The 93rd Academy Awards: Predicting the Year’s Best

Andrew Washington ’21 offers his predictions and thoughts on the upcoming Oscars.

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The 93rd Academy Awards air on April 25 at 8 p.m.

Andrew Washington, Staff Writer

The time has come. We are at the end of the awards season and have come upon the “big kahuna:” The Oscars. The Academy Awards are an annual event, spanning the last 93 years, that has sought to honor the year’s best films. This year, due to the pandemic, the season was extended for two months, creating a supersized season and distress for many predictors. But, this year, more so than others, the nominations were very democratic, spreading the love around to many more films as well as the types of films that wouldn’t have normally been nominated. 

Also, it is worth noting that the nominees this year are historically diverse. Nine of the 20 nominated actors across all four acting categories are people of color—the most ever. For the first time ever, there are two women nominated for Best Director in the same year, and they are the 6th and 7th women nominated in that category overall. This year is huge for Asian representation, in large part due to the success of “Minari” and Chloe Zhao’s nomination for “Nomadland,” making her the first woman of color ever nominated for Best Director. 

Sure, there were glaring snubs and several surprises, but overall, many critics and fans are pleased with this slate of nominees. So, let’s get into these nominations and see who’s gonna take home the gold on Oscar Sunday on April 25 at 8 p.m.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“The Father”

“Nomadland”

“One Night in Miami”

“The White Tiger”

 

Nomadland (film) - WikipediaThis category had some…interesting nominees. Most notably, the sequel to the 2006 comedy classic “Borat” received one of its two nominations in this category. If I had to remove any of these nominees, it would either be that film or “The White Tiger,” and I would replace it with “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the adaptation of August Wilson’s first play written in his Century Cycle. I would be happy if “One Night in Miami” won here. Same goes for “The Father.” The winner at the Writer’s Guild Awards in this category was in fact “Borat,” but one must take into consideration that “Nomadland” was not eligible at that ceremony. The undeniable winner here is “Nomadland,” written by Chloe Zhao. It was my favorite film of 2020, and I feel like it deserves to win here. 

 

Will Win

“Nomadland”

Should Win

“Nomadland”

OR

“One Night in Miami”

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Minari”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

 

Promising Young Woman (2020) - Rotten TomatoesThis category has some heavy hitters. I’m just going to be honest: all of these films deserve to win this award. Even though Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 did not make my top 10 list for the year, they did make the top 20 (11 and 15, respectfully). All of these films are excellent. However, we must choose. I am going to say that either “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” written by Aaron Sorkin, or “Promising Young Woman,” written by Emerald Fennell, will win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. I say both because they have been neck and neck this entire season. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” has picked up many awards, most of them for its screenplay, but “PYW” took home the Writer’s Guild Award for Original Screenplay. The guild awards are the biggest teller for the Academy, but I still think it could go either way. Personally, I would love it if either “PYW” or “Judas and the Black Messiah” took home this award, but it’s too close to call.

 

Will Win

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

OR

“Promising Young Woman”

 

Should Win

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

OR

“Promising Young Woman”

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Maria Bakalova

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Glenn Close

“Hillbilly Elegy”

Olivia Colman

“The Father”

Amanda Seyfried

“Mank”

Youn Yuh-jung

“Minari”

Minari's' Yuh-Jung Youn on SAG Awards, Oscars Nomination - VarietyI could say great things about all of the performances in this category (with the exception of Glenn Close. I unfortunately have not had a chance to see “Hillbilly Elegy,” though I will say I’ve not heard great things). All the nominations have merit. But, and hear me clearly when I say this, if Youn Yuh-jung does not win this Oscar, I will riot. Obviously, I won’t riot, but I will make the biggest fuss about it you’ve ever seen. Her performance in that film was stunning, and the Academy needs to (and most likely will) recognize it. Her recent win at the SAG awards certainly helps.

 

Will Win

Youn Yuh-jung

“Minari”

 

Should Win

Youn Yuh-jung

“Minari”

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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”

 

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH - Official Trailer - YouTubeThe big news surrounding this category comes with LaKeith Stanfield’s nomination. His performance in Judas and the Black Messiah—transcendent, I might add—was campaigned by the studio, Warner Bros., as a lead performance. Now, the Academy does not have to follow what the studio asks them to consider, but it’s interesting to consider that, even though he was campaigned as a lead character, which he is by the way, enough people considered him a supporting character that he received a nomination. Don’t get me wrong, I loved his performance. It actually stuck with me more than his counterpart Daniel Kaluuya’s performance in the film. It’s just interesting to ponder. But this is Daniel Kaluuya’s award to lose. Point Blank Period.

 

Will Win

Daniel Kaluuya

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

 

Should Win

Daniel Kaluuya

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

OR

LaKeith Stanfield

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

 

BEST ACTRESS

Viola Davis

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

 

Andra Day

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

 

Vanessa Kirby

“Pieces of a Woman”

 

Frances McDormand

“Nomadland”

 

Carey Mulligan

“Promising Young Woman”

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Review: Chadwick Boseman & Viola Davis Star |  IndieWireThis is probably the most wide open category this year. This category has repeatedly shown that it is one of the most competitive categories at the Academy Awards. There has been no clear frontrunner this year, and that’s because all of these nominees are truly deserving. They were all considered frontrunners at some point along the way, with the exception of Andra Day, but her surprise win at the Golden Globes in February put her on the map (I didn’t care for the rest of “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” but Andra Day’s performance is something to behold). It’s all coming to a head now. If I had to pick, I would say that either Viola Davis or Carey Mulligan will go home with the award. I think Carey Mulligan has won the most awards through all the critics’ circles, but Viola Davis’ surprise win at the SAG awards certainly puts her near the front, even though those chances are in no way absolute.

 

Will Win

Viola Davis

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

OR

Carey Mulligan

“Promising Young Woman”

 

Should Win

Any of the five nominees could win, and I’d be fine with it.

 

BEST ACTOR

Riz Ahmed

“Sound of Metal”

 

Chadwick Boseman

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

 

Anthony Hopkins

“The Father”

 

Gary Oldman

“Mank”

 

Steven Yeun

“Minari”

 

Watch Chadwick Boseman in a Scene From 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' - The New  York TimesDelroy Lindo should be nominated here for his work in “Da 5 Bloods.” Gary Oldman should not be here. That’s my main thought. The only person that could have given Chadwick Boseman a run for his money would have been Delroy Lindo, but alas, the Academy dropped the ball and snubbed him. But, Chadwick Boseman is going to win, as he should. His performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” unfortunately his last, is an absolute revelation.

 

Will Win

Chadwick Boseman

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

 

Should Win

Chadwick Boseman

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Thomas Vinterberg

“Another Round” (“Druk”)

 

David Fincher

“Mank”

 

Lee Isaac Chung

“Minari”

 

Chloé Zhao

“Nomadland”

 

Emerald Fennell

“Promising Young Woman”

 

Chloé Zhao becomes 2nd woman to win the Golden Globe for best director as ' Nomadland' makes history | KTLAThe same way that Best Actress is wide open, Best Director is just as open and shut.  I would like to point out first that Thomas Vinterberg’s nomination was a complete surprise, as was Regina King’s snub. I did not care for “Another Round,” and I thought that “One Night in Miami” was a fantastic directorial achievement, especially considering it is King’s feature film directorial debut. However, Chloe Zhao has been absolutely formidable this awards season. She has racked up the most wins for her work on directing “Nomadland,” including the Directors’ Guild Award (as she should), and I truly believe that she will win come Oscar Sunday. Also, if she wins, she will be only the second woman to take home that award and the first woman of color, as well.

 

Will Win

Chloé Zhao

“Nomadland”

 

Should Win

Chloé Zhao

“Nomadland”

 

BEST PICTURE

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Mank” 

“Minari”

“Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

 

2021 Oscars Predictions: 93rd Academy Awards - VarietyBest Picture. The Big One. The three films that I believe deserve to win Best Picture the most are “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Nomadland,” and “Minari.” These three films touched me in ways that are indescribable. I have said that had “Judas and the Black Messiah” been released 6 weeks earlier, it would have topped my list for my top 10. It’s insanely good. I’ve written about the other two before, so I won’t dwell on those. What I think will win Best Picture is a different story. My top 3 choices for winning are “Nomadland,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” and “Mank.” “Nomadland,” with its win at the Golden Globes and the Producers’ Guild Awards, is the current frontrunner. The Academy has a fondness for political dramas, thus “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Hollywood is also notoriously narcissistic. It loves movies about itself. I did not care for “Mank,” but I do feel that it has huge appeal with Academy voters. It is, after all, the most nominated film this year with 10 nominations. But, I do ultimately think that “Nomadland” will take the prize… but we’ll have to wait and see. 

 

Will Win

1) “Nomadland”

2) “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

3) “Mank”

 

Should Win

1) “Judas and the Black Messiah”

2) “Nomadland”

3) “Minari”

 

For the rest of my predictions, and more specific thoughts on some of these films, you can check out my website, onthereelwithandrew.com