2017 Oscar Nominations Predictions


We’re just over a month away from what could be a record-breaking 89th Academy Awards. But what will be the films vying for those most coveted of little gold statues? Find out here with my 2017 Oscar nominations predictions (the feature film categories).

Best Picture

La La Land Movie ReviewPredictionsLa La Land, Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival, Lion, Hidden Figures, Silence, Fences, Hell Or High Water

The Academy can nominate anywhere between five and ten films for Best Picture, so these are my picks for if they go for the full ten (which is unlikely given the past record).

For Best Picture, there are three 100% locks: La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea. Of those three, any one can feasibly win the award come the night of the ceremony. Meanwhile, the likes of Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival and Lion are sitting pretty comfortably as likely nominees, but anything can happen.

Fighting it out for the last spots are the likes of audience favourite Hidden Figures, awards favourite Fences and Martin Scorsese’s Silence. Even Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals could steal a nod, whilst Hell Or High Water’s various nominations have kept it well in the conversation despite its late summer release.

Best Director

Damien Chazelle La La LandPredictions: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea), Martin Scorsese (Silence), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals)

Again, the three Best Picture locks should have locks for their directors too. Damien Chazelle is leading the race for La La Land, but both Barry Jenkins and Kenneth Lonergan aren’t out of the fight yet.

When it comes to the remaining two spots, however, it gets very interesting. Martin Scorsese is likely to be nominated for Silence, in part because the film is a passion project of his, and in part due to his body of work. Denis Villeneuve of Arrival and Mel Gibson of Hacksaw Ridge are good shouts for the final spot, but the Academy always throws a spanner in the works when it comes to Best Director.

So, I predict that Tom Ford will get a nod for his work on Nocturnal Animals. The brilliant film isn’t likely to get much love on the night, but we know the Academy love a stylish-looking film, and fashion designer Ford is the perfect candidate to satisfy that. It’s not a certainty, but it could happen.

Best Actor

Manchester By The SeaPredictions: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Denzel Washington (Fences), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)

In what looks to be one of the more predictable categories this year, Casey Affleck is a dead cert to be nominated for and probably win Best Actor. Having swept everything up to now, his nearest competitors, Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling aren’t anywhere close at the moment to taking the momentum away from him.

Meanwhile, Andrew Garfield has been receiving constant praise for his turn in Hacksaw Ridge, although some have suggested he could get a nod for Silence instead (or as well), whilst Viggo Mortensen’s nods at the Globes and BAFTAs among other shows should put him in good stead to take the fifth space in the Best Actor race.

Best Actress

jackiePredictions: Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Amy Adams (Arrival), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

This category looked done and dusted a few weeks ago, but following Isabelle Huppert’s sensational win at the Golden Globes, the Best Actress race is wide open, with a heap of brilliant performances for the second year in a row.

I still think Natalie Portman’s turn as Jackie Kennedy will take the prize in the end, but she’ll face tough competition from Emma Stone amidst La La Land’s unstoppable awards momentum, and hopefully Isabelle Huppert following her surprise win.

Amy Adams (Arrival), Annette Bening (20th Century Women) and Emily Blunt (The Girl On The Train) will all have to fight over one space, whilst Meryl Streep will pick up her customary nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins. It’s not an Oscar-worthy performance, but the Academy loves her body of work and love to reward it.

Best Supporting Actor

MoonlightPredictions: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion)

Mahershala Ali and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are locked in a tight battle for the ultimate prize, but both will easily be nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Alongside them, Hugh Grant looks a safe bet for his turn in Florence Foster Jenkins, whilst Michael Shannon’s strong popularity will undoubtedly help him to nomination. The peculiar predicament of whether Dev Patel is leading or supporting in Lion continues, but he looks set on supporting, which should see him secure a nod. And to spice things up, Jeff Bridges is also waiting ready to take a spot for his turn in Hell Or High Water.

Best Supporting Actress

Fences Viola DavisPredictions: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea), Nicole Kidman (Lion)

It’s debatable whether or not Viola Davis is a supporting actress in Fences, but she’s been picking up prizes for it so far, so we anticipate she’ll be safely into this category.

She’s followed by three strong performances from Naomie Harris, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams, although they will all struggle to take the eventual award off Davis. Nicole Kidman is also looking set for her first nomination in six years for Lion. There aren’t too many other strong performances outside these five, although Greta Gerwig’s turns in either Jackie or 20th Century Women do have her in the conversation, ready for an upset.

Best Original Screenplay

ZootopiaPredictions:La La Land, Manchester By The Sea, Zootopia, Captain Fantastic, The Lobster

The screenplay categories always offer something a little more refreshing in comparison to the big hitters of Best Picture, Director and the acting categories. Whilst La La Land’s victory at the Globes makes it a sure nominee alongside Manchester By The Sea, there’s a lot of interesting stuff that could be put alongside them.

Animated movies often do well here, and Zootopia would be the number one pick in that regard. Meanwhile, indie comedy-dramas Captain Fantastic and The Lobster have got huge praise right through the year, and have a good chance to be recognised when it comes to their original screenplays.

The likes of Hell Or High Water, Jackie, 20th Century Women and I, Daniel Blake are also in the frame for a nomination here, so don’t count anyone 100% in just yet!

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Movies Of 2016: ArrivalPredictions: Arrival, Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals, Lion, Silence

Just as with Original Screenplay, there are a lot of films that deserve a nomination here in the Adapted category. As far as locks go, we’d expect to see Arrival, Moonlight and Nocturnal Animals in there for their incredible screenplays.

The remaining spaces are wide open. Lion has been doing very well over the season, whilst the prospect that Silence won’t get much love when it comes to final awards might push voters to give Scorsese a bit of recognition in this category. Alongside, Fences, adapted from a Broadway show, Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge and maybe even Love & Friendship might sneak a nomination in the end.

Best Animated Feature

moanaPredictionsMoana, Zootopia, Kubo And The Two Strings, My Life As A Zucchini, The Little Prince

With Pixar pretty much out of the picture this year, the race for Best Animated Feature is a close battle between two Disney outings: Moana and Zootopia. It’ll be hard to decide between the two, but they’ll both easily pick up a nomination, whilst Laika’s Kubo And The Two Strings’ fresh and innovative feel will help it to a nod as well.

Then it all becomes very unpredictable. So far, My Life As A Zucchini has been picking up nominations left, right and centre, but it’s not 100% certain. My favourite animated film of the year, The Little Prince, has been consistently overlooked throughout the season, but good things come to those who wait, and it could take a surprise nomination. Meanwhile, the highest-grossing film in Japan of all time, Your Name, is a possibility. The likes of Sing, Trolls and Finding Dory are also not impossible to see taking a nomination, but we’ll just have to see. Watch this space.

Best Foreign Language Film

Toni ErdmannPredictions: Toni Erdmann (Germany), The Salesman (Iran), It’s Only The End Of The World (Canada), My Life As A Zucchini (Switzerland), Land Of Mine (Denmark)

With one of the season’s big foreign language hitters, Elle, surprisingly out of the running, Germany’s Toni Erdmann looks pretty much unstoppable to take both the nomination and the win.

Alongside, the Iranian thriller The Salesman, Canada’s polarising It’s Only The End Of The World, the Danish war drama Land Of Mine, and Switzerland’s animated My Life As A Zucchini are all very likely to pick up a nomination, given there’s only nine films left on the Academy’s shortlist. The remaining contenders are Tanna (Australia), The King’s Choice (Norway), A Man Called Ove (Sweden) and Paradise (Russia). It’s a tough one to pick given I haven’t seen any of them, and especially because Academy voters don’t always watch all the possible nominees.

The Rest Of The Feature Film Categories

Best Documentary Feature: 13th, O.J.: Made In America, Weiner, The Ivory Game, Gleason

Best Cinematography: La La Land, Silence, Arrival, Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals

Best Original Score: La La Land, Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jackie

Best Original Song: City Of Stars (La La Land), How Far I’ll Go (Moana), Runnin’ (Hidden Figures), Can’t Stop The Feeling (Trolls), Audition (The Fools Who Dream) (La La Land)

Best Sound Mixing: La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Sully, Arrival

Best Sound Editing: La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Deepwater Horizon, Arrival

Best Production Design: La La Land, Arrival, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jackie, Hacksaw Ridge

Best Costume Design: La La Land, Jackie, Florence Foster Jenkins, Allied, Silence

Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, Suicide Squad

Best Film Editing: La La Land, Hell Or High Water, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Moonlight

Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book, Arrival, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Doctor Strange, The BFG


  1. La La Land – 14
  2. Arrival – 8
  3. Moonlight – 7
  4. Hacksaw Ridge – 6
  5. Nocturnal Animals – 6
  6. Manchester By The Sea – 5
  7. Silence – 5
  8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 5
  9. Lion – 4
  10. Florence Foster Jenkins – 4
  11. Jackie – 4
  12. Hidden Figures – 3
  13. Fences – 3
  14. Captain Fantastic – 2
  15. Moana – 2
  16. Zootopia – 2
  17. Hell Or High Water – 2
  18. My Life As A Zucchini – 2

So, those are my 2017 Oscar nominations predictions. You can watch the nominations being revealed on Tuesday 24 January at 1:38pm GMT on the Academy’s Facebook page, YouTube and more. Let’s hope I get a few of them right!



About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com