Final Oscar Predictions

Just like I did with the Golden Globes, I’m going to get a head start on Oscar predictions before the nominations on Monday morning.  Minari, Promising Young Woman and Sound of Metal are looking way up, while Da 5 Bloods, The Father and News of the World are trending down.  Let’s take a look at the big six categories.


BEST PICTURE

Judas and the Black Messiah
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Here’s a stat for you: since the Oscars expanded the Best Picture lineup in 2010, every film nominated for Golden Globes, Critic Choice Awards, Producers Guild, BAFTA and the Directors Guild have translated to the Oscars.  There are no exceptions to that rule.  That means Nomadland, Trial of the Chicago 7, and Promising Young Woman are definitely in.  Minari is peaking at the right time, so that feels safe.  One Night in Miami and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom have been the measures of consistency, so those feel safe.  Mank has steamrolled the craft categories, so that feels pretty safe.  

The last two spots are two films peaking when they need it.  Judas and the Black Messiah has finally started to translate to Best Picture nods in the last two weeks and the PGA nomination speaks to that.  Sound of Metal is my least confident pick over The Father, Da 5 Bloods and News of the World.

BEST DIRECTOR

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Aaron Sorkin, Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

It’s hard to see any combo of Zhao/Fincher/Fennell missing.  Some have been predicting a Sorkin snub, but that feels like wishful thinking.  Chung’s sweet speech at the Golden Globes plus the Minari momentum puts him over the top.  Spike Lee, Regina King, Shaka King and Darius Marder could pop in there too.


BEST ACTOR

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Ahmed/Boseman/Hopkins are easy locks.  Everyone has Yeun penciled in, but he feels shakier than I would like.  Oldman has been on almost every Best Actor list, but has taken a real fall in the last few months.  I feel stronger about Yeun than Oldman, but the race for fifth is tight between Tahar Rahim, Mads Mikkelsen and Delroy Lindo.


BEST ACTRESS

Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carrie Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

This has felt like the correct five since the Golden Globes and I have no expectation of it changing.  Some keep throwing in a Vanessa Kirby snub, but that doesn’t feel genuine.  I would truly shocked at anything other than this five.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom, Jr, One Night in Miami
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
David Strathairn, Nomadland

Cohen/Kaluuya/Odom are easily in.  Paul Raci has been the critical darling for months and is coming on strong in the last few weeks.  The real question: how truly beloved is Nomadland? Is it so beloved that they feel they need to reward it more?  Everyone is so cooled on Da 5 Bloods Oscar chances, will they avoid the double Chadwick Boseman nomination?  Will Alan Kim come out of no where and get a Supporting Actor nod?  Depite the lack of mystery in the bulk of the category, this could tell us a lot about Oscar as a whole.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian
Yuh-jung Youn, Minari 

If anyone tells you they know what is going to happen in Best Supporting Actress, they are wrong.  Some combination of these five and Helena Zengel, Ellen Burstyn, Dominique Fishback, Olivia Cooke and Amanda Seyfried will show up.  Bakalova and Youn snubs would almost be unprecedented with the amount of precursors the pair have won. 


Check out the rest of my predictions here.  We will all find out together Monday morning. 

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