Nightmare Alley Review

Guillermo del Toro has been making geek shows geared to movie geeks for years. In Nightmare Alley, based on a 1946 novel and the picture that followed it a year later, he gorgeously opens up his stylistic bag of tricks to give us a film noir where the scariest creatures are of the human sort. Geek shows take on a different meaning as the traveling carnivals where we spend the first act features one. That’s where spectators with jaws agape watch a drug addled performer (“geeks” in the show’s vocabulary) bite the heads off of chickens. All for the price of a quarter or two!

We meet Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) in 1939 as he happens upon the larger road show filled with psychics, strongmen, and beautiful ladies with electrical currents running through them. He’s destitute and jobless and picks up menial duties from Clem (Willem Dafoe), who runs the demented circus. Stan is an audacious fellow who’s not fearful of romancing good-natured performer Molly (Rooney Mara) or picking up mentalist tips from the alcoholic Pete (David Strathairn) or his clairvoyant (with help from cue cards) wife Zeena (Toni Collette). He occasionally takes pity on the resident geek (Paul Anderson) but it’s clear Stan is mostly looking out for himself. An opening flashback sequence shows a strained relationship with his deceased father who was also a fan of the drink. While dad, mentor Pete, and that poor chicken feeder suffer from substance abuse, Stan’s vices are hubris and power.

The opening scenes of Alley explore this fascinating world with the exquisite production design, cinematography, and impeccable lighting that we would anticipate from its maker. This is constantly a visually striking experience. When we flash forward two years later, Stan has used the teachings of his colleagues to move up to the big city (Buffalo) and deem himself a psychic. With Molly as his assistant and companion, his dinner theater act attracts the attention of the city’s elite. Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), a psychologist, tries to unmask Stan’s schemes during such a performance. It only serves to fool more of the attendees. The two decide to team up and swindle movers and shakers like a judge (Peter MacNeill) mourning a son and his devastated wife (Mary Steenburgen). For a price, Stan will convince them that their loved one is with them in spirit. The doctor provides the backstory from such grieving former patients.

Stan and Ritter also engage in therapeutic sessions that occasionally crackle with intensity. The two actors are up to the task with Blanchett picture perfect as the femme fatale and Cooper’s aw shucks Southern drawl cloaking his wild ambitions. Mara’s Molly gets lost in the shuffle as Stan’s pining is not just for a quick buck, but for the bad doc as well.

The ladder climbing of his consultations leads to Ezra Grindle (Richard Jenkins) and, at last, Stan may have bitten off more of an assignment than he can chew. Not a typical crime boss type of figure, the calm but firm Grindle looks for otherworldly messages from a former love. If Stan doesn’t produce, he may lose more than the fee.

Nightmare Alley is worth seeing for its look alone. Mr. del Toro is known for his onscreen creatures (from Cronos to Pan’s Labyrinth to his Oscar-winning The Shape of Water). We don’t see those types in his latest, but there’s monsters around and Stan is among them. Their habits are often just as frightening. When Dafoe’s Clem explains how the geeks are hired, it’s a tad hair raising.

Not all is as pleasing as the aesthetics. del Toro is clearly having a blast playing in the noir sandbox. So much so that he doesn’t seem to realize that these genre excursions should be lean and mean in their running time. Alley plods along for 150 minutes. Plenty of the characters are mean though it’s not so lean in execution. There are sequences that land effectively after the carnivorous first act but plenty that don’t match their potency. On the plus side, it’s got a humdinger of an ending with its darkly appealing beginnings and that makes it worth the price of admission.

*** (out of four)

Nightmare Alley Box Office Prediction

The last time Guillermo del Toro was behind the camera, 13 Oscar nominations came his way with 2017’s The Shape of Water (including wins in Picture and Director). His follow-up is Nightmare Alley, a remake of a 1947 pic which was based on a 1946 William Lindsay Gresham novel. The noirish thriller boasts an impressive cast led by Bradley Coper (in his first starring role since 2018’s A Star Is Born). Costars include Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.

Long looked at as an Oscar contender, the recent review embargo lapse made the situation a bit murkier. The 83% Rotten Tomatoes score is decent, but some critics are griping that it’s a disappointment. Its standing in the Best Picture race is questionable.

Stronger awards buzz could have pushed this to higher numbers, but that’s not the only challenge. Plenty of moviegoers will be distracted with the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which looks to blow away pandemic era records. Alley is only opening on about 2000 screens (about half of Spidey’s). It’s normal for projects in the December time frame to open relatively small and hope to play well in subsequent frames. That is likely to be the case here and low to mid single digits is my forecast.

Nightmare Alley opening weekend prediction: $3.3 million

For my Spider-Man: No Way Home prediction, click here:

Spider-Man: No Way Home Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: Nightmare Alley

Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley is likely to be the final film screened that could contend for Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars. That happened tonight and its social media embargo has lifted. This is the filmmaker’s follow-up to 2017’s The Shape of Water, which won four gold statues including Picture and Director. A remake of a 1947 noir thriller, Alley has a cast filled with familiar faces led by Bradley Cooper and Rooney Mara (who are slated to contend in the lead races). The supporting cast includes Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.

Reaction out tonight offers plenty of praise. Unsurprisingly, this is being lauded for its technical aspects. Production Design and Cinematography sound like shoo-ins (and might challenge Dune for the victories). Other down the line derbies such as Sound, Costume Design, Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Score (though that’s gotten awfully crowded) are feasible.

How about the big dances? Early word solidifies its opportunity to get a Best Picture nomination and for del Toro’s behind the camera work. I had it ranked 8th yesterday and my early hunch says that’s about right. There’s enough mixed buzz in reaction tweets to make me think it’s not a threat to win. Adapted Screenplay is probable.

As for the actors, Cooper and Blanchett are the recipients of the most acclaim. The former’s path will be fascinating to track. I had him ranked #1 in Supporting Actor for weeks before Licorice Pizza was unveiled. That race, as has been discussed on the blog, is wide open. His limited screen time in Pizza could cause him to miss there. The question is whether Best Actor is already too packed (Will Smith as King Richard, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog, Andrew Garfield for Tick Tick… Boom!, Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth, Peter Dinklage in Cyrano, Leonardo DiCaprio for Don’t Look Up). Is there enough space for Cooper? Precursors will tell. Supporting Actress is also filled with hopefuls and Blanchett will also need some early love from either critics groups or SAG or the Globes. Best Actress is also overflowing and I don’t see enough Mara talk for her to be viable.

Bottom line: Alley helped itself. It might be the “last in” but I feel decent about a Picture nod and definitely tech competitions. Cooper and Blanchett are more of a mystery. My Oscar Predictions posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

2021 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Supporting Actor Race

Starting on the blog today, I’m taking a deeper dive into the four acting derbies at the Oscars as well as Picture and Director. It begins with Supporting Actor.

If I could use a couple words to describe this particular race – “very open” immediately comes to mind. With just two months left in the calendar year, I would go as far to say that not I’m not 100% certain on any performer discussed below making the final five. That’s rare.

Before I delve into the many hopefuls, let’s take a look at where my projections were at in 2019 and 2020 during the same time frame. Two years ago, I had already correctly pegged four of the five eventual nominees: winner Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time Hollywood), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), and Al Pacino (The Irishman). The other contender was Joe Pesci (also for The Irishman) and I had him listed at #6 in Other Possibilities. In hindsight, Supporting Actor was well on its way to being established with two months remaining in 2019.

Not so much for 2020. Last year was more difficult than perhaps any before it in figuring out who’d make the cut (much of that uncertainty was due to COVID and the constantly shifting release schedule). On November 1, 2020 – my forecasted five contenders yielded just two of the eventual nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Leslie Odom, Jr. for One Night in Miami. I still had the winner (Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah) listed for the lead Actor competition. Both Lakeith Stanfield (Judas) and Paul Raci (Sound of Metal) were not yet mentioned in Other Possibilities.

With that context, we arrive in 2021. And I would say this year looks more like the previous one as opposed to 2019. There has been one constant since I began projecting the race back in the summer: Bradley Cooper for Licorice Pizza (known as Soggy Bottom just a couple of months ago). I’ve had him listed at #1 the whole way and it’s a prediction based mostly on gut since no one has seen the picture (that’ll change shortly). Cooper is a four-time acting nominee (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, American Sniper, A Star is Born). He’s yet to take the gold. Pizza looks like it should be a juicy role for him. On the other hand, we do not yet known just how big (or small) his role is. When reviews come out, he could solidify himself as the frontrunner or drop out altogether. There’s also the possibility that one of the other supporting players (Sean Penn or Benny Safdie) could rise. For now, I’m still hangin’ with Mr. Cooper until the word-of-mouth tells me otherwise.

Shifting gears – here’s a fun fact. In three out of the last four years, we’ve seen two actors from the same movie recognized here. In 2017, it was Sam Rockwell (who won) and Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. For 2019 – you had Pacino and Pesci in The Irishman. Last year, it was the victorious Kaluuya and Stanfield for Judas.

Could that happen again? Absolutely and the best chance for that right now appears to be Belfast. A strong contender to win Best Picture, we could also see Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds punch their tickets here. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it happen. Dornan seems likelier to make it in, but Hinds is getting plenty of laudatory chatter as well.

There are other scenarios to make it four out of five years and some lie with pictures still not screened. Don’t Look Up has Jonah Hill, Rob Morgan, and Mark Rylance. Willem Dafoe and David Strathairn are viable for Nightmare Alley. And then there’s Jared Leto and Al Pacino in House of Gucci. The latest trailer features the latter more than the former. That disrupts the consensus that Leto has a better shot. I’m still going with Leto above Pacino, but when Gucci screens that dynamic may shift.

The double nominee situations don’t end there. Yet they both have actors that I believe have a significantly better chance than the other. For Mass, Jason Isaacs has been in my five while Reed Birney hasn’t made the top ten in some time. After The Power of the Dog was unveiled on the festival circuit, the narrative unexpectedly shifted to Kodi Smit-McPhee having a clearer path than Jesse Plemons. The Tragedy of Macbeth buzz solidified Corey Hawkins over Brendan Gleeson (though I’m skeptical either get in).

Now is a good time to point out that it’s been ten years since a Supporting Actor winner didn’t come from a Best Picture nominee (Christopher Plummer in Beginners). That’s why I find it a stretch that Ben Affleck (The Tender Bar), Idris Elba (The Harder They Fall), or Troy Kotsur (CODA) will be making trips to the podium. They could still get in, but their paths are tougher and they will all need heavy critics awards love to make the dance. There’s been some mentions for Jeffrey Wright in The French Dispatch, but (somewhat surprisingly) no Wes Anderson directed performance has been Academy nominated and I don’t see this being the first.

One actor where an exception could occur is Richard Jenkins in The Humans. I doubt it will land a Pic nod, but Jenkins is drawing raves for his work. Twice nominated before for The Visitor and The Shape of Water, I could see the veteran becoming a threat to win if Cooper falls.

Others worthy of mention include Jon Bernthal in King Richard. The attention could be so focused on Will Smith (who appears to be in the driver’s seat to take Actor) that his supporting cast fails to get in (that logic also applies to Supporting Actress hopeful Aunjanue Ellis). It’s also totally feasible that Richard is so popular with the Academy that it sweeps them all in. Andrew Garfield picked up solid notices for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. He might stand a better shot in lead for the upcoming and yet to be screened Tick, Tick… Boom! Timothy Spall for Spencer is doable, but Kristen Stewart is just as likely to be the sole nominee (and maybe the winner in Actress). The work of David Alvarez (West Side Story) and Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos) has yet to be seen and is worth keeping an eye on.

So how does that all shake out? Truth be told, the five predicted performers listed below could look quite different a couple months from now. Here’s my best guesstimate for the moment:

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (Previous Ranking: 1)

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

3. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 2)

4. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5)

5. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4)

7. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: 6)

8. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 7)

9. Al Pacino, House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

I’ll have my analysis on the current state of Supporting Actress up next!

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review

Looking back on my Godzilla review from 2014, I spoke of how it felt like a party where the main character (that would be the fire breathing title one) wasn’t invited until halfway through. You expected Godzilla to be there the whole time. That left a level of disappointment, but the Gareth Edwards reboot of the franchise was worth the wait in the end. The sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters RSVP’s the main attraction early on and he brings some familiar friends to the shindig. That doesn’t make the party better.

Michael Dougherty takes over directorial duties in a follow-up that feels bigger with its sprawling cast and action sequences. It also feels more cluttered and more like a prelude to what’s coming next in the MonsterVerse (Godzilla vs. Kong). That’s not an issue shared by 2014’s predecessor. Monsters picks up five years after the events of Godzilla when the creature managed to save the world and leave some collateral damage. That includes the young son of biologist Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and animal behavioralist Mark (Kyle Chandler). The parents have reacted differently and separately from the tragedy. Dr. Emma still believes in Godzilla’s global saving abilities, but in a dangerous way that teams her with an ecoterrorist (Charles Dance). Mark’s grief is directed toward Godzilla. Daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) is caught in the middle.

The family drama pits the estranged couple on opposites ends of the battle. More monsters are awoken from their slumber in various Monarch stations to wreak havoc. It results in the destruction of monuments in quite familiar Independence Day/Transformers style fashion. Toho stalwarts Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah are the aforementioned party dwellers joining the fray. The big fights are shot in destinations where the forecast is either a downpour or so dark that it’s often frustratingly hard to tell what is happening.

In addition to the Russell family, lots of recognizable actors are left to mostly stand and gawk at the monstrous activity. The film does have the distinction of adding another performer to the trifecta of prominent N.W.A. members (speaking of monster verses!) from Straight Outta Compton. In Kong: Skull Island, we had Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) and Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins). Now we have O’Shea Jackson Jr. (who played his dad Ice Cube in Compton) as a soldier. David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins, and Ken Watanabe reprise their 2014 roles while Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, and Zhang Ziyi are fresh gawkers. There’s not really a human performance to highlight. Just as Bryan Cranston earned some rightful criticism for his wild overacting in Godzilla, here we have Kyle Chandler often speaking in an intense and earnest hoarse whisper that is perhaps more annoying.

There’s a brief middle section where Godzilla is given a unique wakeup call. It transpires underwater where we discover the iconic radioactive creature’s original habitat. I found this to be the most well-constructed and engaging sequence. It hints at ancient stories that would probably be cool to explore. This doesn’t last long and before we know it, we are back to the dimly lit and rain soaked above ground CG brawls. They’re occasionally fun, but they will fall straight outta mind in short order. Maybe King Kong getting in on this will brighten things up.

** (out of four)

For my Godzilla (2014) review, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/09/20/godzilla-2014-movie-review/

For my Kong: Skull Island review, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/04/11/kong-skull-island-movie-review/

2020 Oscar Nominations Reaction

To Oscar prognosticators like yours truly, today was like Christmas morning as nominations were unwrapped early for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards, airing April 25th. Some things never change with the prediction game. There were categories where I was perfect (3 of them) and, as has become tradition, a dreaded race where I whiffed at 2/5.

As was the most likely scenario, Mank led all films with 10 nominations. Yet it did so by missing some key races that are usually needed to nab a Best Picture victory. This was followed by six pictures garnering six mentions: The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Some of those over performed. Others – not so much.

Overall this blogger went 80/104 on estimates and in this topsy turvy year, I’ll take it. Let’s break it down race by race, shall we?

Best Picture

Nominees: The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 7/9

The magic number of nominees ended up being 8 and I projected 9. I’ll say again… I’m very happy that the Academy is going with a set 10 again beginning in 2022. This means it was Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and One Night in Miami that missed and The Father (which had a solid showing) in. Judas, Minari and Sound of Metal proved their anticipated status as late bloomers making the cut.

Best Director

Nominees: Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

How I Did: 4/5

The Academy made history today when they nominated two women in Director for the first time. This was expected, but it is worth noting that Regina King (One Night in Miami) was a contender who missed the cut. That’s not where I went wrong as Vinterberg came out of nowhere to get a spot. While Another Round is expected to emerge victorious in International Feature Film, its director became the rare nominee to get in without a Best Picture slot. And despite being nominated for his writing, Aaron Sorkin (Trial) couldn’t get into this one.

Best Actress

Nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

I can’t put myself on the back too much here. This was widely seen as the most probable quintet and it remained true to form. Potential surprise picks like Sophia Loren (The Life Ahead) and Golden Globe Musical/Comedy winner Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot) didn’t materialize.

Best Actor

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Steven Yeun (Minari)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Again, no shockers here. Any late momentum by Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round) or Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian) was squashed and Boseman stands tall as the major frontrunner.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Yuh-jung Youn (Minari)

How I Did: 4/5

For the past couple of weeks, there have been six likely nominees and only five spots. I went with Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) over Seyfried. Fun fact: Foster is the first Globe winner from this category in 44 years to not land an Oscar mention. This is a wide open acting race (more so than the others by far).

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami), Paul Raci (Sound of Metal), Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah)

How I Did: 4/5

The morning’s biggest surprise is the inclusion of Stanfield with his Judas costar Kaluuya. That has nothing to do with performance itself as Warner Bros. actually campaigned for Stanfield in Best Actor. The Academy simply ignored that and chose to put him here. In other words, this is the nomination that nobody saw coming. His inclusion prevented Boseman from being a double nominee for Da 5 Bloods (which had an almost nonexistent showing).

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 4/5

No Mank is the headline here as Sound of Metal grabbed the spot. This omission is what makes a Mank BP victory highly doubtful.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Father, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, The White Tiger

How I Did: 3/5

Ma Rainey‘s bleaker than expected morning continued with no love here. Same goes for The Mauritanian (which goose egged today). In their place? Borat and The White Tiger.

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: Onward, Over the Moon, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Soul, Wolfwalkers

How I Did: 4/5

It was Sheep over The Croods: A New Age in a competition where Disney/Pixar’s Soul should dominate.

Best Documentary Feature

Nominees: Collective, Crip Camp, The Mole Agent, My Octopus Teacher, Time

How I Did: 3/5

This category (unpredictable usually) was a real head scratcher in 2020. I had Dick Johnson Is Dead and Welcome to Chechnya in over Crip Camp and The Mole Agent. This is a toughie to project, but I’ll say Time might have an edge.

Best International Feature Film

Nominees: Another Round, Better Days, Collective, The Man Who Sold His Skin, Quo Vadis, Aida?

How I Did: 2/5 (ugh)

The dreaded 2/5 came here with Better Days, double nominee Collective, and the charmingly titled The Man Who Sold His Skin in over my picks of Dear Comrades!, La Llorona, and Two of Us. This looks like Round‘s race to lose at press time.

Best Cinematography

Nominees: Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, News of the World, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 4/5

Judas over Minari was where I went wrong, but not shocking considering the former’s very good day. You may have noticed this is the first mention of News of the World, which picked up four tech nods but got zilch in the big derbies.

Best Costume Design

Nominees: Emma, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, Mulan, Pinocchio 

How I Did: 4/5

Not many were saying Pinocchio would play here, but it nosed out my Ammonite selection.

Best Film Editing

Nominees: The Father, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 4/5

This is another high profile miss for Mank as The Father was selected instead. Of its six nods, this and Original Screenplay is where Trial has the best shot at gold.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Nominees: Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, Pinocchio

How I Did: 4/5

And here’s a scenario where I was saying Mank would miss. It didn’t as it edged out Birds of Prey, which was called out zero times this morning.

Best Original Score

Nominees: Da 5 Bloods, Mank, Minari, News of the World, Soul

How I Did: 4/5

Here marks the sole mention for Bloods in a race where it wasn’t anticipated. It got in over my pick of The Midnight Sky. Like Animated Feature, expect Soul to reign supreme here.

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah, “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7, “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, “lo Si” from The Life Ahead, “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

How I Did: 4/5

The chances of Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams belting out their ballad from the Netflix comedy Eurovision became a reality! It makes the cut over “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (which also missed Documentary Feature).

Best Production Design

Nominees: The Father, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, News of the World, Tenet

How I Did: 3/5

This is where Mank stands its greatest chance at a victory among the ten nods. The Father and Tenet (both kind of unexpected here) get in over The Midnight Sky and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Best Sound

Nominees: Greyhound, Mank, News of the World, Soul, Sound of Metal

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

I’ll take it and the winner will probably be the one with the category name in its title.

Best Visual Effects

Nominees: Love and Monsters, The Midnight Sky, Mulan, The One and Only Ivan, Tenet

How I Did: 3/5

The One and Only Ivan was my runner-up. Love and Monsters, on the other hand, was not expected. They get in over Mank and Welcome to Chechnya. 

To recap, the following pictures nabbed these numbers in terms of nominations:

10 Nominations

Mank

6 Nominations

The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

5 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Promising Young Woman

4 Nominations

News of the World

3 Nominations

One Night in Miami, Soul

2 Nominations

Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Collective, Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Mulan, Pinocchio, Tenet

1 Nomination

Better Days, Crip Camp, Da 5 Bloods, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Greyhound, The Life Ahead, Love and Monsters, The Man Who Sold His Skin, The Midnight Sky, The Mole Agent, My Octopus Teacher, The One and Only Ivan, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Time, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, The White Tiger, Wolfwalkers

Quick tidbits:

  • 12 of the 20 acting nominees are first-timers (Day, Kirby, Ahmed, Boseman, Yeun, Bakalova, Seyfried, Youn, Cohen, Odom, Raci, Stanfield)
  • 3 are previous nominees (Mulligan, Close, Kaluuya)
  • 5 are previous winners (Davis, McDormand, Hopkins, Oldman, Colman)
  • Of the five directors, only Fincher has been nominated before and none have won

So this begins the next phase of my Oscar predicting as I will do a “Case Of” post individually for all the Picture, Director, and acting nominees. Yes, that means 33 posts in the next several weeks where I outline the pros and cons of each nominee taking the gold or coming up cold. Stay tuned!

Chadwick Boseman’s Oscar Road

Despite a trio of performances playing well-known figures in 42, Get On Up, and Marshall and creating an iconic superhero in Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman had never been nominated for an Oscar when he passed last summer. That will change come Monday when nominations are announced. The only question is: will it change twice?

In the Best Actor field, Boseman is the frontrunner for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. It is a given that his name will be called and it is very likely that the envelope in that race will contain his name. If and when that happens, he will be the first posthumous winner in the lead actor competition since Peter Finch in Network 44 years ago.

Up until very recently, I had consistently listed Boseman at #4 in the Supporting Actor derby for Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. Yet when I released my Oscar predictions on Thursday (which you can find linked below), I decided to drop him to the runner-up slot. There are a couple of reasons.

First, Da 5 Bloods has simply not performed well in the precursors. My final predictions have the Netflix drama garnering precisely zero nods. Delroy Lindo was once seen as a competitor to Boseman in Best Actor, but he drew a blank at the Globes and SAG. If Bloods were still in the mix for Best Picture or for his costars, it might be easier to see Boseman getting in. The lack of buzz for the picture itself complicates things.

Second, an argument could be made that because Chadwick is such a favorite for Actor, voters will focus on that and not feel obligated to write his name for the supporting field. There are only 3 shoo-ins for nods in the category in my view: Boseman’s Black Panther costar Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), and Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami). The four and five slots could be filled by Boseman, Paul Raci (Sound of Metal), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), David Strathairn (Nomadland, who could ride its projected Best Picture winner momentum), or even a latecomer like young Alan Kim in Minari. I ultimately went with Raci and Strathairn.

Bottom line: Chadwick Boseman is well on his way to his first Oscar nod and probable win. A double nomination is trickier.

FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/11/2020-final-oscar-predictions/

2020 FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS

Well… here we are. After about seven months of (mostly) weekly predictions and trying to put the puzzle piece together that is the 2020 Oscar season, my final predictions have arrived. The Academy’s picks will be revealed on Monday morning in a crazy year that includes selections from January and February of 2021. This is the last year where there can be anywhere from 5-10 Best Picture nominees. Next year that shifts to a fixed 10 (thank goodness). I’m sticking with nine since that’s been the average number, but who knows what’ll happen?

In this wild COVID time frame, it’s something to look back at my initial predictions back in August. How many nominations will Dune and The French Dispatch receive? Will Jennifer Hudson nab her second nod for Respect? Can Joaquin Phoenix make it back to back with C’Mon C’Mon? How will West Side Story do? Of course, all of those titles and more have been pushed back to the next Oscar season in a schedule that was ever shifting.

We are left with plenty of serious contenders and some races (the Supporting Acting ones come to mind) that seem especially tricky to project this time around. For each race, I’m revealing my predicted nominees as well as my first and second runners-up. On Monday, I’ll have my reaction to the nominees and how I did. One thing is likely: there will be surprises and snubs. There always are.

Yet after this topsy-turvy Oscar season and thousands of words dedicated to piecing the puzzle together, here’s where I have landed!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Minari

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: The Father

2nd Runner-Up: News of the World 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

David Fincher, Mank

Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

1st Runner-Up: Regina King, One Night in Miami

2nd Runner-Up: Florian Zeller, The Father

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

1st Runner-Up: Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot

2nd Runner-Up: Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Gary Oldman, Mank

Steven Yeun, Minari

1st Runner-Up: Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

2nd Runner-Up: Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman, The Father

Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian

Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

1st Runner-Up: Amanda Seyfried, Mank

2nd Runner-Up: Helena Zengel, News of the World

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

David Strathairn, Nomadland

1st Runner-Up: Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

2nd Runner-Up: Alan Kim, Minari

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Promising Young Woman

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Sound of Metal

2nd Runner-Up: Soul

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The Mauritanian

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

1st Runner-Up: News of the World

2nd Runner-Up: The White Tiger

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

The Croods: A New Age

Onward

Over the Moon

Soul

Wolfwalkers

1st Runner-Up: The Willoughbys

2nd Runner-Up: Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

Collective

Dick Johnson Is Dead

My Octopus Teacher

Time

Welcome to Chechnya

1st Runner-Up: All In: The Fight for Democracy

2nd Runner-Up: Boys State

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

Another Round

Dear Comrades!

La Llorona

Quo Vadis, Aida?

Two of Us

1st Runner-Up: Collective

2nd Runner-Up: Night of the Kings

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Judas and the Black Messiah

2nd Runner-Up: Cherry

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

Ammonite

Emma

Mank

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mulan

1st Runner-Up: News of the World

2nd Runner-Up: The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Mank

2nd Runner-Up: The Father

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

Birds of Prey

Emma

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Pinocchio

1st Runner-Up: Mank

2nd Runner-Up: The Glorias

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

The Midnight Sky

Minari

News of the World

Soul

1st Runner-Up: Tenet

2nd Runner-Up: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

“Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah

“Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7

“lo Si” from The Life Ahead

“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy

1st Runner-Up: “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

2nd Runner-Up: “Rain Song” from Minari

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The Midnight Sky

News of the World

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Mulan

2nd Runner-Up: Tenet

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

Greyhound

Mank

News of the World

Soul

Sound of Metal

1st Runner-Up: Nomadland

2nd Runner-Up: Tenet

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

Tenet

Welcome to Chechnya

1st Runner-Up: The One and Only Ivan

2nd Runner-Up: Soul 

And this equates to a final tally showing these movies getting these numbers in terms of nominations:

10 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

Minari, The Trial of the Chicago 7

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland

5 Nominations

Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal

4 Nominations

Judas and the Black Messiah, News of the World, One Night in Miami

3 Nominations

The Father, The Midnight Sky, Soul

2 Nominations

Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, The Mauritanian, Mulan, Welcome to Chechnya

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Ammonite, Another Round, Birds of Prey, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Collective, The Croods: A New Age, Dear Comrades!, Dick Johnson Is Dead, Greyhound, La Llorona, The Life Ahead, My Octopus Teacher, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Pinocchio, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Tenet, Time, Two of Us, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Wolfwalkers

Be sure to check back Monday for my thoughts on what transpires on nomination morning!

2020 Oscar Predictions: March 8th Edition

February 21st was the last date I published Oscar predictions and a lot has changed since then. We have had the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. The PGA nominations came out today. All of those events have altered categories below. This also serves as the penultimate estimates as the actual nominations come out a week from today!

Let me break down the big changes in the major races:

  • In Best Picture, it’s Judas and the Black Messiah in my projected nine nominees. I have finally eliminated Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods from the mix. Contrary to several prognosticators and despite its notable PGA omission, I still have News of the World on my board. Titles like Sound of Metal and The Father still lurk.
  • Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) makes her first appearance for Best Director and that drops Regina King (One Night in Miami)
  • Steven Yeun (Minari) vaults into the Actor race with Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods) falling. In fact, I now only have Bloods getting one nomination and that’s Chadwick Boseman in Supporting Actor. I’m not super confident in that anymore since he appears to a heavy favorite to win Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • The fifth slot for Supporting Actor is now filled by David Strathairn (Nomadland) over Mark Rylance (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
  • Maria Bakalova’s comedic work in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm nabs the fifth Supporting Actress spot over Helena Zengel (News of the World).

In addition to these changes, we have new number ones in Best Picture (Nomadland over Trial), Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya from Judas and the Black Messiah over Sacha Baron Cohen in Trial), and Supporting Actress (The Father‘s Olivia Colman over Hillbilly Elegy‘s Glenn Close).

Now… about Supporting Actress. While Boseman, Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), and Kaluuya can rightly be called front runners in their respective categories, I’ve never seen Supporting Actress more wide open. I have Colman listed at #1 because she’s the only performer that I’m saying gets a nod with relative confidence. There’s no favorite (or favourite if you will) at the moment. Maybe the SAG Awards will help clear it up. Doubtful.

You can peruse all the activity below and I’ll have my final predictions up this Friday!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 6)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

8. News of the World (PR: 8)

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

Other Possibilities:

10. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

11. The Father (PR: 11)

12. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

First Cow

Another Round

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

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

4. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 5)

5. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 7)

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

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

10. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

4. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 8)

7. Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

9. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 7)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

10. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

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

3. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

4. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 2)

5. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

6. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

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

8. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

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

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

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

5. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 6)

8. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 8)

9. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

10. Alan Kim, Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Promising Young Woman (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

8. Soul (PR: 9)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Cow (PR: 5)

7. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 10)

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

9. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Emma

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Onward (PR: 4)

4. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Trolls World Tour (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 8)

10, Earwig and the Witch (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Demon Slayer

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Time (PR: 1)

2. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 2)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 5)

5. Boys State (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 6)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 7)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. Collective (PR: 5)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. A Sun (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. La Llorona (PR: 9)

7. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 7)

8. Dear Comrades! (PR: 8)

9. Night of the Kings (PR: 6)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

5. Minari (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities: 

6. News of the World (PR: 9)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 10)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

9. The Glorias (PR: 8)

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

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Father (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

8. Tenet (PR: 7)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

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

Dropped Out:

One Night in Miami

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: 6)

7. The Glorias (PR: 7)

8. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: 10)

9. The Little Things (PR: 9)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Tenet (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Minari (PR: 5)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

9. Ammonite (PR: 10)

10. The Little Things (PR: 8)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “lo Si” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 4)

4. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 7)

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

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

9. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: 8)

10. “The Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 9)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mulan (PR: 9)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. Emma (PR: 2)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

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

10. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Greyhound (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

9. Soul (PR: 8)

10. Mulan (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The One and Only Ivan (PR: 8)

7. Soul (PR: 6)

8. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: 9)

10. Bloodshot (PR: 10)

This equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers:

13 Nominations

Mank

7 Nominations

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

6 Nominations

Minari

5 Nominations

Judas and the Black Messiah

4 Nominations

One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

3 Nominations

The Father, Mulan, The Midnight Sky, Sound of Metal, Tenet

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Soul, Welcome to Chechnya

1 Nomination

Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, The Croods: A New Age, Da 5 Bloods, Dick Johnson Is Dead, Greyhound, The Life Ahead, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Wolfwalkers

2020 Oscar Predictions: February 21st Edition

It’s a good week for News of the World and Minari and not so much for The Father with my latest Oscar prediction updates. News is back in my estimated nine Picture nominees and that drops The Father out. Da 5 Bloods is clinging ever so slightly to the nine spot with Judas and the Black Messiah, The Father, and Sound of Metal hot on its heels.

In Director, I’m replacing Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) over Florian Zeller (The Father). In Supporting Actress, Helena Zengel’s Globes/SAG nominated turn in News of the World makes the final cut replacing Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm).

And there’s a new #1 in Actress with Carey Mulligan nabbing the pole position over Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

You can read about all the movement below! And on a side note, I will have winner predictions for the Golden Globes (airing February 28) up later this week.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

6. Minari (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

8. News of the World (PR: 11)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

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

11. The Father (PR: 8)

12. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. First Cow (PR: 14)

15. Another Round (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

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

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

5. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

7. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 5)

8. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

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

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

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 2)

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

3. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

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

5. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 8)

8. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 7)

9. Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

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

Dropped Out:

Ben Affleck, The Way Back

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

3. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

4. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

7. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 5)

8. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

7. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 6)

8. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 7)

9. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

10. Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Promising Young Woman (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 5)

9. Soul (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

4. The Father (PR: 3)

5. First Cow (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 7)

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

8. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

9. Emma (PR: 10)

10. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

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: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

9. Demon Slayer (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Trolls World Tour

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Time (PR: 2)

2. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 1)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Boys State (PR: 4)

5. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 6)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 5)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. A Sun (PR: 3)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. Collective (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Night of the Kings (PR: 6)

7. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 8)

8. Dear Comrades! (PR: 9)

9. La Llorona (PR: 7)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 5)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 3)

3. Emma (PR: 2)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

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

8. The Glorias (PR: 8)

9. News of the World (PR: 9)

10. Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ammonite

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 7)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Father (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

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

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Emma (PR: 5)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: 6)

7. The Glorias (PR: 7)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

9. The Little Things (PR: 10)

10. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 5)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

8. The Little Things (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

10. Ammonite (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Life Ahead 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (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. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 10)

8. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: 9)

9. “Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

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

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Emma (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 5)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

7. Tenet (PR: 7)

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

9. Mulan (PR: 9)

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

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 5)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Soul (PR: 6)

9. Greyhound (PR: 9)

10. Mulan (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Da 5 Bloods

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

5. Mulan (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Soul (PR: 7)

7. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 8)

8. The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: 9)

10. Bloodshot (PR: 10)

That works out to these pictures grabbing these numbers in term of nominations:

13 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, News of the World

6 Nominations

Minari, Nomadland

5 Nominations

One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods

3 Nominations

Emma, The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Midnight Sky, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Birds of Prey, Hillbilly Elegy, Mulan, Soul, Tenet, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

1 Nomination

Another Round, Boys State, Collective, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, First Cow, The Life Ahead, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, Welcome to Chechnya, Wolfwalkers