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Who Should (Not Who Will) Win Academy Awards on Sunday?

Emerald Fennell

On Sunday night, we’ll finally know who and what the Academy bestows Oscars upon. As we steamroll towards the weekend, I’m teasing out my final predictions, which drop tomorrow. As an appetizer of sorts, today I’m posting not my picks, but my preferences. Yes, instead of a Who Will Win/Who Should Win combo job, I’m splitting things up. Bright and early tomorrow morning you’ll see my finalized predictions, but this morning, you’ll see my preferences. Some of these shouldn’t be surprising, considering the results (here, here, and here) of the First Annual Awards Radar Awards. Still, this should be fun, or at least as fun as stalling for time can be…

Below are my personal preferences, along with very short explanations. Tomorrow is the big day for predictions, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here goes nothing!

Best Picture

It’s no surprise that Promising Young Woman gets my vote here. After all, it’s my favorite film of 2020. That being said, for those wondering my order of the nominees on a preferential ballot, it would go something like this:

1. Promising Young Woman

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7

3. Mank

4. Judas and the Black Messiah

5. Sound of Metal

6. Nomadland

7. The Father

8. Minari

Best Director

My head says David Fincher, but my heart says Emerald Fennell. In this case, since it’s all about personal preference, it’s easy to go Fennell. Chalk another prize up to Promising Young Woman here.

Best Actor

This is truly as close to a three way tie as it gets between Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, and Anthony Hopkins. If I could give it to all three, I would, but gun to my head, I ever so slightly say Boseman. This is literally as close as it could get, so i don’t envy voters deciding if Hopkins can pull off the upset.

Best Actress

No question, this is Carey Mulligan‘s in my world. Not even close. As tight a race as the real thing is, my personal ballot, this is just heads and tails above the other nominated ladies here. Promising Young Woman continues its strong early run on my ballot.

Best Supporting Actor

Daniel Kaluuya is about to win an Oscar, and if I had a vote, I’d be assisting. LaKeith Stanfield is nearly as good, but Kaluuya ever so slightly gets the nod.

Best Supporting Actress

Amanda Seyfried is the MVP of Mank, even more so than Fincher. So, in an effort to highlight that, she’s my vote, and it’s not especially close, either.

Best Original Screenplay

Trust me, I adore Aaron Sorkin‘s script for The Trial of the Chicago 7, but Promising Young Woman is by far the most original work of the year. That equals another prize for Fennell to collect.

Best Adapted Screenplay

One Night in Miami… may not be as flashy as other Adapted Screenplay winners in the past, but from this group, it’s my preference, plain and simple.

Best Animated Feature

Believe it or not, I’d go Onward here, by a hair, over Soul. It’s close, and changes by the day, but I give my vote to the slightly underrated Pixar offering.

Best Production Design

Mank is a true achievement in Production Design, so while The Father offers a compelling alternative, Fincher’s film wasn’t too hard of a choice to make here.

Best Cinematography

More Mank here, in a category that’s basically made for this sort of a movie. I don’t naturally default to black and white cinematography, but this is something special.

Best Costume Design

Mank may not have the type of costumes that usually win Academy Awards, but they’re right up my alley, so in turn, they get my vote.

Best Film Editing

Another close call, just like with Oscar on Sunday. The Father and Promising Young Woman are deserving, and so is Sound of Metal, but The Trial of the Chicago 7 squeaks by with my vote.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom takes advantage of a weak category and gets on the board for a second time, following my pick of Boseman in Actor.

Best Sound

Sound of Metal is a smaller winner than usual, but it’s one of the best that the category has ever offered up. As such, this is an obvious selection for yours truly.

Best Visual Effects

Both The Midnight Sky and Tenet make compelling cases, but the Christopher Nolan work stands out more. The flick left me cold in most places, but the Visual Effects were not one of them.

Best Original Score

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are my pick, but for Mank or Soul (with Jon Baptiste)? I go back and forth a lot, since Reznor and Ross are doing something different with both, but the latter is where I fall, today at least.

Best Original Song

Of this group, it’s hard to pick, mostly because it’s a somewhat motley crew. So, I go for the most fun option, with “Husavik (My Hometown)” from Eurovision Song Contest getting my vote.

Best Documentary Feature

Time ever so slightly gets my vote, despite Crip Camp and My Octopus Teacher making pushes for my allegiance. A close one, to be sure.

Best International Feature

A clear-cut choice, Another Round is not just the most enjoyable of the nominees, it’s very much the best of the bunch.

Sit tight for final predictions tomorrow morning!

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  1. Wanted to wait until I finished watching every last nominee before doing this, and since I JUST finished watching the last of the documentary shorts, I’ll do my favorites real quick before things get started:

    Picture: Nomadland
    Director: Chloe Zhao – Nomadland
    Actor: Anthony Hopkins – The Father
    Actress: Frances McDormand – Nomadland
    Supporting Actor: Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah
    Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman – The Father
    Original Screenplay: Minari
    Adapted Screenplay: One Night in Miami
    Animated Feature: Wolfwalkers
    Production Design: The Father
    Cinematography: Nomadland
    Costume Design: Emma.
    Film Editing: Nomadland
    Makeup and Hairstyling: Pinocchio
    Sound: Greyhound
    Visual Effects: Love and Monsters
    Original Score: Minari
    Original Song: Io Si (Seen)
    Documentary Feature: The Mole Agent
    International Feature: Better Days
    Documentary Short: Do Not Split
    Live Action Short: White Eye
    Animated Short: Opera

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