2017 Oscars Buzzmeter: Critics predict who will win in the major categories
Jan 30, 2017 | 5:35 PM
It’s that time of year when the movie studios load up the theaters with their best films. Or if not their best, then their most serious adult dramas. Or maybe the ones with their biggest stars. Whatever the criteria, they are angling for some awards attention for these mostly fall and winter films. So with such an abundance, how do we as audience members pick out what to go see to be best prepared to know what’s going on at the Oscars? We read Buzzmeter, that’s how. Here, we look to six of the most qualified Oscar pundits, film writers and critics to tell us which movies will lead this year's Oscar race.
The following are their picks as to what names and titles we’ll be hearing when the Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 24. Are they on the right track? Tell us in the comments who you think deserves to be nominated, and check back for updates as the awards season progresses. The Oscars are on Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Glenn Whipp (The Envelope), Justin Chang (L.A. Times), Kenneth Turan (L.A. Times)
Here are their picks in the key categories, with the top vote-getters highlighted in red:
Best picture | "La La Land"
“A record-tying number of nominations + Producers Guild honor = slam dunk victory”
— Glenn Whipp
"Hell or High Water"
"La La Land": Thompson, O’Neil, Sperling, Chang, Turan, Whipp
"Manchester by the Sea"
Best director | Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"
“If ‘Moonlight’ was magic, and it was, Barry Jenkins was the central magician.”
— Kenneth Turan
Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight": Turan
Damien Chazelle, "La La Land": Sperling, O’Neil, Thompson, Whipp, Chang
Mel Gibson, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester by the Sea"
Denis Villeneuve, "Arrival"
Animated Film | "Zootopia"
“Most will pick ‘Zootopia’ to prevail, but watch out for ‘Kubo and the Two Strings.’ Japanese-influenced art house fare has triumphed in the past ("Spirited Away," 2002)."
Lead Actor | Casey Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea"
“With Denzel pulling out the surprise win at SAG, the momentum just shifted from Affleck to the two-time winner. Looks like he could be making a three-peat. ”
— Nicole Sperling
Casey Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea": O’Neil, Thompson, Chang, Turan
Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"
Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic"
Denzel Washington, "Fences": Sperling, Whipp
Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Lead Actress | Emma Stone, "La La Land"
“I should probably mark down Emma Stone, but the heart wants what it wants. ”
— Justin Chang
Natalie Portman, "Jackie"
Emma Stone, "La La Land": Sperling, Whipp, O’Neil, Thompson, Turan
Ruth Negga, "Loving":
Isabelle Huppert, "Elle": Chang
Meryl Streep, "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Supporting Actor | Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"
“Wily acting veteran Jeff Bridges may have to cede the field to first-time SAG and Oscar nominee Mahershala Ali, who had a breakout year in ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Luke Cage’ and ‘Hidden Figures,’ and gives ‘Moonlight’ its beating heart as a drug dealer who nurtures a needy young boy.”