I figured I’d add to the Oscars discourse with my predictions, as I made these predictions on the Extra Features Podcast on April 11, and these are my predictions from then. These are just my thoughts on every category for the big night, and, to let you know, the images in the article won’t always align to what I picked for that specific category. As well, this will be the first part of two articles where I cover 15 of the 23 categories in this first part, including International Film, Best Animated Film, Best Picture, the Supporting Categories, Directing, Production Design, and more…
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
The nominees: Collectiv from Romania, Another Round from Denmark, Quo vadis, Aida? from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Shaonian de ni/Better Days from Hong Kong and The Man Who Sold His Skin from Tunisia.
I’ve only seen and loved the frontrunner from Denmark with Another Round, and that’s my pick here. I’ve heard about Collectiv from Romania and I think it’s interesting that it’s also nominated for Documentary (though that didn’t give Honeyland an edge last year anyway). I’ve heard acclaim for Quo vadis, Aida? but I haven’t heard too much about the other two.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Another Round
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
The nominees: A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers
I haven’t seen A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, and I also think that the Netflix space musical Over the Moon is fine, but is only there for a fifth nomination… I feel like I liked Soul more than anyone else, and I really stand by thinking that people would like that film more if it were made by any other studio since people think it’s underwhelming Pixar. For the two frontrunners, I love the hand-drawn animation of Wolfwalkers but Soul is truly fantastic and if Klaus didn’t win against Toy Story 4 last year, then Wolfwalkers won’t win. I have to pick Soul win here, even though I think a Wolfwalkers win would mean a lot.
MY PICK: Soul
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
THE NOMINEES: Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” LaKeith Stanfield for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami,” Paul Raci for “Sound of Metal,” and Sacha Baron Cohen for “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
I’m going with the SAG winner here with Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah. One interesting angle, though, is that I see a world where Sacha Baron Cohen wins for The Trial of the Chicago 7 because that film is picking up steam, and I’m also curious if Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield of the same film cancels each other out, and I think that’s Cohen’s angle in. However, I’m still picking Kaluuya.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
THE NOMINEES: Amanda Seyfried for “Mank,” Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy,” Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” Olivia Colman for “The Father” and Yuh-Jung Youn for “Minari”
These Actress categories are so difficult this year, and Amanda Seyfried does so well in Mank but I don’t think she wins. Olivia Colman in The Father is so compassionate and great, and I don’t want to see The Father go home empty-handed, but I don’t see it victorious here.
I didn’t completely love the Borat sequel but Bakalova puts in a star-making performance, with how well she does keeping up with Sacha Baron Cohen. I’d be happy for her to win. About Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy, I don’t like that film, but I’ll reference The Iron Lady again and how that had two nominations in one of the Actress categories and Make-Up, and they’re both bad films. I don’t think it’ll win Make-Up because it’s against Ma Rainey, so its chance at glory is in this category. I think Close is the best aspect of her film – even though she’s nominated for a Razzie for this same performance – but my vote isn’t in her corner, either.
My heart is completely with Yuh-Jung Young as the grandmother Soonja in Minari. I love watching her chemistry with the grandson, David (Alan S. Kim), grow throughout the film. I think she was a great and relatable way into the film, and she’s my pick to win with Balaklova close behind.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Yuh-Jung Young for Minari
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
THE NOMINEES: Mark Ricker, Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale for “Mank,” David Crank and Elizabeth Keenan for “News of the World,” Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas for “Tenet,” and Peter Francis and Cathy Featherstone for “The Father”
I thought The Father did such a great job with its limited settings, and so does Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, but Hollywood loves to see itself in films and that’s why I think Mank will avoid the 0-for-10 shutout and win here.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale for Mank
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
THE NOMINEES: Alexandra Byrne for “Emma.,” Ann Roth for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Trish Summerville for “Mank,” Bina Daigeler for “Mulan,” Massimo Cantini Parrini for “Pinocchio”
Another category where the period film reigns supreme, and all these films have great looks, though I haven’t seen Pinocchio from Italy, and I don’t know if anyone has? That’s an interesting nomination and it’s a film where Roberto Benigni (apparently) redeems himself by playing Gepetto 17 years after playing Pinocchio in his critically panned 2002 film, Pinocchio. I think this is between Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom or Emma. though, and I’m sticking with Ma Rainey for this category and Make-Up to play it safe.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Ann Roth for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
THE NOMINEES: Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze for “Emma.,” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew W. Mungle and Patricia Dehaney for “Hillbilly Elegy,” Segio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri and Colleen LaBaff for “Mank,” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti for “Pinocchio”
I think this is a battle of unrecognizability between Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Hillbilly Elegy and for the reasons above, I’m picking Ma Rainey for both of these categories to complete at least half The Iron Lady.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Segio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
THE NOMINEES: Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders, David Wyman for “Greyhound,” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance, Drew Kunin for “Mank,” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, John Pritchett for “News of the World,” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker for “Soul,” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortes, Navarrete, Phillip Bladh for “Sound of Metal”
It’s so cool to see Soul nominated in the sound category. Also, interesting to note is that this is the first year where Sound Mixing and Sound Editing are merged into one category (and if there were still separate categories, I feel like Sound of Metal would have taken Editing and Greyhound would have grabbed Mixing). As it stands, this must go to the sound team for Sound of Metal just because that’s absolutely integral to the film, as it immerses us into the film and without the sound, this isn’t a great film. That’s why it wins here.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Sound of Metal
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
THE NOMINEES: Terence Blanchard for “Da 5 Bloods,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for “Mank,” Emile Mosseri for “Minari,” James Newton Howard for “News of the World,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste for “Soul”
Yeah, it’s Soul here, and it’s interesting that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are also nominated for Mank. I just think Soul is a lock, so I won’t spend too much time here.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste for Soul
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
THE NOMINEES: Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt, Brian Cox for “Love and Monsters,” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, Steve Ingram for “Mulan,” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, Scott R. Fisher for “Tenet,” Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, Max Solomon, David Watkins for “The Midnight Sky” and Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, Santiago Colomo for “The One and Only Ivan”
I didn’t love Tenet that much, but it’s just Tenet here, right, as one of the biggest blockbusters here? Mulan also looked great, and Love and Monsters looked okay. I haven’t watched The Midnight Sky or The One and Only Ivan yet.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, Scott R. Fisher for Tenet
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
THE NOMINEES: Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat for “Burrow,” Adrien Merigeau and Amaury Ovise for “Genius Loci,” Will McCormack and Michael Govier for “If Anything Happens I Love You,” Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson for “Yes People” and Erick Oh for “Opera”
I think the Netflix short If Anything Happens I Love You is stunning and leaves such an impression. It looks like it’s taken straight of a sketchbook and I’ll be betting against Pixar here and Burrow, which is totally cute. I haven’t heard too much about the other three.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Will McCormack and Michael Govier for If Anything Happens I Love You
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
THE NOMINEES: Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski for “Feeling Through,” Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan for “The Letter Room,” Farah Nabulsi for “The Present,” Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe for “Two Distant Strangers,” Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman for “White Eye”
I suck so bad at these categories, and I’ve only seen Feeling Through from this category and I probably would have went with that one if I were picking right now. I had learned that Two Distant Strangers and The Present (streaming on Netflix) were frontrunners. However, I went with The Letter Room just because they might see Oscar Isaac’s involvement and be likely to watch it because it has a familiar face? Like I said, though, I’m terrible at these short categories.
MY PICK: Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan for The Letter Room
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
THE NOMINEES: Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers for “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan for “A Love Song for Latasha,” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard for “Colette,” Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook for “Do Not Split,” Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman for “Hunger Ward”
The only one I’ve seen from this category is A Concerto is a Conversation and I picked based on what I thought was frontrunner here and I learned that was Concerto, but after watching it, my heart’s really with it as it’s a really beautiful story.
MY PICK: Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers for A Concerto Is a Conversation
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
THE NOMINEES: Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland,” David Fincher for “Mank,” Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman,” Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari,” Thomas Vinterberg “Druk/Another Round”
Ah, two women in the directing category, you love to see it. I won’t analyze it as much because my pick for director and Best Picture will always go hand in hand, so I’m choosing Chloé Zhao for Nomadland. I think Emerald Fennell scores in a different category.
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Chloé Zhao for Nomadland
The nominees: “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal,” “The Father,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
This is going to be an anticlimactic end to my Part 1 article, as I’m not really putting too much thought into this category. It’s the biggest of the night, but it just seems kind-of boring this year. I’m just going with Nomadland that looks beautiful and is a poetic display of the human spirit and a good film, even if it’s not my favourite of these eight nominees. My heart roots for Minari, though this would be my order if I were able to vote:
- Sound of Metal
- The Father
- Promising Young Woman
- The Trial of the Chicago 7
- Judas and the Black Messiah
SHOULD WIN/MY PICK: Nomadland
Thanks for reading if you’re still here, and stay tuned for my predictions in the other eight categories, including the Lead Acting and Writing categories, later today.