Experts’ Oscar predictions: ‘La La Land’ will win 9, ‘Moonlight’ & ‘Manchester by the Sea’ are biggest threats

With less than a week to go until academy members start casting their nomination ballots on Jan. 5, “La La Land” remains far ahead in the Oscar race for Best Picture according to the 27 experts drawn from major media making their predictions here at Gold Derby. The vast majority (22 and counting) are backing this buoyant musical romance to win, giving it leading odds of 9/2. Two intense dramas — “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” — have split the major critics awards and either could pull off an upset if academy voters want to honor more serious fare.

“La La Land” is in the vein of 2011 Best Picture champ “The Artist,” a frothy film that raises the spirits. It is predicted to reap the most nominations (12), including dual bids for writer/director Damien Chazelle. He is tipped to become the youngest-ever winner of Best Director at age 32 years, and 38 days; Norman Taurog was 32 years and 267 days when he won this award in 1931 for “Skippy.” His hit film is on track to claim nine Oscars in all, including actress (Emma Stone), cinematography, film editing, production design, score, song and sound mixing. That haul would tie it for third on the all-time list with “Gigi” (1958), “The Last Emperor” (1987) and “The English Patient” (1996). Another tuner, “West Side Story,” went 10 for 11 in 1961 while three films — “Ben-Hur” (1959), “Titanic” (1997) and “Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King” (2003) — have each claimed a record 11 Oscars.

Related Photo Gallery: Top 15 Best Picture Oscar Contenders

“Manchester by the Sea,” which debuted to rave reviews at Sundance in January, led when we launched our prediction center in August and still has the backing of five experts. Reminiscent of 1980 Best Picture winner “Ordinary People,” this domestic drama, which won Best Picture from the New York Film Critics Circle, is now in second place with odds of 13/2. Kenneth Lonergan will reap bids for both writing and directing and is favored to win for his original screenplay. Casey Affleck is out front in Best Actor for his work as a grieving brother forced to care for his orphaned nephew (newcomer Lucas Hedges who is sure to contend in supporting) and come to terms with his ex-wife (Michelle Williams in a small but pivotal role).

“Moonlight” swept the Los Angeles critics awards with wins for Picture, Director (Barry Jenkins), Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Cinematography. Ali is ahead at the Oscars as is Jenkins for his adapted screenplay. Look for supporting actress Naomie Harris, lenser James Laxton and composer Nicholas Britell to earn nominations.

Below, our exclusive odds based on the predictions by our experts, including notations of movement this week in each category. Be sure to check out individual experts Oscar predictions and the full breakdown of contenders in each category. And then make your own predictions  so that Hollywood insiders can see how your favorites are faring in our Oscar odds.

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BEST PICTURE
1. “La La Land” – 9/2
2. “Manchester by the Sea” – 13/2
3. “Moonlight” – 7/1
4. “Fences” – 9/1
5. “Arrival ” – 12/1 (up from 14/1)
6. “Lion” – 12/1
7. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 16/1
8. “Hell or High Water” – 16/1 (up from 18/1)
9.”Hidden Figures” – 22/1 (up from 25/1)
10. “Silence” – 22/1 (down from 20/1)

Possibilities
11. “Jackie” – 28/1 (down from 25/1)
12. “Loving” – 28/1
13. “Sully” – 66/1 (down from 50/1)
14. “Patriot’s Day” – 100/1
15. “20th Century Women” – 100/1
16. “Captain Fantastic” – 100/1

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Damien Chazelle, “La La Land” – 7/4 (up from 9/5)
2. Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea” – 4/1
3. Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight” – 4/1
4. Denzel Washington, “Fences” – 12/1 (dow from 11/1)
5. Martin Scorsese, “Silence” – 12/1

Possibilities
6. Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival” – 20/1 (up from 25/1)
7. David Mackenize, “Hell or High Water” – 80/1 (up from 100/1)
8. Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals” – 100/1
9. Pablo Larrain, “Jackie” – 100/1
10. Jeff Nichos, “Loving” – 100/1

BEST ACTOR
1. Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea” – 15/8
2. Denzel Washington, “Fences” – 3/1
3. Ryan Gosling, “La La Land” – 6/1 (down from 11/2)
4. Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge” – 10/1
5.Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic” – 14/1 (up from 18/1)

Possibilities
7. Tom Hanks, “Sully” – 20/1 (up from 22/1)
8. Joel Edgerton, “Loving” – 25/1 (down from 18/1)
8. Michael Keaton, “The Founder” – 100/1
9. Andrew Garfield, “Silence” – 100/1
10. Matthew McConaughey, “Gold” – 100/1

BEST ACTRESS
1. Emma Stone, “La La Land” – 23/10
2. Natalie Portman, “Jackie” – 13/5
3. Amy Adams, “Arrival” – 9/1 (up from 10/1)
3. Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” – 9/1
5. Annette Bening, “20th Century Women” – 10/1 (dow from 9/1)

Possibilities
6. Ruth Negga, “Loving” – 11/1 (up from 12/1)
7. Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins” – 28/1 (up from 66/1)
8. Taraji P. Henson, “Hidden Figures” – 80/1 (down from 66/1)
9. Sally Field, “My Name is Doris” – 100/1
10. Kate Beckinsale, “Love and Friendship” – 100/1

Find out what will win at the Oscars this year

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 
1. Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight” – 9/5
2. Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea” – 5/1
2. Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water” – 5/1
4. Dev Patel, “Lion” – 13/2
5. Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins” – 14/1 (up from 18/1)

Possibilities
6. Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals” – 16/1
7. Issei Ogata, “Silence” – 50/1
8. Liam Neeson, “Silence” – 80/1
9. Kevin Costner, “Hidden Figures” – 80/1
10. Ben Foster, “Hell or High Water” – 100/1

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Viola Davis, “Fences” – 13/8 (up from 17/10)
2. Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea” – 4/1 (down from 7/2)
3. Naomie Harris, “Moonlight” – 5/1 (down from 9/2)
4. Nicole Kidman, “Lion” – 15/2 (up from 8/1)
5. Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures” – 10/1 (up from 12/1)

Possibilities
6. Greta Gerwig, “20th Century Women” – 40/1 (down from 33/1)
7. Janelle Monae, “Hidden Figures” – 66/1
8. Felicity Jones, “A Monster Calls” – 100/1
9. Margo Martindale, “The Hollars” – 100/1
10. Amy Adams, “Nocturnal Animals” – 100/1

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. “Moonlight” – 13/5 (up from 3/1)
2. “Fences” – 10/3 (down from 3/1)
3. “Arrival” – 9/2 (up from 5/1)
4. “Lion ” – 9/1 (down from 8/1)
5. “Nocturnal Animals” – 14/1 (down from 11/1)

Possibilities
6. “Silence” – 20/1 (down from 14/1)
7. “Hidden Figures” – 25/1
8. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 66/1
9. “A Monster Calls” – 80/1
10. “Love and Friendship” – 50/1

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. “Manchester by the Sea” – 3/2
2. “La La Land” – 4/1
3. “Hell or High Water” – 11/2
4. “Jackie” – 9/1 (up from 8/1)
5. “The Lobster” – 20/1 (up from 25/1)

Possibilities
5. “20th Century Women” – 28/1 (down from 25/1)
7. “Captain Fantastic” – 40/1 (down from 33/1)
8. “Zootopia” – 100/1
9. “Cafe Society” – 100/1
10. “Florence Foster Jenkins” – 100/1

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BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. “La La Land” – 15/8 (down from 7/4)
2. “Silence” – 5/1
3. “Arrival” – 11/2
4. “Moonlight” – 11/2 (up from 6/1)
5. “Jackie” – 9/1

Possibilities
6. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 50/1 (up from 66/1)
7. “Nocturnal Animals” – 80/1
8. “Live By Night” – 100/1 (down from 80/1)
10. “Hail, Caeasar” – 100/1
11. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – 100/1

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
1. “Jackie” – 19/10
2. “La La Land” – 7/2
2. “Florence Foster Jenkins” – 13/2
4. “Silence” – 9/1
5. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – 11/1

Possibilities
6. “Allied” – 20/1
7. “Live By Night” – 50/1
8. “Love and Friendship” – 50/1
9. “Hidden Figures” – 66/1
10. “Captain Fantastic” – 100/1
11. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” – 100/1
12. “Rules Don’t Apply” – 100/1

BEST FILM EDITING
1. “La La Land” – 9/5 (down from 7/4)
2. “Moonlight” – 11/2 (up from 13/2)
3. “Jackie” – 9/1 (down from 8/1)
4. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 9/1 (down from 8/1)
5. “Silence” – 10/1

Possibilities
6. “Arrival” – 16/1
7. “Manchester by the Sea” – 28/1 (up from 33/1)
8. “Sully” – 33/1
9. “The Jungle Book” – 40/1 (down from 33/1)
10. “Hell or High Water” – 66/1 (up from 100/1)

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
1.”Florence Foster Jenkins” – 23/10 (up from 15/2)
2. “Star Trek Beyond” – 9/1 (up from 100/1)
3. “Deadpool” – 9/1 (up from 80/1)

Possibilities
4. “Hail, Caesar” – 20/1 (up from 100/1)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
1. “La La Land” – 15/8
2. “Jackie” – 6/1
2. “Silence” – 6/1 (up from 13/2)
4. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – 7/1
5. “The Jungle Book” – 18/1 (down from 16/1)

Possibilities
6. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” – 22/1
7. “Live By Night” – 28/1 (down from 22/1)
8. “Arrival” – 28/1 (down from 22/1)
9. “Fences” – 80/1
10. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 80/1

BEST SCORE
1. “La La Land” – 8/5 (down from 3/2)
2. “Jackie” – 11/2
3. “Moonlight”- 8/1 (up from 11/1)
4. “Lion” – 11/1
5. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” – 12/1 (down from 11/1)

Possibilities
6. “The Jungle Book” – 33/1
7. “Nocturnal Animals” 50/1 (down from 40/1)
8. “Florence Foster Jenkins” – 50/1
9. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 66/1 (down from 50/1)
10. “Hidden Figures” – 66/1 (down from 50/1)

BEST SONG
1. “City of Stars” from “La La Land” – 19/10 (up from 2/1)
2. “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana” – 7/2
3. “Audition” from “La La Land” – 11/2 (up from 6/1)
4. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from “Trolls”- 15/2 (down from 13/2)
5. “Runnin” from “Hidden Figures” – 20/1 (down from 18/1)
5. “Try Everything” from “Zootopia” – 20/1

Possibilities
7. “Drive It Like You Stole It” from “Sing Street” – 33/1 (up from 50/1)
8. “Faith” from “Sing” – 80/1 (down from 66/1)
9. “Gold” from “Gold” – 100/1
10. “I See a Victory” from “Hidden Figures” – 100/1

BEST SOUND EDITING
1. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 2/1 (up from 21/10)
2. “La La Land” – 9/2
3. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” – 11/2
4. “Silence” – 9/1
5. “Arrival” – 10/1

Possibilities
6. “The Jungle Book” – 14/1 (down from 12/1)
7. “Deepwater Horizon” – 40/1
8. “Sully”- 50/1
9. “Doctor Strange” – 100/1
10. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”- 100/1

BEST SOUND MIXING
1. “La La Land” – 7/4 (down from 17/10)
2. “Hacksaw Ridge” – 4/1 (up from 9/2)
3. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” – 11/2
4. “Silence” – 11/1
5. “Arrival” – 12/1 (up from 16/1)

Possibilities
6. “The Jungle Book” – 14/1
7. “Sully” – 40/1
8. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – 50/1
9. “Deepwater Horizon” – 80/1
10. “Passengers” – 100/1

BEST  VISUAL EFFECTS
1. “The Jungle Book” – 11/5 (up from 23/10)
2. “Doctor Strange” – 7/2 (up from 4/1)
3. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” – 4/1
4. “Arrival” – 7/1 (up from 15/2)
5. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – 15/2 (up from 8/1)

Possibilities
6. “Captain America: Civil War” – 50/1 (down from 33/1)
7. “The BFG” – 80/1 (up from 100/1)
8. “Passengers” – 100/1
9. “Deepwater Horizon” – 100/1
10. “Kubo and the Two Strings”- 100/1

Predict the Oscar nominations now; change them till January 24

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “La La Land” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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