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Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: Taking the Academy’s Temperature After Cannes

The conclusion of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival always marks a turning point in the cinematic year. Even though this year saw the festival arrive later, the same situation holds true. Cannes brought the first legitimate bit of Oscar buzz to the film world. Some of the movies that debuted at the fest will undoubtedly score Academy Award nominations. Even though the Oscars are a long ways off, it does get one thinking. So, with an update to my Oscar predictions having been long overdue, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to rectify that. So, my picks for the Academy Awards, at least nomination-wise, are here for you today.

Right as Cannes got underway, I wrote here about what might emerge as Oscar players from the festival. Some of the predictions came true, while some were a bit off the mark. Such is always the case with any fest, but this does feel like we’re gearing up for the fall. Given the unusual schedule this year, we’ve got the Venice Film Festival right around the corner. Then, we’re off to the races with the fall festival season and the true awards season. Time flies.

Searchlight Pictures

Prior updates here and here have largely focused on the expected big contenders, but today you’ll see some changes. A lot of those titles are still there, but the Cannes effect can definitely be seen. Plus, just yesterday saw The Tragedy of Macbeth score a high profile New York Film Festival slot, as well as Dune debuting another impressive trailer. Art the very least, they’re presenting as major contenders…

So what benefitted from Cannes? While something like Benedetta or Stillwater (my review of which comes early next week), not to mention Annette (which I actually in a few days) and Flag Day, took a hit, others fared better. The French Dispatch certainly confirmed its status as a player, while more of a spotlight was shone on the likes of Blue Bayou, A Hero, and Red Rocket. Don’t expect Titane to go from the Palme d’Or to the Best Picture lineup, but the festival certainly previewed a number of things that voters will be considering.

Apple TV+ / A24

Below, you can once again see my Oscar predictions (no longer quite year in advance picks). There still isn’t anything in particular that screams out as an obvious pick to me, so I’m still sticking with my initial pick, having Adam McKay‘s Don’t Look Up as the big winner. As previously mentioned, I’ve read the script, so I can attest to it being rather 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 plenty more once I give it another update, likely in a month or so…

Here now are my sure to be wrong 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. The French Dispatch

5. Canterbury Glass

6. Coda

7. West Side Story

8. Nightmare Alley

9. Blue Bayou

10. The Whale

Next in Line: 11. In the Heights 12. House of Gucci 13. A Hero 14. Respect 15. The Last Duel 16. Dune 17. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 18. Blonde 19. Red Rocket 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. Stillwater 27. Cyrano 28. Tick…Tick…Boom! 29. Mass 30. Luca 31. Limbo 32. The Harder They Fall 33. Passing 34. The Lost King 35. Annette 36. Benedetta 37. The Way of the Wind 38. The Card Counter 39. Three Thousand Years of Longing 40. The Power of the Dog 41. Last Night in Soho 42. The Worst Person in the World 43. Belfast 44. Zola 45. Next Goal Wins 46. Titane 47. Cry Macho 48. Eternals 49. No Time to Die 50. A Quiet Place Part II


1. Paul Thomas Anderson – Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project

2. David O. Russell – Canterbury Glass

3. Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

4. Adam McKay – Don’t Look Up

5. Darren Aronofsky – The Whale

Next in Line: 6. Wes Anderson – The French Dispatch 7. Guillermo del Toro – Nightmare Alley 8. Ridley Scott – House of Gucci (or The Last Duel) 9. Aaron Sorkin – Being the Ricardos 10. Justin Chon – Blue Bayou 

Also Consider: 11. Denis Villleanuve – Dune 12. Mike Mills – C’mon C’mon 13. Justin Lin – In the Heights 14. Asghar Farhadi – A Hero 15. Denzel Washington – A Journal for Jordan 16. Andrew Dominik – Blonde 17. Sian Heder – Coda 18. Joel Coen – The Tragedy of Macbeth 19. Julia Ducornau – Titane 20. Pablo Larrain – Spencer 21. Sean Baker – Red Rocket 22. George Miller – Three Thousand Years of Longing 23. Terrence Malick – The Way of the Wind 24. Tom McCarthy – Stillwater 25. Joe Wright – Cyrano


1. Brendan Fraser – The Whale

2. Will Smith – King Richard 

3. Michael B. Jordan – A Journal for Jordan 

4. Leonardo DiCaprio – Don’t Look Up

5. Simon Rex – Red Rocket

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. Matt Damon – Stillwater 

Also Consider: 11. Michael Fassbender – Next Goal Wins 12. Clifton Collins Jr. – Jockey 13. Peter Dinklage – Cyrano 14. Christian Bale – Canterbury Glass 15. Adam Driver – Annette (or The Last Duel) 16. Oscar Isaac – The Card Counter 17. Cooper Hoffman – Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project 18. Caleb Landry Jones – Nitram 19. Andrew Garfield – The Eyes of Tammy Faye 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. Rachel Zegler – West Side Story 9. Emilia Jones – Coda 10.  Lady Gaga – House of Gucci

Also Consider: 11. Tilda Swinton – Three Thousand Years of Longing 12. Marion Cotillard – Annette 13. Tessa Thompson – Passing 14. Charlotte Rampling – Benedetta 15. Taylour Paige – Zola 16. Anya Taylor-Joy – Last Night in Soho 17. Haley Bennett – Cyrano 18. Agathe Rousselle – Titane 19. Virginie Efira – Benedetta 20. Renate Reinsve – The Worst Person in the World


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. Jason Isaacs – Mass  7. Ben Affleck – The Last Duel 8. Corey Hawkins – The Tragedy of Macbeth 9. Adam Driver – House of Gucci 10. Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog

Also Consider: 11. Idris Elba – The Harder They Fall 12. Simon Helberg – Annette 13. Ben Mendelsohn – Cyrano 14. Geoffrey Wright – The French Dispatch 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. Bill Murray – The French Dispatch 20. Reed Birney – Mass 


1. Ann Dowd – Mass

2. Marlee Matlin – Coda

3. Alicia Vikander – Blue Bayou

4. Nina Arianda  – Being the Ricardos 

5. Cate Blanchett – Nightmare Alley

Next in Line: 6. Ruth Negga – Passing 7. Camille Cottin – Stillwater 8. Toni Collette – Nightmare Alley 9. Samantha Morton  – The Whale 10. Martha Plimpton – Mass

Also Consider: 11. Meryl Streep – Don’t Look Up 12. Olga Merediz – In the Heights 13. Ariana DeBose – West Side Story 14. Jodie Comer – The Last Duel 15. Saoirse Ronan – The French Dispatch 16. Vanessa Hudgens – Tick…Tick…Boom! 17. Julianne Nicholson – Blonde 18. Abigail Breslin – Stillwater 19. Riley Keough – Zola 20. Rita Moreno – West Side Story 


1. Coda

2. Red Rocket

3. Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project

4. Don’t Look Up

5. Being the Ricardos

Next in Line: 6. The French Dispatch 7. Blue Bayou 8. The Whale 9. A Hero 10. Canterbury Glass

Also Consider: 11. C’mon C’mon 12. Spencer 13. King Richard 14. The Card Counter 15. Mass 16. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 17. Three Thousand Years of Longing 18. Last Night in Soho 19. The Worst Person in the World 20. Stillwater


1. A Journal for Jordan

2. House of Gucci

3. West Side Story

4. Nightmare Alley

5. Blonde

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

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


1. Luca

2. The Mitchells vs. the Machines

3. Apollo 10 ½

4. Encanto

5. Who is Anne Frank

Next in Line: 6. Flee 7. Raya and the Last Dragon 8. Belle 9. ??? 10. ???


1. The French Dispatch

2. West Side Story

3. Nightmare Alley

4. Being the Ricardos

5. Dune

Next in Line: 6. House of Gucci 7. The Last Duel 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. The French Dispatch

Next in Line: 6. Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project 7. Don’t Look Up 8. Nightmare Alley 9. The Whale 10. The Tragedy of Macbeth


1. House of Gucci

2. The French Dispatch

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. The French Dispatch 8. The Tragedy of Macbeth 9. Blonde 10. Cyrano


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. Spider-Man: No Way Home


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. Godzilla vs. Kong 7. Spider-Man: No Way Home 8. Black Widow 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 another update soon!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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