2017 Oscar Predictions, Best Picture Indicators, Acting, and Best Picture

By: Henry J. Fromage –

Here we are, the big categories.  While the big wins may feel fore-ordained, there’s still plenty of room for intrigue in the nominations, and maybe even a few of these races.

Best Director

  1. Damien Chazelle
  2. Barry Jenkins
  3. Kenneth Lonergan
  4. Dennis Villeneuve
  5. 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. 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. 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, 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. Amy Adams
  4. Isabelle Huppert
  5. Meryl Streep

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

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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