Experts’ Oscars 2017 predictions for Best Picture: ‘La La Land’ widens lead

La La Land” has widened its lead in the Oscar race for Best Picture. Nineteen of our 23 Oscar experts derived from major media outlets are now backing Damien Chazelle‘s romance musical.  This continuing rise of “La La Land” has come at the expense of “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” the technically innovative film by Ang Lee that screened for the first time on Friday (Oct. 14) and has lost the votes of three of its four backers.

While “La La Land” picked up two of those, the other went to one-time front-runner “Manchester by the Sea.” And our lone pundit predicting “Loving” also switched to that domestic drama by Kenneth Longergan. However, one of its long-time supporters shifted to “La La Land.”

See how our experts rank Oscar contenders according to likelihood of winning in all top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see other categories. And see individual experts’ Oscar predictions as well as the most up-to-date Oscar odds for each contender to win.

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1. “La La Land” (9/2 odds)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior),  Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Brian Truitt (USA Today),Adnan Virk (ESPN), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere) and Susan Wloszczyna (

2. “Manchester by the Sea” (13/2 odds)
Tim Gray (Variety), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire)

3. “Fences” (10/1 odds)

4. “Moonlight” (10/1 odds)

5. “Loving” (10/1 odds)

6. “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” (11/1 odds)
Michael Musto (, 

7. “Lion” (14/1 odds)

8. “Silence” (20/1 odds)

9. “Arrival” (22/1odds)

10. “The Birth of a Nation” (33/1 odds)

Find out what will win at the Oscars this year

The pundits still give the edge to Chazelle over Lonergan for Best Director by a wide margin – 17 to three. The other three experts still favor the chances of Lee (“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”) for helming this drama set against the backdrop of the Iraq war; he won for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) and “Life of Pi” (2012). Rounding out the race are “Moonlight” writer/director Barry Jenkins and Denzel Washington, a two-time Oscar winner for acting [“Glory” (supporting, 1989) and “Training Day” (lead, 2001)] who directs and stars in “Fences.”

“Manchester by the Sea,” an intimate drama about a man who returns home after his brother’s death, still leads two other top Oscar races, according to our experts’ predictions: actor (Casey Affleck) and supporting actress (Michelle Williams). But Lucas Hedges has dropped back to second in supporting actor behind Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”).  See complete rundown of odds in all top categories.

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“Fences” won the Tony Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize back in 1987 and Washington picked up a Tony in 2010 for headlining the first Broadway revival of this August Wilson domestic drama. He reprises his role as an ex-baseball player struggling to provide for his family as does his Broadway co-star Viola Davis, who won a Tony for her performance as a wife whose loyalty is tested.

Washington is in second place in the Best Actor race (at 9/2 odds) as is one-time frontrunner Davis for Best Actress. Davis, a two-time Oscar also-ran (“Doubt,” 2008; “The Help,” 2011) is now tied with 2010 Oscar champ Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) who is rapidly rising up the ranks as “Jackie” continues to screen well. “La La Land” leading lady Emma Stone remains in first at 23/10. Newcomer Ruth Negga (“Loving”) has dropped from third to fourth as has her co-star, Joel Edgerton while Stone’s leading man Ryan Gosling moves up a notch.

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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