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Year in Advance Oscar Predictions: Can We Still Make Presumptions About the Academy?

No rest for the weary! Now that the dust has settled on the Academy Awards, with Nomadland our latest Best Picture winner, I’m moving on to next year’s Oscar ceremony. Year in Advance predictions are either loved or loathed by those who follow the awards season. On the one hand, they’re fun and a glimpse at what the Oscars could potentially look like. On the other, they’re often a completely out of context look at the awards landscape, based mostly on buzz, hype, and speculation, as opposed to anything concrete. I’ve always been in the former camp, though lately, I’ve been moving towards the latter…

West Side Story

On our latest podcast episode (listen here), Myles quite firmly explained why he thinks these are a waste of time. Honestly, I get it, and sort of agree now. However, this is just part of the job, so no sense in holding out on you all, right? So, while I’ll admit that I haven’t put quite as much thought into these as in year’s past, my Year in Advance Predictions are out and available to glance at.

What makes this year either more exciting or frustrating to speculate about is how hard the voting body is to pin down now. Especially as Best Picture again becomes a mandatory ten, what will the Academy membership do? Will they continue to cite the smaller and more esoteric fare that benefitted the first time around? Will Oscar voters back bigger and more mainstream titles now, as was initially hoped for? In all likelihood, it’ll be a bouillabaisse of everything, pulling from all circles. As the voters evolve, so too are the nominees, as we’re seeing these past few years.

Emilia Jones appears in CODA by Siân Heder, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Below, you can see my advance Oscar predictions. There isn’t anything in particular that screams out as an obvious pick, so I went weird, picking Adam McKay‘s Don’t Look Up as the big winner. Having read the script, I can attest to it being ambitious, and certainly something that Netflix can launch an interesting campaign for. It also doesn’t feel like a winner, though maybe that sort of counter-intuitive feeling is where the smart money is at? We shall see, but this list is sure to change once I give it an update, likely in a month or two…

Here now are my sure to be wrong Year in Advance predictions for the Academy Awards, written out for easy access. Behold:


1. Don’t Look Up
2. Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project
3. Being the Ricardos
4. Coda
5. Canterbury Glass
6. Nightmare Alley
7. West Side Story
8. Stillwater
9. Blue Bayou
10. The Whale

Next in Line: 11. The French Dispatch 12. In the Heights 13. House of Gucci 14. Respect 15. The Last Duel 16. Dune 17. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 18. Blonde 19. Don’t Worry Darling 20. A Journal for Jordan 21. C’mon C’mon 22. The Tragedy of Macbeth 23. King Richard 24. Dear Evan Hanson 25. Spencer 

Also Consider: 26. Three Thousand Years of Longing 27. Cyrano 28. Tick…Tick…Boom! 29. Annette 30. Luca 31. Limbo 32. The Harder They Fall 33. Passing 34. The Lost King 35. Benedetta 36. Mass 37. The Way of the Wind 38. The Card Counter 39. Those Who Wish Me Dead 40. The Power of the Dog 41. Last Night in Soho 42. Zola 43. Belfast 44. A Hero 45. Next Goal Wins 46. Red Rocket 47. The Northman 48. Cry Macho 49. No Time to Die 50. Eternals


1. Paul Thomas Anderson – Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project
2. David O. Russell – Canterbury Glass
3. Guillermo del Toro – Nightmare Alley
4. Adam McKay – Don’t Look Up
5. Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Next in Line: 6. Justin Chon – Blue Bayou 7. Darren Aronofsky – The Whale 8. Ridley Scott – House of Gucci (or The Last Duel) 9. Aaron Sorkin – Being the Ricardos 10. Tom McCarthy – Stillwater

Also Consider: 11. Wes Anderson – The French Dispatch 12. Mike Mills – C’mon C’mon 13. Justin Lin – In the Heights 14. Denis Villleanuve – Dune 15. Denzel Washington – A Journal for Jordan 16. Andrew Dominik – Blonde 17. Sian Heder – Coda 18. Joel Coen – The Tragedy of Macbeth 19. Olivia Wilde – Don’t Worry Darling 20. Pablo Larrain – Spencer 21. Leos Carax – Annette 22. George Miller – Three Thousand Years of Longing 23. Terrence Malick – The Way of the Wind 24. Taika Waititi – Next Goal Wins 25. Joe Wright – Cyrano


1. Will Smith – King Richard
2. Michael B. Jordan – A Journal for Jordan
3. Matt Damon – Stillwater
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – Don’t Look Up
5. Brendan Fraser – The Whale

Next in Line: 6. Justin Chon – Blue Bayou 7. Joaquin Phoenix – C’mon C’mon 8. Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth 9. Javier Bardem – Being the Ricardos 10. Peter Dinklage – Cyrano

Also Consider: 11. Michael Fassbender – Next Goal Wins 12. Clifton Collins Jr. – Jockey 13. Adam Driver – Annette (or The Last Duel) 14. Christian Bale – Canterbury Glass 15. Idris Elba – Three Thousand Years of Longing 16. Oscar Isaac – The Card Counter 17. Sklyer Gisondo – Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project 18. Andrew Garfield – The Eyes of Tammy Faye 19. Timothee Chalamet – Dune 20. Anthony Ramos – In the Heights


1. Ana de Armas – Blonde
2. Kristen Stewart – Spencer
3. Jennifer Lawrence – Don’t Look Up
4. Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos
5. Jennifer Hudson – Respect

Next in Line: 6. Frances McDormand – The Tragedy of Macbeth 7. Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye 8. Florence Pugh – Don’t Worry Darling 9. Emilia Jones – Coda 10.  Lady Gaga – House of Gucci

Also Consider: 11. Tilda Swinton – Three Thousand Years of Longing 12. Rachel Zegler – West Side Story 13. Marion Cotillard – Annette 14. Tessa Thompson – Passing 15. Charlotte Rampling – Benedetta 16. Taylour Paige – Zola 17. Anya Taylor-Joy – Last Night in Soho 18. Haley Bennett – Cyrano 19. Angelina Jolie – Those Who Wish Me Dead 20. Scarlet Johansson – Black Widow 


1. Bradley Cooper – Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project (or Nightmare Alley)
2. Bradley Whitford – Tick…Tick…Boom!
3. J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos
4. Mark Rylance – Don’t Look Up
5. Colman Domingo – Zola

Next in Line: 6. Ben Affleck – The Last Duel 7. Corey Hawkins – The Tragedy of Macbeth 8. Adam Driver – House of Gucci 9. Bill Murray – The French Dispatch 10. Idris Elba – The Harder They Fall 

Also Consider: 11. Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog 12. Simon Helberg – Annette 13. Ben Mendelsohn –Cyrano 14. Lin-Manuel Miranda – In the Heights 15. Mark O’Brien – Blue Bayou 16. Brian D’Arcy James – West Side Story 17. Eugenio Derbez – Coda 18. Jalon Christian – A Journal for Jordan 19. Harry Styles – Don’t Worry Darling 20. Jason Isaacs – Mass 


1. Abigail Breslin – Stillwater2. Marlee Matlin – Coda
3. Alicia Vikander – Blue Bayou
4. Nina Arianda  – Being the Ricardos
5. Cate Blanchett – Nightmare Alley

Next in Line: 6. Saoirse Ronan – The French Dispatch 7. Toni Collette – Nightmare Alley 8. Samantha Morton  – The Whale 9. Jodie Comer – The Last Duel 10. Ruth Negga – Passing

Also Consider: 11. Martha Plimpton – Mass 12. Olga Merediz – In the Heights 13. Ariana DeBose – West Side Story 14. Meryl Streep – Don’t Look Up 15. Vanessa Hudgens –Tick…Tick…Boom! 16. Julianne Nicholson – Blonde 17. Riley Keough – Zola 18. Ann Dowd – Mass 19. Olivia Wilde – Don’t Worry Darling 20. Rita Moreno – West Side Story 


1. Coda
2. Blue Bayou
3. Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project
4. Don’t Look Up
5. Being the Ricardos

Next in Line: 6. The French Dispatch 7. The Whale 8. Stillwater 9. C’mon C’mon 10. Canterbury Glass

Also Consider: 11. Spencer 12. Annette 13. King Richard 14. The Card Counter 15. Last Night in Soho 16. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 17. Three Thousand Years of Longing 18. Red Rocket 19. The Northman 20. Mass


1. A Journal for Jordan
2. House of Gucci
3. West Side Story
4. Nightmare Alley
5. Zola

Next in Line: 6. The Last Duel 7. Blonde 8. The Tragedy of Macbeth 9. Next Goal Wins 10. Dear Evan Hanson

Also Consider: 11. Those Who Wish Me Dead 12. The Power of the Dog 13. Tick…Tick…Boom! 14. In the Heights 15. Dune 16. Cyrano 17. Cry Macho 18. Clerks III 19. No Time to Die 20. Eternals


1. Luca
2. The Mitchells vs. the Machines
3. Apollo 10 ½
4. Encanto
5. Flee

Next in Line: Coming Soon


1. Nightmare Alley
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. Being the Ricardos
5. The Last Duel

Next in Line: 6. House of Gucci 7. The French Dispatch 8. The Tragedy of Macbeth 9. No Time to Die 10. Canterbury Glass


1. House of Gucci
2. West Side Story
3. Canterbury Glass
4. Dune
5. Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project

Next in Line: 6. The Last Duel 7. Don’t Look Up 8. Nightmare Alley 9. The Whale 10. The Tragedy of Macbeth


1. House of Gucci
2. Don’t Worry Darling 
3. Being the Ricardos
4. The Last Duel
5. West Side Story

Next in Line: 6. Belfast 7. Last Night in Soho 8. Nightmare Alley 9. Blonde 10. Eternals


1. Don’t Look Up
2. Being the Ricardos
3. Dune
4. Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project
5. No Time to Die

Next in Line: 6. Nightmare Alley 7. House of Gucci 8. The Whale 9. Canterbury Glass 10. Eternals


1. Being the Ricardos
2. Dune
3. The Suicide Squad
4. No Time to Die
5. Eternals

Next in Line: 6. West Side Story 7. Blonde 8. The Tragedy of Macbeth 9. Cyrano 10. Old


1. West Side Story
2. Dune
3. Top Gun: Maverick
4. In the Heights
5. No Time to Die

Next in Line: 6. Eternals 7. Tick…Tick…Boom! 8. A Quiet Place Part II 9. Nightmare Alley 10. Respect


1. Dune
2. Eternals
3. No Time to Die
4. The Suicide Squad
5. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Next in Line: 6. Black Widow 7. Spider-Man: No Way Home 8. BIOS 9. Top Gun: Maverick 10. The Tomorrow War


1. Don’t Look Up
2. Dune
3. The Power of the Dog
4. Nightmare Alley
5. Canterbury Glass

Next in Line: 6. Luca 7. No Time to Die 8. The French Dispatch 9. Zola 10. Eternals

*The rest are TBD…*


Stay tuned for an update as the summer rolls around!


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