Oscar Watch: The White Tiger

In the 2020 Oscar season that is spilling over to January and February of 2021, Netflix has an abundance of serious contenders in the major races. That includes everything from The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom to Da 5 Bloods to Mank to name just four. On January 22nd, Ramin Bahrani’s The White Tiger debuts on the streaming service. Will it be added to the lengthy list of contenders?

I have doubts with the exception of one category. Based on the 2008 novel by Aravind Adiga, the rags to riches drama set in India stars Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra Jones, and Rajkummar Rao. Reviews are stellar and it currently sports an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Netflix would need to mount a major push for Picture, Directing, or any acting slots and their attention may simply be elsewhere with entities that could potentially win.

The possible exception is Adapted Screenplay. The conventional wisdom is that four slots are filled with Nomadland, One Night in Miami, The Father, and Ma Rainey. For the last couple of weeks, I have put First Cow (which is doing well on the critics awards circuit) in spot #5. Netflix’s own I’m Thinking of Ending Things has a shot as does News of the World. Yet it’s not unrealistic that The White Tiger could sneak in as a surprise pick to round out the competition.

Bottom line: it’s more feasible that Tiger comes up empty-handed on nominations morning, but it could achieve one mention. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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