The 2017 Oscar race for Best Picture is shaping up to be a battle between a sweeping musical (“La La Land”), intimate dramas (“Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight”), an adaptation of a Tony winner (“Fences”), a true-life story (“Loving,” “Lion”), and a period piece from a master (“Silence”). These seven titles lead in our latest Gold Derby rankings set by 24 Oscar Experts with their predictions. The top 15 contenders are now featured in a new photo gallery (view above).
“La La Land” sits in first position with leading 9/2 odds. The modern-day musical from Damien Chazelle stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Chazelle previously contended for writing “Whiplash” (2014).
“Manchester by the Sea” is in second place with 6/1 odds. The drama about a janitor who must care for his nephew is from Kenneth Lonergan and stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams. Lonergan is a prior nominee for writing “You Can Count on Me” (2000) and “Gangs of New York” (2002).
“Fences” is in the third spot at 9/1. It is based on the Tony-winning play and is directed by Denzel Washington, a two-time Oscar winner for acting (“Glory,” 1989; “Training Day,” 2001). Washington stars along with Viola Davis.
“Moonlight” is tied for third place, also with 9/1 odds. It is a drama told in three parts about a character seen as a boy, teen, and adult. The movie is directed by Barry Jenkins and stars Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris. Jenkins is seeking his first Oscar bid.
“Loving” is in the fifth spot at 12/1. It is a true story about a white man and black woman in the 1950s who risked jail to be married. Director Jeff Nichols would be an Oscar rookie as would his two leads, Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.
“Silence” is in sixth place with 14/1 odds and is directed by Oscar champ Martin Scorsese (“The Departed,” 2007). The movie is set in the 17th century and is about two Jesuit priests facing persecution in Japan. It stars Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson.
Other films featured in our photo gallery: “Lion” (Garth Davis), “Jackie” (Pablo Larrain), “Arrival” (Denis Villeneuve), “Sully” (Clint Eastwood), “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” (Ang Lee), “Hacksaw Ridge” (Mel Gibson), “Hidden Figures” (Theodore Melfi), “20th Century Women” (Mike Mills), and “The Birth of a Nation” (Nate Parker).
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think these films 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.