Projection: Oscar – Oscar Predictions 12-17-2016



As precursors continue to roll in, predictions begin to align based on a consistent pattern of mentions by various awarding groups. The weight of each group’s impact varies widely. The Golden Globe nominations, for instance, don’t impact these predictions at all. The Screen Actors Guild noms, however, do influence these lists. But one single indicator doesn’t amount to anything compared to the broader picture based on the general trajectory of the season thus far, the sum total of everything we have to digest…which is a lot.

The Foreign Language Film shortlist was released Thursday – predictions have been shaken up accordingly. And the final pre-nomination categories are added today: Best Original Score and Best Original Song, both of which were the subject of news this week. The Original Scores for Manchester by the Sea and Arrival were both disqualified by AMPAS, on the grounds that they leaned too heavily on the use of pre-existing source material. My take: that reasoning is specious in both cases, though it’s clearer in the case of Manchester than it is for Arrival, but regardless, neither will be in contention for the Oscars. As for Best Original Song, the shortlist was released this week – though said “short” list consists of 91 eligible songs, so it’s not like much whittling has been done in that regard.

As for the remaining three categories – Documentary Short, Live Action Short, and Animated Short – we will wait until we know the field before we start predicting winners.

Here now is a look at where the race stands, roughly 11 weeks until the 89th Academy Awards.

Best Picture

  1. La La Land
  2. Moonlight
  3. Manchester by the Sea
  4. Fences
  5. Lion
  6. Hidden Figures
  7. Hacksaw Ridge
  8. Silence
  9. Hell or High Water
  10. Arrival

Other Contenders:

Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Director

  1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  3. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  4. Denzel Washington, Fences
  5. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Other Contenders:

Martin Scorsese, Silence
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Pablo Larrain, Jackie
Garth Davis, Lion

Best Actress

  1. Emma Stone, La La Land
  2. Natalie Portman, Jackie
  3. Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  4. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
  5. Amy Adams, Arrival

Other Contenders:

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Ruth Negga, Loving
Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

Best Actor

  1. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  2. Denzel Washington, Fences
  3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  4. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  5. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Other Contenders:

Tom Hanks, Sully
Adam Driver, Paterson
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Michael Keaton, The Founder

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Viola Davis, Fences
  2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  3. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
  4. Nicole Kidman, Lion
  5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Other Contenders:

Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures
Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women
Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  2. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  3. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
  4. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  5. Issei Ogata, Silence

Other Contenders:

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures
Mykelti Williamson, Fences
Liam Neeson, Silence
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences
Adam Driver, Silence

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  2. August Wilson, Fences
  3. Eric Heisserer, Arrival
  4. Luke Davies, Lion
  5. Jay Cocks, Martin Scorsese, Silence

Other Contenders:

Hidden Figures
Hacksaw Ridge
Love and Friendship

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  2. Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  3. Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
  4. Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann
  5. Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

Other Contenders:

The Lobster
Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Film Editing

  1. La La Land, Tom Cross
  2. Moonlight, Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders
  3. Silence, Thelma Schoonmaker
  4. Hacksaw Ridge, John Gilbert
  5. Live By Night, William Goldenberg

Other Contenders:

Fences, Hughes Winborne
Hell or High Water, Jake Roberts
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jabez Olsen
Manchester by the Sea, Jennifer Lame
Lion, Alexandre de Francheschi
Jackie, Sebastian Sepulveda
Arrival, Joe Walker
Sully, Blu Murray
The Jungle Book, Mark Livolsi

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. Toni Erdmann (Germany)
  2. A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  3. Land of Mine (Denmark)
  4. The Salesman (Iran)
  5. Tanna (Australia)

Other Contenders:

It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)
My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland)
The King’s Choice (Norway)
Paradise (Russia)

Best Animated Feature

  1. Zootopia
  2. Kubo and the Two Strings
  3. The Red Turtle
  4. Moana
  5. Finding Dory

Other Contenders:

Miss Hokusai
April and the Extraordinary World
The Little Prince
My Life as a Zucchini

Best Cinematography

  1. La La Land, Linus Sandgren
  2. Silence, Rodrigo Prieto
  3. Moonlight, James Laxton
  4. Jackie, Stephane Fontaine
  5. Arrival, Bradford Young

Other Contenders:

Lion, Greig Fraser
The Jungle Book, Bill Pope
Live by Night, Robert Richardson
Hacksaw Ridge, Simon Duggan
Hell or High Water, Giles Nuttgens

Best Costume Design

  1. La La Land, Mary Zophres
  2. Silence, Dante Ferretti
  3. Jackie, Madeline Fontaine
  4. Live by Night, Jacqueline West
  5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Colleen Atwood

Other Contenders:

Hidden Figures, Renee Ehrlich Kalfus
Fences, Sharon Davis
Rules Don’t Apply, Albert Wolsky
Captain Fantastic, Courtney Hoffman
Allied, Joanna Johnston
Love & Friendship, Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Best Production Design

  1. La La Land, David Wasco
  2. Silence, Dante Ferretti
  3. Jackie, Jean Rabasse
  4. Hidden Figures, Wynn Thomas
  5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Stuart Craig, James Hambidge

Other Contenders:

The Jungle Book, Christopher Glass
Live by Night, Jess Gonchor
Rules Don’t Apply, Jeannine Oppewall
Hacksaw Ridge, Barry Robison
Allied, Gary Freeman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Jackie
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  3. Hacksaw Ridge

Other Contenders:

Hidden Figures
A Monster Calls
Florence Foster Jenkins
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Rules Don’t Apply

Best Sound Editing

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  2. Hacksaw Ridge
  3. Deepwater Horizon
  4. Sully
  5. La La Land

Other Contenders:

Live by Night
The Jungle Book

Best Sound Mixing

  1. La La Land
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  3. Hacksaw Ridge
  4. Live by Night
  5. Deepwater Horizon

Other Contenders:

The Jungle Book

Best Documentary Feature

  1. O.J.: Made in America
  2. I Am Not Your Negro
  3. Cameraperson
  4. 13th
  5. Tower

Other Contenders:

The Eagle Huntress
The Ivory Game
Life, Animated
Fire at Sea
Zero Days
Command and Control
The Witness
Hooligan Sparrow

Best Visual Effects

  1. The Jungle Book
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  3. Arrival
  4. Doctor Strange
  5. Kubo and the Two Strings

Other Contenders:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Deepwater Horizon
Captain America: Civil War

Best Original Score

  1. La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
  2. Lion – Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka
  3. Moonlight – Nicholas Britell
  4. Jackie – Mica Levi
  5. Florence Foster Jenkins – Alexandre Desplat

Other Contenders:

The Jungle Book – John Debney
The BFG – John Williams
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Michael Giacchino
Hacksaw Ridge – Rupert Gregson-Williams
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – James Newtown Howard
Patriots Day – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Hell or High Water – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Nocturnal Animals – Abel Korzeniowski
Moana – Mark Mancina

Best Original Song

    1. “Audition,” La La Land
    2. “City of Stars,” La La Land
    3. “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana
    4. “Runnin’,” Hidden Figures
    5. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” Trolls

Other Contenders:

“Drive It Like You Stole It,” Sing Street
“We Know the Way,” Moana
“Faith,” Sing
“I See a Victory,” Hidden Figures
“I’m Still Here,” Miss Sharon Jones
“Try Everything,” Zootopia
“The Great Beyond,” Sausage Party
“Letter to the Free,” 13th
“The Rules Don’t Apply,” Rules Don’t Apply
“Start a Fire,” La La Land


About Author

I married into the cult of cinema at a very young age - I wasn't of legal marriage age, but I didn't care. It has taken advantage of me and abused me many times. Yet I stay in this marriage because I'm obsessed and consumed. Don't try to save me -- I'm too far gone.