It wasn’t until the Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival back in September that eventual Best Picture contenders “Moonlight” and “La La Land” premiered and made their way onto everyone’s radar. With that in mind, it’s far too early to be making any real bets on next year’s race for the Academy’s top prize. What we do know is that some of the best filmmakers working today have new movies coming out in 2017, and Oscar watchers will track them closely.
Sundance debuted Luca Guadagnino’s critically hailed “Call Me By Your Name,” which Sony Pictures Classics will push hard with audiences and voters. The other darling of the Sundance Film Festival, true romance “The Big Sick,” is a well-mounted crowdpleaser with an impressive cast. So is Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” but it remains to be seen if Netflix can drive a non-documentary Oscar campaign.
Previous Oscar contenders Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Kathryn Bigelow, Sofia Coppola, Todd Haynes, Christopher Nolan and Alexander Payne and will all release new efforts. And indie writer-directors Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”) and Daniel Destin Cretton (“Short Term 12”) are set to raise their profiles with anticipated follow-ups.
Photo Credit: James Mangold
While fans of “Deadpool” were disappointed when it failed to register with Oscar voters, they have a second chance with another R-rated Marvel breakout, “X-Men” spin-off “Logan,” marking the end of Hugh Jackman’s incarnation of “Wolverine.” The Academy can be snobby about these things, but director James Mangold brought depth, storytelling and style to the comic-book superhero genre. Going in, who thought “Mad Max: Fury Road” would score ten nominations and six wins?
A list of early possibilities is below. No film will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen it.
“The Big Sick”
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Battle of the Sexes”
“The Current War”
“The Glass Castle”
“Untitled A.A. Milne”
“Untitled Detroit Project”
“Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson”