Pearl & Dean's early Oscar 2017 predictions: Best Film

  • Pearl & Dean's early Oscar 2017 predictions: Best Film

Over the coming weeks, we will be looking into our crystal ball to predict who will be taking home little gold statuettes when the 2017 Oscars come to town.

Starting off with 'the big one' - Best Picture, here are six films that we will be in the reckoning come awards night.

See also | Best Actor predictions

La La Land

Currently the bookies' favourite to take home the big prize is Damien Chazelle's the musical comedy-drama about an aspiring Hollywood actress, played by Emma Stone, who meets a jazz pianist, in the form of Ryan Gosling, and the pair fall in love.

Written and directed by Chazelle, who saw great acclaim in 2014 with Whiplash, which was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture, could be set to go one better after bringing Stone and Gosling together for their third film.

If La La Land does win, and many believe it will, it will become the first musical to win Best Film since Chicago picked up the award in 2002.

The Birth of a Nation

Beyond the Lights actor Nate Parker stars in and directs his pet project, the story of real-life slave Nat Turner who led an uprising in America's pre-Civil War south with hopes of leading his people to freedom.

The Academy is especially generous when it comes to stories about America's dark past, with 12 Years a Slave winning and Django Unchained being nominated for Best Picture in recent years, The Birth of a Nation is a strong contender for the statuette.

Recent accusations of sexual assault levied at Parker may affect the success of his film at the box office, and may also be in the minds of the Academy judges when picking their winner.


Another film about racial issues in the States, Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star in the historical drama set in 1958 Virginia, about an interracial married couple who are sentenced to prison for violating the state's segregation laws, and then trying to have the law abolished.

Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, who brought out Midnight Special, Mud and Take Shelter - Loving was shortlisted for the 2016 Palme d'Or award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Manchester by the Sea

From the mind of Kenneth Lonergan, writer of Gangs of New York, and writer/director of Margaret and You Can Count on Me, comes the story of a man who becomes the legal guardian of his nephew after his brother dies suddenly.

Casey Affleck plays lead character Lee Chandler, with a cast including Moonrise Kingdom actor Lucas Hedges as his nephew, and Michelle Williams as Lee's ex-wife; the touching, tear-jerking and ultimately heart-warming tale is eyeing-up a few awards at the 2017 Oscars.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

The latest film from Ang Lee is the war drama starring debutant Joe Alwyn as the titular Billy Lynn, a soldier who is brought back from Iraq for a victory tour, and he recounts what actually happened to his squad.

A reflection on how much Americans really know about its troops fighting in foreign war zones, Ang Lee used an unprecedented 120 frames per second to capture the "Whole Shebang" of war - over five times the 24 fps frame rate of most films, and over twice that of Peter Jackson's heralded 48 fps The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Lee is no stranger to the Oscars, having picked up the Best Director award for Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi and Best Foreign Language Film for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, although he is still looking for his first Best Film statuette, with this being his latest attempt.


The true story of Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who landed his damaged plane on New York's Hudson River without any casualties and becoming a hero in the process.

As expected, Tom Hanks provides a remarkable performance as 'Sully' while director Clint Eastwood has swatted off claims that he has embelished story for dramatic effect.

Eastwood has had five of his films - Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima and American Sniper nominated for Best Picture; with Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven winning, Eastwood is looking to make it a hat-trick of Best Picture wins.



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