2021 Oscar Predictions: December 1st Edition

As December dawns, the story of my latest Oscar predictions is West Side Story. Steven Spielberg’s remake of the musical has been in my ten Best Picture nominees for some time. However, the solid buzz emanating from screenings gives it a bump from #8 to #4. Additionally, Spielberg is now in my five for Director and that takes out Guillermo del Toro for Nightmare Alley. 

Speaking of Alley, we will have a far better idea of its viability later today when it gets its first look from critics and the social embargo is lifted. It’s fair to say that Alley is the final major contender to be unveiled and that makes an even clearer picture will be available for my next round.

In other developments:

    • While my five Best Actress picks remain the same, Rachel Zegler’s performance in West Side Story jumps from 10th to 6th.
    • The five slot in Best Actor shifts once again from Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon) to Peter Dinklage in Cyrano. 
    • Rita Moreno’s work in West Side Story puts her in the five for the first time (and top ten for that matter). If my prediction comes true, she could join costar Ariana DeBose (who plays the role for which Moreno won her Oscar sixty years ago). It would also make her the oldest nominee in Academy history. Ann Dowd (Mass) falls out of the 5.
    • The wide open Supporting Actor derby sees Jamie Dornan (Belfast) in and Jason Isaacs (Mass) out.
    • King Richard returns to Original Screenplay over C’Mon C’Mon, which goes from 3 estimated nods in my previous post to zero.
    • West Side Story makes the cut for Adapted Screenplay to the detriment of The Humans.
    • Flee drops from the #1 spot in Animated Feature with Encanto in. Yet it rises to first in Documentary Feature over The Rescue.

You can read all the developments below and I’ll be back at it next week!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Licorice Pizza (PR: 3) (E)

4. West Side Story (PR: 8) (+4)

5. Dune (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 11) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

11. CODA (PR: 12) (+1)

12. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

15. House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spencer

Flee

Mass

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 3) (E)

4. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (E)

5. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 2) (E)

3. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (E)

4. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 8) (E)

9. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Nina Arianda, Being the Ricardos

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 5) (+3)

3. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 3) (E)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 2) (-3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (-4)

9. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: 9) (E)

10. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. King Richard (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Mass (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 9) (+1)

9. A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Parallel Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spencer

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. CODA (PR: 8) (+2)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Humans (PR: 4) (-4)

9. Passing (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Flee (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 3) (E)

4. Luca (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 8) (E)

9. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 9) (E)

10. Vivo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Charlotte

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 2) (E)

3. Drive My Car (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Flee (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Titane (PR: 6) (E)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (E)

8. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (E)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Good Boss (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Memoria

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 2) (+1)

2. The Rescue (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The First Wave (PR: 8) (+1)

8. President (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Ascension (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Ailey

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Spencer (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (E)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

C’Mon C’Mon

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Spencer (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 3) (-1)

5. West Side Story (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Eyes of Tammy Faye 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (+1)

8. King Richard (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 10) (+1)

10. House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Spencer (PR: 4) (+1)

5. Cruella (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Green Knight

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-2)

8. King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 7) (+3)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 4) (-2)

7. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 6) (-1)

8. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (E)

9. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 9) (E)

10. “The Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spencer (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (E)

10. House of Gucci (PR: 10) (E)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

9. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (E)

10. King Richard (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Tick Tick… Boom!

The Matrix Resurrections 

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (E)

3. Eternals (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Free Guy (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Finch (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Suicide Squad

And that equates to these pictures generating these numbers of nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

West Side Story

8 Nominations

The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

Nightmare Alley, The Tragedy of Macbeth

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

Spencer

3 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Flee

2 Nominations

Cruella, Cyrano, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, House of Gucci, The Lost Daughter

1 Nomination

Belle, Drive My Car, Encanto, Eternals, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, The Humans, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, No Time to Die, Procession, The Rescue, Respect, Summer of Soul, Tick Tick… Boom!, The Worst Person in the World

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