2020 Oscar Nominations Predictions: September

Our tradition was to issue our first predictions in May. The pandemic got in the way. Thus, our first predictions come in our normal post-festival spot with Venice and Toronto both in the rearview mirror. Looking at the top categories at the Oscars, we rely on pending releases to complete our selections, with many of them at risk of being delayed until 2021 like a number of other films have been. After the break, you’ll receive our first Oscar predictions of the year.


KEY:

Appears on Four Lists
Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton Thomas LaTourrette
[New] = New Prediction
[Return] = Prior Prediction Returning
(O) = Original Predictions

Introductions

Wesley Lovell: With nothing set in stone right now, it’s hard to know just what will pique Oscar voter curiosity and what won’t. With continuining diversification of the Academy’s membership, it becomes important to make sure there are plenty of films and performances that might not otherwise have shown up on prediction lists. That said, those selections are all worthy even if they wouldn’t have been on the Academy’s radar ten years ago.
Peter J. Patrick: Inasmuch as I’ve seen very little so far this year, my predictions are based on what seems to be the most interesting on paper in all categories except animation which I have very little interest in and can only guess what those who have more of an interest might like. This could still turn out to be one of the best years in film when all is said and done.
Tripp Burton: This is even harder than usual this year because of the uncertainty of what will even be released — I’m assuming some stuff, like The French Dispatch, will hold off due to the pandemic, and other films like Nightmare Alley may not be finished. That means that it seems like a lot of Netflix films will be duking it out, and who knows where their attention will turn.
Thomas LaTourette: For the first time since the 1932/1933 season, the Oscars will contain films released in two years. That is the first major shakeup of this pandemic year. Then will be the question of whether films will be released in time to qualify. With several films shut down, it is hard to know what ones will actually make that cut. There can often be a few films that may be held back for another year, but it has never been that hard to guess which ones to consider before, especially by now. Even though this is our first set of predictions (we have often started in May), this feels like one of the hardest few ones to make. Some films sound likely to gain nominations, but will both Dune and Tenet actually make the cut for best picture? Will the films that released to on demand services get the same recognition as ones that held out for a theatrical release? I enjoy making the predictions, but this strange year makes that harder than usual. Many guesses will likely change over the next few months, but here is my first try.

Best Picture

  • Ammonite PP O
  • The Boys in the Band WL O
  • Da 5 Bloods WL O TL O
  • Dune WL O TB O TL O
  • The Father PP O TB O
  • The French Dispatch WL O PP O TL O
  • Judas and the Black Messiah PP O
  • The Last Duel TL O
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom TB O
  • Mank WL O PP O TB O TL O
  • News of the World WL O PP O TB O
  • Nomadland WL O PP O TB O TL O
  • On Night in Miami TB O
  • On the Rocks TB O
  • Promising Young Woman WL O
  • Soul TB O
  • Stillwater PP O TL O
  • Tenet TL O
  • The Trial of Chicago 7 WL O PP O TL O
  • West Side Story WL O PP O TB O TL O

Best Animated Feature

  • 100% Wolf PP O
  • Children of the Sea WL O TL O
  • Connected PP O TB O
  • Minions: The Rise of Gru TL O
  • Onward WL O PP O TB O TL O
  • Over the Moon TB O
  • Ride Your Wave WL O
  • Soul WL O TB O TL O
  • Trolls World Tour PP O
  • A Whisker Away PP O
  • The Willoughbys WL O TL O
  • Wolfwalkers TB O

Best Director

  • Ammonite – Francis Lee PP O
  • The Boys in the Band – Joe Mantello WL O
  • Da 5 Bloods – Spike Lee TL TL O
  • Dune – Denis Villeneuve WL O TB O
  • The French Dispatch – Wes Anderson TL TL O
  • Hillbilly Elegy – Ron Howard PP O
  • The Last Duel – Ridley Scott TL TL O
  • Mank – David Fincher WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • News of the World – Paul Greengrass PP O TB O
  • Nomadland – Chloe Zhao WL O PP O TB O
  • One Night in Miami – Regina King TB O
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Aaron Sorkin TL TL O
  • West Side Story – Steven Spielberg WL O

Best Actor

  • Ben Affleck – The Way Back WL O
  • Ansel Elgort – West Side Story WL O
  • Tom Hanks – News of the World PP O TL TL O
  • Anthony Hopkins – The Father WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah PP O
  • Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Bill Murray – On the Rocks TB O
  • Gary Oldman – Mank WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Dev Patel – The Personal History of David Copperfield TL TL O
  • Steven Yeun – Minari TB O

Best Actress

  • Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy PP O TL O
  • Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye TL TL O
  • Olivia Colman – The Father TL TL O
  • Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Jennifer Hudson – Respect WL O TB O
  • Frances McDormand – Nomadland WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman WL O
  • Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit PP O TB O
  • Meryl Streep – The Prom WL O
  • Kate Winslet – Ammonite PP O TB O

Best Supporting Actor

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – The Trial of the Chicago 7 TB O
  • Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Timothee Chalamet – The French Dispatch WL O
  • Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 TL TL O
  • Charles Dance – Mank PP O TB O
  • Armie Hammer – Dreamland WL O
  • Michael Keaton – The Trial of the Chicago 7 WL O
  • Bill Murray – On the Rocks TL TL O
  • Tom Pelfrey – Mank PP O
  • Andrew Rannells – The Boys in the Band WL O
  • LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah PP O TB O TL TL O
  • David Strathairn – Nomadland PP O TL TL O
  • Jeremy Strong – The Trial of the Chicago 7 TB O

Best Supporting Actress

  • Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy WL O PP O TB O TL O
  • Olivia Colman – The Father PP O
  • Laverne Cox – Promising Young Woman WL O
  • Ariana DeBose – West Side Story WL O TB O TL TL O
  • Lesley Manville – Let Him Go TL TL O
  • Rita Moreno – West Side Story TB O
  • Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Amanda Seyfried – Mank PP O
  • Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari PP O

Best Original Screenplay

  • Ammonite PP O TB O
  • Da 5 Bloods TB O
  • The Father PP O
  • The French Dispatch WL O PP O TL TL O
  • i’m thinking of ending things WL O
  • Mank WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • On the Rocks TB O TL TL O
  • Promising Young Woman WL O
  • Tenet TL TL O
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 WL O PP O TB O TL TL O

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Boys in the Band WL O TL O
  • The Devil All the Time WL O
  • Dune TL TL O
  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye TL TL O
  • The Father TB O
  • Hillbilly Elegy PP O
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom PP O TB O
  • News of the World WL O PP O TB O TL TL O
  • Nomadland WL O PP O TB O
  • West Side Story WL O PP O TB O TL TL O

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