I know, I know…who in their right mind does Oscar predictions before the previous Oscars even take place? Well…I do. A year ago I had some horrible predictions, such as to suggest the Oscar prospects of Money Monster and Passengers, but I will not let that deter me. I will always have Birdman, which I predicted to win Best Picture of January of 2014. Plus, it is way too much fun to dig deep into the upcoming year in movies and create artificial hype on some projects. I am strictly going to mention movies that have 2017 listed as its release year on IMDb, so anything that is questionable or could move up in the end are not worth mentioning. It doesn’t necessarily need an official release date, just the year. Anyway, check out what the Academy Awards will (probably not) look like a year from now!
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Predicted Five
1. Mudbound – Dee Rees, Virgil Williams – This is the story of a couple soldiers returning to their racist Mississippi hometown after World War II. Dee Rees is the acclaimed writer-director of 2011’s Pariah, and with the cast she assembled, this is one of the main movies to keep an eye on in 2017.
2. Annihilation – Alex Garland – This is a much more high profile project for Alex Garland than Ex Machina was. It is based on one of the most popular sci-fi books of the decade, and his cast is extraordinary.
3. Based on a True Story – Olivier Assayas, Roman Polanski – This film, directed by Polanski, has a really interesting potential to hit. Its plot seems a bit like Nocturnal Animals, but this Polanski-Assayas collaboration is too good to ignore.
4. Wonderstruck – Brian Selznick – Selznick follows up his nominated Hugo screenplay by getting Todd Haynes to direct his next novel adaptation. This sounds like a real Oscary movie, even though it is more child-centric than typical contenders.
5. The Glass Castle – Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham, Marti Noxon – Cretton’s last film was the indie darling Short Term 12, and here he gets a tremendous cast to play in his adaptation of the memoir of Jeannette Walls, a member of a dysfunctional family of nomads.
Others in contention
6. Nick Pizzolatto - Galveston - Pizzalatto has blown everyone away with his hit TV show True Detective, and this is his first solo screenplay, which is based on his own novel. It is being directed by actress Melanie Laurent, who has directed a couple small films in France. This film is a modern noir about a hitman dying of cancer.
7. Wildlife – Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan – Dano makes his directorial debut in this adaptation of a book that doesn’t have all that great of a reputation. That only makes this project more interesting. I can see Dano being a dynamite filmmaker. He takes his career more seriously than most actors his age. This film is about a young boy whose parents’ marriage is falling apart.
8. Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin – Sorkin writing a movie should always gather our attention, but he is actually taking the directing chair for the first time as well. This film is a true story about Molly Bloom, an Olympic caliber skier who establishes a high stakes poker game and becomes the focus of an FBI investigation.
9. Last Flag Flying – Richard Linklater – This film is Linklater’s spiritual sequel to The Last Detail. To me, that sounds fantastic. I love it when directors pay tribute to the films they love. I can’t wait to see how this develops. Rick hasn’t made a disappointing movie since Bad News Bears more than a decade ago.
10. Wilson – Daniel Clowes – The trailer looks pretty wild, and the early release date is a bit of a detriment, but Clowes has his big in the past (Ghost World), and Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) is a very capable indie director. Woody Harrelson getting cast in this role has to be a dream for everyone involved.
11. The Mountain Between Us – Chris Weitz – I love when foreign directors get their first American movie, and this is exactly the case for Israeli Oscar nominee Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now). The movie is about a plane crash in the mountains that stranded a two people who must fight for safety. It appears to be a very intimate and devastating movie, and Weitz is certainly capable of writing a great adaptation (nominated for About a Boy).
12. Thank You for Your Service – Jason Hall – This is a movie about PTSD among American soldiers returning from war. There really hasn’t been a big Oscar movie that has dealt with this, unless you consider Jason Halls’s previous screenplay American Sniper. This movie has a very intriguing young cast and will likely have a nice box office when it gets picked up. Hall is making his directorial debut on this film.
13. You Were Really Never Here – Lynne Ramsay – Ramsay has not really had a big Oscar movie (We Need to Talk About Kevin was her closest to breaking through), but she is a very talented and unrelenting filmmaker. This is a movie about a war veteran who attempts to save a girl from a sex trafficking ring. It could be a Taxi Driver type thriller or something completely different. All we know is that it will be deeply disturbing.
14. Redoubtable – Michel Hazanavicius – This is a film about Jean-Luc Godard falling in love with underage actress Anne Wiazemsky while shooting La Chinoise in France. The cast is terrific. The only reason why I am a bit skeptical on this is that Hazanavicius had a major flop right after The Artist, but this movie seems to be back to what he is really good at.
15. The Dinner – Oren Moverman – This is a drama-mystery about parents who try to decide what to do about a crime committed by their children. Moverman has only directed a few movies, each successful in their own ways, so his ability to gather an intriguing cast for a movie like this is really attractive. His screenplays are always very precise and real, so this nomination could be a possibility even if the Academy as a whole doesn’t fully respond to the movie.
16. Victoria and Abdul – Lee Hall – This is a movie about Queen Victoria and her relationship with a young Indian man, who became her closest confidant. Lee Hall is an Oscar nominee for Billy Elliot, and Stephen Frears is at the helm. There is always a British movie that is shoved into awards season, and this could very well be it.
17. The Snowman – Hossein Amini, Michael Matthew Carnahan – This is a collaboration of the writers of Drive and Deepwater Horizon. The movie is a crime drama by Tomas Alfredson about a detective uncovering a cold case. It could be just another crime thriller that is not Oscar material, but sometimes these become really popular. This group of filmmakers gives it that potential.
18. War Machine – David Michod – I mentioned this movie a year ago, but it got pushed back. Michod has made a masterpiece in recent memory (Animal Kingdom), but he also made a relative flop (The Rover). This is a satirical war movie with Brad Pitt, which sounds just tremendous to me. Its inability to secure a 2016 release is a bit troubling, but it is still worth keeping an eye on. Netflix has distribution rights.
19. Soldado – Taylor Sheridan – Sheridan has absolutely been on a roll recently. Soldado is his sequel to Sicario, his smash hit from 2015. It focuses on the Benicio Del Toro character Alejandro from the previous movie, and it is directed by newcomer Stefano Sollima. Anything that Sheridan writes is worthy of our attention.
20. The Beguiled – Sofia Coppola – Coppola is a past winner for Original Screenplay. This movie is a remake of a really bizarre old Clint Eastwood movie, and the cast and crew that she assembled promises that this will be even better than the original. It is about a Union soldier who is taken prisoner by a Confederate girls’ boarding school.
21. The Lost City of Z – James Gray – This is a step outside for James Gray, who typically does moody crime dramas. This is the true story of Percy Fawcett, a man who disappeared while trying to prove his discovery of a lost civilization in the Amazon. It comes out in a few months, so it will need to really be extraordinary to be remembered in 12 months.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Predicted Five
1. Downsizing – Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor – This has been a passion project for Payne and Taylor since Sideways. It is about a man who decides his life would be better if he joins a community of people who have shrunk themselves. It sounds strange and satirical, but I’m sure that it will also be very humane and realistic, as we have become accustomed to from Payne.
2. Darkest Hour – Andrew McCarten – McCarten is the Oscar-nominated writer of The Theory of Everything, and his newest effort is a film about Winston Churchill leading a charge against Hitler’s army in early WWII. He has Joe Wright directing his script and has a distinguished cast of actors in all of the key roles. It is going to be one of the big hits of this fall.
3. Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan – It has a tremendous trailer, and Nolan is as hot as any director right now. This movie is his long-awaited war movie about the Battle of Dunkirk, in which the Allied armies were all evacuated during WWII. It appears to be everything that an Oscar war movie should be, but the July release date is a question mark.
4. Untitled Detroit Riots Film – Mark Boal – Boal has been nominated for both of his Kathryn Bigelow screenplays, and this one should be no different. Details on the film have been kept under wraps, other than that it is about a citizen uprising following a 1967 police raid in Detroit. It sounds like a potential juggernaut.
5. Under the Silver Lake – David Robert Mitchell – Mitchell’s last movie was the surprise horror hit It Follows, so seeing him embarking on a modern film noir with his next project has to be taken seriously. Details on the plot are light, but the cast is a young and interesting (which we’ve come to expect from him), and if done right, this could be a wildcard in the Oscar race.
Others in contention
6. Battle of the Sexes – Simon Beaufoy – Beaufoy is an Oscar winner for Slumdog Millionaire, but his recent efforts have been leaving much to be desired. This movie is about the 1973 tennis match between world #1 Billie Jean King and ex-pro Bobby Riggs. It is directed by the directing duo that brought us Little Miss Sunshine. This obviously implies that it is a comedy, which is always welcome in this category.
7. Stan and Ollie – Jeff Pope – Pope is the Oscar-nominated writer of Philomena, and he got up-and-coming director Jon S. Baird to direct this film about Laurel and Hardy’s swan song tour of Britain in 1953. If the movie is more than just a lame throwback comedy, then it could definitely show up here.
8. Wind River – Taylor Sheridan – In addition to Soldado, red hot screenwriter Sheridan is also making his directorial debut here. This one is about a wildlife agent and a rookie FBI agent investigating a dead body in the mountains of Wyoming. We will see how much talent Sheridan has behind the camera, but I’m sure this screenplay will be fascinating either way.
9. Untitled Fashion Film – Paul Thomas Anderson – It is difficult to project something that has no details released about it other than that it is a drama in the fashion industry in 1950s London, but when PTA makes a movie, especially with Daniel Day-Lewis, we pay attention. It might not even be done in time for a 2017 release, but they are eyeing a late year run. If it is not done in time for Toronto in September, then I doubt that we’ll see it until next year.
10. Untitled Spanish Film – Asghar Farhadi – The details are light on this movie so far, but Farhadi’s next film will likely be his most accessible yet. He has already broken into this category with his hit A Separation, and now he is making a Spanish movie with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. If his style and humanity can shift to that culture, then this could be one of the foreign hits of 2017.
11. Burning Sands – Christine Berg, Gerard McMurray – This is a really under-the-radar movie that will premiere at Sundance and then be distributed by Netflix early in the year. Berg and McMurray (also directing) are having their first real film experience with this movie, which is set on a college campus and centers on underground hazing scandals. It seems topical enough to really break through if audiences respond to it.
12. Coco – Adrian Molina – The new Pixar film is directed by Lee Unkrich, and Molina is writing his first screenplay for the animation studios. This movie is about a young boy who sets off a chain of events, revealing a century old mystery. If it is good Pixar, then expect it to show up here. It is Unkrich’s first film since his BP nom 7 years ago.
13. Okja – Joon-ho Bong, Jon Ronson – Ronson is a talented writer (Frank, Men Who State at Goats), and Bong is one of the best Asian filmmakers working today. This movie is about a massive animal named Okja, whose owner is fighting to protect it from a multinational company. The movie sounds almost like an animated movie. Bong can make it into something special. His last American movie was the Netflix phenomenon Snowpiercer.
14. Tully – Diablo Cody – Cody has not really had a hit since Juno, but this movie sounds closer to Young Adult than Ricki and the Flash. She is still an Oscar winner, so her next project is always worth keeping an eye on. It is also directed by her friend Jason Reitman. It is a comedy about a young nanny who cares for three kids. The cast is extraordinary, as is usual for Reitman movies.
15. The Killing of a Sacred Deer – Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos – The Greek filmmakers are at it again. After The Lobster was a surprise hit in 2016, they have another American effort with a killer cast. The movie is about the complicated relationship between a sinister teenager and a surgeon. If the movie is big enough and more comprehensible than their previous efforts, then this could show up in several categories.
16. Mother – Darren Aronofsky – It is rare now that Aronofsky writes his own movies, but this sounds like a brilliant and sinister drama. It is about a couple whose relationship is tested when unexpected guests arrive at their home. It has a huge cast and will likely be a return to form after Aronofsky’s box office bomb Noah.
17. Untitled New York Film – Woody Allen – Is it good Woody or bad Woody? There’s no real way of knowing, but it is always worth mentioning in this category at least. This movie is a 1950s New York movie set at an amusement park. It is also listed as a drama, which might be a good omen.
18. Untitled Dick Cheney Film – Adam McKay – Details on this movie are light. They don’t even have a listed cast yet, but McKay’s next movie after his Oscar hit The Big Short is worth highlighting. It appears to be about Cheney’s draft dodging and vice presidency. We will keep a close eye on how this develops.
19. Hostiles – Scott Cooper, Donald Stewart – I have no shame in hyping up another Cooper film after Out of the Furnace. I am determined to prove that Crazy Heart was no fluke. Here, he is making a western with an Oscar-winning screenwriter (Missing). The film is about a legendary army captain who is escorting a Cheyenne chief and his family back to their tribal lands in 1892.
20. The Greatest Showman – Michael Arndt, Jenny Bicks, Bill Condon – There is obviously a lot of talent in this writing crew, but the director is a first-timer who has only done commercials. The movie is a drama-musical biopic about PT Barnum, the founder of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
21. The Florida Project – Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch – Baker’s follow-up to Tangerine has a lot of potential. This movie is about a family going through tough times and their young daughter’s experiences on her summer break. If it can get better than a micro release of Baker’s last film, then we could be seeing a lot of this family drama as the year goes along.
22. The Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh – McDonagh hasn’t made a movie since Seven Psychopaths five years ago, but this one sounds amazing. It is about a woman who goes to war with her local police, who are showing no urgency in solving her daughter’s murder case. It appears to be a dark comedy western of sorts.
23. Song to Song – Terrence Malick – I’m not going to assume anything with Malick these days, but this movie actually does sound like a more traditional film than his past few. It centers on two intersecting love triangles in the Austin music scene. The cast is incredible, so we will see how this develops.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Alfre Woodard – Burning Sands – She plays a professor in the college campus hazing movie. She is a terrific character actress, and with a movie like this, she will likely be an inspiring influence in the lives of the students and have some truly powerful scenes. Clearly this is all speculation, but she is the type of actress who would receive a career achievement award. Her only nomination was in 1983.
2. Julianne Moore – Wonderstruck – She plays a crucial part in one of the parallel stories. Still, her best performances ever were ones directed by Todd Haynes, so this should be a fairly easy nomination if the movie lives up to the pedigree of the book.
3. Elle Fanning – Galveston – She plays a teenage prostitute in Mélanie Laurent’s crime thriller. She has been flirting with so many Oscar projects the past few years, maybe the old cliché of playing a hooker can get her that elusive nomination.
4. Mackenzie Davis – Tully – Davis is a talented young actress who deserves her breakthrough. She is great on Halt and Catch Fire, and I can see her playing the title role in this movie with a lot of attitude and flair. She also has stars in Blade Runner 2049 to keep her in the public eye throughout the year.
5. Kristin Scott Thomas – Darkest Hour – She plays Churchill’s wife Clementine. It has been over 20 years since her lone Oscar nomination, despite really fine work in acclaimed films such as I’ve Loved You So Long. This cast and director could be her ticket back to the Academy’s good side.
Others in contention
6. Judi Dench – Murder on the Orient Express – She plays Princess Dragomiroff in Kenneth Branagh’s remake of the 1974 classic. She is nominated for almost everything she does, so don’t be surprised if she gets invited even if the movie isn’t any good. The main thing going against the film is that it is written by Michael Green, whose only film credit was writing the screenplay for Green Lantern.
7. Nicole Kidman – The Beguiled – She plays the manipulative and complicated headmistress of the boarding school in Sofia Coppola’s western drama. This is one of the main roles in the original that stood out, so when I saw that Kidman had gotten the role, I was thrilled. She is going to be amazing in this.
8. Amy Schumer – Thank You for Your Service – I have no idea what role she is playing, but this casting fascinates me. Schumer has not done anything remotely dramatic in her career, so she must have just killed her audition. I would love to see her play some hardened military employee, but she could be anything. This is what I love about these early predictions…fearless stabs in the dark are welcome!
9. Berenice Bejo - Redoubtable – It is unclear which role she plays in the movie, but if she plays Godard’s first wife Anna Karina, then that will certainly create some meaty scenes for her. It is always difficult to ignore an actor/actress reuniting with the director who got them their Oscar nom.
10. Marion Cotillard – Ismael’s Ghosts – This is another French movie with a lot of potential. It is directed by Arnaud Desplechin, who just had the hit My Golden Days in 2016. The movie is about a filmmaker whose former lover returns from the dead and sends his life into a tailspin. Cotillard plays the former lover, which I imagine being a killer role.
11. Juno Temple – Untitled New York Film – She seems to be the perfect type of scene-stealing Woody Allen supporting actress. I have no idea what her role is actually going to be like, but I can just picture her being the next Mira Sorvino or Jennifer Tilly.
12. Tilda Swinton – War Machine – It is not clear which role she is going to play, but when she is playing in a mostly male-dominated movie, she absolutely shines. If she is playing a high ranking official or something like that, then she will own this movie in a supporting role.
13. Zosia Mamet – Under the Silver Lake – Details on the characters are almost non-existent, but she has Oscar in her blood and she has become a very strong young actress in recent years with Girls and Greenberg among other titles. I expect her to be a standout in the cast.
14. Kristen Wiig – Downsizing – She plays the female lead opposite Matt Damon, presumably his wife. Wiig playing in an Alexander Payne movie seems like a pairing made in movie heaven.
15. Alicia Silverstone – The Killing of a Sacred Deer – When you have nothing to lose, you make stabs in the dark like this. Silverstone has been out of the game for seemingly two decades, but I have always really enjoyed her screen presence. This casting choice by the talented Greek filmmakers is beyond intriguing to me.
16. Carey Mulligan – Mudbound – She is amazing in these types of roles, being the timid character dominated by the showy roles around her. If the movie is as popular as it can be, she should gather a lot of support for her second nomination.
17. Andrea Riseborough – The Death of Stalin – Riseborough plays Svetlana Stalin in the movie about the aftermath of the death of her father Joseph Stalin. The movie is directed by Armando Iannucci (In the Loop) and is based on a French graphic novel. Riseborough’s fame has risen in America in recent years, and she will also appear in Battle of the Sexes in 2017 as well.
18. Jennifer Connelly – Granite Mountain – This is a movie directed by Joseph Kosinski, the director of Oblivion, and written by Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down). It is a story about the deadly Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013 Prescott, Arizona. I do not exactly know what her role entails, but Connelly hasn’t been nominated since her victory 2001 and deserves another invite. She can absolutely take this movie from the rest of the distinguished cast.
19. Penelope Cruz – Murder on the Orient Express – The main reason she is worth mentioning is that she is playing the part that Ingrid Bergman won her third Oscar for, Greta Ohlsson. This means that she is going to be absolutely scene-stealing. Also, she has a host of big movies coming out this year. This might be the most accessible of them.
20. Tatiana Maslany – Stronger – This movie is about a Boston Marathon bombing victim who loses his legs and then helps the police track down the killers. David Gordon Green is directing the film based on the memoir of the main character. Maslany plays the girlfriend character. Her TV show Orphan Black has really given her a reputation as a tremendous young actress, and she could absolutely be singled out for this.
21. Elle Fanning – The Beguiled – She plays a teenage student at the boarding school who develops strong feelings for the prisoner. In the original, her part was very emotional and jealous. I cannot think of a better fit for the role than Fanning. This should definitely be the year that she gets nominated for one of her many roles.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Jonathon Banks – Mudbound – He plays a loud, racist old man in the Oscar frontrunner. I cannot think of a juicier role for Mike Ehrmantraut than that.
2. Steve Buscemi – The Death of Stalin – He has somehow never been nominated, but he gets a dream role as Nikita Khrushchev in this movie about the events that happened after Joseph Stalin’s death. If the movie is good enough (the graphic novel adaptation makes me slightly cautious), then he should have a real shot at his first nomination.
3. Woody Harrelson – The Glass Castle – He plays the genius alcoholic father in the film, which seems like a dream part for the best character actor in the business.
4. Jason Mitchell – Mudbound – He plays one of the two men returning home (along with Garrett Hedlund), but his role as the war hero who faces bigotry in his hometown sounds like something that the 2015 breakout star of Straight Outta Compton could really sink his teeth into.
5. Wes Studi – Hostiles – He plays the dying Cheyenne chief being escorted by Christian Bale’s army captain. He is a veteran actor who has been overlooked throughout his career, and this could be the type of role that could him in awards consideration for the first time since The Last of the Mohicans.
Others in contention
6. Oscar Isaac – Annihilation – He flirted with the possibility of a nomination for Ex Machina. Maybe he will be to Garland what Fassbender is to McQueen or Shannon is to Nichols. It is unknown what his role is at this point, but I have to think that it will be significant.
7. Anthony Mackie – Untitled Detroit Riots Film – It is difficult to pick someone from the cast since details on the movie are so sketchy right now, but Mackie was borderline Oscar worthy for The Hurt Locker, also directed by Bigelow. Mackie being invited back by Boal and Bigelow is likely a good sign.
8. Christoph Waltz – Downsizing – I have no idea what his role will entail, but Alexander Payne getting an actor like Waltz to be in his comedy has got to be one of the coolest castings of any 2017 movie. I can see his role being some sort of executive at the downsizing company, which would be amazing. I can’t wait to see how this movie develops.
9. Kevin Costner – Molly’s Game – He plays the father role to Jessica Chastain’s lead, and he has been on a nice streak recently. Maybe a role where he can speak the words of the best in the business can get him his first invite in 27 years.
10. Peter Dinklage – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – I don’t know what type of role he will play, but something about Dinklage being directed by the dark comedy genius Martin McDonagh has me excited. Dinklage taking time out of doing Game of Thrones has to mean something.
11. Tahar Rahim – Mary Magdalene – This film is the untold story of Mary Magdalene, which stars Rooney Mara in the title role. It is directed by Garth Davis, who obviously had a huge breakout film in 2016 (Lion). Rahim gets the Oscary role of Judas, who gets to betray Joaquin Phoenix’s Jesus. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Simon Peter. This movie is fascinating to me. It is written by a couple first-timers, so I am not going to create too much hype, but I really want to see what this actually looks like.
12. Steve Carell – Last Flag Flying – He plays Meadows, the role originally played by Oscar nominee Randy Quaid. This is flawless casting. I can’t wait to see what Linklater gets out of him.
13. Laurence Fishburne – Last Flag Flying – Fishburne hasn’t been nominated since 1993, but maybe playing the role that Otis Young did in the first film can bring him back. Playing alongside those actors and being directed by Linklater helps as well.
14. Ben Mendelsohn – Darkest Hour – He has had a bunch of buzzed roles recently, but none as Oscary as playing King George VI. He will likely have a handful of scenes where he can steal the show from his more famous costars and could very easily snag a nomination in the end.
15. Ed Harris – Mother – It is unclear which role he plays, but he is always great when given the right director. Being directed by Aronofsky will likely bring out the best performance by Harris in a decade.
16. Jason Segel – The Discovery – The movie looks totally bizarre, but there is some real talent involved. He might be lead, but the trailer somewhat implies that everyone will be considered supporting. It is a movie about when the afterlife is scientifically proven, and it is directed by Charlie McDowell (The One I Love).
17. Jack Reynor – Untitled Detroit Riots Film – Reynor has been on a hot streak recently. I don’t know anything about his role, but I would assume that he could be some sort of young policeman who is in over his head or something, which could bring fireworks for the young budding star.
18. Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – He plays the town chief of police who the billboards are directed at. He is going to have a monster year, and this type of role is one that shows his versatility. He was great in McDonagh’s last film.
19. Alessandro Nivola – You Were Really Never Here – He has been in and around Oscar movies recently, so this could be the type of role that could vault him into being an American star. He plays a Senator who hires the main character to save his daughter, so there will likely be several big emotional scenes for the usually reserved actor.
20. Cillian Murphy – Dunkirk – It is difficult to single anyone out in this movie, but Murphy is one of the few Nolan veterans cast. He has been in a few really strong films over the years that got him close to awards, but maybe Nolan could be the director who can get him over the edge.
21. Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – He gave the best performance in McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths. Here, he plays a volatile and immature second-in-command to Harrelson’s chief of police. That sounds like a money casting choice for McDonagh’s dark comedy.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Judi Dench – Victoria and Abdul – Dame Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria, which basically guarantees her a nomination. Her only win was 19 years ago for a tiny supporting role, so maybe there is a portion of the Academy who will feel the need to award her with a Best Actress. She will likely be incredible in this movie. Frears has directed her to a nom for Philomena already.
2. Brie Larson – The Glass Castle – Her best performance was for Cretton’s Short Term 12, and she plays the main character and writer of the memoir in this film. I’m sure that she will absolutely bring it in this film, playing the oldest version of the coming-of-age protagonist.
3. Jennifer Lawrence – Mother – She is nominated for everything remotely Oscary. Aronofsky will push her to do things we have never seen before, and I can’t wait to see what exactly that is. She could become a frontrunner if the movie is as physically demanding as the lead roles in his previous movies.
4. Kate Winslet – The Mountain Between Us – She plays alongside Idris Elba in the plane crash film by Israeli director Hany Abu-Assad. She is consistently nominated for everything she does that is remotely Oscar begging, and this certainly qualifies.
5. Eva Green – Based on a True Story – If she plays the part that I think she does, she will be a struggling writer who gets stalked by a fan. She has never been nominated, but maybe a director like Polanski can get her that elusive validation.
Others in contention
6. Elle Fanning – A Storm in the Stars – Fanning plays Mary Shelley in the Haifaa Al-Mansour (2012’s foreign hit Wadjda) period drama about Shelley’s relationship with Percy Shelley that inspired her to write Frankenstein. The movie sounds more like Bright Star than Becoming Jane. Fanning will likely be exquisite in the movie, but it will need some legitimate distribution to really break through at the Oscars.
7. Penelope Cruz – Untitled Spanish Film – Cruz is loved by most Academy voters. She has only been nominated in this category once, so she will really need to steal the show from her husband to make it that far. This acting category is the one that is most susceptible to foreign films, as well.
8. Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game – She plays the title role. She has the capability of playing a badass better than most actresses in Hollywood, and this role will likely have a bunch of meaty scenes for her to chew up.
9. Rooney Mara – Mary Magdalene – She plays the title character in Garth Davis’s drama. Every year she has a handful of big roles, and yet she somehow gets underrated by the Academy. Maybe a movie like this that will probably be very controversial will be another ticket to the ceremony for one of our best actresses.
10. Stacy Martin – Redoubtable – Martin plays Anne Wiazemsky, the young woman who falls in love with her director Jean-Luc Godard and the writer of the memoir on which the movie is based. She has shown in Nymphomaniac that she has real talent, and this just might be her ticket to breaking through with American audiences.
11. Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – She hasn’t been nominated in over a decade, and this leading role as the woman waging advertising war against her local police, is the kind of thing that we have grown to love about her. This could be her next Marge Gunderson if it is done right.
12. Seo Hyeon-Ahn – Okja – The young South Korean actress has not really had a breakthrough role yet, but getting the lead in this big budget American movie certainly helps. If the movie is less of a blockbuster than it sounds, then she could emerge as a real threat in this category. She would be the first child actor/actress to be nominated for a foreign language performance.
13. Carey Mulligan – Wildlife – She plays the mother role in Paul Dano’s drama. She also has Mudbound to boost her chances of being singled out at year’s end.
14. Laura Linney – The Dinner – Linney plays the mother of one of the boys who committed the crime. She is phenomenal in roles like these. She could very easily steal the movie if she has a role that really fits her strengths. Playing the committed, yet fiery wife role is definitely something that can bring her to the forefront of this category and outshine her costars Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, and Chloe Sevigny.
15. Charlize Theron – Tully – The last Cody/Reitman collab she starred in secured her a Golden Globe nomination and made a run at the Oscars. I would expect no different here. Reitman is always really careful with his casting choices, so if he invited her back, then the part must have pretty much been written for her.
16. Elizabeth Olsen – Wind River – Olsen has been kicking around Oscar worthy projects since her breakout Martha Marcy May Marlene, but this is the first time she has really been given the lead in a high profile gig. I’m excited to see what she does with one of the Taylor Sheridan characters.
17. Isabelle Huppert – Happy End – Huppert had a huge year in 2016, and she shows no time of slowing down. This film is directed by Michael Haneke and centers on a family during the European refugee crisis. Haneke has done wonders for Huppert in the past, and she also reunites with Jean-Louis Trintignant from 2012’s Amour.
18. Penelope Cruz - Escobar - Cruz plays a journalist who gets into a romantic relationship with Pablo Escobar. The film is written and directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa (A Perfect Day) and also stars Peter Sarsgaard and Javier Bardem. This will be an interesting project to keep track of.
19. Emma Stone - Battle of the Sexes - It is unclear how quickly the Academy will want to award Stone again after La La Land likely lands her Best Actress, but this movie will definitely showcase her comedic abilities. Her sparring with Steve Carell is a must-see.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour – He plays Winston Churchill, which has got to be the best on-paper casting of 2017 and of his career. The early photography looks stunning, reminiscent of when we first saw DDL as Lincoln. This could become a foregone conclusion in time.
2. Daniel Day-Lewis – Untitled Fashion Film – If the movie secures a 2017 release, then it would be foolish to not predict DDL. If not for a seemingly perfect storm role for Oldman, I would be predicting a record-tying fourth win for him. His last collaboration with PTA was There Will Be Blood, which was one of the easiest Oscar wins of the century.
3. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Current War – This is a movie about Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse competing to create a sustainable system and market it to Americans. Cumberbatch plays Edison in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) historical drama. There will likely be a brilliant back-and-forth between Cumberbatch and counterpart Michael Shannon.
4. Hugh Jackman – The Greatest Showman – Jackman seems like a dream casting choice for playing the founder of the circus. The Academy loves their musicals, and the fact that this is a drama biopic musical will only help his cause. If the movie is popular enough during its Christmas release, then he could be our eventual winner.
5. Idris Elba – The Mountain Between Us – Playing with Kate Winslet in what appears to be a two-person movie will be fascinating. There is still some leftover love from Beasts of No Nation, for which he got a horrible snub that resulted in the “Oscars So White” backlash. This is the type of movie that he can really shine in and coast to his first nomination if it lives up to the hype.
Others in contention
6. Bryan Cranston – Last Flag Flying – Cranston gets the role of roles as Billy Badass Buddusky, the part that Jack Nicholson got nominated for 44 years ago. He absolutely has the right type of demeanor and comic timing to make this into something brilliant.
7. Matt Damon – Downsizing – This role was originally intended for Giamatti, which would have made a lot of sense. It would have been like another Cold Souls or something. Damon’s casting is intriguing, though. This is not his usual style of movie, but I’ll never doubt Payne.
8. Javier Bardem – Escobar – He gets a dream role as Pablo Escobar playing opposite his wife Penelope Cruz in this crime drama romance. Aranoa is not yet a polished director, but this sounds like a really cool movie nonetheless.
9. Colin Farrell – The Beguiled – Farrell is an interesting casting choice for this movie. It is not the type of actor I would have gone with, but I trust Sofia Coppola’s ability to direct her actors. The part has a lot of vulnerability and tough scenes, so this could be the movie that finally brings him his first Oscar nom.
10. Louis Garrel – Redoubtable – He plays famed French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard. Roles like this could turn to caricature, but Garrel is a really solid actor. Hazanavicius will likely bring out the best in him, and if the movie is well received, then he could emerge as a frontrunner in this category.
11. Ben Foster – Galveston – He plays the leading role of an on-the-run hitman dying of cancer in the film written by Nick Pizzolatto. He needs to get nominated soon. He is the best actor in the world who has never gotten invited.
12. Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes – Carell has really developed a nice filmography in the past few years. Reuniting with his Little Miss Sunshine team (the group that started his serious acting endeavors) will be beyond intriguing. And playing a swindler like Bobby Riggs is going to be amazing.
13. Javier Bardem – Untitled Spanish Film – Bardem has a good track record with his non-American movies getting mentioned in the acting categories. He is as good of an actor as we have in the industry right now, and I can only think that Farhadi will bring out the best in him.
14. David Oyelowo – Untitled Nigerian Immigrant Film – This film is directed by Nash Edgerton, who has established most of his movie experience as a stunt coordinator. The movie is written by a duo whose individual credits include Warrior and Intolerable Cruelty. The movie is about a Nigerian immigrant who attempts to fake his death to escape the drug cartel. Oyelowo has been close to a nom in the past for Selma, and he also has A United Kingdom to show off his range this year. If this movie is more serious than its action-comedy-drama listing on IMDb, then he could be a real possibility in this category.
15. Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Really Never Here – Phoenix will absolutely chew up this film, playing Joe, the brutal war veteran who is digging into a sex trafficking ring. He shines in these types of roles where he is on some sort of mission. If this movie is big enough and hits with audiences, then this could become a very easy nomination.
16. Michael Fassbender – The Snowman – He plays the lead role as a detective in Tomas Alfredson’s crime drama. He is always in and around Oscar movies, but he still only has a couple nominations. He is going to really need to do something special to take this movie to the Oscars.
17. Brad Pitt – War Machine – He plays the intimidating general at the center of the story. The last time he played a high ranking soldier was in Fury, which turned out to be very memorable. Here, he is going to tap into something completely different, as the movie is more of a satire than a serious war movie. I can’t wait to see what he does with this role.
18. Woody Harrelson – Wilson – He plays a neurotic, awkward man who meets his teenage daughter for the first time. He looks like he really relishes in the role, and it appears to be something that he has not really tapped into before. If the movie is big enough in its March release, then it has a chance to be remembered next year.
19. Jeremy Renner – Wind River – Jeremy Renner totally fits the Taylor Sheridan type. He could have easily starred in either role in Hell or High Water. I expect him playing a game tracker in a small town will be a great role for him.
20. Mathieu Amalric – Ismael’s Ghosts – Almaric plays the filmmaker in Arnaud Desplechin’s drama. If the movie gets decent US distribution, then this movie could be one to keep an eye on. He is playing in the sort of love triangle with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marion Cotillard. He is definitely capable of holding his own and stealing the movie.
21. Robert Redford – The Old Man and the Gun – Redford plays an old bank robber who has escaped from prison more than a dozen times. It is directed by the always intriguing David Lowery, and it is supposedly one of Redford’s last films before retirement. I love this movie’s potential to finally get Redford that second acting nomination (and first since 1973).
22. Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project – He most likely plays the father role in Sean Baker’s drama. It has been a long time since he has been an Oscar threat, and he hasn’t been invited back in 17 years. This type of subdued role for the now typecast actor could be his ticket back.
23. Andrew Garfield – Under the Silver Lake – After his monster 2016, he has another very intriguing 2017 slate, which is spotlighted by this movie. It is a modern noir thriller by David Robert Mitchell. He is becoming one of the more reliable young leading actors in the business.
24. Michael Shannon – The Current War – He plays the less baity George Westinghouse to Cumberbatch’s Thomas Edison. Shannon is absolutely capable of stealing the movie from him, though. Watch out also for Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla as well. This could be a surprise hit as the year goes along.
25. Colin Farrell – The Killing of a Sacred Deer – Farrell was incredible in The Lobster, and he got the lead as the surgeon in this film. Certain filmmakers really get Farrell and what he is good at. Lanthimos appears to have gone along with Martin McDonagh in that regard.
26. Miles Teller – Thank You for Your Service – He plays the lead character in the PTSD drama as a psychologically broken soldier returning from Iraq. With Whiplash and Bleed for This the past few years, he has gotten pretty close to breaking through. If this film is as good as it should be, then he could very easily get swept in.
27. Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger – Gyllenhaal plays the lead Jeff Bauman in David Gordon Green’s true drama. He is going to have another big year in 2017, and this might very well be his best chance at a nomination given how accessible the film will likely be.
28. Christian Bale – Hostiles – He is the army captain in Scott Cooper’s western. He is terrific in these types of movies, and he will likely have a ton of scenes to show off his emotional range and command of the screen. He was really good in Cooper’s underseen Out of the Furnace as well.
29. Ali Fazal – Victoria and Abdul – He plays the other title character alongside Judi Dench. He is most known for his Bollywood movies and Furious 7. I have no real idea how good he can be in this, but actually getting an Indian movie star rather than an untrained actor has me intrigued and optimistic.
30. John C. Reilly – Stan and Ollie – Reilly plays Oliver Hardy, which seems to be a dream casting for him. He still only has that one nomination 15 years ago, and if this movie is a bit sadder than it would come off as on paper, then it could be something special.
31. Steve Coogan – Stan and Ollie – Coogan plays Stan Laurel for his Philomena screenwriting partner’s movie. Coogan has the comedic timing to make this great, and he also has the straight-laced demeanor to make it different. This film could wind up being a foolish inclusion, but it is absolutely worth keeping an eye on in January.
32. Jake Gyllenhaal – Wildlife – He has several projects coming out this year. Gyllenhaal plays the father role, whose wife begins cheating on him. He is great at portraying likable vulnerability, which can make this role memorable.
33. Benicio Del Toro – Soldado –He was amazing and Oscar-worthy in Sicario, so a movie that really digs into his character is absolutely worth keeping an eye on. He hasn’t been nominated since 2003, which is a joke. He is potentially the best and most consistent actor in the world right now.
34. Paddy Considine – Journeyman – This movie will likely be way too small, but Considine’s last film he directed was one of the best films of 2011 (Tyrannosaur). This movie stars Considine as a boxer at the end of his career who sustains a serious head injury, and then whose life begins to unravel. Considine is a very sensitive actor, and this type of role will really suit him well. I hope it gets a decent release.
35. Kenneth Branagh – Murder on the Orient Express – He plays the lead Hercule Poirot in his own movie. The role is a very strange and Oscary part that Albert Finney was nominated for 43 years ago. If the movie is more than a goofy blockbuster remake, then he could easily take one of the five spots in this category.
The Predicted Five
1. Dee Rees – Mudbound – She would be the first African American to win the award. Her movie has as much potential as any movie in 2017, and with the indie success of her previous feature, it is not hard to visualize her breaking all the way through with her next film, much like Barry Jenkins, Damien Chazelle, and others have demonstrated recently.
2. Kathryn Bigelow – Untitled Detroit Riots Film – She got snubbed for Zero Dark Thirty, but that was likely because the movie was just a little too controversial. This movie seems much more grounded, which should ensure her return to this category after an eight year absence.
3. Joe Wright – Darkest Hour – He was snubbed for his biggest Oscar hit Atonement, but this movie is one of the ones to beat at this early stage. If this movie is as popular as it should be, then he will be one of the easy nominations, but he has had a few flops in a row that brings his true talent into question.
4. Alex Garland – Annihilation – His Ex Machina broke into the Oscars, defying expectations. This movie is much more of a high profile project, and with the success of Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, this could follow suit.
5. Destin Daniel Cretton – The Glass Castle – This should be the indie darling of 2017. Cretton’s Short Term 12 was in the running for only the Spirit Awards because of its micro budget, but this one will be much more polished.
Others in contention
6. Todd Haynes – Wonderstruck – He seems to be in the running for everything that he does now, which is a good thing. This is a step outside what he normally does, which will likely be met with open arms from adoring Academy voters.
7. Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk – He has never been nominated in this category, but this will likely be his best chance. The Dark Knight was a disturbing snub, but this is much more Oscary material than that was.
8. Jason Hall – Thank You for Your Service – It is his directorial debut, but his American Sniper showed that he knows how to handle this type of material. If he learned anything from Eastwood during his time on that set, then he will know exactly how to make an Oscar movie.
9. David Robert Mitchell – Under the Silver Lake – He can become one of the staples at the Oscars if this movie breaks through. He has gone from realistic high school hangout movie with non-actors to a beautiful and shocking psychological horror movie to this crime noir thriller. That is an intriguing rise to fame, and this could be his first ticket to the big time.
10. Alexander Payne – Downsizing – He has gotten nominated for each of his last three movies, but this one being much more of a comedy could hold him back. He is beloved by everyone in the industry, though. He will need it to be a huge hit.
11. Roman Polanski – Based on a True Story – He hasn’t been nominated since his win back in 2002. Have Academy voters warmed up to man whose career was derailed by international scandal? We will see with this film.
12. Hany Abu-Assad – The Mountain Between Us – He has made a couple really popular foreign films in Paradise Now and Omar, so this Hollywood movie with a couple international stars puts him at the top of the list of potential crossover foreign directors. His movie sounds like something that has been done before, but when done right, they still gather nominations.
13. Gerard McMurray – Burning Sands – It is a directorial debut, so we will see how he can handle a camera. He did spend time on the set of Fruitvale Station, so if he learned his skills from Ryan Coogler, that would suit this film well. I suspect this movie will be a huge hit in the indie circuits.
14. Joon-ho Bong – Okja – Bong certainly has the talent to really break through at the Oscars. Is this his movie? It depends on how personal it is. It sounds a bit like an action movie, but we can’t know for sure. With a movie like this, it depends on how many people actually see it on the big screen.
15. Scott Cooper – Hostiles – He is at least coming off a pretty popular movie Black Mass a couple years ago. Crazy Heart was a special case, but the things that made Out of the Furnace work will translate well to this period western. The release date will also be a key.
16. Terrence Malick – Song to Song – He can get a nomination even if the movie isn’t unanimous. The story seems a bit light, but I doubt it actually is. I actually preferred the previous title Weightless, but that’s a minor thing. The real thing that could hold it back is the March release date. He has defied the odds in the past, though.
17. Mélanie Laurent – Galveston – We will see how much directing talent she has picked up over the years. For some reason, I can see her being the next great female director, even though I am not familiar with her previous efforts.
18. Lynne Ramsay – You Were Really Never Here – The movie will need to get enough eyes on it. Getting Phoenix in the lead role is a big deal. He will certainly draw some crowds, and he will make it wickedly watchable. She is certainly talented enough behind the camera to break through.
19. Taylor Sheridan – Wind River – He is still new to the game, even though his screenplays have become staples in Oscar play. He will need to prove more than just competence behind the camera for this to happen, but I wouldn’t doubt it. If this is the project he chose to protect by directing himself, it must be something special.
20. Stephen Frears – Victoria and Abdul – Frears is always a popular director. His movie has a chance to really be a big Oscar player, and he has appeared in this category in the past. Even though his directions are rarely showy, he is beloved enough to still win over voters.
21. Jonathon Dayton, Valerie Faris – Battle of the Sexes – They did not secure a nomination for Little Miss Sunshine, which is confusing in retrospect. If this movie is as popular as that indie comedy, then they could put a real dent in this Oscar race.
22. Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game - This is the first time he has ever directed (not even a TV episode). Maybe he has learned some things from the talent that has always handled his material, or maybe that is a sign that he really can’t do it. We’ll see, but his project seems like it has a good chance to break through.
The Predicted Ten (I predict 9 will get nominated)
1. Mudbound (Dee Rees) – It is the frontrunner at this point. We will await word out of Sundance, but with the talent in front and behind the camera, I have no problem anointing this movie at this early stage.
2. Darkest Hour (Joe Wright) – At this point, the movie is as solid of a bet as any. It will have the British backing, it has the exquisite cast, and it has a screenwriter who wrote a tremendous true story screenplay just three years ago. It is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
3. The Glass Castle (Destin Daniel Cretton) – It could be this year’s indie dysfunctional family juggernaut, taking the place of Captain Fantastic, The Kids Are All Right, etc. Those movies do not typically win, but they consistently pick up way more nominations than they usually deserve.
4. Untitled Detroit Riots Film (Kathryn Bigelow) – If it is good enough, it could very well emerge as a frontrunner in this category. Details are just so light on the project right now though, we don’t even have a title yet. Boal and Bigelow seem to take their time with their work nowadays, and I’m sure this one will be no different in terms of quality.
5. Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes) – The movie may seem like a coming-of-age tale, but it also seems to have a slightly epic feel to it as well. Hugo was fairly intimate, but it was much vaster than we would have originally suspected.
6. Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan) – I believe that the early release date will not be too difficult for Nolan to overcome. If the movie is good enough, then it will be remembered. Inception had a similar release date before winding up in the Best Picture category.
7. The Mountain Between Us (Hany Abu-Assad) – Stranded survival movies are not always the easiest sell, but there have been some that have gone all the way in recent memory (127 Hours, The Revenant). Abu-Assad is a talented director, and this movie will likely be intense and devastating.
8. Burning Sands (Gerard McMurray) – The only thing that makes me hesitate putting this in the Best Picture lineup is the March Netflix release. Eventually the Academy will warm up to the streaming services in the major categories, but there’s no telling when that will be. If enough eyeballs get on this movie, then it could be 2017’s Precious or Beasts of the Southern Wild or even Moonlight.
9. Annihilation (Alex Garland) – It might be a bit of a surprise to have this movie ranked this highly, but it is one of those perfect storms. It has a tremendous cast, the Academy is high on sci-fi, and Garland is coming off a unique debut film that blew out its expectations.
10. Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell) – I might be overstating this movie’s potential, but I love what this movie can become. It secured distribution from A24, which had a huge year in 2016, and the cast that Mitchell assembled seems perfect for this type of movie. We’ll see how big of a release it can get, but it has everything in front of it.
Others in contention
11. Thank You for Your Service (Jason Hall) – I wanted to put this higher, but I am always cautious when it comes to modern war movies. For whatever reason, the Academy is slow to jump on board, but this film appears to have the pedigree to be something different. We will see how it shapes up, but risky choices could be its undoing.
12. Downsizing (Alexander Payne) – It has the Christmastime release date, which certainly helps its cause. I think that this movie’s chances really rest on its balance between satirical and literal. I have a feeling that the decade that Alex and Jim spent perfecting the script has got to mean something.
13. You Were Really Never Here (Lynne Ramsay) – If the movie is less of a thriller and more like a character study, then the movie can really have a good chance at showing up here. A more traditional thriller would result in being like 8MM, but a complex character study, which is what I would expect from Ramsay, would be more like Taxi Driver.
14. Galveston (Mélanie Laurent) – These movies are not always the easiest sell. Pizzolatto also did have a flop second season of his show, and his first screenplay was just The Magnificent Seven. However, there seem to be enough good things going on with this project that it could surprise.
15. Wildlife (Paul Dano) – If the movie is big enough, then this could be a wildcard in the race. I’m not sure if the Academy is really ready to consider Dano a serious director, but his movie might be able to speak for itself.
16. Okja (Joon-ho Bong) – The movie is certainly an outside contender in this category. It was bought by Plan B, which is good, but it is also getting distributed by Netflix. This previously caused Bong’s Snowpiercer to be largely ignored by awards circuits, but perhaps the dual distribution will help it get seen in theaters before its streaming run.
17. Hostiles (Scott Cooper) – The Academy is accepting of westerns on occasion. This movie has the type of pedigree to be as popular as Dances with Wolves, but we don’t really have the evidence that Cooper has the talent to pull that off. I am going to hold back the hype too much, but I am eagerly awaiting more details about this.
18. Wind River (Taylor Sheridan) – It appears to be more of a thriller than Sheridan’s previous couple movies, but that is not always a problem. The movie will need to get a wide enough release for a BP nomination to become a real possibility. I also suspect that it might need to win Sundance, or at least come close.
19. The Greatest Showman (Michael Gracey) – The release date is perfect, and the timing is obviously ideal with Barnum & Bailey just recently announcing that they are closing for good. They have a brilliant cast of young actors and veterans, but the director is making his debut outside of commercials. If he can handle a movie of this magnitude, then we could have a real BP threat here.
20. Based on a True Story (Roman Polanski) – The fact that it is in French is the only thing really holding it back from being a real contender for one of the top spots. Amour is the only foreign film that has been nominated in the last 16 years.
21. Victoria and Abdul (Stephen Frears) – The movie will need to be something more than just an on-the-surface period piece. It will need to actually be complicated in how it portrays the relationship between the queen and her confidant. If it can do this tastefully and authentically, then this could be one of the main movies to keep an eye on this fall.
22. Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin) – If the movie is as good as it can be, and if Sorkin is half the director that he is a screenwriter, then this movie can really make a run at the major categories.
23. Battle of the Sexes (Jonathon Dayton, Valerie Faris) – It is a sports comedy, which could obviously take it out of the race for no reason. However, Dayton and Faris have some backing in the industry, and Beaufoy is capable of writing a great screenplay. Everyone loves Carell and Stone, and how cool would an Elisabeth Shut comeback be? I have my eye on this movie.
Wow, that has to be my longest prediction article ever…Thoughts? Are there any films I overlooked? What are you most looking forward to in 2017? Let me know in the comments!!!