Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

2021 Oscar Predictions: PRODUCTION DESIGN (September)

There usually isn’t much room for subtlety or nuance in the Oscar for Production Design so don’t expect Frances McDormand’s fall leaves plates from Nomadland to show up here. What we’ll see are huge, expensive productions with designs both tactile and computer generated to fill in the gaps. Warner Bros’ Dune and Netflix’s Mank should be able to find a place here, as they will with the majority of technical categories. I think, at least at this stage, Ammonite could find some below the line love as well.

Films with (mostly) single locations like Amazon’s One Night in Miami… and Death on the Nile could be outside shots and we still have plenty of completely unseen films like Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Hillbilly Elegy (both from Netflix) to make much of an educated guess.

Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Production Design for September. [UPDATED to reflect the just announced move of West Side Story to December 2021]

1. Mank (Netflix)
Donald Graham Burt (production designer), Jan Pascale (set decorator)

2. Dune (20th Century Studios) [moved to October 2021]
Patrice Vermette (production designer), Richard Roberts and Zsuzsanna Sipos (set

3. Mulan (Walt Disney Pictures)
Grant Major (production designer), Anne Kuljian (set decorator)

4. Ammonite (Neon)
Sarah Finlay (production designer), Sophie Hervieu (set decorator)

5. The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight Pictures)
Cristina Casali (production designer), Charlotte Dirickx (set decorator)

Other Contenders (alphabetical)

Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Wynn Thomas (production designer), Jeanette Scott (set decorator)

Death on the Nile (20th Century Studios)
Jim Clay (production designer), Abi Groves (set designer)

Emma. (Focus Features)
Kave Quinn (production designer), Stella Fox (set decorations)

Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
Molly Hughes (production designer), Merissa Lombardo (set decorator)

Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros)
Sam Lisenco (production designer), Rebecca Brown (set decorator)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Mark Ricker (production designer), Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton (set decorators)

News of the World (Universal Pictures)
David Crank (production designer), Elizabeth Keenan (set decorator)

One Night in Miami… (Amazon Studios)
Page Buckner (production designer), Janessa Hitsman (set decorator)

Respect (MGM/UA)
Ina Mayhew (production designer), Sarah Carter (decorator)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Shane Valentino (production designer), Andrew Baseman (set decorator)

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Paramount Pictures)
Daniel T. Dorrance (production designer), Pascale Deschênes (set decorator)

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