Right now, the presumed Best Picture frontrunner at the Academy Awards is La La Land, and the film’s inclusion on this list doesn’t do much to dispel or slow the film’s momentum either. With a limited release in New York and Los Angeles this Friday, before expanding wider on December 16th, it’s become one of the top movies to see this year, garnering the same amount of hype within the industry, at least, as films like Rogue One or Silence. For those out there who make it their business to pay attention to the awards circuit every year, it’s one of the top guarantees to be included on ballots in practically every category.
Most of the other picks on the list stay in line with the other critic choices so far, with films like Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge, and Hell or High Water all earning consistent awards consideration for themselves. The inclusion of Zootopia is one of the biggest surprises of the list by far, since Disney’s latest animated film, Moana, seems more obvious of an awards contender than the earlier March release, but it also shows the power of what word of mouth can do for a film if it is maintained throughout the entire year.
In addition, as more and more critics see it and reactions are released, it seems almost certain like Scorsese’s Silence is going to be this year’s last minute wild card, coming out just in time for awards consideration and earning enough acclaim already to make it a serious contender in the coming months. That’s not necessarily surprising for a film made by Scorsese, but it definitely brings at least a certain degree of unpredictability in an awards race that’s been consistently dominated by a select group of films so far.