Oscars Odds 2017: Will Diversity Win the Day?

The nominations are set for the 89th Academy Awards on February 26th and now begins the jockeying and schmoozing to see who will pick up the most golden, naked men in one night … and that’s just at the after party.

Last year, we proved prophetic in predicting the Oscars. We went with the simple science of betting on the white guy and that paid off in spades!

Figuring out who will win in the main categories at this year’s show has been far more challenging.  There are so many great films that all deserve to be recognized and last year’s #OscarsSoWhite protests should result in minorities getting a fairer shake. While the Golden Globes went ga-ga for La La Land, there is no guarantee that momentum will continue into this year’s likely less-racist Academy Awards.

Expect a lot of diversity. Like I mean overboard diversity. That’s how white America shows it’s not racist. Handing out trophies to African Americans is the Academy’s way of saying, “See, I have black friends!” Luckily for Hollywood, there is no shortage of deserving minority performances to praise.

That diversity vote is something to keep in mind when putting together your Oscar pools this year. Moonlight, which deserves every single nomination it received, could get that extra political push. Something tells me that a movie about two white tarts dancing and singing in Hollywood might have come out a year too late.

As for Arrival, it’s about the wrong kind of aliens.

Will the Best Actor/Actress categories remain pasty? Casey Affleck is a serious contender for Best Actor. He was great in Manchester by the Sea, but nobody is going to give him an award for “Best Person.” His checkered past, which includes sexual abuse allegations, could hurt his cause, just like with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. Oh wait …

I’ll happily let Affleck have his moment as Best Actor as long as Meryl Streep doesn’t win for Best Actress. I can’t handle another speech about how sports have no artistic merit and how President Cheeto doesn’t like stuff. Oh, and just for the record Meryl, watching Tom Brady throw a football is far more artistic than Jared Leto’s “method acting” as the Joker.

But I digress. You’re not here for my personal grievances. You’re here for the odds. Who’s going to win this year? We skipped the technical categories and focused on the more superficial ones because who needs sound mixing? Movies just make themselves amirite?


2017 Academy Awards Odds

Photo Credit: A24

Best Picture

  • La La Land: 3/1
  • Moonlight: 4/1
  • Manchester by the Sea: 5/1
  • Arrival: 9/1
  • Lion: 10/1
  • Hell or High Water: 11/1
  • Fences: 12/1
  • Hidden Figures: 50/1
  • Hacksaw Ridge: 50/1

Best Director

  • Damien Chazelle (La La Land): 2/1
  • Barry Jenkins (Moonlight): 3/1
  • Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea): 4/1
  • Denis Villeneuve (Arrival): 17/3
  • Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge): 15/1

Best Lead Actress

  • Emma Stone (La La Land): 2/1
  • Natalie Portman (Jackie): 3/1
  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle): 3/1
  • Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins): 9/1
  • Ruth Negga (Loving): 15/1

Best Lead Actor

  • Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea): 7/3
  • Denzel Washington (Fences): 3/1
  • Ryan Gosling (La La Land): 4/1
  • Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge): 17/3
  • Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic): 9/1

Best Supporting Actress

  • Viola Davis (Fences): 13/7
  • Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea): 3/1
  • Naomie Harris (Moonlight): 4/1
  • Nicole Kidman (Lion): 17/3
  • Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures): 19/1

Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali (Moonlight): 3/2
  • Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water): 4/1
  • Dev Patel (Lion): 4/1
  • Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea): 17/3
  • Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals): 20/1

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Barry Jenkins  (Moonlight): 13/7
  • Eric Heisserer (Arrival): 3/1
  • August Wilson (Fences): 4/1
  • Luke Davies (Lion): 9/1
  • Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures): 9/1

Best Original Screenplay

  • Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea): 2/1
  • Damien Chazelle (La La Land): 3/1
  • Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water): 5/1
  • Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos  (The Lobster): 17/3
  • Mike Mills (20th Century Women): 19/1

Best Cinematography

  • Linus Sandgren (La La Land): 2/1
  • James Laxton (Moonlight): 3/1
  • Bradford Young (Arrival): 4/1
  • Rodrigo Prieto (Silence): 5/1
  • Greig Fraser (Lion): 19/1

Best Song

  • City of Stars (La La Land): 13/7
  • How Far I’ll Go (Moana): 3/1
  • Audition (The Fools Who Dream) (La La Land): 4/1
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling (Trolls): 17/3
  • The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story): 19/1

Costume Design

  • Jackie: 2/1
  • La La Land: 3/1
  • Florence Foster Jenkins: 4/1
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: 17/3
  • Allied: 15/1

Best Animated Feature

  • Zootopia: 3/2
  • Kubo and the Two Strings: 2/1
  • Moana: 4/1
  • The Red Turtle: 19/1
  • My Life as a Zucchini: 60/1

Best Documentary

  • O.J.: Made in America: 2/1
  • 13th: 2/1
  • I Am Not Your Negro: 3/1
  • Life, Animated: 17/3
  • Fire at Sea: 17/3

Best Foreign Film

  • Toni Erdmann: 3/2
  • The Salesman: 3/1
  • A Man Called Ove: 4/1
  • Land of Mine: 9/1
  • Tanna: 19/1

Feature photo credit: Prayltno (Flickr)