As the granddaddy of all award shows airs this weekend on April 25, what sort of self respecting publication would we be if we did not give our own unsolicited opinion on who will take home Oscar gold? Follow along as I give my opinions on who should go home the winners, and who will actually end up stealing the show.
Best Picture Nominees
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Sound of Metal”
My pick for Best Picture: “Nomadland,” directed and written by Chloé Zhao.
Based on the award winning book of the same name, “Nomadland” takes a look at the nomadic lifestyle that has been on the rise in the last decade. Its themes of living in constant transition and loss underscore a powerful story that blurs the line between film and documentary — a large portion of the cast are real life nomads who play fictional versions of themselves. Frances McDormand gives a brilliant and heart warming performance, and the story overall leaves you feeling both struck to the core and with an odd sense of longing for adventure.
What I think will win: “Nomadland,” directed and written by Chloé Zhao.
I gave it all the praise it deserves and can not say much more other than it is certainly a must watch. At the time of publishing, it is currently available on Hulu. While other nominees such as “Judas and the Black Messiah” are equally as moving and captivating, according to industry professionals — such as entertainment and lifestyle magazine Variety — a good deal of politics has gone into who is at the front of the pack, and currently “Nomadland” towers above the rest.
Best Animated Feature Nominees
“Over the Moon”
“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
My pick for Best Animated Feature: “Onward,” directed by Dan Scanlon. Written by Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley and Keith Bunin.
I know, a controversial pick on my part. However, I have a soft spot for this film. The world building, character arcs and touching story about loss, acceptance and the importance of family is incredibly poignant. It might also have something to do with the fact “Onward” was the last film I saw in theaters before COVID-19 rendered most theater going experiences nonexistent.
What I think will win: “Soul,” directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers. Written by Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers.
While I personally enjoyed “Onward” just a bit more than “Soul,” I will concede that “Soul” is fundamentally a better film with a wider appeal. Pixar has a knack for creating emotional and powerful stories and maturely handles issues such as death and understanding one’s purpose in life with this film in particular. As much as I would love to see “Onward” win, “Soul” rightly deserves it.
Best Director Nominees
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher – “Mank”
Thomas Vinterberg – “Another Round”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
My pick for Best Director: Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland.”
As I previously mentioned, “Nomadland” was a fantastic ride that I believe most people will enjoy. Zhao was the perfect choice for the piece, and has created a film that in my opinion will be enjoyed for years to come. Not only does she deserve it, but with the recent years of #oscarssowhite, it would be nice to see a woman of color take home the prize.
Who I think will win: Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland.”
Zhao has got this in the bag in my opinion. With the film likely to win Best Picture, and with much of that due to the world and characters Zhao helped create, it would be criminal to not give her the award.
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominees
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman and Lee Kern.
“The Father,” screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller.
“Nomadland,” screenplay by Chloé Zhao.
“One Night in Miami,” screenplay by Kemp Powers.
“The White Tiger,” screenplay by Ramin Bahrani.
My pick for Best Adapted Screenplay: “Nomadland,” by Chloé Zhao.
I honestly believe that Oscar night 2021 will be the night of Zhao. Her talent is unmatched and her ability to adapt journalistic writing into a wonderful piece of cinema and a soon to be classic should not go unrecognized.
What I think will win: “Nomadland,” by Chloé Zhao.
The academy has been looking for an important piece to award, and this is the perfect film to earn that honor.
Best Original Screenplay Nominees
“Judas and the Black Messiah,” screenplay by Will Berson and Shaka King.
“Minari,” screenplay by Lee Isaac Chung.
“Promising Young Woman,” screenplay by Emerald Fennell.
“Sound of Metal,” screenplay by Darius Marder and Abraham Marder.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.
My pick for Best Screenplay: “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Generally speaking, I have heard that a lot of people really enjoyed this film. It’s timely, poignant and delivers on all levels a magnificent story. There has not been a lot of buzz around what I think is a strong film and it would be nice to see this movie win something. Currently this is its best chance to cause an upset and win as an underdog.
What I think will win: “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
I did a review on this film, and while it is not my personal favorite of the year, Aaron Sorkin is a juggernaut of a personality and writer. There has been a lot of good will toward his incredible script. While I have my own issues with this particular film, Sorkin has only won one Oscar despite being nominated for the award numerous times. This year, I feel the Academy will reward his excellent work across his career with a stellar script that may not be his best work.
I will only be naming the artist and the category, and why I believe they will walk home with Oscar gold.
Actor in a Leading Role: Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Nothing much I can say other than this posthumous award is well earned for the late Boseman. Not only is his performance truly incredible, but I think “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” deserves more recognition. Hopefully a win by Boseman will bring light to his amazing talents and also a beautiful film.
Actress in a Leading Role: Frances McDormand in “Nomadland.”
I simply love this film and apart from the incredible work Zhao did, the rest of the beauty is due to McDormand’s stellar turn as “Fern” — the newly widowed nomad who takes us all on a journey of loss, love and acceptance.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Sacha Baron Cohen in “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and Daniel Kaluuuya in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
I can not just pick one for this award, so I am excited to see which — if either — of these superb individuals will win. Both of these gentlemen were standouts in their respective films and both deserve praise for their performances.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Glenn Close in “Hillbilly Elegy.”
I will be honest, I have not seen this film. However, I think that Glenn Close is long overdue for her Oscar win. I normally am against the idea of awarding someone based on their career rather than their individual performance in a film, but Close is a tour de force and should be celebrated as such.
Overall, considering the hit the industry has taken because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was a great year for cinema and I eagerly await to see if my prediction skills cut the mustard. Until then, I encourage you all to watch as many of these incredible films and performances as you can.