Oscar Predictions: Mothering Sunday

Eva Husson’s romantic British period piece Mothering Sunday sure looks like an awards contender on paper. Based on a 2016 novel by Graham Swift, the Lionsgate release (out stateside November 19) originally debuted at Cannes and has made its way to the Toronto Film Festival. Starring Odessa Young and Josh O’Connor, Sunday also features a trio of Oscar winner in its supporting cast (Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Glenda Jackson).

Reviews thus far are pleasing with a 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Calling it a bleaker story set in a Downton Abbey world, this could find a niche audience. Yet even the positive critical reaction doesn’t indicate to me that it will resonate with the Academy. Competition could simply be too steep to make a play in the major races like Picture or Adapted Screenplay. Furthermore it’s said the high-profile supporting cast may not receive enough screen time to contend. Don’t cry for Colman, however. She’s already in the mix in Best Actress for The Lost Daughter.

Bottom line: perhaps Sunday could pop up in Production or Costume Design (though I doubt it) and that’s about the best hope. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Oscar Watch: Emma

Emma is the latest adaptation of the 1815 Jane Austen novel and it’s out this weekend in limited release and posting solid numbers. This version stars Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role. She’s best known for her work in the horror genre with The Witch, Split, and Glass. Reviews are praising with a current 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film marks the debut of director Autumn de Wilde and arrives at an awfully early frame for awards voters to remember it. One of the last renderings of the book was in 1996 with Gwyneth Paltrow starring. It opened in the summer of that year and nabbed Oscar nods for Costume Design and Score. The former category is certainly a possibility. However, like what came before nearly a quarter century ago, I am skeptical this Emma contends for top of the line races.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be a surprise for this to be placed in the Musical/Comedy lane at the Golden Globes. We have seen years where the Actress derby there is rather weak (including in 2019 when none of the five nominees managed Academy recognition). That could allow Taylor-Joy to be noticed at the Globes. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…