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90th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2017 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

Tier 1 - Predictions

Michael Shannon
(2 nominations)
THE CURRENT WAR
Dec 22nd

He's proven twice that he can get an Oscar nomination without ANY precursor support. This role looks big in a prestige  project

Jason Mitchell
(never nominated)
MUDBOUND
tba

He's already past the hurdle of great reviews and if they remember how good he was in Straight Outta Compton, too...

Woody Harrelson
(2 nominations)
THE GLASS CASTLE
tba

Harrelson has been doing good work regularly with only spotty Oscar love. But this eccentric father could bring him back to the shortlist

Harrison Ford
(1 nomination)
BLADE RUNNER 2049

If voters were touched by his revival of Han Solo here's a second chance to honor him for being such a giant movie star within pop culture.

Sterling K Brown
(never nominated)
MARSHALL
Oct 13th

He plays a man accused of rape and attempted murder that the Thurgood Marshall defends in court.

 
Tier 2- Or Maybe It'll Be...

John Hurt
(2 nominations)
DARKEST HOUR
Nov 24th

The actor recently died but here's a prime role posthumously as Neville Chamberlain

Michael Greyeyes
(never nominated)
WOMAN WALKS AHEAD

He's got the big role of "Sitting Bull" in this story about a woman painting his portrait and the Native American struggle

Michael Stuhlbarg
(never nominated)
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Nov 24th

He plays a progressive father to a young queer teen. Said to have a great late film monologue - Oscar clip scene, hi!

Javier Bardem
(3 noms | 1 win)
MOTHER!
Oct 13th

The project is still secretive but Oscar loves him and if the project is good he'll be considered. 

Ali Fazal
(never nominated)
VICTORIA AND ABDUL

This young rising international star plays Abdul Karim who becomes an unexpected confidante to Queen Victoria (Judi Dench)

 
Tier 3 - Could Be Contenders

Armie Hammer
(never nominated)
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Nov 24th

He romances his boss's son in this acclaimed drama about first love. Won "best work of his career" reviews at Sundance.

Ben Mendelsohn
(never nominated)
DARKEST HOUR
Nov 24th

The film appears to be a perfect fit for Oscar's wheelhouse. He plays King George VI... a role which won Colin Firth his Oscar in The King's Speech

Garret Hedlund
(never nominated)
MUDBOUND
tba

Won terrific reviews for this sprawling drama at Sundance. But Mitchell will likely be the one if someone is nominated

Mark Rylance
(1 nom | 1 win)
DUNKIRK
July 21st

He's quite a focus in the trailer though that might not mean much in this war drama.

Mandy Patinkin
(never nominated)
THE WONDER
Nov 17th

He plays the key faculty member of the school who works with a boy with facial deformities (Jacob Tremblay)

 
Tier 4 - Too early to rule anyone out!

Patrick Stewart
(never nominated)
LOGAN
March 3rd

He won much praise for this last go at Professor Xavier. But in the end it's still a superhero film and they'd have to fight hard for a nomination

Zac Efron
(never nominated)
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
Dec 25th

He's fun in musical mode but will the role be seen as a challenge? He'll need to stretch in some way to be considered a 'serious' actor

Oscar Isaac
(never nominated)
SUBURBICON
Nov 3rd

No word yet on the individual roles within this George Clooney film but he seems primed for Oscar attention soon

Matthew McConaughey
(1 nom | 1 win)
DARK TOWER
Aug 4th

Sometimes villains are the best roles. 

Nicolas Hoult
(never nominated)
THE CURRENT WAR
Dec 22nd

He's got a colorful character to play but he role might be minor and even when he's excellent (Fury Road anyone?) critics dont seem to notice

 
Tier 5 - It all depends on who gets meaty scenes, best in show reviews and whether the films have heat in other categories to buoy them up.
  • Abdul-Mateen or Sparks - THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (Dec 25th)
  • Dafoe, Gad, Jacobi, or Odom Jr -MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Nov 22nd)
  • Rahim, Phoenix, or Ejiofor - MARY MAGDALENE (Nov 24th)
  • Mackie or Poulter - DETROIT (Aug 4th)
  • Harris or Gleeson - MOTHER! (Oct 13th)
  • Harrelson or Rockwell - THREE BILLBOARDS (Oct 13th)
  • Stevens or Gad - MARSHALL (Oct 13th)
  • West -ON CHESIL BEACH (tba)
  • Izzard - VICTORIA AND ABDUL (Sept 22nd)