Where the Crawdads Sing Review

Crossing a John Grisham style potboiler with the 1994 Jodie Foster woman in the wild pic Nell begets Where the Crawdads Sing. This is the adaptation of the hugely popular 2018 bestseller from Delia Owens (so well known that Taylor Swift offered to contribute an end credits tune called “Carolina”).

That’s North Carolina beginning in 1953 where Kya lives in the marshland with her alcoholic father, abused mother, and siblings. One by one they all flee until the seven-year-old is all by her lonesome. She sells mussels to the married local store purveyors (Michael Hyatt and Sterling Macer Jr.) to make ends meet. Kya attempts an education, but the harassment of schoolmates makes that a one-day excursion.

As she grows into a young woman (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones), her interest in arts and nature hints at a promising career. The screenplay concentrates on Kya’s two romances. The first is with Tate (Taylor John Smith), who helps her learn to read and write before he’s slated to go away to college. The second is with star quarterback Chase (Harris Dickinson) whose union with The Marsh Girl (as the townsfolk call her) is his little secret.

For those uninitiated with the source material (this includes me), I’ll be careful not to wade into heavy spoiler territory. It’s not revealing too much to say that Kya’s publishing future is interrupted by a murder trial where she’s defended by David Strathairn’s dignified counselor.

Crawdads is all about Kya’s many experiences with abandonment. Part of the problem is that both of her beaus are blank slates. I never felt the chemistry between the Kya/Tate or Kya/Chase connections as much as they’re just presented to the audience. And that assisted in abandoning my own investment in the proceedings… both romantically and legally.

The screenplay never finds the right balance between the trial and the trials of our heroine away from the courtroom. From Edgar-Jones on down, the performances are serviceable but nothing beyond that. Crawdads has beautiful scenery to be sure. I wanted a more compelling story to occur there.

** (out of four)

2022 Oscar Predictions: July 24th Edition

The release schedule for 2022 is always shifting (though thankfully not as much as in 2020 and 2021). This week, there were reports that Netflix’s Rustin will be pushed to 2023. While this isn’t 100% confirmed, it’s enough that I’ve moved it out of contention and that’s significant. I had it pegged for a Best Picture nomination as well as Actor (Colman Domingo) and Supporting Actress (Audra McDonald) in my post from 7 days ago.

The beneficiary of Rustin falling out of contention? None other than Top Gun: Maverick. Let me be clear – I’m very skeptical that it receives a nod in the biggest race of all. Yet it’s hard to ignore the potency of its box office supremacy over the summer. Oscar voters will know that audiences will root for its inclusion. And that could be enough to push it past the finish line.

In Actor, Bardo‘s Daniel Gimenez Cacho replaces Domingo while Zoe Kazan (She Said) rises to the final five in Supporting Actress. There’s another change in Actress as I’m putting Cate Blanchett (Tar) in the mix over Regina King (Shirley). The latter is another Netflix effort where the release date seems uncertain. If they verify 2022 in the near future, she could (and probably would) get back in the mix.

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 11) (E)

12. White Noise (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Tar (PR: 13) (E)

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

15. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 18) (+3)

16. Elvis (PR: 16) (E)

17. Till (PR: 21) (+4)

18. Broker (PR: 19) (+1)

19. Decision to Leave (PR: 22) (+3)

20. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 20) (E)

21. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

22. Thirteen Lives (PR: 17) (-5)

23. Amsterdam (PR: 23) (E)

24. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

25. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rustin

The Killer

Don’t Worry Darling 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

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

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

9. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (E)

11. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 11) (E)

12. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 14) (+2)

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

14. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Chinoye Chukwu, Till (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hirokazu Kore-ada, Broker 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 3) (E)

4. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 4) (-2)

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

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

9. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

12. Frances McDormand, Women Talking (PR: 12) (E)

13. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: 13) (E)

14. Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 15) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Annette Bening, Nyad 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

4. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. Song-Kang Ho, Broker (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 13) (+3)

11. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 11) (E)

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

13. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye (PR: 15) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Colman Domingo, Rustin 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (E)

7. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 11) (+2)

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

11. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Griselda Sicillani, Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Whoopi Goldberg, Till (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Audra McDonald, Rustin

Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth

Jodie Foster, Nyad 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zen McGrath, The Son (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 9) (E)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Michael Ward, Empire of Light (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Ralph Fiennes, The Menu (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Colin Farrell, Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Glynn Turman, Rustin 

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. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tar (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (E)

9. Decision to Leave (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Broker (PR: 10) (E)

11. The Menu (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Amsterdam (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Bros (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Rustin 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. She Said (PR: 6) (E)

7. Till (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Woman King (PR: 12) (+4)

9. Thirteen Lives (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 11) (+1)

11. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 9) (-2)

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

13. Bones and All (PR: 13) (E)

14. The Good Nurse (PR: 10) (-4)

15. Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Close

The Killer

2022 Oscar Predictions: July 17th Edition

For my mid-July Oscar predictions, the Picture, Director, Actress, and Actor remain intact (with some ranking maneuvering). Same goes for the Screenplay races. However, there are some significant changes in the supporting fields. In Supporting Actress, I’ve moved Audra McDonald (Rustin) and Vanessa Kirby (The Son) in the final five while taking Hong Chau (The Whale) and Zoe Kazan (She Said) out. For Supporting Actor, I’ve had Robert De Niro (Killers of the Flower Moon) perched in #1 for many weeks. With this update, he drops all the way out of the top 5 with Paul Dano (The Fabelmans) now in first position. This moves Colin Firth (Empire of Light) into the predicted quintet.

As for other news, Taika Waititi’s sports pic Next Goal Wins appears to have pushed to 2023 (it was originally slated for 202o) and that explains it dropping out of contention. And for those who haven’t caught the recently released trailers for She Said and Amsterdam, you can find them below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Whale (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Rustin (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 11) (E)

12. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 13) (+1)

13. TAR (PR: 14) (+1)

14. White Noise (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 15) (E)

16. Elvis (PR: 17) (+1)

17. Thirteen Lives (PR: 19) (+2)

18. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 21) (+3)

19. Broker (PR: 16) (-3)

20. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 22) (+2)

21. Till (PR: 24) (+3)

22. Decision to Leave (PR: 23) (+1)

23. Amsterdam (PR: 20) (-3)

24. The Killer (PR: 25) (+1)

25. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Next Goal Wins 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 8) (-1)

10. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 15) (+4)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Hirokazu Kore-ada, Broker (PR: 12) (-1)

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

15. Todd Field, TAR (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

George C. Wolfe, Rustin 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

4. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 3) (-1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Cate Blanchett, TAR (PR: 6) (E)

7. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 10) (+3)

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

9. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

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

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

14. Annette Bening, Nyad (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

Lesley Manville, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris 

Michelle Williams, Showing Up

Jennifer Lawrence, Red, White, and Water 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Song Kang-Ho, Broker (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 10) (E)

11. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 15) (+4)

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

13. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 14) (E)

15. Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins

Christian Bale, Amsterdam 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 12) (+7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 6) (-4)

11. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Nina Hoss, TAR (PR: 13) (E)

14. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 14) (E)

15. Jodie Foster, Nyad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (-5)

7. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 7) (E)

8. Michael Ward, Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked)

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

10. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 13) (+3)

11. Colin Farrell, Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (E)

12. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 9) (-6)

Dropped Out:

John David Washington, Amsterdam 

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. Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Bardo (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Tar (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Rustin (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Broker (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Decision to Leave (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Amsterdam (PR: 11) (-2)

14. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Bros (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Aftersun 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. She Said (PR: 6) (E)

7. Thirteen Lives (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Till (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Good Nurse (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 15) (+4)

12. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Bones and All (PR: 13) (E)

14. Close (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Killer (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Next Goal Wins

The Pale Blue Eye 

You can anticipate the next update around the first of August!

2021 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

I’m used to saying the Golden Globes will air Sunday evening, but that’s not the case in 2022. The ceremony honoring the best of 2021 will come to us in an as yet undetermined format. This is due to various controversies brought to light recently about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC’s decision not to broadcast the show.

However, the show will go on (possibly streaming on your computer) and the Globes still serve as a barometer for what Oscar voters could be thinking in coming weeks. That said, the HFPA is certainly capable of providing surprises. Just last year, Andra Day’s victory in Best Actress (Drama) for The United States vs. Billie Holiday and Jodie Foster as Supporting Actress for The Mauritanian were legitimate upsets.

As a reminder, the Globes split their picture and lead acting races into Drama and Musical/Comedy though not with the supporting derbies or screenplay. I will be making my picks along with runner-up selections while also providing numbers showing the correlation of Globe winners to Oscar recipients in each respective category for the last ten years.

Let’s get to it!

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

Nominees:

Belfast

CODA

Dune

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

Predicted Winner: Belfast

Runner-Up: The Power of the Dog

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 4 out of last 10 years

Commentary: The HFPA competition for the drama prize is the first major showdown between Oscar frontrunners Belfast and The Power of the Dog. With the international flavor and feel good vibes of the former, I’m picking Kenneth Branagh’s coming-of-age drama to come out ahead. If there’s a shocker in store, it could be CODA (which seems to picking up more steam on a weekly basis).

I will admit that picking Belfast to win Drama and take no other awards (as you’ll see below) feels strange. There is recent precedent, however, with 2016’s Moonlight. 

Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees:

Cyrano

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

Tick, Tick… Boom!

West Side Story

Predicted Winner: West Side Story

Runner-Up: Licorice Pizza

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner ratio: 2 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: I wouldn’t count out Licorice Pizza but its miss in Best Director could be telling. West Side Story should be right up HFPA’s alley and its the only feature where its maker made the director cut.

Best Director

Nominees:

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Predicted Winner: Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Runner-Up: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 6 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: This is a tough one. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s nod for The Lost Daughter was unexpected and she’s the only contender that I feel stands no chance of winning. Branagh could certainly ride a wave of Belfast love. Villeneuve could be honored for the technical mastery of Dune. And Campion is the hopeful picking up the bulk of critics prizes. Yet I’ll go with the HFPA honoring the legendary Spielberg.

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actress)

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

Predicted Winner: Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Runner-Up: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 6 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: This is the first test to see whether Stewart really is the frontrunner that could sweep through the season. I’m skeptical and I honestly believe any of the performers could take this (I struggled to pick the runner-up as it could be any of them). I wouldn’t put money on it, but I’ll say Stewart manages to nab the crown.

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actor)

Nominees:

Mahershala Ali, Swan Song

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Predicted Winner: Will Smith, King Richard

Runner-Up: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 8 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: As you can see, this is a rather reliable predictor of where the Academy could go. For 2021’s features, the ceremonies should boil down to Smith v. Cumberbatch. I don’t think HFPA will pass up a chance to honor one of cinema’s most durable draws for the last 25 years in one of his most acclaimed performances.

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

Nominees:

Marion Cotillard, Annette

Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up

Emma Stone, Cruella

Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Predicted Winner: Emma Stone, Cruella

Runner-Up: Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 3 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: There was an upset last year when Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot) emerged over the favored Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. The West Side love extending to Zegler is probably the smartest pick to make. Alana Haim’s work in Pizza could deliver her a victory and she probably should be listed as the runner-up. Yet if there’s any upset, I could see Stone surprising and there’s almost always one during the Globes. Perhaps against my better judgment, I’m going with it.

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

Nominees:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Peter Dinklage, Cyrano

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza

Anthony Ramos, In the Heights

Predicted Winner: Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

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

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 1 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: Dinklage is a threat though I’ll go with DiCaprio as the runner-up since he’s arguably the biggest star in Hollywood. That said, Garfield (he’s likely #3 in the Oscar contest at the moment) is the most likely winner.

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Actress)

Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Ruth Negga, Passing

Predicted Winner: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Runner-Up: Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 7 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: Jodie Foster’s win for 2020 came out of nowhere so who really knows? I’ll go with a West Side pick and DeBose. Other than Negga, I could foresee any of these candidates making (theoretical) podium trips.

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Actor)

Nominees:

Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Predicted Winner: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 8 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: Another tricky one in a race where the Globes and Academy typically match. Assuming the Belfast boys split and Affleck isn’t a factor, this comes down to Smit-McPhee vs. Kotsur. A win for either could propel them to a glorious season ahead. I’m really tempted to go with Kotsur, but I’ll say this marks the best opportunity for HFPA to bestow an honor for Dog. This is a coin flip.

Best Screenplay

Nominees:

Being the Ricardos

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

Predicted Winner: Licorice Pizza

Runner-Up: Belfast

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 5 out of the last 10 years (counting both Original and Adapted Screenplays at the Oscars)

Commentary: Your guess is as good as mine here. I’m going with a bit of an upset with Pizza, but the smart money is probably on Belfast or Dog. I also wouldn’t count out Aaron Sorkin for Ricardos (he took this category last year for The Trial of the Chicago 7). And Adam McKay could be called up for Don’t Look Up which (despite its mixed reviews) is drawing plenty of ink.

Best Animated Feature

Nominees:

Encanto

Flee

Luca

My Sunny Maad

Raya and the Last Dragon

Predicted Winner: Encanto

Runner-Up: Flee

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 7 out of the last years

Commentary: The Globes are capable of unexpected picks here (2019’s Missing Link for example). Don’t be surprised if Flee from Iran gets this, but I’ll go with Disney’s likeliest hopeful of its trio of nominees and that’s Encanto.

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees:

Compartment No. 6

Drive My Car

The Hand of God

A Hero

Parallel Mothers

Predicted Winner: Drive My Car

Runner-Up: Parallel Mothers

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 6 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: Watch out for Mothers to pull off an upset, but this is Drive My Car‘s race to lose. The Japanese drama has established itself as the frontrunner in international competitions at all ceremonies.

Best Original Score

Nominees:

Dune

Encanto

The French Dispatch

Parallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog

Predicted Winner: Dune

Runner-Up: Parallel Mothers

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 7 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: Another race that Mothers could unexpectedly take, I also wouldn’t discount Dispatch or Dog. This should be Dune‘s best opportunity to take a prize though.

Best Original Song

Nominees:

“Be Alive” from King Richard

“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto

“Down to Joy” from Belfast

“Here I Am” from Respect

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

Predicted Winner: “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

Runner-Up: “Be Alive” from King Richard

Globe Winner to Oscar Winner Ratio: 6 out of the last 10 years

Commentary: This should be the battle of Billie (Eilish) for “Die” vs. Beyonce (it’s just Beyonce) for “Alive” and that should be the dynamic for the Oscars. The HFPA has honored the last two Bond themes for Skyfall and Spectre. I’ll give it a very slight edge.

And there you have it! The Golden Globes will air, err happen, Sunday. I’ll have reaction up on the blog shortly thereafter.

2021 Golden Globe Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

King Richard

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: CODA

Second Alternate: The Tragedy of Macbeth

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

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Predicted Nominees:

Cyrano

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

Tick Tick… Boom!

West Side Story

Runner-Up: In the Heights

Second Alternate: Cruella

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

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

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Runner-Up: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

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

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actress)

Predicted Nominees:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Jennifer Hudson, Respect

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Runner-Up: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Second Alternate: Jodie Comer, The Last Duel

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

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actor)

Predicted Nominees:

Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Second Alternate: Nicolas Cage, Pig

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

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

Predicted Nominees:

Haley Bennett, Cyrano

Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up

Emma Stone, Cruella

Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Runner-Up: Melissa Barrera, In the Heights

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

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

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

Predicted Nominees:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Peter Dinklage, Cyrano

Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick… Boom!

Anthony Ramos, In the Heights

Ryan Reynolds, Free Guy

Runner-Up: Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: Simon Rex, Red Rocket

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

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Supporting Actress)

Predicted Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Runner-Up: Rita Moreno, West Side Story

Second Alternate: Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

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

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Supporting Actor)

Predicted Nominees:

Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Jared Leto, House of Gucci

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: Mike Faist, West Side Story

Second Alternate: Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

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

Best Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Runner-Up: King Richard

Second Alternate: Being the Ricardos

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

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Vivo

Runner-Up: Raya and the Last Dragon

Second Alternate: Belle

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

Drive My Car

Flee

A Hero

Titane

The Worst Person in the World

Runner-Up: Parallel Mothers

Second Alternate: The Hand of God

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

Spencer

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: The French Dispatch

Second Alternate: Don’t Look Up

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

“Be Alive” from King Richard

“Down to Joy” from Belfast

“Every Letter” from Cyrano

“Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

Runner-Up: “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto

Second Alternate: “So May We Start” from Annette

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

7 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

Don’t Look Up

5 Nominations

West Side Story

4 Nominations

Cyrano, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley

3 Nominations

Dune

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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

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

Shoulda Been Oscar Contenders: Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day

My latest Shoulda Been Oscar Contender is an appropriate one for Mother’s Day. This particular mama went to great lengths to protect her son since, ya know, he was charged with saving the universe decades later from annihilation. She even got herself thrown in a mental hospital because of her heroic efforts.

I’m speaking of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Reprising her role from the 1984 classic, Hamilton stepped up her game in the 1991 sequel alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong as her future Earth saving teen.

Terminator 2 was a game changer itself when it came to special effects and action. It resulted in six Oscar nominations, including victories for Makeup, Sound, Sound Effects Editing, and (of course) Visual Effects. Yet nods in the biggest categories were elusive. 1991 was a strong year in Best Actress with Jodie Foster winning for The Silence of the Lambs over the sturdy competition of Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon for Thelma & Louise and Laura Dern in Rambling Rose. 

However, Hamilton’s strong (and not just her biceps) performance could have easily gotten the fifth slot over Bette Midler in For the Boys. MTV recognized her work and she won Best Actress at their ceremony. And while the Academy isn’t known to honor performances in action flicks, they had deservedly done so just five years earlier for Sigourney Weaver in another heralded genre sequel Aliens (also directed by Cameron).

They missed a good opportunity to do the same here. Lastly, while not every mother is charged with keeping their kid alive to avoid planetary destruction, the great ones sure make us all feel like they do. Happy Mother’s Day to all of them!

Oscars 2020: The Case of Glenn Close

Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy is next up in my Case Of posts for Supporting Actress contenders. If you missed my first entry covering Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, it is right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/30/oscars-2020-the-case-of-maria-bakalova/

The Case for Glenn Close

Three Supporting Actress nominations for The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, and The Natural. Four Actress nods for Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Albert Nobbs, and The Wife. And no victories thus far. With her 8th nomination for the Netflix drama, Glenn Close has tied Peter O’Toole for the most Academy mentions with zero podium trips. So there’s clearly an overdue factor for one of the most celebrated actresses. Her career includes three each of the following: Golden Globes, Tonys, and Emmys. There is no clear favorite to emerge here as previous precursor recipients have included Maria Bakalova at the Critics Choice Awards, Yuh-jung Youn (Minari) at SAG, and Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) at the Globes (she missed Academy inclusion). In other words, anything could happen.

The Case Against Glenn Close

On paper, Close was looked at as a frontrunner all year. However, poor reviews for the picture itself stunted that momentum. In fact, she received a Razzie nod (honoring the worst in 2020) here and is only the third performer ever with that dubious distinction. For trivia completists, the other two are James Coco for Supporting Actor in 1981’s Only When I Laugh and Amy Irving in Supporting Actress for 1983’s Yentl. And while I mentioned the open nature of this particular contest, Close has yet to attain a precursor.

The Verdict

The 8th time is probably not the charm for Close unless the Academy really leans into the overdue sentiment.

My Case Of posts will continue with Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah…

2020 SAG Awards Winner Predictions

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards airs this Easter Sunday evening in an abridged hour long ceremony and, as usual, it could carry significant Oscar implications as to who the frontrunners truly are. That means it’s time for me to put my forecasting hat on and give it my best shot with predictions.

Let’s break it down category by category, shall we? I’ll provide my runner-up selection as well.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, One Night in Miami, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Analysis: Interestingly, the last two films in the big race (Black Panther, Parasite) won without a single nomination in the individual acting races. That had only happened two times previously between 1995-2017 with 1997’s The Full Monty and 2003’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. That will not happen for 2020’s selections as all five have at least one performer contending in a separate category.

However, in a rare occurrence, only two of the five ensembles here landed a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. Those are Minari and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Only once in SAG’s history has a movie emerged victorious here without a BP Oscar nod (1996’s The Birdcage). This serves as my annual reminder that SAG picks the best cast and not the best movie.

Truth be told, Da 5 Bloods is the only pic that I believe has little chance at winning here. Yet Ma Rainey and Miami are likely at a disadvantage due to precedent. That leaves us with Minari and Trial. The latter has seen its Oscar momentum stalled in recent weeks, but its sprawling cast could finally get the major precursor victory that it’s been missing. I’m tempted to pick it and it might be the safe choice.

Minari, on the other hand, has gained steamed recently and emerged as a potential upset winner at the Oscars against Nomadland (as has Promising Young Woman, which missed here). I’m choosing to go with the picture with the hotter hand.

Predicted Winner: Minari

Runner-Up: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

Analysis: The Golden Globe winner in this category (Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday) isn’t featured here. Therefore we can take a precursor sweep off the table for Best Actress. Adams is the sole nominee without an Oscar nomination so she’s out of contention. Mulligan has the Critics Choice Award and is looked at as the prohibitive favorite from the Academy. She’s the most likely SAG winner. Davis and McDormand could upset, but I’m relatively confident with this pick.

Predicted Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Runner-Up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

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

Analysis: There’s a five for five match here with the Academy, but I find this SAG lineup to be a bit more complicated due to other factors. While Boseman has taken the Globes and Critics Choice, his nod in Supporting Actor with the actors guild for Da 5 Bloods (if he wins there) opens the door for either Ahmed or Hopkins. That wouldn’t totally shock me, but it’s hard to predict against Boseman and I won’t.

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Runner-Up: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Yuh-jung Youn (Minari), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

Analysis: Now this is a tough one. The Supporting Actress derby in the precursors has been a true head scratcher. Like in Best Actress, Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) is nowhere to be found (she missed at the Oscars too). Colman and Zengel are the two performers who are highly unlikely to take the prize. This is a genuine three person race between Bakalova, Close, and Youn. Bakalova seems to have momentum with a recent Critics Choice victory. SAG could certainly opt for Close’s baity role (the fact that they nominated her costar Amy Adams lends credence to that). Youn is without a major precursor, but Minari‘s upswing could sweep her in.

Simply put, I’ve very torn here. With Close, the Academy’s narrative for a win is that she’s without an Oscar and is looked at as overdue. SAG, on the other hand, has bestowed trophies for her twice including just two years ago for The Wife. Bakalova has the disadvantage of being in a comedy, but that hindrance may not matter much in this wide open field. I’m left with buying the Minari momentum for Youn. However, I can’t stress enough how feasible a win is for all three actresses.

Predicted Winner: Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

Runner-Up: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami)

Analysis: This one is far simpler than Supporting Actress as Kaluuya has racked up the Globe and Critics Choice and is the heavy favorite. The only wrinkle, as mentioned above, is if SAG voters decide to honor Boseman here instead of in Best Actor. It probably won’t happen, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Predicted Winner: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Runner-Up: Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

And there you have it! I’ll have reaction up on Sunday evening. Until then…

 

2020 Oscar Nominations Reaction

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

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

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

Best Picture

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

How I Did: 7/9

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

Best Director

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Actress

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

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

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

Best Actor

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

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

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

Best Supporting Actress

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Supporting Actor

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Original Screenplay

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Adapted Screenplay

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

How I Did: 3/5

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

Best Animated Feature

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Documentary Feature

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

How I Did: 3/5

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

Best International Feature Film

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

How I Did: 2/5 (ugh)

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

Best Cinematography

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Costume Design

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Film Editing

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Original Score

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Original Song

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

How I Did: 4/5

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

Best Production Design

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

How I Did: 3/5

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

Best Sound

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

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

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

Best Visual Effects

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

How I Did: 3/5

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

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

10 Nominations

Mank

6 Nominations

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

5 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Promising Young Woman

4 Nominations

News of the World

3 Nominations

One Night in Miami, Soul

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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

Quick tidbits:

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

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

2020 FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS

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

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

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

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

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Minari

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: The Father

2nd Runner-Up: News of the World 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

David Fincher, Mank

Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

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

2nd Runner-Up: Florian Zeller, The Father

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

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

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

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Gary Oldman, Mank

Steven Yeun, Minari

1st Runner-Up: Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

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

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman, The Father

Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian

Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

1st Runner-Up: Amanda Seyfried, Mank

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

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

David Strathairn, Nomadland

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

2nd Runner-Up: Alan Kim, Minari

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Promising Young Woman

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Sound of Metal

2nd Runner-Up: Soul

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The Mauritanian

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

1st Runner-Up: News of the World

2nd Runner-Up: The White Tiger

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

The Croods: A New Age

Onward

Over the Moon

Soul

Wolfwalkers

1st Runner-Up: The Willoughbys

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

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

Collective

Dick Johnson Is Dead

My Octopus Teacher

Time

Welcome to Chechnya

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

2nd Runner-Up: Boys State

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

Another Round

Dear Comrades!

La Llorona

Quo Vadis, Aida?

Two of Us

1st Runner-Up: Collective

2nd Runner-Up: Night of the Kings

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Judas and the Black Messiah

2nd Runner-Up: Cherry

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

Ammonite

Emma

Mank

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mulan

1st Runner-Up: News of the World

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

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Mank

2nd Runner-Up: The Father

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

Birds of Prey

Emma

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Pinocchio

1st Runner-Up: Mank

2nd Runner-Up: The Glorias

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

The Midnight Sky

Minari

News of the World

Soul

1st Runner-Up: Tenet

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

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

“Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah

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

“lo Si” from The Life Ahead

“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy

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

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

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The Midnight Sky

News of the World

The Trial of the Chicago 7

1st Runner-Up: Mulan

2nd Runner-Up: Tenet

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

Greyhound

Mank

News of the World

Soul

Sound of Metal

1st Runner-Up: Nomadland

2nd Runner-Up: Tenet

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

Tenet

Welcome to Chechnya

1st Runner-Up: The One and Only Ivan

2nd Runner-Up: Soul 

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

10 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

Minari, The Trial of the Chicago 7

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland

5 Nominations

Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal

4 Nominations

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

3 Nominations

The Father, The Midnight Sky, Soul

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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

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