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93rd Academy Awards - Predictions & More

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls - we made it. It is Oscar week and the 93rd Academy Awards, which I thought at one point this year would not even happen, are finally a few days away. We have all been through a lot, some more so than others, over the past 18 months. We have dealt with some current events you may have heard of such as COVID-19, social and racial injustices, murder hornets, and more. It has easily been the most challenging time in my 29 years on Earth - a time I would never want to relive. The film industry has seen its fair share of challenges through this time as well. Movie theaters and cineplexes around the world shut their doors - some permanently - and many, many films from 2020 and 2021 and were pushed to 2021 and 2022.


The Academy has had to adapt in ways never seen before to make the 93rd Academy Awards even happen this year. We have seen virtual awards ceremonies, bi-coastal ceremonies with extremely limited attendances, and I am certain we will see some unusual things with the Oscars as well. The eligibility window was extended by two full months. We saw a drastic uptick in streaming films receiving nominations (thanks to theaters being closed). We still do not know what the hosting situations looks like for this weekend's ceremony, but we do know that the nominees for Best Original Song will be performed in a pre-show rather than throughout the ceremony; this is a very welcome change for me. All this to say it has been a tough year, an odd year, and we are about to witness probably the strangest and most boring Oscars ceremony in quite some time.


When it comes to making predictions, overall, this year's ceremony seems pretty easy to predict. We have 25 Oscars being handed out on Sunday night, 20 of which I think are locks or longshots to lose. The other five are close calls, at least in my opinion, and we will get into those later. Without further adieu, here are my predictions (underlined), presented in the same order as last year's Oscars!


Actor in a Supporting Role

- 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

- LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah


Animated Feature Film

- Onward

- Over the Moon

- A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

- Soul

- Wolfwalkers


Animated Short Film

- Burrow

- Genius Loci

- If Anything Happens I Love You

- Opera

- Yes-People


Original Screenplay

- Judas and the Black Messiah

- Minari

- Promising Young Woman

- Sound of Metal

- The Trial of the Chicago 7


Adapted Screenplay

- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

- The Father

- Nomadland

- One Night in Miami...

- The White Tiger


Adapted Screenplay is one of those five categories I alluded to earlier - one of the five that is almost too close to call at the moment. As of now, it appears to be a two-horse race between Nomadland and The Father. Personally, I find Nomadland to be the film with the stronger screenplay due to its portrayal of actual nomadic people, which is why my vote sways in that direction.


Live Action Short Film

- Feeling Through

- The Letter Room

- The Present

- Two Distant Strangers

- White Eye


Well, we wasted no time getting to another one of the five categories causing me problems. My personal favorite, Feeling Through, unfortunately seems to be out of the race and we are left with a two-man race between Two Distant Strangers and The Letter Room. The Oscar Isaac-led The Letter Room was the early favorite as soon as these nominees were announced, but Two Distant Strangers has been picking up steam ever since, especially after being released on Netflix. Many are saying that Two Distant Strangers is more triggering than it is thought-provoking, but I really think the Oscars will lean in its direction for the sake of seeming to be "woke", even if it is the wrong move. The Letter Room is the safer and more "Oscar-friendly" choice, but I think The Academy swings big on this one.


Production Design

- The Father

- Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

- Mank

- News of the World

- Tenet


Costume Design

- Emma.

- Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

- Mank

- Mulan

- Pinocchio


Documentary Feature

- Collective

- Crip Camp

- The Mole Agent

- My Octopus Teacher

- Time


Documentary Short Subject

- Colette

- A Concerto Is a Conversation

- Do Not Split

- Hunger Ward

- A Love Song for Latasha


This one is the third category that I think is down to a two-film race. I am having a slight debate in my mind between the two favorites - A Concerto Is a Conversation and A Love Song for Latasha. I think the latter is the stronger doc short, but it has an unfair personal-to-me advantage of being set in Los Angeles in the early 90's - the place and time I was born. Both tell excellent stories, but A Love Song for Latasha hit me in the gut the hardest.


Actress in a Supporting Role

- Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

- Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

- Olivia Colman, The Father

- Amanda Seyfried, Mank

- Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari


Sound

- Greyhound

- Mank

- News of the World

- Soul

- Sound of Metal


Cinematography

- Judas and the Black Messiah

- Mank

- News of the World

- Nomadland

- The Trial of the Chicago 7


Film Editing

- The Father

- Nomadland

- Promising Young Woman

- Sound of Metal

- The Trial of the Chicago 7


In our next installment of "Who the heck knows who will win?", we find ourselves in the thick of the race between Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 when it comes to Best Film Editing. Both of these films are edited wonderfully, but I am going to play politics with my choice here. The Academy likes to make sure all of the Best Picture nominees win at least one Oscar throughout the night. Sound of Metal is a damn-sure lock to win Best Sound, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 does not have a legitimate chance in any other category, so I am looking for it to win this one here.


Visual Effects

- Love and Monsters

- The Midnight Sky

- Mulan

- The One and Only Ivan

- Tenet


Makeup and Hairstyling

- Emma.

- Hillbilly Elegy

- Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

- Mank

- Pinocchio


International Feature Film

- Another Round

- Better Days

- Collective

- The Man Who Sold His Skin

- Quo Vadis, Aida?


Original Score

- Da 5 Bloods

- Mank

- Minari

- News of the World

- Soul


Original Song

- "Fight For You", Judas and the Black Messiah

- "Hear My Voice", The Trial of the Chicago 7

- "Husavik", Eurovision Song Contest

- "Io Si (Seen)", The Life Ahead

- "Speak Now", One Night in Miami...


Directing

- Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

- David Fincher, Mank

- Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

- Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

- Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman


Actor in a Leading Role

- Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

- Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

- Anthony Hopkins, The Father

- Gary Oldman, Mank

- Steven Yeun, Minari


Actress in a Leading Role

- Viola Davis, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

- Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

- Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

- Frances McDormand, Nomadland

- Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman


In the final edition of "Any nominee could win this damn award", we find ourselves in a race where all five nominees (or maybe just four - sorry Vanessa) have a legitimate shot at winning. Davis won SAG. McDormand won BAFTA. Mulligan won CC. Day won the Globe. Do I go with Kirby (who was excellent) to see if the Oscars continue spreading the love? Do I go with Mulligan who seems to be the slight favorite now? Do I go with McDormand or Davis based on clout? Personally, I am leaning slightly in the direction of Carey Mulligan because she gave my favorite performance of the five nominated here, but I will not be surprised at any of these five nominees winning. Because of that, this has been the toughest Oscar category I have ever been tasked with predicting in my 5-6 years of covering films and the Oscars.


Best Picture

- The Father

- Judas and the Black Messiah

- Mank

- Minari

- Nomadland

- Promising Young Woman

- Sound of Metal

- The Trial of the Chicago 7


Since it is the biggest award of the night, I guess I will give my thoughts on Best Picture, even though I think it is a lock right now. Nomadland is my favorite film of the eight nominated, and it has been carrying all the "Best Picture" momentum throughout the entire awards season, so I just cannot see it being overthrown at the last minute. Minari and The Trial of the Chicago 7 are trying to make some noise and stir the pot a little bit in this category, but Zhao is a surefire lock to win an Oscar for her Nomadland directing efforts and I do not see a scenario in which The Academy looks away from Nomadland for Best Picture. Look for Nomadland to join the likes of Parasite and The Shape of Water as recent films to take home the Oscar for Best Directing and Best Picture in the same night.


So, there you have it. Those are my predictions for this weekend's Academy Awards. It is going to be a weird Oscars ceremony for sure. Let me know what you think of my predictions, good or bad, and I would love to hear your predictions as well. Comment below or you can hit me up on Twitter (@KevWatchedAFilm) and do not forget to check out the Critics w/o Credentials podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify for all sorts of goodness every single week!