FINAL 2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Animated Feature, Foreign Language Film, and Documentary

This post was updated January 13th and these predictions are FINAL.

Best Animated Feature

The Predicted Nominees

It’s Zootopia vs Kubo and the Two Strings for the win. Zootopia has picked up more awards thus far and is the more popular film, but Laika animation has been on a roll and Kubo is arguably their best yet. The thing is, while the animators branch selects nominees, the whole Academy chooses winners. That helps Zootopia. Disney’s other pony, Moana, is going to be nominated, as is the gorgeous, dialogue-free French-Japanese coproduction The Red Turtle. Neither of those has a realistic shot at winning, however. GKids is capable of getting films in here and the fifth spot likely belongs to one of their two films this year. I’m going with My Life as a Zucchini since it’s getting a strong campaign (also being worked as the Swiss entry in best foreign language film).

1) Zootopia (Disney Animation)

2) Kubo and the Two Strings (Laika/Focus Features)

3) Moana (Disney Animation)

4) The Red Turtle (Wild Bunch/Studio Ghibli)

5) My Life as a Zucchini (GKids)

On The Bubble

6) Miss Hokusai (GKids)

7) Finding Dory (Disney/Pixar)

8) Sausage Party (Sony)

9) Your Name (CoMix Wave Films/Toho)


Best Foreign Language Film

A bit about the films I’m predicting, all of which have made the Academy’s shortlist:

  • Toni Erdmann was lauded at Cannes, with many critics saying it should’ve won the Palme d’Or. The German dramedy swept the European Film Awards and looks like a lock here.
  • Land of Mine, which concerns WWII POW’s forced to clear land mines in Denmark at the end of the war, has been popping up at festivals for two years now and is regarded as the strongest Danish film in quite some time.
  • The Salesman, another gem from what appears to be the golden age of Iranian cinema, won both best actor and best screenplay at Cannes. It’s gotten attention from American critics as well, which really helps in this category.
  • Tanna won the audience prize at the 2015 Venice festival. Its music hopes to carry it.
  • A Man Called Ove is likely getting an additional nom in best makeup/hairstyling. It swept Swedish awards and American critics have compared it to popular Hollywood films such as Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino.

1) Toni Erdmann (Germany)

2) Land of Mine (Denmark)

3) The Salesman (Iran)

4) Tanna (Australia)

5) A Man Called Over (Sweden)


Best Documentary Feature

The Predicted Nominees

Many are calling O.J.: Made in America the best thing of the year; whether you classify it as a documentary feature or TV show. Regardless, it’s eligible here, and is the overwhelming favorite to win (it is absolutely incredible, if I may say). Weiner is timely and has been lauded since Sundance. It has the best shot of beating O.J.. British/Mongolian/American coproduction The Eagle Huntress, a Sundance hit campaigned by Sony Pictures Classics, is the rare documentary that almost plays like a narrative feature. The fact that it’s produced by and narrated by Daisy Ridley only helps.

1) O.J.: Made in America

2) Weiner

3) Cameraperson

4) I Am Not Your Negro

5) The Eagle Huntress

On The Bubble

Ava DuVernay’s 13th is truly exceptional and quite popular thanks to Netflix’s strong marketing, but it just hasn’t shown up anywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if it became a challenger to O.J. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it missed entirely. Gleason tells the story of an NFL player (Steve Gleason) battling ALS. The Sundance hit was picked up by Amazon and given a theatrical release via Roadside Attractions. Eyes are on it.

6) 13th

7) Gleason

8) Life, Animated

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