We've barely had time to close the books on the 89th Annual Academy Awards, and congratulate La La Land on its well-deserved Best Picture... what's that, Warren Beatty? It's Moonlight? Ah, yes. Well, congrats to Moonlight for taking home Best Picture! Anyway, what better time to look ahead and see which movie might be confused by an aging Hollywood icon NEXT year at the prestigious Oscar ceremony. Because it's never too soon to start campaigning. Last year when we tried this, we failed miserably, nailing only one of nine Best Picture guesses. We can't do worse, right? Right?!
Is this the year that a superhero movie cracks through the glass ceiling at the Oscars? Logan has a very good shot, with spectacular reviews so far and a leading man (Hugh Jackman) with Academy cred. Jackman might also power The Greatest Showman into the race, as the P.T. Barnum biopic also boasts music by the La La Land songwriters, Pasek and Paul. We'll know soon enough if Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast can match the Best Picture nomination earned by its animated counterpart in 1992. And the rest of my bizarrely early guesses are attached to directing talent like Kathryn Bigelow, Alexander Payne, Darren Aronofsky and Paul Thomas Anderson.
These are all being selected -- like so many choices in this feature -- based on the previous accomplishments of the various men and women. Because they have been selected as Best Directors in the past, there's reason to believe we cold see them again. That being said, we're keeping our minds wide open for the next Damien Chazelle (La La Land) or Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), relative newcomers who succeed in impressing the Academy with films we never really saw coming.
Any time DDL does a movie, he belongs in the conversation. Out of this pack, Armie Hammer's movie Call Me By Your Name already has screened, and Sony Pictures Classics has an awards contender on its hands (by all accounts), so long as it handles its campaign properly. My longshot is Logan. Can the Academy actually honor an esteemed actor in a superhero role? Probably not, but for now, I can hope.
Nicole Kidman, The Beguiled
Jennifer Lawrence, Mother!
Rooney Mara, Mary Magdalene
Michelle Pfeiffer, Mother!
Emma Watson, Beauty and the Beast
Five women from four movies we haven't seen yet. The real wild card here is Darren Aronofsky's first film in years, Mother! It has a brilliant cast, and the Black Swan director pushed Natalie Portman to her first Oscar win. What will he get out of Academy darlings Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Pfeiffer? We can't wait to find out in November.