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Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: The Summer is Ending and Fall Film Festival Season is Beginning (With Cinematic Casualties)

Folks, we’re here. The fall film festival season is literally just days away. So much of the early speculation will give way to analysis and reviews of the movies in question. A couple of days from now, I depart for the Telluride Film Festival. Once I get back from that, it’s basically a 48 hour turnaround before a week at the Toronto International Film Festival. That leads to a brief break before taking in some of the New York Film Festival. They’re hardly the only festivals going on around now, too. With all of this in mind (and because I’m never smart enough to pack a few days in advance), it seems like a perfect time to update predictions and take the season’s temperature!

Festival season is coming hot and heavy, with the Venice Film Festival kicking off right before the Telluride Film Festival next week. The week after, the Toronto International Film Festival will chime in, dumping even more movies into the fray. A month or so from then, the New York Film Festival will bring this deluge to a close, but not before the landscape has potentially been changed. This year may not have as much to offer (on paper) than in years past, but awards season will have evolved in the next month and a half.

Venice kicks starts us off with titles like El Conde, Ferrari, Hit Man, The Killer, Maestro, Origin, Poor Things, Priscilla, and plenty more. This is usually where the buzz begins, before feeding over into Telluride and then TIFF. Italy sets the stage, before the stateside word in the mountains of Colorado and the reception in Toronto pretty much gives us our initial awards season stances. So, pay attention to the early words here.

Telluride of course has a secret lineup, revealed right as folks like yours truly arrive in Colorado. Look for the list on the site once it drops, but you can do some decent sleuthing and get several of the films figured out. Folks like Michael Patterson over at Michael’s Telluride Film Blog have a reliable track record, so look here for his predictions. I mostly agree with him, too, so there’s that. Hint: title designations are key when figuring out what from Venice, TIFF, and NYFF will be making the journey to Telluride. That, along with some sources saying yay or nay to specific queries, is how I tend to figure out what I’m likely to be seeing in the mountains. Stand by for the actual answers there in just a few days, but some flicks I think we’ll more likely than not be there include Anatomy of a Fall, The Bikeriders, The Holdovers, Nyad, Poor Things, Rustin, Saltburn, and The Zone of Interest.

A week later, it’s time for TIFF. Among the films of note hitting Toronto are Anatomy of a Fall, Daddio, Dumb Money, Fair Play (reviewed out of Sundance here), Flora and Son, Hit Man, The Holdovers, Knox Goes Away, Lee, Les Indésirables, Next Goal Wins, Nyad, One Life, Pain Hustlers, Reptile, The Royal Hotel, Rustin, Sly, Wildcat, Woman of the Hour, and The Zone of Interest. I’ll be there, and while it’ll be a muted festival, celebrity and talent wise, the cinema on display will certainly not be lacking. It may not be the Oscar-laden affair that last year turned out to be (as seen here), but there won’t be much to complain about.

Then, in October it’s NYFF’s turn. Their lineup includes All of Us Strangers, Anatomy of a Fall, Ferrari, Maestro, May December, Poor Things, Priscilla, The Zone of Interest, and more. Lately, New York is a festival I don’t spend as much time at, since I’ve seen a lot of the slate at Telluride and TIFF, but this is where I’ll check out Ferrari, Maestro, May December, Priscilla, and a few other things. Once NYFF wraps up, I’ll know where we stand, early Academy Award buzz-wise.

As most of you know by now, Dune: Part Two has moved out of 2023, taking away a potential player. If you saw my prior set of predictions, I was a bit skeptical of its above the line chances, but saw it as, probably correctly, a likely technical category juggernaut. Having the film out of the below the line categories will make things very interesting, to say the least. We’ll see the movie next year, of course, but this year will not have the epic sci-fi sequel up for consideration.

So, where do we stand? Well, we’re on the precipice of seeing just how influential the fall film festival titles will be. Will they take over the early awards conversation? Will they fall short and give even more strength to the candidacies of Barbie and Oppenheimer? Can a quiet crop of debuts at the festivals strengthen not just something like Air, but Cannes players from earlier in the year like Anatomy of a Fall, Killers of the Flower Moon, May December, and The Zone of Interest? We’ll know soon enough.

My prior early prediction article (found here) is available for your perusal, and can see some more of the changes I’ve been making along the way. Also, I’m now moving away from the early/year in advance designation, as now is the time to start up with these in earnest. It’s still a little silly, since things are about to change again, but this is a snapshot of where things stand, as the calendar turns to September in just a few days. The festivals will have their say, so just stay tuned there.

Folks, as always you can see my newest crack at advance Oscar predictions (which, again, officially now will just be considered regular old new predictions, as opposed to year in advance) right here at Awards Radar. The changes are coming, and will continue to come, more and more, as the fall festivals kick off and then conclude. So, sit tight for much more…

An Oscar statue is pictured during the Oscars Foreign Language Film Award Directors Reception in advance of the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California February 26, 2016. The Oscars will be presented February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri – GF10000325443

Stay tuned for another update to these Oscar predictions as the fall festival season gets underway!


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Robert Hamer
3 months ago

Based solely on the internet discourse over the last four weeks, here’s who I think the frontrunners are:

PICTURE: Barbie – Tom Ackerley, Robbie Brenner, David Heyman, and Margot Robbie
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
LEAD ACTRESS: Margot Robbie – Barbie
LEAD ACTOR: Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Ryan Gosling – Barbie
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Oppenheimer – Christopher Nolan, adapted from the biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Barbie – Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Barbie – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, and Ashley Swanson
FILM EDITING: Oppenheimer – Jennifer Lame
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Oppenheimer – Hoyte Van Hoytema
COSTUME DESIGN: Barbie – Jacqueline Durran
MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: Barbie – Tilly Calder, Robb Crafer, Lois McIntosh, and Sarah Nuth
VISUAL EFFECTS: Oppenheimer – Andrew Jackson, Scott R. Fisher, Giacomo Mineo, and Stephen Parsey
SOUND: Oppenheimer – Willie D. Burton, Richard King, Michael W. Mitchell, Kevin O’Connell, Gary A. Rizzo, and Randy Torres
ORIGINAL SCORE: Oppenheimer – Ludwig Göransson
ORIGINAL SONG: “I’m Just Ken” from Barbie – Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt


[…] prior early prediction article (found here) is still available for your perusal, and can see some more of the changes I’ve been making along […]



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