2017 Oscar Nominees

By: Henry J. Fromage –

Below are your 2017 Oscar Nominees.  I actually tailored this off my prediction posts from last week, with my hits in bold, and my misses crossed out, and original prediction commentary left in for your awe and/or ironic pleasure.  I feel like a did pretty damn well, as did the Oscars overall, with the biggest snubs probably being Meryl Streep in over Amy Adams in Best Actress, and Mel Gibson in over so many more deserving nominees for Best Director.  La La Land ties the overall nominations record with 14, one more than I thought it was going to get, and the real question is whether it can best Titanic and Ben-Hur‘s 11 wins.  Could happen, folks.

Best Cinematography

  1. Linus Sandgren, La La Land
  2. James Laxton, Moonlight
  3. Bradford Young, Arrival
  4. Greig Fraser, Lion
  5. Rodrigo Prieto, Silence

You’re going to notice some familiar films here, although they constitute a lot of first-time, and arguably overdue, nominees.  I think Greig Fraser gets in here, too, although whether it’s for Lion or Rogue One is an open question.  Here’s pretty much the only place Silence has been showing strength, but don’t be surprised to see Seamus McGarvey for Nocturnal Animals, Simon Duggan for Hacksaw Ridge, Stephane Fontaine for Jackie, or even perpetual bridesmaid Roger Deakins for Hail, Caesar!

Best Production Design

  1. La La Land
  2. Arrival
  3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 0.5
  4. Hail, Caesar!
  5. Passengers
  6. Jackie
  7. Silence

Call it a quirk, but I have no damn interest whatsoever in Fantastic Beasts (Harry Potter & Eddie Redmayne?  Hooray.)  However, many are calling it a lock.  I do know the first two up there qualify as such, and I guess I can’t begrudge The Danish Muggle even though it means I need to sit through that crap.  Jackie’s looking strong as well, and is wholly deserving, and Silence is also getting a lot of love.  Don’t be surprised if Hacksaw Ridge, Hail, Caesar!, or particularly Rogue One get the call, either.  The Handmaiden and Passengers would be deserving, but dark horse choices as well.

Best Sound Editing

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

Sound Editing means Sound Effects means Explosions, most years, so hi there, Rogue One and Hacksaw RidgeArrival is as good as any Dennis Villeneuve film in this category and very deserving.  After that, one of Peter Berg’s true life action films is likely to make the cut if they don’t cancel out, and this might be the only place Sully figures.  The Jungle Book, Dr. Strange, and even La La Land could certainly make it, though (and if the latter happens, we’re talking one hell of a sweep to come) (Yup.- Ed.).

Best Sound Mixing

  1. La La Land
  2. Arrival
  3. Hacksaw Ridge
  4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  5. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
  6. Silence

Sound Mixing is just what it sounds like, and the right category for La La Land to dominate.  Action and SciFi also do quite well in this category as well.  Strangely enough, Silence apparently takes some good sound mixing as well…

Best Visual Effects

  1. Dr. Strange
  2. The Jungle Book
  3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  4. Kubo and the Two Strings
  5. Deepwater Horizon
  6. Arrival
  7. Captain America: Civil War

It’s all about CGI spectacle these days, and the above are perhaps our biggest this year, give or take a Fantastic BeastKubo and the Two Strings would be nice to see, though.

Best Editing

  1. La La Land
  2. Moonlight
  3. Arrival
  4. Hacksaw Ridge
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. Manchester by the Sea
  7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The best bet in this category is to go with Best Picture contenders, and a miss from one of those here is a sign it’s not a serious player for the win (Ed. Hmmm, vis a vis Manchester by the Sea).  This year that means less, but I expect each of our top three to figure.  After that, you can pretty much choose from the contenders, with Jackie and Arrival’s editing standing out to me in particular, and Hacksaw Ridge’s to other folks.  For the last slot, I decided to match The Force Awakens choice from last year, as Rogue One probably had even more craftsmanship than that film and nearly as much profile.

Best Original Song

  1. “City of Stars”, La La Land
  2. “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”, La La Land
  3. “How Far I’ll Go”, Moana
  4. “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, Trolls
  5. “The Empty Chair”, Jim: The James Foley Story
  6. “Running”, Hidden Figures

La La Land isn’t just getting one song in, it’s two, and it’s still hard picking between them.  “Another Day of Sun” is a personal favorite, but the two above probably have the inside track.  In the non-La La Land division, “How Far I’ll Go” is pretty safe, and “Running” is getting a lot of mention.   13th, Sing, Miss Sharon Jones, Zootopia, and Sing Street all have their potential, but I’ll go with the biggest hit in the race for the last spot.

Best Original Score

  1. Justin Hurwitz, La La Land
  2. Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
  3. Mica Levi, Jackie
  4. Hauschka & Dustin O’Halloran, Lion
  5. Thomas Newman, Passengers
  6. Michael Giacchino, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Arrival is not eligible, so nope.  It wouldn’t have mattered, since Justin Hurwitz has this in the bag.  The others here are safe guesses, and in particular it would be great to see Levi get in here, but more traditional pablum like Fantastic Beasts could certainly show up as well.

Even the Academy’s John Williams love isn’t enough for The BFG to get in, right?  Right?

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  1. A Man Called Ove
  2. Star Trek Beyond
  3. Suicide Squad
  4. Deadpool
  5. Florence Foster Jenkins

For reasons unknown, we’re looking at only 3 nominees in this category, from a short list of 8.  These are the three that are showing up on most lists, but any of Star Trek Beyond, The Dressmaker, Suicide Squad, or Hail, Caesar! could make it in.

Best Costume Design

  1. Jackie
  2. La La Land
  3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  4. Florence Foster Jenkins
  5. Allied
  6. Silence

Jackie is tailor-made for this category, and, surprise, La La Land is a big player.  Fantastic Beasts is already selling their stuff for popular consumption, take that as you will, and depending on who you ask, the last two are actually your leaders in the category.

Best Documentary Feature

  1. O.J.: Made in America
  2. 13th
  3. I Am Not Your Negro
  4. Life, Animated
  5. Fire at Sea
  6. Cameraperson
  7. The Ivory Game

O.J. is winning this, but the rest of the field is full of worthy contenders.  Cameraperson is the only film to have beaten O.J. at all this season, and the power and profile of 13th should make it a shoo-in.  From there, it’s tough.  Honestly, any of these, as well as Gleason, The Eagle Huntress, Tower, and Life, Animated could factor.  I’m pretty sure everyone’s seen enough of a certain Weiner, though (although the doc is fascinating!)


Best Animated Feature

  1. Zootopia
  2. Moana
  3. Kubo and the Two Strings
  4. The Red Turtle
  5. My Life as a Zucchini
  6. The Little Prince

This might be the most stacked category of the year, with any of the above making worthy winners.  If any of Finding Dory, Sing, The Secret Life of Pets, or Sausage Party makes it in over either of the latter two, though, I’ll be pissed (and it’s likely to happen).  Don’t count out My Life as a Zucchini, either, which is intriguingly competing in both this and Foreign Language Film.

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. Toni Erdmann (Germany)
  2. The Salesman (Iran)
  3. Land of Mine (Denmark)
  4. A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  5. Tanna (Australia)
  6. The King’s Choice (Norway)
  7. Paradise (Russia)

No Zucchinis here, either, but, again, not impossible.  Toni Erdmann is one of the most acclaimed films of the year that also happens to have nearly the exact plot of That’s My Boy.  Asghar Farhadi isn’t going to miss, and that’s where certainty leaves us.  If it’s not the above, it’ll be one of A Man Called Ove, Tanna, Zucchini, or It’s Only the End of the World, the last of which would be a strange feat when the Academy’s ignored two of the very best films of their respective years by Xavier Dolan yet has put his first reported miss on its shortlist.


Best Live Action Short

  1. Timecode
  2. Sing
  3. Ennemis Interieurs
  4. Silent Nights
  5. La Femme et la TGV
  6. The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf, and The Boy
  7. Nocturne in Black
  8. The Way of the Tea

And now we’ve reached the real crapshoot categories.  The list above is based on the best scuttlebutt available, which ain’t much.

Best Documentary Short

  1. The White Helmets
  2. Joe’s Violin
  3. Watani: My Homeland
  4. Extremis
  5. 4.1 Miles
  6. The Mute’s House

This category has even fewer indicators than Live Action, which is saying something.  Again, this is the best of the best guesses above.

Best Animated Short

  1. Piper
  2. Blind Vashya
  3. Pearl
  4. Borrowed Time
  5. Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  6. Inner Workings

Here we go- some films you may have seen!  Both of the Disney shorts have a great chance, but after that we’re back to reading synopses and choosing names we like.  Science!

Best Director

  1. Damien Chazelle
  2. Barry Jenkins
  3. Kenneth Lonergan
  4. Dennis Villeneuve
  5. Mel Gibson
  6. Pablo Larrain

Again, any of the top three missing out would be quite shocking.  After that, while the Director’s Branch has been known for a shocking pick or three, we should still look to our field of Best Picture candidates for the other two slots.  Villeneuve is looking fairly safe, but after that it’s pretty wide open.  Controversial choices like Mel Gibson or Tom Ford are definitely in play, as well as newcomers like Garth Davis (who was picked at the Director’s Guild nominations last week) or David Mackenzie, both deserving.  You can never count out old pros like Clint Eastwood or Martin Scorcese, either, although with both of their films looking unlikely for Best Picture nods, it’s harder to see.  I’m going to pick a wildcard, though, and opt for Larrain, who puts out 2-3 acclaimed films a year these days and is just the kind of craftsman that has surprisingly slipped into the running in recent years.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Moonlight- Barry Jenkins
  2. Arrival- Eric Heisserer
  3. Lion- Luke Davies
  4. Fences- August Wilson
  5. Hidden Figures- Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder

Moonlight recently moved out of competition with the other two of its big three and into a statue most likely.  In this scenario, fellow Best Picture nominees make up the rest of the field, which of course means Hacksaw Ridge, Silence, Nocturnal Animals, and Sully all have a decent shot at lining up one or both against these predictions.

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Manchester by the Sea- Kenneth Lonergan
  2. La La Land- Damien Chazelle
  3. Hell or High Water- Taylor Sheridan
  4. 20th Century Women- Mike Mills
  5. The Lobster- Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos

This is the win Manchester by the Sea can bank on, unless support for La La Land starts to surpass good sense (it’s not a bad screenplay, but it’s not the best screenplay of the year, either, Golden Globes).  It’s about damn time Sheridan got a nom, and Mike Mills is a writers’ favorite.  After that, we have some really interesting possibilities in The Lobster, Paterson, The Nice Guys, and Zooptopia.   Jackie and Captain Fantastic also have a shot.

Best Actor

  1. Casey Affleck
  2. Denzel Washington
  3. Ryan Gosling
  4. Andrew Garfield
  5. Viggo Mortensen
  6. Joel Edgerton

Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington are definitely battling it out for the win here, but Ryan Gosling is pretty safe as well.  Hacksaw Ridge’s surprising rise through the season has been Andrew Garfield’s as well, and it’s starting to look like he’s going to be the fourth.  For the last slot, another fast-riser, Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic, is on a lot of folks’ lists, and poor Tom Hanks (how’d he miss for Captain Phillips?) should be getting more shrift than he is, but I’m going with one of the best performances of the year that would be a real travesty to leave out.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Mahershala Ali
  2. Jeff Bridges
  3. Dev Patel
  4. Lucas Hedges
  5. Michael Shannon
  6. Aaron Taylor-Johnson

This category is probably the most wide-open of the major categories for the win, but it would still be surprisingly to see the first three passed over.  After that, quite a few actors could factor in, including Lucas Hedges, Hugh Grant, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Liam Neeson, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, and Ben Foster.  Probably the first three of those have the best chance, though, and it’s a tough choice.  I just can’t leave Hedges off, and Taylor-Johnson’s Golden Globes win makes it impossible to dismiss him as well, although Grant could very well be everyone’s #4 choice.

Best Actress

  1. Natalie Portman
  2. Emma Stone
  3. Ruth Negga
  4. Isabelle Huppert
  5. Meryl Streep
  6. Amy Adams

What once looked like Portman’s statue to lose is looking like a lot less of a sure thing after several high-profile losses in recent weeks.  Still, she’s in, as is Emma Stone, another possible winner of the category.  Adams is less likely to take it all, but her performance is well-loved.  After that, it gets interesting.  I find it hard to believe Isabelle Huppert can capture two major upset wins in precursors and still not be nominated, but it’s not impossible.  We also have Meryl Streep, whose very public Trump speech probably gives her a boost, and Annette Bening, who many feel is due a comeback, but I personally hope for Ruth Negga getting the recognition she deserves.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Viola Davis
  2. Michelle Williams
  3. Nicole Kidman
  4. Octavia Spencer
  5. Naomie Harris

Viola is about as safe as La La Land for the win.  After her, Williams, Kidman, Harris, and Davis’s The Help co-nominee Spencer have popped up plenty throughout the season.  Folks like Janelle Monae, Greta Gerwig, Molly Shannon, and Helen Mirren aren’t impossible, but this is looking increasingly like a solidified field.  Sure would be nice to see Felicity Jones get some recognition for A Monster Calls, too.

Best Picture

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

I’m going to be boring and predict 8 nominees, just like we’ve seen in the last two years.  Your top three are stone cold locks, and the only films with any chance of winning, if you’re naïve enough to think anything can stop the La La Land steamroller.

The next three films have received a broad base of support across the entirety of the precursor season, done well at the box office, and have plenty of critical bona fides.  Any of them missing would be a surprise.

That leaves us with roughly four films fighting it out for the last two slots in this hypothetical 8-film field.  No, Deadpool, isn’t getting in, but Hacksaw Ridge, Sully, Nocturnal Animals, Jackie, or even the very *ahem* silent Silence could still grab a place at the table by either upping the nominee total or bumping Fences or Hidden Figures.

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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