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: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet
This year’s locks: Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, Nicole Kidman
Very likely: Naomie Harris
Possible: Octavia Spencer, Greta Gerwig, Janelle Monae
Unlikely: Felicity Jones
The rundown: This category really isn’t all that interesting or competitive. There are four actresses who are all but guaranteed, and there’s nothing to suggest that they won’t make the cut. Viola Davis (Fences) is a lock, and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), Nicole Kidman (Lion), and Naomie Harris (Moonlight) are all likely to join her. The question is who will earn the fifth nomination. Globe and SAG nominee Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) is the obvious choice, though her costar Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures) could easily bump her out. Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women) would be a fun choice but missed out on both Globe and SAG bids, and the film isn’t being talked about enough right now for me to have confidence in her chances. That’s pretty much it, with Felicity Jones (A Monster Calls) the only real other shot mainly due to her high profile right now with the release of “Rogue One.”
One possible crazy scenario: She’s not the one who earned precursors, but Elle Fanning (20th Century Women) would be a really cool choice.
Forecasted winner: Unless someone unexpectedly joins the race, count on Viola Davis to win.