The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Most Anticipated Films of 2017

"Word from Sundance is that "Call Me By Your Name" is ravishing. I doubt it will be an Oscar contender, but we'll see." -Raul

"Bigelow is No 1 for me. Her last two films are brilliant works. And the Gloria Grahame bio with The Bening is way up there." - Brookesboy


Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)
Gael García Bernal (Neruda)
Billy Crudup (20th Century Women)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival




 Index | Pic | Dir | Actress | Actor | Supp Actress |  Supp Actor | Foreign |Screenplays | Visual | Aural |Animation 

89th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2016 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

January 18th Final Predictions

Animated Feature Predictions
Last year 16 films were eligible, just barely triggering a 5 wide nominee field. Things aren't as tight this year with 27 eligible titles. You can generally assume one or two foreign entries will make the nominee list. This year is SO competitive. It's tough to see which films will fall by the wayside. 

March 4th
Box Office $341.2 


11 Annie noms, Critics Choice Win, NYFCC

Kubo and the Two Strings
Stop Motion
Aug 19th
Box Office $48.0 


NBR win, 10 Annie noms, Critics Choice Nom

Nov 23rd
Box Office $165+ 

6 Annie noms, Critics Choice Nom

My Life as a Zucchini
Stop Motion 
 Box Office $N/A  

Qualifying Week


Reviewed , EFA winner3 Annie noms,

The Red Turtle 
(Wild Bunch / Studio Ghibli)
Box Office $N/A 

Qualifying Week


5 Annie nominations,
EFA nomination, Critics Choice Nomination



Already the frontrunner for the Oscar having debuted to massive box office, audience love, and critical hosannas (the magic trifecta).


more on Zootopia

 One of these years the US's most unique animation studio is going to win the top prize right? It's unlikely that Kubo will be the one but it's as gorgeous as ever from this essential studio


more on Kubo



 As Disney's first musical since gargantuan Frozen and Miranda's first since Hamilton, the stakes (and expectations) were unusually high. Are people (slightly) disappointed enough for this to be a shocking miss with Oscar?


more on Moana

This startlingly blunt but still whimsical story of orphaned abused children is a finalist for foreign film as well. Might it surprise on nomination morning with both nominations?



 Studio Ghibli, still in flux post-Miyazaki, stepped in to help finish this French production - it's a dialogue free film about a man stranded on an island. And it's amazing. 

more on The Red Turtle


Could Also Be Contenders...

Your Name
Box Office $N/A  

Qualifying Week

2 Annie nominations, LAFCA Winner

Finding Dory
June 17th
Box Office $486.2


3 Annie nominations, Critics Choice Nomination

The Little Prince  
Mixed Medium
Box Office $N/A  

Qualifying Week


2 Annie nominations,

(Illumination / Universal)
Box Office $N/A  

Opens Dec 21st

1 Annie nomination,

Miss Hokusai
Oct 14th
Box Office $222K 

1 Annie nomination

 Those who love it really love it. But has it permeated enough through that thick fog of blockbuster american pictures? 



It might seem crazy to doubt a lock for this one but Pixar's new sequel craze has been disheartening and this is a simple retread of the original

While this is screening on Netflix, they also secured a qualifying theatrical engagement. It was popular abroad. Might Oscar like it too?

Very popular with audiences but the Annies weren't all that taken with it for something so mainstream. 

GKids has proven formidable at snagging nominations but it's not entirely easy to suss out which foreign entries they'll champion

Tier 3 - Longer Shots. - 27 Titles in Total Are Eligible


Animated Short Finalists
The following ten films will compete for the five-wide shortlist in January. They are...

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

Inner Workings
Leo Matsuda
& Sean Lurie

Alan Barillaro & Marc Sondheimer

Blind Vaysha
Theodore Ushev
The Head Vanishes
Franck Dion (NFBC and ARTE France Cinema Dept)
Happy End
Jan Saska
(Famu-Film & TV School Academy of Prague)

(US, 7 minutes)

Hilarious short about a man with a dull day job learning to seize the inner day and make the best of it. (Matsuda previously worked on the features Big Hero 6 and Wreck-It Ralph)


(US, 6 minutes)

a baby bird learns to overcome her fear and find her own food (played before Finding Dory)

Streaming Rental

(Canada, 8 min)

a woman's left eye can only see the past, her right on the future

(Canada/France, 9 minutes)

A woman with dementia takes the train to the seaside


(Czech Republic, 6 minutes)

"a black comedy about death with a happy ending."


Tier 2 - But any combo of films seems possible!
Patrick Osborne (1 nom | 1 win)
(Google Spotlight Stories / Evil Eye Pictures)
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Robert Valley
Sour Tes Doigts
Marie-Christine-Courtés & Ludivine Berthouloux (Vivement Lundi & Novanima)
Once Upon a Line
Alicja Jasina
Borrowed Time
Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj (Quorum Films)

(US, 5 minutes)

 Osborne previously won the Oscar for Feast. His newest short is about a girl and her father on a cross country trip


Now Streaming


(Canada/UK, 35 minutes)

 A documentary short about a man trying to help his friend quit drinking


Streaming Rental



(France, 13 minutes)

A young woman revives the story of her grandmother in colonial Indochina. Beautiful watercolory look.


(US, 10 minutes)

"a man leads a humdrum existence, until he meets somebody"


(US, 7 minutes)

A sheriff returns to the scene of an accident which haunts him.

(Both directors previously worked on various Pixar films)


Do you know of any others that were in the mix before the great winnowing? We think Oscar should release the long semi-finals list as they do with features.



Documentary Feature Predictions
Oscar narrowed down the 145 semi-finalist to these 15 finalists... we missed only 2 of these in our finalist predictions (The Witness and Command and Control) in favor of the higher profile releases Miss Sharon Jones and Newtown but our predictions remain the same (for now)

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

O.J.: Made in America Reviewed

Streaming Purchase

The 13th
Ava DuVernay
(never nominated)  


Now Streaming

Fire at Sea

Now in Theaters



Life Animated

Roger Ross Williams 
(1 nom | 1 win) 

Streaming Purchase

I Am Not Your Negro
Raoul Peck
(never nominated)

In Theaters Feb 2017 

 Culture / Sports / Crime / Biography /


*Made for TV*

  Race / Politics / Prison 



Culture / Family

Race / Literature / History

Tier 2 - Also Easy to Imagine as Nominees

Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg

(never nominated) 


Streaming Purchase

Keith Maitland

(never nominated)


Clay Tweel
(never nominated)

Streaming Rental

Camera Person
Kirsten Johnson


The Ivory Game
Keif Davison
(1 nomination)
Richard Ladkani
(never nom'ed)

Now Streaming


Politics / Scandal    Disease / Sports / Family Filmmaking / Memoir  
Tier 3 - Long Shots ?

The Eagle Huntress
 Otto Bell


Zero Days
Alex Gibney
(2 noms | 1 win) 


Streaming Purchase

Hooligan Sparrow

Now Streaming

The Witness

Now Streaming

Command and Control

Coming to PBS in January

Animals / Girlpower / Cultural


Cyber Crime / Politics




Documentary Short Finalists
The following ten films will compete for the five-wide shortlist in January. They are...

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

Joe's Violin
Kahane Cooperman
(never nom'ed - but multiple Emmys)

Dan Krauss
(1 nomination)

The Mute's House
Tamar Kay
(debut film)
Watani: My Homeland
Marcel Mettelsiefen
(never nom'ed)
The White Helmets
Orlando Einsiedel
(1 nomination)

(US, 24 minutes)

a 91 year old Holocaust survivor donates his violin

Now Streaming

(US, 24 minutes)

End of life decisions in the ICU

Now Streaming

(Israel, 32 minutes)

A mother and son live in an abandoned building in Hebron in the West Bank

Trailer or Purchase

(UK, 40 minutes)

A family of refugees from Aleppo tries to make a new home in Germany


(UK, 41 minutes)

First responders rescuing victims of airstrikes in Syria

Now Streaming

Tier 2 - But any combo of films seems possible!

Frame 394
Richard Williamson
(never nom'ed)

4.1 Miles
Daphne Matziaraki
(Student Academy Award Win)
Close Ties
Zofia Kowalewksa
(never nom'ed)
The Other Side of Home
Jesse Ross
(never nom'ed)
Brillo Box (3¢ off)
Lisanne Skyler
(never nom'ed)

(Canada, 30 minutes)

A Toronto expert on image stabilization gets involved in the investigation of a high profile shooting

Now Streaming

(21 minutes)

A coast guard captain must save 1000s of refugees from drowning

Now Streaming

(Poland, ??? minutes)

a bickering couple with a troubled marriage celebrate their 45th anniversary


(UK, 32 minutes)

a Turkish woman attends the100th commemoration of the Armenian genocide. Her grandmother was a survivor


(US, 40 minutes)

The life of an Andy Warhol scultpure from supermarket to home to art market



Do you know of any others that were in the mix before the great winnowing? We think Oscar should release the long semi-finals list as they do with features.


Live Action Short Finalists
The following ten films will compete for the five-wide shortlist in January. They are...

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

Lluis Quilez
(Participant Media, Euphoria Prod, and Ainur Films)
Silent Nights Aske Bang (never nom'ed) and Kim Magnusson (5 noms / 2 wins) (M & M Prod) Bon Voyage
Marc Raymond Wilkins
Joel Jent (Dschoint Ventschr Film-production)
Kristof Deak
and Kim Magnusson, producer (M & M Prod.)
Nocturne in Black
Jimmy Kerouz
(Columbia University)

(Spain/Ukraine, 30 minutes)

A man thinks he is the lone survivor post apocalype but then he discovers new graffiti


(Denmark, ??? minutes)

No Info yet but this producer and company have an Oscar history.

(Turkey/Switzerland, 21 minutes)

A cruise ship finds a sinking refugee boat

(Hungary, 25 minutes)

a new girl uncovers a secret about her new music school's winning choir


(Lebanon, 23 minutes)

This short won the Student AcademyAward

Tier 2 - But any combo of films seems possible!
La Femme et le TGV
Timo Von Gunten
(arbel gmbh)
Ennemis Intérieurs / Domestic Enemies
Selim Azzazi
(Qualia Films)
Juanjo Giménez, director (Nadir Films)
The Way of Tea (Les Frémissements du Thé)
Marc Fouchard and Matthieu Devillers (Existenz, BlackBox and P904)
The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf, and the Boy
Oualid Mouaness
(Tricycle Logic)

(Switzerland, 30 minutes)

This film stars Jane Birkin (mother of Charlotte Gainsbourg)


(France, 27 minutes)

A film about 1990s Algerian terrorism cels in France

(Spain, 15 minutes)

 two security guards working different shifts


(France, 21 minutes)

A skinhead visits a grocery story

(Lebanon, 18 minutes)

a coming of age story about brothers who take their father's rifle without consent in contemporary rural Lebanon

Do you know of any others that were in the mix before the great winnowing? We think Oscar should release the long semi-finals list as they do with features.