2021 Oscar Predictions: October 27th Edition

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune hit box office expectations this past weekend and I’m more confident than ever that it makes the Best Picture ten. Belfast still maintains the #1 slot in Picture and I nearly put its maker Kenneth Branagh in the same spot in Director. Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) is hanging on by a thread as I also believe Villeneuve could be rewarded for his technical bravura behind the camera.

Per usual, I’ve made a change in the #5 rank in Actor – swapping out Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!) for Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon). It was a good week for the upcoming Phoenix comedic drama as it reenters Original Screenplay over Spencer.

You can read all the latest activity below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (-2)

6. Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. House of Gucci (PR: 8) (E)

9. Spencer (PR: 9) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. Don’t Look Up (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Mass (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Flee (PR: 14) (+1)

14. CODA (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 13) (-2)

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: 4) (+1)

4. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (-1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

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

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

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

10. Julia Ducournau, Titane (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out: Ridley Scott, House of Gucci

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6)

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

8. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (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. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 9) (E)

10. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Rooney Mara, Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Martha Plimpton, Mass

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 9) (E)

10. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (E)

10. A Hero (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Humans (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (+1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Dune (PR: 8) (+1)

8. West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Passing (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Encanto (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Luca (PR: 2) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Vivo (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 2) (E)

3. Flee (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Hand of God (PR: 4) (+2)

5. Titane (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (-1)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (E)

8. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Memoria (PR: 10) (E)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Attica (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. President (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ascension (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The First Wave (PR: 6) (-3)

10. The Velvet Underground (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Ailey

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 2) (+1)

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

3. Belfast (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

C’Mon C’Mon

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Cruella (PR: 3) (+1)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The French Dispatch (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (E)

8. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (-1)

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

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. West Side Story (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (+1)

8. King Richard (PR: 7) (-1)

9. House of Gucci (PR: 9) (E)

10. Spencer (PR: 10) (E)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Green Knight (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Licorice Pizza (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Spencer (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Belfast (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 10) (-2)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

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. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 8) (+2)

7. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 5) (-3)

9. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

“Beyond the Shore” from CODA

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. Cyrano (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Belfast (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Spencer (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (+1)

5. No Time to Die (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Last Duel (PR: 9) (+2)

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

9. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Eternals (PR: 2) (-4)

7. Free Guy (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Suicide Squad (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Finch

This adds up to these pictures nabbing the following numbers in terms of nominations:

10 Nominations

Dune

9 Nominations

Belfast

8 Nominations

The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

Nightmare Alley

5 Nominations

House of Gucci, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Spencer, The Tragedy of Macbeth, West Side Story

3 Nominations

Flee, The French Dispatch, Mass

2 Nominations

C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Cyrano, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Humans, No Time to Die, Respect

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, Don’t Look Up, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, The Rescue  Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Summer of Soul, Titane, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: October 17th Edition

We actually had two weeks in a row of my Best Actor predictions staying the same after the five spot seemed to be constantly shifting. Not anymore as Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!) makes his first appearance in the predicted hopefuls at the expense of Joaquin Phoenix in C’Mon C’Mon. That films also drops out of Original Screenplay in favor of Spencer.

The biggest change is in International Feature Film as France somewhat surprisingly picked Julia Ducournau’s Titane as their selection. That drops Happening from the race and vaults Titane to the five. I’m also putting in Drive My Car over The Hand of God. 

A note – the 10 Best Picture nominees has stayed steady as of late. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that a Sundance selection from early this year (Mass, Flee, or CODA) will end up making the cut. I just can’t decide what to take out yet. We will know soon whether Nightmare Alley, West Side Story, Licorice Pizza, or House of Gucci (the unscreened titles) are vulnerable.

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. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. King Richard (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

6. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-2)

7. West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. House of Gucci (PR: 8) (E)

9. Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. Mass (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Don’t Look Up (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Flee (PR: 13) (-1)

15. CODA (PR: 14) (-1)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 10) (+2)

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

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

Dropped Out:

Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (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. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 8) (-1)

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

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Martha Plimpton, Mass (PR: 10) (E)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 7) (E)

8. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Humans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Dune (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Passing (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Tender Bar

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Encanto (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Vivo (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (-1)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 2) (E)

3. Flee (PR: 3) (E)

4. Titane (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (-1)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 9) (+2)

8. 7 Prisoners (PR: 8) (E)

9. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Memoria (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Happening

The Good Boss

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Attica (PR: 4) (+1)

4. President (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 10) (+4)

7. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Velvet Underground (PR: 9) (E)

10. Ailey (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Julia

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Dune (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Belfast (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (-1)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Best Costume Design 

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer (PR: 2) (+1)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Cruella (PR: 1) (-2)

4. West Side Story (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. King Richard (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (E)

9. House of Gucci (PR: 9) (E)

10. Spencer (PR: 10) (E)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Spencer (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Cruella (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 5) (-2)

8. The Green Knight (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cyrano (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

West Side Story 

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spencer (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (+1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Belfast (PR: 7) (E)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. King Richard (PR: 8) (-2)

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. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 7) (E)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 6) (-2)

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

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

Dropped Out:

“Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

“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. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cyrano (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Belfast (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Licorice Pizza (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. No Time to Die (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: Not Ranked)

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

King Richard

Cyrano

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Eternals (PR: 3) (+1)

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

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Free Guy (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Finch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jungle Cruise

And that equates to the following number of nominations for these films:

9 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

8 Nominations

Nightmare Alley

7 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, Spencer

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Flee, Mass

2 Nominations

Cruella, Cyrano, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, Don’t Look Up, Driver My Car, Eternals, Godzilla vs. Kong, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, President, The Rescue, Respect, Summer of Soul, Tick, Tick… Boom!, Titane, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: October 10th Edition

It is a week of fairly minor movement in the major categories for my Oscar predictions. Even the five spot in Best Actor (which seems to change each week) remained intact.

There is a switch in Actress with Jennifer Hudson (Respect) back in over Frances McDormand (The Tragedy of Macbeth).

The biggest happenings occurred in International Feature Film as nations are continuing to announce their submissions or shortlists in that race. We learned that Spain has gone with The Good Boss instead of Parallel Mothers (a surprise) and that France did not shortlist Petite Maman (which I had in the 5 slot). It’s out in favor of Happening. 

You can read all the activity below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (E)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: 8) (+1)

8. House of Gucci (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (E)

10. Spencer (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Don’t Look Up (PR: 11) (E)

12. Mass (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Flee (PR: 12) (-1)

14. CODA (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

A Hero

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities: 

6. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 8) (+1)

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

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

10. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (-4)

Dropped Out:

Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 8) (E)

9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 8) (-1)

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

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Martha Plimpton, Mass (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Kathryn Hunter, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smith-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

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

9. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Jon Bernthal, King Richard

Corey Hawkins, The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 8) (E)

9. Parallel Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Hand of God

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Humans (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. Dune (PR: 8) (+1)

8. West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Passing (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Tender Bar (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

CODA

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Encanto (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Luca (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Vivo (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Charlotte

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Flee (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Happening (PR: 7) (+3)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 9) (+2)

8. 7 Prisoners (PR: 10) (+2)

9. I’m Your Man (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Good Boss (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Petite Maman

Parallel Mothers

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Attica (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. President (PR: 6) (E)

7. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Julia (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Velvet Underground (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The First Wave (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 2) (+1)

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

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

No Time to Die

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Spencer (PR: 1) (-1)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. West Side Story (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-2)

5. King Richard (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (E)

9. House of Gucci (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Spencer (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spencer (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Dune (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Cruella (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Green Knight (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

10. West Side Story (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Licorice Pizza

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spencer (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities: 

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

7. Belfast (PR: 9) (+2)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Don’t Look Up (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Luca

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. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 8) (+1)

8. “Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 7) (-2)

10. “Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

“At the Automat” from The Automat

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 1) (-1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Belfast (PR: 5) (-3)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Licorice Pizza

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. No Time to Die (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: Not Ranked)

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 8) (E)

9. King Richard (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Cyrano (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Matrix Resurrections

Eternals

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: 4) (E)

5. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Free Guy (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Jungle Cruise (PR: 10) (E)

And that equates to the following breakdown in terms of nominations for the pictures:

10 Nominations

Dune

9 Nominations

Belfast

7 Nominations

Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, King Richard, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Spencer

4 Nominations

Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Flee, Mass

2 Nominations

C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Cyrano, Encanto, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, Respect

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, Eternals, Don’t Look Up, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, Happening, A Hero, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, The Rescue, The Suicide Squad, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World 

2021 Oscar Predictions: October 3rd Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions enters the month of October with no changes in my forecasted Picture and Director nominees. However, we do have movement in the acting derbies:

    • The five spot in Best Actor seems to change every Sunday. This time I’m swapping out Bradley Cooper (Nightmare Alley) for Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon) once again.
    • In Actress, Jennifer Hudson (Respect) falls out in favor of Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter. 
    • Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) makes my Supporting Actress five for the first time at the expense of Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans).

My #1’s in the biggest competitions stay put with Belfast (Picture), Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog (Director), Kristen Stewart in Spencer (Actress), Will Smith in King Richard (Actor), Caitriona Balfe for Belfast (Supporting Actress), and Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizza (Supporting Actor).

You can peruse all the activity for all the races below as I now have Belfast and Dune tied for garnering the most nods.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Dune (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 9) (+3)

7. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-2)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Spencer (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Don’t Look Up (PR: 11) (E)

12. Flee (PR: 12) (E)

13. CODA (PR: 13) (E)

14. Mass (PR: 14) (E)

15. A Hero (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Humans

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+1)

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

8. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 7) (+3)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (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. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 8) (E)

9. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 3) (+1)

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

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

5. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 8) (E)

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

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

Dropped Out:

Toni Collette, Nightmare Alley

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Corey Hawkins, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Mass (PR: 3) (-1)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

8. A Hero (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Hand of God (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Humans (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Dune (PR: 7) (-1)

9. CODA (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Passing (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Luca (PR: 2) (E)

3. Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vivo (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Charlotte (PR: 8) (-2)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 5) (+2)

4. The Hand of God (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Petite Maman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 6) (E)

7. Happening (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Drive My Car (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (-1)

10. 7 Prisoners (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

I’m Your Man

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Attica (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. President (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The First Wave (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Julia (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Sparks Brothers

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Dune (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Hand of God

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Cruella (PR: 4) (+2)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 3) (-1)

5. West Side Story (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cyrano (PR: 10) (E)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (E)

5. West Side Story (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. King Richard (PR: 9) (+3)

7. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. House of Gucci (PR: 8) (-2)

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: 4) (+1)

4. Spencer (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Cruella (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

The French Dispatch 

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spencer (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The French Dispatch (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+1)

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

8. King Richard (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Luca (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Don’t Look Up

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. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto (PR: 4) (+1)

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

5. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities: 

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

7. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 8) (E)

9. “Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “At the Automat” from The Automat (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

“Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nightmare Alley (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belfast (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+1)

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

4. Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. No Time to Die (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-2)

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

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Eternals (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

King Richard

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Eternals (PR: 3) (E)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Free Guy (PR: 9) (E)

10. Jungle Cruise (PR: 10) (E)

And that equates to these pictures gathering these numbers in terms of nominations:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

7 Nominations

Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Spencer, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Flee, Mass

2 Nominations

C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Annette, Attica, Belle, Cyrano, Eternals, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Petite Maman, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: September 26th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions has at last expanded to all categories covering feature films! That means we have counts on how each picture will fare and I have Dune and Nightmare Alley leading the way to 10 nods apiece.

There are changes to ponder as Don’t Look Up takes the biggest fall. I have been toying with removing the Netflix disaster drama from Best Picture contention for a couple of weeks. A clip from the pic circulated yesterday and drew some criticism, but I wouldn’t judge it from that brief glimpse. This is more of a hunch that Up might not going for a BP vibe. So it’s out with Up and in with Spencer. Additionally, C’Mon C’Mon rises in Original Screenplay over Adam McKay’s latest.

In other developments:

    • The Tragedy of Macbeth premiered at the New York Film Festival Friday and solidified its BP viability. Same goes for Denzel Washington. There’s still a question mark as to whether Frances McDormand will be placed in lead or supporting (sounds like a case could be made for both). For now, I’m putting her back in Best Actress and saying she gets in. Same goes for Jennifer Hudson in Respect. Their inclusion knocks out Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) and Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter).
    • I’m back to projecting Bradley Cooper as a double nominee. His placement in Actor for Nightmare Alley removes Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon).
    • The Supporting Actress derby seems to be getting a new #1 each week. This time it’s Caitriona Balfe for Belfast. 

Lots more to peruse in the inaugural expanded listings below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

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

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (-1)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. King Richard (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Spencer (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. Don’t Look Up (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Flee (PR: 16) (+4)

13. CODA (PR: 13) (E)

14. Mass (PR: 14) (E)

15. The Humans (PR: 11) (-4)

Dropped Out:

The Hand of God

The French Dispatch

Tick, Tick… Boom!

A Hero

The Lost Daughter

C’Mon C’Mon

Being the Ricardos

Cyrano

Passing 

Parallel Mothers

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee (PR: 12)

10. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up

Paolo Sorrentino, The Hand of God

Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

Asghar Farhadi, A Hero

Stephen Karam, The Humans

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: Not Ranked) – moved from supporting

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (-2)

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

9. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up

Emilia Jones, CODA

Halle Berry, Bruised

Tessa Thompson, Passing

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 11( (+3)

9. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Ben Foster, The Survivor

Jude Hill, Belfast

Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza

Amir Jadidi, A Hero

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 1) (-2)

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

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

Other Possibilities: 

6. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 11) (+4)

8. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 14) (+6)

9. Toni Collette, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (E)

10. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: 12) (+2)

Dropped Out:

Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth – moved to lead

Rooney Mara, Nightmare Alley

Judi Dench, Belfast

Martha Plimpton, Mass

Dakota Johnson, The Lost Daughter

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 10) (+3)

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

9. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 14) (+4)

Dropped Out:

Mark Rylance, Don’t Look Up

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Willem Dafoe, Nightmare Alley

David Alvarez, West Side Story

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Reed Birney, Mass

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. Mass (PR: 4) (+1))

4. King Richard (PR: 5) (+1)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 10) (+2)

9. The Hand of God (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 12) (+2)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Parallel Mothers

Being the Ricardos

Last Night in Soho

Annette

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Humans (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. Dune (PR: 7) (E)

8. CODA (PR: 8) (E)

9. West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. Passing (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Tick, Tick… Boom!

The Last Duel

The Green Knight

In the Heights

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee 

2. Luca

3. Encanto

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines

5. Belle

Other Possibilities:

6. Vivo

7. Raya and the Last Dragon

8. Charlotte

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong

10. Where Is Anne Frank 

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero

2. Flee

3. The Hand of God

4. Petite Maman

5. The Worst Person in the World

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers

7. Drive My Car

8. Compartment No. 6

9. 7 Prisoners

10. I’m Your Man

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue 

2. Flee

3. Attica

4. President

5. The Lost Leonardo

Other Possibilities:

6. Summer of Soul

7. Julia

8. The Sparks Brothers

9. The First Wave

10. Becoming Cousteau 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. The Tragedy of Macbeth

3. Nightmare Alley

4. Belfast

5. The Power of the Dog

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story

7. Spencer

8. Licorice Pizza

9. The French Dispatch

10. The Hand of God

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer

2. House of Gucci

3. Dune

4. Cruella

5. Nightmare Alley

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth

7. West Side Story

8. Licorice Pizza

9. The French Dispatch

10. Cyrano

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. Belfast

3. Nightmare Alley

4. Licorice Pizza

5. West Side Story

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog

7. Don’t Look Up

8. House of Gucci

9. King Richard

10. Spencer

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci

2. Dune

3. Spencer

4. The Eyes of Tammy Faye

5. Nightmare Alley

Other Possibilities:

6. Cruella

7. Cyrano

8. West Side Story

9. Licorice Pizza

10. The French Dispatch

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. Spencer

3. The Power of the Dog

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth

5. The French Dispatch

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley

7. Licorice Pizza

8. Cyrano

9. Don’t Look Up

10. King Richard

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard

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

3. “Down to Joy” from Belfast

4. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto

5. “Here I Am” from Respect

Other Possibilities:

6. “So May We Start” from Annette

7. “Every Letter” from Cyrano

8. “Believe” from The Rescue

9. “Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

10. “At the Automat” from The Automat

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nightmare Alley

2. Dune

3. West Side Story

4. The French Dispatch

5. Spencer

Other Possibilities:

6. House of Gucci

7. Belfast

8. Licorice Pizza

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth

10. Cyrano

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. West Side Story

3. The Matrix Resurrections

4. Nightmare Alley

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast

7. Don’t Look Up

8. No Time to Die

9. A Quiet Place Part II

10. King Richard

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. The Matrix Resurrections

3. Eternals

4. Godzilla vs. Kong

5. Don’t Look Up

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home

7. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

8. The Suicide Squad

9. Free Guy

10. Jungle Cruise

And that gives us the first take on how many nominations the various pictures will receive:

10 Nominations

Dune, Nightmare Alley

8 Nominations

Belfast

7 Nominations

The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, Spencer, The Tragedy of Macbeth

5 Nominations

Licorice Pizza, West Side Story

4 Nominations

King Richard

3 Nominations

Flee, The Humans, Mass

2 Nominations

Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Matrix Resurrections, Respect

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Cyrano, Don’t Look Up, Eternals, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, The Lost Daughter, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, No Time to Die, Petite Maman, President, The Rescue, The Worst Person in the World

Oscar Watch: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Ahead of its Labor Day weekend bow in theaters only, Disney has lifted its review embargo for the 25th Marvel Cinematic Universe pic. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is garnering positive reaction to the tune of a current 91% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Many reviews point out that it closely follows the MCU formula, but there’s enough to make it highly recommendable. Despite the many kudos, I don’t see anything that indicates a play for Best Picture (where Black Panther still is the studio’s sole nominee in that race).

Instead Shang-Chi‘s possibilities at awards attention should come down to where most MCU titles are viable. That’s in Best Visual Effects. Early buzz suggests it may be strong enough in that space to qualify. However, it will face numerous competitors with three coming from its own multi-billion dollar franchise.

I do think it has a better shot at making the final five than the already out Black Widow. Yet Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home loom. It’s worth noting that neither Spider-Man entry from the MCU (Homecoming or Far From Home) made the cut. Eternals could be the biggest in-house competitor. Then we have plenty of other hopefuls. Some have premiered and they include Godzilla vs. Kong, Jungle Cruise, The Green Knight, The Suicide Squad, and Free Guy. Some await like Dune and The Matrix 4.

Bottom line: there’s much to be determined, but Shang-Chi could certainly be the MCU’s nominee in VE. I doubt it will be the fourth picture with Rings in the name to win (as Peter Jackson’s trilogy did). After all, 10 of Marvel’s flicks have nabbed a nod for their visuals. None have won. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Free Guy Makes Them Pay

As uncertainty regarding the box office continues amidst COVID concerns, there has been one undeniable bright spot in the dog days of August. That would be Shawn Levy’s Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds and its apparent second weekend grosses only puts an exclamation on the point.

The sci-fi family comedy surprised the film community originally with better than expected reviews (82% on Rotten Tomatoes). It continued to do so when it exceeded projections with a robust $28 million debut. Most forecasts ranged from the high teens to low 20s (my own was $21 million).

Yet perhaps the most encouraging sign are reports of its sophomore frame grosses. Free Guy will easily remain #1 with a projected drop around 40%. That should put it at approximately $17 million with an overall domestic take in the mid to upper 50s. With sturdy word-of-mouth, the Fox property seems destined to cross the $100 million mark stateside. The studio is already lining up a sequel. For context, that should be stronger than the second weekend for Jungle Cruise (which opened larger… more on that below).

Why is this somewhat unanticipated? To put it simply, Free Guy is performing in frame #2 much the same way it would without a pandemic. The few blockbusters of the season have experienced huge falls in their second outings and Free Guy is bucking that trend. Black Widow tumbled 68%. The Suicide Squad crashed at 71%. Even the aforementioned Jungle Cruise took a 55% dip.

What do all three of those titles have in common? That trio was available simultaneously on Disney Plus (Widow, Cruise) or HBO Max (Squad). Free Guy can be streamed only in the theater. With its positive audience reaction (it has an A on Cinemascore), moviegoers are proving that a title can have staying power if it’s: 1) good and 2) just in theaters.

This is a rare piece of good news for multiplexes in an industry starving for it. There are three other offerings this weekend aimed toward adults: Reminiscence, The Protege, and The Night House. All are headed toward meager starts outside of the top five. The other newbie is PAW Patrol: The Movie and it looks to slightly exceed expectations with around $12-$13 million (it’s also streaming on Paramount+).

So will studios adjust to Free Guy‘s solid performance? It could be a mixed bag. First, they might have to feel they have a product as pleasing as what Mr. Levy and Mr. Reynolds have created. Just yesterday, Universal Pictures announced they are keeping their animated sequel The Addams Family 2 in theaters but also making it available via streaming on the same say. On the other hand, Disney is keeping the next MCU adventure Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings only in cineplexes for 45 days starting Labor Day weekend. That might be the biggest test we have seen thus far for the theater only experiment.

Is Free Guy an anomaly or proof that if you build it only in theaters… they will come? We may need some more samples before studios make more decisions that favor theater chains.

August 20-22 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (08/18): I am revising my PAW Patrol: The Movie estimate up from $7.9M to $10.8M.

The dog days of summer continues with four new offerings in the marketplace and they could all fall short of the second weekend of Free Guy with Ryan Reynolds. Speaking of dogs, we have PAW Patrol: The Movie as well as three more adult oriented offerings: Hugh Jackman’s sci-fi thriller Reminiscence, action flick The Protege with Michael Keaton, Maggie Q, and Samuel L. Jackson and horror pic The Night House. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Reminiscence Box Office Prediction

The Protege Box Office Prediction

PAW Patrol: The Movie Box Office Prediction

The Night House Box Office Prediction

I don’t have any of the features from the fresh quartet (not a sequel in the bunch!) topping $10 million. That means Free Guy, after a better than anticipated bow, should manage to remain #1 in its sophomore outing. I’m assuming it will dip in the low to mid 50s like Jungle Cruise did a couple of weeks back.

As for those newcomers, the one I’m most conflicted about is PAW Patrol: The Movie. It certainly has a built-in fan base of youngsters who may drag their parents to see it. Rather unexpectedly, it’s generating quite decent reviews. However, my hunch is that some families may wait for it to be on the small screen and I’m projecting third place.

That’s behind Reminiscence which could approach double digits. Jackman’s latest is also available on HBO Max. It will be competing for eyeballs with The Protege, which I have pegged for mid single digits (if anything, I think it could go lower). In fact, it could be in a battle for fifth with Jungle Cruise in its fourth weekend.

The Night House comes at the tale end of a season packed with horror titles and I believe it’s bound to get lost in the shuffle. My meager $3.1 million estimate leaves it well outside the top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Free Guy

Predicted Gross: $13.9 million

2. PAW Patrol: The Movie

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

3. Reminiscence

Predicted Gross: $6.8 million

4. Jungle Cruise

Predicted Gross: $5.9 million

5. The Protege

Predicted Gross: $4.7 million

Box Office Results (August 13-15)

Friday the 13th wasn’t so unlucky for Ryan Reynolds and Free Guy. The Fox (and therefore Disney) property opened on the higher end of forecasts with $28.3 million, topping my $21.3 million estimate. With an A Cinemascore grade, audiences liked what they saw and it sounds as if a sequel will happen. The near $30 million start might have been called slightly disappointing in different times. All things considered, it’s rather strong.

Horror sequel (I’ve been saying that a lot lately) Don’t Breathe 2 debuted with $10.6 million, just under my $11.2 million take. That’s miles away from the $26 million that the 2016 predecessor took in, but generally in line with most predictions. At a cost of just $15 million, it should turn a nice profit for Sony Pictures.

Jungle Cruise was third in its third weekend with $9.1 million – right on pace with my $8.9 million estimate. The Disney adventure is at $82 million with $100 million in its sights.

The Aretha Franklin biopic Respect with Jennifer Hudson also hit its anticipated mark in fourth with $8.8 million. That’s a tad ahead of my $8.5 million call. Reviews were only so-so though its lead could be on her way to a Best Actress nomination.

And, finally, the bad news for The Suicide Squad continued. Following a disastrous opening, the reboot/sequel plunged an equally disturbing 71% to fifth with $7.4 million. I was more optimistic at $10.1 million. The ten-day tally is a lowly $42 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

The Suicide Squad Review

I had no doubt while watching James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad that it’s a more realized vision of exactly what its director wanted. This was apparently not the case with David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad and maybe we will see his Justice League style extended cut one day. For this latest DC Extended Universe pic, Warner Bros reportedly let Gunn do his thing without interference.

The result is a hard R rated and often gleefully bizarre experience. There are some truly funny moments and inspired action sequences mixed with a host of repetitive ones. At one point, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) makes light of a character named Milton who just got popped. The joke is that she doesn’t remember him being part of the team because he’s so forgettable. Milton isn’t the only one. Frankly, I’m struggling a bit with my overall take. This Squad is unquestionably an improvement over its predecessor. Yet I never quite got immersed in its raunchy comic book violence or irreverent attitude in the way I did with Deadpool or Gunn’s own Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is still head of A.R.G.U.S., the government organization that has its own unique prison work release program. Felonious super villains are sent on black ops missions in the name of homeland security (or so they’re told). Many of the cast mates (including Will Smith’s Deadshot) are MIA this time around. Harley’s back as is Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney). So is Waller’s right-hand man and Squad leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman).

From the jump, we discover that no character may live past a scene or two and this does contribute to an unpredictable vibe. The newbies recruited include human weapons depot Bloodsport (Idris Elba), meaning of the word peace conflicted Peacemaker (John Cena), rodent whisperer Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian). His name? Just like it sounds. Our primary CG creation is King Shark (voice by Sylvester Stallone), who’s half man/half Jaws. If he reminds you a bit of Groot from Guardians, mission accomplished.

Speaking of missions, it is to stop a recent coup in the fictional South American land of Corto Maltese. Now that their government has been overthrown, someone needs to destroy a secretive laboratory housing an experiment called Project Starfish. Part of the Squad’s goal is to capture The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), a scientist who’s involved with the mysterious Starfish happenings. The eventual revelation of what that is pure B movie escapist joy that I won’t spoil.

Regarding our brand new characters, it’s a mixed lot. Elba’s Bloodsport has a character arc and motivations not unlike Smith’s Deadshot and it’s not terribly interesting. I will say his brief interaction with his daughter (Storm Reid) humorously didn’t go the way I thought it would. Cena uses his comedic chops effectively at times with his morally confused antihero. Gunn pushes pretty hard to make Ratcatcher 2 a heartwarming protagonist amidst the exploding heads and bodies being literally ripped apart. It could have gone the wrong way, but Taika Waititi’s casting as her dad helps save the day. King Shark’s contribution to that mayhem is rather amusing.

In one way, the more things change (and change they do from 2016) – the more they stay the same. This would be with Robbie’s Quinn, who retains the title of best performance and most enjoyable demented personality. For a while, she gets her own subplot that involves being romanced by the Corto Maltesian dictator (Juan Diego Botto) and being an unreliable torture subject. Those scenes work well and Robbie gets the lions share of the credit. Like in Suicide Squad, she’s the brightest star in The Suicide Squad. 

*** (out of four)

August 13-15 Box Office Predictions

After a weekend where The Suicide Squad majorly performed under expectations, there are three titles opening Friday and the studios are hoping this isn’t a trend. Ryan Reynolds stars in the video game inspired sci-fi comedy Free Guy and it should manage to top the charts. We also have horror sequel Don’t Breathe 2 and the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect with Jennifer Hudson. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the trio here:

Free Guy Box Office Prediction

Don’t Breathe 2 Box Office Prediction

Respect Box Office Prediction

With Free Guy pegged in the low to mid 20s, there shouldn’t be much question that it kicks off in first. I have Breathe achieving less than half of what its 2016 predecessor accomplished and that should be good enough for second place.

The real battle could be for third. As mentioned, The Suicide Squad was a dud (more on that below). I’m assuming it drops about 60% which puts it just over $10 million. The third weekend of Jungle Cruise and premiere of Respect could be right behind that, but it could be close.

Here’s how I foresee the top five shaking out:

1. Free Guy

Predicted Gross: $21.3 million

2. Don’t Breathe 2

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

3. The Suicide Squad

Predicted Gross: $10.1 million

4. Jungle Cruise

Predicted Gross: $8.9 million

5. Respect

Predicted Gross: $8.5 million

Box Office Results (August 6-8)

The underperformance of The Suicide Squad generated plenty of attention this weekend. The reboot of the DCEU franchise earned just $26.2 million and that’s well below my projection of $40.8 million. I could go on, but I already did a separate blog post on it. You can find it here:

Squad Goals Thwarted

Disney’s Jungle Cruise didn’t fall quite as much as other pics in their sophomore frames in recent weeks. The Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt family adventure made $15.8 million (in line with my $15.5 million prediction) for a $65 million ten day take.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Old was third with $4.1 million in its third frame -a bit more than my $3.5 million projection for $38 million total.

Black Widow was fourth with $3.9 million (I said $3.7 million) as it stands at a COVID era best $174 million.

Stillwater rounded out the top five in its second outing with $2.8 million. I incorrectly had it outside the high five. It’s at a mere $9 million.

Finally, The Green Knight was sixth with $2.5 million (I went with $2.7 million) for $12 million overall.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…