Which films will score the most Academy Award nominations next week?

We’re only a few days away from the Oscar nominations being announced! On Monday you’ll see my final predictions, but before that, some speculation is in order. Namely, which film will end up doing the best, nomination wise, with the Academy? Well, there’s no secret there, as it’s going to be La La Land. It’ll be more interesting to see the margin it leads by, if it can make history with its total, and if anything else even comes close to double digits. That’ll be where the curiosity resides on Tuesday morning. I’m still toying with predictions, so look for those early next week, but right now, let us dive in to which films will lead the field when nominations are announced…

Here now are the six most likely films to top the nomination totals next week:

La La Land – It’s a foregone conclusion that La La Land will lead the field on Tuesday. The question is just if it can tie the nomination record in the process or not. 14 nominations is the goal, obviously, though getting for both Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, as well as two slots in Best Original Song, well…that’ll be tricky. The other spots seem pretty safe though, so a dozen at least seems likely. Damien Chazelle’s film is set to dominate the Academy Awards, just know that much. In every way, it’s the big frontrunner.

Arrival – If there’s one other movie that can get to double digits, it’s likely Arrival. Denis Villenueve’s movie is potentially the big tech player, besides La La Land. Science fiction struggles with the Academy, but that probably isn’t going to be the case here. At worst, it’s good for at least a half dozen citations, which is nothing to sneeze at. Keep an eye out for this to maybe even go beyond ten nominations if it turns out to be a really great morning.

Moonlight – Apart from those above two, there’s a chance that Moonlight gets close to double digit nominations, though I think it’ll struggle to surpass Arrival. Barry Jenkins should see his passion project get a ton of love, though the final amount is certainly a question mark. Between more nominations and less, bet on more when it comes to this one. If La La Land doesn’t win Best Picture, this is the most likely next in line contender.

Manchester by the Sea – In the same boat, we have Manchester by the Sea. Kenneth Lonergan will probably get a pair of nominations himself, while Best Picture is a sure thing, along with Best Actor. Below the line will be hard to gauge, so if it shows up anywhere there besides Best Film Editing, know that this is quite a threat. For now, it’s an intriguing X factor, total nomination wise.

Lion – Here’s one spoiler to look out for. Lion could end up with a half dozen or more nods when all is said and done. If we see Garth Davis in Best Director, know that this flick is going to have a strong morning. At worst, it seems set four about four nominations. Anything over six really shows it’s a big deal, not that it wouldn’t be without it. Just keep that in mind.

Hacksaw Ridge – Don’t sleep on Hacksaw Ridge. A half dozen noms is hardly out of the question for this one. A lot will depend on how voters feel about Mel Gibson, but if he’s no longer in the doghouse, look for the film to do way better than you ever would have expected a few months ago. It could certainly end up with only two or three nominees, but that’s probably the minimum.

Stay tuned to see just how many nominations La La Land and company score on Tuesday morning!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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