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 Oscar Predictions: December 23rd Edition

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

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

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

2021 Oscar Shortlists: Reaction

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

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Dune (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 11) (+3)

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

10. Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

11. Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Drive My Car (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (-1)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 13 (-1)

15. A Hero (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

C’Mon C’Mon

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

Dropped Out:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (+1)

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

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

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

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

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 8) (+1)

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

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

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

Dropped Out:

Judi Dench, Belfast

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

10. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Hero (PR: 8) (+2)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Mass (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Passing (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Luca (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 2) (+1)

2. A Hero (PR: 1) (-1)

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

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 6) (E)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Great Freedom (PR: Not Ranked)

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

10. Lamb (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Titane

Memoria

The Good Boss

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Attica (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 5) (-1)

7. President (PR: 7) (E)

8. Faya Dayi (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ascension (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

The Lost Leonardo

Becoming Cousteau

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (+2)

3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Spencer (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (-1)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (E)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+3)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. King Richard (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (E)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

9. West Side Story (PR: 8) (-1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spencer

Being the Ricardos

The Last Duel

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

8. King Richard (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Encanto (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Cyrano

Being the Ricardos

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

Dropped Out:

“Believe” from The Rescue

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (-4)

10. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

9. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Last Duel

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 5) (+1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Free Guy (PR: 8) (+2)

7. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Eternals (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Black Widow (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

Finch

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

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth

4 Nominations

Don’t Look Up

3 Nominations

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

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 15th Edition

We have arrived at my post Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards predictions for the Oscars! This week’s update comes with two significant #1 switches… starting with Best Picture.

For months, I’ve had Belfast positioned in the top spot. That changes today. Don’t get me wrong: the Kenneth Branagh coming-of-age drama could win Picture, Director, Supporting Actress and Actor, and Original Screenplay. However, for the first time, it’s not listed at #1 in any of those categories.

The #1 Picture slot could’ve gone to West Side Story, but I’m going with The Power of the Dog as it continues to nab critics prizes and place high atop best of lists. In Supporting Actress, I’m swapping Belfast‘s Caitriona Balfe for Ariana DeBose in West Side. 

There’s other alterations in Picture and Supporting Actress. I’m putting Don’t Look Up back in the ten BP hopefuls despite its mixed reviews. That’s to the detriment of Tick Tick… Boom!

I’m also elevating Ruth Negga (Passing) in supporting over Rita Moreno (West Side Story).

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 2) (+1)

2. Belfast (PR: 1) (-1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 12) (+4)

9. Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Being the Ricardos (PR: 13) (+1)

13. The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

14. A Hero (PR: 14) (E)

15. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 11) (-4)

Dropped Out:

House of Gucci

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

Julia Ducournau, Titane

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 4) (+1)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

Clifton Collins Jr., Jockey

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 2) (+1)

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

3. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (+1)

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

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 9) (E)

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

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

Richard Jenkins, The Humans

Jon Bernthal, King Richard

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Mass (PR: 8) (+1)

8. A Hero (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Parallel Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Worst Person in the World

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (E)

4. CODA (PR: 4) (E)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-2)

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

10. Passing (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Humans

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Luca (PR: 4) (+1)

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

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. Drive My Car (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Titane (PR: 6) (-1)

8. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Memoria (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Good Boss (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Prayers for the Stolen

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The First Wave (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 4) (-2)

7. President (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Velvet Underground (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Ascension

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Spencer (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (E)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Dune (PR: 3) (E)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. King Richard (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 2) (+1)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Being the Ricardos (PR: 8) (+1)

8. West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (+3)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. King Richard (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 5) (+2)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 10) (+4)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: Not Ranked)

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

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

10. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

“Every Letter” from Cyrano

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 8) (+2)

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

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Spencer (PR: 6) (-3)

10. The Power of the Dog (PR: 10) (E)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-3)

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

9. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

King Richard

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Finch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Free Guy (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Eternals (PR: 3) (-6)

10. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Suicide Squad

My current estimates mean these movies nabbing these numbers in terms of nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

6 Nominations

Don’t Look Up

5 Nominations

King Richard

4 Nominations

Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Nightmare Alley, Spencer

2 Nominations

Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, Tick Tick… Boom!

1 Nomination

Belle, Cyrano, Drive My Car, The First Wave, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Passing, Procession, The Rescue, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Golden Globes Nominations: Reaction

Under a cloud of controversy and uncertainty as to what their January 9th ceremony will even look like (it won’t be on NBC), the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominees this morning for the 79th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Per usual, there were some surprises though no Kate Hudson for Best Actress in Music level one like in 2020. Overall I went 49/70 in my picks for the 14 cinematic races – going perfect in just one derby while striking out 2/5 in two others.

Let’s break them down one by one with some commentary and my initial thoughts on who/what could win:

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

Nominees: Belfast, CODA, Dune, King Richard, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 4/5

Comments: No shockers here as my runner-up CODA got in over Nightmare Alley. Guillermo del Toro’s noir thriller got zero love from the HFPA and it’ll need to rally with Oscar voters. Belfast and Dog led all nods with seven apiece. Both could vie for the victory with the former perhaps having a slight edge.

Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Cyrano, Don’t Look Up, Licorice Pizza, Tick Tick… Boom!, West Side Story

How I Did: 5/5

Comments: The real mystery here was whether Cyrano or In the Heights would be the third musical of the bunch. I picked correctly. Seeing that Steven Spielberg is the only director in this race nominated, it’s hard to imagine West Side Story not emerging victorious here.

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)

How I Did: 4/5

Comments: Gyllenhaal’s inclusion was not anticipated and she got in over my selection of Guillermo del Toro for Nightmare Alley. Truth be told, I could see any of the other four hopefuls taking this prize.

Best Actress (Drama)

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)

How I Did: 4/5

Comments: Colman in over Jennifer Hudson (Respect). This could absolutely be the Oscar five. Stewart is the soft frontrunner with any other of the performers viable.

Best Actor (Drama)

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)

How I Did: 3/5

Comments: Bardem getting in is not all that unexpected but I didn’t see Ali coming. They make the cut over Bradley Cooper (Nightmare Alley) and Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon). This one should boil down to Smith and Cumberbatch.

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Annette), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Jennifer Lawrence (Don’t Look Up), Emma Stone (Cruella), Rachel Zegler (West Side Story)

How I Did: 4/5

Comments: Cotillard over Haley Bennett for Cyrano. As for the favorite, expect West Side Story to carry Zegler.

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up), Peter Dinklage (Cyrano), Andrew Garfield (Tick Tick… Boom!), Cooper Hoffman (Licorice Pizza), Anthony Ramos (In the Heights)

How I Did: 4/5

Comments: I went a little out there with my fifth pick of Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy. Hoffman is here instead. Garfield is out in front in this one.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Caitriona Balfe (Belfast), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog), Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard), Ruth Negga (Passing)

How I Did: 4/5

Comments: Negga gets a needed boost (I had Meryl Streep for Don’t Look Up in her slot). If Jodie Foster could win an upset victory last year here for The Mauritanian, any of these performers could win.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Ben Affleck (The Tender Bar), Jamie Dornan (Belfast), Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

How I Did: 3/5

Comments: The Golden Globes often go for big names so the fact that Kotsur got in with HFPA bodes well for his Oscar chances. He and Affleck make it over my picks of Bradley Cooper (Licorice Pizza) and Jared Leto (House of Gucci). Conversely I’d argue that if Leto can’t make it here, his Academy prospects look shaky. Smit-McPhee is picking up critics prizes but this race is wide open in my view.

Best Screenplay

Nominees: Being the Ricardos, Belfast, Don’t Look Up, Licorice Pizza, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 4/5

Comments: The HFPA loves them some Aaron Sorkin and his Ricardos script triumphs over West Side Story. This could be Belfast, Pizza, or Power.

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: Encanto, Flee, Luca, My Sunny Maad, Raya and the Last Dragon

How I Did: 3/5

Comments: My Sunny Maad came out of nowhere. Not so much with Raya. They’re in instead of The Mitchells vs. the Machines (which I’m genuinely surprised missed) and Vivo (which I’m not). Don’t discount Flee, but Encanto is the likely winner.

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Compartment No. 6, Drive My Car, The Hand of God, A Hero, Parallel Mothers

How I Did: 2/5

Comments: Ouch. Only got Drive My Car and A Hero correct (and they could duke it out for the prize). On the cutting room floor: Flee, Titane, and The Worst Person in the World. Mothers could contend here as well.

Best Original Score

Nominees: Dune, Encanto, The French Dispatch, Parallel Mothers, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 2/5

Comments: The pain continues as I only called Dune and Power correctly. The others are in over Nightmare Alley, Spencer, and The Tragedy of Macbeth. This should be Dune, but Power is possible too.

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

How I Did: 3/5

Comments: The Encanto and Respect cuts make it instead of “Every Letter” from Cyrano and “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up. Like the Oscars, this could be a battle between Beyonce (“Be Alive”) and Billie Eilish (“No Time to Die”).

That means the following films garnered these numbers with their nominations:

7 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog

4 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, West Side Story

3 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Dune, Encanto

2 Nominations

CODA, Cyrano, The Lost Daughter, Parallel Mothers, Tick Tick… Boom!

1 Nomination

Annette, Compartment No. 6, Cruella, Drive My Car, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Flee, The French Dispatch, The Hand of God, A Hero, House of Gucci, In the Heights, Luca, My Sunny Maad, No Time to Die, Passing, Raya and the Last Dragon, Respect, Spencer, Swan Song, The Tender Bar, The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Lost Daughter Finds Gotham Love

The Gotham Awards, which honors independent pictures, held its annual ceremony tonight with category shifts, surprises, and ties. The NYC based event is not exactly seen as a reliable barometer of what will happen at the Oscars. However, it’s worth noting that since the Best Feature category was established in 2004, there’s only been three years (2007, 2008, 2018) in which none of the nominees made the Academy’s Best Picture cut. Four recent Gotham winners (Birdman, Spotlight, Moonlight, and last year’s Nomadland) ended up being the Oscar selection.

In 2021, none of the five nominees for the big race were listed in my latest Oscar estimates. In fact, none of the quintet were in my top 15 possibilities. That would be going against the grain for what Gotham typically produces and the big winner tonight is undoubtedly Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut The Lost Daughter (which hits theaters on December 17 and Netflix on New Years Eve). The psychological drama took the top prize over The Green Knight, Passing, Pig, and Test Pattern. I only foresee Daughter and Passing as having viable paths to a Best Pic nod and the former’s victory here gives it more exposure.

In addition to Best Feature, Daughter was honored for Breakthrough Director and Screenplay. I am confident an Adapted Screenplay nod from the Academy is coming its way.

As for those category shifts, the Gothams chose to eliminate gender distinction in the lead acting derbies. Yet, ironically, there was a tie bestowing the award for a male and female. That provided another statue for Daughter and its lead Olivia Colman (as her Best Actress chances are looking stronger each day). The male was a surprise with character actor Frankie Faison for The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain. You may know him best as orderly Barney in The Silence of the Lambs, but his lead role here got him attention over Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon). I wouldn’t count on Academy members taking notice.

This is the first year in which Gotham had a supporting race (also gender neutral) and it went to Troy Kotsur in CODA. This will feels a bit more significant as the scene stealer won over stellar competition like his costar Marlee Matlin and Ruth Negga in Passing. In an Oscar year where Supporting Actor is wide open, awards like this could propel Kotsur to make the final cut.

Elsewhere Flee took Documentary (it’s a likely shoo-in with the Academy) while Drive My Car helped its case in the foreign race over Titane and The Worst Person in the World. 

Bottom line: Daughter found a precursor in Gotham that should raise the profile as the Oscar folks are starting to pay attention.

2021 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Best Director Race

After four posts focusing on the acting races at the 2021 Oscars, it’s time to turn to Best Director. If you missed those entries on the lead and supporting performer derbies, you can find them here:

2021 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Best Actress Race

2021 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Best Actor Race

2021 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Supporting Actress Race

2021 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Supporting Actor Race

With the directing category, I do believe there’s three filmmakers that have likely punched their ticket to a nomination. Before we get there, let’s take a look at how my projections panned out at the same early November time frame in 2019 and 2020.

Two years back, I correctly identified four of the five contenders: winner Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) as well as Sam Mendes (1917), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). Todd Phillips (Joker) was mentioned in Other Possibilities. 2020 was more unpredictable with two months left to go and that resulted in only two directors being accurately named: Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), who took the gold, and David Fincher (Mank). Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) was in Other Possibilities while neither Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) or surprise nominee Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) were yet listed in my top ten.

Back to 2021 and the three individuals who I believe stand probable shots at making the cut. They are Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), and Denis Villeneuve (Dune).

It was 28 years ago that Campion was nominated for The Piano. If it hadn’t been for Oscar juggernaut Schindler’s List, she likely would’ve been making a speech. Upon its premiere in Venice, Campion took the Silver Lion (equivalent to this competition) for Dog. I don’t see her being left off the ballot.

Belfast is the current frontrunner for Best Picture and it’s hard to envision  writer/director Branagh not making it in. If so, it would be his first nod in directing since Henry V some 32 years back.

Dune is being heralded for its technical wizardry and it should pick up numerous down the line wins and nominations. Five years after his behind the camera work was recognized for Arrival, Villeneuve should be a factor again.

Interestingly, I don’t feel there’s a clear favorite to win. There are plausible scenarios for any member of this trio to emerge victorious. Campion, Branagh, and Villeneuve constitute my top 3 (in that order), but it’s more of a 1a, 1b, and 1c at press time.

As for the other two slots, there’s a few contenders stemming from unseen product. There’s big names in that bunch: Guillermo del Toro (Nightmare Alley, who won four years ago for The Shape of Water), Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza, a two-time nominee for There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread), Ridley Scott (for House of Gucci and not The Last Duel), Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up, previously nominated for The Big Short), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Tick, Tick… Boom!), and Steven Spielberg (West Side Story,  a two-time winner for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan).

Any of these gentlemen could bubble up to the surface once their pictures are screened. I’m sticking with the two I’ve had in my five recently: del Toro and Anderson.

King Richard has a chance to win Best Picture, but I’m skeptical its maker Reinaldo Marcus Green makes it here. The sports drama seems destined to be recognized more for its performances, but if the Academy really falls for it, Green could be theoretically be swept in. That holds true for Joel Coen (The Tragedy of Macbeth) and Pablo Larrain (Spencer) as well.

Lastly, Thomas Vinterberg’s nod in 2020 for Another Round came out of nowhere. While it was pegged to take International Feature Film (which it did), Round was not nominated in Best Picture. There’s a slew of directors who could fill the “surprise” slot this time around (many from foreign features): Pedro Almodovar (Parallel Mothers), Julia Ducournau (Titane), Asghar Farhari (A Hero), Paolo Sorrentino (The Hand of God), Joachim Trier (The Worst Person in the World). I wouldn’t completely count out Rebecca Hall for Passing. Yet none of these upset selections are in my top ten.

The one that is: Jonas Poher Rasmussen for festival darling Flee. While I don’t have it nabbing a Best Pic nom at the moment, I do foresee the Danish doc contending in Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, and International Feature Film. That kind of attention could cause the voters to include him.

Here’s how those rankings look at the start of November:

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 2)

3. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 3)

4. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 6)

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

8. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard (PR: 9)

10. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Julia Ducournau, Titane

Best Picture is next!

A Happening in Venice

What’s happening in Venice? Well, Happening is. As in the 1960s set French drama from director Audrey Diwan (not to be confused with M. Night Shyamalan’s dreaded The Happening… and it won’t be). The pic surprisingly took the Venice Film Festival’s top award this afternoon – the Golden Lion.

In the past four years, the recipient of that honor has moved onto Oscar glory. Both 2017’s The Shape of Water and last year’s Nomadland took that Italian momentum to a Best Picture win. 2018’s Roma and 2020’s Joker both achieved nominations in BP and won other major categories.

My feeling is that Happening will break that streak. While France may select it for International Feature Film consideration and it could make that five, I don’t see this nabbing one of the ten slots for BP.

Diwan did not emerge victorious in Director. Instead, that went to Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog where she’s widely anticipated to follow suit with the Academy.

The Silver Lion (essentially runner-up) went to Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God. While it got same raves, some critics were a little cooler. In my estimation, it has a stronger shot at BP and especially International Feature Film inclusion than Happening.

Best Actress was a category to keep an eye on as it included Oscar hopefuls like Kristin Stewart in Spencer, Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter, and Penelope Cruz in Parallel Mothers. It was Cruz grabbing the prize (to the shock of many a Stewart fan) and it puts the three-time nominee and one-time victor in a sturdier position to make the cut come Oscar time. As for Stewart (and Colman to a lesser degree), they’ve still done what they need to do to be in the conversation.

There wasn’t many Academy players in the male actor competition and it was John Arcilla winning for On the Job: The Missing 8, an export from the Philippines. Don’t expect his name in the mix for Oscar.

The Screenplay race honored Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter, which was received very well overseas. This increases her chances to at least get an Adapted Screenplay recognition for her work. She also directed and a nod there could be a taller order.

Overall, I wouldn’t expect 2021’s Golden Lion selection to gain much traction at the big show. Other winners solidified their statuses in various categories.

Oscar Predictions: The Lost Daughter

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut The Lost Daughter has screened at Venice prior to its theatrical and Netflix release in December. Olivia Colman stars as a college professor who confronts her familial past. The supporting cast includes Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, Peter Sarsgaard, and Ed Harris.

In addition to being behind the camera, Gyllenhaal (a 2009 Supporting Actress nominee for Crazy Heart) also adapted the screenplay based on an Elena Ferrante novel. Reviews indicate this is an impressive start to her directing career and it stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Will the Academy take notice? It certainly may with Colman, who’s unsurprisingly drawing raves. Best Actress should be a crowded field so this is no guarantee. If Colman does manage one of the five spots, it would be her third nod in four years. She won the lead race in 2018 for The Favourite and was nominated in Supporting Actress for The Father last year. Johnson and Buckley are slightly longer shots for supporting and Netflix could concentrate primarily on Colman.

I’m not sure Picture or Director are feasible, but you never know if the streamer goes all in on a campaign. Bottom line: Colman may have the best odds, but The Lost Daughter could find its way into other competitions with the right push. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Venice Film Festival: A Preview

The Venice Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday this week. For this blogger, it means my Oscar speculation will kick into overdrive. You can anticipate a flurry of Oscar Watch posts starting September 1st and continuing throughout the month as the Telluride fest transpires over Labor Day weekend. Toronto is right behind beginning September 9th.

To put it all in perspective, the eventual Best Picture winner has premiered at this trio of festivals more often than not lately. Nomadland (last year’s victor) started off in Venice and won the Golden Lion, which is the equivalent to BP. The same narrative holds true for 2017’s The Shape of Water. 2018’s Green Book debuted at Toronto. 2016’s Moonlight premiered at Telluride. 2015’s Spotlight rolled out at Venice and 2014’s Birdman opened that festival. You get the idea.

So what are the highest profile titles jockeying for position? What are the movies that could become instant hopefuls for the Academy’s attention? I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look, shall we?

The Power of the Dog

In 1993, director Jane Campion had her last major Oscar contender with The Piano. It won Best Actress for Holly Hunter, Supporting Actress for Anna Paquin, and Original Screenplay for Campion. She became the first female ever to be nominated for Best Director (losing that race and Picture to Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List).

Her latest is The Power of the Dog and it will be a mainstay on the festival circuit before its theatrical release in November that’s followed by an early December Netflix bow. Dog is, on paper, the film that prognosticators like me are looking at as an early favorite.

In my previous weekly rankings, I have Dog listed at #1 in Picture, Director, Actor (Cumberbatch), and Adapted Screenplay. Dunst and Plemons are, respectively, ranked second in Supporting Actress and Actor.

We will know quite soon whether it lives up to the hype.

Parallel Mothers

Pedro Almodovar’s latest will open the proceedings on Tuesday. The Spanish language drama stars Penelope Cruz and she could be a factor in what appears to be a potentially crowded Best Actress derby. Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film could also be races where it contends. Just two years back, the auteur’s previous work Pain and Glory was nominated in the international competition and it nabbed Antonio Banderas a Best Actor nod.

Additionally, Cruz and Banderas star in the comedy Official Competition, which is also premiering here. It may also be one to keep an eye on.

Spencer

Speaking of that Best Actress race which features numerous players, that holds true with Spencer. Pablo Larrain’s biopic about Princess Diana may propel Kristen Stewart to her first nomination. Larrain directed Natalie Portman and she made the final five as Jackie from 2016. Will Stewart break through on the awards front after a series of post Twilight acclaimed roles? The answer is coming.

The Hand of God

Another Netflix property is this Italian drama from Paolo Sorrentino, whose 2013 effort The Great Beauty dominated the foreign language races at the Oscars and Globes. His latest could be another contender and I will be keeping an eye on whether it could branch out to Best Picture (like Roma and Parasite recently did).

The Card Counter

Paul Schrader’s last pic First Reformed received an Original Screenplay nod for its filmmaker. His latest crime drama features Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, and Willem Dafoe. I haven’t had this featured at all in my weekly predictions, but a splashy Venice rollout could alter that.

Dune

The Card Counter cannot claim the title of being Oscar Isaac’s most breathlessly awaited arrival. That would be Dune from Denis Villeneuve as the sci-fi epic is debuting out of competition. Originally slated for 2020, Dune could be a major awards threat in lots of categories (especially the technical ones). Whether it is Best Picture material will soon be established.

The Lost Daughter

Maggie Gyllenhaal directs Olivia Colman in the Netflix drama slated for late December. Colman has been nominated in two out of the three years at the big show. She won in 2018 for The Favourite in Best Actress and got a mention in supporting last year for The Father. 

Last Night in Soho

Edgar Wright psychological horror experience features Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy (coming off her heralded role on The Queen’s Gambit). The genre is not one usually geared to Oscar love, but you never know.

The Last Duel

Ridley Scott has not one, but two competitors seeking awards attention in 2021. The most obvious is House of Gucci. The other is this historical drama with Jodie Comer (another possibility in Actress), Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Ben Affleck. We will soon know whether Scott has two pics in the mix.

And that’s just some of what I’m watching out for, folks! Get ready as the Oscar picture should become clearer in the coming days and I’ll be here to cover it…

2021 Oscar Predictions: August 26th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions as we close out August have a bit of a Christmas Eve feel to them. Better yet, Film Festival Eve as Venice kicks off next week where cinematic presents will be laid out for consideration. The first 2021 Oscar predictions of September will come with reviews out for major contenders, most notably Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog which currently stands at #1 in Picture and Director.

That’s not all. When I post next Thursday, there should be buzz for Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers and Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune will follow shortly after that.

Same goes for Pablo Larrain’s Spencer. That could make Best Actress a little clearer due to Kristen Stewart’s work as Princess Diana. Miss Stewart makes her first appearance in my five hopefuls in that race. This is partly due to taking Kirsten Dunst from lead to supporting. It remains to be seen where Dunst ends up. That move and her inclusion in Supporting Actress knocks out Toni Collette in Nightmare Alley.

There are other changes:

    • In Best Picture, I continue to tinker with the 10 spot. This week, I have vaulted Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God up 12 spots to get in the mix. Falling out is Stephen Karam’s The Humans. The switch-up also puts God in Original Screenplay over A Hero.
    • We have changes at #1 in both Actor and Supporting Actor. Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog tops lead and that slides Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth) to 2nd. Bradley Cooper returns to first position in supporting for Soggy Bottom over Dog’s Jesse Plemons.

You can peruse all the activity below as Venice looms!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2)

3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4)

5. Soggy Bottom (PR: 5)

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7)

7. Dune (PR: 6)

8. West Side Story (PR: 9)

9. CODA (PR: 8)

10. The Hand of God (PR: 22)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Humans (PR: 10)

12. The French Dispatch (PR: 13)

13. Mass (PR: 11)

14. Belfast (PR: 14)

15. A Hero (PR: 12)

16. Flee (PR: 15)

17. Spencer (PR: 17)

18. Last Night in Soho (PR: 19)

19. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 16)

20. The Last Duel (PR: 25)

21. King Richard (PR: 18)

22. Parallel Mothers (PR: 21)

23. Passing (PR: 20)

24. Being the Ricardos (PR: 23)

25. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3)

4. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 4)

5. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Thomas Anderson, Soggy Bottom (PR: 6)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7)

8. Paolo Sorrentino, The Hand of God (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 9)

10. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 8)

11. Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch (PR: 13)

12. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 11)

13. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: 12)

14. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee (PR: 10)

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

Dropped Out:

Stephen Karam, The Humans

Fran Kranz, Mass

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 2)

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

4. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 6)

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 7)

7. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 12)

8. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9)

9. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 11)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 8)

11. Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World (PR: 10)

12. Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up (PR: 13)

13. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 14)

14. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 15)

15. Halle Berry, Bruised (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (moved to Supporting Actress)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 1)

3. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 3)

4. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 11)

7. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6)

8. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7)

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

10. Amir Jadidi, A Hero (PR: 8)

11. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 12)

12. Steven Yeun, The Humans (PR: 9)

13. Adam Driver, Annette (PR: 14)

14. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 13)

15. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cooper Hoffman, Soggy Bottom

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 1)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: Not Ranked – moved from lead Actress)

3. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 4)

4. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 3)

5. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Toni Collette, Nightmare Alley (PR: 5)

7. Rooney Mara, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6)

8. Martha Plimpton, Mass (PR: 9)

9. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7)

10. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 8)

11. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 12)

12. Olga Merediz, In the Heights (PR: 11)

13. Nina Arianda, Being the Ricardos (PR: 14)

14. Rebecca Ferguson, Dune (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Thomasin McKenzie, The Power of the Dog

Salma Hayek, House of Gucci

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Soggy Bottom (PR: 3)

2. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1)

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

4. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 4)

5. Corey Hawkins, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 7)

7. Mark Rylance, Don’t Look Up (PR: 6)

8. Willem Dafoe, Nightmare Alley (PR: 8)

9. Jonah Hill, Don’t Look Up (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 9)

11. Simon Helberg, Annette (PR: 13)

12. Idris Elba, The Harder They Fall (PR: 10)

13. Reed Birney, Mass (PR: 12)

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

15. Adam Driver, The Last Duel (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Bradley Whitford, Tick, Tick… Boom!

David Alvarez, West Side Story

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soggy Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Don’t Look Up (PR: 2)

3. The French Dispatch (PR: 4)

4. Mass (PR: 3)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 13)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 6)

7. Belfast (PR: 7)

8. A Hero (PR: 5)

9. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 9)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 8)

11. Spencer (PR: 12)

12. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10)

13. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 11)

14. Blue Bayou (PR: 14)

15. King Richard (PR: 15)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1)

2. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 2)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5)

5. The Humans (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. CODA (PR: 6)

7. Dune (PR: 7)

8. The Last Duel (PR: 10)

9. Passing (PR: 9)

10. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8)

11. West Side Story (PR: 12)

12. The Lost Daughter (PR: 13)

13. Cyrano (PR: 11)

14. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 15)

15. Dear Evan Hansen (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

In the Heights