Oscar nominations won't be announced for weeks (January 24, to be precise). We don't have a crystal ball. And the Academy loves to throw a curveball. Anything could happen at this point.
And yet... we feel reasonably confident that certain films and performers will be recognized at the 2017 Academy Awards. If we were gambling-inclined, we'd bet it all on Casey Affleck, Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, and Mahershala Ali, with 50-50 odds on Moonlight and La La Land. But beyond that, things are a bit more unpredictable.
The Golden Globes and SAG Awards have each turned up a few wild cards (Florence Foster Jenkins, Nocturnal Animals, Emily Blunt) and slapped down a few early would-be contenders (Tom Hanks, Kate Beckinsale). The Academy, of course, isn't obligated to follow suit, but it wouldn't be the Oscars without at least one shocker. Remember when Argo won Best Picture but Ben Affleck wasn't thrown a Best Director bone? Or when the Academy forgot that Black thespians exist?
We don't think they'll make that mistake again this year. If anything, the Oscar front-runners are a reasonably diverse group, assuming you don't count a back-on-top Mel Gibson. Of course, this could all be a moot point and somehow Boo! A Madea Halloween will win everything. For now, though, we're counting on these films to get some love.