Awards Watch With MathTeacherMovies – March 8th, 2021

Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.

After all of 2020 and a sixth of 2021, the Oscar nominations will finally be here in one week. You have followed my analyses for the last several weeks, so here is my ambitious attempt at predicting the nominations! 

Best Picture

Trial of the Chicago 7

Nomadland

Minari

Mank

One Night in Miami

News of the World 

Promising Young Woman 

The Father 

Sound of Metal 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

The majority of these films are almost certain to be nominated. The wild card in my list is Sound of Metal: while the movie’s performances will likely be nominated, the film itself was not popular. Da 5 Bloods and Judas and the Black Messiah are most likely to be nominated in Metal’s place. They didn’t make my list because one was released too early to hold momentum and the other released too late to gain momentum with the Academy. 

Best Director

Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

David Fincher – Mank

Regina King – One Night in Miami 

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari 

Aaron Sorkin – Trial of the Chicago 7 

This is a difficult category to predict with Zhao and Fincher as the only official locks. Sorkin is fairly probable, although he’s not known for his directing. King and Chung are the first on the chopping block with Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Women ready to take their places as the Academy is unlikely to nominate three women. 

Best Actor

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal 

Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods 

Anthony Hopkins – The Father 

Gary Oldman – Mank

These five actors have been swimming around this category for quite some time, so there are no real surprises here. Delroy Lindo is the only long shot on the list as he has not received other nominations during this awards season, but the Academy should probably make things right. The sixth place nominee could be Steven Yeun for Minari which wouldn’t be the worst thing that happened 

Best Actress

Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman 

Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day – The United States vs Billie Holiday

Frances McDormand – Nomadland 

Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman 

Four of these women have been on most major awards lists and will definitely be here come the Oscars nominations. Although she is a newcomer to this list if you have been following my column, Andra Day’s Globes win should earn her a nomination here as well. There are rumblings that Kirby may not be nominated, but there is no one else that has a high enough chance to replace her with the exception of Amy Adams for Hillbilly Elegy who has been given little attention….even though she’s Amy Adams 

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen – Trial of the Chicago 7 

Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah 

Leslie Odom Jr – One Night Miami 

Paul Raci – Sound of Metal 

Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods

The three certainties are Cohen, Kaluuya, and Odom Jr. I would like to see Boseman and Raci nominated, but they were not consistently nominated for other awards this season. However, there isn’t much competition past this and therefore they all have a shot

Best Supporting Actress

Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy

Amanda Seyfried – Mank 

Olivia Colman – The Father

Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari 

Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman 

Burstyn is a long shot, but it’s difficult to imagine Jodie Foster in The Mauritanian getting the nomination over her. Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm has some buzz but it still seems too offbeat for a nomination and has lost a lot of momentum after the film won Globes for every other category but hers. 

Best Original Screenplay

Promising Young Woman

Trial of the Chicago 7

Minari 

Mank

Soul

Sound of Metal is getting a lot of attention and has a very high chance of getting the fifth spot for the nominations, but it felt too impossible for Soul to miss out on a nomination to leave it off my list. A Pixar film that explores the depths of life seems like a dead ringer for the nomination. 

Best Adapted Screenplay 

Nomadland

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

One Night in Miami

The Father

News of the World 

First Cow and I’m Thinking of Ending Things would be the more fun nominations and if the Oscars get a little bit crazy, one of those could slip in. However, these five films are absolute locks even if three of them are based off of plays, which is highly irregular for the Oscars.

Best Original Score

“Mank”

“The Midnight Sky”

“Minari”

“Soul”

“Tenet”

Mank, Soul, and Tenet will all be on the list. News of the World could possibly be on the list as it is in the midst of sweeping the technical awards, but it does not have a score that stands out as much as these other five. Minari and Midnight Sky have incredible scores and they certainly seem to have the better chance. 

Best Original Song

“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”

“Io Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”

“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”

“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

“Turntables” from “All In: The Fight for Democracy”

The potential nominees for this year are underwhelming. “Speak Now” and “Io Si” are the frontrunners with “Hear My Voice” getting on there for its association with Oscars-favorite Trial of the Chicago 7. “Turntables” has a shot because Janelle Monae is a popular artist and performed at the Oscars last year. “Husavik”, while unlikely to be nominated, would be fun and a great surprise. 

Best Documentary

“Collective”

“Boys State”

“Dick Johnson Is Dead”

“Time”

“Welcome to Chechnya”

This was the best year for documentaries with so many that not only qualify, but also have a chance of winning. Time is the only documentary film that I am certain will be nominated. The other four are truly wild cards.

Best International Feature

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Quo Vadis, Aida?”

Denmark, “Another Round”

France, “Two of Us”

Guatemala, “La Llorona”

Romania, “Collective”

Another Round is the clear front runner in this category and the other nominees, while they have been garnering a bit of attention lately, are just along for the ride.

Best Production Design

Mank

News of the World 

Mulan 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

Tenet

Mank, News of the World, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom are locked in because their set design was truly integral to the film. Midnight Sky had a great production design, but the film was not popular with cinephiles, so Mulan and Tenet will fill in the last two spots.  

Best Costume

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Emma 

News of the World

Mulan

The United States vs Billie Holiday 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Emma are the true standouts in costume, while News of the World and Mulan also have quite a bit of attention. The last spot is tricky; it could either go to Mank or The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Mank is the better movie, but Billie Holiday has the better costumes and therefore I am giving that the edge. 

Best Cinematography

Mank

Nomadland 

News of the World 

Tenet

Minari 

Mank and Nomadland are the two front runners. News of the World and Tenet also seem likely to be nominations. The last nomination spot is tricky and while it’s a long shot, Minari’s nomination seems to make the most sense. However, don’t be surprised by Judas and the Black Messiah or Da 5 Bloods taking that final spot. 

Best Animated Feature

Soul

Wolfwalkers 

Over the Moon

Onward

The Croods: A New Age

These are the only five best animated films that are worth a damn this year and while there are others that could get nominated, it would be surprising to see them there. 

Best Film Editing 

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Nomadland 

Mank 

The Father

News of the World 

This category is always synonymous with Best Picture and that is why the nominees are so close to the Best Picture nominees. There could be other nominees, but these seem to be the most certain. 

Best Visual Effects 

“Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn”

“The Midnight Sky”

“Mulan”

“Tenet”

“Welcome to Chechnya”

This was a hard category because not many films came out with special effects but the ones on this list are relatively impressive. Welcome to Chechnya would be an unexpected nomination for a documentary, but it might be the most important as the effects actually saved lives. 

Best Sound

Sound of Metal 

Tenet 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Soul

News of the World

Sound of Metal is the most definite nominee for this category and will easily be the win. Tenet will probably get a nomination even though its sound was the only damn thing you could hear in the movie. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Soul are obvious locks as they are both about music and those often get in. The final spot will most likely go to News of the World, but it would be interesting to see Midnight Sky or Greyhound on this list as well. 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn”

“Hillbilly Elegy”

“Pinocchio”

“One Night in Miami…”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a clear frontrunner and Hillbilly Elegy is a challenger, so they will definitely be on the list. While no one saw Pinocchio, the make up has been told to be beautiful with quite a lot of work put into it. One Night in Miami puts a lot of work into real life characters and Birds of Prey does the same with fantasy characters.  

One week from today, there will be one certainty: I will be insanely wrong about the majority of these awards. I don’t say that because I am humble; I say it because there are so many surprises that happen every year and that is exactly what I want and that makes things fun. See you next week a bit later than usual as I react to these lovely nominations!

Let me know what you think at @mathteachermovies on Instagram.

Follow Sean on Instagram at @MathTeacherMovies

What Do You Think?

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