It has been 15 months since the 2020 Oscar nominations were announced. Am I the only one who feels like it has been 15 years? During the pandemic time both flies and crawls at the same time. I will say that it is nice to get back to some sense of normalcy. In that vein, it’s time for my Oscar nominations predictions prior to their announcement tomorrow!
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Promising Young Woman
One Night in Miami
Judas and the Black Messiah
Sound of Metal
With many awards bait movies pulled this year due to the closure of movie theaters, the list of Best Picture nominees has been pretty steady in all of the pre-Oscar awards. Nomadland, Minari, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and One Night in Miami have all been nominated for the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild Awards, and the AFI 10 films of 2020. Promising Young Woman and Judas and the Black Messiah have also received multiple nominations. These eight films will probably be among the nominees announced tomorrow. It is the last two spots that are proving difficult. Sound of Metal did not receive a Golden Globe nomination, but in the past few weeks it has picked up momentum with a Producers Guild nomination. The last spot is really tricky. It is between Da 5 Bloods, The Mauritanian, Soul, The Father, and, amazingly, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Borat surprised everyone by getting a nomination from the Producers Guild, many of whom are part of the Academy voting body. The Mauritanian and The Father both received Best Picture nominations from the BAFTAs, which gives them a leg up. Da 5 Bloods and Soul both started the awards season with a lot of hype, but the pre-Oscar awards have not always recognized these films. I am going to take a leap and say that The Mauritanian will get the last slot.
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian
I am going to already predict that Chadwick Boseman is going to win a posthumous Oscar for his final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Not just be nominated, but he will actually win the award. His nomination is a clear lock in this category. Not only was he excellent in his role as Levee, but it is a lifetime achievement award to a talented actor taken too soon. Riz Ahmed blew everyone away as Reuban, a heavy metal drummer who slowly loses his hearing. He should receive a nomination, no questions asked. Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins have both been receiving steady nominations for their roles in Mank and The Father, respectively. The last spot I suspect with go to Tahar Rahim for his portrayal of a Guantanamo Bay detainee trying to get due process. It is possible that Steven Yuen could sneak in that last spot for his role in Minari, but I think much of that will be determined on if the Academy is as kind to Minari as it was to last year’s Parasite.
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Oscar favorites Frances McDormand and Viola Davis can rest assured that they will receive nominations this year. Their work has been widely acclaimed and they have received Golden Globe and SAG nominations. McDormand has also received a BAFTA nomination. Vanessa Kirby has also received a lot of buzz for her work as a grieving mother in Pieces of a Woman. She also received a bump from the BAFTA nomination she received last week. Carey Mulligan has consistently received praise for her performance in Promising Young Woman, so I am going to give her a spot here. The last spot is the toss-up. Andra Day surprised everyone by winning the Golden Globe a couple of weeks ago throwing this whole category into turmoil. She could be booted by fellow Globe winner Rosamond Pike for her role in I Care a Lot. Pike’s win was another big surprise to all awards prognosticators. As a student of history, I am going to say that Andra Day will follow in Diana Ross’s footsteps and receive a nomination for her performance of the immensely talented, but deeply troubled Billie Holiday.
Best Supporting Actor
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Leslie Odom, Jr. One Night in Miami
Jared Leto, The Little Things
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
Frontrunners in this race are Daniel Kaluuya, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Leslie Odom, Jr. These three have been on an upward trajectory for the entire awards season for their portrayals of three historical figures. Jared Leto has surprised everyone with Golden Globe and SAG nominations for his performance in The Little Things. His SAG nomination really makes me feel like he has clinched a spot with the other nominees. For this last spot, it between four actors: Paul Raci for Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman for Da 5 Bloods, David Strathairn for Nomadland, or Alan Kim for Minari. Sound of Metal has been receiving a lot of good press in the last few weeks and the PGA nomination may help boost Raci into a nomination. Early in the race there was talk that Boseman would receive two nominations, one for Ma Rainey and one for Da 5 Bloods. However, as I previously mentioned, Da 5 Bloods has been losing momentum. While the films Nomadland and Minari continue to receive great buzz, I don’t know if that buzz is enough to push Strathairn or Kim into a nomination. I am going with Paul Raci to snag that last spot.
Best Supporting Actress
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Olivia Coleman, The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
The big surprise of this awards season is the consistent love that newcomer Maria Bakalova has received for her work in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. I will say that I have been surprised as I always thought that this kind of film would be completely overlooked by the Academy. However, at this point the surprise would be if Bakalova did not receive a nomination. Even though Hillbilly Elegy did not live up to the hype it received, Glenn Close’s performance was the best part of the entire film. She will most likely receive her eighth Oscar nomination (and hopefully her first win). Olivia Coleman and Anthony Hopkins’s work in The Father has been widely praised. Coleman’s profile has been raised significantly due to her Oscar win a few years ago and her performance as Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown. This should give her a leg-up in this category. There are at least five other actresses that could round out the last two spots on this list. I am going with Yuh-Jung Youn for her great performance as the foul-mouthed grandmother in Minari, and Amanda Seyfried’s wonderful work as Marion Davies in Mank. But don’t be surprised if dark horse Jodie Foster kicks one of them out of this category.
Want to see if I am right? The Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow, March 15 at 8:19 am EST.