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: