Oscar nominations 2017: Surprises and Predictions

La La Land leads February’s Oscar contenders, but still faces some stiff competition.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in ‘La La Land’

Oscar history in the making

The 2017 Oscar nominations have been announced, and they’re a mixed bag of surprise and record-setting for this year’s hopefuls. La La Land continues its dominance at the Golden Globes with 14 nominations, and now ties with Titanic and All About Eve for most ever. La La Land could very well also join the likes of Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for most wins with a successful night at the Dolby Theatre.

Meryl Streep further confirmed her Hollywood eminence with a record-breaking 20th Oscar nomination for her leading role in Florence Foster Jenkins. Years of controversy concerning the nominees have also come to an end. Seven people of colour are among those nominated for acting categories, including Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for Fences, Mahershala Ali for Moonlight, and Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures.

‘Moonlight’ is a strong contender for Best Picture

Unexpected surprises

Critical success didn’t seem to completely translate into nominations for some films and actors this year though.

Tom Hanks will be feeling left out, with his name notably missing among those for Best Actor for his role in Sully. Despite a successful turn at the box-office and widely positive reviews, the Clint Eastwood biopic could only secure a single nomination for Sound Editing. It’s great to see Viggo Mortensen recognised for a strong performance in Captain Fantastic however, after an unexpected snub at the Golden Globes. Unfortunately the off-beat drama, like Sully, still missed a Best Picture nod.

Also almost completely absent from the nominees is Martin Scorsese’s historical drama Silence, which managed a lone nomination for Best Cinematography. Scorsese is certainly no stranger to the Academy, but with the film receiving so little coverage amid box-office giants like Rogue One, and even Hacksaw Ridge, it seems 2017 could indeed be a silent year for the veteran filmmaker.

Casey Affleck is in the running for his first Oscar win

Oscar predictions for 2017

Results from Damien Chazelle’s musical is probably the front-runner for Best Picture, with Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea both heavyweight contenders. The music categories should be a clean sweep for La La Land, which is definitely the favourite for Best Original Screenplay as well. While Chazelle could therefore be the safe bet for Best Director glory, with Mel Gibson also nominated for his outstanding direction in Hacksaw Ridge, the Oscar-winning actor might surprise us.

From their Golden Globe wins, Casey Affleck and Ryan Gosling are top contenders for Best Actor, with Isabelle Huppert and Emma Stone the favourites for Best Actress. Expect Affleck and Emma Stone to receive the winner’s call. Competition for the Best Supporting categories seem the hardest to separate. Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges, and Dev Patel are all equal challengers, while Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, and Michelle Williams round out the leading hopefuls for the actresses.

Disney is set to own Best Animated Feature with the hugely successful Zootopia and Moana both nominated, but expect Zootopia to get the win. As for the rest of the awards though, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Disney’s critically-acclaimed ‘Zootopia’

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on February 26.

For the full list of nominations head to:

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