The Academy Awards are coming hell or high water in April and with the majority of the releases out or at least seen, we have now got a pretty good guesstimate on who will be nominated for what. So without further ado (as this is going to be a long un’) Let’s break down who we think will get nominated for Academy Awards with those in bold who we will think we win. I must precursor this with I have only added in films that I have seen thus far or are already released, so films such as Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Sound of Metal are not rife through the list. I have also added a film that I think should be nominated, but accept it won’t for a vast majority of the categories (I am pretty sure it is still eligible for 2021).
This isn’t a full list btw this is just some cherry picked choices, the full list should hopefully be up in the next updated post in November! Anyway! Less chatter more guesses!
DA 5 Bloods
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Obviously if the three films not yet released are as good as thought then I image a few changes in the 10 here. For as good as The Trial of the Chicago 7 is, I think for sheer courtroom drama, Steve McQueen’s Mangrove blows it out of the water, so that it why it is on my list. Miss Juneteenth, Mangrove and obviously (sadly) Vitalina Varela will miss out if others move in. I would say the fast majority of the Best Picture releases pick themselves and for those who said that 2020 was a loss for cinema, look at that list. We lost blockbusters, but maybe that allowed smaller films to find an audience.
Kitty Green (The Assistant)
Spike Lee (DA 5 Bloods)
Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)
Alan Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
Regina King (One Night in Miami)
Pedro Costa (Vitalina Varela)*
A strong list and one that is diverse without having to force the idea of diversity, each director has created something special with their films. Green’s decisions in The Assistant are noteworthy of this. For Regina King on her feature debut to co-ordinate so much screentime to one room and to have her actors and cameras in the right spaces is sensational. Zhao stands out the most however for the sheer force of Nomadland.
Delroy Lindo (DA 5 Bloods)
Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
Riz Ahmed (Mogul Mowgli) *
Stanley Tucci (Supernova)
Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)*
This is an awkward category as a lot of the performances this year did not have a standout lead. You would say that Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth were the leads, but to have both in the same category would dilute the possibilities of either winning and I would imagine that they would plump for Tucci in the Lead. Riz Ahmed most likely won’t get nominated for Mogul Mowgli and if he is nominated it will be for The Sound of Metal. Though he is mesmirising in Mogul Mowgli and at the minute I would have went for him to be there. There is also the question who will be the lead nomination for The Trial of the Chicago 7. Will it be Baron Cohen or Yahya Abdul-Mateen II? A tough decision is to come for studios there. I have added in Chadwick Boseman as it seems certain that he will get a nomination of some sort and could very well win.
Julia Garner (The Assistant)
Frances McDormand (Nomadland)
Kate Winslet (Ammonite)
Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth)
Sidney Flanagan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)
Vitalina Varela (Vitalina Varela)*
Yes I know there are 6 there, but I simply could not have a list for Best Actress not include Varela. I am not sure there is a performance this year that will match it, yet I know she won’t get a nomination. Winslet just about gets in for Ammonite, as her performance helped drag it to something worth watching. Julia Garner should get a nomination for The Assistant, it is the least that performance deserves. For all of that it is most likely going to McDormand isn’t it?
Best Supporting Actress
Saoirse Ronan (Ammonite)
Olivia Cooke (Sound of Metal)
Letitia Wright (Mangrove)
Talia Ryder (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)
I have gone a tad more left field here. If Mangrove is eligible it would be a travesty not to have Letitia Wright nominated as she is electric in her role. Ronan, like Winslet drove the poor writing up a level with her performance and yes I have included Olivia Cooke here for a film not out yet, sue me (please don’t).
Best Supporting Actor
Jonathan Majors (DA 5 Bloods)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
Colin Firth (Supernova)
Leslie Odom Jr (One Night in Miami)
Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods)*
This is one hell of a packed category. It would be quite difficult to pick anyone from the list as the person who would go on to win, but we have gone for Odom Jr who is sensational in One Night in Miami, his turn as Sam Cooke is the one that stands out the greatest, though Firth’s heart breaking performance also stays with you long after the credits have rolled. This could literally be a pick a name out of a hat scenario.
Dick Johnson Is Dead
The Painter and the Thief is a film that is most fresh in my mind and thus at the minute it has got the nod for me. Documentary is always a notoriously hard category to get the nominations right, but I sense that the majority of these 5 will be there come the nominations reveal.
Over The Moon
Trolls: World Tour
Soul is a wonderful film from all accounts, yet no animation this year will have you fall in love with the medium as much as Wolfwalkers. It is an incredible bit of work with so much love put into it. Soul will most likely win (it is unusual for Disney/Pixar not to win Academy Awards) But, Wolfwalkers has my heart compared to the rest.
Best International Film
I sense that Vitalina Varela will not get the love it deserves and get nominated so Beanpole could take its place. This is another tough category with no clear standouts on who will win. Another Round just won best film at the London Film Festival, so if it is able to carry that momentum then it could be in a good place. I had wanted to put Mads Mikkelsen in for Best Actor, but I doubt the Academy would nominate him. This is a tough one as not all countries have nominated their film, so this is a category that could change the most.
Joshua James Richards (Nomadland)
Tami Reiker (One Night in Miami)
Newton Thomas Sigel (Da 5 Bloods)
Stephane Fontaine (Ammonite)
Hoyte van Hoytema (Tenet)
Another tough category with a fair few to choose from. I have broken it down to these 5 and I think it is a solid choice. For all of the direction and writing issues with Ammonite, it was visually great and that has to go to Fontaine. Reiker had an unenviable task of having to frame a small motel room for the majority of One Night in Miami and did a hell of a job doing so. Sigel gets the nod for me for how he shot Da 5 Bloods, just wonderful work.
Best Original Screenplay
Da 5 Bloods
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
I would give this to Supernova, but I have the feeling that the Academy will not be able to handle giving something to Sorkin and the most apt would likely be his script. The other 4 are top notch though and in any other year they may have a shout, but we mostly know that the Academy would have this almost pencilled in to win.
Best Adapted Screenplay
One Night In Miami
I am not confident that the majority of these 5 will still be there by February, but one will most certainly be and that is One Night in Miami (and probably Nomadland). It is a great adaption and such a strong screenplay where 5 characters are in constant communication. A true success of a screenplay.
Well that is us for today! I will return monthly to update on what I think is going to happen with the Academy Awards as I imagine some changes will be in place even by next month! Until next time.