2020 BAFTAs: The Nomadland Train Keeps Rolling

The road for Nomadland to Best Picture coronation at the Oscars keeps rolling today thanks to the BAFTAs (the United Kingdom’s version of the Academy Awards). Meanwhile, the Actor and Actress derbies got a bit more interesting while the supporting players continued its recent narrative.

Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland won Best Film and Director in what has become a common theme. However, Frances McDormand’s victory in Actress is her first major precursor in an Oscar race that has truly become a tossup. To break it down, the four significant precursors have all produced different results: McDormand for BAFTA, Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) at SAG, Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) at Critics Choice, and Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) at the Globes. Bottom line: it’s going to be quite a chore to make a final predictions for the Academy’s ceremony two weeks from today.

Chadwick Boseman’s work in Ma Rainey had swept all the precursors, but that was interrupted this afternoon by Anthony Hopkins in The Father. This is not a huge upset since Hopkins is British royalty. Yet it does establish him as the surefire runner-up to Boseman and a potential threat.

The supporting races followed the SAG path with Yuh-jung Youn (Minari) in Supporting Actress and Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) continuing his sweep in Supporting Actor. Both can be considered favorites at the Oscars (especially the latter).

In the screenplay competition, The Father took Adapted over Nomadland in what could be a two picture race in two weeks. Promising Young Woman took Original honors (besting The Trial of the Chicago 7, which came up empty across the pond). Promising also took home Best British Film.

Unlike the other precursors, the BAFTAs cover most of the down ticket categories and I’ll simply say that all the victors below stand decent to very strong chances at repeating at the Oscars:

Animated Film: Soul

Documentary: My Octopus Teacher

Film Not in the English Language: Another Round

Cinematography: Nomadland

Costume Design: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Editing: Sound of Metal

Makeup & Hair: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Original Score: Soul

Production Design: Mank

Sound: Sound of Metal

Special Visual Effects: Tenet

My final Oscar predictions will be before you know it! Stay tuned…

Oscars 2020: The Case of David Fincher

My Case Of posts for nominees at the 93rd Academy Awards reaches its third director with David Fincher for Mank. If you missed my previous two posts covering Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), they can be found here:

Oscars 2020: The Case of Lee Isaac Chung

Oscars 2020: The Case of Emerald Fennell

The Case for David Fincher

For over a quarter century, Fincher has been one of the most acclaimed and commercially successful filmmakers on the scene. His pictures have received a collective 40 Oscar nods. However, he’s yet to win himself for his direction despite two previous nods for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. In other words, there’s an overdue factor at play.

The Case Against David Fincher

Despite Mank leading in terms of total nominations (10) at the upcoming ceremony, it missed out in key categories like Original Screenplay and Editing. Of the 8 Best Picture nominees, it actually has the lowest (83%) Rotten Tomatoes score. While Fincher has landed mentions in the significant precursors, he’s lost at each turn to Chloe Zhao for Nomadland and she stands as the heavy favorite to take the Academy’s gold.

The Verdict

He may be overdue, but expect that to continue for Fincher as Zhao may well have this race wrapped up.

My Case Of posts will continue with Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman…

Oscars 2020: The Case of Chadwick Boseman

My Case Of posts have reached the second performer for Best Actor at the Oscars and that’s the late Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. If you missed my first post focused on Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal, you can find it here:

Oscars 2020: The Case of Riz Ahmed

The Case for Chadwick Boseman

Despite acclaimed work in 42, Get On Up, Marshall, and Black Panther, his role as Levee Green in the Netflix drama marks Boseman’s first Academy nod. Premiering three months after his passing, critics hailed this as a career best performance. Boseman has swept the key precursors thus far such as the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. If he wins the SAG Award this evening, that’s a clean sweep. One could even argue that his omission in Supporting Actor for Da 5 Bloods is a sign that voters will honor him here.

The Cast Against Chadwick Boseman

You have to go back 11 years since a Best Actor winner’s movie wasn’t nominated for Best Picture (Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart). All four of his fellow nominees are appearing in BP contenders. Of those four, Anthony Hopkins (The Father) and Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) have their ardent supporters.

The Verdict

Best Actor is not a race in which upsets often happen. Anyone other than Boseman taking the gold would constitute one. He is likely to become the first posthumous winner in this category since Peter Finch in Network.

My Case Of posts will continue with Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy…

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…

 

Oscars 2020: The Case of Minari

My Case of posts for the Best Picture nominees of 2020 continues with fourth entry Minari. If you missed my previous takes on The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Mank, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/16/oscars-2020-the-case-of-the-father/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/17/oscars-2020-the-case-of-judas-and-the-black-messiah/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/18/oscars-2020-the-case-of-mank/

Let’s get to the Sundance sensation!

The Case for Minari

Like its fellow nominees The Father and Promising Young Woman, this American drama about Korean immigrants burst onto the awards scene early in 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival. Minari won the festival’s Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award and has developed staying power throughout the season. On Oscar nomination morning, it tied five other pics with six nods. That includes Director (Lee Isaac Chung), Actor (Steven Yeun), Supporting Actress (Yuh-jung Youn), Original Screenplay, and Score. This is exactly the kind of feel-good crowd pleaser that could be a trendy upset pick over a frontrunner like Nomadland and its stock has seemed to rise in recent weeks.

The Case Against Minari

As mentioned, there is a frontrunner. Additionally, only one Best Picture recipient in nearly four decades missed a Film Editing nod (2014’s Birdman and that was for good reason) so Minari would be seriously going against tradition in that sense.

The Verdict

Minari could go two ways on Oscar evening. This could end up being embraced by voters, following Sundance’s lead with a Picture win and others down the line (Supporting Actress certainly seems doable). Or it could end up going 0 for 6. The latter is more likely, but distributor A24 has done a remarkable job keeping this as an outside contender.

My Case Of posts will continue with Nomadland…

Oscars 2020: The Case of Mank

David Fincher’s Mank marks my third Case Of post weighing the pros and cons of the Best Picture contenders. If you missed my takes on The Father and Judas and the Black Messiah, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/16/oscars-2020-the-case-of-the-father/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/17/oscars-2020-the-case-of-judas-and-the-black-messiah/

The Case For Mank

With 10 nominations, the Netflix pic easily leads the field in terms of nominations. In fact, it has four more nods than anything else as there are six movies with six mentions. Hollywood loves stories about itself and Fincher is rightfully seen as overdue for Oscar recognition (his previous nominated features are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network).

The Case Against Mank

Leading the pack isn’t much of a designation when it comes to the ceremony itself. Only three times in the previous decade did the film with the most nominations (or tied for most nods) win Best Picture (2010’s The King’s Speech, 2014’s Birdman, 2017’s The Shape of Water). While the pic managed nominations for Director, Gary Oldman for Actor (winner three years ago for Darkest Hour), and first time contender Amanda Seyfried in Supporting Actress, it missed major races that usually bode well for a Picture win. The most notable omissions are Original Screenplay (for the director’s late father Jack Fincher) and Film Editing. Of the 8 nominees, its 83% Rotten Tomatoes rating is the lowest of the bunch.

The Verdict

You may have noticed the case against Mank is a higher word count than the case for. That’s because Mank, despite its numbers, is an unlikely hopeful for any category besides Production Design.

My Case Of posts will continue with Minari…

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!

2020 Oscar Predictions: March 8th Edition

February 21st was the last date I published Oscar predictions and a lot has changed since then. We have had the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. The PGA nominations came out today. All of those events have altered categories below. This also serves as the penultimate estimates as the actual nominations come out a week from today!

Let me break down the big changes in the major races:

  • In Best Picture, it’s Judas and the Black Messiah in my projected nine nominees. I have finally eliminated Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods from the mix. Contrary to several prognosticators and despite its notable PGA omission, I still have News of the World on my board. Titles like Sound of Metal and The Father still lurk.
  • Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) makes her first appearance for Best Director and that drops Regina King (One Night in Miami)
  • Steven Yeun (Minari) vaults into the Actor race with Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods) falling. In fact, I now only have Bloods getting one nomination and that’s Chadwick Boseman in Supporting Actor. I’m not super confident in that anymore since he appears to a heavy favorite to win Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • The fifth slot for Supporting Actor is now filled by David Strathairn (Nomadland) over Mark Rylance (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
  • Maria Bakalova’s comedic work in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm nabs the fifth Supporting Actress spot over Helena Zengel (News of the World).

In addition to these changes, we have new number ones in Best Picture (Nomadland over Trial), Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya from Judas and the Black Messiah over Sacha Baron Cohen in Trial), and Supporting Actress (The Father‘s Olivia Colman over Hillbilly Elegy‘s Glenn Close).

Now… about Supporting Actress. While Boseman, Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), and Kaluuya can rightly be called front runners in their respective categories, I’ve never seen Supporting Actress more wide open. I have Colman listed at #1 because she’s the only performer that I’m saying gets a nod with relative confidence. There’s no favorite (or favourite if you will) at the moment. Maybe the SAG Awards will help clear it up. Doubtful.

You can peruse all the activity below and I’ll have my final predictions up this Friday!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 6)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

8. News of the World (PR: 8)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

10. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

11. The Father (PR: 11)

12. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

First Cow

Another Round

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 5)

5. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

7. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 7)

8. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

9. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

10. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

4. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

5. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 8)

7. Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

9. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 7)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

10. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

2. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

3. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

4. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 2)

5. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

6. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

7. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 5)

8. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

2. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

3. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

4. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

7. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 6)

8. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 8)

9. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

10. Alan Kim, Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Promising Young Woman (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

5. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

8. Soul (PR: 9)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Cow (PR: 5)

7. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 10)

8. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 7)

9. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Emma

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Onward (PR: 4)

4. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Trolls World Tour (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 8)

10, Earwig and the Witch (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Demon Slayer

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Time (PR: 1)

2. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 2)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 5)

5. Boys State (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 6)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 7)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. Collective (PR: 5)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. A Sun (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. La Llorona (PR: 9)

7. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 7)

8. Dear Comrades! (PR: 8)

9. Night of the Kings (PR: 6)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

5. Minari (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities: 

6. News of the World (PR: 9)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 10)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

9. The Glorias (PR: 8)

10. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 7)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Father (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

8. Tenet (PR: 7)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

One Night in Miami

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: 6)

7. The Glorias (PR: 7)

8. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: 10)

9. The Little Things (PR: 9)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Tenet (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Minari (PR: 5)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

9. Ammonite (PR: 10)

10. The Little Things (PR: 8)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “lo Si” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 4)

4. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 7)

7. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 10)

8. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

9. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: 8)

10. “The Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 9)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mulan (PR: 9)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. Emma (PR: 2)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

9. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 8)

10. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Greyhound (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

9. Soul (PR: 8)

10. Mulan (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The One and Only Ivan (PR: 8)

7. Soul (PR: 6)

8. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: 9)

10. Bloodshot (PR: 10)

This equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers:

13 Nominations

Mank

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, News of the World, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

Minari

5 Nominations

Judas and the Black Messiah

4 Nominations

One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

3 Nominations

The Father, Mulan, The Midnight Sky, Sound of Metal, Tenet

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Soul, Welcome to Chechnya

1 Nomination

Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, The Croods: A New Age, Da 5 Bloods, Dick Johnson Is Dead, Greyhound, The Life Ahead, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Wolfwalkers

2020 Golden Globes Reaction

Welp…

I half jokingly said I would be happy if I got half of my Golden Globe predictions correct due to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s unpredictable nature. And that’s exactly what happened as this blogger went 7/14.

The show provided some genuine whoppers when it came to upsets and the three biggest ones undoubtedly happened in the three actress races.

First things first. It was a good night for Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland, which took Best Picture (Drama) and Director. I predicted Zhao’s victory, but had The Trial of the Chicago 7 taking Picture. As for Aaron Sorkin’s Netflix drama, it won only in Screenplay (which I projected). This could give Nomadland the edge now at the Oscars and it turbo charges the narrative that Zhao is going to sweep the director categories with upcoming shows.

In the lead actor races, I went 2 for 2 with Chadwick Boseman in Drama for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Sacha Baron Cohen in Musical/Comedy for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which also took Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) as was expected.

However, Maria Bakalova’s victory for Actress in Borat didn’t happen as Rosamund Pike scored a surprising win for I Care A Lot. That doesn’t bode well for Bakalova’s Supporting Actress nod from the Academy.

Speaking of Supporting Actress… whoa! Jodie Foster took the trophy for The Mauritanian and I challenge you to find anyone who saw that occurring. Foster won over my pick of Amanda Seyfried in Mank. I have yet to have Foster in my top five for the Oscars and perhaps that will change when I update my estimates tomorrow.

Yet the biggest Actress shocker was in Drama with Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday (I said Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman). This is another race where nobody foresaw this development.

I thought Baron Cohen might be a double winner, but he lost Supporting Actor to Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah. This is not unexpected as I had Kaluuya as my runner-up and his chances at Oscar gold are looking pretty solid.

The only slight upset in my projections was Another Round taking Foreign Language Film over Minari. It didn’t as Minari was victorious. As expected, Soul took Animated Film and Score and was the only picture to win two Globes other than Nomadland and Borat.

My runner-up “lo Si” from The Life Ahead was Best Song over “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami. So, as previously mentioned, I got precisely half of my selections right. Oof.

So what’s this all mean? The Golden Globes created some real head scratchers in the Actress fields and I would say there’s no certainly no Academy frontrunner at the moment for Actress and Supporting Actress. Nomadland did what it needed to do. Trial had a disappointing evening while solidifying its status as the Original Screenplay heavy favorite. Kaluuya is now the odds on pick in Supporting Actor and so is Boseman for Actor. As for Twitter… look for Jason Sudeikis’s hoodie to get the most attention.