Predicting 2016’s Oscar nominees has been one of the most difficult years since I started doing this. Plenty of categories are wide open, others are plagued by unpredictable voting branches, and late-season curveballs have thrown some of my earlier predictions out of whack. Indeed, if I had sat down to make these predictions just 10 days ago, I’d have been much more confident than I am now. But alas, the clock has run down, and it’s time to make some decisions.
Taking a closer look at the major categories, there are some seemingly sure things, while the acting categories offer some seriously exciting possibilities. So ahead of tomorrow’s official announcement—which will be read live at 5:30am PT by Guillermo del Toro, Ang Lee, and John Krasinski—I’ve taken a stab at predicting who the nominees will be in a number of categories.
*A note before we begin: each batch of predictions is listed in order of likelihood to be nominated.