This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.
Last year’s nominees: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Mark Ruffalo, Mark Rylance, Sylvester Stallone
This year’s locks: Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, Jeff Bridges
Very likely: None
Possible: Lucas Hedges, Hugh Grant, Ben Foster, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon
Unlikely: Simon Helberg, Liam Neeson
The rundown: I’m really not sure what to do here. I was so confident that Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) was a fluke when he got nominated for a Golden Globe, and that his costar Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) was likelier to get nominated for an Oscar but still probably wouldn’t make the cut, and then he won the Globe Sunday night. His lack of mentions from other awards groups – Shannon got most of them – doesn’t entirely disqualify him, but it’s not terribly helpful. Consider the frontrunners - Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Dev Patel (Lion), and Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water) – who seem like locks. Bridges’ costar Ben Foster (Hell or High Water) picked up some critical attention and could easily and deservedly join the Oscar race. I’m really rooting for Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), who totally deserves this. Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins) feels like a solid choice, though costar Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins) did get a Golden Globe nomination and could knock him out – or join him. And then there’s Liam Neeson (Silence), who hasn’t shown up anywhere and might get some votes but isn’t likely to break into this race.
One possible crazy scenario: He really was great, but Ralph Fiennes (A Bigger Splash) was in way too low-profile movie to show up here. How cool would that be though?
Forecasted winner: He lost the Globe, but I think Ali is still likely to triumph.