We’re finally getting our first looks at Netflix’s fall and winter slate with trailers for Hillbilly Elegy, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Mank and the streamer is set to possibly dominate the Best Picture race in a way we haven’t seen from a single studio in decades.
We also have A24 looking to return to Best Picture with Minari. The indie studio has only found itself back in the BP race once since winning for 2016’s Moonlight (2017’s Lady Bird) and Lee Isaac Chung’s deeply personal and very specific take on the immigrant experience is exactly the kind of thing that pushed Moonlight to its shocking upset. The only thing missing is a release date, which I expect to be forthcoming. Plus, by the time new predictions come out we’ll either have a new president or be stuck with the one we have now. The results of the November 3 election will inevitably impact how voters vote, it happened in 2016, it will happen again.
Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros) drops after the studio undated the film and my picture and director lineups match for the moment. But, there’s a lot of wiggle room here, especially for something like Disney/Pixar’s Soul to become the first animated film nominated for Best Picture since 2010’s Toy Story 3.
As in previous charts, my Best Picture list is unranked and alphabetized (as is Best Director) to give a bit more breathing room to what I feel are this season’s contenders. While I think that, as of right now, the race is probably between Mank and Searchlight Pictures’ Nomadland, how we see the race can often be too myopic and this, of any year, should give voters choices they might not normally consider. I will have ranked predictions as the season continues.
Here are my 2021 Oscar predictions in Best Picture for October.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – new entry this month
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Jon Kilik, Spike Lee, Beatriz Levin, Lloyd Levin (producers)
The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
Philippe Carcassonne, Simon Friend, Jean-Louis Livi, David Parfitt, Christophe Spadone (producers)
Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Erica Huggins, Karen Lunder (producers)
Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Chloé Zhao (producers)
One Night in Miami… (Amazon Studios)
Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder, Jody Klein (producers)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Stuart M. Besser, Matt Jackson, Marc Platt, Tyler Thompson (producers)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Todd Black, Denzel Washington, Dany Wolf (producers)
David Fincher, Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth, Douglas Urbanski (producers)
Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Christina Oh (producers)
News of the World (Universal Pictures)
Gary Goetzman, Gregory Goodman, Gail Mutrux (producers)
Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (producers)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros)
Charles D. King, Ryan Coogler, Shaka King (producers)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)
Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy (producers)
On the Rocks (A24/Apple+)
Sofia Coppola, Youree Henley (producers)
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Ben Browning, Emerald Fennell, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara, Ashley Fox (producers)
Scott Bernstein, Harvey Mason Jr. (producers)
Dana Murray (producer)
Tenet (Warner Bros)
Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas (producers)
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Paramount Pictures)
Lee Daniels, Jordan Fudge, Tucker Tooley, Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Pamela Oas Williams (producers)