2021 Oscars: FINAL Winner Predictions

And it’s come to this! After seven months of endless speculation, predictions, and posts – the 94th Academy Awards (with your hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall) airs this Sunday evening.

These are my final picks for the races covering feature films. Will the Best Picture be CODA?

Or The Power of the Dog?

We have ourselves some real intrigue as both are strong possibilities. Either way, a steamer (either Netflix or Apple TV) should pick up its inaugural Best Pic victory.

Will there be upsets in any of the acting derbies where there seems to be a consensus four based on precursors? And just what will occur in the screenplay races which look unpredictable?

For each race, I’ll give you a bit of commentary along with my projected victor and the runner-up.

Let’s get to it! On Sunday evening, you will see a recap with how I performed…

Best Picture

Nominees:

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Drive My Car

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Commentary:

Well, the big daddy of them all has certainly become fascinating. CODA, the little Sundance pic that could, has surged in the past few days. In addition to winning the SAG Ensemble prize, it captured the Producers Guild top honor and was a BAFTA selection for Adapted Screenplay. These designations (PGA especially) are significant precursors. A strong argument could be made that it has the momentum as voting closed yesterday. In fact, I’ve seen more prognosticators picking it this week than not…

However, The Power of the Dog is still quite viable. It took the Golden Globe Best Drama trophy as well as Critics Choice and BAFTA. Until CODA‘s rise, it was the heavy favorite.

We’ve got a real coin flip, folks! That definitely makes the end of Oscar night more suspenseful than last year when Nomadland seemed unbeatable and indeed was.

I don’t believe any of the other eight pictures have a chance. As for the two that do, I’ve gone back and forth constantly all week. There’s a time to stop speculating and make a final pick and I still believe there’s enough power for the Dog to edge out CODA. That said, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it turns out the other way.

PREDICTED WINNER:

The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up:

CODA

Best Director

Nominees:

Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Commentary:

This is far easier than Picture. With CODA maker Sian Heder absent, Jane Campion is in line to become the third female (and second in a row) to make a podium trip. She’s won all the key precursors – DGA, Globes, Critics Choice. It’s even a challenge to name a runner-up (I guess I’ll say Spielberg because he’s Spielberg). Make no mistake – this is one of the simplest checkmarks on the ballot.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up:

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Best Actress

Nominees:

Jessicas Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Commentary:

Kidman garnered the initial heat after a surprise Globe win, but that’s stalled as no other awards programs followed suit. Instead it’s been Chastain on the minor streak with SAG and Critics Choice. If there’s an upset in any acting derby, this is probably where it happens. Stewart’s road to Oscar looked shaky after some snubs. Academy voters could reward her and there’s some chatter about Cruz being viable. Yet I’m sticking with the safest best and that’s Chastain taking her first gold.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Riunner-Up:

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Best Actor

Nominees:

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield, tick, tick… Boom!

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Commentary:

During the fall, I was thinking there could be a barnburner between Smith and Cumberbatch (with Garfield as potential spoiler). That’s not how it’s played out as the Fresh Prince has been crowned the king in all preceding shows. I expect the sweep to continue.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Will Smith, King Richard

Runner-Up:

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees:

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Judi Dench, Belfast

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Commentary:

Buckley and Dench were surprising inclusions, but there won’t be any shocks with the winner. DeBose has run the table and she should represent Story‘s lone victory.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Runner-Up:

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees:

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Commentary: 

Despite its quartet of performers getting nominations, Dog is likely to produce Oscars for none of them. Smit-McPhee received the Golden Globe but it’s been all Kotsur since. This is the race where I’m most confident of a CODA moment.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Runner-Up:

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog 

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees:

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

The Worst Person in the World

Commentary:

Good luck with this one! The Writer’s Guild threw everyone for a loop last weekend when Don’t Look Up won over Licorice Pizza (Belfast was not eligible). I just don’t envision the Academy honoring Up. With a Belfast or Pizza victory, they would bestowing first ever Oscars to Kenneth Branagh and Paul Thomas Anderson respectively. With the Globe and Critics Choice going to Belfast, it has my vote (though it’s close).

PREDICTED WINNER:

Belfast

Runner-Up:

Licorice Pizza

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees

CODA

Drive My Car

Dune

The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog 

Commentary:

CODA‘s BAFTA win kickstarted its momentum. Even if Dog is Best Picture, CODA could still take this. On the other hand, I think there’s a better chance Best Pic and Adapted Screenplay match so I’m rolling with the Dog with no degree of confidence whatsoever.

PREDICTED WINNER:

The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up:

CODA

Best Animated Feature

Nominees:

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon

Commentary:

I’m tempted to pick a Mitchells upset, but it’s dangerous to pick against Disney and Encanto is the frontrunner.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Encanto

Runner-Up:

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Best International Feature Film

Nominees:

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World

Commentary:

This is unquestionably one of the no brainer picks as Drive My Car has dominated the precursors and is the only nominee to also nab a Best Picture nod.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Drive My Car

Runner-Up:

The Worst Person in the World

Best Documentary Feature

Nominees:

Ascension

Attica

Flee

Summer of Soul

Writing with Fire

Commentary:

With nominations in Animated Feature, International Feature, and Doc – it sure seems like Flee should win one of them. It might stand the best chance in this competition, but Summer of Soul has been impressive in precursors and should continue the streak.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Summer of Soul

Runner-Up:

Flee

Best Cinematography

Nominees:

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Commentary: 

This might be the tech race where Dog is successful. I’m not predicting it though and (get used to hearing this) think Dune emerges.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Dune

Runner-Up:

The Power of the Dog

Best Costume Design

Nominees:

Cruella

Cyrano

Dune

Nightmare Alley

West Side Story

Commentary:

Cruella has killed it the preceding competitions. Dune, if it crushes all techs, could take it but I’m going with the former.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Cruella

Runner-Up:

Dune

Best Film Editing

Nominees:

Don’t Look Up

Dune

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

tick, tick… Boom!

Commentary:

Don’t sleep on King Richard which was bestowed the EDDIE award. I still think this is Dune‘s to lose.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Dune

Runner-Up:

King Richard

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Nominees:

Coming 2 America

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Commentary:

Gucci could fashion a 1 for 1 victory but Tammy Faye has taken some precursors.

PREDICTED WINNER:

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Runner-Up:

House of Gucci

Best Original Score

Nominees:

Don’t Look Up

Dune

Encanto

Parallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog

Commentary:

Like Cinematography, this is between Dog and Dune. Like Cinematography, I’m choosing the latter.

PREDICTED WINNER:

Dune

Runner-Up:

The Power of the Dog

Best Original Song

Nominees:

“Be Alive” from King Richard

“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto

“Down to Joy” from Belfast

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days

Commentary:

Diane Warren gets her 13th nomination with “Somehow” and somehow she’s never won. That will continue. The smart money is on the 007 theme song from Billie Eilish. Yet I’m going with a minor upset with the Disney tune.

PREDICTED WINNER:

“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto

Runner-Up:

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

Best Production Design

Nominees:

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Commentary:

For the last three categories, I could just say Dune and be done with it. In fact, I think I will…

PREDICTED WINNER:

Dune

Runner-Up:

West Side Story

Best Sound

Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Commentary:

See Production Design

PREDICTED WINNER:

Dune

Runner-Up:

West Side Story

Best Visual Effects

Nominees:

Dune

Free Guy

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Commentary:

See Production Design

PREDICTED WINNER:

Dune

Runner-Up:

There isn’t one… that’s how I’m confident I am that Dune takes it.

And so, ladies and gents, that means I’m predicting that these movies win these numbers of Oscars:

6 Wins

Dune

3 Wins

The Power of the Dog

2 Wins

Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

1 Win

Belfast, CODA, Cruella, Drive My Car, King Richard, Summer of Soul, West Side Story

Make sure to check out the blog post ceremony!

PGA: The Rise of CODA

When it comes to the Producers Guild of America awards, there’s a 14/21 match between their best picture and the Academy’s in the 21st century. The two-thirds ratio is 3/5 in the past five years. In 2016, La La Land took PGA over the Oscar selection of Moonlight. For 2019, PGA went with 1917 while the big show went with Parasite. Other 21st century examples: The Big Short won PGA in 2015 (Oscar: Spotlight). For 2006, Little Miss Sunshine got the PGA prize while The Departed took Oscar.

The PGA’s for 2021 occurred last night and it’s another feather in the cap for CODA. Sian Heder’s coming-of-age drama built upon its recent SAG ensemble victory  to triumph here. If there was any doubt before, CODA has unquestionably positioned itself as the alternate to The Power of the Dog winning Best Picture at the Oscars. Not Belfast. Not King Richard or Dune. This is a two-horse race between Dog and CODA and they both have important precursor hardware. No matter which one grabs the gold, it will be the first BP win for a streamer (Netflix for Dog and Apple TV for CODA).

Jane Campion’s direction of Dog won the Director Guild of America (DGA) prize this week and that’s a reliable Academy precursor. She’s almost certain to be the Oscar winner (CODA‘s Sian Heder isn’t nominated). In fact, CODA only has three nominations overall: Picture, Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur), and Adapted Screenplay. It didn’t seem feasible until recently, but it could legitimately go 3 for 3.

Having said that, I wouldn’t dream of counting Dog out. It’s the Globe and BAFTA recipient. The precursor bonafides for it are just as impressive as CODA‘s. Even a week ago, however, I would’ve said Dog had about a 90% chance to be the Oscar BP. Now… well, it’s considerably less and we’ll see what I predict when I make my final picks on Wednesday.

In the Animated Feature and Documentary races at PGA, the respective winners were Encanto and Summer of Soul and they maintain their status as Academy favorites.

2021 Oscar Predictions: January 28th Edition

The DGA and PGA nominations are out as of yesterday and it’s caused some reflection as I pen my penultimate predictions for the 2021 Oscars. With Being the Ricardos and Tick, Tick… Boom! nabbing the final two BP spots at PGA (the other 8 were pretty obvious), I feel it necessary to include at least one of them. On the other hand, I’m reluctant to include both as PGA and the Academy’s BP selection rarely match. I’m leaning toward Boom! and it vaults back into the top ten. Yet I’m continuing to keep The Tragedy of Macbeth in the mix despite its lack of recent precursor love.

The DGA quintet and the Best Director nominees haven’t mirrored each other since 2009. So it’s a risk to go with DGA’s five. However, as of this moment, I’m going with it.

Another big change is in Best Actor as I’m including Javier Bardem in Ricardos for the first time (over Leonardo DiCaprio for Don’t Look Up). There’s also a change in Supporting Actor as I’m putting Ben Affleck (The Tender Bar) in for his inaugural appearance. That knocks out Jared Leto for Gucci.

The last big piece of the precursor puzzle arrives Thursday with BAFTA nods. On Friday (02/04), I will make my FINAL Oscar calls before nomination morning on Tuesday, February 8th.

Here’s how I have things standing as of now:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 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: 7) (+1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

8. CODA (PR: 8) (E)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 11) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Drive My Car (PR: 13) (+1)

13. House of Gucci (PR: 10) (-3)

14. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

No Time to Die

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: 7) (+1)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

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

9. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: 9) (E)

10. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 1) (E)

2. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 5) (+1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 7) (E)

8. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 6) (-2)

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

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 2) (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. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 8) (E)

9. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 9) (E)

10. Hidetoshi Nishijima, Drive My Car (PR: 10) (E)

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. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 4) (E)

5. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (E)

9. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: 10) (E)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 2) (E)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. Being the Ricardos (PR: 4) (E)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (E)

8. Mass (PR: 8) (E)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (E)

10. A Hero (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Pig

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: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel 

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 6) (E)

7. Sing 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

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

9. Vivo (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

My Sunny Maad

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. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 9) (E)

10. Playground (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Good Boss

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Procession (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The First Wave (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ascension (PR: 6) (E)

7. Faya Dayi (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Attica (PR: 7) (-1)

9. President (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Velvet Underground (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

In the Same Breath 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. West Side Story (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. Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

C’Mon C’Mon

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. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-4)

7. King Richard (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (+1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

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: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (+1)

8. West Side Story (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Cyrano (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. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Encanto (PR: 7) (-1)

9. King Richard (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (+1)

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

4. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 8) (E)

9. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 9) (E)

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

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: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Spencer (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cyrano (PR: 10) (E)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (+1)

5. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (-1)

8. A Quiet Place Part II (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. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (E)

3. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 3) (E)

4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Free Guy (PR: 7) (E)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (E)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

This all equates to the following numbers of nominations for these pictures:

11 Nominations

Dune

9 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog

8 Nominations

West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

King Richard, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Lost Daughter, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die, Spencer

1 Nomination

C’Mon C’Mon, Coming 2 America, Drive My Car, The First Wave, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Passing, Procession, Ray and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Tender Bar, The Worst Person in the World

2021 PGA and DGA Nominations Reaction

Two major Oscar precursors dropped today and it’s a good day to be the Ricardos as Aaron Sorkin’s Lucy and Desi pic make the PGA’s top ten cut, as did Netflix’s musical Tick, Tick… Boom!

Here are your 10 PGA nominees:

Being the Ricardos

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

Tick, Tick… Boom!

West Side Story

That means I went 8 out of 10 for my projections. The general thinking (and one that I shared) is that 8 pictures were safe: Belfast, CODA, Don’t Look Up, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story. That turned out to be accurate.

The real battle was for the last 2 spots and they went to Ricardos and Boom! PGA has a history of nominating moneymakers and that’s why I chose No Time to Die to make the list (others were putting Spider-Man: No Way Home in the mix). Neither did so and that might end discussions on whether either of them could make it  with the Academy.

I also had House of Gucci getting in and its PGA omission decreases its viability in the Oscar BP derby. Other notables to miss include Drive My Car, The Lost Daughter, Nightmare Alley, and The Tragedy of Macbeth. 

Truth be told – the PGA lineup could easily be the Oscar one. However, that is hardly ever the case and we’ll see how it shakes out when I update my predictions tomorrow.

It’s also true that the five contenders in the Directors Guild Awards rarely match the Oscars (usually it’s 4 out of five). My quintet of Academy hopefuls has stayed steady over recent weeks: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Steven Spielberg (Wet Side Story), and Denis Villeneuve (Dune).

And that’s exactly the lineup that DGA revealed today. I went 4 of 5 because I had Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up) in over Anderson. A DGA nod could have helped others on the outside looking in like Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car) or Joel Coen (Macbeth).

As I explained in my predictions yesterday, you have to go back to 2009 for the last year in which DGA/Oscar matched in Best Director. It could absolutely happen in 2021 and, unlike PGA, I may continue to project it that way.

As mentioned, look for my penultimate 2021 Oscar updates tomorrow!

2021 DGA and PGA Nominations Predictions

Two significant Academy precursors are coming our way tomorrow when the Directors and Producers Guilds of America reveal nominees. Both groups could shed major light on who and what we will see on Oscar nomination morning in less than two weeks.

The DGA nominates five directors for their top prize and it is a reliable preview for usually 4 of the 5 eventual hopefuls at the big show. In the past five years, the DGA’s list corresponds with the Academy’s on the 4 of 5 ratio. The exception was 2018 when it was 3/5. You have to go back to 2009 to find the last year in which there was a perfect match.

For weeks, my Oscar projections in Best Director has remained consistent: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Steven Spielberg (West Side Story), and Denis Villeneuve (Dune). That’s probably the safest lineup to predict for DGA as well, but I’m hesitant to do so since it’s been over a decade with the two corresponding.

So who’s vulnerable and who could rise up? It’s hard to see Campion (the Oscar frontrunner), Villeneuve, or Spielberg missing. Same generally goes for Branagh though there’s whispers that Belfast could be slipping a bit (still not enough for me to take him out). That leaves Anderson and there’s some precedent. In 2017, the Academy nominated him for Phantom Thread while DGA omitted him. He’s the easiest to leave off their ballot.

Who takes his place? I doubt that it’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car. In recent times, the Academy has been more generous with nods for filmmakers and their international features. Last year, they nominated Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) and in 2018 they did the same for Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War) while DGA ignored them.

If there’s a surprise fifth nominee in store, watch out for Guillermo del Toro (Nightmare Alley), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter) or Sian Heder (CODA). However, I think it could come down to Joel Coen (The Tragedy of Macbeth) and Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up). The latter is a two-time DGA nominee (The Big Short and Vice) and Don’t Look Up is a buzzy streaming success story that’s been widely viewed. Coen, on the other hand, could be honored for the technical mastery of Macbeth. 

This is a close call, but I’m ever so slightly leaning toward McKay and I’ll go that route. Therefore – my official DGA predictions are:

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Runner-Up: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Let’s move to the PGA, shall we? Over the last five years, these are the matches between the Producers and the Academy when it comes to their Best Picture awards:

2016: 9/9

2017: 7/9

2018: 8/8

2019: 9/9

2020: 7/8

It’s important to keep in mind that the Academy, for the past several years, can have anywhere between 5-10 BP contenders (the magic number has been 8 or 9). Yet in 2021, the Oscars are reverting back to a set 10 (the PGA always nominates 10 except for 2017 when they had 11 for some inexplicable reason).

That means there’s only been three films (Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread in 2017 and The Father in 2020) that received Oscar nods and didn’t materialize on the PGA list.

My current 10 selections for BP from the Academy are as follows: Belfast, CODA, Don’t Look Up, Dune, House of Gucci, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, West Side Story.

I’m estimating that only Gucci and Tragedy could be truly vulnerable to miss the PGA cut (anything else being left off would constitute a pretty big surprise). If that happens, CODA or Richard might be the ones.

In my view, Tragedy is exactly the kind of feature that PGA may not recognize. Gucci is more of a question mark as the Producers generally like to nominate pictures that performed well at the box office. To that point, the PGA has a history of honoring moneymakers that the Academy does not. Recent examples include Bridesmaids, Skyfall, Gone Girl, Straight Outta Compton, Deadpool, Wonder Woman, Crazy Rich Asians, A Quiet Place, and Knives Out.

That could absolutely open the door for No Time to Die or Spider-Man: No Way Home… or both. I’m slightly more hesitant to include Spidey being that neither Avengers: Infinity War or Endgame got PGA love. However, I’m not oblivious to the fact that this guild may want to mention the picture that broke pandemic era box office records.

Outside of the blockbuster mold, you could also see titles like Being the Ricardos, Drive My Car, The Lost Daughter, Nightmare Alley, or Tick, Tick… Boom! factor in.

I’m keeping Gucci in (with extreme uncertainty) and projecting 007 in the mega-earner slot so here’s my PGA ten:

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Dune

House of Gucci

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Runner-Up: Spider-Man: No Way Home

Second Alternate: The Tragedy of Macbeth 

So there you have it! I’ll have reaction up on both DGA and PGA tomorrow on the blog…

The Producers Roll With Nomadland

In the previous decade, the winner of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) best motion picture ended up matching with the eventual Oscar recipient 70% of the time. So it’s no wonder that all eyes of prognosticators were on tonight’s ceremony. Would the PGA do anything to interrupt the narrative that Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland is a sturdy favorite to take the Academy’s gold?

The answer? No. Nomadland received yet another honor from the PGA to go with its Golden Globe for Best Drama, Critics Choice Award, and numerous regional group best pic designations. Had Minari or Promising Young Woman or The Trial of the Chicago 7 won, it might have created more suspense for the Oscar ceremony happening on April 25th. Yet the PGA victory is another arrow in the quiver for Zhao’s achievement.

If you’re another movie hoping to best Nomadland, the PGA and the Academy have differed three times in the last five years. In 2015, the Guild picked The Big Short over Spotlight. In 2016, it was La La Land instead of Moonlight. Last year – 1917 over Parasite. 

As for other races, Disney/Pixar’s Soul, as expected, took animated feature and it remains a major frontrunner at the big show. The documentary category went to My Octopus Teacher and that certainly puts it in serious contention in one month.

Bottom line: Nomadland is rolling and nothing may be able to stop it.

2020 Oscar Predictions: March 8th Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 6)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

8. News of the World (PR: 8)

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

Other Possibilities:

10. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

11. The Father (PR: 11)

12. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

First Cow

Another Round

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

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

4. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 5)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 7)

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

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

10. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

9. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 7)

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

Dropped Out:

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

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

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

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

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

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

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

3. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

4. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 2)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

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

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

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

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

5. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 6)

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

9. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

10. Alan Kim, Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

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

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Promising Young Woman (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

8. Soul (PR: 9)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Cow (PR: 5)

7. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 10)

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

9. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Emma

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Onward (PR: 4)

4. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

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

8. Trolls World Tour (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 8)

10, Earwig and the Witch (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Demon Slayer

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Time (PR: 1)

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

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 5)

5. Boys State (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 6)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 7)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. Collective (PR: 5)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. A Sun (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. La Llorona (PR: 9)

7. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 7)

8. Dear Comrades! (PR: 8)

9. Night of the Kings (PR: 6)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

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

5. Minari (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities: 

6. News of the World (PR: 9)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 10)

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

9. The Glorias (PR: 8)

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

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Father (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

8. Tenet (PR: 7)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

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

Dropped Out:

One Night in Miami

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: 6)

7. The Glorias (PR: 7)

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

9. The Little Things (PR: 9)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Tenet (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Minari (PR: 5)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

9. Ammonite (PR: 10)

10. The Little Things (PR: 8)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

9. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: 8)

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

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mulan (PR: 9)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. Emma (PR: 2)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

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

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

Dropped Out:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Greyhound (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

9. Soul (PR: 8)

10. Mulan (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The One and Only Ivan (PR: 8)

7. Soul (PR: 6)

8. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: 9)

10. Bloodshot (PR: 10)

This equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers:

13 Nominations

Mank

7 Nominations

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

6 Nominations

Minari

5 Nominations

Judas and the Black Messiah

4 Nominations

One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

3 Nominations

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

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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Oscars 2019: The Case of 1917

My next Case of post for this year’s Best Picture nominees brings us to 1917. If you missed my other posts thus far, you can peruse them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/14/oscars-2019-the-case-of-ford-v-ferrari/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/15/oscars-2019-the-case-of-the-irishman/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/17/oscars-2019-the-case-of-jojo-rabbit/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/18/oscars-2019-the-case-of-joker/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/18/oscars-2019-the-case-of-little-women/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/19/oscars-2019-the-case-of-marriage-story/

Let’s break it down:

The Case for 1917

It’s become significant. 1917 might be the strongest example of the nine nominees for perfect timing. The World War I epic from director Sam Mendes came to the attention of awards voters just as it was opening to better than expected box office and sterling reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 89%. Mendes is a known quantity whose American Beauty won Best Picture (and Director) twenty years ago. The precursor love has been impressive with a Golden Globes victory for Best Drama and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) top prize. 13 out of the last 19 PGA winners went on to win Best Picture. The ten Academy nominations is tied for second along with The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

The Case Against 1917

If it wins Best Picture, it would be the first to do so without any acting nomination since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire (SAG ignored it as well). Additionally, it would be the extremely rare recipient to win without an Editing nod. A case could be made that the Parasite fans are more rabid.

The Verdict

Despite missing some recognition in key races, there is no doubt that 1917 could absolutely take the biggest race. It could even be called the soft front runner.

Up next in my Case of posts… Once Upon a Time in Hollywood!

Parasite Invades SAG

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards remained on script for about 99% of its running time last night. And then it went ahead and made this year’s Best Picture race at the Oscars all the more interesting.

Before we get to that, I went four for four in my acting category predictions and did so by sticking with the front runners. Those would be Joaquin Phoenix in Joker and Renee Zellweger in Judy in the leads and Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Laura Dern for Marriage Story with supporting. Let’s be clear: 2019 appears to be a year where there’s strong favorites in all four races. Anyone other than this quartet winning on Oscar night at this point would constitute an upset.

When it comes to the biggest race of all, it’s still open. One could argue that 1917 is a soft front runner after winning Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America (where 13 of 19 recipients this century took the Oscar) and Best Drama at the Golden Globes. The Sam Mendes World War I epic wasn’t nominated for SAG. And therefore the narrative going into yesterday evening is that the winner here could serve as the most viable Academy alternative.

I projected that movie would be Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Yet the SAG branch went with Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite. Perhaps I should have suspected this when its cast (presenting clips) received raucous applause that eclipsed all others. However, I chose not to predict its win, in part, due to no actors getting individual nods for their work. The Parasite victory here is major as its the first foreign language feature to be named in this category. It certainly sets up an argument that the Best Picture derby at the Oscars has really come down to three: 1917, Hollywood, and Parasite.

So what’s next? The Directors Guild of America (DGA) announces their winner this Sunday. That feels important because 16 out of the past 19 directing winners there have taken the gold statue. It’s probably Joon-Ho vs. Mendes and the honoree could then see their film vault to the front of the Picture pack.

Bottom line: SAG solidified the four actors vying for their statues while further complicating the Picture derby.

The Producers Go To 1917

Last night, the Producers Guild of America bestowed their honoree for best of the year and it’s a significant harbinger of what could lie ahead at the Oscars. In the 21st century, 13 of the 19 PGA winners ended up winning Best Picture from the Academy. In fact, 2018’s “surprise” PGA recipient Green Book took the prize at the big show as well.

It was the Sam Mendes World War I epic 1917 that emerged victorious. That’s another major precursor pickup after the Golden Globes named it Best Drama a couple weeks back. 1917 earned the award over nine other nominees that includes the eight pictures it’s nominated with from the Academy and Knives Out.

Let’s be clear – a solid argument can now be made that 1917 is the front runner to win the Oscar. If the Directors Guild of America names Mendes as their choice next weekend, that will serve as another huge precursor. Yet the 1917 love won’t extend to tonight’s Screen Actors Guild Awards (my predictions for that event will be on the blog later this morning). 1917 is not nominated for Best Ensemble from SAG. If The Irishman or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood or Parasite win Ensemble, the narrative may turn to that picture as its strongest competitor.

Still, one week after 1917 rode its awards buzz to impressive box office earnings, it’s established itself as perhaps the film to beat.