Oscars 2021 Predictions

April 23, 2021

It is that time of the year again; the Oscars are on this weekend. In a year where not a lot of big-budget projects were released, this year’s race for the most desirable award in the cinema industry will be an interesting one. The award ceremony is on Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. Here are my predictions and personal picks for the major categories: 

Best International Feature

Nominees: 

“Collective” (Romania)

“Another Round” (Denmark)

“Better Days” (Hong Kong)

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

“Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia Herzegovina)

Who Will Probably Win?

While Romania had some memorable entries in the past years like “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days” or “Sieranevada,” this year’s “Collective” is the first Romanian movie to be actually nominated for an Oscar and it is really close to being the first Oscar winner of the country. The movie successfully blends the thriller genre into a documentary and reveals a huge scandal about Romanian healthcare system.   

Who Do I Think Should Win?

This may be a subjective opinion, but I would pick Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round” for this award. Vinterberg is one of my favorite European directors and “Another Round” is another masterpiece carefully crafted by the Danish auteur. The movie follows four high school teachers who hypothesize that having a certain amount of alcohol in their bodies would enhance their performances in school. The movie features an incredible performance by the beloved Mads Mikkelsen, which was inexcusably snubbed in the acting category, and one of the most touching final scenes I have seen in the last decade.

Best Animated Feature

Nominees

“Onward”

“Soul”

“Wolfwalkers”

“Over the Moon”

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

Who Will Probably Win?

The Academy loves honoring Pixar simply because they are the best in the animation business. No other studio can compete with the level of animation that is being produced by the Pixar studios. They have two nominations this year, “Onward” and “Soul,” with the latter being the stronger candidate for the award. Film critics seem to agree that Soul is not only the best Pixar animation this year, but also one of the best the studio has ever produced.

Who Do I Think Should Win?

“Wolfwalkers.” The level of animation technology in the Apple+ original is very primitive compared to Pixar’s. However, this movie is trying something different, and the Academy should recognize this. Besides a very good story following a young girl trying to adjust to her community, the movie uses the advantages of animation perfectly despite its limited opportunities. There have been only six non-Disney/Pixar Best Animated Feature winners in the last 20 years, and it might be the time to increase that number. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees

“Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm”

“Nomadland”

“The Father”

“One Night in Miami”

“The White Tiger”

Who Will Probably Win?

This is a tight one. However, I am going to predict Zhao’s “Nomadland” because of its victories in other major award ceremonies. “Nomadland” is definitely an interesting choice for this award because the writing heavily relies on the experience of the real people appearing in the film. The movie almost acts like a documentary about American nomads, and it is definitely a challenge to come up with a screenplay like this. 

Who Do I Think Should Win?

If I had the say, I would pick “One Night in Miami.” The movie imagines a conversation between four historical African American figures: Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, and it is the only movie among the nominees that shines out with its writing the most. Although the screenplay is adapted from a book of the same name, it contains a lot of originality as Kemp Powers reimagines most of the dialogue in the original book.

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees

“Trial of the Chicago 7”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Minari”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

Who Will Probably Win? 

The race for adapted screenplay award was tight because none of the nominees drew attention to their writing. The race for original screenplay award is tight because all of the nominees shine with their writing. “Promising Young Woman,” however, is the closest to taking the Oscar statue home because of its fresh and well executed premise. It is definitely an outstanding script but I personally found it slightly flawed as I felt that the narrative that was established throughout the movie called for a different ending.

Who Do I Think Should Win?

Even though it does a pretty bad job presenting historical facts by oversimplifying the events that happened, Aaron Sorkin’s writing in “Trial of the Chicago 7” is top-tier like any other Sorkin movie. It wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that he is the best writer working in Hollywood currently and this movie is another entry to his series of nearly perfect courtroom dramas. While I would agree “Promising Young Woman” is a pretty fair choice for this award, if “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is going to be awarded for anything in this ceremony it should be for its writing.  

Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees

Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

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”)

Who Will Probably Win?

Daniel Kaluuya seems to be the strongest candidate with his wins in SAG, Critics Choice, Golden Globes and BAFTA. His film “Judas and the Black Messiah” had serious issues with character development but his performance as Fred Hampton was definitely above average.

Who Do I Think Should Win?

Delroy Lindo from “Da 5 Bloods.” He is not nominated and it is a whole different story. Paul Raci, on the other hand, delivers one of those performances where you know it deserves an Oscar but there is no chance of the Academy actually recognizing his performance. With very little dialogue, he delivers one of the most effortless and natural performances of the past few years.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominees 

Maria Bakalova (“Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm”)

Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)

Olivia Colman (“The Father”)

Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”)

Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”)

Who Will Probably Win?

“Minari’s” Yuh-Jung Youn will easily take this award home. Her performance as the grandmother was at the heart of “Minari,” making it the bittersweet movie it is. Even though she doesn’t join the cast until later in the film, once she enters the stage she is the center of attention.

Who Do I Think Should Win?

Yuh-Jung Youn. She deserves it.  

Best Director

Nominees

Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)

David Fincher (“Mank”)

Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)

Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)

Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)

Who Will Probably Win?

Chloe Zhao. The first Asian American woman to be nominated for a directing Oscar is very close to be the first winner as well. Her work has been steadily improving since “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” and she finally got the recognition she deserved. She is one of the most promising young directors working in Hollywood right now.

Who Do I Think Should Win?

Zhao is a pretty good choice and she is probably the strongest candidate. But I just want to mention my love for Thomas Vinterberg once again. While I agree “Another Round” is not his best film, the directorial effort is still mesmerizing. I wouldn’t object to Zhao winning the award, she deserves it anyway, but I would love to see Vinterberg do an acceptance speech on stage.

Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees

Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)

Gary Oldman (“Mank”)

Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)

Steven Yeun (“Minari”)

Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)

Who Will Probably Win?

The Academy will be emotional here and award Boseman, who tragically passed away last August. His performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which sadly happened to be his last, was arguably the best of his career. However, I didn’t find his performance enough to beat his most serious opponent who is…

Who Do I Think Should Win?

Anthony Hopkins. To be fair, having him in this category is unfair for the other nominees. His performance as the old father suffering from dementia is breathtaking and should be a role model for anyone who is interested in acting. It is incredible how Hopkins still manages to undertake such a role at the age of 83.  

Actress in a Leading Role

Nominees

Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)

Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)

Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)

Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”)

Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)

Who Will Probably Win?

This is an open race with no certain frontrunners. Davis won the SAG award, while Day won the Golden Globe, Mulligan won the Critics Choice Award and McDormand won the BAFTA. It looks like every nominee has an equal chance of winning the award, so my guess would be Frances McDormand simply because her movie is the best among the other nominated movies.

Who Do I Think Should Win?

Viola Davis’s theatrical performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is one step ahead for me. She is no stranger to the Academy Awards, so she deserves another recognition from the Academy. One thing to note, however: if Boseman ends up winning the Best Actor award, it will be the first time a movie won both the actor and actress Oscars since 23 years ago when Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both triumphed for “As Good As It Gets.” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is not nominated for the Best Picture Award, unlike “As Good As It Gets,” so the possibility of a double win is very low.  

Best Picture

Nominees

“Mank”

“Minari”

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Nomadland”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Who Will Probably Win?

“Nomadland” seems to be leading the race, as it collected all the major awards other than the Academy Award. The themes in “Nomadland” seem to be parallel with the past winners of the biggest honor in the Oscars, so the movie has a pretty good chance of winning it. It is definitely a good exploration of capitalism and its effect on individuals. 

Who Do I Think Should Win?

I’d like to see the Academy honoring a movie that thinks outside the box, especially in a year where not many big-budget features are racing for the Oscar. With its refreshing narrative on dementia, “The Father” definitely deserves some recognition. Florian Zeller’s imaginative take on dementia paired with Hopkins’s masterful performance makes the otherwise boring premise one of the best films of the year. 

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