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: Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
This year’s locks: La La Land, Lion
Very likely: Moonlight
Possible: Hidden Figures, Nocturnal Animals, Hacksaw Ridge, Fences, Hell or High Water, Zootopia, The BFG, Moana, Florence Foster Jenkins
Unlikely: The other 79 contenders
The rundown: There are 146 contenders in this category this year, up from last year’s already high total. The Golden Globe nominee you won’t find here is “Arrival,” which was deemed not eligible largely due to its use of a preexisting track in key moments in the film. The other four nominees are my top contenders and I’d expect them to go on to Oscar nominations, starting with La La Land and Lion, two films that seem unstoppable right now. Moonlight and Hidden Figures are also on the rise, and their music is highly acclaimed and likely to show up here. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. The BFG seems like a strong possibility because it was composed by John Williams, and big names could also help Florence Foster Jenkins, Moana, and Zootopia earn nominations. Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, and Nocturnal Animals aren’t necessarily frontrunners here, but they could easily show up.
One possible crazy scenario: Even though the score goes out of its way not to sound like “Star Wars,” two-time nominee Michael Giacchino might still earn a nomination for crowdpleaser Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Forecasted winner: As part of its sweep, La La Land gets this.