Not much has changed since my last slate of predictions. Fences, Silence, Live by Night and Hidden Figures remain unseen, so there are still some contenders out there which will remain unknowns for a while.
Moonlight won big this Month!
The Gotham Award nominations were announced, and gave us a small taste of films that will do well in the critics awards. Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight got the biggest boosts, which is not surprising. I think both films will do well with critics across the board, especially since Moonlight is 99 on Metacritic. Moonlight was in fact the biggest winner of the last month, not only with the Gotham Awards, but a fantastic limited box office run, and sold out weekday shows in New York and LA.
Category Placement Changing
The other "big news" in the last month was category placement. Viola Davis, as potentially suspected back in September went Supporting, which no matter the quality of the film gives her performance a huge boost to win, since the Supporting Actress field is not as crowded.
Dev Patel was also switched to Supporting, and I think that boosts his chances for a first time nomination. Lion jumped from non-contender to 7 on my list, and this is mainly because of two elements, The Weinstein Co. and the emotional it factor. The buzz I am hearing from this film is lots of tears, and strong emotional reactions, this will play well for voters.
I have laid out my predictions for the major categories (outside of screenplay). Films/performances that have been seen are ranked above any film or performance that has not been seen.
1-La La Land
2-Manchester by the Sea
8-Hell or High Water
*Lion and Hell or High Water were bumped to the top 10
20th Century Women
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Live by Night
*Arrival and Hidden Figures were bumped to Contenders
1-Damien Chazelle-La La Land
3-Kenneth Lonnergan-Manchester by the Sea
*Pablo Larrain was bumped to fouth
Ang Lee-Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
*Denzel Washington was bumped to contender status
1-Casey Affleck-Manchester by the Sea
2-Ryan Gosling-La La Land
* Dev Patel had his category placement changed and Tom Hanks was bumped to fourth
Robert DeNiro-The Comedian
Jake Gyllenhaal-Nocturnal Animals
Michael Keaton-The Founder
1-Emma Stone-La La Land
3-Annette Benning-20th Century Women
5-Meryl Streep-Florence Foster Jenkins
*Viola Davis had her SAG category placement changed to Supporting, so she was replaced by Streep
Amy Adams in Arrival and Nocturnal Animals
Jessica Chastain-Miss Sloane
Taraji P. Henson-Hidden Figures
2-Jeff Bridges-Hell or High Water
3-Lucas Hedges-Manchester by the Sea
*Ali was bumped to one, Bridge moved from contender to 2, Hedges from 1 to 3, Patel was moved from Lead to Supporting.
Aaron Eckheart-Bleed for This
Hugh Grant-Florence Foster Jenkins
Michael Shannon-Nocturnal Animals
*Sarsgaard & Adepo were moved to contender status, and Hugh Grant was added to this list, I think he has a strong chance
Best Supporting Actress
2-Michelle Williams-Manchester by the Sea
3-Greta Gerwig-20th Century Women
*Viola Davis was moved to Supporting
Laura Dern-The Founder/Certain Women
Felicity Jones-A Monster Calls
Molly Shannon-Other People
Best Adapted Screenplay
Three of these films have not been seen, so it's harder to predict this category.
Best Original Screenplay
1-Manchester by the Sea
3-La La Land
5-Hell or High Water