The day we've all been waiting for has arrived!
November 3, 2020!?
Sadly, no. The Oscar nominations will have to do for now. The 89th Annual Academy Awards nominations will be announced Tuesday morning at 8:18am ET (you can view a live stream of the announcement via the Oscars website). On hand to reveal the nominees in all 24 categories: actors Jennifer Hudson, Brie Larson, and Ken Watanabe, writer/director Jason Reitman, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezski, and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
2016 certainly had its ups and plentiful downs, but it was a pretty decent year for film (if you knew where to look). I expect this year's Oscar nominations to mostly reflect that quality (though full disclosure, we here at CineMunch think awards behemoth and Oscar frontrunner La La Land was good, but wildly overrated). Our own personal top ten lists and choices for the best of the year will drop next month. In the meantime, let's guess what the Academy will deem the best of the best.
Read on for my final nominations predictions.
The titles of each category link to that field's specific page with further commentary and photos.
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water
Alternates: Nocturnal Animals, Loving, Silence
As has been the case since 2011, there can be as few as five Best Picture nominees or as many as ten (depending on how the votes pan out). There were nine Best Picture nominees from 2011-2013 and eight nominees in the two years following, so history would suggest we'll either have eight or nine again.I think the top 6 above are safest for nominations, but after that it gets trickier. Hidden Figures and Fences each received Best Ensemble nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, proving their strength with actors (who are the Academy's largest branch), but will both reach that 5% of #1 votes threshold to guarantee a nomination? And though it seems to have enough support to be in the mix here, was Hacksaw Ridge really anyone's favorite movie?
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water)
Alternates: Garth Davis (Lion), Martin Scorsese (Silence), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals), Jeff Nichols (Loving), Denzel Washington (Fences)
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Denzel Washington (Fences)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Alternates: Joel Edgerton (Loving), Tom Hanks (Sully)
You could make a case against anyone except Affleck or Washington (who are secure), but it becomes harder to make a case *for* anyone outside that top five. I'm hoping Joel Edgerton can squeeze his way past Garfield to get a nomination, but it seems unlikely at this point.
Emma Stone (La La Land)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Amy Adams (Arrival)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Alternates: Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), Ruth Negga (Loving), Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train)
Unlike the leading men, this year's Best Actress race is one of the most competitive we've ever seen (which is a nice change). Outside of Emma Stone, you could make a lineup of any of the remaining women to fill those four slots and it wouldn't shock me too much. Portman seems safe (though passion for her film seems nonexistent and she could be a surprise snub) and Adams and Streep are perennial nominees who are always unwise to bet against (if nominated, they'll receive their sixth and twentieth nominations, respectively). From there, the buzz seems to be with Globe winner Huppert (though hers is a foreign language performance in a very divisive film), but Bening especially is just as strong a possibility (despite some missed nominations along this season's circuit).
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Alternates: Ben Foster (Hell or High Water), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Kevin Costner (Hidden Figures)
A category similar to the leading men, where the Screen Actors Guild lineup of five seems the safest bet to translate to Oscar, though the supporting categories are known to feature left field inclusions once the nominations are announced.
Viola Davis (Fences)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Alternates: Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures), Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women)
Manchester by the Sea
La La Land
Hell or High Water
Alternates: Zootopia, 20th Century Women, Toni Erdmann, I, Daniel Blake, Jackie
Alternate: Nocturnal Animals, Loving, Hacksaw Ridge, Deadpool, Silence
All other final predictions can be found on the separate category field pages linked below.
BEST FEATURES & SHORTS
(Foreign Film, Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Films)
TECH CATEGORIES - VISUAL
(Cinematography, Film Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Visual Effects)
TECH CATEGORIES - AURAL
(Original Score, Original Song, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing)