2022 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Best Actress Race

We have reached Best Actress in my deep dives of the major Oscar races. If you didn’t catch my takes on the supporting derbies and lead actor, you can access them here:

Before we get to this very competitive Actress competition, let’s see how I did at this point in the calendar from 2019-21. Three years ago, I managed to identify all 5 eventual nominees – winner Renee Zellweger (Judy), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), and Charlize Theron (Bombshell). For the late October/early November frame in 2020 and 2021, I correctly called 3 of the 5. In 2020, that was Frances McDormand (Nomadland), who won her third Oscar along with Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman). Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) were mentioned in Other Possibilities. The victor was also named last year with Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye as well as Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter) and Kristen Stewart (Spencer). Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) and Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) were in Other Possibilities.

So if the last three years are any precursor, you should find the eventual quintet in my ten picks! Frances McDormand could have company with performers sporting a trio of gold statues. A Supporting Actress winner in 2004 for The Aviator and lead actress recipient for 2013’s Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett is drawing some career best kudos for Tár. She’s been in my #1 spot for weeks and if she wins, she’d join McDormand, Katherine Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman as the only actresses to win more than two Oscars.

Her main competition could come from several performers. Michelle Yeoh is receiving a massive push for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which is a threat to win numerous big races including Best Picture. There’s another Michelle and it’s a surprise… Michelle Williams. As I discussed in my Supporting Actress write-up, her performance in The Fabelmans would likely be a guaranteed winner in that category. With the more competitive vibe of lead actress, it’s not even a guarantee that she makes it in.

While Till may struggle to get recognition elsewhere despite strong reviews and an A+ Cinemascore, Danielle Deadwyler looks pretty strong to make the cut. On the other hand, so-so critical reaction could prevent Olivia Colman (Empire of Light) from getting her fourth nod in five years.

There are two performances yet to be seen that could both make a splash: Margot Robbie for Babylon and Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston in I Wanna Dance with Somebody. It’s easy to envision either rising up if the reactions are positive enough.

Despite solid box office, Viola Davis could face an uphill battle for The Woman King. That narrative could change if both Robbie and Ackie falter. Some intensely negative audience and critical buzz for Blonde may leave Ana de Armas out. And there’s always potential dark horses. Emma Thompson will probably get a Golden Globes nom for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, but Academy inclusion could be a reach. Women Talking‘s Rooney Mara might be ignored in favor of her supporting costars like Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley. Causeway may not draw enough attention for Jennifer Lawrence to make it and the same holds true for The Wonder‘s Florence Pugh. Decision to Leave (despite having a chance to take International Feature Film) may not see its cast be a factor. That would leave out Tang Wei.

Here’s my state of this race!

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1 . Cate Blanchett, Tár (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 3) (E)

4. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 9) (E)

10. Rooney Mara, Women Talking (PR: 10) (E)

Best Director is up next!

2022 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Supporting Actress Race

The Supporting Actress derby is up next for my deep dives in the six major categories (Picture, Director, the 4 acting competitions). If you missed my current take on Supporting Actor, it’s here:

With two months left to go in the calendar year, it’s a good time to take stock in where we stand in 2022 with the various hopefuls. In 2019 and 2020 in late October, I correctly identified 3 of the 5 eventual nominees in Supporting Actress. Three years ago, that included eventual winner Laura Dern (Marriage Story) as well as Florence Pugh (Little Women) and Margot Robbie (Bombshell). I had Scarlett Johansson listed in Other Possibilities for Jojo Rabbit while not having Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell) yet on the radar. A year later, the trio of Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), and Amanda Seyfried (Mank) were already in my top five. Youn Yuh-jung (Minari) took the gold. Both she and Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) were tagged in Other Possibilities.

The ratio dropped in 2021. I named 2 of the 5 women with Ariana DeBose in West Side Story (who won) and Kirsten Dunst for The Power of the Dog. 2 nominees – Judi Dench (Belfast) and Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) – were in Other Possibilities while Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter) wasn’t in my listed ten.

We arrive at 2022 where Ms. Buckley is in the mix again. She appears in Women Talking alongside a large ensemble of additional actresses. This film gives us the highest probability of seeing double nominees from the same picture. It’s happened three times since 2010. Melissa Leo and Amy Adams were up for The Fighter that year with Leo emerging victorious. In 2011, Octavia Spencer took the statue for The Help with Jessica Chastain also making the cut. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz were both in the mix for 2018’s The Favourite.

With Women Talking, the Academy could dive a tad deeper with Judith Ivery and Sheila McCarthy (who are standouts). I suspect they’ll go with Buckley and Claire Foy (who was notably snubbed three years ago for First Man). I’ve had the latter listed in first place as she’s got a slightly meatier role.

That brings us to a key caveat in this race. A few weeks back, there was the unexpected announcement that Michelle Williams in Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans would be campaigned for in lead actress. She could’ve easily been placed here. If the studio had done that, I would continue to have Williams at #1 and feel confident that she’d win her first Oscar. However, in the Best Actress competition, I only have her in fourth position as of my last forecast.

Back to performers who are eligible in this. As long as The Banshees of Inisherin performs well with voters (and it should), Kerry Condon should make the quintet and could be a threat to win. Truth be told, this seems like a wide open competition without Williams. I could see either Women Talking actress at the podium or Condon. Same goes for Hong Chau as Brendan Fraser’s caretaker in The Whale or Stephanie Hsu as the world altering daughter in Everything Everywhere All at Once. That film offers the possibility of an additional double nomination with Jamie Lee Curtis’s nearly unrecognizable role. As for The Whale, I think Chau is far more likely than costar Sadie Sink.

I’m not as sold on Anne Hathaway in Armageddon Time, which may not make a dent at the ceremony. The many negative reviews for The Son have me questioning the viability of Vanessa Kirby or Laura Dern. Cha Cha Real Smooth might be too small for Dakota Johnson to nab her first Academy mention. Thuso Mbedu in The Woman King seems like a stretch. There’s unseen performances that could rise up like Kate Winslet (Avatar: The Way of Water) or Jean Smart (Babylon). Of all those choices, only Smart is in the top ten.

Critics groups may be integral in weeding out the nominees. This is where we could see Nina Hoss (Tár) or Dolly de Leon (Triangle of Sadness) rise up. Or we could get a nominee from a forthcoming hit such as Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) or Janelle Monae (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery).

Over the past couple of months, all of my five nominees have come from films that I have in my 1o Best Picture hopefuls. That also holds true for Supporting Actor. And, frankly, that usually doesn’t happen. This is partly why I’m putting Carey Mulligan (She Said) in my projections after the studio announced she’ll vie for supporting instead of lead. I’ve got She Said barely missing a BP nod.

Bottom line: nothing is close to being settled in Supporting Actress and the talking about these women could change as we get closer to nomination time.

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Claire Foy, Women Talking (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Nina Hoss, Tár (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Best Actor is up next!

Dark Phoenix Review

If at first you don’t succeed, try and fail again. Dark Phoenix is the 12th feature in the X-Men universe. It continues the significant dip in quality that we witnessed in predecessor X-Men: Apocalypse. While it’s not necessarily worse, the mystique of this franchise was pierced last time around and the bloodshed continues here. We also have Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and, like in Apocalypse, it seems she’d rather be elsewhere.

Like 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, this is focused on Jean Grey’s origin story. A 1975 flashback shows how she became an orphan and it’s got a lot to do with her telekinetic mutant powers. We already know that Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) quickly brought her into School for Gifted Youngsters after a tragedy and she grows up to be played by Sophie Turner. By 1992, Jean’s abilities are accentuated in outer space while rescuing a group of astronauts with her colleagues. It also triggers some repressed memories, putting her at odds with her mentor. That’s not the only collateral damage from Jean’s galactic adventures. An alien race known as the D’Bari had their planet inadvertently destroyed by this particular gifted youngster. Jessica Chastain is Vuk, an extra-terrestrial leader looking to harness those gifts for her own use. Like Oscar Isaac in Apocalypse, Chastain represents another talented performer wasted in a forgettable villain role.

While X-Men: First Class had cheeky fun with its 60s setting and Days of Future Past grooved to a 70s vibe, Phoenix does nothing with the early 90s time frame (other than not aging the actors appropriately). Even Apocalypse tried to capitalize on the 80s retro craze.

Missed opportunities to dwell on a decade and boring baddies aren’t the worst problem. Jean Grey isn’t a compelling character in her own film and Turner’s bland acting shines that light brighter. When Michael Fassbender shows up from time to time, it’s a reminder that his island getaway and small army of followers might offer up a cooler storyline. I know that comic book lovers hold the Dark Phoenix Saga in high regard, but they’e been given the short shrift twice now. Maybe Fassbender, his effortless magnetism, and the backstory of his current circumstances might have more firepower.

This is Simon Kinberg’s first at bat directing the series. He is responsible for writing The Last Stand so he’s .000 with the Grey matter. I guess he’s .250 on his X screenplays as he also penned Apocalypse but had a hit with Days of Future Past. Some of the violent encounters are dimly presented and plenty of the CG is subpar. A final set piece aboard a train has the most competent technical work and random moments of effective action. That doesn’t come close to saving this. The X-Men have been off the rails for two movies in a row.

** (out of four)

2022 Oscar Predictions: September 16th Edition

As the Toronto Film Festival draws to a close, we have some significant updates since I did my last predictions 11 days ago!

And you may notice that, for the first time, I’m including all categories covering feature films. It’s the initial peek at what pics I believe will lead the nominations. The answer is Babylon (11) followed closely by The Fabelmans (10) followed closely by Everything Everywhere All at Once (9).

I’ve also made the shift of whittling 25 BP picks down to 15 possibilities and the other big races from 15 to 10.

I will point out that some categories (particularly Original Song) are in their infancy as far as knowing the contenders.

One year ago, my projections in mid-September yielded eight of the eventual 10 BP nominees and 3 of the 5 Directing hopefuls. For Best Actress – it was 4 of 5 and 3 of 5 for Actor. For Supporting Actress – 2/5, but Supporting Actor (somehow) was 0 for 5.

Let’s talk changes:

    • In Best Picture, I’m putting Empire of Light back in and removing The Son. You’ll send a trend there as The Son drew divided reactions in Venice and Toronto. It could still contend in more races than just Hugh Jackman in Actor, but for now, I’ve got it nabbing that sole nod.
    • Todd Field (Tar) is in the directing quintet over Ruben Ostlund for Triangle of Sadness.
    • Surprisingly enough, Actress and Actor remain the same.
    • Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) crashes the Supporting Actress party with Vanessa Kirby (The Son) dropping.
    • I’ve put Micheal Ward back in Supporting Actor (I elevated him to lead recently). He’s in the final five along with a bit of an upset selection in Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin. Zen McGrath (The Son) and Woody Harrelson (Triangle of Sadness) fall out.
    • Original Screenplay remains the same but Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is in Adapted Screenplay over (you guessed it) The Son.

You can peruse all the movement below and my inaugural take on the other derbies!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Whale (PR: 7) (+2)

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Tar (PR: 8) (E)

9. Empire of Light (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Decision to Leave (PR: 12) (+1)

12. She Said (PR: 13) (+1)

13. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 20) (+6)

15. Elvis (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Son

Avatar: The Way of Water

White Noise

Bones and All

Armageddon Time

Till

Broker

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Living

Bardo

The Greatest Beer Run Ever

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Florian Zeller, The Son

James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water

Sam Mendes, Empire of Light

Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick

Noah Baumbach, White Noise

Baz Luhrmann, Elvis 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 12) (+5)

8. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 8) (E)

9. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Florence Pugh, The Wonder (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Carey Mulligan, She Said 

Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Taylor Russell, Bones and All

Tang Wei, Decision to Leave

Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Song King-ho, Broker (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (moved to Supporting)

Timothee Chalamet, Bones and All

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chevalier

Park Hae-il, Decision to Leave

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+5)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 3) (-4)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 15) (+5)

Dropped Out:

Laura Dern, The Son

Jean Smart, Babylon

Samantha Morton, She Said

Zoe Kazan, She Said

Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth

Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Best Actor)

5. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (-5)

Dropped Out:

Zen McGrath, The Son

Tom Hanks, Elvis

Anthony Hopkins, The Son

Mark Strong, Tar

Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans

Ralph Fiennes, The Menu

Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Babylon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Armageddon Time (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bros (PR: 11) (+1)

Dropped Out:

Broker

Aftersun

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Bardo

The Menu

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 2) (+1)

2. The Whale (PR: 3) (+1)

3. She Said (PR: 4) (+1)

4. White Noise (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Son (PR: 1) (-5)

7. Living (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Bones and All (PR: 7) (-2)

10. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Till

The Lost King

The Greatest Beer Run Ever

The Wonder

Elvis

The Good Nurse 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

2. Turning Red

3. Strange World

4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

5. The Sea Beast

Other Possibilities:

6. Wendell and Wild

7. The Bad Guys

8. Lightyear

9. My Father’s Dragon

10. Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Decision to Leave

2. All Quiet on the Western Front

3. Close

4. Saint Omer

5. Holy Spider

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo

7. RMN

8. RRR

9. Plan 75

10. Argentina, 1985

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

2. Descendant

3. Navalny

4. Fire of Love

5. Last Flight Home

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory

7. Moonage Daydream

8. Riotsville, U.S.A.

9. Good Night Oppy

10. All That Breathes

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. Empire of Light

3. The Fabelmans

4. All Quiet on the Western Front

5. Top Gun: Maverick

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo

7. Avatar: The Way of Water

8. The Banshees of Inisherin

9. The Whale

10. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. Elvis

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

4. The Fabelmans

5. The Woman King

Other Possibilities:

6. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once

8. Three Thousand Years of Longing

9. The Northman

10. Corsage

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

2. Babylon

3. Top Gun: Maverick

4. The Fabelmans

5. Women Talking

Other Possibilities:

6. Elvis

7. Tar

8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

9. Triangle of Sadness

10. Decision to Leave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Whale

2. Babylon

3. Elvis

4. The Batman

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. Blonde

8. The Woman King

9. The Fabelmans

10. All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. The Fabelmans

3. Empire of Light

4. Women Talking

5. Tar

Other Possibilities:

6. The Banshees of Inisherin

7. Top Gun: Maverick

8. Avatar: The Way of Water

9. The Batman

10. All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Song

1. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

2. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red

3. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

4. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing

5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman

Other Possibilities:

6. “On My Way” from Marry Me

7. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

8. “New Body Rhuma” from White Noise

9. “Good Tonight” from The Bad Guys

10. “Paper Airplanes” from A Jazzman’s Blues

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. The Fabelmans

3. Elvis

4. Avatar: The Way of Water

5. Empire of Light

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once

8. Bardo

9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

10. The Batman

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick

2. Avatar: The Way of Water

3. Babylon

4. Elvis

5. The Batman

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. All Quiet on the Western Front

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once

9. Nope

10. The Fabelmans

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

2. Top Gun: Maverick

3. The Batman

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once

5. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Other Possibilities: 

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. RRR

8. All Quiet on the Western Front

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

10. Nope 

And that equates to this very first rundown of how many nominations I am projecting for each picture:

11 Nominations

Babylon

10 Nominations

The Fabelmans’

9 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

Women Talking

6 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Empire of Light, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

Elvis, The Whale

4 Nominations

Tar

3 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman

2 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Triangle of Sadness, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Holy Spider, Last Flight Home, Living, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Navalny, Saint Omer, The Sea Beast, She Said, The Son, Strange World, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Where the Crawdads Sing, White Noise, The Woman King

Oscar Predictions: The Good Nurse

The Good Nurse from director Tobias Lindholm boasts a pair of Oscar winners leading the cast in Jessica Chastain (our reigning Best Actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye) and Eddie Redmayne (who took leading actor gold for The Theory of Everything in 2015). The true life medical thriller has premiered at Toronto before its Netflix steaming bow in late October (a limited awards qualifying run will precede it). Costars include Nnamdi Asomugha, Noah Emmerich, and Kim Dickens.

Early reviews run from decent to above that and the Rotten Tomatoes score stands initially at 100%. I went to the premiere screening last night and can confirm it’s rock solid. However, Netflix would really need to campaign hard for this to attract Academy love.

My gut says Chastain, having won just last year, will miss out due to an already healthy Actress field. If its distributing streamer slots Redmayne in Supporting Actor for his creepy role (an argument could be made), he could warrant similar buzz to Jared Leto in The Little Things. Let’s not forget, however, that Leto’s Supporting Actor inclusion never ultimately materialized. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

2022 Oscar Predictions: September 5th Edition

As I always say at the beginning of September on this blog – what a difference a few days makes as Venice is at its midpoint and Telluride occurred over the holiday weekend. The Toronto Film Festival begins Thursday. For the first time, I am thrilled to announce that I will be in attendance and have screenings scheduled for several potential heavy hitters! They include The Fabelmans, The Son, The Whale, Women Talking, The Banshees of Inisherin, Triangle of Sadness, Empire of Light, The Menu, The Wonder, Bros, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, and The Good Nurse. 

The fall festivals always cause the fortunes of certain pictures to rise and fall. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Bardo received mixed reviews out of Lido and it has dropped out of my predictions in Picture, Director, Actor (Daniel Gimenez Cacho), and Supporting Actress (Griselda Sicillani). On the other hand, Sarah Polley’s Women Talking looks to have solidified its position as a BP hopeful while Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley appear to be the two likeliest nominees from its ensemble. Cate Blanchett (Tar) and Brendan Fraser (The Whale) have positioned themselves as surefire nominees and potential winners in the lead acting derbies. Tar itself improved its standing in Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay. Empire of Light is no slam dunk for BP, but it’s in the mix and Olivia Colman seems solid in Actress. The Banshees of Inisherin may be Fox Searchlight’s better hope over Empire. It drew a rapturous Venice reaction today and has vaulted into Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Original Screenplay on my chart. Bones and All, despite some gushing reviews, could face challenges to fit into the BP race. Don’t Worry Darling, due to some middling write-ups, is probably toast.

Of course, we know that festivals are not the end all and be all for final verdicts. For example, Armageddon Time from James Gray seemed DOA after a so-so Cannes bow in the summer. Yet when it played Telluride over the weekend, the buzz was stronger. It’s awards heart is beating again – even if faintly.

This will probably be my last update for two weeks as I’ll be a Canadian for a few days. You can bet you’ll see lots of other individual Oscar prediction posts as well as reviews of the aforementioned pictures. When I update in a couple of weeks, I’m anticipating branching out to all races covering feature films. Until then, you can peruse all the movement (and there is definitely a lot of it) below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The Son (PR: 5) (E)

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (+4)

7. The Whale (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Tar (PR: 11) (+3)

9. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 18) (+9)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-4)

12. Decision to Leave (PR: 12) (E)

13. She Said (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 16) (+2)

15. Elvis (PR: 15) (E)

16. White Noise (PR: 13) (-3)

17. Bones and All (PR: 22) (+5)

18. Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

19. Till (PR: 20) (+1)

20. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 23) (+3)

21. Broker (PR: 17) (-4)

22. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 19) (-3)

23. Living (PR: 25) (+2)

24. Bardo (PR: 4) (-20)

25. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 24) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Menu

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (E)

4. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 11) (+5)

7. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 9) (+1)

9. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (E)

11. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-4)

12. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo

Maria Schrader, She Said 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 6) (E)

7. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Florence Pugh, The Wonder (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 10) (E)

11. Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Taylor Russell, Bones and All (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Tang Wei, Decision to Leave (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Regina King, Shirley (moved to 2023)

Frances McDormand, Women Talking (role not large enough)

Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 10) (+6)

5. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 7) (E)

8. Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Timothee Chalamet, Bones and All (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chevalier (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Park Hae-il, Decision to Leave (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 14) (+10)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 6) (E)

7. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Samantha Morton, She Said (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 9) (-3)

13. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 13) (E)

14. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (-4)

15. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Griselda Sicillani, Bardo

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR 2) (E)

3. Zen McGrath, The Son (PR: 3) (E)

4. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (+4)

5. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 9) (E)

10. Anthony Hopkins, The Son (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Mark Strong, Tar (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 13) (E)

14. Ralph Fiennes, The Menu (PR: 14) (E)

15. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Colin Firth, Empire of Light

Toby Jones, Empire of Light

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (+4)

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Babylon (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tar (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Broker (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Bros (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Aftersun (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 13) (E)

14. Bardo (PR: 5) (-9)

15. The Menu (PR: 10) (-5)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Worry Darling

Chevalier

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Whale (PR: 3) (E)

4. She Said (PR: 4) (E)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Bones and All (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Living (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 9) (E)

10. Till (PR: 10) (E)

11. The Lost King (PR: 11) (E)

12. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 12) (E)

13. The Wonder (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Elvis (PR: 13) (-1)

15. The Good Nurse (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King 

2022 Oscar Predictions: August 26th Edition

My final Oscar predictions for the month of August could rightfully be called the calm before the storm. That’s because Venice, Telluride, and Toronto are about to blow in screenings for several legitimate contenders. And there’s no doubt it will change the forecasts below.

My plan is to do the next update on Labor Day (ten days from now). By that point, there should be reviews and awards buzz out for Venice pics like White Noise, Tar, Bardo, Bones and All, The Banshees of Inisherin, and Don’t Worry Darling, among others. There’s also anything that plays Telluride over the holiday weekend (expect that to potentially include The Son and Women Talking). My next update should be about a week later.

Those next updates will incorporate the lengthy list of Toronto screenings and late Venice leftovers. That list includes Blonde, The Fabelmans, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Empire of Light, The Good Nurse, The Menu, The Lost King, The Woman King, Bros, Chevalier, and more. In other words… buckle up because the Oscar picture is going to be in much sharper focus over the next three weeks!

My Best Picture ten remains the same, but I’ve made a change in Director with Ruben Ostlund (Triangle of Sadness) in over Sarah Polley for Women Talking. 

In Best Actress, there’s a new #1 as I’ve vaulted Cate Blanchett (Tar) to the top spot over Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once). Yeoh spent only a week in first after she replaced Babylon‘s Margot Robbie, who’s now in third position. We will know in a matter of days whether Blanchett’s promotion is warranted courtesy of Venice.

I’ve switched Micheal Ward’s performance in Empire of Light from supporting to lead. Toronto’s fest should shed light on whether that’s the right call. Due to this, Bill Nighy (Living) falls out of my actor quintet. In Supporting Actor, Babylon‘s Brad Pitt is back in the mix since I’ve taken Ward out. In Original Screenplay, I’m switching in Bardo with The Banshees of Inisherin out.

You can read all the movement below and keep an eye out for lots of individualized prediction posts for the pictures playing in Italy, Colorado, and Canada in the coming weeks!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Son (PR: 6) (+1)

6. Women Talking (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Whale (PR: 8) (E)

9. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Tar (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Decision to Leave (PR: 14) (+2)

13. White Noise (PR: 12) (-1)

14. She Said (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Elvis (PR: 15) (E)

16. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 16) (E)

17. Broker (PR: 20) (+3)

18. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 17) (-1)

19. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 21) (+2)

20. Till (PR: 18) (-2)

21. The Menu (PR: 22) (+1)

22. Bones and All (PR: 19) (-3)

23. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

24. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 25) (+1)

25. Living (PR: 24) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (E)

4. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (E)

9. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 9) (E)

10. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (E)

11. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 13) (+2)

12. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 14) (E)

15. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 15) (E)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 3) (+2)

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

3. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (E)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 10) (E)

11. Frances McDormand, Women Talking (PR: 11) (E)

12. Tang Wei, Decision to Leave (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Florence Pugh, The Wonder (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Helen Mirren, Golda (moved to 2023)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked) – moved from Supporting

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (-3)

11. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chevalier (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Park Hae-il, Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye

Timothee Chalamet, Bones and All

Harry Styles, My Policeman 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Griselda Sicillani, Bardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Samantha Morton, She Said (PR: 11) (E)

12. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 13) (E)

14. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 14) (-1)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Zen McGrath, The Son (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 14) (+5)

10. Toby Jones, Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Anthony Hopkins, The Son (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (-3)

14. Ralph Fiennes, The Menu (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (moved to Best Actor)

Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

    1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Bardo (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Tar (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Menu (PR: 10) (E)

11. Broker (PR: 11) (E)

12. Bros (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 14) (E)

15. Chevalier (PR: 15) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Whale (PR: 3) (E)

4. She Said (PR: 5) (+1)

5. White Noise (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Living (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. Bones and All (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Till (PR: 9) (-1)

11. The Lost King (PR: 14) (+3)

12. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 12) (E)

13. Elvis (PR: 15) (+2)

14. The Good Nurse (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Woman King (PR: 11) (-4)

Dropped Out:

Blonde 

2022 Oscar Predictions: August 19th Edition

With the Venice Film Festival less than two weeks away and Toronto and Telluride on its heels, the Oscar races are poised to become clearer quite soon. We are mostly in speculation mode at this juncture, but there’s change afoot in the Actor and Supporting Actor with this latest update.

I have vaulted Bill Nighy (Living) into the top 5 for Best Actor and that removes Adam Driver in White Noise. I’ve struggled with Brad Pitt’s placement in Supporting Actor for Babylon. At this point, it’s not certain whether he’ll be campaigned for in lead or supporting. Therefore I have Pitt on the outside looking in for Supporting Actor and that allows The Son‘s Zen McGrath to enter the projected quintet.

While no changes were made in the Picture, Director, the Actress derbies, or screenplay – there’s a new #1 for Best Actress. Since I started my estimates back in April, I’ve had Margot Robbie (Babylon) perched atop the charts. I’m now switching that to Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once. 

Finally, I’ve dropped David O. Russell’s Amsterdam from contention in all races. The studio’s decision to move it up a month from November to October is something I look at as a bad sign. That’s in addition to it getting no festival screenings, a trailer that didn’t impress, and lingering personal issues and bad press for Mr. Russell.

A final note: at this pre-festival juncture in mid-August of 2021, my predictions yielded seven of the eventual 10 BP contenders.

You can read all the movement below and I’ll likely have one more update prior to August 30th before the festival season is upon us!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

6. The Son (PR: 6) (E)

7. Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Whale (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 12) (+1)

12. White Noise (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Tar (PR: 13) (E)

14. Decision to Leave (PR: 16) (+2)

15. Elvis (PR: 14) (-1)

16. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 15) (-1)

17. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 17) (E)

18. Till (PR: 19) (+1)

19. Bones and All (PR: 18) (-1)

20. Broker (PR: 20) (E)

21. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 21) (E)

22. The Menu (PR: 23) (+1)

23. The Woman King (PR: 24) (+1)

24. Living (PR: Not Ranked)

25. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 22) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Amsterdam

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (E)

4. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 6) (E)

7. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 9) (-1)

11. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 11) (E)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 12) (E)

13. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 13) (E)

14. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Maris Schrader, She Said (PR: 14) (-1)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (E)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 10) (E)

11. Frances McDormand, Women Talking (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Florence Pugh, The Wonder (PR: 15) (+3)

13. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (-2)

14. Tang Wei, Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (E)

11. Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Timothee Chalamet, Bones and All (PR: 12) (E)

13. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 11) (-2)

14. Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chevalier (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Harry Styles, My Policeman (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Paul Mescal, Aftersun 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Griselda Sicillani, Bardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (E)

7. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 8) (-2)

11. Samantha Morton, She Said (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michael Ward, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Zen McGrath, The Son (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (E)

11. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Ralph Fiennes, The Menu (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 13) (E)

14. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Don Cheadle, White Noise

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. Bardo (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tar (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Menu (PR: 10) (E)

11. Broker (PR: 11) (E)

12. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 12) (E)

13. Bros (PR: 13) (E)

14. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Chevalier (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Amsterdam

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Whale (PR: 3) (E)

4. White Noise (PR: 4) (E)

5. She Said (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bones and All (PR: 6) (E)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Living (PR: 11) (+3)

9. Till (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 8) (-2)

11. The Woman King (PR: 13) (+2)

12. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Blonde (PR: 14) (+1)

14. The Lost King (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Good Nurse 

2022 Oscar Predictions: August 10th Edition

For my first Oscar analysis in the 8 major categories for the month of August, the ten BP contenders remain the same. However, Everything Everywhere All at Once moves to #2 with Babylon slipping a spot to third. I truly do believe there’s a path for Once to take the top prize next year depending on how the next five months of releases play out.

At the end of July, I vaulted Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans to #1 in BP. Today I’m putting the filmmaker in first with Babylon‘s Damien Chazelle now in second.

While my lead actress and actor picks remain unaltered, there is movement in both supporting derbies. In Supporting Actress, Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Griselda Sicillani (Bardo) are in my projected quintet with Hong Chau (The Whale) and Zoe Kazan (She Said) falling out. In Supporting Actor, I’m switching Empire of Light costars with Michael Ward making the cut over Colin Firth.

Finally, I’ve taken Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives out of contention in all categories where I previously had it listed as a possibility. If Amazon Prime mounts a campaign later this year, it could find itself back in the mix. I wouldn’t count on it despite its solid reviews.

Expect another update in the next week or two! You can peruse all the movement below:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

6. The Son (PR: 6) (E)

7. Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Whale (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. White Noise (PR: 12) (+1)

12. She Said (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Tar (PR: 13) (E)

14. Elvis (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (-1)

16. Decision to Leave (PR: 16) (E)

17. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 18) (+1)

18. Bones and All (PR: 20) (+2)

19. Till (PR: 19) (E)

20. Broker (PR: 17) (-3)

21. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 22) (+1)

22. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 23) (+1)

23. The Menu (PR: Not Ranked)

24. The Woman King (PR: 24) (E)

25. Amsterdam (PR: 21) (-4)

Dropped Out:

Thirteen Lives 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 8) (E)

9. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 11) (+1)

11. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9 (-2)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 12) (E)

13. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 13) (E)

14. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Bax Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hirokazu Kore-eda, Broker

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 3) (-1)

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

Other Possibilities: 

6. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (E)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 10) (E)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Frances McDormand, Women Talking (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Florence Pugh, The Wonder (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling

Emma Corrin, Lady Chatterley’s Lover 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

4. Damien Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (E)

11. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Timothee Chalamet, Bones and All (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Harry Styles, My Policeman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Griselda Sicillani, Bardo (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Samantha Morton, She Said (PR: +2)

14. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Patricia Clarkson, She Said 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Michael Ward, Empire of Light (PR: 10) (+6)

5. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Zen McGrath, The Son (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Ralph Fiennes, The Menu (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 15) (+3)

13. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Don Cheadle, White Noise (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 13) (-2)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Bardo (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tar (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Menu (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Broker (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 15) (+3)

13. Bros (PR: 13) (E)

14. Amsterdam (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 14) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Whale (PR: 3) (E)

4. White Noise (PR: 4) (E)

5. She Said (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bones and All (PR: 6) (E)

7. Till (PR: 7) (E)

8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 8) (-2)

11. Living (PR: 14) (+3)

12. The Lost King (PR: Not Ranked)

13. The Woman King (PR: 13) (E)

14. Blonde (PR: 15) (+1)

15. The Good Nurse (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Thirteen Lives 

Best Picture 2012: The Final Five

My latest Final Five post brings us to 2012 and the Oscars that occurred nearly a decade ago. If you’re reading this series for the first time, this is where I whittle the 8-10 Best Picture nominees from every year since 2009 to five. As you may know, it was in 2009 that the Academy stopped listing a quintet of movies for the big prize and expanded it upwards. If you missed my write-ups about 2009, 2010, and 2011 – you can access them here:

Best Picture 2009: The Final Five

Best Picture 2010: The Final Five

Best Picture 2011: The Final Five

As we do with each year, we start with the obvious. Ben Affleck’s Argo certainly would have made the cut since it won BP. 2012 was a strange year with the Academy’s voters. Argo emerged as the first film since 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy where the BP recipient’s director wasn’t nominated in that category. It’s happened twice since with 2018’s Green Book and last year’s CODA. I will admit that picking a fifth entry was challenging. The other 3 besides Argo seem pretty clear. Let’s get into it!

Amour

Michael Haneke’s French drama was the easy winner of Foreign Language Film and nabbed 3 other nods: Director, Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), and Original Screenplay.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, though an argument can certainly be made. I would venture that with only five, the narrative would’ve been that it had no trouble in the foreign race and that would be the reward.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

This micro-budgeted indie fantasy from Benh Zeitlin scored a surprise directing nod as well as Actress (Quvanzhane Wallis) and Adapted Screenplay.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. It received the least amount of nominations of the nine nominees and won none of its four mentions. That said, it’s not entirely out of the question that it could have snuck in.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino scored the biggest hit of his career with this Western which won Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz). It also received nods for Cinematography and Sound Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, though an argument can be made yet again (especially with the Original Screenplay victory). That said, misses for directing and editing are indications that it might have just missed.

Les Miserables

With 8 nominations and wins for Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Sound Mixing, and Makeup and Hairstyling, the adaptation of the famed musical was one of the biggest box office performers of the bunch.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No… and stop me if you’ve heard this before… but an argument could be made. Like Django, the directing and editing omissions prevent me from saying it is top five.

Life of Pi

Ang Lee’s visually striking adaptation of a bestseller tied with most nominations (11). Lee would win for his behind the camera work and it would pick up gold statues for Score, Cinematography, and Visual Effects. Unlike our last two contenders, it did receive an editing nod.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Furthermore, it was probably the runner-up for the win.

Lincoln

Steven Spielberg’s historical tale was the other movie to receive 11 nominations. The sole win was for Daniel Day-Lewis’s embodiment of the 16th POTUS in Best Actor.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Despite the 1 for 11 showing, the sheer number of nods strongly suggest its inclusion.

Silver Linings Playbook

With 8 nominations and Jennifer Lawrence taking Best Actress, this was the rare pic that scored nominations in all 4 acting derbies. Unlike Lawrence – Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver didn’t win their respective races. This was also up for David O. Russell’s direction, Adapted Screenplay, and Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes – based on where else it landed attention.

Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to her Oscar winning The Hurt Locker won Sound Editing. Jessica Chastain was up for Actress with Original Screenplay and Editing nods making it five overall. Bigelow’s snub in the directing race was unexpected.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes, but this is the one I’m most unsure about. One could easily make the case for Amour or Beasts or Django or Les Miserables. The fact that this had the screenplay nod and editing made me pick it.

So in my view your abbreviated 2012 BP lineup would be:

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty 

2013 is up next!