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90th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2017 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

SEPTEMBER 19th UPDATED CHARTS


Tier 1 - Predicted Powerhouses

Chris Nolan
never nominated in directing
DUNKIRK
(Warner Bros)
July 21st

 

He's surely been in 6th place often. A WW II drama should finally do the trick

Guillermo del Toro

never nominated in directing
THE SHAPE OF WATER 
(Fox Searchlight)
Dec 8th

It'd be sweet to see another Mexican director honored AND a rare fantasy and given the response to the film, it's likely to happen

Steven Spielberg
7 noms | 2 wins in directing
THE PAPERS
(Fox)
Dec 22nd

Assuming it becomes a powerhouse, he hasn't been in the lineup since Lincoln and will probably return. If it disappoints, make room for a less abundantly rewarded auteur

Joe Wright
never nominated
DARKEST HOUR
(Focus)
Nov 24th

Curiously never nominated despite Oscar liking his films. This one's got enough cinematic energy that he's probably in if the film is in.

Dee Rees
never nominated
MUDBOUND
(Netflix)
TBA

 Can the Sundance buzz build into real Oscar season buzz? Or will the Academy balk at Netflix pushing for top categories?

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Todd Haynes
never nominated in directing
WONDERSTRUCK
(Amazon)
TBA

Is there any genius alive who is more overdue? If this is a success (with any mainstream interest) watch out.

Paul Thomas Anderson
1 nom in directing
PHANTOM THREAD
(Focus)
Dec 25th

 

He'll automatically be considered. But how's the picture? Christmas seems like a really late start for this type of film

Luca Guadagnino
never nominated
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
(SPC)
Nov 24th

One of the most exciting directors working but still very "arthouse" if you will.

Martin McDonagh
never nominated in directing THREE BILLBOARDS...
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 13th

 

A unique voice but will they think of him as primarily a writer? The film is off to a great pre-release start.

Alexander Payne
3 noms in directing
DOWNSIZING}
(Paramount)
Dec 22nd

Oscar's directing branch really loves him but nobody is nominated every time. That said, this is his most ambitious picture and his branch might appreciate that.

 
Tier 3 - Or Maybe It'll Be

Woody Allen
7 noms | 1 win in directing
WONDER WHEEL
(Amazon)
Dec 1st

The directors and writers branch love him more than other branches. But he comes with baggage. It might require a Midnight in Paris size hit

Patty Jenkins
never nominated
WONDER WOMAN
(Warner Bros)
June 2nd

Likely to get a big FYC campaign but Oscar voters haven't been known to embrace this genre (or women in general apart from a few exceptions)

 

Jordan Peele
never nominated
GET OUT
(Universal)
Feb 24th

He's got a headstart. Genre pictures need that to settle in as viably "great" - that said he's more likely for a screenplay nomination

Ridley Scott

3 nominations in directing
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
(Amazon)
Dec 8th

 

He's one of the most famous directors alive who has yet to win. His just-miss for The Martian could help -- if people love the film they'll think it's past time to honor him.

 

Sean Baker

never nominated
THE FLORIDA PROJECT
(A24)
Oct 6th

 

He's been doing amazing work in little seen indies for quite a solid chunk of years now. Can A24 boost his cache quickly?

 
Tier 4 - Anyone Feels Possible This Early On...

Michael Gracey
never nominated
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
(Fox)
Dec 25th

 

 Currently unknown but that will change if this is good / a success

Greta Gerwig
never nominated
LADY BIRD
(A24)

Nov 10th

 

Likely to be seen as an actors film whether that's fair or not

Tier 5 - Other Directors This Season

  • Darren Aronofsky, mother!
  • Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit
  • Yorgos Lanthimos, Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • Tomas Alfredson, The Snowman
  • Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled
  • Simon Curtis, Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • Reginald Hudlin, Marshall
  • Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049