Sunday, January 22, 2017

89th Academy Awards Nomination Predictions

So on Tuesday morning the nominations will be announced for the 89th Academy Awards, which will then be awarded in a ceremony on February 26.

For now, here's how I have the nominees coming together in all but the short film categories.

Picture

There can, as usual, be anywhere from 5 - 10 nominees in this category.

First of all, there are the 5 that I consider absolute locks for nominations:

Arrival
Fences
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Following that I have a list of 5 more films in order of likelihood:

Lion
Loving
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
Silence

Now I'm predicting there will be 8 nominees, with Silence and Hidden Figures missing out after the others. I don't have high confidence in anything after Lion. Loving was a wonderful little movie, but maybe isn't drawing enough big attention to get nominated here. Hell or High Water is getting a lot of attention, but I didn't personally think it as great as many others do. Hidden Figures just isn't a very good movie by any stretch. It's not even as good as The Help, which received an undeserved Best Picture nomination several years ago. I really like Silence and it would be a deserving nominee but I wonder if it's going to connect with voters. As much as I admired it, I felt no emotional connection.

Director
Damian Chazelle - La La Land
Barry Jenkins - Moonlight
Pablo Larraín - Jackie
Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve - Arrival

I'm going out on a limb with the Larraín pick, but the Academy Directors branch has demonstrated a penchant in recent years for nominating directors whose films don't fit the mold of standard Hollywood fare. You could also find Mel Gibson sneaking onto this list for Hacksaw Ridge if not Denzel Washington for his work on Fences.

Actress
Amy Adams - Arrival
Isabelle Huppert - Elle
Natalie Portman - Jackie
Emma Stone - La La Land
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

With strong contenders Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Ruth Negga (Loving), Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), and even Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train) this is one of the most competitive years for this category in recent memory. I don't really think Blunt has a chance, but any of the other three are serious spoilers to bump Streep off the ballot.

Actor
Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton - Loving
Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington - Fences

By contrast, the men's field is rather limited and only 3 of these guys are real locks. Edgerton and Mortensen are shaky choices, but not truly outshone by Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), or Tom Hanks (Sully)

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis - Fences
Haomie Harris - Moonlight
Nicole Kidman - Lion
Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea

I just don't think there's anyone else worth mentioning. These are the 5.

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant - Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel - Lion

So Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) won the Golden Globe, which historically means he's certain to get an Oscar nomination, but no one else seems to be talking about him. Michael Shannon could end up nominated for his work in the same film, but a vote split could hurt both of them. Issey Ogata has gotten some good notices for his work in Silence. I haven't seen Florence Foster Jenkins, but I keep seeing Grant on lists of predicted nominees, so I'm including him.

Original Screenplay
Captain Fantastic
Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea

I'm uncomfortable with choosing Captain Fantastic, but I just don't know where else to go with the final spot. Maybe 20th Century Women. Maybe Jackie?

Adapted Screenplay
Arrival
Fences
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Animated Feature
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

I like the idea of Switzerland's Foreign Language Film entry (and also one of 9 finalists that could get nominated in that category) is also eligible for this award. I haven't seen it and I know nothing about it. But I'm going with it just because Finding Dory wasn't good enough.

Production Design
Arrival
Dr. Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar
La La Land

Cinematography
Arrival
La La Land
Moonlight
Nocturnal Animals
Silence

Film Editing
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Costume Design
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Original Score
The BFG
Jackie
La La Land
Moana
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Original Song
"Runnin" from Hidden Figures
"Audition" from La La Land
"City of Stars" from La La Land
"How Far I'll Go" from Moana
"The Great Beyond" from Sausage Party

Makeup and Hairstyling
Deadpool
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond

Sound Mixing
Arrival
La La Land
Patriots Day
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Silence

Sound Editing
Allied
Captain America: Civil War
Dr. Strange
La La Land
Patriots Day

Visual Effects
Arrival
Dr. Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings

Documentary Feature
Cameraperson
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J. Made in America
13th
Tower

Foreign Language Film
Land of Mine from Denmark
A Man Called Ove from Sweden
My Life as a Zucchini from Switzerland
Toni Erdmann from Germany
The Salesman from Iran

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