2017 Oscar predictions slugfest: Will ‘The Salesman’ win thanks to President Trump? [WATCH]

“We’re gonna see politics play a huge role at the Oscars, and I think that will come into play with the Best Foreign Language Film category,” I say in our predictions slugfest video. Gold Derby editors Tom O’Neil and Chris Beachum join me in dishing the below-the-line races, including our belief that President Donald Trump‘s Muslim ban could end up helping “The Salesman,” since its Iranian director Asghar Farhadi is unable to come to America to enjoy his time in the Oscar spotlight. Watch the video above or listen to the podcast version below.

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The film is distributed by Amazon Studios and Cohen Media group and is currently in limited release (not currently streaming on Netflix as we say in the video). “This director, who won years ago for ‘A Separation,’ has been very vocal,” Tom reminds us. “Even if Donald Trump lifts the ban on immigrants and suddenly he’s allowed to go, he’s not going as a protest vote.” According to Gold Derby’s Oscar experts from major media outlets, “Toni Erdmann” (Germany) is still out front to win Best Foreign Language Film, but the margin is narrowing.

Chris adds, “[Farhadi] is very smart. He’s gonna keep saying that he’s not coming and here’s the reason why until the ballots are closed, and then suddenly he’s gonna become available. Because what better stage, should he win, to be on to say what he wants to say? But he’s not gonna admit to that till the voting’s over.”

Don’t worry, ‘La La Land’: Losing to ‘Lion’ at ASC Awards is good news for your Oscar chances

Moving on to Best Animated Feature, “Zootopia” is our pick to win and it’s also the unanimous prediction of Gold Derby’s Oscar experts. When in doubt, Chris smiles, “Go with the cute animals.” But Tom wonders if “Kubo and the Two Strings” can take down “Zootopia.” “‘Kubo’ is male-centric, about a little warrior boy,” Tom reminds us. “It has snob appeal because it’s Japanese anime. It’s very, very pretentious.”

We also discuss many of the technical races, so get a refresher for what’s nominated by looking at the full list of 2017 Oscar nominations. See O’Neil’s Oscar picks right here, Beachum’s right here, and mine right here. See how the editors’ rankings compared to the experts’ predictions right here.

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

Audio podcast version:

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