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

 discuss on the blog



Jacqueline Durran will be competing with herself with three major films. If she is nominated which film will it be for?

Tier 1 - Predicted 5


Victoria and Abdul Consolata Boyle 
(2 nominations)

Boyle gets to costume Britian and Indian VIPs this time around and the clothes get plot points, too.

Beauty and the Beast Jacqueline Durran 
(4 noms | 1 win)

 The visibility is there as well as the iconic costumes recreated. But will that be enough without reinventing them (a la Cinderella)

The Greatest Showman
Ellen Mirojnick
(never nominated)

Circus costumes, top hats, etcetera. It better look great

Battle of the Sexes

Mary Zophres 
(2 nominations) 

Less gaudy 70s work than you'd expect, varied fun sports wear, the costumes even get discussed in scene. Zophres is on a tear lately.

Wonder Woman
Lindy Hemming (1 nom | 1 win)

 If a big campaign makes a dent anywhere, might it be here?

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

The Beguiled 

Stacey Battat 
(never nominated)


Civil War era girls school. There are plenty of dresses to gawk at and their finery is noted within the film


Sandy Powell 
(12 noms | 3 wins)

Powell's work is always stellar and she gets two time frames to play with here

My Cousin Rachel
Dinah Collin
(never nominated)


Rich work and the costuming branch doesn't require heat in other categories. They vote how they vote.

Phantom Thread
Mark Bridges
(2 noms, 1 win)

It's a fashion drama, at least in its milieu though Anderson has never seemed that obsessed with clothes in his movies

Murder on the Orient Express
Alexandra Byrne
(4 noms | 1 win)


Early hopes that it would be a visual spectacle and not just a parade of famous faces are slowly dying - the trailer didn't have as much costume pizazz as we expect from Byrne. Curious.

Tier 3 - Longer Shots ?

Tier 4 -Other Possibilities (Never nominated unless a number appears)

  • Darkest Hour Jacqueline Durran (4/1)
  • Current War Michael Wilkinson (1/0)
  • Battle of the Sexes Mary Zophres (2/0)
  • Roman Israel Esq Francine Jamison-Tanchuck
  • Dunkirk Jeffrey Kurland (1/0)
  • Lost City of Z Sonia Grande
  • Marshall Ruth E Carter (2/0)
  • Mudbound Michael T Boyd
  • Zookeeper's Wife Bina Daigeler
  • Goodbye Christopher... Mireaux
  • Wonder Wheel Suzy Benzinger
  • Blade Runner Renee April

2018 instead?

  • On Chesil Beach Keith Madden
  • The Seagull Ann Roth (4/1)
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties Sandy Powell (12/3)
  • Woman Walks Ahead Stephanie Collie




Can Roger Deakins finally take home the gold or will Dunkirk block him?

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Hoyt Van Hoytema
(never nominated)


Hoytema is next in line for the  "when are they going to nominate him after so many great looking films?" complaints

Blade Runner 2049
Roger Deakins
(13 nominations)

If he doesn't win soon they'll have to give him an honorary.

Darkest Hour
Bruno Delbonnel (4 nominations)

His last two nominations were for very monochromatic work. Hopefully there's more variety this time

Wonder Wheel
Vittoria Storaro
(4 noms | 3 wins)

He's a legendary cinematographer and early word says his work is impressive. Not that cinematographers readily embrace Woody Allen pictures...

Shape of Water 
Dan Laustsen
(never nominated)

It sure looks lovely. But with so many legendary DPs hoping for play this year will it be a surprise miss?

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong


Ed Lachmann (2 nominations)

This great cinematographer could wow again. We're still gawking at Carol every chance we get

The Post
Janusz Kaminski
(6 nominations / 2 wins)

The Greatest Showman
Seamus McGarvey
(2 nominations)

He was recently in the mix (if not nominated) for Nocturnal Animals. Will this musical fare better?

Battle of the Sexes
Linus Sandgren
(1 nom | 1 win)

The movie is surprisingly lovely. Can he compete furing his La La Land victory lap?

All the Money in the World
Dariusz Wolski
(never nominated)

When will he finally be honored? Ridley Scott films are hit and miss with Oscar

Tier 3 - Long Shots
  • Breathe Robert Richardson (9/3)
  • mother! (Matthew Libatique (1/0)
  • Current War Chung Chung-hoon
  • Detroit (Barry Ackroyd, 1/0)
  • Mountain Between Us (Mandy Walker, 0/0)
  • Beguiled (Philippe le Sourd, 1/0)
  • Call Me By Your Name (Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, 0/0)
  • Logan John Mathieson 2/0)
  • Lost City of Z (Darius Khonjdi, 1/0)
  • Mudbound (Rachel Morrison, 0/0)
  • The Snowman (Dion Beebe, 2/1)
  • Phantom Thread (PT Anderson himself, 0/0 in this category)
  • All the Money... (Dariusz Wolski, 0/0)
  • Film Stars Don't Die... Urszula Pontikos


I'll be watching this one closely to see if they finally give it up for the great Mark Friedberg who has a dual time frame / narrative challenge with Wonderstruck

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Beauty & the Beast 

Sarah Greenwood
(4 nominations)

She could well be competing against herself. But will they go with the noisy Disney recreation or the war drama?

Shape of Water
Paul Austerberry
(never nominated)

Apart from Blade Runner this may be the showiest job of the year. Totally sells the fable and Cold War noirishness

Blade Runner 2049
Dennis Gassner
(5 noms | 1 win)

They love Gassner and the first film is arguably the most influential art direction of the last 30 years. Can this possibility live up to it?


Stefania Cella
(never nominated)

Will AMPAS respond to its visual ambitions... which are unusual for a Payne film

Nathan Crowley
(3 nominations)

He could be competing with himself: see also The Greatest Showman 

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

The Greatest Showman

Nathan Crowley
(3 nominations)

The circus milieu gives Crowley plenty of chances to shine. And if they don't fall for this he's also got Dunkirk

Mark Friedberg
(never nominated)


He's an amazing designer and Todd Haynes movies always look fantastic. But for some reason Oscar always ignores his great work.

The Post
Rick Carter (4 noms, 2 wins)

Newsrooms might not give him enough room to shine but Oscar does like him and he pulled off a surprise win with Lincoln

Darkest Hour
Sarah Greenwood
(4 nominations)


She could well be competing against herself. But will they go with the noisy Disney recreation or the war drama instead?

Wonder Wheel
Santo Loquasto (3 noms)

Production Design isn't a common nomination for Woody Allen pictures but Loquasto often does very fine work

Tier 3 - Longer Shots?


  • Battle of Sexes Judy Becker (1/0)
  • The Beguiled (Anne Ross, 0/0)
  • Downsizing (Stefania Cella, 0/0)
  • The Current War Jan Roelfs (2/0)
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin (David Roger, 0/0)
  • Logan François Audouy (0/0)
  • Mudbound (David J Bomba, 0/0)
  • Murder on Orient Express (Jim Clay, 0/0)
  • Phantom Thread (Mark Tildesley, 0/0)
  • Wonder Woman (Aline Bonetto, 2/0)
  • Zookeeper's Wife (Suzie Davies, 1/0)
  • The Last Jedi Rick Heinrichs (3/1)




This category generally requires Best Picture heat or a lot of noticeable editing (as with action and war films) so it's hard to know in advance which films might make the editor's swoon (unlike other craft categories where you can suss out the particular challenges and how visible they'll be)

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Lee Smith
(2 nominations)

They'll probably view this as essential given the three time frames. 

 Three Billboards

(Jon Gregory, 0/0)


Shape of Water Sidney Wolinsky

(never nominated)

Very plotty but the editing is fairly showy.




Darkest Hour

  Valerio Bonelli 

(never nom'ed)



she keeps this very talky movie humming and feeling brisk and tense

Get Out
Gregory Plotkin (never nom'ed)

Seems like a great place to honor it - given its simmer full boil scares and how gripping it all is. Plus humor

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

The Post
Michael Kahn (8 noms, 3 wins)

Oscar loves his work.


Blade Runner 2049
Joe Walker
(2 nominations)



Downsizing  Kevin Tent (1/0)


Battle of the Sexes Pamela Martin (1/0)

Baby Driver
Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss (never nom'ed)

Tier 3 - Long Shots?
  • Call Me By Your Name Walter Fasano
  • Detroit William Goldenberg (5 noms/1 win) & Harry Yoon
  • Phantom Thread Dylan Tichenor (2/0)
  • The Last Jedi Bob Ducsay
  • Greatest Showman (unknown)
  • Mudbound Mako Kamitsuna
  • The Snowman Claire Simpson (2/1)
  • Thank You For Your Service Jay Cassidy (3/0) and Dino Jonsäter
  • mother! Andrew Weisblum (1/0)
  • The Florida Project Sean Baker
  • Lady Bird Nick Houy
  • Wonderstruck Affonso Gonçalves


This category was once far more predictable than it is now. That's because visual effects movies have been all the rage for years at multiplexes and there are more and more of them. Even the sure things aren't sure things with so many sequels in the mix. Even the Star Wars franchise has missed before! 

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars film to miss out on Visual FX honors

Blade Runner 2049

It's still horrific that the original film lost this category (to the much less deserving ET). Do over?

War of the Planet of the Apes

The previous two pictures in this rebooted franchise have been nominated

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Can Vol 2 win the same nominations? (Makeup and Visual FX)


This will be interesting to watch. Will they go for all practical effects in this era of CGI worship?

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Wonder Woman

 Historically speaking Oscar shrugs at Warner Bros superhero movies that aren't Batman films. On the other hand, it's a mega hit and there will be a campaign

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Oscar liked this franchise... back when Sam Raimi was directing it. Will they come around again?

Shape of Water

(never nominated)

The memorable images might be considered more triumphs of lighting and sets but the creature is cool. We shall see.

Kong Skull Island

Though the effects are impressive it's got a ton of competition. And they passed over its predecessor Godzilla (2014)

Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Oscar loved this franchise at first. Will the time away soften their hearts (they ignored the last film completely)

Tier 3 - Other potential bake off finalists
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Valerian...
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Alien Covenant 
  • Downsizing
  • Geostorm
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Justice League
  • Life
  • Logan
  • The Mummy
  • Shape of Water
  • Thor: Ragnarok


Year after year one of the hardest categories to get a bead on. They love old age prosthetics except when they don't. They love lots of wig work except when they don't. They don't like CGI characters, except when they do. Etcetera.

Tier 1 - Predicted 3


Darkest Hour
Ivana Primorac (never nominated) 

Transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill is a challenge that will catch their eye. 

All the Money in the World

Kevin Spacey buried in Getty prosthetics.

Joel Harlow (3 noms / 1 win), Gloria Pasqua Casny (1 nomination)

The X-franchise has not been an Oscar favorite but they like Harlow's work and this film, more serious and definitely better reviewed could make a play for this prize.

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Shape of Water
Jordan Samuel (never nominated) 

This 60s set fantasy from Guillermo Del Toro might look great but Oscar hasn't embraced many of his films. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
John Blake (1 nomination), Camille Friend (never nominated) 

The original was nominated in this category. Since there will be some new characters they could repeat

Naomi Bakstad (never nominated), Robert Pandini (1 nomination)

Will facial prosthetics still trigger Oscar love? It worked for Mask in the 80s

Blade Runner 2049

If one could ever since what the Oscars were looking for in this category one might have a better idea...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Peter King (2 noms | 1 win), Rick Findlater (1 nomination)

Diminishing Oscar returns for this franchise but 50% of them have been nominated in Makeup

Tier 3 Other potential bake off finalists
  • Atomic Blonde
  • Greatest Showman
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Valerian and...
  • Wonder Woman
  • The Mummy
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Kong Skull Island
  • Lost City of Z
  • Power Rangers
  • Star Wars: Last Jedi
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Wonderstruck