Awards Watch With MathTeacherMovies – April 19th, 2021: Sean’s Final Picks

Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.

And Sean’s final picks for the 2021 Academy Awards are:

BEST PICTURE

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Mank”

“Minari”

Predicted Winner: “Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

While there is always room for an upset, there is no doubt that Nomadland is winning Best Picture for this year’s Oscars,  due to the majority of the previous awards of this season having given their top prize to Nomadland. 

This is a very uncharacteristic Best Picture frontrunner as its accessibility is mainly for the cinephile and not the audience member. There is a chance that something else could possibly spoil but it’s highly unlikely.

DIRECTOR

Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Predicted Winner: Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

Nomadland is certain for Best Picture and while there is the possibility of an upset in that category, there is no chance of anyone else winning Best Director except for Chloe Zhao. She created a spectacular movie that is visually striking but also won every possible award needed for her to easily win the award on the big night. 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”

Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Steven Yeun, “Minari”

After his BAFTA win, many people are supporting the theory of a possible Anthony Hopkins upset and while it’s an interesting point, Chadwick Boseman has a strong performance, a stronger narrative, and several previous wins. Boseman will easily be winning this award. 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Predicted Winner: 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”

This is the most impossible category to predict. Viola Davis seems the most prominent chance of winning the SAG award. However, a film winning both Best Actor and Actress does not often happen. (The last was in 1997). She also has the narrative of becoming the only black woman with multiple Oscars and the second black woman to win a Best Actress Oscar. Truly though, the majority of the other nominees have a clear shot at the win. 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

Olivia Colman, “The Father”

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Predicted Winner: Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”

Up until a few weeks ago, this category was as indecipherable as Best Actress but then Youn Yuh-jung started winning some of the recent precursor awards and she has become a pretty steady front runner. Minari is beloved by the Academy but may not win many other awards so not only is Youn’s performance magnetic enough for the win but this is also the way of honoring the movie. 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Predicted Winner: 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”

There were many different front runners throughout this season but once Daniel Kaluuya came onto the scene everything stopped and all attention went to him. He mesmerized audiences and critics alike and has won the majority of awards he is up for and will be winning the Oscar.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Borat Subsequent MovieFilm”

Predicted Winner: “The Father”

“Nomadland”

“One Night in Miami”

“The White Tiger”

Nomadland was the frontrunner due to all its popularity in many other categories, but The Father had a late release and surge in popularity and there’s a desire for this film to grab a win somewhere and the Screenplay feels the most appropriate. 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Minari”

Predicted Winner: “Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Aaron Sorkin is no stranger to this award. However, Trial of the Chicago 7 has lost a lot of momentum in many categories. Promising Young Woman in the meantime has been surging in popularity and is being heralded for possible upsets in many high level categories. While those won’t be realized, it is the front runner and the likely winner in this category. 

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

Predicted Winner: “Another Round” – Denmark

“Better Days” – Hong Kong

“Collective” – Romania

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” – Tunisia

Qu Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nothing is touching Another Round in this category, nothing even close. Not only was this film given an unexpected Best Director nomination, it was already the frontrunner in several other awards.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Collective”

“Crip Camp”

“The Mole Agent”

Predicted Winner: “My Octopus Teacher”

“Time”

In recent memory, this is the strangest direction that this category has gone. Many unforgettable documentaries were not even nominated and even of the nominees a nature documentary called My Octopus Teacher is going to win. It has the most popularity and wide appeal with many that have been passing the word of mouth, giving it plenty of attention in the spotlight. 

ORIGINAL SONG

“Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”

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

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

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

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

While “Speak Now” is a solid prediction because it is sung by someone nominated this year and “Io Si (Seen)” could also win as it is written by Diane Warren who has been nominated without a win twelve times. 

However, the best choice and the most popular is “Husavik” as it is from a popular movie and is a memorable song from that movie. While it doesn’t have many previous acknowledgments, it has enough in the likability department.  

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Onward”

“Over the Moon”

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

Predicted Winner: “Soul”

“Wolfwalkers”

The common narrative is that Pixar movies win this category and there will be no deviation from that theory this year. Soul is not only a Pixar film that was nominated this year but it is widely beloved and collected several precursor awards.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“The Father”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Predicted Winner: “Mank”

“News of the World”

“Tenet”

Many of these technical awards are a way to recognize specific contributions and sometimes there are to recognize the movie. This is an example of both. Mank is not going to be that lucky for the above the line awards, but it has the chance to pick up a few technicals and Production Design is the best chance for Mank to have an Oscar.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Mank”

“News of the World”

Predicted Winner: “Nomadland”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Usually, annoyingly, and without question, this category’s win goes to the black and white film and while Mank fits that qualification and does actually have great cinematography, Nomadland is being praised for its visual style and therefore deserves and will receive the win.

COSTUME DESIGN

Predicted Winner: “Emma”

“Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom”

“Mank”

“Mulan”

“Pinocchio”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom seems like the greatest threat in this category and a few other technical categories, but the costume design for Emma has been loved, the campaign has been fierce, and the period piece costumes always get the most attention, this time deservedly so. 

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND

“Greyhound”

“Mank”

“News of the World”

“Soul”

Predicted Winner: “Sound of Metal”

Of all the technicals, this is the largest slam dunk prediction. Sound of Metal managed background noise and silence as plot points and characters that move every moment of the pace of the movie. How this film handled their sound is the exact reason why this category exists. 

ORIGINAL SCORE

“Da 5 Bloods”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“News of the World”

Predicted Winner: “Soul”

Original Score is undergoing the unique situation of two nominees with the same composers in Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor and while they should win the Oscar for Mank, they will be winning it for Soul which is also a great score and having Jon Batiste win along with them in Soul will make it all the more sweeter. 

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Love and Monsters”

Predicted Winner: “The Midnight Sky”

“Mulan”

“The One and Only Ivan”

“Tenet”

Everyone is going to say this will go to Tenet because of its mass popularity, but Tenet was poorly campaigned due to disagreements with Nolan and the studio. While, The Midnight Sky, was virtually despised its known and praised for its effects and it sounds like the kind of upset this year which makes sense.

FILM EDITING

“The Father”

“Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

Predicted Winner: “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

The Trial of the Chicago 7 was the Oscar hot shot for the beginning of the season yet its momentum began to slow more and more. It has the chance of walking out of here without a single win, but if it does grab a win it will be for it’s editing. 

While it was by the book, it did influence the intensity of some scenes and the comedy of others and really did help for the pace of the movie. While it may not get anything else, this is what it should get. 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Emma”

“Hillbilly Elegy”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Mank”

Predicted Winner: “Pinocchio”

People need to remember something about this category, it can be crazy and some wild wins happen. While there are some nominations that are popular and make sense, there is the movie, Pinnochio that no one saw yet and still has amazing makeup. Do a few quick image searches of this recent Pinocchio movie and realize that it is worthy of the win. 

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Burrow”

“Genius Loci”

Predicted Winner: “If Anything Happens I Love You”

“Opera”

“Yes-People”

The one short film that everyone is talking about is If Anything Happens I Love You, it’s been seen by many and it’s relevant to today. It’s a beautiful and devastating emotional short film that has the qualifications. 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Feeling Through”

“The Letter Room”

“The Present”

Predicted Winner: “Two Distant Strangers”

“White Eye”

These categories are always tricky at their lack of viewership. However, a few of them have been put on the radar of a wider audience. The most popular is Two Distant Strangers which is creative and relevant but also divisive. Regardless of the debates it’s launched, it has a message that makes you think and seems like it was the most attention and you will probably get the win. 

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“Colette”

“A Concerto Is a Conversation”

“Do Not Split”

“Hunger Ward”

Predicted Winner: “A Love Song For Latasha”

There are a couple of interesting documentary shorts on here that have stirred quite a bit of emotion. However, A Love Song for Latasha delivers in style and in substance, addressing an unfortunate event with a message still relevant today. 

Follow Sean on Instagram at @MathTeacherMovies

What Do You Think?

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