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« Cinematography Prizes: ASC and Oscar | Main | FYC: Jackie's Original Score by Mica Levi »
Wednesday
Jan112017

Best Picture - How many and which ones? 

Though the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes don't share voters, La La Land's sweep at the latter -- winning the most prizes, literally ever, at the Globes-- suggests the kind of overall crowd-pleasing and respectability strength that means the Best Picture Oscar is already won. The only suspense is how many other statues will be keeping it company on Hollywood's High Holy Night in February. But the race for nominations, which we've always maintained is the most exciting part each year anyway, is still relatively heated. So the Best Picture Oscar chart has been updated (more charts to follow over the next couple of days). But in short yours truly in punditry believe that the race currently breaks down like so

Tier 1 - The Locks... La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea
Tier 2 - If There Were Still Only 5.... Arrival and Hell or High Water?
Tier 3 - Probably Also In (So That Makes 8)... LionHidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge
Tier 4 - It Depends on How Many Nominees? Nocturnal Animals or Fences
Tier 4.5 - Unless I'm Wrong In Which Case Loving, Jackie, or Sully

Assuming La La Land, Manchester and Moonlight are competing for the win... how would you rank the other Best Pic hopefuls?

That's ten pictures right there which means I have less faith in the rest though there are other films making noise like Silence (albeit a quiet kind of 'Jesuit priests in Japan but its Scorsese' noise) and Deadpool. I know I know... the PGA nomination... but I frankly can't imagine the latter as a BP nominee and my reasoning is this: it's the kind of picture you'd vote for if you're like "burn this whole place down! Oscars are silly and too elitist" -- there are surely some voters like that but in a year with so many richly loved movies I can't imagine this feeling is the dominant one. Also if the high budget superhero universal acclaim of The Dark Knight and the High Budget but similar to Deadpool (In Snark and Success) Charm of Guardians of the Galaxy couldn't do it why would the comparatively lowbudget and lowbrow Ryan Reynolds comedy be able to? And if it were to be nominated wouldn't that be like spitting in Marvel Studios' face? (Yeah, yeah, we know you've worked hard at consistent quality for a decade with barely any nominations to show for it even in tech categories, but whatever)

YOUR TURN. How many nominees do you think we'll get this year and which film is in the so-close but it's not going to happen position?

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Reader Comments (37)

I think you're missing "Hacksaw Ridge" in your Tiered list at the beginning.

Apologies if someone has already mentioned this, but I'll point out a fact that astonished me: Denzel Washington has only ever been in one (ONE) Best Picture nominee, and that was back in 1984 before he was Denzel Washington. (Fun facts for another time: many acting winners, such as Geraldine Page, were never in a Best Picture nominee; but I don't think this has happened to any other multi-Oscar-winning actors.) Consider this an FYC, Academy!

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGuestguestguest

I know you love Lion, but I think your love is grossly overestimating it. People are just "meh" on it, and I don't see the Academy going against the grain.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBen

These definitely seem like the locked-in top 5:
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Arrival
Hell or High Water

with Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge, and Lion rounding out an 8-wide field. I agree that Fences seems more vulnerable than people assume. I wouldn't be surprised to see Silence bump out Lion either.

Still rooting for Jackie but that seems like a pipe dream with each passing day. And at this point I wouldn't be shocked if Loving went entirely empty-handed on nominations morning (ditto 20th Century Women unfortunately)

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hidden Figures
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
if 9 - Fences
if 10 - Silence

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I think "Lion" is overrated and I think as "a movie in its whole" few will pick this one as #1.
.
That said I'll "provide" my list and I assume this year there will be 10 nominees, Nath:
1 - "La La Land" (LOCK)
2 - "Moonlight" (LOCK)
3 - "Manchester by the Sea" (LOCK)
4 - "Hell or High Water" (a western full of soul)
5 - "Hacksaw Ridge" (it's awesome and inspiring + they love war movies)
6 - "Arrival" (amazing high-quality sci-fi + Amy Adams)
7 - "Captain Fantastic" (younger and idealistic part of the branch will go for this one, specially actors)
8 - "Silence" (it's Scorsese!!!!)
9 - "Nocturnal Animals" (love/hate feeling. a lot of people love it and it's an unforgettable movie)
10 - "Hidden Figures" (important history facts + huge popularity + awesome leading ladies)

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Scott Rudin produced Fences... I feel he'll work his way into a nomination.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Going with likelihood below (although I only think the first 4 are complete locks, and everything from #7 on are a complete scramble). For now, sticking with 9 nominees.

1. La La Land
2. Manchester by the Sea
3. Moonlight
4. Hell or High Water
5. Hacksaw Ridge
6. Arrival
7. Hidden Figures
8. Fences
9. Lion
10. Silence
11. Nocturnal Animals
12. Sully
13. Jackie
14. Deadpool
15. Loving

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjames14

Going with likelihood below (although I only think the first 4 are complete locks, and everything from #7 on are a complete scramble). For now, sticking with 9 nominees.

1. La La Land
2. Manchester by the Sea
3. Moonlight
4. Hell or High Water
5. Hacksaw Ridge
6. Arrival
7. Hidden Figures
8. Fences
9. Lion
10. Silence
11. Nocturnal Animals
12. Sully
13. Jackie
14. Deadpool
15. Loving

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjames14

I'm with you on Lion. I think it has parallels with Brooklyn and Room last year. The buzz is low, but it is a crowdpleaser and well made. I think it will be remembered.

I think you are underestimating Fences and Hacksaw Ridge. When you have a lineup including so many femal protagonists with Arrival, LaLa Land, and quite possibly Hidden Figures, you have to ask what are going to be the number ones for your old white dudes. And I think Hacksaw Ridge will be there. And Fences, because voting for a movie with a black lead makes those old white dudes feel like they're not on of _those_ old white dudes.

If we don't have 10 nominees this year, it probably just won't happen. I see a lot of love spread out around a lot of films.
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Arrival
Fences
Hell or High Water
Hacksaw Ridge
Lion
if 9-Hidden Figures
if 10-Silence

Such an exciting year. 100 percent agree that nomination morning is the most exciting part. Other than the top 3, who knows what names they will call out? And Best Actress and Best Actor are even more exciting and up in the air!

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

james14-it breaks my heart just a bit that people think Deadpool more likely to get in than Loving. Is it just me, or did Focus Features do a really poor job on this movie's campaign?

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

Surprised people are so down on Fences. Taking BAFTA too seriously? Remember it was one of the four SAG ensemble nominees with a shot (or could Captain Fantastic pull an Extremely Loud?) and before you say "ensemble piece," they could easily have just gone with Denzel and Viola.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Hacksaw is very likely for a nom...I don't think it's on the bubble. I see Fences as stronger than Hidden Figures, though I agree with the consensus that it's probably one or the other. How many black films can really get in? People couldn't even remember they were different titles, with, Michael Keaton calling Octavia Spencer's film Hidden Fences. Ugh.

It seems like 8 is becoming the consensus for BP noms. Is there enough extra passion out there for 9 this year?

I also need to say that I'm increasingly disgusted with the double standard on sexual assault, where Casey Affleck is allowed a free pass but Nate Parker (who was was cleared in court) has his film destroyed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/movies/casey-affleck-nate-parker-awards-season.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/casey-affleck-sexual-assault-claims-allegations-accusations-manchester-by-the-sea-actor-a7517996.html

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMika

I think you just forgot Hacksaw, because you have it AND Gibson on your predictions page. (I wish I could forget it might get in, lol.)

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I think Hidden Figures is peaking at the right time and is a safe bet. I also think Florence Foster Jenkins has a chance to sneak into the final lineup, especially if some of the heavier other films split votes. Quality aside, FFJ comes from a well-liked director, stars actors that everyone loves & wants to recognize, will be a player for some technical nominations, and appeals to the older, whiter Academy mainstream.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDusty

I think will be only eight nominees this year:

La La Land (Lock)
Manchester by the Sea (Lock)
Moonlight (Lock)
Arrival (Lock)
Jackie (surprise for some)
Silence (surprise for some part II)
Elle (surprise for some part III - not with my vote part I)
Hell or High Water (no with my vote part II!)

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Nathaniel, I'm panicking that we may have an Oscar result like the election and Brexit, where we get Hacksaw Ridge and Deadpool instead of Arrival and Lion! These old white guys aren't going down without a fight, and Arrival and Lion are a bit too artful for them? That would be so sad in this incredible year of cinema.

If The Blind Side got in, then Hidden Figures seems sure to get in, as it's the only real "crowdpleaser" in the conversation. My LA industry peeps are all meh on Fences: I won't be surprised if it gets in and won't be surprised if it doesn't. The "it's just a play" feeling seems to be strong. And Nocturnal Animals? I liked it okay, but just feels like a sick little lurid thing to rank high on anyone's list?

I think there also could be a surprise surge for Sully too. It's been gone just long enough, with so little buzz, that people could feel good about bringing it back...esp in a year of so many challenging, difficult films.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Surprised people are so down on Fences. Taking BAFTA too seriously? Remember it was one of the four SAG ensemble nominees with a shot (or could Captain Fantastic pull an Extremely Loud?) and before you say "ensemble piece," they could easily have just gone with Denzel and Viola.

Its PGA nomination is enough for me to assume it's secure on Oscar morning.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I have no real explanation for these picks. Just a random hunch.

1. La La Land
2. Moonlight
3. Manchester by the Sea
4. Hell or High Water
5. Hidden Figures
6. Arrival
7. Silence
8. Sully

For the record, I consider the latter among the most atrocious films ever made. It is the opposite to wishful thinking.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I have FFJ down for Best Picture,that's the crowdpleaser nomination to me.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

Eric: Um, Deadpool as an "old white guys" movie? Even if you like Deadpool, that's not that movie's audience. Hell or High Water is probably more an old white guy choice if you're going there.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I'm also surprised by your general lack of faith in Fences' chances. I even think Stephen Henderson can be the surprise nom in Oscar morning.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

If I were voting , these would be my 5:
1.Things To Come
2.La La Land
3.Arrival
4.Loving
5.Lion

What I predict ( and Moonlight will win )
1. Moonlight
2. La La Land
3.Manchester By The Sea
4. Hell Or High Water
5.Arrival
6. Hidden Figures
7.Lion

And that's it.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteradelutza

a Hacksaw Ridge snub would make my week

a charming movie? yes
Top 8 of the year? Are you f*cking kidding me? Not even top 50!

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Say this every year.... I still wish it was only 5.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Mika, white men get away with anything and everything. Affleck is just the most recent example: Woody Allen, Polanski, Kirk Douglas, Mel Gibson....

And to think that Winona Ryder lost her career because of shoplifting and Meg Ryan lost hers because of an affair........

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

adelutza: I'm guessing my line-up would wind up being:

1. Moonlight
2. Zootopia
3. The Nice Guys
4. Green Room (If you want to see a movie that came out in 2016 that handled gore and violence in the way a movie about a conscientious objector SHOULD? Ta-da.)
5. The Handmaiden
6-10:
20th Century Women
Elle
Love & Friendship
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange (I didn't mind the "magic Iron Man" story as much as others did. And the super trippy moments were something to behold.)

And probable grades for the presumed Oscar line-up that I HAVEN'T seen:

Manchester by the Sea: B+
Arrival: B+
Hidden Figures: B+
Fences: B+ or B
Hell or High Water: B+
La La Land: B (Yeah, in spite of how likely it's going to be the winner, I'm almost certainly going to be cringing too hard through the "white guy explains jazz" moment to give it higher.)
Lion: B
Nocturnal Animals: C or C-
Hacksaw Ridge: C- or D+

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I tink thr will b 9 nom this yr n they r likely:

1) La La Land
2) Moonlight
3) Manchester by the Sea
4) Arrival
5) Hell or High Water
6) Hidden Figures
7) Hacksaw Ridge
8) Lion
9) Fences

I dun tink Silence will crack the list given the ahem silent treatment its receiving now. If any pic is gonna stir up the list, i wld tink its FFJ or Jackie.

I wld luv to see Elle, 20th Century women or Loving making the cut but they seems like super long shots.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

I still think it's going to be the typical 8 or 9. I think the Top 2-3 are so high with #1 votes that those will get closed out very early. Once that happens, the depth is very strong and the remaining ballots will be spread out amongst a lot of films.

I worry about "Arrival," a lot.

1. La La Land (lock, very likely BP winner)
2. Manchester by the Sea (lock)
------
3. Moonlight (basically a lock, unless their periodic homophobia rears its ugly head)
------
4. Hell or High Water (very likely)
5. Hidden Figures (very likely)
6. Hacksaw Ridge (likely)
------
7. Lion
8. Fences
9. Arrival
------
ALT 1. Silence
ALT 2. Sully
ALT 3. Loving
ALT 4. Deadpool
------
Nope. Noctural Animals

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I just don't understand this category.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Hacksaw Ridge is just inexplicable to me, except as an attempt to rehabilitate Gibson using World War II, Christianity and (of course) extreme violent imagery. I was gritting my teeth through most of it, despite respecting the work of some of the artists involved. And kept asking myself if there isn't a compelling Australian triumph-of-the-spirit story that could have used these same artists so that the actors wouldn't have had to play such quintissential American types and clichés. Are there any Americans in prominent roles besides (ugh) Vince Vaughn?

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

1. La La Land
2. Moonlight
3. Manchester by the Sea
--
4. Hacksaw Ridge
5. Hell or High Water
6. Arrival
7. Lion
8. Hidden Figures
9. Fences

Could surprise: Florence Florence Jenkins, Nocturnal Animals, Jackie, Captain Fantastic

Will get some votes but not enough: Loving, Sully, Deadpool, 20th Century Women, Zootopia

I wanna say it'll get nothing, but they've had odd last-minute favs before: Silence

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I think Silence will make the cutoff here. With the exception of the genre film Shutter Island, every film Scorsese's made since the turn of the decade nabbed a Best Picture nomination. Given the mostly positive reviews and the tremendous following Scorsese enjoys, I don't think that trend will stop now. You can probably chalk the lack of precursor love up to last-minute tinkering and Paramount mailing the screeners late.

I don't have any feel for these things but I think 9 nominees is a safe bet. Based on that assumption, in descending order of likelihood of winning:

1. La La Land
2. Moonlight
3. Manchester by the Sea
4. Silence
5. Hell or High Water
6. Arrival
7. Lion
8. Hidden Figures
9. Hacksaw Ridge

I think Elle is the dark horse in the race. It has more than a few things in common with Amour, the last foreign film to make it into the big category: A buzzy performance by a respected veteran actress, an iconoclastic director at the helm and Sony Pictures Classics running the campaign. Not saying it will happen but it seems plausible.

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

everyone -- i'm not down on Fences chances. I think it's a great movie and i think enough actors will love it for it to have a huge vote count. but the problem is there are a ton of movies still in play. so not everything can be nominated.

January 11, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

1) La La Land
2) Moonlight
3) Manchester by the Sea
4) Arrival
These 4 r kind of locked, but the rest is anything goes really
-----/-----
5) Hacksaw Ridge
6) Hell or High Water
7) Hidden Figures
8) Nocturnal Animals
9) Jackie
10) Fences

/3rtful, I dont expect to have that much of black stories at the Oscars, I mean Selma barely got a nod, and we already have Moonlight and Hidden Figures which look a lot more safe... But who knows, maybe we are all wrong and Moonlight will have the same fate of Carol....

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterdan

W.J. - oh yes, I agree. So hard to tell with that movie how people are feeling on it. I'd add Elle somewhere between my "Could surprise" and "Will get some votes but not enough" lists

January 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

La La Land
Moonlight
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Silence
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
Hacksaw Ridge
Lion
Fences

January 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

Honesty, I could see Nocturnal Animals pulling a Carol from last year and racking up a healthy slate of nominations but just missing best picture. The question is, which film will have Room-like support and be able to crack in? My head says maybe Silence (obviously there are die-hard Scorsese fans in the Academy). The adventurous Academy voters could go with Elle or Jackie (but that doesn't feel right - and both are female-centered with quite polarizing and damaged women at the center, and we know how those films usually fare with the Academy). I have a gut feeling that Florence Foster Jenkins could really surprise here, but will Meryl and Hugh be the film's sole representatives? I'm curious how the Academy's recent voter expansion to a more diverse and international membership could affect what films get a best picture nomination. We'll see.

Right now I think the likely ones are:

(Locks)
1. La la Land
2. Moonlight
3. Manchester by the Sea

(Very likely)
4. Arrival
5. Hidden Figures
6. Hell or High Water

(Probable, but vulnerable)
7. Hacksaw Ridge
8. Lion

(Passion vote that sneaks in)
9. Silence

(Spoilers)
10. Fences
11. Nocturnal Animals
12. Florence Foster Jenkins
13. Jackie
14. Elle

January 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

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