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2017 Oscar Predictions: FINAL Predictions in ALL Categories (January 20)

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Since the Best Picture expansion and preferential ballot usage in 2011 that would give us 5-10 nominees, we haven’t had either just five or a full 10 Best Picture nominees. We’ve had 9 the first three years and eight for the last two years. I think it’s safe to predict either 8 or 9 this year as well. La La Land, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight are likely to siphon the most passion votes and clear the magic number hurdle the fastest. But who’s next in line? The Producers Guild nominees are the best guild to look to fill out a Best Picture list. Even though they still use to a solid 10 they are the best companion. When you combine that with the Directors Guild top five you get a very clear picture of where favor is leaning towards. That would make Arrival and Lion also very safe. So that’s five. Now let’s combine PGA and the Screen Actors Guild cast nominees. That puts Fences and Hidden Figures into the 6-7 slots. That could be it right there but there’s something missing here, no? Hacksaw Ridge and Hell or High Water should be able to find a place here (or possibly just one) with the straight, white, male ‘steak-eater’ voters. Without one or both of these films, the Best Picture nominees are going to look like a dramatic pendulum swing from the last few years. But what about outliers? Deadpool also got a PGA nomination and has performed steadily with the guilds but is it really a contender? Seems doubtful, especially when the Golden Globe-winning and BAFTA-nominated Nocturnal Animals is poised to spoil the race and Oscar-winning cinema legend Martin Scorsese has Silence…if anyone cared to watch it.

Keep your eyes and ears open for a new Oscar podcast this weekend detailing our final Oscar predictions and catch up by listening to our most recent one: Oscar Podcast #47: Post-Golden Globe winners; BAFTA, PGA, DGA Nominations.

Here are the FINAL 2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions from the Gold Rush Gang.

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Columns highlighted in green identify how many Best Picture nominees a member is predicting.

OTHER CONTENDERS
Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street Media)
Deadpool (20th Century Fox)
Jackie (Fox Searchlight)
Sully (Warner Bros)

The Directors Guild and the Academy have not agreed on this five since 1999 and this was the first year the DGA had an all first-time set of nominees since 2009. Chazelle, Davis, Jenkins, Lonergan and Villeneuve feel like a very safe (there’s that word again) group to earn Oscar nominations. But again, we have directors just outside of this list absolutely ready to pounce. Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals) earned Best Director nominations at the Golden Globes and at BAFTA (over Jenkins, no less) so he must be taken seriously. Hell or High Water’s David Mackenzie seems like the type of nominee that misses DGA but hits at the Oscars. Then there’s Mel Gibson. The Hacksaw Ridge director (and Oscar winner) hit the Golden Globes for his helming but is the Academy ready to take him back and in a year as politicized as this? In looking at the most recent ‘surprise’ Best Director nominees one thing stands out; they are mostly directors of female-led films that received Best Actress nominations or a win. Only Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) is the outlier of the outliers as his film didn’t receive a Best Picture nomination in a field of eight. So who benefits from that interesting trend? Paul Verhoeven (Elle) and Pablo Larrain (Jackie) seem to be the closest, especially since both lead actresses of their respective films are in the Best Actress hunt. But then, Nocturnal Animals has a female lead in Amy Adams (although in Oscar contention for a different film) so maybe his is the perfect convergence.

Directing

OTHER CONTENDERS
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

We can probably all agree that this has been one of the richest years for Best Actress contenders in quite some time. It’s rare that, just days before the nominations, we don’t have a final five consensus among pundits at large. There are so many variables, so many performances, so many questions. While Emma Stone (La La Land) and Natalie Portman (Jackie) are locked but from there on out there are a wealth of surprises that could happen. Although the Gold Rush Gang all agree that 3-5 will consist of Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Amy Adams (Arrival) and Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) there are legitimate arguments to be made for Annette Bening in 20th Century Women (late screener, on the Board of Governors of the Acting branch of the Academy), Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train (her SAG and BAFTA nominations are no joke), Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures (previous nominee in a film that exploded right in the middle of nomination voting) and Ruth Negga in Loving (ingenue, importance factor, Golden Globe nominee). While it’s possible for one of those four to muscle their way in, who do they push out? Are you going to bet against 19-time nominee and three-time winner Meryl Streep? I’m sure not. One thing that benefits Henson and Negga is that, after two years of #OscarsSoWhite, we’re definitely going to see non-white nominees in the three other acting categories but Best Actress will likely not end up that way. Henson is definitely the closer of the two (her film has PGA and SAG ensemble nominations) so if anyone’s going to break in, it’s her.

Actress

OTHER CONTENDERS
Annette Bening – 20th Century Women
Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train
Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures
Ruth Negga – Loving

Unlike Best Actress, this feels like a more closed case. Less fluidity and less likely to give us any huge shock. The Gold Rush Gang is in alignment that Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) and Denzel Washington (Fences) will be the nominees. So much so that all 10 of us even have the placement of each nominee in the exact same ranking. Tom Hanks (Sully) went nowhere this season, only earning a Critics’ Choice nomination for his role. Joel Edgerton (Loving) hit Critics’ Choice and the Golden Globes and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals) surprised as a BAFTA nominee (over the never-nominated Washington). None of them feel strong enough to overtake that top five but if they did, who would it be and who would they kick out? Of the three only Edgerton has never been Oscar-nominated. Of the top five, only Garfield has never been nominated. The Best Actor category loves their first-time nominees so prevailing logic would be that that’s the swap but I’m not buying it. It also wouldn’t make much sense, to me, for Edgerton to make it without Negga so in my eyes it would be both or neither. I might watch out for Jake Gyllenhaal if Nocturnal Animals overperforms on Tuesday but not betting on it.

Actor

OTHER CONTENDERS
Joel Edgerton – Loving
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nocturnal Animals
Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool
Tom Hanks – Sully

S. Actress

OTHER CONTENDERS
Greta Gerwig – 20th Century Women
Janelle Monáe – Hidden Figures

S. Actor

OTHER CONTENDERS
Kevin Costner – Hidden Figures
Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
Stephen McKinley Henderson – Fences
Liam Neeson – Silence
Issey Ogata – Silence
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Writing (A. Screenplay)

OTHER CONTENDERS
Deadpool
Elle
Hacksaw Ridge
Loving
Sully

Writing (O. Screenplay)

OTHER CONTENDERS
20th Century Women
Kubo and the Two Strings
Toni Erdmann
Zootopia

Film Editing

OTHER CONTENDERS
Deepwater Horizon
Jackie
Lion
O.J.: Made in America
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Silence
Sully

Cinematography

OTHER CONTENDERS
Café Society
Hail, Caesar!
Live By Night

Production Design

OTHER CONTENDERS
Allied
Café Society
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Fences
Florence Foster Jenkins
Hacksaw Ridge
The Handmaiden
Hidden Figures
Live By Night
Love & Friendship
Loving
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Nocturnal Animals
Passengers
Rules Don’t Apply

Costume Design

OTHER CONTENDERS
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Café Society
Doctor Strange
Fences
Hail, Caesar!
The Handmaiden
Hidden Figures
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Live by Night
Nocturnal Animals
Rules Don’t Apply

Makeup & Hairstyling

OTHER CONTENDERS
The Dressmaker
Hail, Caesar!
Suicide Squad

Music (O. Score)

OTHER CONTENDERS
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Loving
Patriots Day
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Music (O. Song)

OTHER CONTENDERS
See list

S. Editing

OTHER CONTENDERS
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Captain America: Civil War
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Jason Bourne
The Jungle Book
La La Land
Passengers
Patriots Day

S. Mixing

OTHER CONTENDERS
Captain America: Civil War
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hell or High Water
Jason Bourne
The Jungle Book
Patriots Day
Silence

Visual Effects

OTHER CONTENDERS
The BFG
Captain America: Civil War
Kubo and the Two Strings
Passengers

Animated Feature

OTHER CONTENDERS
See list

Documentary Feature

OTHER CONTENDERS
Command and Control
Hooligan Sparrow
Tower
The Witness
Zero Days

Foreign Language Film

OTHER CONTENDERS
Norway – The King’s Choice

Shorts (Animated)

OTHER CONTENDERS
Happy End
Once Upon a Line
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Shorts (Documentary)

OTHER CONTENDERS
Brillo Box (3¢ Off)
Close Ties
The Other Side of Home

Shorts (Live Action)

About Erik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. They also watched Miss Universe religiously every year (the pageantry!) and Erik came to the conclusion that the combination of these two things ultimately led him down the path to obsessing about awards and ACTRESSING. He began at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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2 comments

  1. Tastes like candy

    Kubo and the two strings as a possible for writing? Seriously?

  2. Wouldn’t it be politically incorrect if the best actress category was all white???