Monday, May 27, 2024

The Best Picture Nominees In Danger Of Going Home Empty-Handed On Oscar Night

When it comes to the lead-up to Oscar Sunday, all the attention is on predicting the winners of the night and the records to come with it. Predicting the Academy Awards winners is a statistical gamble, but so is predicting the night’s losers. No one wants to think about losing when Oscar gold is in sight. Yet, looking at the Best Picture nominees, there is a high chance we could see another record-breaking year of losers among them, walking away with nothing.

Quick history lesson. Since the expanded Best Picture lineup started in 2010 for the 82nd Academy Awards, there has been a precedent of at least one Best Picture nominee walking away empty-handed, excluding 2014 and 2018. In fact, the first year of the expansion saw four nominees with zero Oscar wins: “District 9“, “An Education,” “A Serious Man,” and “Up in the Air.” This pattern continued another two years until 2012, when “Beasts of the Southern Wild” was the only Best Picture nominee not to win a single award from the night. The following year, 2013, currently holds the record for the most number of Best Picture nominees not to win an Oscar. Those films include “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips,” “Nebraska,” “Philomena,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

The first year that every single Best Picture nominee won at least one Academy Award was 2014. Only a couple of Best Picture nominees won zero awards in the preceding years. In 2015, it was “Brooklyn” and “The Martian“; in 2016, “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures” and “Lion“; in 2017, “Lady Bird” and “The Post.” The following year, 2018, marked the second time every Best Picture nominee walked away from the night with one statue. Since then, the loser count has stayed relatively low, with only one nominee in 2019 and 2020, “The Irishman” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7“, respectively. Last year’s nominees, however, saw an uptick in losers, with “Don’t Look Up,” “Licorice Pizza,” and “Nightmare Alley” not winning a single award.

Though the number of Best Picture nominees with zero wins has remained relatively low since 2013, this year’s Best Picture lineup could be in danger of looking more like 2013 instead of 2014. Of this year’s lineup of ten, at least half of the nominees are in danger of not winning a single award on March 12th.

The Banshees of InisherinTied with “All Quiet on the Western Front” for its nine nominations, the film about a friendship falling apart is in real danger of falling apart at the Academy Awards. Though the film garnered four wins at the BAFTA Awards and two Golden Globes, it lost in categories where there have been significantly tighter races. The film isn’t in the conversation for Best Original Score, Film Editing, Director, or even Picture now. Though Barry Keoghan won the BAFTA for Supporting Actor, Ke Huy Quan has otherwise obliterated the Supporting Actor race. Colin Farrell, too, has faded in the background between the BAFTA win by Austin Butler and the SAG Award win by Brendan Fraser.

The film’s best chances to win are by way of two options. The first is Kerry Condon in Best Supporting Actress, after winning the BAFTA but losing the SAG Award to Jamie Lee Curtis. Angela Bassett not winning at SAG works in favor of Condon’s chances, but the Best Supporting Actress race is still a tight one. The second is Martin McDonaugh in Original Screenplay. McDonaugh is a previous nominee in this category and recently won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA Award for “The Banshees of Inisherin.” He was not eligible for the WGA. Plus, the Academy could see this category as the place to give “The Banshees of Inisherin” love over “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

TÁRTARCate Blanchett has been considered the frontrunner this awards season for another spellbinding performance in “TÁR.” Still, the sheer amount of enthusiasm for Michelle Yeoh and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was on full display at the SAG Awards. Yeoh’s win over Blanchett here should not be ignored as the voting began. Regarding the other categories, Todd Field has been a quiet yet steady presence in the conversations around Best Director and Original Screenplay; there is a world where he could pull a surprise win. With Cinematography, “All Quiet on the Western Front” is looking to be the frontrunner after its BAFTA win. However, “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “TÁR” were not nominated for the ASC Awards. Roger Deakins could win his third Oscar for his work in “Empire of Light.” Editing appears to be a matchup between “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The FabelmansIt’s hard to imagine a world where the semi-autobiographical film of Steven Spielberg might not win any Oscars. Though “The Fabelmans” scored seven nominations, the path to the Academy Awards has been rocky and not faring in its favor. It started strong with Spielberg winning the Golden Globe for Best Director and the film winning Best Motion Picture Drama. Since then, it’s had a poor showing at the BAFTA and SAG Awards. “The Fabelmans” has had its fair share of trouble in the acting races; Michelle Williams jumped to the Best Actress race from Supporting Actress, and Judd Hirsch pushed out co-star Paul Dano for the fifth spot in Best Supporting Actor. For the below-the-line categories, Score and Production Design, “The Fabelmans” hasn’t shown strength among its competition unless John Williams wins his sixth Oscar for Score over Justin Hurwitz (“Babylon“). Perhaps the most significant indicator of a losing night for “The Fabelmans” is Spielberg’s defeat at the DGA Awards, where “Everything Everywhere All at Once’s” the Daniels came out on top. Though the love for Spielberg has continued throughout the awards season, will it be enough for him to win his third Director Oscar?

Triangle Of SadnessWith its three nominations, the Palme d’Or winner is unlikely to sail off into the sunset with a trophy in hand. Though Ruben Östlund stunned audiences with his takedown of the rich, he lacks the conversation around him in the Best Director and Original Screenplay race. Like “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Triangle of Sadness” was ineligible for the WGA. It was also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Original Screenplay but lost to Martin McDonagh. There was enough international support to give “Triangle of Sadness” a spot on the Best Picture lineup, but there doesn’t seem to be enough room for it actually to win.

Women TalkingWomen Talking” only has two nominations: Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay. While many speculate that Sarah Polley is the favorite to win the latter, it’s hard to ignore the loud showing of “All Quiet on the Western Front” at the BAFTA Awards. There is tremendous support for the WWI film, with it being the likely winner of International Feature, Cinematography, and other below-the-line categories. What would it take to stop its advance on Adapted Screenplay?

Since 2015, the Academy has shown that it does like to spread the love across nominees, not letting a film sweep the major awards. Yet the precursor guild awards tell a different story, where there are clear favorites among them. Will the favorites walk away with record-breaking wins, or are we in for some major surprises on Oscar Sunday to give most of the Best Picture nominees a chance to shine?

The Figures:

Best Picture Nominees – 2010
Avatar – 3
District 9 – 0
An Education – 0
The Blind Side – 1
The Hurt Locker – 6
Inglorious Bastards – 1
Precious – 2
A Serious Man – 0
Up – 2
Up in the Air – 0
TOTAL: 4/10

Best Picture Nominees – 2011
127 Hours – 0
Black Swan – 1
The Fighter – 2
The Kids Are Alright – 0
Inception – 4
The King’s Speech – 4
The Social Network – 3
Toy Story 3 – 2
True Grit – 0
Winter’s Bone – 0
TOTAL: 4/10

Best Picture Nominees – 2012
The Artist – 5
The Descendants – 1
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – 0
The Help – 1
Hugo – 5
Midnight in Paris – 1
Moneyball – 0
The Tree of Life – 0
War Horse – 0
TOTAL: 4/10

Best Picture Nominees – 2013
Argo – 3
Amour – 1
Beasts of the Southern Wild -0
Django Unchained – 2
Les Miserables – 3
Life of Pi – 4
Lincoln – 2
Silver Linings Playbook – 1
Zero Dark Thirty – 1
TOTAL: 1/9

Best Picture Nominees – 2014
12 Years A Slave – 3
American Hustle – 0
Captain Phillips – 0
Dallas Buyers Club – 3
Gravity – 7
Her – 1
Nebraska – 0
Philomena – 0
The Wolf of Wall Street – 0
TOTAL: 5/9

Best Picture Nominees – 2015
American Sniper – 1
Birdman – 4
Boyhood – 1
The Grand Budapest Hotel – 4
The Imitation Game – 1
Selma – 1
The Theory of Everything – 1
Whiplash – 3
TOTAL: 0/8

Best Picture Nominees – 2016
The Big Short – 1
Bridge of Spies – 1
Brooklyn – 0
Mad Max: Fury Road – 6
The Martian – 0
The Revenant – 3
Room – 1
Spotlight – 2
TOTAL: 2/8

Best Picture Nominees – 2017
Arrival – 1
Fences – 1
Hacksaw Ridge – 2
Hell or High Water – 0
Hidden Figures – 0
La La Land – 6
Lion – 0
Manchester by the Sea – 2
Moonlight – 3
TOTAL: 3/9

Best Picture Nominees – 2018
Call Me By Your Name – 1
Darkest Hour – 2
Dunkirk – 3
Get Out – 1
Lady Bird – 0
Phantom Thread – 1
The Post – 0
The Shape of Water – 4
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 2
TOTAL: 2/9

Best Picture Nominees – 2019
Black Panther – 3
BlacKkKlansman – 1
Bohemian Rhapsody – 4
The Favourite – 1
Green Book – 3
Roma – 3
A Star is Born – 1
Vice – 1
TOTAL: 0/8

Best Picture Nominees – 2020
1917 – 3
Ford v Ferrari – 2
The Irishman – 0
Marriage Story – 1
Jojo Rabbit – 1
Joker – 2
Little Women – 1
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – 2
Parasite – 4
TOTAL: 1/9

Best Picture Nominees – 2021
The Father – 2
Judas and the Black Messiah – 2
Minari – 1
Mank – 2
Nomadland – 3
Promising Young Woman – 1
Sound of Metal – 2
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – 0
TOTAL: 1/8

Best Picture Nominees – 2022
Belfast – 1
CODA – 3
Don’t Look Up – 0
Drive My Car – 1
Dune – 6
King Richard – 1
Licorice Pizza – 0
Nightmare Alley – 0
The Power of the Dog – 1
West Side Story – 1
TOTAL: 3/10

Do you think any Best picture nominees will go home empty-handed on Oscar night? If so, which ones? Please let us know in the comments below or on our Twitter account, and check out our latest Oscar predictions here.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

Meredith Loftus
Meredith Loftus
Digital Producer at Paramount. Features Writer at Collider. General cinephile waiting for the Mamma Mia cinematic universe to take off.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Reviews