My favourite awards show is finally here. This has been the strangest awards season by far. Not seeing the best picture nominees in theatres made me really sad. However, just like the film industry, I adapted and found the silver lining. There is nothing quite like watching an award show where who is expected to win, doesn’t win at all, and somebody else is blindsided in the best possible way. These are my exact feelings going into this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

As I give you my predictions for each and every single Oscar that will be handed out on April 25th, I am growing with anticipation to see who will win the most prestigious award in the film industry. I must admit that I don’t always agree with who wins and I feel like many deserving people still don’t have an Academy Award. However, that is a conversation for another day. I cannot wait to see how this ceremony will play out and I have never gotten every category right, but maybe this will be my year. Who knows because it’s the Academy Awards and anything could happen. 

Don’t forget, the Oscars air this Sunday, April 25th, at 8:00 PM (EST) and 5:00 PM (PST) on ABC.  

Best Director

Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round)
David Fincher (Mank) 
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) 
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) 
Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) 

This year’s winner will be Chloe Zhao. She poured her heart and soul into Nomadland, which included the use of real-life nomads to add a sense of authenticity to her film. The amount of work she put into her movie makes her the most deserving of best director award and it makes me look forward to her next film, Marvel’s Eternals.  

Best 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) 

Everyone was at the top of their game this year and I am proud to say that Chadwick Boseman will be your winner. I can’t help but think about the pain he was in as acted in this role. Riz Ahmed won’t win, but he deserves recognition for not only learning how to play the drums, but learning sign language as well. Boseman’s performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is the perfect swan song for him and makes me wish he was still with us. 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

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

This is easily the hardest category to predict this year. With the exception of Vanessa Kirby, every other woman in this category has taken the top prize in the other major award shows. After much thought and extremely careful consideration, I think the Academy Award goes to Carey Mulligan for her sensational performance in Promising Young Woman

Best 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)

My final decision on who will win this category has changed 3 times over the last few months. My first choice was Leslie Odom Jr. but he doesn’t stand a chance. Next would have been Sacha Baron Cohen, but having only won the Golden Globe and not much else, he seems like a long shot. So, Daniel Kaluuya is the safe bet to win. Since his breakout role in Get Out, Kaluuya has always delivered sensational performances, so this award is well deserved. 

Best 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) 

Glenn Close has now been nominated for an Oscar 8 times. However, she has never actually won. For those of you awaiting a time when Glenn Close finally receives her long overdue Academy Award, you’re going to have to wait a little longer because Yuh-Jung Youn will be the big winner. She is sensational in Minari and this award is well deserved.  

Best Animated Feature Film

Onward (Pixar) 
Over the Moon (Netflix) 
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Netflix) 
Soul (Pixar) 
Wolfwalkers (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS) 

There is no doubt in my mind that Soul will win this award. Soul is yet another example of why Pixar is unbeatable year after year. From the movie’s gorgeous animation, along with its timely themes and beautiful story, make this film an instant classic that I will return to time, and time again. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Nina Pedrad
The Father, Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller
Nomadland, Chloé Zhao 
One Night in Miami, Kemp Powers 
The White Tiger, Ramin Bahrani 

I have been torn for days between Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Nomadland, and The Father. Nomadland wasn’t recognized by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which is where Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won. It seems like a sin to nominate The Father and not give it at least one Oscar. I think this will happen because the film that will be taking home the Academy Award is Nomadland. 

Best Original Screenplay

Judas and the Black Messiah. Screenplay by Will Berson, Shaka King; Story by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas
Minari, Lee Isaac Chung 
Promising Young Woman, Emerald Fennell 
Sound of Metal. Screenplay by Darius Marder, Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
The Trial of the Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin 

I have gone back and forth between Emerald Fennell and Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin’s only Academy Award was won back in 2011 for The Social Network. Fennell recently won the BAFTA and is currently riding a good wave of buzz for Promising Young Woman. But, based on what I have witnessed this awards season, the Oscar goes to Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman. 

Best Original Song

Fight for You, (Judas and the Black Messiah). Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas
Hear My Voice, (The Trial of the Chicago 7). Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
Húsavík, (Eurovision Song Contest). Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
Io Si (Seen), (The Life Ahead). Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
Speak Now, (One Night in Miami). Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

This one is really close to call. So, I am going to follow my heart and say Speak Now takes it. Witnessing Leslie Odom Jr get an Oscar and making One Night In Miami and Academy Award winning film is the least that the Academy could do after snubbing it from the best picture category. 

Best Original Score

Da 5 Bloods, Terence Blanchard 
Mank, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross 
Minari, Emile Mosseri 
News of the World, James Newton Howard 
Soul, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste 

I am still mad about Ludwig Göransson not getting a nomination for Tenet, which was my favourite score of 2020. The good news is that tied for first with Tenet is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ beautiful score from Soul. That being said, Soul’s sensational score wins and will mark exactly 10 years since the duo won their first Academy Award for the Social Network. 

Best Sound

Greyhound, Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
Mank, Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
News of the World, Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
Soul, Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker
Sound of Metal, Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh

For remarkable creativity, Sound of Metal wins this category. Sound of Metal’s use of sound is nothing short of extraordinary. This talented group managed to give the audience a taste of what it’s like walking in the main character’s shoes as he struggles to cope with going deaf and the aftermath that follows.  

Best Costume Design

Emma, Alexandra Byrne 
Mank, Trish Summerville 
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ann Roth 
Mulan, Bina Daigeler 
Pinocchio, Massimo Cantini Parrini

Emma and Mank deserve recognition for their costume design, but Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was a cut above the rest, no pun intended. Therefore, the Oscar goes to Ann Roth for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. 

Best Animated Short Film

Burrow (Disney Plus/Pixar)
Genius Loci (Kazak Productions) 
If Anything Happens I Love You (Netflix) 
Opera (Beasts and Natives Alike) 
Yes-People (CAOZ hf. Hólamói) 

I’ll be honest, I have only seen 2 films in this category. So, based on the one I preferred, I am choosing Netflix’s If Anything Happens, I Love You to win this category. 

Best Live-Action Short Film

Feeling Through 
The Letter Room 
The Present 
Two Distant Strangers 
White Eye 

I have not seen all the short films in this category. But, based on my knowledge and what I have read, The Letter Room would be what I would put my money on to win best live action short film. 

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah, Sean Bobbitt 
Mank, Erik Messerschmidt 
News of the World, Dariusz Wolski 
Nomadland, Joshua James Richards 
The Trial of the Chicago 7, Phedon Papamichael 

At first glance, this seemed like a no-brainer to me because Nomadland features some absolutely stunning imagery. While Mank presented us with something truly awe inspiring as the movie transports us to a different time and captures the look of that era perfectly. I like a good underdog, so I believe Mank will win this category. If it doesn’t prevail, Nomadland takes it. 

Best Documentary Feature

Collective, Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
Crip Camp, Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder
The Mole Agent, Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
My Octopus Teacher, Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster
Time, Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

I have been seeing My Octopus Teacher and Time popping up as the current frontrunners for this award. So, based on My Octopus Teacher enjoying a much higher resurgence, this is my predicted winner for best documentary feature. 

Best Documentary Short Subject

Colette, Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard
A Concerto Is a Conversation, Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
Do Not Split, Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
Hunger Ward, Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
A Love Song for Latasha, Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

Shorter documentaries are always harder to predict for me. I am not sure if I have ever gotten this right. So, here goes nothing, A Love Song For Latasha takes home the Academy Award. 

Best Film Editing

The Father, Yorgos Lamprinos
Nomadland, Chloé Zhao 
Promising Young Woman, Frédéric Thoraval 
Sound of Metal, Mikkel E.G. Nielsen 
The Trial of the Chicago 7, Alan Baumgarten 

I am torn between Sound of Metal and The Trial Of The Chicago 7. So, I am basing my decision on what I personally feel is better edited. Both films did a stellar job in this department, but I feel that The Trial Of The Chicago 7 edges out Sound Of Metal and takes home the Academy Award. 

Best International Feature Film

Another Round (Denmark) 
Better Days (Hong Kong)
Collective (Romania) 
The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia)
Quo Vadis, Aida?(Bosnia and Herzegovina) 

I feel confident in my choice for this category because this film’s director is among the names nominated for best director this year. Another Round without a doubt, will win. This film was a huge surprise for me, so if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and check it out. 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Emma, Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze
Hillbilly Elegy, Eryn Krueger Mekash, Patricia Dehaney, Matthew Mungle 
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson
Mank, Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams, Colleen LaBaff
Pinocchio, Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti

I want to take a moment to praise Emma for its makeup and hair because they did fabulous work in that film. Having said that, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom also did an exceptional job in that department, which is why they will be victorious in this category. The way this crew completely transformed Viola Davis is incredible.

Best Production Design

The Father. Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
Mank. Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale
News of the World. Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
Tenet. Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

News of the World and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom served as excellent vessels into the times being portrayed and Tenet achieved a future that felt real and could potentially exist someday. However, Mank felt like stepping into a time machine. They achieved something truly astounding and because of that, it will win the Oscar for this particular category. 

Best Visual Effects

Love and Monsters, Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox 
The Midnight Sky, Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
Mulan, Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
The One and Only Ivan, Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez
Tenet, Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher

I am so proud to give this Oscar to Tenet. This film blended special effects with practical effects so beautifully together that I honestly couldn’t tell them apart. This film deserved more nominations in major categories, but I would be happy to see it win this award and be able to call itself an Academy Award Winning movie. 

Last but not least… Best Picture

The Father (David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, producers)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, producers)
Mank (Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, producers)
Minari (Christina Oh, producer)
Nomadland (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, producers)
Promising Young Woman (Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, producers)
Sound of Metal (Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, producers)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, producers)

Last year’s Oscar found 2 films being the outright favourites to win the top prize. This year, based on already winning a total of 140 awards, it’s very clear to me that Nomadland will be winning the best picture Oscar. Winning the most awards doesn’t necessarily mean you will take the top prize. In this case, Nomadland deserves the honour just for the amount of work that Chloe Zhao and Frances McDormand did. 

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