In a perfect world, the Oscars would be like the ending of Mean Girls, with everyone getting a piece of a plastic crown. In reality, it took Leonardo DiCaprio more than two decades to take home a trophy, a woman of color hasn’t won Best Actress in the 15 years since Halle Berry’s groundbreaking moment, and, every year, countless worthy performances are overlooked.
But hey, we’ll be watching the show on February 26, anyway. In the meantime, it’s all about sizing up the contenders and perfecting those predictions for the office Oscar pool. Though the 2017 Academy Awards nominations won’t be announced for weeks, some strong favorites have already emerged. You know, all those films your parents made you watch over the holidays.
That said, the Academy can never resist throwing out a few curveballs (cough, Crash, cough). Allow for the possibility of some Adrien-Brody-besting-Jack-Nicholson- and -Daniel-Day-Lewis action — with or without the onstage dip and tongue-dive.
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Wild Cards: Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge, Loving, Silence
Predicted Winner: Moonlight
Photo: Courtesy of A24.
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences(pictured)
Wild Cards: Joel Edgerton ( Loving), Tom Hanks ( Sully), Andrew Garfield ( Silence)
Predicted Winner: Casey Affleck
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Amy Adams, Arrival
Isabelle Huppert, Elle(pictured)
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Wild Cards: Meryl Streep ( Florence Foster Jenkins), Jessica Chastain ( Miss Sloane), Emily Blunt ( The Girl on the Train), Kate Beckinsale ( Love & Friendship), Ruth Negga ( Loving)
Predicted Winner: Natalie Portman
Photo: The Moviestore Collection Ltd/REX/Shutterstock.
Damien Chazelle, La La Land(pictured)
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Jeff Nichols, Loving
Martin Scorsese, Silence
Wild Cards: Denzel Washington ( Fences), Mel Gibson ( Hacksaw Ridge), Tom Ford ( Nocturnal Animals), Pablo Larraín ( Jackie)
Predicted Winner: Damien Chazelle
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