2020 Oscar Predictions: October 8th Edition

As much as I want to predict Mel Gibson’s Santa Claus revenge tale Fatman in all categories based on its bonkers trailer, I shall refrain. However, there is more news to be discussed in my latest round of Oscar predictions.

Speaking of trailers, we got our first looks at two major contenders this week: David Fincher’s Mank (still holding in 1st place in Picture and Director and more) and News of the World from Paul Greengrass (with an impressive 10 predictions). Mank, by the way, leads all contenders with 12 and that takes over last week’s leader The Trial of the Chicago 7. 

We also learned that Dune and No Time to Die have officially moved out of contention due to release date changes. I had Dune down for 8 nominations last week. I also listed the theme song from No Time to Die (performed by Billie Eilish) in first place for Original Song. These drops are reflected below.

Other developments:

  • Picture, Director, Actor, and Actress remain unchanged. I will note that French Exit will screen this weekend for critics and we will have a better idea as to Michelle Pfeiffer’s viability and if it could be a contender in other categories.
  • While Supporting Actor stays intact, I have moved Amanda Seyfried’s work in Mank in the Supporting Actress five over Ellen Burstyn in Pieces of a Woman. 

With that, let’s get to the latest guesstimates!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

7. The Father (PR: 7)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

9. Minari (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Soul (PR: 10)

11. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

12. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 13)

13. Ammonite (PR: 14)

14. Respect (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The White Tiger (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Dune

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

7. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

8. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

9. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 8)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 3)

4. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 4)

5. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 7)

8. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

9. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 10)

10. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

2. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 2)

3. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 3)

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

5. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 6)

7. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 7)

8. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

9. Matt Damon, Stillwater (PR: 9)

10. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 3)

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

5. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

7. Audra McDonald, Respect (PR: 7)

8. Lily Collins, Mank (PR: 8)

9. Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Mary J. Blige, Respect (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Abigail Breslin, Stillwater

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

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

5. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 6)

7. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 10)

8. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

9. Tom Pelphrey, Mank (PR: 8)

10. Charles Dance, Mank (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jonathan Majors, Da 5 Bloods

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Minari (PR: 5)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

5. Soul (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

7. On the Rocks (PR: 6)

8. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Respect (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Stillwater (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Ammonite

C’Mon C’Mon

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

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

8. French Exit (PR: 10)

9. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 9)

10. Next Goal Wins (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dune

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Over the Moon (PR: 2)

3. Wolfwalkers (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Predicted Nominees:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Connected (PR: 7)

8. Bombay Rose (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Trolls World Tour (PR: 9)

10. Earwig and the Witch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rumble

Ride Your Wave

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Crip Camp (PR: 1)

2. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 4)

3. Boys State (PR: 2)

4. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 3)

5. The Dissident (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

7. Totally Under Control (PR: Not Ranked)

8. 76 Days (PR: Not Ranked)

9. MLK/FBI (PR: 7)

10. Notturno (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spaceship Earth

John Lewis: Good Trouble

Miss Americana

On the Record 

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 1)

2. Another Round (PR: 6)

3. New Order (PR: Not Ranked)

4. Night of the Kings (PR: 3)

5. The Disciple (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

6. My Little Sister (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Wife of a Spy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Atlantis (PR: 5)

10. A Sun (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Ema

The Life Ahead

Young Ahmed

Memory House 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 10)

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

8. The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

9. One Night in Miami (PR: 7)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dune

Ammonite

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 5)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Mulan (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

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

8. Coming 2 America (PR: 6)

9. Death on the Nile (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ammonite (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Dune

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 4)

4. News of the World (PR: 3)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 7)

7. The Father (PR: Not Ranked)

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

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

10. Tenet (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Dune

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

Predicted Nominees:

1. Birds of Prey (PR: 3)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked)

3. Mank (PR: 1)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Coming 2 America (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Respect (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

9. Emma (PR: 8)

10, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dune

No Time to Die

Wonder Woman 1984

Ammonite

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Soul (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 6)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

7. Over the Moon (PR: 9)

8. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

9. Tenet (PR: 10)

10. Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dune

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

2. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 7)

3. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: Not Ranked)

4. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 9)

5. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana (PR: 3)

8. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 6)

9. “Carried Me with You” from Onward (PR: 8)

10. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

“See What You’ve Done” from Belly of the Beast

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. News of the World (PR: 3)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Rebecca (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Ammonite (PR: 6)

9. Death on the Nile (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dune

One Night in Miami

Tenet

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. Soul (PR: 3)

3. News of the World (PR: 7)

4. Mank (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Greyhound (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Respect (PR: 5)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dune

The Invisible Man

No Time to Die

Wonder Woman 1984

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 2)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

3. Greyhound (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 6)

5. The Invisible Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Call of the Wild (PR: 7)

8. Birds of Prey (PR: 10)

9. Free Guy (PR: 9)

10. Dolittle (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dune

Wonder Woman 1984

No Time to Die

That equates to the following numbers of nominations for features:

12 Nominations

Mank

10 Nominations

News of the World, The Trial of the Chicago 7

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

6 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, Nomadland, One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

The Father, Mulan, Soul

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Ammonite, Minari, Over the Moon, Tenet

1 Nomination

Birds of Prey, Boys State, Coming 2 America, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Disciple, The Dissident, Emma, French Exit, Giving Voice, Greyhound, Hillbilly Elegy, The Invisible Man, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Midnight Sky, New Order, Night of the Kings, The One and Only Ivan, Onward, Pieces of a Woman, Sound of Metal, Wolfwalkers

No Time to Dune

If you felt obligated to write out a 2020 movie release schedule in pencil lately, it would be decimated with cross outs and erasure marks. Quite frankly, it’s tough to keep up with for movie lovers. In the past few days, it’s become even more pronounced and it’s more evidence that theaters simply aren’t ready for tentpole releases.

This was evident in July when Christopher Nolan’s Tenet wildly underperformed stateside. It served as a signal to studios that it’s better to wait and most of the delays have moved into 2021. Dune, the eagerly awaited latest effort from Denis Villeneuve, is the latest push. Originally scheduled for November and then delayed to December, Warner Bros. (who put out Tenet) has now slated it for October 2021.

The Dune activity occurs just after the new 007 pic No Time to Die announced a new Easter 2021 date. It was originally meant to hit theaters in February of this year. This follows Black Widow moving to May 2021 (original date was May 2020) and that meant the MCU’s Eternals traveled from February 2021 to November 2021. And that was around the time Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story received a year long delay to Christmastime ’21.

Still following? Yeah, I know. So what’s left for 2020? In short, nothing soon except for cinematic table scraps like The War with Grandpa with Robert De Niro (this Friday) and Honest Thief with Liam Neeson (next Friday).

Pixar is scheduled to unveil Soul in November. We shall see if they decide not to go the Disney+ route like they did with Mulan and other titles. The Croods: A New Age is supposed to come out over the Thanksgiving holiday. And December still has heavy hitters like Wonder Woman 1984, Death on the Nile, Free Guy, and Coming 2 America. 

The bottom line – who knows? Everything is tentative in these uncertain days. Streaming options will continue to increase. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tenet is available for a high price on such services in short order. For 007 fans and those awaiting Dune, there’s more time to anticipate.

The War with Grandpa Box Office Prediction

My box office predictions have been in a dormancy stage as chains struggle to obtain new product in these COVID times. It picks up again next weekend with the release of The War with Grandpa as uncertainty continues with the financial viability for theatrical releases.

This comedy starring Robert De Niro has had a checkered history even before the virus. Shot in 2017, it was originally scheduled for a 2018 debut. However, its original distributor was The Weinstein Company and the release was shelved due to the high profile legal troubles of its founder. 101 Studios eventually picked it up and here we are.

Tim Hill directs and he’s mostly known for kid friendly and animated fare such as Alvin and the Chipmunks and this year’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. Costars include Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Rob Riggle, Oakes Fegley, Cheech Marin, and Jane Seymour.

When Tenet underperformed stateside in July, it set off a wave of delays. That includes just this week as No Time to Die experienced another push (this time to Easter 2021). Simply put, audiences have yet to develop a comfort level with a return to multiplexes.

Don’t look for Grandpa to change that. The film’s trailer was greeted with some eye rolling as this looks like a return to De Niro comedic mediocrity (just months after a more acclaimed turn in The Irishman). The Coronavirus questions persist: how many venues will this actually play in? This is even more of an issue now that Regal Cinemas has announced the closure of over 500 theaters. Amidst all of this, I believe Grandpa will struggle to hit $2 million for a quiet start.

The War with Grandpa opening weekend prediction: $1.9 million

2020 Oscar Predictions: October 1st Edition

As October begins, my weekly Oscar predictions get a major expansion as I am now including all categories covering feature length films! Additionally, I’m dwindling the listed prospects in all the top races. For Best Picture, it goes from 25 to 15. The directing, acting, and screenplay contests drop from 15 to 10. This is why you’ll see so many movies dropping out of contention.

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch is rumored to be moving from the 2020 window. While this has yet to be confirmed, I have taken it out of the running at this time. Obviously once its release date is announced, I’ll adjust accordingly.

For the tech races and Animated Feature, International Film, and Documentary Feature – I’ve definitely learned that these estimates will be fluid over the next months. This is just a first glimpse at where my head’s at.

As for developments in the significant categories:

  • Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari makes it debut in my nine predicted Picture nominees and that takes out Pixar’s Soul (which is listed #1 in Animated Feature). The directing players remain the same.
  • I have switched Kingsley Ben-Adir’s performance in One Night in Miami from Supporting Actor to lead. He makes the five and that drops Tom Hanks in News of the World. The Best Actress estimates remain.
  • The Supporting Actress nominees also stay intact. However, Ben-Adir’s shift in Supporting Actor means I am now including three actors from The Trial of the Chicago 7: Mark Rylance, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Sacha Baron Cohen. I’m not at all confident this happens, but it’s where I am at the moment. I now have Leslie Odom, Jr. as the representative from One Night in Miami in the race. Lakeith Stanfield moves away from the top five.
  • There are no changes in the screenplay predictions.

As a bonus, I am including how many nominees from my initial full predictions in 2019 ended up getting nominated in each race to give you an idea of historical accuracy. I will note that I didn’t expand my estimates last year until October 17th, so I did have a bit more to go on.

And with all that, let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

7. The Father (PR: 6)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

9. Minari (PR: 12)

Other Possibilities:

10. Soul (PR: 9)

11. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

12. Dune (PR: 10)

13. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 13)

14. Ammonite (PR: 16)

15. The White Tiger (PR: 14)

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 8/9

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Stillwater

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Respect

The Midnight Sky

Annette

Next Goal Wins

Red, White and Water

C’Mon C’Mon

French Exit 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

5. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

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

8. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 11)

9. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

10. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah

Ron Howard, Hillbilly Elegy 

Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch

Ramin Bahrani, The White Tiger

Tom McCarthy, Stillwater

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 1)

3. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 3)

4. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 4)

5. Michele Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 7)

8. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

9. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 11)

10. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 9)

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Dropped Out:

Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead

Jennifer Lawrence, Red, White and Water

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Rachel Brosnahan, I’m Your Woman

Marion Cotillard, Annette

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

2. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR 2)

3. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 5)

7. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 8)

8. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

9. Matt Damon, Stillwater (PR: 6)

10. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7)

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Dropped Out:

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Courier

Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins

Adam Driver, Annette

Trevante Rhodes, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Ben Affleck, The Way Back

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 3)

4. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 5)

5. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 6)

7. Audra McDonald, Respect (PR: 7)

8. Lily Collins, Mank (PR: 14)

9. Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Abigail Breslin, Stillwater (PR: 8)

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 2/5

Dropped Out:

Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans

Mary J. Blige, Respect

Toni Collette, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Gaby Hoffman, C’Mon C’Mon

Kristin Scott Thomas, Rebecca

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

3. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 7)

4. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

5. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 8)

7. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

8. Tom Pelphrey, Mank (PR: 9)

9. Jonathan Majors, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 12)

10. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 11)

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Dropped Out:

Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (moved to Lead Actor)

Frank Langella, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Richard Jenkins, The Humans

Tom Burke, Mank

Charles Dance, Mank 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

4. Soul (PR: 3)

5. Minari (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. On the Rocks (PR: 11)

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

8. Ammonite (PR: 9)

9. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10)

10. Stillwater (PR: 8)

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 3/5

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Respect

Pieces of a Woman

Red, White and Water

Never Rarely Sometimes Always 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 5)

5. News of the World (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Dune (PR: 8)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 7)

9. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 9)

10. French Exit (PR: 10)

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Dropped Out:

The White Tiger

Next Goal Wins

The Humans

First Cow

The Midnight Sky

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul 

2. Over the Moon

3. Wolfwalkers

4. Onward

5. The Croods: A New Age

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys

7. Connected

8. Rumble

9. Trolls World Tour

10. Ride Your Wave

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 3/5

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Crip Camp

2. Boys State

3. All In: The Fight for Democracy

4. Dick Johnson is Dead

5. Spaceship Earth

Other Possibilities:

6. John Lewis: Good Trouble

7. MLK/FBI

8. The Truffle Hunters

9. Miss Americana

10. On the Record

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 2/5

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Quo Vadis, Aida?

2. The Disciple

3. Night of the Kings

4. Ema

5. Atlantis

Other Possibilities:

6. Another Round

7. The Life Ahead

8. Young Ahmed

9. A Sun

10. Memory House 

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 3/5

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank

2. Nomadland

3. News of the World

4. Dune

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods

7. One Night in Miami

8. Judas and the Black Messiah

9. Ammonite

10. Tenet

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank 

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7

3. Emma

4. Dune

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America

7. Ammonite

8. News of the World

9. Mulan

10. The Personal History of David Copperfield

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 2/5

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7

2. Mank

3. News of the World

4. Nomadland

5. Dune

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods

7. One Night in Miami

8. Tenet

9. Judas and the Black Messiah

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 3/5

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank

2. Dune

3. Birds of Prey

4. Coming 2 America

5. Mulan

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7

7. No Time to Die

8. Emma

9. Wonder Woman 1984

10. Ammonite

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 2/5

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank

2. Soul

3. Da 5 Bloods

4. The Trial of the Chicago 7

5. Dune

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World

7. The Midnight Sky

8. One Night in Miami

9. Over the Moon

10. Tenet

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

2. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan

3. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana

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

5. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

Other Possibilities:

6. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

7. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon

8. “Carried Me with You” from Onward

9. “Never Break” from Giving Voice

10. “See What You’ve Done” from Belly of the Beast

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 3/5

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank

2. Dune

3. News of the World

4. Mulan

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7

Other Possibilities:

6. Ammonite

7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

8. One Night in Miami

9. Tenet

10. Judas and the Black Messiah

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet

2. Dune

3. Soul

4. Sound of Metal

5. Respect

Other Possibilities:

6. The Invisible Man

7. News of the World

8. No Time to Die

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7

10. Wonder Woman 1984

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: N/A – CATEGORY WAS SPLIT BETWEEN SOUND EDITING & SOUND MIXING

 

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. Tenet

3. Greyhound

4. Wonder Woman 1984

5. The Invisible Man

Other Possibilities:

6. Mulan

7. The Call of the Wild

8. No Time to Die

9. Free Guy

10. Birds of Prey

2019 OCTOBER ACCURACY: 4/5

And that gives us our first breakdown of how many nominations I believe we will see for each picture:

12 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

10 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

Dune

7 Nominations

News of the World

6 Nominations

Nomadland, One Night in Miami

5 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

4 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Father, Soul

2 Nominations

Ammonite, Minari, Mulan, Pieces of a Woman, Tenet

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Atlantis, Birds of Prey, Boys State, Coming 2 America, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson is Dead, The Disciple, Ema, Emma, French Exit, Greyhound, Hillbilly Elegy, The Invisible Man, Judas and the Black Messiah, Miss Americana, Night of the Kings, No Time to Die, The One and Only Ivan, Onward, Over the Moon, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Respect, Sound of Metal, Spaceship Earth, Wolfwalkers, Wonder Woman 1984

Back at it next week, folks!

Oscar Watch: The One and Only Ivan

Disney’s streaming service combines humans and familiar faces voicing creatures this weekend with the release of The One and Only Ivan, based on the 2012 children’s book by K.A. Applegate. Directed by Thea Sharrock, the family friendly fantasy features Bryan Cranston, Ramon Rodriguez, and Ariana Greenblatt in front of the camera. Stars including Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, Brooklyn Prince, and Chaka Khan (!) lend their voices as gorillas, elephants, and dogs.

In what is now a familiar story on this blog, Ivan was intended for theatrical release last Friday before the COVID-19 pandemic altered the plans. It is now hitting the Disney+ service this weekend. Why an Oscar Watch post for this unlikely contender? Fair question as even a Visual Effects nod is probably a long shot. Reviews out today are decent, but not overwhelmingly positive with a current 64% Rotten Tomatoes score.

There is, however, a solid shot for Ivan to come under Academy consideration and that’s with Original Song. It was announced this week that Diane Warren has written the track “Free” that will play over the end credits. Performed by Charlie Puth, the song is another possibility in a lengthy list of Warren’s works that could vie for a nomination.

Diane Warren has been nominated in the Original Song race 11 times over four decades. This began with “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from 1987’s Mannequin and runs through last year with “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough. In between, we have massive hits like Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” from Up Close and Personal and the Aerosmith ballad “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” from Armageddon in the 90s. Despite the multitude of nods, Warren has never made the trip to the podium.

I doubt that “Free” would earn her the win, but a 12th nomination is certainly feasible. It remains to be seen how this particular category will play out in the coming months. Billie Eilish’s title track for the upcoming 007 adventure No Time to Die will likely make it in the final five.

Bottom line: Original Song could mark the one and only nod for Ivan next year. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Mulan Gets a Plus

Disney surprised a lot of box office commentators like myself to begin the week with major news about Mulan. The live-action adaptation of their 1998 animated feature, directed by Niki Caro, was intended to hit theaters on a worldwide scale on March 27th. This was, of course, just a couple of weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures of chains across the country.

Since delayed three more times, the Mouse Factory announced this afternoon that the tentpole feature will instead debut on the Disney+ streaming service on September 4. This allows lots of kids and their parents to view it over Labor Day weekend… at a cost of $30. While we have seen numerous pictures go the route of streaming as opposed to theatrical release in the past few months, Mulan is by far the most high profile.

The top brass at Disney made it clear that this is a one-off pattern. There was certainly no further announcement that their Black Widow (delayed from May) would follow suit. The news makes for a fascinating holiday weekend to monitor as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is currently scheduled for select cities in cinemas at the same time.

Depending on how well Mulan performs on the small screen (and it certainly could), one must wonder what that means for other big pics that were supposed to be released by now. To name a few – there’s No Time to Die, A Quiet Place Part II, Top Gun: Maverick, and Wonder Woman 1984.

It may not change anything, but Disney’s Monday bombshell feels like a potential sign of more unexpected pattens to follow. After all, the idea that Mulan would be a streaming debut would have sounded unfathomable pre-COVID. Time will tell, but those anticipating Mulan won’t have to wait long if they’re willing to fork over a premium price.

Tenet Falls Back

As I’ve stated in any COVID-19 related post on this blog, the release of movies in theaters is far from the most pressing concern as it relates to the pandemic. However, this site covers the world of film and a significant development occurred today when it comes to that future.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has long been seen as the first real test of financial viability for theaters. For several months now, it has been the tentpole release pegged to be out of the gate before all others. With its $200 million budget and with one of the few directors behind it that guarantees an audience, a direct to streaming output has never been an option. Many other smaller budget features have already gone that route and it’s been covered here. Tenet was originally scheduled for a global bow last Friday (July 17) before shifting to July 31 and then August 12. Hours ago, Warner Bros. made an announcement that many have been anticipating. The thriller starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson has now moved to a familiar release date… TBD.

The studio’s press release still indicates a desire for a 2020 rollout. The announcement goes on to say that Tenet may not receive a traditional release. Reading between the lines – this means it could be out in foreign markets before it hits screens stateside. This is in no doubt related to the recent surge of COVID cases in North America vs. other parts of the world.

Why is this announcement on one movie so big? Because a domino effect is sure to follow and it has already started. Rom com The Broken Hearts Gallery from Sony Pictures shifted its August 7th date to TBD shortly after. The Russell Crowe pic Unhinged is still slated to open next weekend (July 31). We will see if that holds (it could be a prime candidate for streaming).

Disney’s Mulan is currently scheduled for August 21. I would not be surprised if this changes and quickly. You may recall that it was originally supposed to come out in March when the pandemic began shutting down sectors of the economy.

Warner Bros. also revealed that The Conjuring 3 (part of their flagship horror franchise) is now moved to summer of 2021. One must wonder what other studios will do with some of their high profile product scheduled for September and October (August is pretty much wiped out at this juncture save for Mulan at the moment). That list includes A Quiet Place II (already delayed from spring) and Wonder Woman 1984 (already delayed from summer).

Bottom line: the fall back of Tenet greatly increases the probability of November being the real start of major product in the multiplexes. That’s when already delayed projects like Black Widow, No Time to Die, and Soul are scheduled. And that is, of course, tentative as well in this new cinematic reality.

A New Cinematic Universe

The world is different this week. We are all beginning to feel it and know it. The Coronavirus has impacted the economy, our day to day activity, and our way of life. That will continue for the foreseeable future. I have already written once before about COVID-19 and its impact on what this blog focuses on… the movies.

I know it may seem trivial. And, in many ways, it is. Yet this is a movie blog. It’s a blog mostly devoted to box office predictions and that’s certainly what gets the most views on here.

So some thoughts:

The box office, like numerous other sectors of our economic fabric, is going to suffer. When I last wrote about Coronavirus just days ago, the latest James Bond picture No Time to Die had been pushed from April to November. There were other release date changes, but that was the headline.

What we’ve seen in the past 24 hours has been an escalation and an extreme one. A Quiet Place Part II, Mulan, The New Mutants, and F9 have all moved to either indefinite status or to 2021. Other less tentpole titles have followed suit. Expect that to continue over the coming days.

Simply put – the American moviegoing experience is grinding to a halt. There are legitimate questions as to whether theaters will even stay open and with the announcements of the past week, it certainly would not be a massive shock at this juncture.

This blog may change until further notice. And we’re going through a period of time where we will need to get used to change. Again… maybe it sounds trivial and there are larger considerations to work through in our day to day operations…

Nevertheless, on this MOVIE blog… I’ll say this…

Let’s be kind to one another during this time. There will be stories of inspiration in the coming days through this darkness. We will see the humanity of our populace.

We are inspired by movies. Many of us may have some more time in the coming days and weeks to scour the vaults of streaming services and television. If your kids are home from school, maybe it’s time to inspire them with the Star Wars franchise or animated classics or The Goonies if they’ve never seen them. I know they inspired me.

If you’re a die-hard movie buff like I am, maybe it’s time to rewatch the pictures that inspired you. We could all use that lift right now.

Tom Hanks once said, “My job has always been to hold a mirror up to nature”. We’ve certainly seen him do that in many terrific performances. We wish him well. These are new challenges we face and we will prevail. Let’s be proud of the nature of our reflection in the mirror as we get through this.

The Coronavirus and The Movies

Let me start by stating the obvious – with COVID-19 or the Coronavirus dominating the worldwide news cycle, its impact on the moviegoing public is very far from the most important story. However, this is a blog focused on the world of film and especially the box office.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has touched the cinematic universe this week and beyond. The major news in this space began a couple of days back when the latest James Bond pic No Time to Die was delayed from April 10th until November. Producers made no secret that Coronavirus was the reason. For a tentpole release of this stature to get delayed opens up the real possibility of others that could follow. On a smaller scale, the Dave Bautista comedy My Spy was pushed from next Friday to mid April.

News continued yesterday as the South by Southwest Festival in Austin was canceled. Scheduled to begin on March 16, SXSW serves as a launching pad for dozens of features and documentaries. In 2020, this included such high profile titles as David Lowery’s The Green Knight, Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island with Pete Davidson, and Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick follow-up The Lovebirds starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae.

We will see what the future brings as outside factors are certainly influencing how studios and festival organizers make decisions.