Oscar picks and predictions

The 93rd Academy Awards are this Sunday and along with the Superbowl and the New Year’s Eve ball drop, it’s one of my favorite television events. This year will have a different look to the ceremony, but hopefully, the most deserving filmmakers get recognized with the most prestigious American film awards. My predictions are spread around many of the films nominated, with only a few films taking home more than one big prize.

Best Original Screenplay

Overall, I think Aaron Sorkin’s charming, witty script has won Academy voters over. I enjoyed the fast dialogue of “Chicago 7”, although I felt it connected with the story better with his 2010 hit “The Social Network” better. Even though the smart courtroom quips feel good, a few key inaccuracies in the third act didn’t sit well. “Minari” contains an amazing American story, and its charm comes a great deal from the script.

My pick: Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
My prediction: Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Adapted Screenplay

This is a tough one, because many great stories last year were penned by earlier artists, or at a different time. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” doesn’t hold a candle to the original 2006 moviefilm, but the character “Borat” is so brilliantly executed. “The Father” transfers extremely well from the stage to the screen from Florian Zeller’s play. I would love to read Jessica Bruder’s book “Nomadland” to further understand the main character Fern.

My pick: Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, “The Father”
My prediction: Kemp Powers, “One Night in Miami…”

Best Actress

As clear as the outcome may seem, there are a few ways this could go. Viola Davis as Ma Rainey and Carey Mulligan have both received widespread acclaim for their work. While I’m surprised the Academy recognized “Promising Young Woman” at all this year, I predict the Oscar will be handed to veteran actress Frances McDormand for her performance as Fern. This is a performance that was made for Oscar hardware.

My pick: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
My prediction: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Best Actor

Steven Yeun and Riz Ahmed are some incredible talent, with both showing promise of long, decorated careers. My pick, though, comes from a man who is nearing the end of his. Sir Anthony Hopkins delivers my favorite performance of the year as an aging father suffering from dementia. Although handing a decorated actor an Oscar over newer, younger faces may not be the best “look” per se, I think Hopkins gives an underrated nominated performance for the second year in a row (after last year’s “The Two Popes”).

My pick: Anthony Hopkins, “The Father
My prediction: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Director

In perhaps one of the most recognized Oscars “firsts,” two women were nominated for Best Director (Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”). I find it very difficult to see anyone more deserving of the blue ribbon than Zhao for her brilliant meandering character study. I am glad to predict the Academy will award a high honor to another person of color in the Best Director category.

My pick: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
My prediction: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

Best Picture

There is not much that “Nomadland” has not won. It has definitely dethroned “Mank” (a disappointing film) as the clear frontrunner for Best Picture. This year’s nominees all tell important fiction and nonfiction stories of past and present that find their way into current conversations. My personal choice goes to Lee Isaac Chung’s family drama about South Korean immigrants as they adjust to the American landscape in the 1980s. While singled-out performances in other films nominated topped their respective categories, the combination of the cast and the story and the beautiful look of this amazing movie has resonated with me the most.

My pick: “Minari”
My prediction: “Nomadland”


Dom’s Picks

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Best Supporting Actor
Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

Best Animated Feature
“Soul”

Best International Feature
“Another Round”

Best Documentary Feature
“Collective”

Best Original Score
“Soul”

Best Original Song
“Speak Now,” “One Night in Miami…”

Best Production Design
“Mank”

Best Cinematagraphy
“Nomadland”

Best Film Editing
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Emma.”

Best Costume Design
“Emma.”

Best Visual Effects
“Tenet”

Best Sound
“Sound of Metal”

Best Documentary Short
“A Love Song for Latasha”

Best Live Action Short
“Feeling Through”

Best Animated Short
“If Anything Happens I Love You”

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