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 13th Edition

Back at it again with another round of weekly Oscar predictions and there are changes to be discussed in every major category! We begin with the grand prize – Best Picture. For the third week in a row, we have a new #1 as I’m elevating The Trial of the Chicago 7 to front runner status for the first time. It displaces Nomadland, which falls to 2nd position while Mank goes from 2nd to 3rd.

While Trial gets top billing, I am still placing David Fincher at #1 for director as I believe that could be a bit of a career achievement recognition. As stated last week, I do think Chloe Zhao could be hot on his heels. It does feel a bit strange to have Trial as the Picture favorite while not believing Aaron Sorkin will take Director, but here we are in this strange 2020 Oscar season. Speaking of that race, I now have Lee Isaac Chung for the fast rising Minari over Paul Greengrass for News of the World. 

Moving on, the review embargo lifted this week for Hillbilly Elegy and the results weren’t pretty. The Netflix title stands at just 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and that takes it out of my top 15 for Picture and top 10 in Adapted Screenplay. It also hurts the chances of its leads. Amy Adams drops out of the top 5 for Actress and that’s to the benefit of another Netflix entry with Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead. Glenn Close has been listed at #1 in Supporting Actress since I began these posts in late August. This too has changed in a currently wide open Supporting Actress field. She drops from #1 to #4, but the irony is I still think she could win. However, it’s Amanda Seyfried in Mank that vaults to #1 with Olivia Colman (The Father) and Ellen Burstyn (Pieces of a Woman) following. There’s another move in Supporting Actress with Yuh-Joun Youn for Minari in over Helena Zengel for News of the World. 

In Best Actor, it’s Riz Ahmed back in the final five and that takes out Kingsley Ben-Adir in One Night in Miami. In Supporting Actor, I have David Strathairn (Nomadland) back in the predicted quintet and that drops Bill Murray (On the Rocks) to sixth. And I am starting to buy into the theory that Chadwick Boseman could be victorious in that race for Da 5 Bloods with Anthony Hopkins a seeming favorite in Best Actor for The Father. Boseman is now #1 for supporting.

Finally, it was announced that Supernova will campaign Colin Firth for Best Actor with Stanley Tucci in supporting. They are both listed in the top ten, but I believe it’s Tucci that could potentially see a rise from his #8 spot.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 3)

2. Nomadland (PR: 1)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. The Father (PR: 7)

6. Minari (PR: 8)

7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

8. News of the World (PR: 5)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Soul (PR: 12)

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

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

13. The White Tiger (PR: 14)

14. The Midnight Sky (PR: 15)

15. First Cow (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

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: 5)

5. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

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

8. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 8)

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

8. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 3)

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. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 7)

7. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

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

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

10. Colin Firth, Supernova (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

George Clooney, The Midnight Sky 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

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

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

5. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 6)

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

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

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

10. Swankie, Nomadland (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nicole Kidman, The Prom

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

5. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 5)

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

8. Stanley Tucci, Supernova (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

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

Dropped Out:

Charles Dance, Mank 

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: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. On the Rocks (PR: 7)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. Sound of Metal (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Palm Springs

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

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

8. The White Tiger (PR: 9)

9. First Cow (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 8)

7. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 10)

8. Connected (PR: 6)

9. Lupin III: The First (PR: 7)

10. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Totally Under Control (PR: 2)

2. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 1)

3. Crip Camp (PR: 3)

4. Time (PR: 7)

5. The Dissident (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Boys State (PR: 5)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

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. The Disciple (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. My Little Sister (PR: 5)

7. Night of the Kings (PR: 7)

8. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 9)

9. Charlatan (PR: Not Ranked)

10. True Mothers (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Atlantis

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 4)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

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

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

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

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Rebecca (PR: 5)

7. News of the World (PR: 8)

8. Coming 2 America (PR: 6)

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

10. Ammonite (PR: 10)

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: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

7. Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Tenet (PR: 7)

9. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 3)

3. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 4)

4. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

5. Mulan (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: 5)

7. Birds of Prey (PR: 7)

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

9. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

News of the World

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Soul (PR: 2)

3. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

4. News of the World (PR: 3)

5. Minari (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

7. Tenet (PR: 4)

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

9. Ammonite (PR: 5)

10. Hillbilly Elegy (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: 5)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (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: 8)

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

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

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Mulan (PR: 3)

4. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Rebecca (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

8. News of the World (PR: 4)

9. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

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

Dropped Out:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 2)

3. Sound of Metal (PR: 4)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

5. Soul (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 3)

7. Greyhound (PR: 8)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

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

10. The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Greyhound (PR: 3)

4. The Invisible Man (PR: 5)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mulan (PR: 4)

7. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 8)

8. Mank (PR: 6)

9. The Call of the Wild (PR: 9)

10. Dolittle (PR: 10)

And that shakes out to these features nabbing the following number of nominations:

12 Nominations

Mank

7 Nominations

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

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Father, Minari, News of the World, One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

The Midnight Sky, Soul

3 Nominations

The Life Ahead, Mulan

2 Nominations

Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Sound of Metal, Tenet

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Another Round, Birds of Prey, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Disciple, The Dissident, French Exit, Greyhound, The Invisible Man, New Order, Onward, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Rebecca, Time, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

Oscar Watch: Dick Johnson Is Dead

After a warm reception earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, Kirsten Johnson’s documentary Dick Johnson Is Dead is having its streaming premiere on Netflix today. The director is the daughter of the title subject – a psychiatrist who receives a dementia diagnosis. She also made the well regarded 2016 doc Cameraperson. The picture is said to deal humorously and unconventionally with its subject matter. It received a Special Jury award at Sundance and stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The issue of dementia has been a theme for 2020 features. The most high profile is Florian Zeller’s The Father, which appears headed for multiple nominations including its leads Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. Less likely titles to contend for consideration are Supernova with Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci and The Artist’s Wife starring Lena Olin and Bruce Dern.

On the doc side, I had Johnson listed at #4 for the various hopefuls. This race is obviously quite fluid at the moment, but the acclaim already received puts it as a strong contender. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: The Artist’s Wife

After premiering nearly a year ago at the Hamptons International Film Festival, Tom Dolby’s The Artist’s Wife has hit streaming services over the weekend. The drama finds Lena Olin as the wife of a famed artist (Bruce Dern) who is suffering from dementia. This is a common theme in the 2020 Oscar season. Florian Zeller’s The Father is a major contender in the big races including the work of its headliners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. Earlier today, I wrote my post for Supernova which features Colin Firth traveling with his partner Stanley Tucci – who is also suffering from the disease. I was less hopeful for its Academy prospects.

The same holds true here. Reviews are mixed with a current 59% Rotten Tomatoes score. Artist’s has drawn some comparisons to 2018’s The Wife which nearly won Glenn Close her first statue before being upset by the aforementioned Colman in The Favourite.  The bulk of the critical praise here has gone to Olin, a veteran actress with one nod to her credit in Supporting Actress for 1989’s Enemies, A Love Story. Dern was a Best Actor nominee seven years ago for Nebraska. 

Yet Best Actress is looking crowded already with plenty of legit possibilities on deck. The Artist’s Wife, with its so-so response thus far, appears bound to get lost in the shuffle.

Oscar Watch: Supernova

A pair of actors with Oscar history headline the British drama Supernova, which premiered at the San Sebastian International Film Festival earlier this week. Colin Firth (Best Actor winner ten years ago for The King’s Speech) and Stanley Tucci (2009 Supporting Actor nominee for The Lovely Bones) star as a couple traveling England after Tucci’s character has been diagnosed with dementia. Harry Macqueen directs.

Early reviews are mostly positive with an 83% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Unsurprisingly, the work of the leads is being praised. However, the critical reaction doesn’t appear strong enough for Supernova to be an awards contender despite Firth and Tucci’s credibility.

Another title with similar themes – Florian Zeller’s The Father – is likely to garner nods. I currently have it predicted in Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Anthony Hopkins), and Supporting Actress (Olivia Colman).

Distributor StudioCanal would need to mount an impressive campaign for Supernova to get on the radar screen and I have my doubts. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscars 2019: The Case of 1917

My next Case of post for this year’s Best Picture nominees brings us to 1917. If you missed my other posts thus far, you can peruse them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/14/oscars-2019-the-case-of-ford-v-ferrari/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/15/oscars-2019-the-case-of-the-irishman/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/17/oscars-2019-the-case-of-jojo-rabbit/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/18/oscars-2019-the-case-of-joker/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/18/oscars-2019-the-case-of-little-women/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/19/oscars-2019-the-case-of-marriage-story/

Let’s break it down:

The Case for 1917

It’s become significant. 1917 might be the strongest example of the nine nominees for perfect timing. The World War I epic from director Sam Mendes came to the attention of awards voters just as it was opening to better than expected box office and sterling reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 89%. Mendes is a known quantity whose American Beauty won Best Picture (and Director) twenty years ago. The precursor love has been impressive with a Golden Globes victory for Best Drama and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) top prize. 13 out of the last 19 PGA winners went on to win Best Picture. The ten Academy nominations is tied for second along with The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

The Case Against 1917

If it wins Best Picture, it would be the first to do so without any acting nomination since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire (SAG ignored it as well). Additionally, it would be the extremely rare recipient to win without an Editing nod. A case could be made that the Parasite fans are more rabid.

The Verdict

Despite missing some recognition in key races, there is no doubt that 1917 could absolutely take the biggest race. It could even be called the soft front runner.

Up next in my Case of posts… Once Upon a Time in Hollywood!

1917 Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (01/05): The film’s victory for Best Drama at the Golden Globes is pushing my estimate up… from $26.8 million to $31.8 million

1917 blasts onto screens next weekend and hopes to generate its awards buzz into a rousing first frame at multiplexes. The World War I epic comes from Sam Mendes, Oscar winning director of American Beauty who’s been busy with the Bond franchise lately with Skyfall and Spectre. Cast members include George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Critics have been on its side as 1917 currently sports a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score. The film is expected to nab several Oscar nods (including possibly Picture and Director and tech nods) on the Monday following its wide release. In the limited rollout over the holidays, it held a sturdy per theater average of over $50,000.

War movies have done well in January over the past few years. The high water mark is American Sniper, which made nearly $90 million out of the gate five years ago. This isn’t anticipated to be anywhere near that, but there are other decent comps to consider. In 2013, Zero Dark Thirty took in $24 million in its expansion.

This is right in the range where I see 1917 landing in the mid 20s (SEE BLOGGER’S NOTE ABOVE).

1917 opening weekend prediction: $31.8 million

For my Just Mercy prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/just-mercy-box-office-prediction/

For my Like a Boss prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/like-a-boss-box-office-prediction/

For my Underwater prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/02/underwater-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: 1917

Twenty years ago, Sam Mendes made American Beauty and it dominated the 1999 Oscars, with the filmmaker taking Best Director and the movie being named Best Picture. Lately, Mendes has been known more as the Bond director behind past two installments Skyfall and Spectre. 

His World War I epic 1917 has held its initial screenings prior to its Christmas release. Early   word of mouth suggests the saga about The Great War is a great picture and that Oscar is likely to pay attention. Most of the buzz thus far has centered on its making as a one camera take experience. Before today’s reviews, this seemed like a probable contender for multiple tech awards already. That includes Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, and both Sound races. All of that still holds true. The legendary Roger Deakins is responsible for the cinematography. After many nominations, he won his first gold statue just two years back for Blade Runner 2049. He could pick up a second here.

Similarly, composer Thomas Newman (a frequent Mendes collaborator) has heard his name called 14 times by Oscar, but has yet to be the victor. That, too, could change as the score is getting numerous mentions.

The cast includes George McKay, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch, but I don’t expect any acting nods due to the packed nature of those categories. However, I do expect Picture and Director (and maybe Original Screenplay) attention. I’ve had the film itself and Mendes in my guesstimates for some time. When my weekly predictions come Monday, I anticipate both will be ranked higher than ever before. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Mary Poppins Returns Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (12/18/18): My estimate has been revised down a bit to a low to mid 30s three-day and low to mid 50s five-day

to Arriving 54 years after its beloved predecessor and with the same awards buzz, Disney unveils Mary Poppins Returns on Wednesday next week. The musical fantasy casts Emily Blunt in the role made famous by Julie Andrews, who won an Oscar as the iconic nanny. Blunt is expected to get a nod as well. Rob Marshall, the man behind 2002 Best Picture winner Chicago and most recently Into the Woods, directs. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Angela Lansbury, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep are included in the supporting cast. So is Dick Van Dyke, as an offspring of the role he played in the original.

Though official reviews aren’t out yet, buzz from screenings has been glowing and it’s already popped up on numerous top ten lists and major Academy precursors. The Mouse Factory marketing machine is second to none and anticipation is high. Furthermore, Poppins gets a two-day jump on its Christmas weekend competition, most notably Aquaman and Bumblebee.

It’s worthy of note that many holiday offerings greatly expand their grosses on subsequent weekends and aren’t nearly as front loaded as summer pics. That is probable here as I expect Poppins to experience a long and robust run.

The Wednesday debut probably means it’ll come in second to Aquaman, which opens Friday. I have a strong hunch you’ll see at #1 eventually. One fair comp is last year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It also came out on Wednesday, taking in $36 million for the traditional weekend frame and $52 million when factoring the extra two days. The key number? It legged out to $404 million domestically.

I am counting on a similar track here and estimating it manages to fly a bit higher. I’ll say this reaches high 30s to low 40s from Friday to Sunday and get high 50s with Wednesday and Thursday accounted for.

Mary Poppins Returns opening weekend prediction: $34.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $52.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Aquaman prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/aquaman-box-office-prediction/

For my Bumblebee prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/bumblebee-box-office-prediction/

For my Second Act prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/14/second-act-box-office-prediction/

For my Welcome to Marwen prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/15/welcome-to-marwen-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Mary Poppins Returns

Disney’s Christmas box office smash is expected to be Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to the 1964 classic original. It comes from Rob Marshall, who directed 2002’s Best Picture winner Chicago. Even with the Oscar pedigree behind it, it was a legitimate question as to whether this would garner any awards chatter or just settle for raking in tons of dough.

The film has screened for the Screen Actors Guild and journalists. While official reviews are under embargo, the buzz indicates it’s in many ways a worthy follow-up to what came over a half century prior. This especially applies to Emily Blunt, taking over the iconic title role from Julie Andrews (who won the Oscar as Poppins). Best Actress is crowded this year. At this juncture, I’d say Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Glenn Close (The Wife), and Olivia Colman (The Favourite) are locks or darn close to it. That leaves two spots and plenty of contenders to fill them. The showings for Poppins indicate Blunt is a prime contender to get one. As a side note, she could be in excellent shape for Actress at the Golden Globes for Musical/Comedy.

As for other performers, it’s certainly possible Blunt gets all the attention. Lin-Manuel Miranda seems a longshot in Supporting Actor. In Supporting Actress, it’s another category that is already filling up. Yet if anyone could sneak in, it’s Meryl Streep (who would be going for an unprecedented 22nd nod). Marshall has already directed her to one of them before in Supporting Actress for 2014’s Into the Woods.

Before its unveiling, the pic was already thought to be a contender in numerous down the line races: Costume Design, Production Design, Score, Original Song, Visual Effects and both Sound categories. That still holds true.

When it comes to Best Picture, that’s much more of a question mark. I’d say chances have undoubtedly improved, but it could depend on how others rise and fall in the coming weeks.

Bottom line: with Blunt leading the charge, Mary Poppins Returns could have awards voters singing its praises. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…