Subscribe To Awards Blend: Our First Academy Awards 2017 Predictions In The Major Categories Updates

While the bulk of our nation analyzes the results of last night's presidential election, we here at CinemaBlend turn our attention to something that's a little more our speed: The Race for the Oscars, or as I'd nicknaming it this year, "All of the films that are probably going to lose to La La Land."

OK, so, it's far too early to declare any race over. And as the aforementioned presidential race just taught us, anything is possible when it comes to a vote. But as I sit down and survey the landscape of Hollywood's Oscar hopefuls -- with a few movies still to show their cards -- the 2016 Academy Awards race boasts something we haven't seen in a few cycles: a clear-cut frontrunner. Across the board, Damien Chazelle's euphoric movie musical La La Land looks like the movie to beat in the Best Picture category, making a strong debut at the Venice Film Festival and then riding a wave of critical momentum through the rest of the fall film fest season. It still needs to play to an actual audience -- which will begin in December -- but at the moment, it's my Top Dog in the Oscar marathon.

And believe me, this IS a marathon, not a sprint. I say it every year, and I'll remind you often, as we check back in with the nominees all jockeying for position. Let's kick off our first round of Awards Blend predictions with some important dates. Next year's Oscar ceremony will be held on February 26, 2017. Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24. There's no host, as of yet, but here are the films and performances we think will be represented in the top six categories:

Best Picture

The Frontrunners

La La Land

The Contenders

Arrival

Fences

Hell or High Water

Jackie

Lion

Manchester By The Sea

Moonlight

Sully

The Dark Horses

20th Century Women

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

The Founder

Hacksaw Ridge

Hidden Figures

Live By Night

Loving

A Monster Calls

Nocturnal Animals

Patriots Day

Silence

The Longshots

Allied

The Birth of a Nation

Passengers

Rules Don't Apply

Best Director

The Frontrunners

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

The Contenders

Clint Eastwood, Sully

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea

Martin Scorsese, Silence

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Denzel Washington, Fences

The Dark Horses

Ben Affleck, Live By Night

J.A. Bayona, A Monster Calls

Warren Beatty, Rules Don't Apply

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Pablo Larrain, Jackie

Ang Lee, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Jeff Nichols, Loving

Morten Tyldum, Passengers

Robert Zemeckis, Allied

The Longshots

Garth Davis, Lion

Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book

John Lee Hancock, The Founder

David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water

Best Actor

The Frontrunners

Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea

Denzel Washington, Fences

The Contenders

Joel Edgerton, Loving

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Tom Hanks, Sully

The Dark Horses

Warren Beatty, Rules Don't Apply

Andrew Garfield, Silence

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

Michael Keaton, The Founder

Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation

Miles Teller, Bleed for This

The Longshots

Ethan Hawke, Born to be Blue

Logan Lerman, Indignation

Lewis MacDougall, A Monster Calls

Dev Patel, Lion

Chris Pratt, Passengers

Best Actress

The Frontrunners

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

The Contenders

Amy Adams, Arrival

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Ruth Negga, Loving

The Dark Horses

Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals

Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures

Susan Sarandon, The Meddler

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

The Longshots

Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship

Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

Marion Cotillard, Allied

Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers

Best Supporting Actor

The Frontrunners

None yet

The Contenders

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash

Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

The Dark Horses

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Adam Driver, Silence

Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This

Aaron Eckhart, Sully

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Liam Neeson, Silence

Jeremy Renner, Arrival

Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

The Longshots

Armie Hammer, The Birth of a Nation

Tracy Letts, Indignation

Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky

Best Supporting Actress

The Frontrunners

Viola Davis, Fences

The Contenders

Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea

The Dark Horses

Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky

Lupita Nyong'o, Queen of Katwe

Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

The Longshots

Julianne Moore, Maggie's Plan

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