Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 6

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).

With only six precursors releasing in the days leading up to and following Christmas and an equally smaller number coming in the days before New Year’s Eve, there’s not a lot to discuss about this past week and thus not a lot of winners and losers.

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

Week 7

Thursday, Jan. 2 – Columbus Critics (Awards) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Houston Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Iowa Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Casting Society (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – British Academy (Rising Star) (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Academy Awards Nominations Voting Begins (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Georgia Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – North Carolina Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – GALECA (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Cinematographers (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Satellites (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Saturday, Jan. 4 – Chicago Independent Critics (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 4 – National Society Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 5 – Golden Globes (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Austin Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Denver Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Hawaii Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Directors Guild – Documentary (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Visual Effects Society (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Writers Guild (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners


Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood has been one of the mainstays of Oscar season and continues to pull in large numbers of nominations. That keeps the film squarely in frontrunner status for several nominations.
Little Women had a solid box office debut and even managed to top the nomination count at the Chicago Independent film critics nominations. That said, the film still has a long way to go before it can be a safe bet for Oscar nominations, especially in Best Picture. Think of films like Carol and If Beale Street Could Talk, movies that had critical acclaim, but failed to excite Oscar voters. We’ll hope the same isn’t the case this year for this film.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire has been so consistently mentioned by critics groups that it’s hard to believe the film hasn’t been mentioned more as an across-the-board Oscar contender. Director citations, cinematography, and more, this is the kind of film that, if Parasite weren’t such a big international hit right now, might have been a major Oscar player.

Big Losers

Bombshell didn’t get the reviews it needed to be a major Oscar player, but even then the film seems to be struggling for attention this season. While acting citations seem to be its best shot a Best Picture berth seems decreasingly likely.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may have stormed the box office, but it was the worst reviewed film in the current trilogy and easily one of the worst received in the entire saga. Mix that with the fact that even film critics groups haven’t been referencing it for much outside of Visual Effects and Original Score suggests the film’s final chapter might be the technical Oscar achievement Disney was hoping for.
The Two Popes started out strong, but each week that it gets scant nominations is another week that the Academy stops paying attention to it. Although Netflix is pushing heavily for all of its films, this one seems to have fallen behind a bit and its last few potential nominations (Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay) also seem to be fading a bit.

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  1. I also think Anthony Hopkins’ comments about how “actors are pretty stupid” may not sit well with his fellow actors.

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