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Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

Too Early Academy Award Nomination Predictions


Too Early Academy Award Nomination Predictions by Guy Malone, Researcher

This time of year, we're gnashing our teeth and/or beating our breasts, trying to decide what films are worth seeing as we begin the mad dash toward Awards season.  After all, we're not in the one percent, so we base our movie spending on which ones are the most highly regarded.  If you are the same, you are in the right place, because we have meticulously researched the field.

Some of the films listed below are already available through streaming in the comfort of your home, but many will be crammed into theaters in the next eight weeks, or so.  To get brief plot synopses and release dates, you can cross-reference the movies below with previously published guides on this blog, specifically:
September 1 - September and October Movie Guide
October 31 - Fall and Holiday Movie Guide

Below is our look at the contenders as they stand in 12 of the most high-profile categories.
NB: Within each subgroup, films/individuals are listed alphabetically, not as we predict them to finish:

BEST PICTURE - (maximum of ten nominees)
For a while, even Oscar seemed to have no idea what it was doing in the Best Picture category.  First, it decided to split it into two sub-divisions--ironically referred by some as "blockbusters" and "real films."  For a while, it also looked like there would be a bumper crop of contenders in all major categories, but things are beginning to crystallize as we are beginning to see films.
Potential surprises:  First Man and A Star is Born could face backlash; Roma might be confined to the Foreign Film category; the yet-unseen Mary Poppins Returns could blow everyone away; much beloved Black Panther could overcome the blockbuster stigma and make waves.

(Following each Best Picture candidate, in parentheses, we've included a prediction of the range of total Oscar nominations.)

FRONTRUNNERS:
The Favourite  (7-9)
First Man  (5-7)
Green Book  (4-6)
Roma  (6-7)
A Star is Born   (8-10)
Vice  (6-7)
Widows  (5-6)

CONTENDERS:
BlacKkKlansman  (4-6)
Black Panther  (3-5)
If Beale Street Could Talk  (4-6)
Mary Poppins Returns  (2-4)

HOPEFULS:
Boy Erased  (1-3)
Can You Ever Forgive Me?  (1-4)
Crazy Rich Asians  (1-4)
Eighth Grade  (1-2)
First Reformed  (1-2)


DIRECTOR - (five nominees)
This is a crowded field that bears watching over the upcoming weeks as some films push to the forefront and others fall off.  Right now, critics anticipate great things from many films, but audience reaction to these directors' movies will have something to say about it.  Regrettably, so will industry politics and the dreaded backlash.  Right now, it looks like there are eleven contenders, and frankly, we wouldn't be surprised if any of them receive nominations.

FRONTRUNNERS:
Damien Chazelle - First Man
Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born
Alfonse Cuaron - Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos - The Favourite
Spike Lee - BlacKkKlansman

CONTENDERS:
Ryan Coogler - Black Panther
Peter Farrelly - Green Book
Marielle Heller - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Barry Jenkins - If Beale Street Could Talk
Adam McKay - Vice
Steve McQueen - Widows


ACTRESS - (five nominees)
The big questions here: how much love will Roma get and thus carry Aparicio upward; can the Academy voters overlook genre and acknowledge Collette's incredible performance; will Nicole Kidman be recognized for several dynamic 2018 roles; will Blunt's as yet unseen Mary Poppins catapult her into frontrunner status?

FRONTRUNNERS:
Yalitza Aparicio - Roma
Glenn Close - The Wife
Olivia Colman - The Favourite
Viola Davis - Widows
Lady Gaga - A Star is Born

CONTENDERS:
Emily Blunt - Mary Poppins Returns
Toni Collette - Hereditary
Nicole Kidman - Destroyer
Melissa McCarthy - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Julia Roberts - Ben is Back


ACTOR - (five nominees)
Bradley Cooper is the only lock here, and Ethan Hawke or Lucas Hedges could slip in and replace one of the frontrunners.  Dafoe won the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival, but few have seen his film here, and no one has seen Eastwood yet.  Mediocre reviews from TIFF could hurt Jackman.

FRONTRUNNERS:
Christian Bale - Vice
Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe - At Eternity's Gate
Ryan Gosling - First Man
Viggo Mortensen - Green Book

CONTENDERS:
Clint Eastwood - The Mule
Ethan Hawke - First Reformed
Lucas Hedges - Boy Erased
Hugh Jackman - The Front Runner
Rami Malek - Bohemian Rhapsody
Robert Redford - The Old Man and a Gun


SUPPORTING ACTRESS - (five nominees)
Some of these choices are speculation.  That may be because we haven't seen most of the contenders yet.  Adams, Stone, and Weisz are usual suspects here and King is getting a lot of positive buzz, but only Foy is a known quantity.  At this point, any of the contenders could move up.

FRONTRUNNERS
Amy Adams - Vice
Claire Foy - First Man
Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone - The Favourite
Rachel Weisz - The Favourite

CONTENDERS
Elizabeth Debicki - Widows
Nicole Kidman - Boy Erased
Natalie Portman - Vox Lux
Michelle Yeoh - Crazy Rich Asians


SUPPORTING ACTOR - (five nominees)
The general consensus has Chalamet among the favorites, but our gut sees other favorites.  The only shoo-in is Ali, but industry love of Elliott is strong, and word of mouth for Grant is exuberant.  We thought BlacKkKlansman was Driver's best performance to date.  Jordan is always terrific, and we hear that Kaluuya is chilling in Widows.

FRONTRUNNERS
Mahershala Ali - Green Book
Adam Driver - BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott - A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell - Vice

CONTENDERS
Timothee Chalamet - Beautiful Boy
Michael B. Jordan - Black Panther
Daniel Kaluuya - Widows


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - (five nominees)
Conventional wisdom predicts A Star is Born to be a nominee, if not a favorite, in this category.  Considering that this is the fourth go-round for this film, we don't really follow the wisdom here.  We're feeling pretty good about our frontrunners as the final group of nominees, but hey, we've been wrong before.

FRONTRUNNERS
BlacKkKlansman
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Widows

CONTENDERS
Beautiful Boy
Crazy Rich Asians
The Front Runner
A Star is Born


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - (five nominees)
The Favourite and Green Book seem like certainties, and Eighth Grade is a festival and critical darling that could get a nomination here as a nod to the fondness with which it is held.  Again, Paul Schrader's First Reformed is believed by many to be headed for a nomination, but we're thinking Adam McKay (Vice) better hits the zeitgeist.  A Quiet Place is a very cool movie and it deserves recognition, but it seems like the experts touting it are being ironic.

FRONTRUNNERS
Eighth Grade
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
Vice

CONTENDERS
First Reformed
A Quiet Place


CINEMATOGRAPHY - (five nominees)
The favorite is, of course, The Favourite; period pieces always have a leg up in this category.  First Man makes us feel as if we were in the '60s, in space, on the Moon.  A Star is Born is immersive.

FRONTRUNNERS
The Favourite
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Roma
A Star is Born

CONTENDERS
At Eternity's Gate
Black Panther
Cold War
Green Book
Widows


EDITING - (five nominees)


FRONTRUNNERS
The Favourite
First Man
Roma
A Star is Born
Vice

CONTENDERS
BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Widows


PRODUCTION DESIGN - (five nominees)
Again, the well-done period piece has an advantage here, thus The Favourite.  But we also give props to the world building in the other films.  This will be an interesting race.

FRONTRUNNERS
Black Panther
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns

CONTENDERS
Crazy Rich Asians
If Beale Street Could Talk
Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Mary Queen of Scots
Roma
A Star is Born


ORIGINAL SCORE - (five nominees)
Whether it's stirring us, mesmerizing us, or setting the atmosphere of the film, we have some clear-cut delineations among the competing films.

FRONTRUNNERS
Black Panther
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

CONTENDERS
BlacKkKlansman
TheNutcracker and the Four Realms





2 comments:

Dan DeFrank said...

Hey there Uncle Guy, I haven’t viewed a majority of the flicks but my bet is on BlackKlansman. Star is Born, I thought was good but not great. Lady Gaga has a pretty good shot at best actress.

John DeFrank said...

Hey Dan, it's great to hear from you. Guy S. Malone, Researcher is tied up with some last-minute turkey hunting, so I'll respond.
You might be on to something with your picks. I think A Star Is Born could dim over the next month with La La Land-type backlash. As you know, I loved BlacKkKlansman, and it has a real shot, but I have a feeling we haven't seen the Best Picture yet--The Favourite, Green Book, Vice, and If Beale Street Could Talk look particularly interesting. I loved Lady Gaga in ASIB, but right now, my money is on Olivia Coleman (The Favourite) or Glenn Close (The Wife) to vie for Actress. It's going to be interesting to see how the season shakes out.
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