93rd Academy Awards Predictions
After being delayed months due to the pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards are finally upon us, signaling the end of the longest awards season in recent history. With the votes tallied up and the winners being announced this Sunday, here are my predictions for all twenty-three categories, with analysis for the above-the-line categories. Hopefully, this information will help you win your Oscar pool and give you bragging rights over your friends and family.
*Note: There are multiple precursor award shows leading up to the Oscars that factor heavily when making predictions. Notable precursor awards are the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Producers Guild of America (PGA), Critics Choice and British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
Best Live-Action Short: The Letter Room
Best Animated Short: If Anything Happens I Love You
Best Documentary Short: A Concerto Is a Conversation
Best Documentary Feature: My Octopus Teacher
Best International Feature: Another Round
Best Animated Feature: Soul
Best Visual Effects: Tenet
Best Sound: Sound of Metal
Best Original Score: Soul
Best Original Song: "Speak Now"
Best Production Design: Mank
Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best Costume Design: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best Film Editing: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Best Cinematography: Nomadland
Best Supporting Actor
NOMINEES: Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Leslie Odom Jr., Paul Raci, Sacha Baron Cohen
Here for his second time after being nominated a few years ago for Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya is the clear frontrunner to win for his biographical role as the revolutionary Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. Even with the potential of vote-splitting due to his co-star LaKeith Stanfield being nominated here, Kaluuya has swept the competition and won every precursor award he has been nominated for.
Best Supporting Actress
NOMINEES: Amanda Seyfried, Glenn Close, Maria Bakalova, Olivia Colman, Yuh-Jung Youn
On nomination morning, it seemed that any of these five women had a real shot to win. Now, it seems that Yuh-Jung Youn is the favorite after her back-to-back SAG and BAFTA wins. Maria Bakalova has ridden the Borat Subsequent Moviefilm hype train all season, but that train seems to be coming to a stop just short of the final prize. Glenn Close’s losing streak is expected to reach eight, which ties her with Peter O’Toole for the most acting nominations without a win.
Best Leading Actor
NOMINEES: Anthony Hopkins, Chadwick Boseman, Gary Oldman, Riz Ahmed, Steven Yeun
Chadwick Boseman’s posthumous role as Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom has been steamrolling the season, winning the Golden Globe, SAG, and Critics Choice. Anthony Hopkins has put up stiff competition as he has received career-best praise for his role in The Father, and won the BAFTA in an upset. With this being the only time the Academy will have to reward Boseman’s career, I don’t see him losing.
Best Leading Actress
NOMINEES: Andra Day, Carey Mulligan, Frances McDormand, Vanesa Kirby, Viola Davis
This year’s Best Actress race has to be one of the most insane and complicated acting races in Oscars history. Four of the five nominees have won a precursor award: Day won the Golden Globe, Mulligan won the Critics Choice, Davis won SAG, and McDormand won BAFTA. The only sure thing I can say is that Vanessa Kirby definitely won’t win. Mulligan is my choice to win for now, but I’ll constantly be flipping between her and Davis until the last minute.
Best Original Screenplay
NOMINEES: Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7
This initially seemed to be a battle between Emerald Fennell’s darkly satirical Promising Young Woman and Aaron Sorkin’s timely courtroom drama The Trial of the Chicago 7. Unfortunately for Sorkin, his early win at the Golden Globes was his peak as the momentum has completely shifted towards Fennell. She has consecutively won the Critics Choice, BAFTA, and Writers Guild awards, giving her the clear advantage heading into the night. Plus, Sorkin is a previous winner and multiple-time nominee in this category, giving voters another reason to reward a fresh face like Fennell.
Best Adapted Screenplay
NOMINEES: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, The Father, The White Tiger
Nomadland seemed to be running away with this category early in the season, but Florian Zeller’s The Father has picked up some steam recently and has just as good of a chance to win. Nomadland isn’t the conventional screenplay winner, as the film favors minimal dialogue and improvisation. The Father, on the other hand, is exactly the type of screenplay that the Academy often awards, as it is a talky adaptation of a popular play that allows its actors to relish in the material. It’s a close call to make, but I’m sticking with Nomadland to brave it out.
NOMINEES: Chloé Zhao, David Fincher, Emerald Fennell, Lee Isaac Chung, Thomas Vinterberg
While Chloé Zhao has competition for her screenplay for Nomadland', she is the overwhelming favorite to win for her directing. Like Kaluuya, she hasn’t lost a precursor award all year, with her naturalistic and sensitive style receiving universal acclaim. There also isn’t a clear second place dark horse. She will join Kathryn Bigelow as the only women to win Best Director since the Academy's inception in 1927.
Best Motion Picture
NOMINEES: Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Father, The Trial of the Chicago 7
The race for Best Picture hasn’t been much of a fight this year, with Nomadland sweeping the competition and picking up every award in sight. It’s not your usual Oscar-bait winner, but not even the most stingy voter can deny the incredible and authentic work that Zhao and McDormand have put into the film. Minari and The Trial of the Chicago 7 are still very much in the fight, but neither of them has the precursor evidence to convince me they can get the come-from-behind win. Like the directing record, this will be the second time a film directed by a woman wins Best Picture.