The Envelope Please: 2017 Oscar Nomination Picks

By January 23, 2017
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Well the nominations for the 89th Academy Awards are creeping up on us, and with them will come a relentless wave of excitement, disappointment, and a ceaseless cavalcade of people exclaiming, “Well why wasn’t blank nominated?”

And while everyone before that is busy working on predicting the eventual nominees, I thought I’d take it upon myself again to focus on what I would like to see get nominated rather than what I think will actually get nominated.

So to clarify, this is just my hypothetical ballot, not my predictions.

And to anyone who may be confused as to why a number of films are nominated in some categories and not others that they might traditionally overlap in, I focused on each category one at a time and picked what I thought were the five best as opposed to picking a dozen films and just spreading them throughout the categories as the Oscars sometimes tend to do.

So enough babbling, here are my dream picks for this year’s Academy Awards.

Best Picture
Arrival
The Conjuring 2
Eye In the Sky
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Kubo and the Two Strings
La La Land
The Nice Guys
Nocturnal Animals
Sing Street

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Karyn Kusama, The Invitation
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Best Actor
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, The Nice Guys
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals
Lewis MacDougall, A Monster Calls
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Best Actress
Amy Adams, Arrival
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Helen Mirren, Eye In the Sky
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jesse Eisenberg, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash
John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress
Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women
Janelle Monáe, Hidden Figures
Imogen Poots, Green Room
Naomi Watts, Demolition
Madison Wolfe, The Conjuring 2 

Best Original Screenplay
The Edge of Seventeen
Eye In the Sky
The Invitation
Moonlight
The Nice Guys

Best Adapted Screenplay
Arrival
Deadpool
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Love & Friendship
Nocturnal Animals

Best Animated Film
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
Zootopia

Best Cinematography
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Arrival
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
The Conjuring 2
The Shallows

Best Editing
Don’t Breathe
Deadpool
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
La La Land

Best Production Design
The Conjuring 2
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One

Best Costume Design
Allied
Captain Fantastic
Jackie
Nocturnal Animals
Suicide Squad

Best Original Score
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Kubo and the Two Strings
La La Land
The Magnificent Seven
Nocturnal Animals

Best Original Song
Another Day of Sun (La La Land)
Drive It Like You Stole It (Sing Street)
How Far I’ll Go (Moana)
Never Give Up (Lion)
Try Everything (Zootopia)

Best Visual Effects
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
The Jungle Book
Rogue One
Star Trek: Beyond

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Elvis & Nixon
Green Room
Hacksaw Ridge
Star Trek: Beyond
Swiss Army Man

Best Sound Mixing
Arrival
The Conjuring 2
Don’t Breathe
Hush
Rogue One

Best Sound Editing
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Deepwater Horizon
The Magnificent Seven
Patriots Day
The Witch

So I’ve got to admit that once again, some of these categories were really hard to narrow down. And in the end, there were still a lot of films and performances that I loved that still didn’t make the cut. Best actor, best actress, best original screenplay and best original score in particular I had to leave off some nominees that were difficult to let go of.

But I tried to remain true to my opinions rather than cater to fan favorites. That’s one of the big reasons why I have three nominations for Batman v. Superman and none for films like Manchester By the Sea that did well in other awards, like the Golden Globes.

Sorry about that.

But even though I did stay true to my opinions and nominate those that I truly think deserve to be, I did subconsciously try to give credit to the kinds of films that are oft ignored by the Academy in bigger categories like comic books movies, horror films, action and comedy. It would be nice to see great horror like The Conjuring 2, The Witch, The Shallows, The Invitation get that kind of recognition one day.

Well that’s it for now. I’m interested to see how my picks stack up against the real nominations Tuesday. In the meantime though, leave a comment and let me know how I stacked up against your favorites. And be sure to check back here for more Oscar coverage!

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Matt is a writer of all sorts and a film addict who's still waiting for his Hogwarts acceptance letter. If you find him at a party, he's probably talking about Xena or doing a Nicolas Cage impression.