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Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: Can ‘Promising Young Woman’ Shock the World?

"Promising Young Woman"

By all reasonable metrics, Nomadland is going to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Especially after winning with the Producers Guild, everything is in its favor. Instead of a close race, what we’re likely getting is a runaway victory, the kind we haven’t had in a while. The precursor domination has been far and wide. From the critics groups, including the Critics Choice Awards, to the Golden Globes, and now PGA, nothing has stood in Nomadland‘s way. The combined total isn’t quite unbeatable, but sure seems that way. What if, on the other hand, voters get tired of the frontrunner in the several weeks left before the Oscars? If they look to something as the upset special, what film would they choose? Well, believe it or not, that would probably be Promising Young Woman.

So, can Promising Young Woman pull it off? Well, the likely answer is no, but pulling ahead of The Trial of the Chicago 7 at least gives it a prayer. The movie is now pretty clearly the number two, and if it can win Best Original Screenplay for Emerald Fennell and Best Actress for Carey Mulligan, that’s some solid support from the Academy. Without any other contender in Best Picture looking safe for too many wins, there needs to be something for the crowd that isn’t looking to rubber stamp Nomadland. It’s not enough, I don’t think, but if Promising Young Woman wins BAFTA, there at least might be a small touch of eleventh hour drama.

Most likely, Nomadland is full steam ahead for Best Picture. If it’s not going to happen, however, watch out for Promising Young Woman. Just like how Parasite was the alternative to 1917, as opposed to Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, this film, as opposed to The Trial of the Chicago 7, is emerging as the alternate to the front-running movie. You shouldn’t bet against Nomadland, but Promising Young Woman would be the upset pick…

Frances McDormand in the film NOMADLAND. Photo by Joshua Richardson. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

As a reminder, predictions have been updated yet again, and not just for the Oscar, either. Yes, in addition to the Academy Awards, everything else has been given a once over in the last handful of days. We have Film Independent Spirit Award winner predictions updated again, with the same going for SAG, along with picks for the Directors Guild Awards. So, be sure to look at those DGA picks. Have at it, folks, and as always, we’re not far out from another update…

For easy reference, here are my current Oscar picks, for your perusal:

Warner Bros.

Best Picture – Nomadland (Second Spot: Promising Young Woman)

Best Director – Chloe Zhao for Nomadland (Second Spot: David Fincher for Mank)

Best Actor – Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Second Spot: Anthony Hopkins for The Father)

Best Actress – Carey Mulligan for Promising Young Woman (Second Spot: Frances McDormand for Nomadland)

Best Supporting Actor – Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah (Second Spot: Sacha Baron Cohen for The Trial of the Chicago 7)

Best Supporting Actress – Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Second Spot: Glenn Close for Hillbilly Elegy)

Best Original Screenplay – Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman (Second Spot: Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7)

Best Adapted Screenplay – Chloe Zhao for Nomadland (Second Spot: Kemp Powers for One Night in Miami…)

Best Animated Feature – Soul (Second Spot: Wolfwalkers)

Best Production Design – Mank (Second Spot: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Best Cinematography – Nomadland (Second Spot: Mank)

Best Costume Design – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Second Spot: Emma.)

Best Film Editing – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Second Spot: Sound of Metal)

Best Makeup & Hairstyling – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Second Spot: Mank)

Best Sound – Sound of Metal (Second Spot: News of the World)

Best Visual Effects – Tenet (Second Spot: The Midnight Sky)

Best Original Score – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for Soul (Second Spot: James Newton Howard for News of the World)

Best Original Song – Diane Warren – lo Si (Seen) from The Life Ahead (Second Spot: Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashworth – Speak Now from One Night in Miami…)

Best Documentary Feature – My Octopus Teacher (Second Spot: Crip Came)

Best International Feature – Another Round (Second Spot: Collective)

Best Animated Short Film – If Anything Happens I Love You (Second Spot: Burrow)

Best Live Action Short Film – Two Distant Strangers (Second Spot: The Present)

Best Documentary Short Subject – A Love Song for Latasha (Second Spot: Do Not Split)

Stay tuned for another update next week!


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[…] passion vote coming through. I wrote about the chances for Promising Young Woman a few weeks ago here, though that possibility seems to have largely faded. The Trial of the Chicago 7 looms as the […]



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