In the view of Hollywood Reporter columnist Scott Feinberg, the following films are, in this order, apparent frontrunners for a Best Picture Oscar nomination:
1. Damian Chazelle‘s La La Land (HE opinion: Definitely).
2. Denzel Washington‘s Fences (HE opinion: Without a doubt).
3. Theodore Melfi‘s Hidden Figures (HE opinion: What? The trailer clearly indicates this is a lightweight you-go-girl confection).
4. Ang Lee‘s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (HE opinion: Probably).
5. Barry Jenkins‘ Moonlight (HE opinion: 50-50 toss-up. Telluride foo-foos have over-praised this intimate, Boyhood-like saga of a black Miami gay guy, which may result in pushback when the schlubby-dubbies catch it).
6. Oliver Stone‘s Snowden (HE opinion: This is definitely Stone’s best film since Any Given Sunday, and if it lands Best Pic nomination, fine…but Feinberg’s forecast feels like a stretch, given that the Academy has already gone down this road with Citizen Four).
7. Martin Scorsese‘s Silence (HE opinion: Is this three-hour Catholic-persecution-in-Japan drama even coming out this year?).
8. Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester by the Sea (HE opinion: Definitely & absolutely but why does Feinberg have this tragic masterpiece listed in eighth place?).
9. Clint Eastwood‘s Sully (HE opinion: Maybe, but this feels like more of a Best Actor thing for Hanks).
10. David MacKenzie‘s Hell or High Water (HE opinion: Deserved and then some!).