Best Picture 2017: The Final Five

We have reached 2017 in my posts speculating on a specific piece of Oscar history. As awards followers are aware, 2009 saw the Academy expand the Best Picture category from five movies to ten. That lasted for two years and in 2011, it switched to anywhere from 5-10 with 8 or 9 as the magic numbers for several years. In 2021, the number reverted back to a set ten.

What if that hadn’t happened? What if the BP derby had stayed at a quintet? What pictures would have made the cut? If you missed my write-ups centered on 2009-16, they are linked at the bottom of the post.

There were nine nominees for 2017’s competition. If there were 5, we know Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water would have made the quintet. It won BP along with Director, Original Score, and Production Design and received 13 nods total (easily the most of all).

Of the 8 remaining movies, here’s my thoughts on which half is in and which half and is out.

Call Me by Your Name

Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age romance was a critical darling that won Adapted Screenplay. It was also up for Actor (Timothee Chalamet) and Original Song. The Academy likely almost nominated Armie Hammer for Supporting Actor and are probably glad they snubbed him.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, but I struggled with this call. An argument could be made with the Adapted Screenplay victory. However, none of the other four nominees in this category were BP nominees (extraordinarily rare). Call could’ve heard its name up, but I have it sixth or seventh.

Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill was a recipe for a Best Actor win and it was up for Production Design, Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling (another victory), and Costume Design.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. Despite its admirable turn in the tech derbies, this was all about Oldman. The lack of directing, screenplay, and editing noms leave this out. This is the rare occurrence where I’m saying the Best Actor winner’s movie doesn’t get in the BP race.

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan’s epic WWII tale earned 8 mentions (2nd behind Shape) and won 3 – both Sound races and Film Editing. Nolan also scored his first and only directing nod.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. I don’t think it’s 100% considering other contenders, but this probably had enough support and was generally considered Nolan’s strongest awards pic in his filmography.

Get Out

Jordan Peele’s heralded horror flick was a box office smash. Its other three nominations were Director, Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), and Original Screenplay where it beat out Shape of Water.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Like Dunkirk, not a guarantee but that screenplay statue (over the BP recipient and two other contenders) make me think so.

Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age dramedy nabbed 5 inclusions with Director, Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), and Original Screenplay.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Broken record… not a slam dunk considering it went 0 for 5. Yet it took the Golden Globe for Musical/Comedy (over Get Out) and was highly acclaimed.

Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson’s sartorial drama was an overachiever on nomination morning with six including Director, Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), Score, and Costume Design (the sole win).

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, but I was tempted. It really did perform better than anticipated. I could also see it just missing considering the competition. It might have been sixth.

The Post

Steven Spielberg’s Watergate era drama received only one other nom for Meryl Streep in Actress.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No and this is by far the easiest projection. Spielberg’s magic probably got it in the mix, but I suspect it was ninth.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A player in 7 categories, Martin McDonagh’s pic took home Actress (Frances McDormand) and Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell). Woody Harrelson was also up for Supporting Actor in addition to Original Screenplay, Score, and Film Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes, even with McDonagh missing Director. If for no other reason, I can’t imagine the four acting winners having none of their movies up. That would be the case if you left this off considering Oldman’s Darkest Hour and I, Tonya (where Allison Janney took Supporting Actress) not being in the nine.

If you weren’t keeping score, here’s my projected 2017 five:

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I’ll have my thoughts on 2018 up soon!

Previous Posts:

Oscar Predictions: TÁR

Four actresses have won three or more acting Oscars. Katherine Hepburn leads the pack with four while Ingrid Bergman, Frances McDormand, and Meryl Streep are the trio boasting three. Could Cate Blanchett join that elite club with Tár, which has premiered at the Venice Film Festival ahead of its October 7th bow? Based on early reviews, it’s very possible.

The psychological drama, which clocks in at over two and a half hours, is the third feature from Todd Field and his first in 16 years. His previous psychological dramas In the Bedroom (2001) and Little Children (2006) scored a combined 8 Academy nods (five of them for their respective casts). Playing a conductor whose drive borders on insanity, critics are heaping praise on Blanchett and the film itself. The Rotten Tomatoes meter is at a clean 100%.

In 2004, Blanchett won her first statue in Supporting Actress for The Aviator in which she played the aforementioned Hepburn. Nine years later, she took Best Actress for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. With Tár, a third Oscar could follow nine years after that. Initial reaction is saying this is one of her greatest performances. This would be her 8th nomination overall and first since 2015’s Carol. I would go as far to say that her inclusion in the Actress final five is already close to assured.

What of its other prospects? It’s worth noting that Bedroom and Children both received adapted screenplays nods. This is Field’s first original screenplay in a category that could be jam packed. He helped his cause today with the Venice buzz (and that could include a directing mention as well). That said, even some of the gushing write-ups warn that Tár may not be accessible to mainstream audiences. This could potentially complicate its viability in Best Picture, but it certainly announced itself as a possibility.

I can’t help but think of 2010’s Black Swan from Darren Aronofsky as a comp. The two pics seem to share similar plot themes. It premiered in Italy 12 years ago and eventually received 5 Oscar nods including a win for its star Natalie Portman. Tár would love to follow that trajectory considering Picture and Director were among the quintet of Swan nominations.

Besides Blanchett, supporting actresses Nina Hoss and Noemie Merchant are picking up laudatory ink. I’m guessing Focus Features will mount a campaign for the former yet that remains to be seen. Cinematography and Score are among the chances for tech nods.

Bottom line: it’s hard to imagine Blanchett not being a major force in the Actress field for 2022. How far Tár goes beyond that is more in question. I do think its chances of being in my ten BP picks is better today than it was yesterday. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Summer 1992: The Top 10 Hits and More

1989 was unquestionably the Summer of the Bat as Tim Burton’s take on the Caped Crusader broke records. For 1992, it’s a bit more murky but we could call it The Summer of the Cat based on the sequel being the season’s biggest blockbuster.

As I have every season on the blog, I’m recounting the top 10 hits as well as some notable pics and failures from the summers of 30, 20, and 10 years ago. For 1992, it was a time of no crying in baseball, a Best Picture winner being discovered, and audiences refusing a biopic about a discoverer of America.

We begin with the moneymakers from #10 on up before moving to additional hits, misses, and those somewhere in between.

10. Housesitter

Domestic Gross: $58 million

While not the blockbuster he’d had just six months prior with Father of the Bride, Steve Martin had a midsize performer with this rom com costarring Goldie Hawn.

9. Honey, I Blew Up the Kid

Domestic Gross: $58 million

The return of Rick Moranis and plenty of special effects had shrunken grosses compared to the predecessor. The $58 million tally is less than half of what Honey, I Shrunk the Kids made. Nevertheless a direct to video sequel and TV series followed.

8. Far and Away

Domestic Gross: $58 million

Tom Cruise is ruling summer 2022 with Top Gun: Maverick. It was a different story 30 years ago with this rare misfire. Ron Howard directed the epic Western costarring Tom’s ex Nicole Kidman. The domestic take was less than the reported $60 million budget. Cruise would quickly get back in the good graces of moviegoers later in 1992 with A Few Good Men. 

7. Boomerang 

Domestic Gross: $70 million

While not approaching the earnings of his largest hits, Eddie Murphy’s first foray into romantic leading man territory did decent business. A string of flops would follow before a plus sized comeback four years later in The Nutty Professor. 

6. Patriot Games

Domestic Gross: $83 million

Harrison Ford stepped into the role of Jack Ryan after Alec Baldwin (who played the role in The Hunt for Red October) didn’t return. The result didn’t quite reach the financial or critical levels of its predecessor, but it easily made enough to warrant Clear and Present Danger two summers later.

5. Unforgiven

Domestic Gross: $101 million

Clint Eastwood’s tale of an aging cowboy out for revenge took the August box office by storm and eventually was an awards favorite – winning Picture, Director, and Supporting Actor for the villainous Gene Hackman. Unforgiven is the rare BP winner to release in the summer season and kickstarted an impressive second act for the legendary filmmaker.

4. A League of Their Own

Domestic Gross: $107 million

Penny Marshall’s World War II era baseball comedy was celebrated for its interplay between players like Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell in addition to one of cinema’s longest urination sequences from Tom Hanks.

3. Sister Act

Domestic Gross: $139 million

Coming on the heels of her Ghost Oscar, Whoopi Goldberg hit the jackpot with this fish out of water pic putting the comedienne in a convent. A less regarded sequel would follow in December 1993 as well as a Broadway musical.

2. Lethal Weapon 3

Domestic Gross: $144 million

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s third go-round in their buddy cop franchise didn’t generate the reviews of its two predecessors, but it had no trouble raking in the bucks. Rene Russo joined the party this time as Gibson’s love interest and fellow officer. Part 4 would come six years later and a fifth is in development right now.

1. Batman Returns

Domestic Gross: $162 million

Breathlessly anticipated and then received with mixed reaction due to its dark tone, Batman Returns is now seen by many as an improvement over the 1989 original. One thing that’s generally agreed upon is Michelle Pfeiffer nailing the role of Catwoman. This would be Burton’s last time helming the series with Joel Schumacher taking the franchise in a far more cartoonish direction for 1995’s Batman Forever.

And now for some other noteworthy selections outside of the top ten:

Unlawful Entry

Domestic Gross: $57 million

Coming on the heels of the Rodney King verdict and the L.A. Riots, this thriller starring the late Ray Liotta as a dirty cop tormenting Kurt Russell felt timely.

Single White Female

Domestic Gross: $48 million

Liotta was the Cop From Hell while Jennifer Jason Leigh was the Roommate From Hell terrorizing Bridget Fonda in this memorable psychological thriller.

Encino Man

Domestic Gross: $40 million

The cinematic era of MTV personality Pauly Shore (as well as Brendan Fraser) began with this caveman comedy that grossed several times its meager $7 million budget.

Universal Soldier

Domestic Gross: $36 million

Action lunkheads Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren teamed up for this futuristic sci-fi pic that turned a nifty profit and spawned numerous sequels. Four summers later, director Roland Emmerich would dominate the season with Independence Day. 

Honeymoon in Vegas

Domestic Gross: $35 million

With a plot similar to Indecent Proposal that would follow a few months later, Honeymoon in Vegas took the more comedic route and earned decent grosses in the cast led by Nicolas Cage, Sarah Jessica Parker, and the just departed James Caan. Plus… Flying Elvis impersonators!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Domestic Gross: $16 million

It did manage to double its meager budget, but this vampire comedy likely wouldn’t be remembered had it not led to a critically acclaimed WB series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. The title role in the film version belonged to Kristy Swanson with a supporting cast including Luke Perry, Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman), and pre double Oscar winner Hilary Swank.

My final section of the summer 1992 recap gets to the under performers and downright flops…

Death Becomes Her

Domestic Gross: $58 million

This star studded satire from Robert Zemeckis boasted Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis above the title and some innovative special effects. While it just missed the top ten, the $58 million take barely surpassed the $55 million budget. Audiences and critics were mixed though Death has become a cult favorite in subsequent years.

Alien 3 

Domestic Gross: $55 million

Despite marking the directorial debut of David Fincher and featuring a memorably bald Sigourney Weaver, Alien 3 is considered to be a step-down from its iconic predecessors Alien and Aliens. In spite of the backlash, the franchise has continued and, of course, Fincher went onto brighter (albeit even darker) pastures.

Cool World

Domestic Gross: $14 million

Animator Ralph Bakshi is best known for his X-rated 1972 feature Fritz the Cat. After Cool World, he was still mostly known for Fritz the Cat. This hybrid of live-action and cartoon fantasy starred Kim Basinger and Brad Pitt. Yet it bombed with reviewers and crowds alike and only earned half its budget back stateside.

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery

Domestic Gross: $8 million

No one had interest in discovering this critically drubbed Columbus biopic that had Marlon Brando and Tom Selleck in the cast. Later in the fall, Ridley Scott’s 1492: Conquest of Paradise about the title character would also bomb.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Domestic Gross: $4 million

In 1990, David Lynch’s bizarre TV series was a cultural phenomenon… at least for a season. The movie version arrived after the second and final season and audiences had tuned out.

And that’s your look at the cinematic summer from 30 years ago! My recap of 2002 will be available in short order…

2021 Oscar Predictions: January 8th Edition

My first 2022 predictions for the 2021 Oscar season comes on the eve of the Golden Globes and four days before SAG announces their nominees. By my next update, we will have those useful bits of information to consider.

If you missed my predictions for the Globe winners, you can find them here:

2021 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

I’ll have my forecast for the SAG nominees up on the blog tomorrow so stay tuned! In the meantime, there are numerous changes to point out:

    • I keep going back and forth on whether momentum for Japan’s Drive My Car is still revving up or perhaps stalling. I’ve taken it out of my ten predicted BP contenders and put The Tragedy of Macbeth back in.
    • While I continue to struggle with all 5 Best Actress hopefuls representing non BP nominees, I’m back to that lineup. That means Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) returns with Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza) falling out.
    • For many weeks, I’ve held to same Best Actor five. That changes today with Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up) joining the quintet and Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) dropping.
    • In Supporting Actor, both Belfast boys are in so Jamie Dornan is back in the mix. That takes out Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog).
    • Drive My Car is also out for Adapted Screenplay with Dune in.
    • The Beyonce vs. Billie battle in Original Song switches places. Beyonce’s track “Be Alive” from King Richard has been my #1 for months, but I’ve now vaulted Billie’s “No Time to Die” to top position.

You can read all the movement below and keep an eye out for a Globes recap and SAG prognostications.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

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. Don’t Look Up (PR: 9) (+2)

8. CODA (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 11) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Drive My Car (PR: 10) (-1)

12. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 13) (E)

14. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 15) (E)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

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

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

9. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Asghar Farhadi, A Hero

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. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 9) (E)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

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. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (E)

8. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (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: 2) (E)

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

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

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

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

9. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. King Richard (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (+1)

9. A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Dune (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Passing (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

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. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (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. My Sunny Maad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sing 2

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (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. I’m Your Man (PR: 6) (E)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (E)

8. Great Freedom (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Good Boss (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lamb

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Rescue (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ascension (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The First Wave (PR: 6) (-1)

8. President (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (-1)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 5) (+2)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cyrano (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. King Richard (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Last Night in Soho

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: 5) (-1)

7. West Side Story (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Cyrano (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (-2)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. Spencer (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-1)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Green Knight

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (+1)

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

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: 6) (E)

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

8. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 9) (+1)

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

10. “Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days

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: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spencer (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

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: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 2) (E)

3. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Free Guy (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. No Time to Die (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And that boils down to these pictures garnering these numbers for nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Spencer, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Lost Daughter, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Ascension, Drive My Car, Free Guy, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Parallel Mothers, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 29th Edition

My final Oscar predictions of the calendar year brings changes in three major categories:

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, in addition to spending its second week at #1 in International Feature Film, pulls into the top ten for Best Picture. That’s at the expense of The Tragedy of Macbeth. I toyed with the idea of removing Don’t Look Up (which has drawn wildly mixed reactions from audiences and critics). I’m keeping it in as its most vocal supporters could keep Adam McKay’s satire in the mix.

In Best Actress, I’ve had a nagging suspicion that the quintet of Kristen Stewart, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman, and Lady Gaga may not be the final five. Why? Mainly because I don’t have any of their movies getting BP nods. Since the Academy expanded to 5-10 nominees in that big race, there hasn’t been a year where the acting nominees didn’t represent at least one Best Picture nominee. That was in 2009. If you still went with the previously mentioned five, it might be wise to consider Spencer or Being the Ricardos or The Lost Daughter making the 10 BP contenders. I’m not prepared to put any of that trio in at the moment. Therefore – I’m dropping Gaga and elevating Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza). It could also be Rachel Zegler (West Side Story).

I’m going with a somewhat surprise nominee (perhaps two) in Supporting Actor. I still have Bradley Cooper (Pizza) making the cut and now I’m putting in Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog). This knocks out Jamie Dornan for Belfast. Last year, we saw a shocker when Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) made the supporting five. Power‘s potency (I have it as the favorite to take BP) could sweep Plemons in along with his costar Kodi Smit-McPhee (my #1). That could be a repeat of 2020 when Daniel Kaluuya won for Judas and Stanfield was in the race.

You can read all the movement below and my predictions will continue into the new year!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Dune (PR: 3) (-2)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Drive My Car (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

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

12. Being the Ricardos (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 11) (-2)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

A Hero

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 9) (E)

10. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (E)

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

5. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

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. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 6) (-1)

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

9. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (+1)

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

8. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+1)

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

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. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 7) (-2)

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

Dropped Out:

Jason Isaacs, Mass

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. Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Parallel Mothers (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The French Dispatch (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: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

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

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Sing 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Where Is Anne Frank

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (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. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Lamb (PR: 10) (E)

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: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ascension (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (E)

9. President (PR: 7) (-2)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Velvet Underground

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Spencer (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Last Night in Soho (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. King Richard (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

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. Coming 2 America (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Harder They Fall

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: 6) (E)

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

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

9. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: 10) (E)

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. Belfast (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (E)

9. Spencer (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

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: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+2)

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

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Free Guy (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And this all equates to these numbers of nominations for said movies:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

6 Nominations

Licorice Pizza

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard

3 Nominations

CODA, Drive My Car, Flee, Spencer, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, House of Gucci, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, The Tragedy of Macbeth

1 Nomination

Attica, Coming 2 America, Cyrano, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Nightmare Alley, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, 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

Don’t Look Up Review

The forecast in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is a planet killing comet mixed with a heavy dose of condescension. This is an all-star experience about our home star being decimated. The writer/director is a Saturday Night Live veteran scribe who mastered the art of penning sketches with exaggerated characters. Even with all the talent involved (there’s lots of Oscar nods and wins among the cast), hardly any rise above caricature status. The nerdy but hot scientist, the clueless government officials, the spoiled pop princess, the pompous and feeble brained news anchors, the empathy devoid and weird billionaire…

These one-note types may fit a mold in a cleverly developed bit that runs five minutes. Not so much in this two and a half hour countdown. They’re mostly tiresome in McKay’s latest politically charged tale. In The Big Short, the filmmaker mixed a cast of familiar faces, complicated financial talk, and humor to rewarding payoffs. McKay’s comedies with Will Ferrell (particularly Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) are already classics. The issue presented here isn’t complex… a scientific discovery (doubling as a metaphor for climate change) is on its way. McKay’s treatment of the subject matter isn’t subtle. And the screenplay often fails to be funny when showcasing its righteous indignation. Anger and laughter can be a potent combo if handled properly. It’s a test that isn’t met here.

Michigan St. Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers said object hurtling toward Earth with a delivery date about six months out. Her professor, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) teams with her along with the head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (Rob Morgan) to warn a White House filled with scandal and nepotism. The President is Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep), whose Supreme Court nominee may be a porn star and her lover. Her Chief of Staff is her intellectually challenged but supremely confident son (Jonah Hill).

The 100% certainty of a deep impact causing armageddon is not music to the ears of the flailing administration. In fact, Kate and Dr. Mindy are booked in the back segment of a “news” hour hosted by a duo played by Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry. The segment preceding them is about the romantic entanglements of a famous singer (Ariana Grande). Some of the country takes the threat seriously while another segment pretends it doesn’t exist (and yes it’s easy to draw comparisons to the pandemic era).

President Orlean and her bumbling bubble get more involved when eccentric tech mogul Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) figures out a way to monetize the materials from the potential Earth shatterer. And while Dr. Mindy becomes distracted with his new fame and social media status, Kate’s stern warnings make her an enemy of the state.

I won’t get to Kate’s two boyfriends or Dr. Mindy’s wife and kids or whether the snacks in the White House are free or not (actually a gag that’s pretty solid). There’s a whole lot of players in Don’t Look Up and I’m challenged to name a performance that sticks with me for the right reasons. DiCaprio and Lawrence are adequate, but we know they can be so much better. Others are outright annoying and that includes Hill, Rylance, and even Streep. That’s because McKay never writes them above the level of cartoonish morons.

Will your political viewpoints determine whether you dig this? I don’t think so. The frequent struggles to develop the principals and the jarring tone shifts (a late pivot to sentimentality falls flat) should offend both sides and those in between. I’ve watched McKay skewer his targets with far more precision that achieved more lasting results. He’s clear that we’re all doomed in Don’t Look Up. With the characters inhabiting his screenplay, you might find yourself pulling for the comet.

** (out of four)

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 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

2021 Golden Globe Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

King Richard

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: CODA

Second Alternate: The Tragedy of Macbeth

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

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Predicted Nominees:

Cyrano

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

Tick Tick… Boom!

West Side Story

Runner-Up: In the Heights

Second Alternate: Cruella

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

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

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Runner-Up: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

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

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actress)

Predicted Nominees:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Jennifer Hudson, Respect

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Runner-Up: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Second Alternate: Jodie Comer, The Last Duel

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

Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama (Actor)

Predicted Nominees:

Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Second Alternate: Nicolas Cage, Pig

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

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

Predicted Nominees:

Haley Bennett, Cyrano

Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up

Emma Stone, Cruella

Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Runner-Up: Melissa Barrera, In the Heights

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

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

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

Predicted Nominees:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Peter Dinklage, Cyrano

Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick… Boom!

Anthony Ramos, In the Heights

Ryan Reynolds, Free Guy

Runner-Up: Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: Simon Rex, Red Rocket

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

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Supporting Actress)

Predicted Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Runner-Up: Rita Moreno, West Side Story

Second Alternate: Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

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

Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture (Supporting Actor)

Predicted Nominees:

Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Jared Leto, House of Gucci

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: Mike Faist, West Side Story

Second Alternate: Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

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

Best Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Runner-Up: King Richard

Second Alternate: Being the Ricardos

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

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Vivo

Runner-Up: Raya and the Last Dragon

Second Alternate: Belle

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

Drive My Car

Flee

A Hero

Titane

The Worst Person in the World

Runner-Up: Parallel Mothers

Second Alternate: The Hand of God

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

Spencer

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: The French Dispatch

Second Alternate: Don’t Look Up

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

“Be Alive” from King Richard

“Down to Joy” from Belfast

“Every Letter” from Cyrano

“Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

Runner-Up: “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto

Second Alternate: “So May We Start” from Annette

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

7 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

Don’t Look Up

5 Nominations

West Side Story

4 Nominations

Cyrano, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley

3 Nominations

Dune

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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

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

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 7th Edition

***Blogger’s Update (12/07): As I was putting the finishing touches on this update, the Don’t Look Up review embargo ended and its RT score as of this writing is 58%. That means it’s falling out in multiple races including Best Picture. Tick Tick Boom! is the beneficiary in the big race. A Hero rises in Original Screenplay.

For quite some time, I’ve had a nagging feeling that an early year festival favorite might manage to make its way to the ten Best Picture nominees. That trio of pictures is CODA, Flee, and Mass. I have held off putting any in the final predicted ten, but that changes today with CODA. It’s a feel good entry that could get enough support to get in. By doing so, it knocks out Being the Ricardos. The Lucy and Desi tale from Aaron Sorkin had its official review embargo lift today and the Rotten Tomatoes score is 67%. The showbiz theme and Sorkin devotees could still sneak it in, but it drops from Picture and Original Screenplay for now. Nicole Kidman stays in Actress, but falls from 2nd to 4th place.

Other changes in the main races:

    • Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) is back in the Actress fold and I’ve finally taken out Jennifer Hudson for Respect. 
    • Troy Kotsur gets the CODA bump in Supporting Actor to the detriment of Richard Jenkins (The Humans).
    • Ricardos being out of Original Screenplay helps out C’Mon C’Mon. 
    • In Adapted Screenplay, it’s CODA in and Nightmare Alley out. I am continuing to keep Nightmare in the BP bunch yet it’s tenuous in 10th position.

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. CODA (PR: 11) (+3)

9. Tick Tick Boom! (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

11. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-5)

13. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (-4)

14. A Hero (PR: Not Ranked)

15. House of Gucci (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Lost Daughter

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 3) (E)

4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 10) (+2)

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

9. Renaldo Marcus Green, King Richard (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Julia Ducournau, Titane (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up

Pablo Larrain, Spencer

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (E)

9. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth

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: 8) (+1)

8. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

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. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (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: 5) (+2)

4. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 4) (+2)

5. A Hero (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Mass (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Parallel Mothers

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+2)

3. The Lost Daughter (PR: 2) (-1)

4. CODA (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (-3)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Humans (PR: 8) (E)

9. Passing (PR: 9) (E)

10. Drive My Car (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tick Tick Boom! 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 3) (E)

4. Luca (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 6) (E)

7. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 9) (-1)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. Drive My Car (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Titane (PR: 6) (E)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (E)

8. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Good Boss (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Attica (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Procession (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The First Wave (PR: 7) (E)

8. President (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ascension (PR: 9) (E)

10. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Belfast (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spencer (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. Dune (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (-1)

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

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E))

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. King Richard (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick Tick Boom! (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

House of Gucci

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 4) (-2)

7. West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Suicide Squad

Licorice Pizza

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. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+1)

9. King Richard (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

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. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

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

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

Dropped Out:

“The Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. Belfast (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

House of Gucci 

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick Tick Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+2)

9. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-2)

10. King Richard (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Eternals (PR: 3) (E)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Finch (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Free Guy (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

And that shakes out to these movies garnering these numbers in nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

West Side Story

8 Nominations

The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

King Richard, Nightmare Alley

5 Nominations

Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Spencer, Tick Tick Boom!

2 Nominations

Cruella, Cyrano, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, A Hero, The Lost Daughter

1 Nomination

Attica, Being the Ricardos, Belle, C’Mon C’Mon, Drive My Car, Eternals, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, No Time to Die, Procession, The Rescue, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World