2022 Oscar Predictions: May 10th Edition

My second round of Oscar predictions in the six biggest races are before you. When I update them next, we’ll be in the midst of the Cannes Film Festival where some of these hopefuls are screening.

As for category placement changes, I’ve moved Jesse Plemons in Killers of the Flower Moon to Supporting Actor from lead. It remains to be seen which contest he’s placed in. If it is supporting, we shall see if it’s him or Robert De Niro that gets the buzz. I’m betting on the latter at press time.

Let’s get into it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Women Talking (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Son (PR: 4) (-1)

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (+2)

7. She Said (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Bardo (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. Rustin (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

11. Amsterdam (PR: 11) (E)

12. Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

13. White Noise (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Poor Things (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 17) (+2)

16. Empire of Light (PR: 16) (E)

17. Tar (PR: 14) (-3)

18. Till (PR: 15) (-3)

19. Armageddon Time (PR: 25) (+6)

20. Elvis (PR: 22) (+2)

21. Thirteen Lives (PR: 20) (-1)

22. The Woman King (PR: 23) (+1)

23. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: 24) (+1)

24. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 18) (-6)

25. Next Goal Wins (PR: 19) (-6)

Dropped Out:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (E)

7. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 8) (-2)

11. George C. Wolfe, Rustin (PR: 10) (-1)

12. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 12) (E)

13. David O. Russell, Amsterdam (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Noah Baumbach, White Noise

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 2) (E)

3. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (E)

9. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 13) (E)

14. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Tilda Swinton, Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Greta Gerwig, White Noise 

Best Actor

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Joaquin Phoenix, Disappointment Blvd. (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Idris Elba, Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: 15) (E)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 3) (E)

4. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Whoopi Goldberg, Till (PR: 8) (E)

9. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 9) (E)

10. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Rooney Mara, Women Talking (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 12) (E)

13. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 13) (E)

14. Margaret Qualley, Poor Things (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth

Sadie Sink, The Whale

Frances McDormand, Women Talking 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 10) (+6)

5. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 7) (E)

8. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: Not Ranked – moved from lead Actor)

10. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Anthony Hopkins, The Son (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Frankie Faison, Till (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 8) (-6)

15. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Don Cheadle, White Noise 

2022 Oscar Predictions: May 1st Edition

Welcome to the first ranked Oscar predictions of the 2022 season for the 95th Academy Awards! I’ll be doing these every few days (once a week or every two weeks) for the high-profile races of Picture, Director, and the four acting derbies. In the fall (maybe earlier), this will expand to all categories covering feature lengths films.

For BP, I will list 25 possibilities with 15 hopefuls in the others. Some quick caveats that always apply – titles of the pictures will change. Just this week, David O. Russell’s Canterbury Glass became Amsterdam and Avatar 2 is now Avatar: The Way of Water. 

Actors listed in lead will become supporting players and vice versa. Some movies will be pushed to 2023. And, of course, titles listed on the first day of May will become commercial and critical disappointments and drop off the list. Some pics and performances I’m not even considering at the moment will rise during festivals like Cannes, Toronto, Telluride, and Venice.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon 

2. Killers of the Flower Moon

3. The Fabelmans

4. The Son

5. Women Talking

6. She Said

7. Bardo

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once

9. The Whale

10. Rustin

Other Possibilities: 

11. Amsterdam

12. White Noise

13. Poor Things

14. Tar

15. Till

16. Empire of Light

17. Avatar: The Way of Water

18. Don’t Worry Darling

19. Next Goal Wins

20. Thirteen Lives

21. The Banshees of Inisherin

22. Elvis

23. The Woman King

24. Three Thousand Years of Longing

25. Armageddon Time

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon 

2. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon

3. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

4. Sarah Polley, Women Talking

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo

Other Possibilities:

6. Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

7. Florian Zeller, The Son

8. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale 

9. Maria Schrader, She Said

10. George C. Wolfe, Rustin

11. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

12. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water

13. Noah Baumbach, White Noise

14. David O. Russell, Amsterdam

15. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon

2. Regina King, Shirley 

3. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

4. Carey Mulligan, She Said 

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till 

Other Possibilities: 

6. Cate Blanchett, Tar

7. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light 

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody 

9. Emma Stone, Poor Things 

10. Laura Dern, The Son

11. Viola Davis, The Woman King 

12. Greta Gerwig, White Noise

13. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run 

14. Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling 

15. Tilda Swinton, Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale

2. Hugh Jackman, The Son 

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon 

4. Colman Domingo, Rustin 

5. Christian Bale, Amsterdam 

Other Possibilities: 

6. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon 

7. Adam Driver, White Noise 

8. Austin Butler, Elvis 

9. Diego Calva, Babylon 

10. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans 

11. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo 

12. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives 

13. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins

14. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin 

15. Idris Elba, Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

2. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

3. Zoe Kazan, She Said

4. Vanessa Kirby, The Son 

5. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking 

Other Possibilities: 

6. Hong Chau, The Whale 

7. Jean Smart, Babylon 

8. Whoopi Goldberg, Till

9. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam 

10. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth

11. Sadie Sink, The Whale 

12. Patricia Clarkson, She Said 

13. Audra McDonald, Rustin 

14. Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King

15. Frances McDormand, Women Talking 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon 

4. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once 

5. Glynn Turman, Rustin 

Other Possibilities: 

6. John David Washington, Amsterdam 

7. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things

8. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans 

9. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things 

10. Tom Hanks, Elvis

11. Anthony Hopkins, The Son

12. Frankie Faison, Till

13. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking 

14. Don Cheadle, White Noise 

15. Colin Firth, Empire of Light 

2022 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Actress)

For my first Oscar picks for the 95th Academy Awards, I’ve arrived at Best Actress. If you missed the posts covering the other three acting categories, you can access them here:

2022 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Actor)

2022 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Supporting Actress)

2022 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Supporting Actor)

Obviously release dates and category placements can (and will) change, but I honestly had a tough time whittling this list down to 15 names. Leaving out Jennifer Lawrence (Red, White and Water) and Tilda Swinton (Three Thousand Years of Living) or Florence Pugh (Don’t Worry Darling) seems a bit risky. It’s a sign of how competitive Actress could be for 2022 – just as it was the past two years.

Like with the other derbies, here’s how I see the race playing out nearly a year ahead of time.

TODD’S APRIL 2022 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST ACTRESS

Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Regina King, Shirley

Carey Mulligan, She Said

Margot Robbie, Babylon

Emma Stone, Poor Things

Other Possibilities: 

Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Cate Blanchett, TAR

Olivia Colman, Empire of Light 

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Laura Dern, The Son

Greta Gerwig, White Noise

Frances McDormand, Women Talking

Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Director is up next!

2022 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Supporting Actress)

My first glance at who and what I think could be on the Oscar’s radar screen for next year continues with Best Supporting Actress. If you missed my post for Supporting Actor, it’s right here:

2022 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Supporting Actor)

At this early stage, there’s obviously plenty of mystery for category placements. For instance – Women Talking could have its whole cast (that includes Frances McDormand, Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, and Jessie Buckley) in this race. I’m putting McDormand in lead at this juncture with the rest here and only Buckley making the top five. The same applies for Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan in She Said. They could both be lead or supporting (as of now I’m going with the former in Actress and the latter in supporting).

Let’s get to it and I’ll have Best Actor up next!

TODD’S APRIL 2022 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 

Jessie Buckley, Women Talking 

Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

Zoe Kazan, She Said

Vanessa Kirby, The Son

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Other Possibilities:

Raffey Cassidy, White Noise

Hong Chau, The Whale

Patricia Clarkson, She Said

Claire Foy, Women Talking

Whoopi Goldberg, Till

Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth

Rooney Mara, Women Talking 

Audra McDonald, Rustin

Sadie Sink, The Whale

Jean Smart, Babylon

22 for ’22: Oscars Early Look

It’s been an entire week since The Slap… check that, the 94th Academy Awards where CODA parlayed its Sundance buzz from January 2021 all the way to a Best Picture victory.

That also means I’ve managed to wait a whole week without speculation for the next Academy Awards which will hopefully be a slap free zone. So what are some titles that could be vying for attention?

On May 27th and after numerous delays, Top Gun: Maverick will find Tom Cruise returning to his iconic role some 36 years after the original. There’s a decent chance it could be up for similar prizes that its predecessor landed like Sound, Film Editing, and Song (courtesy of Lady Gaga apparently). Visual Effects is a possibility as well.

My weekly Oscar prediction posts won’t begin until mid to late August. In the meantime, you’ll get individualized write-ups for pics that open or screen at festivals.

Yet for today – I feel the need. The need to identify 21 other 2022 titles that might end up on the Academy’s radar. Enjoy!

Armageddon Time

Despite acclaimed movies like The Lost City of Z and Ad Astra, James Gray has yet to connect with awards voters. This drama, rumored to be centered on his Queens upbringing, is the next hopeful and features a stellar cast including Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, and Jeremy Strong. Release Date: TBD

Avatar 2

The 2009 original amassed nine nominations and won took home three. The first sequel (there’s three more on the way) arrives in December from James Cameron. Will it capture the critical and box office magic of part one? That’s impossible to know at this juncture, but one can safely assume it’ll be up for some tech categories like Sound and Visual Effects. Release Date: December 16th

Babylon

Damien Chazelle is no stranger to the big dance. Whiplash was a BP nominee and J.K. Simmons won Supporting Actor. Chazelle took Director for his follow-up La La Land along with Emma Stone’s Actress victory and it almost famously took BP. First Man nabbed four nominations, but missed the top of the line races. Babylon is a period drama focused on Hollywood’s Golden Age and should be right up the Academy’s alley. The cast includes Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Tobey Maguire. Release Date: December 25th

Canterbury Glass

Robbie also turns up in David O. Russell’s latest ensemble piece. Anytime he’s behind the camera, Oscar nods typically follow (think The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle). Slated for November, the dramedy also features Christian Bale, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana, Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, and… Chris Rock. Release Date: November 4th

Elvis

Arriving in June but with a Cannes unveiling in May, Baz Luhrmann’s musical bio of The King stars Austin Butler in the title role and Tom Hanks as The Colonel. If this doesn’t contend for the major awards, I would still anticipate potential tech recognition (Production Design, Sound, etc…). Release Date: June 24th

Empire of Light

Sam Mendes was likely in the runner-up position in 2019 for Picture and Director (behind Parasite) with 1917. His follow-up is an English set romance starring Olivia Colman (who would be going for her fourth nomination in five years), Michael Ward, and Colin Firth. Release Date: TBD

Everything Everywhere All at Once

From two filmmakers known collectively as Daniels, Once is already out in limited release with spectacular reviews (97% on RT). The sci-fi action comedy might be too bizarre for the Academy, but I wouldn’t count it out as its admirers are vocal. Picture, Director, Actress (Michelle Yeoh), and Original Screenplay are all on the table. Release Date: out in limited release, opens wide April 8th

The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg directs a semi-autobiographical tale and cowrites with his Lincoln and West Side Story scribe Tony Kushner. The cast includes Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and Paul Dano. Needless to say, this is a major contender on paper. Release Date: November 23rd

Killers of the Flower Moon

Alongside The Fabelmans, this might be the most obvious nominee from a personnel standpoint. Martin Scorsese helms this western crime drama featuring Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, and his two frequent collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Apple TV just became the first streamer to get a BP victory with CODA. This could be the second in a row. Release Date: November

Poor Things

In 2018, The Favourite scored a whopping ten nominations. Based on an acclaimed 1992 novel, Poor Things is Yorgos Lanthimos’s follow-up and it reunites him with Emma Stone along with Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, and Mark Ruffalo. The plot sounds bizarre but it could also be an Oscar bait role for Stone and others. Release Date: TBD

Rustin

One of Netflix’s contenders is George C. Wolfe’s profile of gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (played by Colman Domingo). In 2020, Wolfe directed Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman to nods for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Look for Domingo to be a competitor and the supporting cast includes Chris Rock (maybe he will be back at the show), Glynn Turman, and Audra McDonald. Release Date: TBD

See How They Run

The 1950s set murder mystery could provide 27-year-old Saoirse Ronan with an opportunity to land her fifth nomination. Sam Rockwell, David Oyelowo, Adrien Brody, and Ruth Wilson are among the supporting players. Tom George directs. Release Date: TBD

She Said

Five years after the scandal rocked Hollywood, She Said from Maria Schrader recounts the New York Times sexual misconduct investigation into Harvey Weinstein. Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, and Patricia Clarkson lead the cast. Release Date: November 18th

The Son

Florian Zeller won Best Adapted Screenplay in 2020 for The Father along with Anthony Hopkins taking Best Actor. This follow-up (based on the director’s play) finds Hopkins reprising his Oscar-winning part in supporting fashion. Other cast members seeking awards attention include Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, and Vanessa Kirby. Release Date: TBD

TAR

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Todd Field behind the camera. Previous efforts In the Bedroom and Little Children received 8 nominations between them. A decade and a half following Children comes this Berlin set drama with Cate Blanchett, Noemie Merlant, and Mark Strong. Release Date: October 7th

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Scheduled for a Cannes bow in May, Longing is a fantasy romance from the legendary mind of George Miller (who last made Mad Max: Fury Road which won six tech Oscars). Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton star. Release Date: TBD

The Whale

Darren Aronofsky directed Mickey Rourke to a comeback narrative nod for 2008’s The Wrestler. Two years later, his follow-up Black Swan earned Natalie Portman a statue. Brendan Fraser is hoping for the same treatment with The Whale as he plays a 600 pound man attempting to reconnect with his daughter. Costars include Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, and Samantha Morton. I’d expect Makeup and Hairstyling could also be in play with this. Release Date: TBD

White Noise

Not a remake of the Michael Keaton supernatural thriller from 2005, this is Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to Marriage Story. Based on a 1985 novel, it’s the filmmaker’s first picture based on other source material. Marriage landed three acting nods (with Laura Dern winning Supporting Actress). The cast here includes frequent Baumbach collaborator Adam Driver, real-life partner Greta Gerwig, Raffey Cassidy, Andre Benjamin, Alessandro Nivola, and Don Cheadle. This could be Netflix’s strongest contender. Release Date: TBD

The Woman King

Expect this West Afrian set historical epic from Gina Prince-Bythewood to be heavily touted by Sony with awards bait roles for leads Viola Davis and Thuso Mbedu. The supporting cast includes John Boyega and Lashana Lynch. Release Date: September 16th

Women Talking

Based on a 2018 novel, Sarah Polley writes and directs this drama focused on eight Mennonite women and their story of abuse. The sterling cast includes Frances McDormand, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw, Claire Foy, and Rooney Mara. Release Date: TBD

And that’s just a small preview of the features that could materialize for the 95th Academy Awards! As always, the speculation on this site will continue throughout the year and into the next. Stay tuned…

Oscars 2021: The Case of Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman’s turn in Netflix’s The Lost Daughter is the second Case Of post for the five women competing for Best Actress. If you missed the first on Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, you can find it here:

Oscars 2021: The Case of Jessica Chastain

The Case for Olivia Colman:

It’s another hailed performance from the Oscar winner who surprisingly took to the podium three years back for The Favourite (upsetting frontrunner Glenn Close in The Wife). Colman gets her third nod in four years. In addition to the victory from 2018, she was nominated last year in supporting for The Father. She nabbed precursor attention at the Globes, SAG, and Critics Choice. Daughter performed decently with the Academy with Jessie Buckley receiving an unexpected spot in Supporting Actress and director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s being recognized for her adapted screenplay. Furthermore, Best Actress looks wide open and anything could happen.

The Case Against Olivia Colman:

Had Daughter managed a Best Picture slot, I might feel more confident in calling for a potential second trophy for Colman. That said, none of the five Actress’s films are in the big dance. Critics liked this better than general audiences judging from Rotten Tomatoes. In an unexpected twist, BAFTA did not include Colman. What gives me the most pause is that Colman is the most recent recipient – Jessica Chastain and Kristen Stewart (Spencer) have never won, Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) is a supporting winner from 13 years ago, and Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) took Actress 19 years ago.

Previous Nominations: 2

The Favourite (2018 – Actress, WON); The Father (2020 – Supporting Actress)

The Verdict:

This is a tricky one and good luck figuring out Best Actress in 2021. The counterargument to the recency bias is that it didn’t hurt Frances McDormand (Nomadland) last year. However, that was a frontrunner for BP and that narrative doesn’t exist this time around. If Colman can get a win at SAG this weekend or Critics Choice later on, it increases her viability with the Academy. If not, I doubt she gets her second Oscar.

My Case Of posts will continue with Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

Movie Perfection: Did Ya Smile?!?!?

Gene Hackman can be very funny onscreen (rewatch The Birdcage or The Royal Tenenbaums or his sole scene in Young Frankenstein for a reminder). Yet if there’s a trait that I most frequently attribute to the two-time Oscar winner, it’s intensity. Few actors display it in the way that Hackman does. We can see it in The French Connection or Crimson Tide and Unforgiven. 

Nowhere is that hair raising intensity more potent than in a barbershop sequence in 1988’s Mississippi Burning. A historical drama based on real events, the pic recounts the investigation into the murders of three activists in 1964. It casts Hackman as an FBI agent who cut his teeth as a sheriff in the title state. He’s paired with a younger agent (Willem Dafoe) and the two don’t exactly see eye to eye when it comes to interrogation tactics.

This is most evident during the aggressive questioning of Brad Dourif’s small town deputy. Hackman’s Agent Anderson does so with by employing close shave methods and I’m confident Dourif didn’t have to act much to look as terrified as he does. It is my favorite example in his long and impressive filmography as to just how menacing Hackman can be. This time around, you’re rooting for him. The scene also expertly shows (in that brief glimpse of when Dafoe tries to enter the business) the difference between the two protagonist’s means to their ends.

Mississippi Burning earned seven Oscar nominations and is notable for being Frances McDormand’s first nod as Dourif’s abused wife that Anderson assists. He’s not in the mood to help her husband in that barber shop. He’s out to scare the daylights out of him and the whiskers off his racist face. It’s a sequence that’s Movie Perfection due to Hackman’s brilliance and I smile just thinking about it.

2021 Golden Globe Predictions

Let’s begin with this blanket statement… I’m basically flying a bit blind with my predictions for the Golden Globe Awards, which will be revealed tomorrow morning. For those who don’t follow the awards derbies closely like I do, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been in some considerable hot water for the last couple of years. So much so that NBC has decided they won’t air the January 9th ceremony due to lack of diversity for its voting membership. There were genuine questions as to whether the HFPA would even hold an event for their 79th awards, but they are pushing forward amidst the controversy.

Then there’s the simply the matter of the Globes being quite unpredictable. We tend to see a shocker nomination at least once a year… remember Kate Hudson’s nod in Actress (Musical/Comedy) for the barely seen and critically reviled Sia directed Music in 2020? Then the voters went ahead and nominated the picture itself!

Last year in Supporting Actress, Jodie Foster scored a surprise nomination and win for The Mauritanian. The Academy didn’t even bother to nominate her. In Supporting Actor, both Jared Leto (The Little Things) and Bill Murray (On the Rocks) made the cut in Supporting Actor though not at the Oscars. This is why my general rule at the Globes is to fill in bigger names when I’ve got a spot or two left over in an acting race.

The HFPA’s method of dividing Drama and Musical/Comedy always creates category questions and that holds true in 2021. Where’s CODA? Or House of Gucci and C’Mon C’Mon? Or Being the Ricardos. We don’t know. For prediction purposes, I’m putting them in Drama. Obviously, if they’re not, that would alter my estimates and make some of my calls moot.

Let’s take go through the categories one by one and see how this guesswork turns out, shall we? I’ll do a runner-up and second alternate for each race as well.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

King Richard

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: CODA

Second Alternate: The Tragedy of Macbeth

Commentary – At this point, Belfast, Dune, King Richard, and Power of the Dog seem like pretty safe bets. Any one of them missing out would be considered a significant snub. The fifth slot is wide open in my view. The surging CODA (if it’s placed in Drama) could certainly make the cut. Tragedy is a strong possibility and I wouldn’t count out Being the Ricardos, C’Mon C’Mon and House of Gucci (if they’re in Drama), The Last Duel, or Spencer. Despite some critical reservations, I’ll go with Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. It’s important to remember that foreign films are relegated to their own category at the Globes. That’s why Parasite didn’t show up here two years ago and it’s why A Hero or Drive My Car won’t contend in this competition.

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Predicted Nominees:

Cyrano

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

Tick Tick… Boom!

West Side Story

Runner-Up: In the Heights

Second Alternate: Cruella

Commentary – The Musical/Comedy derby actually has a bunch of musicals to choose from in 2021 and West Side Story and Tick Tick… Boom! especially seem like surefire additions. Between In the Heights and Cyrano, I’m giving the latter a slight edge (though both could make it). Licorice Pizza should get in though I’m a tad more unsure about Don’t Look Up. I would generally say the top six listed here will be duking it out for five slots (Cruella is kind of a throwaway addition but if Music could get in…)

**Note that pics like CODA, Gucci, or Being the Ricardos could be campaigned for here and not Drama and that could change the dynamic.

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Runner-Up: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

Commentary – Feeling good about Branagh, Campion, Spielberg, and Villeneuve. The 5 spot is tougher but I’ll give del Toro the nod over Anderson (who, somehow, has never been nominated for a Globe).

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actress)

Predicted Nominees:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Jennifer Hudson, Respect

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Runner-Up: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Second Alternate: Jodie Comer, The Last Duel

Commentary – So here’s when it gets truly complicated as Gaga, Hudson, and Kidman could all theoretically wind up in Musical/Comedy. If not, both Gaga and Kidman seem like likely nominees in Drama. So do Chastain and Stewart. I’m picking Hudson over considerable competition that includes Colman, Comer, Emilia Jones in CODA (if placed here), Frances McDormand (The Tragedy of Macbeth), and Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers).

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actor)

Predicted Nominees:

Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Second Alternate: Nicolas Cage, Pig

Commentary – Cumberbatch, Smith, and Washington are obvious choices. The other two slots – not so much. Phoenix could be in Musical/Comedy, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and put him here. Same with runner-up Bardem. As much as I’d like to anoint Cage for Pig, I’ll hedge with Cooper in Alley. Super dark horse choice: Clifton Collins, Jr. in Jockey. 

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy (Actress)

Predicted Nominees:

Haley Bennett, Cyrano

Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up

Emma Stone, Cruella

Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Runner-Up: Melissa Barrera, In the Heights

Second Alternate: Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Once again – there’s some women I have in Drama that might shift over this way (Gaga, Hudson, Kidman, Jones). That would make this category more interesting as, right now, this is Zegler’s to lose based on my current composition. If serious hopefuls like Gaga and Kidman stay in Drama, this race could be ripe for an out of nowhere pick (I’m thinking either Annie Mumolo or Kristin Wiig in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar).

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy (Actor)

Predicted Nominees:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Peter Dinklage, Cyrano

Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick… Boom!

Anthony Ramos, In the Heights

Ryan Reynolds, Free Guy

Runner-Up: Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: Simon Rex, Red Rocket

Commentary – The first four seem probable and the safer choice for #5 would be Hoffman (that’s if Joaquin Phoenix or Javier Bardem don’t play here). I gotta pick at least one head scratcher though so let’s throw in Reynolds for the hit Free Guy!

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Supporting Actress)

Predicted Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Runner-Up: Rita Moreno, West Side Story

Second Alternate: Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Commentary – Balfe, DeBose, Dunst, and Ellis are likely. If any of that quartet miss, it could be Dunst. I’m utilizing my aforementioned big name theory by picking Streep in the five spot. Could be Moreno or Blanchett and the star power could overshadow other possibilities like Ruth Negga (Passing) or Ann Dowd (Mass).

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Supporting Actor)

Predicted Nominees:

Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Jared Leto, House of Gucci

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: Mike Faist, West Side Story

Second Alternate: Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

Commentary – No one can really make heads or tails of Supporting Actor in 2021 so there’s some winging it happening. I’ll say both Belfast boys get in while HFPA recognizes Cooper’s limited screen time in Pizza and Leto’s out there performance in Gucci. Smit-McPhee has been picking up critics awards and that could get him in. Truth be told… anything could happen in this one.

Best Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Runner-Up: King Richard

Second Alternate: Being the Ricardos

The one I’m uncertain about is Don’t Look Up with its many lackluster reviews, but I’ll go for it over Richard. I also wouldn’t completely dismiss Ricardos due to the Aaron Sorkin factor.

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Vivo

Runner-Up: Raya and the Last Dragon

Second Alternate: Belle

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

Drive My Car

Flee

A Hero

Titane

The Worst Person in the World

Runner-Up: Parallel Mothers

Second Alternate: The Hand of God

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

Spencer

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: The French Dispatch

Second Alternate: Don’t Look Up

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

“Be Alive” from King Richard

“Down to Joy” from Belfast

“Every Letter” from Cyrano

“Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

Runner-Up: “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto

Second Alternate: “So May We Start” from Annette

My picks equate to the following scorecard in terms of total nominations:

7 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

Don’t Look Up

5 Nominations

West Side Story

4 Nominations

Cyrano, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley

3 Nominations

Dune

2 Nominations

Flee, House of Gucci, Spencer, Tick Tick… Boom!, The Tragedy of Macbeth

1 Nomination

Being the Ricardos, C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Drive My Car, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Free Guy, A Hero, In the Heights, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, No Time to Die, Respect, Titane, Vivo, The Worst Person in the World

I’ll have a post up later tomorrow with my results! Critics Choice predictions are next…

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 7th Edition

***Blogger’s Update (12/07): As I was putting the finishing touches on this update, the Don’t Look Up review embargo ended and its RT score as of this writing is 58%. That means it’s falling out in multiple races including Best Picture. Tick Tick Boom! is the beneficiary in the big race. A Hero rises in Original Screenplay.

For quite some time, I’ve had a nagging feeling that an early year festival favorite might manage to make its way to the ten Best Picture nominees. That trio of pictures is CODA, Flee, and Mass. I have held off putting any in the final predicted ten, but that changes today with CODA. It’s a feel good entry that could get enough support to get in. By doing so, it knocks out Being the Ricardos. The Lucy and Desi tale from Aaron Sorkin had its official review embargo lift today and the Rotten Tomatoes score is 67%. The showbiz theme and Sorkin devotees could still sneak it in, but it drops from Picture and Original Screenplay for now. Nicole Kidman stays in Actress, but falls from 2nd to 4th place.

Other changes in the main races:

    • Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) is back in the Actress fold and I’ve finally taken out Jennifer Hudson for Respect. 
    • Troy Kotsur gets the CODA bump in Supporting Actor to the detriment of Richard Jenkins (The Humans).
    • Ricardos being out of Original Screenplay helps out C’Mon C’Mon. 
    • In Adapted Screenplay, it’s CODA in and Nightmare Alley out. I am continuing to keep Nightmare in the BP bunch yet it’s tenuous in 10th position.

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (+3)

8. CODA (PR: 11) (+3)

9. Tick Tick Boom! (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

11. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-5)

13. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (-4)

14. A Hero (PR: Not Ranked)

15. House of Gucci (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Lost Daughter

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 3) (E)

4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 10) (+2)

8. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

9. Renaldo Marcus Green, King Richard (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Julia Ducournau, Titane (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up

Pablo Larrain, Spencer

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 4) (+2)

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

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

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (E)

9. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 4) (+2)

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

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

5. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (E)

7. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: Not Ranked)

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

9. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 5) (+2)

4. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 4) (+2)

5. A Hero (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Mass (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Parallel Mothers

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+2)

3. The Lost Daughter (PR: 2) (-1)

4. CODA (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (-3)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Humans (PR: 8) (E)

9. Passing (PR: 9) (E)

10. Drive My Car (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tick Tick Boom! 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Luca (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 6) (E)

7. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 9) (-1)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. Drive My Car (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Titane (PR: 6) (E)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (E)

8. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Good Boss (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Attica (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Procession (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The First Wave (PR: 7) (E)

8. President (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ascension (PR: 9) (E)

10. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (+1)

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

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Belfast (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spencer (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. Dune (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E))

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. King Richard (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick Tick Boom! (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

House of Gucci

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 4) (-2)

7. West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Suicide Squad

Licorice Pizza

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+1)

9. King Richard (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

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

10. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

“The Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. Belfast (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

House of Gucci 

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick Tick Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-2)

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+2)

9. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-2)

10. King Richard (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Eternals (PR: 3) (E)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Finch (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Free Guy (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

And that shakes out to these movies garnering these numbers in nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

West Side Story

8 Nominations

The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

King Richard, Nightmare Alley

5 Nominations

Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Spencer, Tick Tick Boom!

2 Nominations

Cruella, Cyrano, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, A Hero, The Lost Daughter

1 Nomination

Attica, Being the Ricardos, Belle, C’Mon C’Mon, Drive My Car, Eternals, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, No Time to Die, Procession, The Rescue, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 1st Edition

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

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

In other developments:

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

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

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Licorice Pizza (PR: 3) (E)

4. West Side Story (PR: 8) (+4)

5. Dune (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. CODA (PR: 12) (+1)

12. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

15. House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spencer

Flee

Mass

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

Dropped Out:

Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 10) (+2)

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

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

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 8) (E)

9. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Nina Arianda, Being the Ricardos

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 5) (+3)

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

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (-4)

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

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

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. King Richard (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Mass (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Parallel Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spencer

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. CODA (PR: 8) (+2)

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

8. The Humans (PR: 4) (-4)

9. Passing (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Flee (PR: 1) (-1)

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

4. Luca (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 8) (E)

9. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 9) (E)

10. Vivo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Charlotte

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Drive My Car (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Flee (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Titane (PR: 6) (E)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (E)

8. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (E)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Good Boss (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Memoria

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 2) (+1)

2. The Rescue (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The First Wave (PR: 8) (+1)

8. President (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Ascension (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Ailey

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Spencer (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (E)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

C’Mon C’Mon

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Spencer (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 3) (-1)

5. West Side Story (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Eyes of Tammy Faye 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (+1)

8. King Richard (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 10) (+1)

10. House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Spencer (PR: 4) (+1)

5. Cruella (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Green Knight

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-2)

8. King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

Dropped Out:

“Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spencer (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (E)

10. House of Gucci (PR: 10) (E)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

9. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (E)

10. King Richard (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Tick Tick… Boom!

The Matrix Resurrections 

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Eternals (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Free Guy (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Finch (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Suicide Squad

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

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

West Side Story

8 Nominations

The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

Nightmare Alley, The Tragedy of Macbeth

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

Spencer

3 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Flee

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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