2017 Oscar Nominations – My Thoughts



The nominations for this year’s upcoming Academy Awards have been announced today and we now know what has been included / snubbed. It’s not the best mix of films I’ve ever seen but then again they never are and I do have some wildly differing opinions to a few of the films that have been nominated this year.

Best Picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea

Predicted Win: ‘La La Land’

In my opinion, a mixed bag. This category can between 5 and up to 10 nominees depending on the Academy’s votes. I think it’s between ‘La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ seeing as both have sterling reviews and both won the Golden Globe for their respective genre earlier on this year. Whilst I didn’t like ‘La La Land’ and am annoyed it has done as well as it has, clearly it has connected with audiences and critics so there’s no stopping that and I also have my reservations on ‘Moonlight’ too (review coming soon). I’m surprised ‘Fences’, ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘Lion’ got in and even ‘Hell or High Water’ but it’s good news for me for the latter as it’s one of my favourite films of the year. A much better choice of films to be included would have been ‘Jackie’ which has been snubbed, ‘Sully’ and ‘Silence’ – how is ‘Silence’ not in here?!


Best Actor

Casey Affleck for ‘Manchester By The Sea’
Andrew Garfield for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
Ryan Gosling for ‘La La Land’
Viggo Mortensen for ‘Captain Fantastic’
Denzel Washington for ‘Fences’

Predicted Win: Casey Affleck for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Although this category is probably between both Affleck and Gosling, I think Affleck will end up with the win due to his strength across the board of Awards ceremonies so far. This is a good set of nominations as all are worthy for and Affleck in particular gives a tour-de-force performance.  The only person I would have liked to have seen here is Tom Hanks for his performance in ‘Sully’ but otherwise, it’s a very good set of nominations. (My Review of ‘Manchester By The Sea’ here)


Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert for ‘Elle’
Ruth Negga for ‘Loving
Natalie Portman for ‘Jackie’
Emma Stone for ‘La La Land’
Meryl Streep for ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

Predicted Win: Emma Stone for ‘La La Land’

A mixed bag of nominations and it’s a real shame that Amy Adams couldn’t find her way in here with either of her performances in ‘Arrival’ or ‘Nocturnal Animals’.  I’m happy to see Isabelle Huppert getting a nomination here and Natalie Portman’s intelligent portrayal of the First Lady in ‘Jackie’. Both have got a shot here but I think the win will go to Emma Stone for her performance in ‘La La Land’ which I suspect will sweep the board so why not give this to the film as well? (My Review of ‘La La Land’ here)


Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali for ‘Moonlight’
Jeff Bridges for ‘Hell Or High Water’
Lucas Hedges for ‘Manchester By The Sea’
Dev Patel for ‘Lion’
Michael Shannon for ‘Nocturnal Animals’

Predicted Win: Mahershala Ali for ‘Moonlight’

A fantastic collection of nominations but does Dev Patel really count as a ‘Supporting Actor’. Anyway other than this hiccup, all of the nominees can be proud of themselves. It’s quite hard to predict a winner seeing as Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon’s co-star in ‘Nocturnal Animals’ took the Golden Globe from Mahershala Ali who beforehand had been widely tipped to win but I think Ali will get it. In my opinion, Shannon gives the best performance in ‘Nocturnal Animals‘ but Ali has gained more traction amongst viewers. Both are deserving as both are equally good in both of their respective films.


Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis for ‘Fences’
Naomie Harris for ‘Moonlight’
Nicole Kidman for ‘Lion’
Octavia Spencer for ‘Hidden Figures’
Michelle Williams for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Predicted Win: Viola Davis for ‘Fences’

I’m going to predict Viola Davis will win for ‘Fences‘ as she has got a lot of buzz for her performance but it could also very easily go to Michelle Williams. I’m a little surprised to see Naomie Harris feature here as she publicly announced that she initially didn’t really want the role but it looks like that’s all gone in her favour now!


Best Director

Denis Villeneuve for ‘Arrival’
Mel Gibson for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
Damien Chazelle for ‘La La Land’
Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester By The Sea’
Barry Jenkins for ‘Moonlight’

Predicted Win: Damien Chazelle for ‘La La Land’

A strong set of nominations other than in my opinion, one snub. Where is Martin Scorsese for ‘Silence’?! The man did a fantastic job on that film particularly seeing as it was a passion project for him for 25 years. Anyway Scorsese aside, this is probably the collection of nominations one would have expected. I’m a little surprised Gibson got in but this really has cemented his comeback after a troublesome last decade or so and ‘Hacksaw Ridge‘ is a great film. I’m very happy to see both Villeneuve nominated as he is one of the best working directors today even though I don’t think ‘Arrival’ is quite as good as his other films. I would expect Chazelle to win this and I’d be happy if he did – the guy is a great director who did a fantastic job on ‘Whiplash’ and has written some excellent scripts. Even though I don’t like ‘La La Land’, I have to admit that Chazelle is a great talent.


Best Original Screenplay 

Taylor Sheridan for ‘Hell Or High Water’
Damien Chazelle for ‘La La Land’
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou for ‘The Lobster’
Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester By The Sea’
Mike Mills for ’20th Century Women’

Predicted Win: Taylor Sheridan for ‘Hell Or High Water’

A mixed bag but my favourite screenplay which is penned by Taylor Sheridan for ‘Hell Or High Water’ I think might have a shot at this seeing as the film is unlikely to win for anything else. He also wrote the script of last year’s ‘Sicario‘ which was also very good. The screenplay for ‘The Lobster’ is very strong as well as is ‘Manchester By The Sea’. I’ve said it before and I’ll voice my opinion again that ‘La La Land’ is completely undeserving of featuring here but it’s done now and it is. I’m happy if anything other than that wins.


Best Adapted Screenplay

Eric Heisserer for ‘Arrival’
Luke Davies for ‘Lion’
August Wilson for ‘Fences’
Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for ‘Moonlight’
Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi for ‘Hidden Figures’

Predicted Win: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for ‘Moonlight’

A strong set of nominations, I think this is between everyone except ‘Lion’. My personal pick for this category would be ‘Hidden Figures‘ as the script is note-perfect but realistically, I think this is where ‘Moonlight’ will make up some lost ground in terms of wins as it isn’t up against ‘La La Land’ here so I think that’s probably going to win here.


Best Animated Feature

Kubo And The Two Strings
The Red Turtle
My Life As A Zucchini

Predicted Win: ‘Zootopia’

‘Zootopia’ is pretty much a dead cert to win and deservedly so, it is a  masterfully crafted film by Disney. I’m a little disheartened that ‘Finding Dory‘ hasn’t managed to find a place here as it really is a beautiful film but I suppose having 3 Disney films may have been pushing the boat a bit.


Best Cinematography

Bradford Young for ‘Arrival’
James Laxton for ‘Moonlight’
Linus Sandgren for ‘La La Land’
Rodrigo Prieto for ‘Silence’
Greig Fraser for ‘Lion’

Predicted Win: Linus Sandgren for ‘La La Land’

Pretty much what we expected and nice to see Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ at least getting one nomination despite being shut out everywhere else. Bradford Young‘s work on ‘Arrival’ is also very good and although ideally, I would like either Prieto or Young getting this, I think Linus Sandgren is pretty much a lock to win this. In terms of snubs, Larry Fong’s work on ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ was quite frankly jaw-dropping as was Seamus McGarvey’s work on ‘Nocturnal Animals’.


Best Editing

Joe Walker for ‘Arrival’
Tom Cross for ‘La La Land’
John Gilbert for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders for ‘Moonlight’
Jake Roberts for ‘Hell Or High Water’

Predicted Win: Tom Cross for ‘La La Land’

A tough one to call, I think it could be either ‘La La Land’ or ‘Moonlight’ but ultimately, I think ‘La La Land’ will prevail due to its projected sweep at the Academy Awards

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Best Production Design

Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte for ‘Arrival’
David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco for ‘La La Land’
Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’
Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena for ‘Passengers’
Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh for ‘Hail Caesar!’

Predicted Win: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco for ‘La La Land’

I have to admit that ‘La La Land’ does have some pretty incredible set pieces and is definitely a cut above the rest. But I’m really happy that ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them‘ managed to get in and also ‘Hail Caesar!‘, a film I was surprised to see featured seeing as it came out in March and most likely would have been forgotten. Both films manage to encapsulate their context, in particular ‘Hail Caesar!’ which really does feel like it’s taken straight out of 1950’s Hollywood. But ‘La La Land’ does boast some great set pieces that are the backdrop to many of the songs in its soundtrack so this is pretty much a lock.


Best Costume Design

Joanna Johnston for ‘Allied’
Madeleine Fontaine for ‘Jackie’
Colleen Atwood for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’
Mary Zophres for ‘La La Land’
Consolata Boyle for ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

Predicted Win: Colleen Atwood for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’

There’s always a film that hasn’t received any awards buzz that ends up winning an award for this kind of category and this year, I’m going to hedge my bets on ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ being that film. They’re all very worthy contenders though other than ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ which is a shoe-in. That said, another one to add to the collection for either ‘La La Land’ isn’t necessarily out of the picture either.


Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

Eva Von Bahr and Love Larson for ‘A Man Called Ove’
Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo for ‘Star Trek Beyond’
Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Allen Nelson for ‘Suicide Squad’

Predicted Win: Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Allen Nelson for ‘Suicide Squad’

As inappropriate as ‘Suicide Squad”s nomination might initially seem, I actually think it’s got the highest probability of taking the win here particularly compared to the competition its up against. (My Review of ‘Suicide Squad’ here)


Best Original Score

Mica Levi for ‘Jackie’
Nicholas Britell for ‘Moonlight’
Justin Hurwitz for ‘La La Land’
Thomas Newman for ‘Passengers’
Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann for ‘Lion’

Predicted Win: Justin Hurwitz for ‘La La Land’

A mostly rubbish field – how on earth did Thomas Newman get in here and Nicholas Britell? Britell’s score was an improvement over ‘The Big Short’ last year but still was undeserving. Mica Levi’s inclusion though is a good thing – it’s a fantastic, memorable score as is Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka’s score for ‘Lion‘.  For me, Justin Hurwitz is undoubtedly going to win this. There were loads of snubs in this category that could have dramatically improved this – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis for ‘Hell or High Water’ for example seeing that film has had plenty of nominations and deservedly so. Abel Korzeniowski’s score for ‘Nocturnal Animals’ is also endlessly haunting.


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’

Predicted Win: ‘City Of Stars’ – ‘La La Land’

This will definitely win. No question about it.


Best Sound Mixing

Bernard Gariepy Stobl and Claude La Haye for ‘Arrival’
David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’
Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth for ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi’
Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steven Morrow for ‘La La Land’

Predicted Win: Bernard Gariepy Stobl and Claude La Haye for ‘Arrival’

One of the reason why ‘Arrival’ works very well as a film is because of its innovative soundscape which I don’t think the other films can boast as much. How on earth has Michael Bay’s ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’ managed to make its way onto here though?! (My Review of ‘Arrival‘ here)


Best Sound Editing

Sylvain Bellemare for ‘Arrival’
Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli for ‘Deepwater Horizon’
Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Latou for ‘La La Land’
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman for ‘Sully: Miracle on the Hudson’

Predicted Win: Sylvain Bellemare for ‘Arrival’

Again, I think ‘Arrival’ is probably the best example here but this could equally be another award for ‘La La Land’. Really good to see ‘Deepwater Horizon’ and ‘Sully‘ here too.


Best Visual Effects

Craig Hammack, Jason H. Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton for ‘Deepwater Horizon’
Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould for ‘Doctor Strange’
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon for ‘The Jungle Book’
Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff for ‘Kubo And The Two Strings’
John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal T. Hickel and Neil Corbould for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Predicted Win: John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal T. Hickel and Neil Corbould for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

A very tough field to call, I think this could be either a win for ‘Rogue One‘, ‘Doctor Strange‘ or ‘The Jungle Book‘ but I think ‘Rogue One’ will probably win here due to what it has brought to film as a medium and something that can be replicated in years to come – the ability to digitally regenerate deceased actors. Whatever you may think of that ethically, it’s certainly an evolution for the industry. In terms of snubs, think what you will of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ but you certainly can’t complain about the visual effects which were remarkable.



So based on my predictions, I’m predicting ‘La La Land’ to be a very dominant presence with potentially ‘Moonlight’ following in its footsteps and the odd win here and there for another film. I strongly suspect ‘La La Land’ will mostly sweep the board though. In the technical categories, ‘Arrival’ and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ pose the biggest threat but ‘La La Land’ could still sweep here too. The Academy have clearly also reverted on the Although decidedly mixed on these nominations, there are a few films that have been overlooked. These include:

  • ‘Silence’ – only one nomination for a brilliant film that could have been a dominant presence everywhere
  • ‘Nocturnal Animals’ – this film had a strong presence in the Golden Globes and BAFTA’s but only one nomination for Michael Shannon here
  • ‘Sully’ – Clint Eastwood is normally a good presence for the Academy but couldn’t find its way here really

But other than these, a generally sound set of nominations and it’ll be interesting to see who goes home with what award. Although I strongly suspect it’ll be ‘La La Land’ that takes home most of the awards as undeserving as I find that notion to be.

The Academy Award Winners will be announced on Sunday 26th February 

8 thoughts on “2017 Oscar Nominations – My Thoughts

    1. Thanks, I haven’t watched the film yet but I’d say it’s very unlikely in the Animation category due to ‘Zootopia’ and it doesn’t sound as if it’s done anything particularly inventive in terms of its visual effects either. I’m quite surprised it even managed to get nominated to be honest!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I hated La La Land!!! I rate it a 1 out of 10 (10 being the best) I was poorly made and the dancing and singing was terrible. I don’t know how this movie even made it to the big screen.


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