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Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: Thoughts as the Academy Votes for their Winners

Members of the Academy began voting for the Oscars yesterday, ladies and gentlemen. In short, the next few days, up until the 20th, are absolutely pivotal. The choices for the Academy Awards are currently being made, no doubt about it. While many Oscar voters have their minds already made up, some Academy members do not. That means whatever happens at the moment bears noticing. Look at where the nominees are. Look for what the nominated films are pitching themselves as. Mostly, just pay attention to if there’s any sense of change in the air. A week from Sunday, we’ll have our answers, but for now, there are still a few questions.

Mostly, it comes down to who wins Best Actress (detailed here and here), if an upset is brewing in Best Adapted Screenplay, and how the below the line categories go. Sure, your Oscar predictions pool may be made or broken by the Short categories, but outside of them, there aren’t a ton of question marks remaining. Nomadland still seems poised to win Best Picture and have a great night, while Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom may well ultimately lead the field, win-wise. Basically, it’s a matter of how Actress goes, if there are any upsets, and then small questions. For example…will Mank and/or The Trial of the Chicago 7 be shut out? Can Sound of Metal actually win two tech category Oscars? And so on…

I’ll be finalizing my Academy Award predictions a week from today, so keep in mind that some of my Oscar picks can still change. Most won’t, however, given where we are in the race. I’m mainly still going back in forth with Actress (Viola Davis likely will be my pick over Carey Mulligan by then), while considering what else needs to be tinkered with. Otherwise, I’m more or less ready for the ceremony next Sunday. It feels like this season has been incredibly long, but also incredibly short, right? Well, we’re almost done, and then it’ll be on to my Year in Advance predictions!

As always, Predictions can be found on the site for plenty of awards, though we’re just down to the Oscars and the Film Independent Spirit Awards. For those Indie Spirit picks, a tinker is in order. As for my Academy Award choices, click the link for the entire lineup, or just look below for the quick and dirty version…

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

Best Picture – Nomadland (Second Spot: The Trial of the Chicago 7)

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: Viola Davis for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

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 – Youn Yuh-jung for Minari (Second Spot: Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm)

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: Christopher Hamptoon and Florian Zeller for The Father)

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

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

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

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 my final update next week!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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