Best Motion Picture: the most coveted Academy prize. 2017 is shaping up to be a close race in the Best Picture category. For the sake of simplicity, let us assume for this conversation that the category will fill its maximum 10 nominations, even though it is more likely to be an eight or nine film field. The list below is ranked in the order of nomination likelihood.
- La La Land
- Manchester by the Sea
- Hacksaw Ridge
- Hell or High Water
La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight are the three current frontrunners for the Oscar. After Silence was silenced at the Golden Globes (you…you see what I did there. With the title. ‘Cause it got no nominations at the Golden Globes…) its stock has become colder, but the Academy will likely give it some love.
Mel Gibson’s return to directing Hacksaw Ridge will also likely get nominated given it is a redemptive outing for Gibson, whom the Academy has a soft spot for.
The rest of the films will fall in line, with little wiggle room for anything else to edge in. Loving and Hidden Figures are possible contenders, and Captain Fantastic has been getting enough attention to campaign for a spot. But Arrival, Jackie, and Fences getting nods feels like a foregone conclusion given their critical praise and timely releases.
The question marks are Lion and Hell or High Water. While I personally enjoyed the latter and was disappointed by the former, they have each received a handful of nominations elsewhere this awards season. They are certainly more likely to be in the field than a more “risky” choice like Nocturnal Animals, although that film is good enough to be among the top ten.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)