Tomorrow, the nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced.
This year, the Academy will break with tradition and dispense with the usual early morning press conference in Beverly Hills. They'll still be announcing them ridiculously early (5.18am PST/1.18pm GMT) but will instead announce the nominations via a live stream on online and digital platforms. Announcing the nominees will be actors Brie Larson, Jennifer Hudson, and Ken Watanabe, director Jason Reitman, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezski and AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
As has been my practice for the last few years, I like to try and predict who will be nominated (this is done for Best Picture, Best Director and the four acting awards). Below is my list of who I think will be named tomorrow.
NB. Just like the last few years, the Academy rules state that there could be anywhere between five and ten Best Picture nominees. I have selected ten films. If the total number of films nominated is less than ten, but one of the movies selected is named in my list of ten, I will count it as a successful prediction.
Hell Or High Water
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Denzel Washington (Fences)
Amy Adams (Arrival)
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)
Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea)
Usually a score of 15 is adequate, but given the fact that there could be anywhere between 5 and 10 Best Picture awards, I'ill be happy with a prediction of 18 or higher. Last year, I got 28 out of 33.
As usual with my predictions, there's a few cast-iron guarantees, a few maybes and possibly a few WTFs.
This year, it's been the Lead Actress category which has been really fluid with performances by Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and Emily Blunt (The Girl On The Train) also being mentioned, so I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see only 2 of my 5 picks nominated (Natalie Portman and Emma Stone are pretty much guaranteed a nod). If Meryl Streep is nominated for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins, that would be her twentieth- yes, twentieth- competitive acting Oscar nomination, more than any actress in the history of the Academy. I've included her in due to the Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nods. There's also always the chance that if Amy Adams is nominated tomorrow, it could be for Nocturnal Animals.
Joel Edgerton could get a nod for Best Actor for Loving; most likely to lose their place would then be either Viggo Mortensen or Denzel Washington.
Best Supporting Actor is fairly locked, I reckon, although there could always be a surprise nomination for Aaron Taylor-Johnson or Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals in place of Hugh Grant.
Best Director seems like it could be a place for surprises (see last year's nomination for Lenny Abrahamson for Room), although I'd say I think 3 of the 5 (Chazelle, Jenkins and Lonergan) are pretty secure. There could be surprise nods for Denzel Washington (Fences), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals) or maybe even Pablo Larrain (Jackie) or Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures)
Guess we'll find out tomorrow!