not been nominated in a long while and has yet to win an Oscar. The critics are predictably singing their praises of her performance. As the buzz continues to build and the film opens wide, I think she'll be a surer bet and even a threat to win (especially now that Viola Davis has officially dropped to supporting).

MAYBE

4. AMY ADAMS (ARRIVAL)

Role: Louise Banks, a linguist called in to communicate with an alien species

Oscar Record: 5 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Actress, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

Amy Adams is almost a default nominee (her fellow actors love her), so if anyone can get nominated for a science fiction performance, then it's her. Reviews for both the film and her perf have been highly positive. Though the NBR doesn't often align with the Oscars, it's still a big win.

POSSIBLE

5. ISABELLE HUPPERT (ELLE)

Role: Michèle LeBlanc, a businesswoman assaulted in her home and out for revenge

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Actress, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Female Lead, Independent Spirit Awards
Win, Best Actress, New York Film Critics Circle
Win, Best Actress, Los Angeles Film Critics Association

It's almost criminal that cinema legend Isabelle Huppert does not have single Oscar nomination. That might change this year, as she has a killer role that's winning top awards so far that even Charlotte Rampling and Marion Cotillard did not get last year and the year before that, respectively.


6. RUTH NEGGA (LOVING)

Role: Mildred Loving, half of an interracial couple embroiled in legal and social woes

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Actress, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Female Lead, Independent Spirit Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association


7. MERYL STREEP (FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS)

Role: Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress and opera singer with little actual singing talent

Oscar Record: 19 nominations, with wins for Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie's Choice, The Iron Lady

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


8. VIOLA DAVIS (FENCES)

Role: Rose Maxson, wife of a former baseball player struggling to provide for his family

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Awards


9. JESSICA CHASTAIN (MISS SLOANE)

Role: Elizabeth Sloane, a ruthless political strategist who is pit against the gun lobby

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. MARION COTILLARD (ALLIED)

Role: Marianne Beausejour, a French resistance fighter whose true identity is suddenly thrown into question

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, with a win for La Vie en Rose

Pre-Oscar Citations: None



Other Contenders:
Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals)
Kate Beckinsale (Love and Friendship) - Nomination, Best Actress, Gotham Awards
Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train)
Sally Field (Hello, My Name is Doris)
Rebecca Hall (Christine) - Runner-up, Best Actress, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Jennifer Lawrence (Passengers)

BEST PICTURE 2017

Updated: 2 December 2016

ESSENTIAL LOCKS

1. LA LA LAND (16 December, Lionsgate)


Producers: Fred Berger, Gary Gilbert, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Finn Wittrock, J.K. Simmons

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival
Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Win, Best Film, New York Film Critics Circle
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Film, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Runner-up, Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Win, Best Picture, Atlanta Film Critics Society
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute

The combination of nostalgia over the old Hollywood musical and excitement over wunderkind Damien Chazelle's follow-up to the brilliant Whiplash easily propelled this to the top 10 Oscar-buzzed films of the year. Very generous reviews from Venice have catapulted it to the top. This is the film to beat come Oscar night. It's difficult to imagine a scenario where this does not get nominated for Best Picture and get the most nominations. It's the choice of the NYFCC, one of the most influential critics' groups (if not THE MOST influential).


2. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (18 November, Roadside Attractions)

Producers: Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, Kevin J. Walsh
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Feature, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Feature, Independent Spirit Awards
Win, Best Film, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Film, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute

Since debuting at Sundance last January, Manchester by the Sea has received an astounding amount of praise from critics and audiences, making it top the earliest Oscar prediction charts. Though the buzz never died down, Telluride reinvigorated it and reminded everyone how amazing the film and its principal actors are. The NBR has also given its seal of approval.

MOST LIKELY

3. MOONLIGHT (21 October, A24)


Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski
Director: Barry Jenkins
Writers: Barry Jenkins, Tarell McCraney
Cast: Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, André Holland

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Best Feature, Gotham Awards
Nomination, Best Feature, Independent Spirit Awards
Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Film, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Win, Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute

It has been seen and very much loved, with fervor virtually as strong as that for La La Land. It's a movie about blacks and the LGBT, neither of which are easy sells to the Academy, but it's probably too good for them to ignore at least for a nomination for Best Picture. It's the perfect opportunity for the Academy to make the Oscars relevant.

LIKELY

4. JACKIE (9 December, Fox Searchlight Pictures)


Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Pascal Caucheteux, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel, Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival
Win, Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival
Nomination, Best Feature, Independent Spirit Awards

Ever since this came out, the praises for both Natalie Portman and the film itself have been very strong. Pablo Larraín's Neruda is also being seen and loved and might be a Best Foreign Language Film category competitor, so the buzz is definitely on their side. Plus, Jackie Kennedy is a very famous historical figure among the voters. If anything, Trump's victory in the US Presidential elections may cause sentiment to reward this film big come Oscar nomination day.


5. LOVING (4 November, Focus Features)

Producers: Nancy Buirski, Ged Doherty, Colin Firth, Sarah Green, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub
Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton, Michael Shannon

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards

Loving came roaring out of the Cannes Film Festival, beginning a strong and largely sustained buzz for the film itself and leads Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. With the controversy surrounding the Academy's lack of diversity last year, this is likely to resonate with voters. Director Jeff Nichols has been building a great resume in recent years and garnering respect from the industry, so the timing is ripe.


6. SILENCE (November 2016, Paramount Pictures)

Producers: Vittorio Cecchi Gri, Barbara De Fina, Randall Emmett, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Irwin Winkler
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Jay Cocks, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Ciarán Hinds, Tadanobu Asano

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute

Martin Scorsese's passion project has been in the making for many years and is finally set to open this November. Predictably, the anticipation for it is quite high. The trailer has finally dropped and it is gorgeous. This is likely going to be a MAJOR player across the board.

MAYBE

7. ARRIVAL (11 November, Paramount Pictures)


Producers: Daniel S. Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, Karen Lunder, Aaron Ryder
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Eric Heisserer, based on the short story by Ted Chiang
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Michael Stuhlbarg, Forest Whitaker

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Film, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute

Critically acclaimed and doing well in the box office, this intelligent, mysterious science fiction piece has the buzz and the prestige (and an Amy Adams) that could be enough to have it break through. Director Denis Villeneuve has been turning in Oscar-worthy films in the last few years, and this one might finally be his ticket into the big race.


8. FENCES (25 December, Paramount Pictures)

Producers: Todd Black, Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington
Director: Denzel Washington
Writer: August Wilson, based on his play
Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby, Stephen Henderson

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute

Though Denzel Washington has not gotten traction  in the Oscars for his directed films, he's very well respected by the Academy. This film also has a rich legacy in theater, having won a Pulitzer and several Tonys for both its original run in 1987 and the revival in 2010, which starred (and won Tonys for) Washington and Viola Davis. The reviews aren't as glowing as expected, though.

POSSIBLE

9. LION (25 November, The Weinstein Company)


Producers: Iain Canning, Angie Fielder, Emile Sherman
Director: Garth Davis
Writer: Luke Davies, based on the book by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose
Cast: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards

This is one of the biggest tearjerkers among the contenders, with a very uplifting story of self-discovery. It also has heavily praised performances by Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. And of course, Harvey Weinstein is backing it all the way and that matters.


10. HELL OR HIGH WATER (26 August, CBS Films)

Producers: Peter Berg, Carla Hacken, Sidney Kimmel, Julie Yorn
Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Nomination, Best Film, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute

It's a handsomely made film with strong performances especially by Ben Foster and Academy favorite Jeff Bridges. It started getting some buzz early in the year, never really lost it, and is now getting important notices from various groups. It's a strong showing that may translate into strong support within the Academy.


11. HACKSAW RIDGE (24 October, Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment)

Producers: Terry Benedict, Paul Currie, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson, Bill Mechanic, Brian Oliver, David Permut
Director: Mel Gibson
Writers: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute


12. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (7 October, Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert, Preston L. Holmes, Nate Parker, Kevin Turen
Director: Nate Parker
Writers: Nate Parker, Jean McGianni Celestin
Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival
Win, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival


13. 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (21 December, A24)

Producers: Anne Carey, Megan Ellison, Youree Henley
Director: Mike Mills
Writer: Mike Mills
Cast: Annette Bening, Bill Crudup, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Citation, Top 10 Independent Film, National Board of Review


14. SULLY (9 September, Warner Bros.)

Producers: Clint Eastwood, Frank Marshall, Tim Moore, Allyn Stewart
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Todd Komarnicki, based on the book by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow
Cast: Tom Hanks, Anna Gunn, Laura Linney, Aaron Eckhart

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Picture, Critics' Choice Awards
Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute


15. RULES DON'T APPLY (23 November, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

Producers: Warren Beatty, Steve Bing, Ron Burkle, Molly Conners, Frank Giustra, Sarah E. Johnson, William D. Johnson, Jonathan McCoy, Arnon Milchan, Steven Mnuchin, Sybil Robson Orr, James Packer, Brett Ratner, Terry Semel, Jeffrey Soros, Christopher Woodrow
Director: Warren Beatty
Writer: Warren Beatty, Bo Goldman
Cast: Warrean Beatty, Alden Ehrenreich, Lily Collins

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
The Founder
Hidden Figures - Citation, Top Film, National Board of Review
Moana
Nocturnal Animals
Passengers
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Zootopia - Citation, Movies of the Year, American Film Institute