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Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: The Precursors Are Coming!

Welcome to November! If you’re a junkie for awards season, we’re getting to the good stuff. The precursors are going to be getting hot and heavy, which in turn will make the awards conversation launch in earnest. What the fall festival season started will continue with actual prizes. The movies and performances cited are still to be determined, but we’re entering the fun phase. So, what better time is there to slightly tinker predictions than right before they become obsolete again?

As the title indicates, the precursors are coming. We’ve already had the Gotham Awards chime in with their nominations. We’ve also had the Writers Guild Awards announced to be coming after the Academy Awards, negating their already minimal influence. The nominations from the WGA could mean something small, but that’s it for them. The Gothams don’t have Oscar influence, just like the WGA (mostly) now, but precursor news is just another sign that the season is getting underway…

As for the films of this season, I’ve only got a few to go before I’ll have seen basically all of the notable contenders. I’m just days away from seeing both The Iron Claw and Napoleon, so once that happens, the last big title to reveal itself will be The Color Purple, which I have a screening date locked in for as well. Exciting, right? I’ve recently caught up with American Fiction, too, which I detailed here, in terms of its awards path after becoming the latest Audience Award winner from TIFF. Almost every weekend from here on out will have a contender hitting, which will reward audiences who have been waiting months to lay their eyes on them.

While we’ve seen The Bikeriders among titles that are potentially punting on this year’s Oscar season, Memory has decided to jump into the race. I’m skeptical that the former would have made a big dent in the awards season, with the latter an X factor, but it’s nice to see some changes, even if it’s mostly just for the sake of change.

Soon, you’ll see predictions for the precursors, mainly the Guilds, go up on the site. For now, the presumed frontrunners are likely still the frontrunners. Once the bigger precursors chime in, then we’ll have a better idea. Plus, this is the month where an Academy member starts to pay more attention to things. Come Thanksgiving, Oscar voters will be pouring over screeners with their families. Believe it or not, that’s only a few weeks away!

As always, a quick reminder that individual precursors at this point in the year mean almost nothing. Critics groups don’t make or break a contender, but they do help put some things on the radar (no pun intended) of a voter. So, they have their place. Just don’t assume a film is suffering if it gets “snubbed” somewhere. Likewise, surprise citations don’t mean that a movie is suddenly a juggernaut.

My prior prediction piece (found here) is still available for your perusal, and can see some more of the changes I’ve been making along the way if you click around. The festivals are essentially done, so now the precursors will be what tips the scales in one direction or another. They’ll come quickly, alongside some films deciding whether to remain in 2023 or punt to 2024, alongside category placements galore. All of those will mean there’s more updates coming. So, just stay tuned there for those.

Folks, as always you can see my newest crack at advance Oscar predictions (which, again, officially are just 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 precursors become prevalent in the timeline. 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 precursor season gets into full swing!


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Robert Hamer
26 days ago

Also, something else to keep in mind: the SAG-AFTRA strike is still ongoing. And, obviously, the critics groups aren’t going to be hindered by that, but it definitely throws a wrench into a lot of promotional strategies, some of the more industry-adjacent precursor awards, and maybe even release schedules (“Hey, Joey, remember when I assured you about that ‘locked in’ screening date for The Color Purple? Yeah, about that…”).



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