2021 Oscar Predictions: January 14th Edition

My first Oscar predictions following the Golden Globes bestowing their winners and the SAG Award nods comes with not a whole lot of changes in who and what I’m actually predicting in the major categories.

However, there is a significant alteration in placement for Best Actress as Kristen Stewart’s shocking omission in Spencer from the SAG five drops her from 1st (where she’s been perched for months) to 4th. Rising to #1 is Globes victor Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos. This competition is beginning to resemble the unpredictable Actress lineup from 2020 and it should be fun to witness.

In Best Picture, I’m (perhaps stubbornly) sticking to the same ten. Yet there’s no doubt that Ricardos and House of Gucci could be on the rise and either or both could crack the lineup soon.

The only significant change is in Supporting Actor where I’m finally putting Jared Leto for Gucci in the mix. He’s in over Jamie Dornan (Belfast).

I’m also adding a new feature which shows how many eventual nominees from 2020 were correctly picked at this same juncture. I’ll keep that up until I make my final picks shortly before the February 8th announcement. This will be listed as 2020 Count. 

You can read all the movement below.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Being the Ricardos (PR: 14) (+3)

12. House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Drive My Car (PR: 11) (-2)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Nightmare Alley (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Spider-Man: No Way Home

2020 Count: 7 of 8 eventual nominees

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 2 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (+2)

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

3. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (-3)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (-2)

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

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

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. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Judi Dench, Belfast

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 2) (E)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (-2)

9. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (-2)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Mass (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (+1)

10. A Hero (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (E)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. My Sunny Maad (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Vivo (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (+1)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Good Boss (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Procession (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Summer of Soul (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Ascension (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 6) (E)

7. The First Wave (PR: 7) (E)

8. President (PR: 8) (E)

9. Faya Dayi (PR: 9) (E)

10. Julia (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

In the Same Breath

2020 Count: 1 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spencer (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

No Time to Die

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (-2)

8. King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Coming 2 America (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Cruella (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Suicide Squad (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-2)

8. West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Spencer (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 1) (E)

2. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (+2)

7. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (-2)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cruella (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (+2)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Free Guy (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Eternals (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

And that equates to these movies hitting these numbers for their nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

9 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard

4 Nominations

House of Gucci, Licorice Pizza, Tick, Tick… Boom!, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, Spencer

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Ascension, Coming 2 America, Drive My Car, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Worst Person in the World

2021 SAG Awards Nominee Predictions

The 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards airs February 27th and the nominations will be unveiled this Wednesday (01/12). It’s often a more reliable precursor to the acting nominations for the Oscars. Therefore it’s time to make my picks on who and what will grab the nods later this week.

As a reminder, the big prize here is Best Ensemble and not Best Picture. That often favors films with a larger cast though a potent mix with four or more actors can make the cut. Similar to Golden Globe estimates and my forthcoming final Oscar picks, I’ll give you my five contenders along with a runner-up and second alternate with a bit of commentary.

Here we go!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Runner-Up: Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: King Richard

Commentary – The three Best Picture frontrunners for the Academy (Belfast, Power, West Side) all seem like pretty safe bets here. If anything is vulnerable, it might be the quartet from Power considering it has a smaller troupe of performers. There’s also some chatter that West Side could be vulnerable because it sent out late screeners for voters, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. For the other two spots, I’m favoring Don’t Look Up‘s large and sprawling cast should make it in. I’ll go with the CODA clan as well though I could easily see Licorice Pizza, King Richard or The Harder They Fall making the cut.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Predicted Nominees:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Runner-Up: Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Second Alternate: Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Commentary – The last four years has seen a 4/5 match with SAG and Oscar when it comes to leading ladies. My current Academy lineup is the same as here (though that’s certainly subject to change). Quite honestly, I tried to make room for Cruz but couldn’t land on who to take out. The most vulnerable could be Chastain, Gaga, or Kidman. I also wouldn’t completely discount Jennifer Hudson for Respect and would have her ranked above Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) for SAG.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in Leading Role

Predicted Nominees:

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Peter Dinklage, Cyrano

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Second Alternate: Nicolas Cage, Pig

Commentary – Just as I am with the Oscars – feeling confident about Cumberbatch, Garfield, Smith, and Washington. It’s that fifth slot that’s tricky. I’ll give Dinklage the ever so slight nod over Leo (who’s currently my fifth with the Academy). I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Cage sneak in.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Predicted Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Rita Moreno, West Side Story

Runner-Up: Marlee Matlin, CODA

Second Alternate: Ann Dowd, Mass

Commentary – I’m banking on the Guild not passing up a chance to put the legendary Moreno in with her costar DeBose. Speaking of Passing, you’ll notice Ruth Negga (my fifth Oscar player at the moment) isn’t here but she could certainly surface.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Predicted Nominees:

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Mike Faist, West Side Story

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: Jared Leto, House of Gucci

Second Alternate: Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Commentary – Bit of a guessing game as Supporting Actor is a head scratcher for 2021 pics. Going with both Belfast boys and the love continuing for West Side Story with Faist. As for the winner, that could be between Kotsur and Smit-McPhee (I also wouldn’t discount his costar Jesse Plemons getting in). If Leto misses here (and with the Globes omission), his Oscar chances probably disappear.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble

Predicted Nominees:

Black Widow

Dune

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Runner-Up: The Matrix Resurrections

Second Alternate: The Harder They Fall

This means I’m projecting 4 nominations apiece for Belfast, The Power of the Dog, and West Side Story. I’ll have a recap up Wednesday with my reaction and how well (or not) I did!

P.S. – Golden Globe reactions coming up this evening…

2021 Oscar Predictions: January 8th Edition

My first 2022 predictions for the 2021 Oscar season comes on the eve of the Golden Globes and four days before SAG announces their nominees. By my next update, we will have those useful bits of information to consider.

If you missed my predictions for the Globe winners, you can find them here:

2021 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

I’ll have my forecast for the SAG nominees up on the blog tomorrow so stay tuned! In the meantime, there are numerous changes to point out:

    • I keep going back and forth on whether momentum for Japan’s Drive My Car is still revving up or perhaps stalling. I’ve taken it out of my ten predicted BP contenders and put The Tragedy of Macbeth back in.
    • While I continue to struggle with all 5 Best Actress hopefuls representing non BP nominees, I’m back to that lineup. That means Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) returns with Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza) falling out.
    • For many weeks, I’ve held to same Best Actor five. That changes today with Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up) joining the quintet and Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) dropping.
    • In Supporting Actor, both Belfast boys are in so Jamie Dornan is back in the mix. That takes out Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog).
    • Drive My Car is also out for Adapted Screenplay with Dune in.
    • The Beyonce vs. Billie battle in Original Song switches places. Beyonce’s track “Be Alive” from King Richard has been my #1 for months, but I’ve now vaulted Billie’s “No Time to Die” to top position.

You can read all the movement below and keep an eye out for a Globes recap and SAG prognostications.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 9) (+2)

8. CODA (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (-1)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. Drive My Car (PR: 10) (-1)

12. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 13) (E)

14. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 15) (E)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Asghar Farhadi, A Hero

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 9) (E)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

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. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (E)

8. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. King Richard (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (+1)

9. A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Dune (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Passing (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Luca (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. My Sunny Maad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sing 2

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Your Man (PR: 6) (E)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (E)

8. Great Freedom (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Good Boss (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lamb

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Rescue (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ascension (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The First Wave (PR: 6) (-1)

8. President (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (-1)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 5) (+2)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cyrano (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. King Richard (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Last Night in Soho

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: 5) (-1)

7. West Side Story (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Cyrano (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (-2)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. Spencer (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (-2)

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

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Green Knight

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (+1)

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

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spencer (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 2) (E)

3. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Free Guy (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 5) (-1)

7. No Time to Die (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And that boils down to these pictures garnering these numbers for nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

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

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Lost Daughter, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Ascension, Drive My Car, Free Guy, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Parallel Mothers, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

Antlers Review

As long as you feed The Beast and give it enough of what it wants, that might prevent it from harming others. That’s the prevailing message of Scott Cooper’s Antlers and it’s not a particularly fresh one as the foul stenches and stretches of the storyline play out. It attempts to balance body horror and creature feature elements with an abuse allegory and a tale of moral and environmental decay. With an assist from Guillermo del Toro on the production side, the pic ultimately bites off more than it can chew. This is also an issue for the title character terrorizer who leaves half devoured carcasses lying around.

The setting is the desolate Oregon town of Cispus Falls where lines for store front recovery centers appear to outnumber any other facade. In the opening, Frank Weaver (Scott Haze) has taken his youngest son Aiden (Sawyer Jones) his workplace of an abandoned mine shaft turned meth lab. Frank and his buddy leave the youngster waiting in the truck while they break up their bad deeds below. An attack by an unseen animal force begins the carnage that leaves longstanding marks on the Weaver family.

Flash forwarding above ground and weeks later, Aiden’s older brother Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas) is an outcast who rushes to collect roadkill as his after school activity. Bringing the critters home with him, what lies behind a locked door shows the current condition of dad and Aiden. It’s not for the faint of heart or those who just feasted.

Lucas’s behavior catches the attention of his teacher Julia (Keri Russell). She’s recently moved back from California after two decades and in with her brother Paul (Jesse Plemons), who’s the Sheriff around these parts. The two share a caring but sometimes strained bond in their family home. Their mother passed long ago and their father more recently. Brief flashbacks and more expository dialogue reveal an abusive past. Julia recognizes signs of mistreatment in her pupil while not imagining the extent of it.

I did appreciate much about the atmospheric touches and gorgeous cinematography in Antlers – even if it’s focused on some grisly occurrences. The Weavers fall prey to an ancient Native American evil spirit known as a Wendigo which causes the cursed subjects to become cannibalistic and ravenous. This is mostly explained by the town’s ex-sheriff played by Graham Greene and it’s not a tale that the picture seems preoccupied in mining for material. There is a tone of seriousness that prevents this from ever becoming campy. Perhaps a little of that could have helped.

There’s no faulting the performances as Russell and Plemons commit and Thomas is believable as the malnourished child who must become an adult before he should. The problem lies with committing to too many ideas and giving the short shrift to all of them. There are worse flaws to be had and Antlers never feels like a regurgitation of previous works (though its themes are familiar). Devotees of highbrow horror might be satiated, but I found myself hungering for Cooper, del Toro, and company to pick a plot line and explore it a little more.

**1/2 (out of four)

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 29th Edition

My final Oscar predictions of the calendar year brings changes in three major categories:

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, in addition to spending its second week at #1 in International Feature Film, pulls into the top ten for Best Picture. That’s at the expense of The Tragedy of Macbeth. I toyed with the idea of removing Don’t Look Up (which has drawn wildly mixed reactions from audiences and critics). I’m keeping it in as its most vocal supporters could keep Adam McKay’s satire in the mix.

In Best Actress, I’ve had a nagging suspicion that the quintet of Kristen Stewart, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman, and Lady Gaga may not be the final five. Why? Mainly because I don’t have any of their movies getting BP nods. Since the Academy expanded to 5-10 nominees in that big race, there hasn’t been a year where the acting nominees didn’t represent at least one Best Picture nominee. That was in 2009. If you still went with the previously mentioned five, it might be wise to consider Spencer or Being the Ricardos or The Lost Daughter making the 10 BP contenders. I’m not prepared to put any of that trio in at the moment. Therefore – I’m dropping Gaga and elevating Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza). It could also be Rachel Zegler (West Side Story).

I’m going with a somewhat surprise nominee (perhaps two) in Supporting Actor. I still have Bradley Cooper (Pizza) making the cut and now I’m putting in Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog). This knocks out Jamie Dornan for Belfast. Last year, we saw a shocker when Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) made the supporting five. Power‘s potency (I have it as the favorite to take BP) could sweep Plemons in along with his costar Kodi Smit-McPhee (my #1). That could be a repeat of 2020 when Daniel Kaluuya won for Judas and Stanfield was in the race.

You can read all the movement below and my predictions will continue into the new year!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Dune (PR: 3) (-2)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Drive My Car (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Being the Ricardos (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 11) (-2)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (E)

15. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

A Hero

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 9) (E)

10. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

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. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (-2)

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

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-1)

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. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (-2)

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

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 7) (-2)

10. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Isaacs, Mass

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Parallel Mothers (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

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

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Sing 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Where Is Anne Frank

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Lamb (PR: 10) (E)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Attica (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ascension (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (E)

9. President (PR: 7) (-2)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Velvet Underground

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

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

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Spencer (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Last Night in Soho (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. King Richard (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Coming 2 America (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Harder They Fall

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. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: 10) (E)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belfast (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (E)

9. Spencer (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Free Guy (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And this all equates to these numbers of nominations for said movies:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

6 Nominations

Licorice Pizza

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard

3 Nominations

CODA, Drive My Car, Flee, Spencer, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, House of Gucci, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, The Tragedy of Macbeth

1 Nomination

Attica, Coming 2 America, Cyrano, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Nightmare Alley, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 23rd Edition

My pre-Christmas Oscar predictions implements no changes in Director, the acting races, or Original Screenplay. However, the Best Picture landscape is altered slightly as Tick Tick… Boom! is back in the top 10 with Nightmare Alley falling out.

In Adapted Screenplay, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car makes the cut in place of Dune. In fact, Car is driving up higher in Picture and Director (where I have it placed in Other Possibilities for the first time). It’s also listed at #1 in International Feature Film over previous frontrunner A Hero. Don’t be surprised if Car keeps rising (it seems to be the foreign entry that could crash the BP derby).

Earlier this week, the shortlists came out in 7 feature film categories: International Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Original Song, Sound, Visual Effects. I wrote about that activity and it obviously changes the landscape in each of the races:

2021 Oscar Shortlists: Reaction

All the movement is contained below and have a Happy Holidays y’all!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Dune (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 11) (+3)

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

10. Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

11. Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Drive My Car (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (-1)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 13 (-1)

15. A Hero (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

C’Mon C’Mon

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (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: 3) (E)

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

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (+1)

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

8. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (E)

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

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

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Judi Dench, Belfast

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. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Jason Isaacs, Mass (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: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Hero (PR: 8) (+2)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Mass (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Passing (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Luca (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 2) (+1)

2. A Hero (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 6) (E)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Great Freedom (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Lamb (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Titane

Memoria

The Good Boss

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Attica (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 5) (-1)

7. President (PR: 7) (E)

8. Faya Dayi (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ascension (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Velvet Underground (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Lost Leonardo

Becoming Cousteau

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (+2)

3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Spencer (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (-1)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (E)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+3)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. King Richard (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (E)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

9. West Side Story (PR: 8) (-1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spencer

Being the Ricardos

The Last Duel

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. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

8. King Richard (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Encanto (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Harder They Fall (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Cyrano

Being the Ricardos

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. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 10) (+4)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 6) (-2)

9. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Believe” from The Rescue

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (-4)

10. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: Not Ranked)

9. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Last Duel

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 3) (E)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Free Guy (PR: 8) (+2)

7. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Eternals (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Black Widow (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

Finch

And that works out to these films garnering these numbers for nominations:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth

4 Nominations

Don’t Look Up

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Nightmare Alley, Tick Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Drive My Car, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, Spencer

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, Cyrano, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Passing, Procession, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

The Power of the Dog Review

Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog is exceedingly gorgeous in its landscapes where New Zealand fills in for Montana circa 1925. It features four superb performances ranging from borderline or full throttle psychopaths to one character trying to keep a semblance of order on the remote cattle ranch setting. The score by Johnny Greenwood is haunting as each chapter ratchets up the tension. A lot of Power is indeed compelling, but I’d be untruthful if I didn’t say you have to comb through some laborious sections as well.

Based on a 1967 novel by Thomas Savage (where the themes were far more taboo than in 2021), we open with Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) declaring a need to protect his fragile mother Rose (Kirsten Dunst) at all costs. Widowed under tragic circumstances, she runs an inn frequented by cowboys and their bosses. When kindly ranch owner George Burbank (Jesse Plemons) comes into town, a rather unromantic bond is formed with Rose and they marry. This does not sit well with George’s opposite of kindly brother Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) who sees his new sister-in-law as an oppotunist. He also takes to mocking Peter, an effeminate aspiring surgeon.

When the dysfunctional new family reaches the cold Burbank estate (in temperature and atmosphere), Phil’s tormenting continues for the new houseguests. This leads to Rose’s alcoholism while George is a helpless bystander. Yet Phil’s own backstory, including a mentorship with a departed male figure known as Bronco Henry, hints that Peter’s presence may cut a bit too close to the bone.

An unwashed bully walking a tightrope of repression, Cumberbatch is given a scenery chewing role. And what scenery as we forget that Campion’s native New Zealand doesn’t really look like Montana. Dunst is a sorrowful figure who can’t play piano at a fancy party dinner that the Governor (Keith Carradine) attends. She can’t play the happy wife either and her union with George seems born out of convenience. Plemons is saddled with least developed character. All three are first-rate in the portrayals.

Smit-McPhee is the most intriguing of them all. Peter’s character is certainly ahead of his time given the era and it turns out he’s steps ahead of where we still the plot eventually turn.

I say eventually because the pacing of Power is a bit off. It takes awhile to ramp up. That’s made more tolerable by the beauty surrounding the ugly situation this quartet finds themselves in. The source material is over a half century old though it does feature a call for personal protective equipment that feels urgent. The catcalls greeting Peter in the near century old time are tragic but his response reaps narrative rewards. This Dog saves most of the bite for later. Getting there is ultimately worth it.

*** (out of four)

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!

Antlers Box Office Prediction

With a production assist from the king of creature features Guillermo del Toro, the supernatural horror tale Antlers crosses into theaters October 29th. From Black Widow and Hostiles director Scott Cooper, the pic is finally hitting screens a year and a half after its COVID postponement. Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, and Amy Madigan star.

The Searchlight pictures production has scored decent reviews and it stands at 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Coming out Halloween weekend, Antlers is genre material in a market that’s been saturated with it. Last Night in Soho opens against it while Halloween Kills will be in its third frame.

Despite the mostly positive critical reaction, I don’t really see this registering with mainstream audiences. The competition won’t help and there’s no star power to draw crowds in. Furthermore the trailers and TV spots may make it look simply too strange to have widespread appeal. I could see this earning about as much as The Night House, which opened in August to a mere $2.9 million. If so, Antlers won’t approach the top five during its scary weekend.

Antlers opening weekend prediction: $3.2 million

For my Last Night in Soho prediction, click here:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

For my The French Dispatch prediction, click here:

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

2021 Oscar Predictions: October 3rd Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions enters the month of October with no changes in my forecasted Picture and Director nominees. However, we do have movement in the acting derbies:

    • The five spot in Best Actor seems to change every Sunday. This time I’m swapping out Bradley Cooper (Nightmare Alley) for Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon) once again.
    • In Actress, Jennifer Hudson (Respect) falls out in favor of Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter. 
    • Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) makes my Supporting Actress five for the first time at the expense of Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans).

My #1’s in the biggest competitions stay put with Belfast (Picture), Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog (Director), Kristen Stewart in Spencer (Actress), Will Smith in King Richard (Actor), Caitriona Balfe for Belfast (Supporting Actress), and Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizza (Supporting Actor).

You can peruse all the activity for all the races below as I now have Belfast and Dune tied for garnering the most nods.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Dune (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 9) (+3)

7. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-2)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Spencer (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Don’t Look Up (PR: 11) (E)

12. Flee (PR: 12) (E)

13. CODA (PR: 13) (E)

14. Mass (PR: 14) (E)

15. A Hero (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Humans

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+1)

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

8. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 8) (E)

9. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 8) (E)

9. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Kathryn Hunter, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Toni Collette, Nightmare Alley

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Corey Hawkins, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Mass (PR: 3) (-1)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

8. A Hero (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Hand of God (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Humans (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Dune (PR: 7) (-1)

9. CODA (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Passing (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Luca (PR: 2) (E)

3. Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vivo (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Charlotte (PR: 8) (-2)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 5) (+2)

4. The Hand of God (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Petite Maman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 6) (E)

7. Happening (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Drive My Car (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (-1)

10. 7 Prisoners (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

I’m Your Man

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Attica (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. President (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The First Wave (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Julia (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Sparks Brothers

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Dune (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Hand of God

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Cruella (PR: 4) (+2)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 3) (-1)

5. West Side Story (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cyrano (PR: 10) (E)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (E)

5. West Side Story (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. King Richard (PR: 9) (+3)

7. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. House of Gucci (PR: 8) (-2)

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: 3) (-1)

5. Cruella (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

The French Dispatch 

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spencer (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The French Dispatch (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (-3)

8. King Richard (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Luca (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Don’t Look Up

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. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto (PR: 4) (+1)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. “At the Automat” from The Automat (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

“Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nightmare Alley (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belfast (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Power of the Dog (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (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. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. No Time to Die (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 3) (-4)

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Eternals (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

King Richard

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: 4) (E)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Free Guy (PR: 9) (E)

10. Jungle Cruise (PR: 10) (E)

And that equates to these pictures gathering these numbers in terms of nominations:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

7 Nominations

Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Spencer, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Flee, Mass

2 Nominations

C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Annette, Attica, Belle, Cyrano, Eternals, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Petite Maman, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World