On this here blog starting right now, my 2021 Oscar predictions officially begin! I seem to start this earlier and earlier in the calendar each year. Why? Well, it’s just about my favorite thing to write about and the Cannes Film Festival and recent announcements for the Venice and Toronto line-ups fueled the flame.
As is tradition, I would like to throw out the annual caveats and a general rundown of how this works. I begin with the early predictions in the six major categories: Picture, Director, and the four acting derbies. For Picture, I will list my ten early forecasted nominees and 15 other possibilities. In the other five races, you will see my five predicted players and 10 other hopefuls. In these initial posts, my nominees will be unranked.
Beginning next week, I’ll have a weekly write-up where I’ll begin ranked predictions in these competitions in addition to Adapted and Original Screenplay.
In late September or early October, my weekly posts will shift to all categories covering feature films. The Picture predictions and possibilities will be whittled down from 25 to 15. All others will be reduced to 10.
Got all that? Good! Now for the caveats. First off, it’s July. So when I say these are early projections – I mean it. Release dates will change. Some movies will be moved out of contention to 2022 (that certainly happened a lot last year due to the pandemic). Some of the actors that appear to be supporting will be moved to lead and vice versa.
You need look no further than the Supporting Actor derby from 2020. In my initial round of early picks, I had Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) listed here. He was eventually moved to Best Actor. Conversely, I had Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) down for Actor, but he was campaigned for in supporting and won.
Part of that category confusion led to yours truly only naming one of the five eventual nominees from 2020 (Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7). I did mention Lakeith Stanfield (Judas) as a possibility. Paul Raci (Sound of Metal) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami) were not named initially.
Additionally, you will see the titles Canterbury Glass and Soggy Bottom as contenders here and elsewhere in the coming days. These are the next pictures, respectively, from David O. Russell and Paul Thomas Anderson. It is not confirmed yet whether these are working titles or the actual ones, but I prefer a name rather than saying Untitled over and over.
With all that out of the way, let’s get rolling with the speculation that will last for months (and I’ll enjoy every second of it)!
EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bradley Cooper, Soggy Bottom
Richard E. Grant, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Idris Elba, The Harder They Fall
Jason Isaacs, Mass
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
David Alvarez, West Side Story
Reed Birney, Mass
Willem Dafoe, Nightmare Alley
Jamie Dornan, Belfast
Adam Driver, The Last Duel
Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Corey Hawkins, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Richard Jenkins, The Humans
Ben Mendelsohn, Cyrano
John David Washington, Canterbury Glass
And we’re off! I’ll have my inaugural choices for Supporting Actress up shortly…