Oscar Nominations are announced tomorrow morning. Here are my predictions and my own personal nominations if I had a ballot.

*Projected Nomination denotes who I believe will be nominated by the Academy
*Nate’s Ballot denotes my own picks if I had a ballot


BEST PICTURE

 Projected NominationNate's Ballot
Nominee 1MoonlightMoonlight
Nominee 2Manchester By The SeaManchester By The Sea
Nominee 3La La LandLa La Land
Nominee 4FencesFences
Nominee 5Hacksaw RidgeHacksaw Ridge
Nominee 6ArrivalArrival
Nominee 7DeadpoolThe Handmaiden
Just Missed The CutHidden Figures
Hell or High Water
Silence
Toni Erdmann
Silence
Elle

La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea are 100% locks for a nod having gotten nominated by almost. all the guilds. The three major critic groups (New York, LA and National Film Board) each gave best picture to one of the three as well. Fences, Hacksaw and Arrival are three films that aren’t necessarily locks but have garnered enough acclaim to fit firmly in my projections.

Where we differ is Deadpool, It is making a huge push to get a nod in one of these categories but I just don’t see how it warrants such an honor. To me it feels like the academy trying to pick a popular movie to get ratings up from the general public. This is concerning not because Deadpool is bad per say (we are entitled to our own opinions) but the academy passing over a wealth of international cinema that has been more broadly well received is a shame for an award that is supposedly the highest honor in film. That’s why I went with Handmaiden, Elle and Toni Erdmann – 3 films that showcase cinema’s global excellence.

BEST DIRECTOR

Director Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone on the set of LA LA LAND.

 Projected
Nomination
Nate's Ballot
Nominee 1Damien Chazelle
(La La Land)
Damien Chazelle
(La La Land)
Nominee 2Barry Jenkins
(Moonlight)
Barry Jenkins
(Moonlight)
Nominee 3Denis Villeneuve
(Arrival)
Denis Villeneuve
(Arrival)
Nominee 4Kenneth Lonergan
(Manchester By The Sea)
Kenneth Lonergan
(Manchester By The Sea)
Nominee 5Denzel Washington
(Fences)
The Handmaiden
(Chan-Wook Park)
Just Missed The CutMartin Scorsese (Silence)
Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)

Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals)
Martin Scorsese (Silence)

Chazelle, Jenkins and Lonergan are in for sure based upon the aforementioned unanimous praise by all the guilds and critic groups. I could see Villeneuve get snubbed in favor of Scorsese simply because he’s Scorsese but Silence’s lack of momentum at any of the major pre awards is concerning. Washington should get in but as good as that movie is I think it’s direction pales in comparison to what is seen in Hacksaw and the creativity of both Park and Ford in Handmaiden and Nocturnal Animals. As is always the case with Gibson though, How much does his past come back to haunt him in regards to a potential nomination?

BEST ACTOR

 Projected NominationNate's Ballot
Nominee 1Casey Affleck
(Manchester By The Sea)
Casey Affleck
(Manchester By The Sea)
Nominee 2Ryan Gosling
(La La Land)
Ryan Gosling
(La La Land)
Nominee 3Denzel Washington
(Fences)
Denzel Washington
(Fences)
Nominee 4Andrew Garfield
(Hacksaw Ridge / Silence)
Andrew Garfield
(Hacksaw Ridge / Silence)
Nominee 5Viggo Mortenson
(Captain Fantastic)
Colin Farrell
(The Lobster)
Just Missed The CutTom Hanks
(Sully)
Michael Keaton
(The Founder)

I think Affleck, Gosling and Washington are locks to get a nomination. Garfield should get in as well, it’s just a matter of which film he gets in for Hacksaw Ridge or Silence. Mortenson got the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) nomination and a Golden Globe nomination so he should be a reasonably safe bet as well. Personally I went with Farrell in The Lobster, there’s no way it will get a real nod but its a strong performance that won’t be overlooked on my ballot

On the outside looking in, Hanks is always a good choice because he’s Tom Hanks and though I think The Founder has largely been looked over (due to poor marketing) I have it on good authority that he is very good in the movie.  Another name that likely won’t make it but will come close is Joel Edgerton for Loving.

BEST ACTRESS

 Projected NominationNate's Ballot
Nominee 1Natalie Portman
(Jackie)
Natalie Portman
(Jackie)
Nominee 2Emma Stone
(La La Land)
Emma Stone
(La La Land)
Nominee 3Amy Adams
(Arrival)
Amy Adams
(Arrival)
Nominee 4Isabelle Huppert
(Elle)
Isabelle Huppert
(Elle)
Nominee 5Ruth Negga
(Loving)
Annette Bening
(20th Century Women)
Just Missed The CutMeryl Streep
(Florence Foster Jenkins)
Hailee Steinfeld
(Edge of Seventeen)

Portman, Stone and Adams should be locks with Huppert being  relatively safe coming off a Golden Globe win. Streep is an interesting case, being Meryl Streep she often gets thrown in the mix regardless. I personally was not as enamoured with Jenkins as Michael  but can see the performance’s merit. Her big speech at the Golden Globes could be the tipping point though, Does the Academy / ABC want to risk politicizing the event (she is a longshot to win but you can be sure she’ll get asked if nominated) ?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

 Projected NominationNate's Ballot
Nominee 1Jeff Bridges
(Hell Or High Water)
Jeff Bridges
(Hell Or High Water)
Nominee 2Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Nominee 3Dev Patel
(Lion)
Dev Patel
(Lion)
Nominee 4Aaron Taylor Johnson
(Nocturnal Animals)
Aaron Taylor Johnson
(Nocturnal Animals)
Nominee 5Hugh Grant
(Florence Foster Jenkins)
Lucas Hedges
(Manchester By The Sea)
Just Missed The CutLucas Hedges
(Manchester By The Sea)
Michael Shannon
(Nocturnal Animals)

Maybe the easiest category of the six to pick, Not many fringe candidates here. Grant is riding a lot of buzz going in but I personally went with Hedges. I also wanted to spotlight Shannon for a good performance but its not as showy as his castmate (Johnson). Johnson did miss out on a SAG nod though so Hedges could get in over both Nocturnal Animals stars despite the former’s Golden Globe win.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 

 Projected NominationNate's Ballot
Nominee 1Viola Davis
(Fences)
Viola Davis
(Fences)
Nominee 2Michelle Williams
(Manchester By The Sea)
Michelle Williams
(Manchester By The Sea)
Nominee 3Naomie Harris
(Moonlight)
Naomie Harris
(Moonlight)
Nominee 4Octavia Spencer
(Hidden Figures)
Octavia Spencer
(Hidden Figures)
Nominee 5Nicole Kidman
(Lion)
Greta Gerwig
(20th Century Women)
Just Missed The CutGreta Gerwig
(20th Century Women)
Nicole Kidman
(Lion)

The question here is which Hidden Figures star gets in (Spencer or Janelle Monae) as its unlikely the Academy goes with both. My money would be on Spencer being the bigger name actress but with Monae’s singing popularity, she could get in as a way of getting more viewers. Everyone else is a lock with Davis being the runaway favorite.

About The Author

Nate Lam
Editor / Cyborg

Editor-in-chief of Before The Cyborgs. Part time filmmaker and occasional short story author. One day he hopes to be as cool as Bill Murray. Follow his latest work on Before The Cyborgs or follow him on twitter (@NateTheCyborg) to get the latest updates.

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