Friday, June 21, 2024

Surveying The Oscar Field: Updated Oscar Predictions (1/27/2021)

By Matt Neglia 

Twas’ the eve before Sundance….and a week before Golden Globe and SAG nominations! Seriously, we’ll probably have more concrete evidence of where this Oscar race is heading next week but for now, here is our bi-weekly check-in of where the Oscar race stands in the above-the-line categories.

If you want to see our predictions broken down individually, category by category, click here.

Best Picture
1. The Trial Of The Chicago 7
2. Nomadland
3. Mank
4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
5. One Night In Miami… (^)
6. Da 5 Bloods (^)
7. News Of The World (NEW)
8. Judas and the Black Messiah (v)
9. Promising Young Woman (v)
10. The Father (v)

Dropped Out: Minari

Not much has changed with the top five other than members of the team anticipating big things for Regina King’s “One Night In Miami…” and the Tom Hanks-Paul Greengrass western “News Of The World” next week when Golden Globe nominations are announced. “Da 5 Bloods” is picking up considerable steam, especially after recently winning the National Board Of Review. Despite “Minari’s” showing with the Indie Spirit awards and various critics groups, many of us are expecting it to take a big hit next week which is why it has dropped out of the top 10, while “The Father” is holding on for dear life, hoping that next week can turn the tide for it. Overall, this is still a race between critics darling “Nomadland” and the presumed industry favorite “The Trial Of The Chicago 7” until proven otherwise.

Best Director
1. Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (^)
2. David Fincher – Mank (v)
3. Aaron Sorkin – The Trial Of The Chicago 7
4. Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods (^)
5. Regina King – One Night In Miami… (^)
6. Florian Zeller – The Father (v)
7. George C. Wolfe – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (v)
8. Shaka King – Judas and the Black Messiah (^)
9. Lee Isaac Chung – Minari (^)
10. Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (v)

For the first time all season, Chloe Zhao finally overtook David Fincher after many members of the team are starting to finally lose faith that he will pull a Tom Hooper on  himself (win the DGA and nothing else until the Oscar). Should Zhao’s seemingly unstoppable sweep of the Director prizes continue, it may not be Fincher after all who dethrones her but maybe, Spike Lee. A veteran of the industry coming off of the Oscar-winning “BlacKkKlansman,” if he were to win he would become only the first Black director to win Best Director. Maybe we should be considering him for as the challenger to Zhao than Fincher…

Best Actress
1. Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
2. Frances McDormand – Nomadland
3. Vanessa Kirby – Pieces Of A Woman
4. Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
5. Amy Adams – 
Hillbilly Elegy
6. Zendaya – Malcolm & Marie (^
7. Sophia Loren – The Life Ahead (^)
8. Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday (v)
9. Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit (v)
10. Meryl Streep – The Prom

Michelle Pfeiffer took a dip in our predictions after she failed to receive an Indie Spirit nomination for her performance in “French Exit” but we expect her to at least receive a Golden Globe nomination next week. Which begs the question….between Zendaya, Sophia Loren, Andra Day and Michelle Pfeiffer, who is the most vulnerable of missing out on a Golden Globe nomination? All of them are big international stars so it stands to reason that they should all show up there but will they?

Best Actor
1. Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
2. Anthony Hopkins – The Father
3. Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (^)
4. Riz Ahmed – Sound Of Metal (v)
5. Gary Oldman – Mank
6. Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night In Miami…
7. Tom Hanks – News Of The World (^)
8. Ben Affleck – The Way Back (NEW)
9. Steven Yeun – Minari (v)
10. John David Washington – Malcolm & Marie

Dropped Out: Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

After a few more members of the Next Best Picture team had a chance to see Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” and overwhelming consensus is that as good as Lakeith Stanfield is in the movie, he is completely overshadowed by Daniel Kaluuya and this category is already too stacked as is. Ben Affleck and Warner Bros. are pushing hard for his career best performance in “The Way Back” and he could very well be the spoiler next week when Golden Globe and SAG nominations are announced. Overall, the top four still seem incredibly solid but if either one of them misses a nomination next week, look out!

​​Best Supporting Actress
1. Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
2. Amanda Seyfreid – Mank
3. Ellen Burstyn – Pieces Of A Woman (^)
4. Olivia Colman – The Father (v)
5. Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (^)
6. Youn Yuh-jung – Minari (v)
7. Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite
8. Dominique Fishback – Judas and the Black Messiah (^)
9. Helena Zengel – News of the World (v)
10. Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian

Ellen Burstyn’s campaign is starting to pick up steam. You can tell she really wants this and if she wins, she’ll be the oldest acting winner ever at 88 years old. Maria Bakalova finally entered our top five after months of doubt. Many of us feel that the campaign from Amazon has been strong enough, coupled with the critical support and a slam-dunk Golden Globe nomination next week (in the Best Actress Comedy-Musical category), she has everything she needs to be on voters’ minds.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (^)
2. Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night In Miami… (v)
3. Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
4. Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
5. Bill Murray – On The Rocks
6. Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
7. Frank Langella – The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (^)
8. Mark Rylance – The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (v)
9. David Strathairn – Nomadland
10. Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

This is all still very fluid and while the ten contenders remain the same, it’s going to be very crucial to see what Golden Globes and SAG tell us next week in terms of solidifying a top five. Sacha Baron Cohen and Leslie Odom Jr. have been trading places over the past few weeks for the top of our predictions chart but watch out for Kaluuya. “Judas And The Black Messiah” is set to premiere at Sundance and once more people see it, he might become unstoppable.

Best Original Screenplay
1. The Trial Of The Chicago 7
2. Promising Young Woman
3. Mank
4. Soul
5. Judas and the Black Messiah (^)
6. Minari (v)
7. Sound Of Metal
8. Da 5 Bloods
9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
10. On The Rocks

This is going to be a battle between “Promising Young Woman” and “The Trial Of The Chicago 7” until the very end. The only question is whether the former can receive a Best Picture nomination or not. If it does, then this will become insanely competitive. If not, then it’s most likely going to go to Sorkin in a walk. Best Picture heat for “Judas And The Black Messiah” is beginning to build, so it’s nice to see that many believe enough in its screenplay to get a nomination as well.

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. One Night In Miami…
2. Nomadland
3. The Father
4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
5. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (^)
6. First Cow (v)
7. News of the World
8. Hillbilly Elegy
9. The White Tiger (^)
10. Emma. (NEW)

Dropped Out: French Exit

While many on the team still believe that fifth slot is between Charlie Kaufman’s bizarre “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” and Kelly Reichardt’s beloved “First Cow,” I actually see a world where both of them get in and the film that ends up missing is “The Father.” It’s just been practically non-existent this season (even with the critics!!) and the late release from Sony Pictures Classics doesn’t help. It could bounce back next week with a few Golden Globe nominations but if it only manages to get the acting nominations for Hopkins and Colman, then I think that’s where it might be heading on Oscar night as well.

​Best Animated Feature
1. Soul
2. Wolfwalkers
3. Over the Moon
4. Onward
5. The Willoughbys
6. The Croods: A New Age
7. Bombay Rose (^)
8. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (v)
9. Trolls World Tour (v)
10. Calamity, A Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary (NEW)

Dropped Out: Connected

“Connected,” now titled “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” was sold off to Netflix and will be missing the eligibility window all together, instead opting for a 2021 release so it dropped out. But mostly, this is a race between the top six, which hasn’t changed in weeks and will most likely stay the same until the major precursors chime in.

Best Documentary Feature
1. Dick Johnson is Dead
2. All In: The Fight for Democracy
3. The Dissident
4. Time (^)
5. Boys State
6. Totally Under Control (v)
7. Crip Camp (v)
8. The Truffle Hunters
9. Collective
10. 76 Days

Something has to give at some point. There’s always a big snub in this category nearly every year and this year’s Oscar lineup could consist of any one of these ten. This one is a pure nail biter with no guarantees.

Best International Feature Film
1. Another Round
2. Quo Vadis, Aida?
3. Night of the Kings
4. I’m No Longer Here (^)
5. Dear Comrades! (v)
6. Collective (v)
7.  A Sun (v)
8. My Little Sister
9. Notturno (^)
10. Never Gonna Snow Again (v)

Another Round” is still the frontrunner and will most likely continue to be so until another film builds up enough momentum to overtake it. So far, nothing has been able to do so. The top ten remains fluid outside of the number one slot as many of us are waiting for the shortlist from the Academy which will be revealed on February 9th. So the next time we come back, we’ll hopefully have a stronger idea of where this race is heading.

It’s now off to our couches for Sundance. Stay tuned for the Golden Globe and SAG nominations next week as they’ll be sure to tell us a lot about the race. All of our predictions can be seen broken down category by category here, along with the craft categories. Let us know your predictions and where you see the race as of today. You can let us know in the comments section below or message us on our Twitter account.

​​You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture

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Matt Neglia
Matt Neglia
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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