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: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight
This year’s locks: La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Hell or High Water, Lion
Very likely: Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures
Possible: Silence, Hacksaw Ridge, Sully, Nocturnal Animals
Unlikely: Jackie, Captain Fantastic, Deadpool
The rundown: So we’re finally here at the end of an Oscar race that’s actually been much more exciting than usual in a lot of ways. If this were a five-film race as it used to be back in 2008, we would have our five locks and no real competition: the three frontrunners, La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea, one of my favorite films of the year, Hell or High Water, and Lion, which has been doing very well recently with all the guilds. Since we’re likely to have more, I think that Arrival is safe since it seems to be well-respected, Fences because it’s a solid display of directorial and acting achievement by Denzel Washington with a sure-to-win performance by Viola Davis, and Hidden Figures because it’s a feel-good movie that people are loving. After that, I’m really not so sure, but since I’m predicting Silence to get in for Best Director, I think it will score here just like “The Tree of Life” did a few years ago. I think nine, the number of nominees in 2011, 2012, and 2013, is what we’ll have this year. That means Hacksaw Ridge just misses the cut, which is possible but not totally likely. I wish Sully had done better this awards season, and I really hope I’m wrong in not predicting it. Nocturnal Animals, Jackie, Captain Fantastic, and Deadpool will all garner some votes but I don’t think any of them will be strong enough. Will we have a major surprise inclusion, or a major snub? If so, I hope it’s a good one.
One possible crazy scenario: It’s never going to happen, but all those people who raved about American Honey actually vote for it. I’d be thrilled.
Forecasted winner: Unless here’s a big surprise, I think that it’s definitely going to be La La Land.