Now that we are getting into December, the Awards Race begins to take a clearer shape. Every year, around this time, top critical organizations begin to recognize the best in cinema, and when we start to hear the same titles repeated by various film groups, we in the media can start to determine frontrunners, as well as also-rans.

To that end, recent wins for Damien Chazelle's La La Land and Barry Jenkins' Moonlight from the top critics' groups in New York and Los Angeles helped propel those movies into Frontrunner categories in several top races. As was pointed out, Jenkins has claimed a Best Director trophy from pretty much every group that has tried to hand one out, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review. Can one of these films peak too soon? That has happened in the past, where backlash against a presumed "Winner" settled in, prompting Academy voters to push their weight behind another film. There's still a LOT of time to go, with a few more shoes to drop before this competition is squared away.

The Critics' Choice Awards happen much earlier this year, airing on Sunday, December 11 instead of their usual January slot. That could give some valuable momentum to one of the following movies, or take some air out of a tentative campaign or two. For the moment, here's where I think everyone stands:

Best Picture

The Frontrunners

La La Land

Manchester By The Sea

Moonlight

The Contenders

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

Jackie

Lion

Loving

Patriots Day

Sully

The Dark Horses

20th Century Women

The Founder

Nocturnal Animals

Silence

The Longshots

Allied

The Birth of a Nation

Live By Night

A Monster Calls

Best Director

The Frontrunners

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

The Contenders

Clint Eastwood, Sully

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Pablo Larrain, Jackie

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea

Martin Scorsese, Silence

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Denzel Washington, Fences

The Dark Horses

J.A. Bayona, A Monster Calls

Garth Davis, Lion

Jeff Nichols, Loving

Robert Zemeckis, Allied

The Longshots

Ben Affleck, Live By Night

Warren Beatty, Rules Don't Apply

David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water

Morten Tyldum, Passengers

Best Actor

The Frontrunners

Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea

Denzel Washington, Fences

The Contenders

Joel Edgerton, Loving

Andrew Garfield, Silence

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Tom Hanks, Sully

Michael Keaton, The Founder

The Dark Horses

Ben Affleck, Live By Night

Warren Beatty, Rules Don't Apply

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

Lewis MacDougall, A Monster Calls

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Miles Teller, Bleed for This

The Longshots

Ethan Hawke, Born to be Blue

Logan Lerman, Indignation

Matthew McConaughey, Gold

Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation

Best Actress

The Frontrunners

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

The Contenders

Amy Adams, Arrival

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

The Dark Horses

Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals

Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

Rebecca Hall, Christine

The Longshots

Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship

Marion Cotillard, Allied

Susan Sarandon, The Meddler

Best Supporting Actor

The Frontrunners

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

The Contenders

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash

Ben Foster, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

The Dark Horses

Adam Driver, Silence

Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This

Aaron Eckhart, Sully

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins

Liam Neeson, Silence

Issey Ogata, Silence

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Mykelti Williamson, Fences

The Longshots

Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky

Jeremy Renner, Arrival

Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie

Best Supporting Actress

The Frontrunners

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

The Contenders

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Margot Martindale, The Hollars

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea

The Dark Horses

Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women

Sienna Miller, Live By Night

Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures

The Longshots

Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky

Lupita Nyong'o, Queen of Katwe

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