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Initial Thoughts on the Academy Award Nominations

Phase One is now in the books, ladies and gentlemen. The Oscar nominations are here, with Mank having the best morning overall, film-wise. Ten nominations later, David Fincher‘s period piece still was snubbed here and there, which is interesting. Next in line where a glut of movies with six citations apiece. In fact, a half-dozen flicks had that honor, consisting of The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Right behind them, at five nominations, were Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Promising Young Woman. That’s the Oscar nominations in a nutshell, but let’s get into my thoughts now…

Focus Features

Personally, I had a pretty good showing, in terms of my predictions. I went 92 for 113, which makes for a shade over 81% correct. The Short categories hurt me, as did both Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature, but that comes with the territory. On the flip-side, I got multiple acting categories 100% correct, as well as at least one below the line category. So, go me there. In fact, this is one of my better mornings, in terms of prognostication. Especially considering how unpredictable the season has been, I’m chalking it up as a win. Plus, it’s a nice way to mark the first Oscar nominations morning for Awards Radar!

Snub-wise, you have to put Delroy Lindo at the top. The Best Actor race would have been better with his turn from Da 5 Bloods included. Spike Lee‘s film was nearly snubbed across the board, only managing a Best Original Score nod. Netflix did well with Mank, but interestingly, didn’t dominate the field otherwise, with some disappointments across the board. Dick Johnson is Dead not cracking the Best Documentary Feature lineup is one such example. Aaron Sorkin‘s snub in Best Director likely stings too, as does Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom missing in Best Picture. The other big miss was both One Night in Miami… in Picture, along with Regina King in Director.

Other surprises that count instead as positives? Paul Raci making the Best Supporting Actor field for Sound of Metal. The same goes for LaKeith Stanfield for Judas and the Black Messiah (give or take category fraud). Borat Subsequent Moviefilm in the Best Adapted Screenplay field is cute, while it was great to actually see Promising Young Woman get into Best Editing. More on that in a moment.

“Mank” (2020) Cinematography by Erik Messerschmidt

From here, we turn our attention to winners. The Academy Award nominations tell us some things about who and what might win, but the Guild results will say more. I’ll leave analysis fro my Predictions piece later on in the week, but at this moment, only Nomadland and Promising Young Woman showed up in all the categories that signal a likely winner. Now, the former has way better odds than the latter, but Emerald Fennell‘s movie is making a play. So, just keep that in mind…

Stay tuned for my updated predictions later today, with a full post to come on Friday!


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[…] but not much has changed. I’ve stewed over it all a bit, but what I said then still stands. Here is a sample from that […]



Written by Joey Magidson

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