Here are the must-see movies most likely to win Oscars in 2017

Fences paramountParamount‘Fences.’

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to take another look at the movies in contention for the 2017 Academy Awards.

Since our first pass at predicting the people and films that are in the running for the little gold men, there have been a few additions and also a few that have dropped out of the running.

The poor reaction to Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” has pretty much pushed the movie out of the running for most of the main awards (it’s still in contention for its technical feats). Meanwhile, “Fences,” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis (also directed by Washington), is blowing away audiences in early screenings.

Below is our latest look at the movies and talent that have a chance to take home Oscar gold next year:

Best Picture

Lionsgate
'La La Land.'

In the running:

'Arrival'

'Fences'

'Jackie'

'La La Land'

'Lion'

'Manchester By The Sea'

'Moonlight'

'Silence'

'Sully'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: We're still strong on 'La La Land.' And it's one of the few feel-good movies on this list, which might be something that will stick with Oscar voters. But do not sleep on 'Lion,' which is being released by The Weinstein Company, and the Weinsteins have a habit of playing upset at the Oscars. And yes, the movie is good enough to knock off 'La La Land.'

Best Director

Lionsgate
Damien Chazelle.

In the running:

Damien Chazelle, 'La La Land'

Garth Davis, 'Lion'

Clint Eastwood, 'Sully'

Barry Jenkins, 'Moonlight'

Pablo Larraín, 'Jackie'

Kenneth Lonergan, 'Manchester By The Sea'

Martin Scorsese, 'Silence'

Denis Villeneuve, 'Arrival'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: It's still Damien Chazelle for 'La La Land.' But if the buzz for another movie increases in the best picture category, this will change. Often the movie that wins best picture also takes home the director honour.

Best Actor

Amazon
Casey Affleck in 'Manchester By The Sea.'

In the running:

Casey Affleck, 'Manchester By The Sea'

Ryan Gosling, 'La La Land'

Tom Hanks, 'Sully'

Michael Keaton, 'The Founder'

Matthew McConaughey, 'Gold'

Dev Patel, 'Lion'

Mark Wahlberg, 'Patriots Day'

Denzel Washington, 'Fences'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: There's really no other way to say this: Casey Affleck gives the best performance of the year. It's hard to see anyone taking the prize from him... but it's still early.

Best Actress

Fox Searchlight/YouTube
Natalie Portman in 'Jackie.'

In the running:

Amy Adams, 'Arrival'

Amy Adams, 'Nocturnal Animals'

Annette Bening, '20th Century Women'

Taraji P. Henson, 'Hidden Figures'

Isabelle Huppert, 'Elle'

Ruth Negga, 'Loving'

Natalie Portman, 'Jackie'

Emma Stone, 'La La Land'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: Natalie Portman. This is going to be the category you'll have to watch this year, as the worthy contenders are going to change up. We were previously predicting Emma Stone, but right now it's Portman riding the hot hand. Honestly, it could be any of these ladies.

Best Supporting Actor

CBS Films
Jeff Bridges (L) in 'Hell or High Water.'

In the running:

Mahershala Ali, 'Moonlight'

Jeff Bridges, 'Hell or High Water'

Hugh Grant, 'Florence Foster Jenkins'

Liam Neeson, 'Silence'

Michael Shannon, 'Nocturnal Animals'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: Jeff Bridges has the edge at the moment. It's really one of his best performances in a while. But this is another tough category to handicap.

Best Supporting Actress

A24
Naomi Harris in 'Moonlight.'

In the running:

Viola Davis, 'Fences'

Naomie Harris, 'Moonlight'

Felicity Jones, 'A Monster Calls'

Nicole Kidman, 'Lion'

Rachel Weisz, 'The Lobster'

Michelle Williams, 'Manchester By the Sea'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: The heart-wrenching performance by Naomie Harris should get her the win. But watch out for Viola Davis.

Best Original Screenplay

CBS Films
'Hell or High Water.'

In the running:

Anthony Bagarozzi, Shane Black, 'The Nice Guys'

Damien Chazelle, 'La La Land'

Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos, 'The Lobster'

Jim Jarmusch, 'Paterson'


Barry Jenkins, Tarell McCraney, 'Moonlight'


Kenneth Lonergan, 'Manchester by the Sea'


Noah Oppenheim, 'Jackie'


Taylor Sheridan, 'Hell or High Water'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: The powerful 'Hell or High Water' script by Taylor Sheridan is hard to look over. There are many worthy contenders, but this one stuck with us the most. Especially seeing that it's in a genre that you think has told all its stories already.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Weinstein Company
'Lion.'

In the running:

Jay Cocks, 'Silence'

Luke Davies, 'Lion'

Tom Ford, 'Nocturnal Animals'

Patrick Ness, 'A Monster Calls'

Whit Stillman, 'Love & Friendship'

August Wilson, 'Fences'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: 'Lion' is such a powerful work, we feel Luke Davies' adaptation needs to be recognised.

Best Animated Feature

Disney
'Zootopia.'

In the running:

'Finding Dory'

'Kubo and the Two Strings'

'Sausage Party'

'Sing'

'Zootopia'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: 'Zootopia' should take the win, but the field is crowded this year, including a very aggressive campaign by Sony for 'Sausage Party.'

Best Cinematography

TIFF
'Jackie.'

In the running:

Roger Deakins, 'Hail, Caesar!'

Stéphane Fontaine, 'Jackie'

James Laxton, 'Moonlight'

Seamus McGarvey, 'Nocturnal Animals'

Rodrigo Prieto, 'Silence'

Linus Sandgren, 'La La Land'
John Toll, 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk'

Bradford Young, 'Arrival'

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: Though John Toll for 'Billy Lynn' could take it just for the ambitious way the movie was shot (though very few theatres have been able to play it that way), some of the most unforgettable visuals this year are from
Stéphane Fontaine lensing 'Jackie.'

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