Who do you Think is Taking Home Best Picture at the Oscars?

The Oscar nominees have just been announced, and with it the usual crop of sure things, dark horses and snubs.  For every conspicuous absentee from this or that category — Loving for Picture, Nice Guys for Original Screenplay, Sing Street for Original Song — there was a welcome surprise that nobody in their right mind was predicting — Isabele Hupert for Actress, Hail, Caesar! For Production Design, Kubo and the Two Strings for Visual Effects.

From just a cursory glance of the nominees, La La Land is clearly the movie to beat.  In addition to its considerable early awards season buzz and its Oscar-friendly subject matter, it leads the pack with a total of fourteen nominations: tying All About Eve and Titanic for the most nominations in the ceremony’s 89 year existence.  Most of those nominations were in the major categories too: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay.  And while it may not win all, or even most, of those, the law of probability is on its side to end up as the night’s big winner.

The biggest chances at dethroning La La Land as the night’s de facto winner come from the runners-up for most nominations.  Arrival — Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral sci-fi thriller — and Moonlight — Barry Jenkins’ life-spanning epic — each clock in with eight nominations, most of which directly compete with La La Land.  While not as strongly supported by the acting branch as La La Land, they have each received massive cross-branch support from the Academy, including the critically important directing and writing branches.

Not to downplay the importance of earlier awards ceremonies, but this is when the races really start: when the awards that hold the most weight are distributed.  Everything prior to it is prologue, everything after it is epilogue.  And while we will certainly delve further into the ins and outs of each category over the coming month, here are the nominees for February’s Oscar ceremony.

Best Picture:

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

Best Director:

  • Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
  • Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Barry Jenkings, Arrival

Best Actor:

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Actress:

  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  • Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  • Dev Patel, Lion
  • Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Viola Davis, Fences
  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  • Nichole Kidman, Lion
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best Original Screenplay:

  • 20th Century Women
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • The Lobster
  • Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion
  • Moonlight

Best Animated Feature Film:

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Land of Mine, Denmark
  • A Man Called Ove, Sweden
  • The Salesman, Iran
  • Tanna, Australia
  • Toni Erdmann, Germany

Best Documentary Feature:

  • 13th
  • Fire at Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • J.: Made in America

Best Animated Short Film:

  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper

Best Live Action Short Film:

  • Ennemis Interieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing
  • Timecode

Best Documentary — Short Subject:

  • 1 Miles
  • Extremis
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets

Best Original Score:

  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Passengers

Best Original Song:

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” Trolls
  • “City of Stars,” La La Land
  • “The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
  • “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Best Sound Editing:

  • Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

Best Sound Mixing:

  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Production Design:

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land
  • Passengers

Best Cinematography:

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek: Beyond
  • Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design:

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best Film Editing:

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

Best Visual Effects:

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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