Oscar Balloon

Likeliest 2017 Best Picture Contenders (9): Chris Nolan‘s Dunkirk (Warner Bros., 7.19); Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics); Steven Spielberg‘s “The Post” (Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks — 20th Century Fox, 12.22); Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird; Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread about legendary egomaniacal fashion designer Charles James; Michael Gracey and Hugh Jackman‘s The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox, 12.25); Guillermo Del Toro‘s The Shape of Water; Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight); Matt ReevesWar For The Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox, 7.14.17).

Hovering: Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing (Paramount, 12.22); Dan Gilroy‘s Roman J. Israel; Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s The Current War (Weinstein Co., 12.22); Richard Linklater‘s Last Flag Flying;

Honorable Bust: Kathryn Bigelow‘s Detroit, written by Mark Boal.

Pick of the Litter, Brand-Name Directors, Made For Intelligent, Review-Reading, Over-35 Types (16) Darren Aronofsky‘s Mother; Steven Soderbergh‘s Logan Lucky; John Curran‘s Chappaquiddick; Ritesh Batra‘s Our Souls At Night (Redford, Fonda love story); David Gordon Green‘s Stronger (Summit); George Clooney‘s Suburbicon (Paramount); Jacques Audiard‘s The Sisters Brothers; Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Mektoub Is Mektoub; Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘s Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight); Jason Reitman‘s Tully; Doug Liman‘s American Made (Universal, 9.29.17); Hany Abu Assad‘s The Mountain Between Us.

Expensive Fantasy-Thriller-Galactic Smart CG Brands (4): Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros., 10.6.17); Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars: Episode VIII (12.15.17); Ridley Scott‘s Alien: Covenant (20th Century Fox, 5.19).

Other 2017 Films of Interest (24): Roman Polanski‘s Based On A True Story; Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel, a period piece set in a 1950s amusement park, shot by Vittorio Storaro; Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky‘s The Polka King; Wim WendersSubmergence; Destin Daniel Creton‘s The Glass Castle; Jason Hall‘s Thank You For Your Service; Kenneth Branagh‘s Murder on the Orient Express (20th Century Fox, 11.22.17); Loveless by Leviathan director Andrey Zvyagintsev; Lucrecia Martel‘s Zama; Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game, Xavier Dolan‘s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan; Brady Corbet‘s Vox Lux; Dominic Cooke‘s On Chesil Beach; Micheal Mayer and Anton Chekhov‘s The Seagull; Michael Haneke‘s Happy Ending; Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver (TriStar, 8.11); Daniel Espinosa‘s Life (Columbia, 3.24.17); Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s The Current War (Weinstein Co.); Andrew Haigh‘s Lean on Pete (A24); Arnaud Desplechin‘s Ismael’s Ghosts (Magnolia); Andrew Dosunmu‘s Where Is Kyra?; Scott Cooper‘s Hostiles

Won’t Open Until 2018 (4): Luca Guadagnino‘s Suspiria; Alex Garland‘s Annihilation; Alfonso Cuaron‘s Roma — Spanish-language period drama set in Mexico City; Terrence Malick‘s Radegund, a World War II drama about an Austrian conscientious objector who was executed by the Nazis, starring August Diehl and Valerie Pachner (shot last summer but you know Malick — it might not be released until ’18 or even ’19).

Hold Your Horses: Noah BaumbachThe Meyerowitz Stories (Netflix — Stiller, Sandler, Hoffman, Thompson); Todd HaynesWonderstruck (Amazon); David Michod‘s War Machine (Netflix); Yorgos LanthimosThe Killing of A Sacred Deer; Oren Moverman‘s The Dinner (The Orchard, 5.5.17);