Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 3

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

When you have almost two-dozen groups announcing their winners, you know you’re in the full swing of Oscar season. Next week will be even more crazy.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 4

Tuesday, Dec. 10 – African American Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Audio Society (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Costume Designers (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Preliminary Voting Ends (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Phoenix Circle (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Cinema Editors (Nominations) (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Screen Actors (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Dec. 12 – Chicago Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Dec. 12 – Goya Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Dec. 13 – Las Vegas Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 13 – Vancouver Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 13 – Sound Editors (Nominations) (Official)
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Boston Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Chicago Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Boston Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Houston Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Kansas City Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Phoenix Circle (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – St. Louis Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Dallas Area Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Indiana Journalists (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Nevada Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – North Texas Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – North Texas Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Seattle Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Utah Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Vancouver Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Shortlists Announced (Official)

Big Winners

Parasite needed to make a run of the critics prizes to become an Oscar contender and it’s managing to do just that. Not only is it now a sure bet for a Best International Film nomination, the film is also on track to earn at least three other nominations with Best Picture, Directing, and Original Screenplay the most likely selections.
The Irishman has been doing just about as well as we all thought it would as the critics have largely been heaping praise on the film. Although it seems to be in a tight race with Parasite for many of the accolades, it’s doing just well enough that it could go where Roma couldn’t: Best Picture.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is also a solid contender for Best Picture, having also dominated the precursors so far with plenty of awards and nominations to go around. Brad Pitt seems to be emerging as a solid contender for Best Supporting Actress while the film’s design elements are also in good position to claim victories.
Marriage Story hasn’t won nearly as many awards as one would have expected, but it’s showing up in all of the major races and that is a good position to be in. While its opportunities for actual Oscar wins are minimal, it will surely pick up several nominations.
Pain and Glory may not be as huge as the aforementioned films, but it’s doing surprisingly well this season with several nominations and awards for Antonio Banderas’ performance, which puts him squarely in the conversation for a long-overdue nomination.

Big Losers

Waves has been getting virtually no love this season. It had all the pedigree of a Moonlight-type run through the precursors, but has failed to materialize much consideration, making the film’s chances dwindle almost to the point of non-existence. If the later groups recognize it, things could certainly change.
Bombshell has shown up in several places, but not as potently as one would expect from a major Oscar contender. What once seemed like a potential above-the-line contender has faded a bit. It’s possible the Golden Globes rescue the film, however.
Richard Jewell was supposed to be Clint Eastwood’s return to the Oscars. However, the film has earned some snarky responses about its politics and when you go after the entertainment media in general or journalists in specific, that might be a bridge too far for Oscar voters. Still, Kathy Bates seems most likely to overcome the reticence for a nomination.
Ford v Ferrari was thought to be a potential major contender for the Oscars, but the early precursors haven’t born that out. While it’s gotten a handful of nominations, it hasn’t quite been the force it needs to be to transcend its current position.
Jojo Rabbit hasn’t exactly been ignored by critics, but it has received surprisingly light recognition so far, earning an unimpressive number of nominations. Though, Scarlet Johansson has earned strong notices, which could help boost her profile and the film still has a lot of admiration out there, so it could still ride that Toronto audience prize to a Best Picture berth.

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