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Mon. May 25th, 2020

2021 Oscar Predictions (March): Where Do We Go From Here?

SXSW canceled. Tribeca postponed. Cannes on the brink of postponement or cancelation. No new film releases until….? The film industry has never been in a more dire state of emergency as it is now with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging its way through the globe, impacting every element of how this year’s crop of entertainment will pan out.

I debated all month about even doing March Oscar predictions. How do I even go about them? Should I? Is it gauche? Ultimately I found the answer to be yes to all but what else am I going to to do, right? It’s kind of what I do. I figured that as we’ve all had to upend our lives in some way that an air of normalcy was required. So, here we go.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who puts on the Golden Globes, announced yesterday that it will be flexible in both its eligibility requirements and how its members are required to view films. The HFPA has temporarily suspended the rule that a film must be screened in a theater or screening room for journalists. Distributors now may contact the HFPA to arrange a screening date on the official HFPA calendar that meets the timing requirements of the Golden Globes eligibility rules or must provide all 90+ HFPA members with a screening link or a DVD copy of the film so that it can be viewed at home. Rules for a film’s release have also been tweaked. The HFPA will now consider titles that had a theatrical release planned to begin in Los Angeles between that window of March 15 and April 30 but were also made available through pay-per-view services.

So far, the film academy has not made any announcements but their annual meeting of the Board of Governors, which occurs on April 14, will certainly deal with this head on. We could see some major changes as an answer to the global pandemic, including possible flexibility for streamed films. Since the rules state that for a film to be eligible for the Oscars it must screen daily for one week in a Los Angeles theater before December 31, the film academy may feel that date is so far off that they’ll just let the chips fall where they may and whoever gets their film finished and screened is on the lucky side of history.

With so much of the future up in the air and literally changing every day, my Oscar predictions going forward will not include any films that have yet to start production – like David O. Russell’s Amsterdam (working title) starring Margot Robbie, Christian Bale and Michael B. Jordan for 20th Century or Adam McKay’s asteroid comedy Don’t Look Up with Jennifer Lawrence for Netflix. Films that were halted in early to mid-production like Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley for Searchlight and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel for 20th Century will also sit out of predictions until the air clears. I’ve also removed Warner Bros Dune remake from Denis Villeneuve for the time time due to its potentially long and complicated post-production.

Here are my top 10, unranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for March.

BEST PICTURE

  • Ammonite (Neon)
  • Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
  • Mank (Netflix)
  • Minari (A24)
  • News of the World (Universal)
  • Next Goal Wins (Searchlight)
  • Nomadland (Searchlight)
  • On the Rocks (A24/Apple+)
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • West Side Story (20th Century)

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Ammonite – Francis Lee (Neon)
  • Da 5 Bloods – Spike Lee (Netflix)
  • Hillbilly Elegy – Ron Howard (Netflix)
  • Mank – David Fincher (Netflix)
  • George Clooney – The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
  • News of the World – Paul Greengrass (Universal)
  • Nomadland – Chloé Zhao (Searchlight)
  • On the Rocks – Sofia Coppola (A24/Apple+)
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Aaron Sorkin (Paramount)
  • West Side Story – Steven Spielberg (20th Century)

BEST ACTOR

  • Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
  • George Clooney – The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
  • Adam Driver – Annette (Amazon)
  • Ansel Elgort – West Side Story (20th Century)
  • Tom Hanks – News of the World (Universal)
  • Anthony Hopkins – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Michael Fassbender – Next Goal Wins (Searchlight)
  • Bill Murray – On the Rocks (A24/Apple+)
  • Gary Oldman – Mank (Netflix)
  • Will Smith – King Richard (Warner Bros)

BEST ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
  • Ana de Armas – Blonde (Netflix)
  • Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)
  • Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
  • Jennifer Hudson – Respect (MGM)
  • Sophia Loren – The Life Ahead (Netflix)
  • Frances McDormand – Nomadland (Searchlight)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Kate Winslet – Ammonite (Neon)
  • Rachel Zegler – West Side Story (20th Century)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Demián Bichir – Land (Focus Features)
  • Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Charles Dance – Mank (Netflix)
  • Richard E. Grant – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Searchlight)
  • Lucas Hedges – French Exit (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
  • Tom Pelphrey – Mank (Netflix)
  • Marlon Wayans – Respect (MGM)
  • Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
  • Toni Collette – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)
  • Olivia Colman – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Ariana DeBose – West Side Story (20th Century)
  • Rita Moreno – West Side Story (20th Century)
  • Elisabeth Moss – Next Goal Wins (Searchlight)
  • Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite (Neon)
  • Amanda Seyfried – Mank (Netflix)
  • Meryl Streep – The Prom (Netflix)
  • Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari (A24)
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