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Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: Time for My Final Picks!

Pencils down! If you haven’t finalized your Oscar predictions by now, today’s the day. We’re just about 48 hours away from the Academy Awards, so what are you waiting for? I wrapped mine up a day or two ago, but stewed a little longer, letting my selections simmer. Last Sunday, we did nearly final predictions on the podcast (here), and I made a few tinkers after that, as one does. Like many pundits, it was a few select categories that had me tearing my hair out. In the end, the results are already in, so it’s just a matter of seeing if my logic pans out or not. Dear readers, the show is on Sunday, so the answers will be revealed before long. We made it to the end, somehow.

So, where did I end up falling on some of the big categories? Well, with Best Actress, I ultimately felt like Viola Davis pulled away towards the end, with Frances McDormand and Carey Mulligan neck and neck behind her. Any of the three can win, but I opted for Davis. The other main changes or almost changes were the below the line, where I nearly went to Mank over Nomadland in Best Cinematography (but held off), and made a last minute switch to The Trial of the Chicago 7 from Sound of Metal in Best Film Editing. You’ll see everything below, but this is just what felt “right” at the closing bell, folks.

Are we in line for any upsets? Sure, Anthony Hopkins could pull a surprise in Best Actor, whomever wins Best Actress will be somewhat of a surprise, and The Father may have surged in Best Adapted Screenplay at the perfect moment. Then, there’s the Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing categories, which both have close races. Sunday night can’t come quickly enough, frankly. At this point, there’s nothing left to do but wait and second-guess myself!

For something a bit fun, here’s what my initial set of year in advance predictions looked like. They’re not great, but they might be better than expected for picks from over a year ago. Behold:

BEST PICTURE

1. Mank
2. Da 5 Bloods
3. The Trial of the Chicago 7
4. West Side Story
5. Untitled Mike Mills Project
6. The Last Duel
7. Blonde
8. News of the World
9. Stillwater
10. Nomadland

Next in Line: 11. Ammonite 12. Tenet 13. In the Heights. 14. The French Dispatch 15. I’m Thinking of Ending Things 16. Minari 17. Promising Young Woman 18. Annette 19. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 20. Dune 21. On the Rocks 22. Next Goal Wins 23. Those Who Wish Me Dead 24. Soul 25. King Richard 26. Greyhound 27. Happiest Season 28. Hillbilly Elegy 29. Wonder Woman 1984 30. Onward

BEST DIRECTOR

1. David Fincher – Mank
2. Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
3. Steven Spielberg – West Side Story
4. Mike Mills – Untitled Mike Mills Project
5. Andrew Dominik – Blonde

Next in Line: 6. Paul Greengrass – News of the World 7. Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 8. Chloe Zhao – Nomadland 9. Ridley Scott – The Last Duel 10. Christopher Nolan – Tenet

BEST ACTOR

1. Matt Damon – Stillwater (or The Last Duel)
2. Gary Oldman – Mank
3. Joaquin Phoenix – Untitled Mike Mills Project
4. Tom Hanks – News of the World (or Greyhound)
5. Bill Murray – On the Rocks

Next in Line: 6. Michael Fassbender – Next Goal Wins 7. Will Smith – King Richard 8. Adam Driver – Annette (or The Last Duel) 9. Andrew Garfield – The Eyes of Tammy Faye 10. Ansel Elgort – West Side Story

BEST ACTRESS

1. Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
2. Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
3. Ana de Armas – Blonde
4. Kate Winslet – Ammonite
5. Frances McDormand – Nomadland

Next in Line: 6. Rachel Zegler – West Side Story 7. Marion Cottilard – Annette 8. Jesse Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things 9. Kristen Stewart – Happiest Season 10. Zoey Deutch – Buffaloed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Tom Burke – Mank
2. Ben Affleck – The Last Duel
3. Jesse Plemons – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
4. Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
5. Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Next in Line: 6. Eddie Redmayne – The Trial of the Chicago 7 7. Bill Murray – The French Dispatch 8. Paul Walter Hauser – Da 5 Bloods 9. David Strathairn – Nomadland 10. Robert Pattinson – Tenet

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite
2. Rashida Jones – On the Rocks
3. Abigail Breslin – Stillwater
4. Jodie Comer – The Last Duel
5. Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Next in Line: 6. Lily Collins – Mank 7. Gabby Hoffman – Untitled Mike Mills Project 8. Ariana DeBose – West Side Story 9. Rebecca Ferguson – Dune 10. Rita Moreno – West Side Story

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7
2. Untitled Mike Mills Project
3. Mank
4. Da 5 Bloods
5. On the Rocks

Next in Line: 6. The French Dispatch 7. Tenet 8. The King of Staten Island 9. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 10. Ammonite

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. Nomadland
2. West Side Story
3. Blonde
4. The Last Duel
5. I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Next in Line: 6. News of the World 7. Next Goal Wins 8. Dune 9. Those Who Wish Me Dead 10. Greyhound

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Soul
2. Onward
3. How Do You Live?
4. The Croods 2
5. Tom and Jerry

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. Tenet
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. The French Dispatch
5. The Last Duel

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Mank
2. Tenet
3. West Side Story
4. Dune
5. The Last Duel

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. Mank
2. The French Dispatch
3. The Last Duel
4. Dune
5. Ammonite

BEST FILM EDITING

1. Tenet
2. Mank
3. News of the World
4. Dune
5. Da 5 Bloods

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. The French Dispatch
2. Mank
3. Dune
4. The Witches
5. Mulan

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. Tenet
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. In the Heights
5. No Time to Die

BEST SOUND EDITING

1. Tenet
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. In the Heights
5. No Time to Die

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Tenet
2. Dune
3. Eternals
4. Godzilla vs Kong
5. Wonder Woman 1984

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. Mank
2. Dune
3. Soul
4. The French Dispatch
5. Da 5 Bloods

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. No Time to Die
2. In the Heights
3. Soul
4. Annette
5. Onward

As always, Predictions can be found on the site for plenty of awards, though we’re just down to the Oscars as of last night. For my Academy Award choices, click the link for the entire lineup, or just look below for the quick and dirty version…

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): (L to R) Chadwick Boseman as Levee, Colman Domingo as Cutler, Viola Davis as Ma Rainey, Michael Potts as Slow Drag, and Glynn Turman as Toldeo. Cr. David Lee / Netflix

One more time, for easy reference here are my Oscar picks, finalized at last:

Best Picture – Nomadland

Best Director – Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor – Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actress – Viola Davis for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Supporting Actor – Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Supporting Actress – Youn Yuh-jung for Minari

Best Original Screenplay – Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman

Best Adapted Screenplay – Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Animated Feature – Soul

Best Production Design – Mank

Best Cinematography – Nomadland

Best Costume Design – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Film Editing – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Makeup & Hairstyling – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Sound – Sound of Metal

Best Visual Effects – Tenet

Best Original Score – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Baptiste for Soul

Best Original Song – Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashworth – Speak Now from One Night in Miami…

Best Documentary Feature – My Octopus Teacher

Best International Feature – Another Round

Best Animated Short Film – If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Live Action Short Film – Two Distant Strangers

Best Documentary Short Subject – A Concerto is a Conversation

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

Stay tuned to see what happens on Sunday night!

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  1. Hi Joey, well to correctly guess 3/5 in your year in advance predictions for Original Score is pretty impressive in my opinion. Btw.. You have said a number of times now that Da 5 Bloods only receiving one nomination for Score is more insulting in a way than getting completely snubbed because it proves that the Academy saw it. Surely though all it proves is that the 345 music branch voters saw it out of a total of roughly 10,000 Academy members?

    • Thanks! And yes, that’s definitely a more granular approach to its nomination. Certainly, it could be that the music branch saw it more broadly than other branches, but as a mid-year Netflix release that got a legitimate push, I do suspect most voters were able to see it at some point.

  2. Agreed especially since I think it was the first ‘big movie’ by an Oscar winning director out of the gate this season. I watched it again recently and I think the Cinematography is very impressive and I wonder how close it was to a nomination although his work on Cherry in the end seemed to be closer.

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Written by Joey Magidson

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