When Parasite won the Oscar for Best Picture last year, it was truly one of the only great moments of 2020 (the lockdown was only a couple weeks away). Now, nearly 14 months later, the next Academy Awards is occurring (and, more importantly, the hopeful end of this horrible pandemic).
I will try my best in my predictions to answer all the questions that are on the table before Hollywood’s big night: As always, you need to guess in every one of the 23 categories (they meshed sound mixing and sound editing) if you have a pool you are participating in, so here are my predictions.
I do need to confess: I have missed Best Picture the last six years, which I am hoping will be an ended streak this year (the aforementioned win of Parasite last year was something I did not predict, but I was so happy that it won that I did not care). Thankfully, this year does seem to be the year for Nomadland, and rightly so, as it is the best of the bunch. The only possible upset I could think of may be The Trial of the Chicago 7, but don’t count on it.
The DGA winner is not always the winner of the Oscar, but mostly is. Therefore, expect Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao (whose next film will be The Eternals for the MCU) to be only the second woman to ever win Best Director.
Prediction: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
If there is a single category this year that is a safe bet, this is it. While Anthony Hopkins did win the BAFTA (look at their history, and you will see a lack of non-British actors of color) for his brilliant work in The Father, it will be a shock to hear a name that is not the late Chadwick Boseman, who will be the third posthumous Oscar winner for acting. You can expect a truly bittersweet moment when this happens.
Prediction: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Now for a category that is not a safe bet on. At one point, it seemed Carey Mulligan was the heavy favorite, but then Viola Davis won the SAG award, while Frances McDormand won BAFTA (which did not nominate Davis or Mulligan). At this point, the only safe bet is that the person most likely not to win is Vanessa Kirby (who was actually my favorite of the bunch). Andra Day did win the Golden Globe, but those are not as helpful for Oscar predictions as you may think (not to mention that, with the exception of her performance, The United States vs. Billie Holiday was not that great a film). It is really a two way race between Mulligan and Davis (McDormand already has won two oscars, and if Nomadland wins, will win as a producer). Since I have to pick, I am going with Davis, but really, don’t quote me on it.
Prediction: Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Another easy lock of the night, Best Supporting Actor will almost definitely go to Daniel Kaluuya.
Prediction: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
At first, this category seemed about as unpredictable as Best Actress. There could still be a surprise if newcomer Maria Bakalova wins for the Borat Sequel (perhaps helped by that scene with a certain former mayor of New York City), or even Glenn Close winning for her (admittedly passable) work in the disappointing Hillbilly Elegy. However, it is Yuh-Jung Youn, my favorite of the five, that has come to the front of the pack here in the last leg of the race, and will most likely stay there at the finish line. This would also make her the first Korean actor to win an Oscar.
Prediction: Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari
This could be a win for The Trial of the Chicago 7 (it is Aaron Sorkin, after all), but I will go with what the WGA went with and call this a win for Emerald Fennell’s work in the bizarrely original Promising Young Woman.
Prediction: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
The WGA did award this to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (which had at least nine or so writers), but I am not expecting the Academy to follow that trend. Instead, expect this to be another win for Chloe Zhao and Nomadland.
Prediction: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
There will not be any real vote splitting for the two Disney/Pixar flicks, because Soul was, without question, miles ahead of Onward (one of the worst Disney/Pixar films I have seen). There could be a longshot (and I mean long) for Wolfwalkers, but this is Soul‘s to lose.
Here are the rest of my predictions!
- Best International Feature – Another Round (Denmark)
- Best Documentary Feature – My Octopus Teacher
- Best Production Design – Mank
- Best Cinematography – Nomadland
- Best Film Editing – Sound of Metal
- Best Costume Design – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
- Best Make-up/Hairstyling – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
- Best Original Score – Soul
- Best Original Song – “Speak Now”, from One Night in Miami
- Best Sound – Sound of Metal
- Best Visual Effects – Tenet
- Best Animated Short – If Anything Happens I Love You
- Best Live Action Short – Two Distant Strangers
- Best Documentary Short – A Love Song for Latasha