2020 Oscar Predictions: November 21st Edition

We have new #1’s in three of the four acting derbies in my weekly Oscar prediction updates! Let’s break it down:

  • The reviews for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom have gone out of their way to praise the work of Chadwick Boseman. Best Actor now appears to be a race between the late performer and Anthony Hopkins in The Father. I have had Hopkins listed in first place for months at this point, but this changes today. That said, this is a competition that could come down to the wire.
  • In Best Actress, I have kept Viola Davis atop the list. However, while critics have lauded her in the title role of Ma Rainey, Vanessa Kirby’s work in Pieces of a Woman seems to gathering buzz. I thought about putting her in the pole position and we’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks.
  • Ironically, the placement of Boseman at #1 in Best Actor drops him from 1st to 6th in Supporting Actor for Da 5 Bloods. This currently puts Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7) on top for the first time in a seemingly wide open field. I have also dropped David Strathairn (Nomadland) from the five. Additionally, while I am waiting for Warner Bros to confirm, I am putting Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) back in this field as opposed to lead. So it’s him and Bill Murray (On the Rocks) back in the fold.
  • Last week, the poor reviews for Hillbilly Elegy caused me to take Glenn Close from #1 to #4. Like Supporting Actor, this race looks like anyone’s for the taking. I am elevating the veteran actress back to 1st as I could envision her overdue factor overtaking the bad critical reaction to the film itself. Also I’ve put Helena Zengel (News of the World) back in over Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari).

There’s also a change in Best Director with Florian Zeller (The Father) in for the first time over Lee Isaac Chung (Minari). Finally, there’s some release date news. Amazon Prime has moved Coming 2 America from December 2020 to March 2021. That takes it out of contention (where it could have played in Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling). And Warner Bros confirmed that Wonder Woman 1984 will receive a Christmas Day HBO Max streaming premiere. I don’t yet have it in the final five, but it could show up in Visual Effects.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. The Father (PR: 5)

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

7. Minari (PR: 6)

8. News of the World (PR: 8)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Soul (PR: 10)

11. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

12. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 12)

13. The Midnight Sky (PR: 14)

14. The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

15. First Cow (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

The White Tiger

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

7. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 5)

8. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 7)

9. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 3)

3. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

4. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 5)

5. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

7. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

8. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 10)

9. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 6)

10. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 8)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

3. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

7. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 7)

8. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 9)

9. Colin Firth, Supernova (PR: 10)

10. Tom Holland, Cherry (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (moved to Supporting)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 4)

2. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 1)

3. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

4. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 3)

5. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (PR: 5)

7. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 6)

8. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 8)

9. Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Nicole Kidman, The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Swankie, Nomadland

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

2. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Best Actor)

3. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

4. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 6)

5. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 1)

7. Stanley Tucci, Supernova (PR: 8)

8. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 5)

9. Frank Langella, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

10. Shia LaBeouf, Pieces of a Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Minari (PR: 3)

4. Soul (PR: 4)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

8. On the Rocks (PR: 7)

9. Sound of Metal (PR: 10)

10. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 7)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 6)

8. First Cow (PR: 9)

9. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

10. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The White Tiger

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. Connected (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

7. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 7)

8. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 10)

10. Lupin III: The First (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Totally Under Control (PR: 1)

2. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 2)

3. Crip Camp (PR: 3)

4. Time (PR: 4)

5. The Dissident (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 6)

7. Boys State (PR: 7)

8. 76 Days (PR: 9)

9. MLK/FBI (PR: 10)

10. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 3)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 1)

3. Night of the Kings (PR: 7)

4. The Life Ahead (PR: 4)

5. The Disciple (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m No Longer Here (PR: Not Ranked)

7. My Little Sister (PR: 6)

8. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 8)

9. Atlantis (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Charlatan (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

New Order

True Mothers

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 6)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 5)

5. Mulan (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rebecca (PR: 6)

7. News of the World (PR: 7)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ammonite (PR: 10)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Coming 2 America

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. Tenet (PR: 8)

9. The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Minari

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 4)

4. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 3)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

7. Mulan (PR: 5)

8. The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: Not Ranked)

10. News of the World (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Coming 2 America

Emma

Ammonite

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 3)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. Minari (PR: 5)

9. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 10)

10. Ammonite (PR: 9)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Wear Your Crown” from The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

7. “Hear My Voice” from Miss Americana (PR: 7)

8. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

9. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 10)

10. “Carried Me with You” from Onward (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Love Myself” from The High Note

“Never Break” from Giving Voice 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Mulan (PR: 3)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 8)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 9)

7. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 10)

8. Rebecca (PR: 5)

9. Emma (PR: 4)

10. The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. Soul (PR: 5)

4. Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

8. News of the World (PR: 6)

9. Greyhound (PR: 7)

10. Da 5 Bloods (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Prom

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. The Invisible Man (PR: 4)

4. Greyhound (PR: 3)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 7)

7. Wonder Woman 1984 (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Mulan (PR: 6)

9. The Call of the Wild (PR: 9)

10. Mank (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Dolittle 

And that breaks down to the following number of nominations for these pictures:

12 Nominations

Mank

10 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

8 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

7 Nominations

News of the World

6 Nominations

The Father, Nomadland

5 Nominations

One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Soul

3 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Life Ahead, The Midnight Sky

2 Nominations

Birds of Prey, Hillbilly Elegy, Minari, Mulan, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Sound of Metal, Tenet

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Connected, Crip Camp, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Disciple, The Dissident, Emma, French Exit, Greyhound, The Invisible Man, Judas and the Black Messiah, Night of the Kings, On the Rocks, Onward, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Time, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

2020 Oscar Predictions: November 6th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions begin with a blogger’s note. For the past two and a half months, I’ve been providing these updates each Thursday. This will now switch to every Friday (busy work schedule is the reason).

And we move on with a significant development in the rankings. For the first time since I began these predictions, the #1 slot for Best Picture is not named Mank. The David Fincher Netflix pic had its official review embargo lift today. Some of the critical reaction is excellent. Other write-ups, while still overwhelmingly positive, call into question whether this will take the biggest prize of all. It certainly still could in my estimation, but I’m currently giving an ever so slight advantage to Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland (and with The Trial of the Chicago 7 not far behind). I am still listing Fincher in top position with Director as I could envision a victory being a partial career achievement award. That said, Zhao is right on his heels as she would be the second female filmmaker ever to take the gold.

We continue to Best Actor as Amazon has confirmed the acting placements for the performers in Regina King’s One Night in Miami. Of note is that Kingsley Ben-Adir will be campaigned for in Best Actor with Leslie Odom Jr. vying for Supporting Actor. In my view, this increases the chances for both to make the cut as they won’t be competing against each other. Odom was already on my Supporting list last week. Ben-Adir jumps into the Actor final five and that’s to the detriment of Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya could absolutely still get in, but there’s uncertainty as to whether he will be campaigned for in Actor or Supporting Actor. There’s also no confirmation yet as to when Warner Bros. will release the picture. So for now, he’s on the outside looking in until further information is provided.

The Actress and Supporting Actress contests remain the same without even any ranking alterations. That’s not to indicate those races aren’t fluid. There just wasn’t anything major in the past week to shift my thinking in the past 8 days.

Finally, Disney has delayed the release dates of both Death on the Nile and Free Guy to 2021 TBD. The former was a potential nominee in several tech races such as Costume Design and Production Design. The latter could have been a hopeful in Visual Effects.

And with that, let’s get to the guesstimates!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

5. News of the World (PR: 4)

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

7. The Father (PR: 7)

8. Minari (PR: 8)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

11. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 10)

12. Soul (PR: 12)

13. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 13)

14. The White Tiger (PR: 14)

15. The Midnight Sky (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

7. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

8. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 7)

9. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 3)

4. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

5. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 6)

7. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

8. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 8)

9. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

2. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Supporting Actor)

Other Possibilities:

6. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

7. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 7)

8. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 6)

9. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 8)

10. George Clooney, The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tom Holland, Cherry

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 6)

7. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (PR: 7)

8. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 8)

9. Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Nicole Kidman, The Prom (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

3. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 3)

4. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

5. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 7)

7. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 10)

8. Frank Langella, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

9. Charles Dance, Mank (PR: 9)

10. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (moved to Best Actor)

Best Original Screenplay 

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. Minari (PR: 3)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Soul (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

7. On the Rocks (PR: 6)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. Palm Springs (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 7)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

9. The White Tiger (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 4)

4. Onward (PR: 3)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Connected (PR: 6)

7. Lupin III: The First (PR: 8)

8. The Willoughbys (PR: 7)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

10. Earwig and the Witch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 1)

2. Totally Under Control (PR: 3)

3. Crip Camp (PR: 2)

4. The Dissident (PR: 5)

5. Boys State (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 6)

7. Time (PR: 7)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 9)

9. 76 Days (PR: 8)

10. MLK/FBI (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 1)

2. New Order (PR: 2)

3. Another Round (PR: 3)

4. The Life Ahead (PR: 4)

5. My Little Sister (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Disciple (PR: 6)

7. Night of the Kings (PR: 5)

8. True Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 10)

10. Atlantis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Wife of a Spy

A Sun

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Tenet (PR: 6)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Rebecca (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: 4)

7. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 7)

8. News of the World (PR: 10)

9. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ammonite (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Death on the Nile

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 10)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 5)

3. Mank (PR: 6)

4. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 4)

5. Coming 2 America (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

7. Birds of Prey (PR: 2)

8. News of the World (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Mulan (PR: 7)

10. Ammonite (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Emma

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Soul (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Tenet (PR: 4)

5. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

7. Minari (PR: 5)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

9. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

One Night in Miami

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 5)

5. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

7. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana (PR: 7)

8. “Love Myself” from The High Note (PR: 10)

9. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 9)

10. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 8)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

3. Mulan (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 6)

5. Rebecca (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 5)

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Tenet (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 6)

4. Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Soul (PR: 4)

7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 5)

8. Greyhound (PR: 8)

9. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Invisible Man

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Greyhound (PR: 6)

4. Mulan (PR: 3)

5. The Invisible Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mank (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

8. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 7)

9. The Call of the Wild (PR: 8)

10. Dolittle (PR: 9)

And this equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers of nods:

12 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

News of the World

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

Nomadland, One Night in Miami

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Father

4 Nominations

Tenet

3 Nominations

Hillbilly Elegy, The Midnight Sky, Mulan, Soul

2 Nominations

The Life Ahead, Minari, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Rebecca

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Ammonite, Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, Coming 2 America, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Dissident, Emma, French Exit, Greyhound, The Invisible Man, My Little Sister, New Order, On the Rocks, Onward, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Sound of Metal, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

Oscar Watch: Time

Garrett Bradley’s documentary Time hit streaming on Amazon Prime this month after winning accolades earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Focused on a wife trying to free her husband from a 60-year prison sentence, the pic earned Bradley the directing prize for its genre at the aforementioned fest in January. She is the first African American female to win the prize.

Time stands at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with 90 reviews up. As the Documentary Feature category is still taking shape, this joins several others as legit possibilities. It has yet to enter my top ten contenders in my weekly Thursday estimates, but expect that to change in the next write-up. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Sacha Baron Cohen’s most famous and profitable alter ego returns this Friday via Amazon Prime with the release of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Or more specifically… Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (you can see why I abbreviated). The sequel to the surprise 2006 blockbuster was a surprise in itself as it was shot secretly this year.

If you’re asking whether the pic warrants an Oscar Watch post, I’ll remind you what happened 14 years ago. The original Borat scored a nod at the Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay (losing to The Departed). At the Golden Globes, the film itself made final cut in Best Musical/Comedy (losing to Dreamgirls) and Baron Cohen was victorious in Best Actor in that Musical/Comedy race.

The review embargo ended today and the results are mostly, well, very nice. With a current ranking of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, the general consensus is that it doesn’t quite the match the original but that it’s quite funny and often shocking and unexpectedly sweet. The latter description probably won’t be shared by Rudy Giuliani as headlines are suggesting he won’t like what ends up onscreen.

So could the sequel generate awards buzz? I have a hard time seeing part 2 contending in Adapted Screenplay. Yet the Globes could be a different story. Depending on how competitive the Musical/Comedy field is for Actor, Baron Cohen could find himself among the possibilities. It’s also worth mentioning that his costar Maria Bakalova (as the title character’s daughter) is getting some raves. Unfortunately for her, the Globes do not separate Drama and Musical/Comedy in the supporting races. I do think there’s an outside chance she gets some Oscar attention, but I wouldn’t count on it.

While the second Borat pic… or movie… or Moviefilm… may not garner Oscar love, its star still could. He is expected to be in the mix for Supporting Actor in The Trial of the Chicago 7 alongside his costars Mark Rylance and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (how many get in remains to be seen). My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: I’m Your Woman

Rachel Brosnahan has collected an Emmy and two Golden Globes for her small screen work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Julia Hart’s 1970s set crime drama I’m Your Woman marks her first starring role in a feature. Prior to its December streaming release from Amazon Studios, the pic screened yesterday at the AFI Fest.

Reviews thus far are of a mixed nature. Some critics are comparing it to the work of John Cassavates while others aren’t near as kind. The current Rotten Tomatoes score is 60%. As has been discussed before on the blog, Best Actress appears to be a crowded field in 2020. While I imagine Amazon will push Brosnahan for attention, I have yet to list her in the top ten possibilities for the race. Based on the varied reaction, I don’t expect that to change and I especially don’t envision a scenario where she approaches the final five. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch – All In: The Fight for Democracy

Streaming on Amazon Prime since September, the political doc All In: The Fight for Democracy is establishing itself as a real contender in awards season. Directed by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes, the pic focuses on voter suppression and features Georgia’s recent gubernatorial race with Stacey Abrams (who shares a producer credit).

Democracy has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and co-director Garbus is no stranger to Academy attention. She’s been nominated twice for 1998’s The Farm: Angola, USA and 2015’s What Happened, Miss Simone? In this heightened electoral climate, this could easily make the final cut in the Documentary Feature race and I currently have it listed in fourth for possibilities. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Sound of Metal

Riz Ahmed has seen his profile rise in recent years with roles in Nightcrawler, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Venom. On the small screen, he is an Emmy winner for his work on HBO’s The Night Of. And now he could receive the attention of Academy voters with Darius Marder’s upcoming Sound of Metal.

The film casts Ahmed as the drummer of a band who begins to lose his hearing. Costars include Olivia Cooke and Mathieu Amalric. Metal first screened at the Toronto Film Festival over a year ago. Critics responded favorably with a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score with most of the reviews heaping praise on its lead.

It was recently announced that Amazon had picked up distribution rights. After a short theatrical run in November, it will be available for streaming in early December. Translation: expect an Oscar push for Ahmed. And it could work. At the moment, Best Actor appears less crowded than Actress. Beyond Anthony Hopkins in The Father (surefire nominee) and Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods (likely nominee), the race looks wide open. Ahmed is an up and comer and with the right campaign, he could find himself in the mix. Two weeks ago, I had him listed 15th of 15 Actor hopefuls. Last week, that rose to 12th. On Thursday, I will whittle my contenders down to ten and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s listed.

Furthermore, the storyline to Metal could lend itself to a Best Sound nomination. This is the first year where Sound Editing and Sound Mixing are being combined into one race. While this category is normally reserved for big budget blockbusters and sci-fi material, I wouldn’t be shocked to see this make a legit play. Bottom line: Ahmed’s work and the sound techs have a shot here. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Radioactive

In 2014, Rosamund Pike received her first and only Oscar nomination for David Fincher’s  Gone Girl. The British actress has since appeared in a string of Indies that have garnered some critical kudos with scant awards attention. These titles include 2016’s A United Kingdom and 2018’s A Private War.

In the biographical drama Radioactive from director Marjane Satrapi, Pike portrays Nobel prize winning physicist Marie Curie. The film originally played at last year’s Toronto Film Festival and is now available for streaming today on Amazon Prime. It’s received generally positive reviews and stands at 69% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the write-ups gearing more toward the negative praise Pike’s performance.

Gone Girl was a blockbuster and that helped the actress nab her Academy nod. The other projects just never broke through enough with mainstream audiences to get on the awards radar screen. That may well certainly apply to Radioactive as well. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

The Oscars Go Streaming

The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously changed the operation of movie theaters for the past two months and that looks to continue into the foreseeable future in many states across the nation. For someone who has a blog that focuses on a lot on Oscar forecasting, this has raised numerous questions. The primary one is: could there really be an Oscar telecast for 2020 pictures next year if there’s little product being released? And I certainly don’t think Sonic the Hedgehog or Birds of Prey will sweep the ceremony in February 2021.

A significant part of the answer to that question was revealed today. The Academy, after an internal Zoom conference, announced that streaming and VOD product will indeed be eligible for Oscar consideration. You may ask – weren’t Netflix and other streamers already being nominated? After all, 2019 saw Best Picture and/or acting nods for The Irishman, Marriage Story, and The Two Popes. Well, not really. The previous rule was that each streaming entry had to screen in Los Angeles for a one week awards qualifying run. That rule (at least for 2020) has been abolished.

So what does that mean? The uncertainty surrounding the opening of theaters could mean a lot more features hitting Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and any other VOD platforms. We have witnessed this already with Trolls World Tour landing on small screens when it was supposed to hit multiplexes. That’s not all. Just yesterday, Judd Apatow’s latest comedy King of Staten Island starring Pete Davidson skipped its theatrical run and opted for a June VOD date. The Lovebirds, which reunites Kumail Nanjiani with his The Big Sick director Michael Showalter, arrives May 22 on Netflix. The Seth Rogen comedy An American Pickle will now premiere on HBO Max.

With today’s announcement, I suspect we could see many Oscar contenders (especially lower budget ones) make the streaming move. And with the uncertainty regarding film festivals like Cannes, Venice, Toronto, and Telluride (typically the launching pads for such content), this could be the easiest way to get such features to the masses around the same time frame.

My Oscar coverage, when it’s available, will continue here!

Daily Streaming Guide: March 26th Edition

Today’s Daily Streaming Guide features two potboilers from the 1980s with political overtones. Both are available on Amazon Prime:

Brian De Palma’s 1981 effort Blow Out stars John Travolta, Nancy Allen, and John Lithgow. Arriving after a trio of hits for the lead (Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Urban Cowboy), audiences didn’t really know what to make of it upon release. It has since developed a deserved following (Quentin Tarantino is among the ardent fans). As a sound technician embroiled in a murder plot, Blow Out gives us one of Travolta’s finest performances.

Roger Donaldson’s 1987 noir pic No Way Out finds Kevin Costner as a Naval officer uncovering dirty deeds by Gene Hackman’s Defense Secretary. Costarring Sean Young, who’s involved in a love triangle with the leads, the film is a solid thriller that cemented Costner’s leading man status.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…