Oscar Nominations and Predictions for the 89th Academy Awards

by Nick Kush

Early Tuesday, the Academy released the Oscar nominations for the ceremony that will air on February 26th, 2017 on ABC.  With the release of the nominations comes predictions for what the Academy Awards will reward as the best in cinema in a certain field, so let’s discuss the major categories and the possible winners in each!  To note, I’ll pick who I think the Academy will choose to win as well as who I thought deserved to win.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

I see this award as a three person race between Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, and Michelle Williams.  Each woman has a signature moment from each of their films to remember them by with Davis having snot running down her face while she yells at Denzel, Harris drugged out and yelling at Chiron, and Williams losing it on the street when talking to Casey Affleck.  Davis won the Golden Globe, but is that enough for her to take home the Oscar?

Predicted Winner: Viola Davis

MovieBabble Winner: Naomie Harris

oscar nominations

image via Collider

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

While the award will probably go to Mahershala Ali (who stood out in an amazingly short amount of time on screen), I must say that one of my favorite characters in all of film this year was Michael Shannon as Bobby Andes in Nocturnal Animals.  Shannon completely lost himself in this character, applying a great accent to go along with his intense stare.  But I actually wouldn’t mind if any of these actors won since they were all so great.

Predicted Winner: Mahershala Ali

MovieBabble Winner: Michael Shannon

oscar nominations

image via The Playlist

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

People fail to realize just how much CGI is in Deepwater Horizon (and I have a little bit of a soft spot for the movie since it was my first ever review), but I think this award comes down to The Jungle Book or Doctor Strange.  The Jungle Book is so great in that you forget sometimes that the entire movie was on a green screen.  Yet Doctor Strange explored so many different dimensions that were incredibly riveting.  I’d say this is close to a toss up.

Predicted Winner: The Jungle Book

MovieBabble Winner: Doctor Strange

oscar nominations

image via Vox

Best Adapted Screenplay

Eric Heisserer, Arrival

August Wilson, Fences

Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures

Luke Davies, Lion

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

While August Wilson definitely wrote a very powerful play, the movie felt exactly like the play so I wonder how difficult his job actually was to complete.  I think this award goes to Barry Jenkins since Moonlight is so layered in its execution and is a very important story to tell.  I would, however, watch out for Eric Heisserer since Arrival was so intelligently told with science fiction elements yet had true, genuine emotion.

Predicted Winner: Barry Jenkins

MovieBabble Winner: Eric Heisserer

oscar nominations

image via CraveOnline

Best Original Screenplay

Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, The Lobster

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

I would seriously consider giving this award to The Lobster for how absurd the movie is and how it strangely works, but I think this is a two horse race between Damien Chazelle and Kenneth Lonergan.  Manchester by the Sea is a really tough watch.  But, it is definitely a great lesson in writing.  However, considering La La Land is a movie about Hollywood, for Hollywood, so it’ll probably get the award, and deservedly so.

Predicted Winner: Damien Chazelle

MovieBabble Winner: Damien Chazelle

oscar nominations

image via IndieWire

 Best Animated Feature Film

Kubo and the Two Strings


My Life as a Zucchini

The Red Turtle


It’s nice to see some lesser known movies such as My Life as a Zucchini and The Red Turtle get recognition instead of more commercial hits like Sing or The Secret Life of Pets that definitely had no business being considered.  However, I think the clear winner here is Zootopia since it was so accessible to kids but also had some great themes for adults to get wrapped up in.

Predicted Winner: Zootopia

MovieBabble Winner: Zootopia

oscar nominations

image via Den of Geek

Best Director

Denis Villenueve, Arrival

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Whether you like him or not, it was nice to see Mel Gibson make the cut.  It speaks to the Academy’s ability to objectively view movies which is definitely something to be admired.  However, it seems that the front-runners for the award will be Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins.  Chazelle probably pulled off the hardest task in creating a beautifully filmed musical with greatly choreographed musical set pieces.  However, Barry Jenkins (and even Denis Villenueve) probably gives a more layered performance, allowing us to understand characters in completely different situations and circumstances than we are accustomed.

Predicted Winner: Damien Chazelle

MovieBabble Winner: Damien Chazelle

oscar nominations

image via Twiter

Best Actress

Isabelle Ruppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

This could possibly be the most contested race of any of the categories.  Meryl Streep is at it again with the 2oth nomination of her illustrious career.  However, she is most likely fourth or fifth in the running for this award.  Could the lesser known Isabelle Huppert walk away with the award after winning the Golden Globe?  I doubt it, but look out for her to be a surprise winner.  Overall, I think this boils down to a two women race between Emma Stone and Natalie Portman.  Jackie isn’t necessarily the best movie, but boy is Portman a marvel to watch.  I may lean that way if it were up to me.

Predicted Winner: Emma Stone

MovieBabble Winner: Natalie Portman

oscar nominations

image via Elle

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

The word surrounding the Academy is that this is Casey Affleck’s award to lose.  However, I would tend to disagree with this sentiment, since Affleck’s performance hasn’t really stuck with me since I viewed the movie.  I have a bit of a soft spot for Andrew Garfield’s performance in Hacksaw Ridge which really moved me in the theater and how he committed to the character, but watch out for Denzel as a dark horse.  Moreover, Fences does not really work as a film without his performance.

Predicted Winner: Casey Affleck

MovieBabble Winner: Denzel Washington 

oscar nominations

image via IndieWire

Best Picture



Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land


Manchester by the Sea


This is a pretty stacked list.  Although I would’ve liked to see Silence get nominated, there isn’t really any major gripes from my point of view.  It appears that La La Land may be the front runner since it tied the record for most total nominations with fourteen, and I may have to agree with that sentiment since La La Land was my favorite movie of 2016.  However, I would watch out for Moonlight as a possible dark horse to win this award since it bears a higher societal importance than practically every other movie on the list.

Predicted Winner: La La Land

MovieBabble Winner: La La Land

oscar nominations

image via IndieWire

Those are my choices!  What are your thoughts?  Are there any categories you would have picked differently?  Comment down below and let me know!

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What movie topic should I discuss next?  Whether it’s old or new, the choice is up to you!

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tgbom February 26, 2017 - 11:59 pm

Great insights!
I have made some predictions of my own in my new blog… check it out!!

Carrie February 25, 2017 - 2:40 am

Gosh very well predicted lol. I’ve seen all of the 9 movies. I loved la la land but mostly bc I’ve got personal connection with it. I went to see Manchester four times just bc I wanted to see Casey’s heartbreaking performance. I’d love to see Arrival win (which is impossible I know) but after I read the book, I think it at least deserves a best adapted screenplay. I can see how hard it is to adapt it into a great film that not as emotional as Interstellar, or as predictable as The Martian. Amy Adams is the biggest snob this year FOR SURE! Been rooting for her for years! They totally broke my heart this time. Taraji P. Henson should’ve been nominated too. I agree with most of your predictions except best original screenplay I think it will be Manchester

MovieBabble February 25, 2017 - 3:38 am

I wasn’t as big of a fan of Manchester as other people, I’d honestly prefer something else to win best original screenplay

Carrie February 28, 2017 - 2:42 am

Like I said Manchester would win. However, I don’t think I’m gonna watch oscars anymore. I truly believe that la la land deserves a lot better “result” than this. I was watching oscars live last night. Imagine how I felt when I witnessed that accident as a huge fan of la la land. How ironic

MovieBabble February 28, 2017 - 3:18 am

I wouldn’t stop watching over that gaff, it could’ve happened to anyone!

That Awkward Gal February 11, 2017 - 8:03 pm

Finally someone else who has a soft spot for Andrew Garfield. He was so good in Hacksaw Ridge! Don’t think he will win this year, but only a matter of time before he gets an Oscar for something !

MovieBabble February 11, 2017 - 9:51 pm

He really is great, I think it’s because the movie came out in early November his performance kind of got swept under the rug by later performances

Millennial Movies February 8, 2017 - 12:39 pm

Solid list. I agree with most of that list. I think Moonlight might take best picture though and I think Kubo or Moana might get up on Zootopia but that is a stacked category. Other than that I agree with most of your predictions.

MovieBabble February 9, 2017 - 6:07 am

Hopefully some of them are right so I don’t look like an idiot lol

Millennial Movies February 9, 2017 - 6:11 am

I dont think that would happen haha you have very solid rationale now

MovieBabble February 9, 2017 - 1:24 pm

You’re too kind lol

shahzodav January 27, 2017 - 4:46 am

Great thoughts! I liked Arrival quite a lot and I also was thinking Eric Heisserer should get it.

MovieBabble January 27, 2017 - 4:49 am

It’s certainly unlike any other movie this year and that definitely comes from the writing!

charsmoviereviews January 26, 2017 - 12:26 am

I really hope Naomie Harris wins for Best Supporting Actress. She was just mesmerizing and totally transformed.

MovieBabble January 26, 2017 - 12:59 am

Truly a haunting performance. Nothing about it felt staged! I think out of all of these performances her’s has stuck the most with me.

Karandi January 25, 2017 - 9:22 pm

I don’t really pay attention to the acadmey awards. Most of the movies I actually really enjoy don’t get nominations and I seldom agree with their choices.
Thanks for sharing your choices for the categories.

MovieBabble January 25, 2017 - 9:41 pm

The academy definitely slants towards the more “dignified” movies for sure. There’s also a ton of politics involved and it basically comes down to how much studios campaign for their movies. I’d love it if movies like Deadpool or The Nice Guys would’ve gotten nominated for writing or something since they were really smart in their hilarity. Hopefully the tide turns sooner or later!

Dildo schwaggins January 25, 2017 - 6:22 pm

Your thoughts are meaningless. You are meaningless. I hope you get parkinsons so your hands shake too much to type these articles anymore

MovieBabble January 25, 2017 - 6:58 pm

If you’re going to troll at least be funny

Often Off Topic January 25, 2017 - 4:11 pm

Well said! I agree with pretty much all of your predictions, but I still have so many movies to see before I can make my own choices!

MovieBabble January 25, 2017 - 5:12 pm

Yeah it’s so hard to see all of them when there’s like thirty movies that have some type of nomination!


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