93rd Academy Awards (2020): Winner Predictions

FINAL: APRIL 21, 2021

It’s been a strange season and the longer it progresses, the more second-guessing we’re doing. In the span of two days, I went from Nomadland to The Father in Adapted Screenplay and back again. Everything marked as Toss Up is a category I believe there is likely to be a surprise in, but am either hoping it doesn’t happen or that it’s at least a good surprise, like Moonlight or 12 Years a Slave and not a bad one like Green Book or Crash. Here are my final predictions. I’m sure I will mentally waffle on them before Sunday, but I have to stop somewhere. See you on the other side.

AWARDS

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3
2


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Nomadland
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
Another Round
Feeling Through
Hunger Ward
If Anything Happens I Love You
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
My Octopus Teacher
One Night in Miami…
Tenet

Predictions are in the order I think they have a chance of winning the award (except in the documentary and short film categories). I have added notations to each indicating how strong I think each is as a contender.

LEGEND:
Winner Prediction (c-Win Pred Date Set) — Chance at Win —
Other Nominees — Chance at Win —

CHANCE AT WIN:
Guarantee: I wouldn’t bet on anything else.
Certain: Almost guaranteed, but there’s always a kernel of doubt.
Likely: The most likely winner, but a spoiler is waiting in the wings.
Toss Up: This race is too close to call for all those labelled toss ups.
Spoiler: This is a title that isn’t necessarily a sure thing, but is running close enough it could upset the predicted victor.
Doubtful: It’s not likely these titles will win, but there’s still a possibility.
Long Shot: There is very little likelihood that they’ll win.

Best Picture

  • Nomadland – Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Chloé Zhao (o-1/11/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Promising Young Woman – Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell, Josey McNamara — Spoiler —
  • Minari – Christina Oh — Spoiler —
  • Judas and the Black Messiah – Shaka King, Charles D. King, Ryan Coogler — Spoiler —
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Marc Platt, Stuart Besser — Spoiler —
  • Sound of Metal – Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche — Doubtful —
  • Mank – Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth, Douglas Urbanski — Doubtful —
  • The Father – David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, Philippe Carcassonne — Long Shot —

Best Animated Feature

  • Soul – Pete Docter, Dana Murray (o-3/6/20) — Certain —
  •  
  • Wolfwalkers – Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young, Stéphan Roelants — Spoiler —
  • Over the Moon – Glen Keane, Gennie Rim, Peilin Chou — Doubtful —
  • Onward – Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae — Doubtful —
  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – Richard Phelan, Will Becher, Paul Kewley — Long Shot —

Best Directing

  • Nomadland – Chloé Zhao (o-1/11/21) — Certain —
  •  
  • Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell — Spoiler —
  • Minari – Lee Isaac Chung — Spoiler —
  • Mank – David Fincher — Doubtful —
  • Another Round – Thomas Vinterberg — Long Shot —

Best Actor

  • Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (o-3/13/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Anthony Hopkins – The Father — Spoiler —
  • Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal — Spoiler —
  • Steven Yeun – Minari — Doubtful —
  • Gary Oldman – Mank — Long Shot —

Best Actress

  • Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (o-3/6/20) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — Toss Up —
  • Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday — Toss Up —
  • Frances McDormand – Nomadland — Spoiler —
  • Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman — Spoiler —

Best Supporting Actor

  • Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah (o-3/13/21) — Guarantee —
  •  
  • Paul Raci – Sound of Metal — Spoiler —
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami… — Spoiler —
  • Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 — Spoiler —
  • LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah — Long Shot —

Best Supporting Actress

  • Youn Yuh-jung – Minari (o-4/7/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy — Spoiler —
  • Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm — Spoiler —
  • Amanda Seyfried – Mank — Spoiler —
  • Olivia Colman – The Father — Doubtful —

Best Original Screenplay

  • Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell (o-1/11/21) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Aaron Sorkin — Toss Up —
  • Minari – Lee Isaac Chung — Toss Up —
  • Judas and the Black Messiah – Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas — Toss Up —
  • Sound of Metal – Darius Marder, Abraham Marder, Derek Cianfrance — Doubtful —

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Nomadland – Chloé Zhao (o-4/21/21) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • The Father – Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller — Toss Up —
  • One Night in Miami – Kemp Powers — Spoiler —
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern, Nina Pedrad — Doubtful —
  • The White Tiger – Ramin Bahrani — Long Shot —

Best Original Song

  • Speak Now – Music, Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr., Sam Ashworth – One Night in Miami… (o-1/11/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Fight for You – Music by H.E.R., Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R., Tiara Thomas – Judas and the Black Messiah — Spoiler —
  • Husavk – Music, Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus, Rickard Göransson – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — Spoiler —
  • Io Si (Seen) – Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren, Laura Pausini – The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se) — Spoiler —
  • Hear My Voice – Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton, Celeste Waite – The Trial of the Chicago 7 — Spoiler —

Best Original Score

  • Soul – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste (o-3/13/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Mank – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross — Spoiler —
  • News of the World – James Newton Howard — Spoiler —
  • Minari – Emile Mosseri — Spoiler —
  • Da 5 Bloods – Terence Blanchard — Spoiler —

Best Editing

  • Sound of Metal – Mikkel E.G. Nielsen (o-3/15/21) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Alan Baumgarten — Toss Up —
  • Promising Young Woman – Frédéric Thoraval — Spoiler —
  • Nomadland – Chloé Zhao — Spoiler —
  • The Father – Yorgos Lamprinos — Spoiler —

Best Cinematography

  • Nomadland – Joshua James Richards (o-1/11/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Mank – Erik Messerschmidt — Spoiler —
  • News of the World – Dariusz Wolski — Spoiler —
  • Judas and the Black Messiah – Sean Bobbitt — Doubtful —
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Phedon Papamichael — Long Shot —

Best Production Design

  • Mank – Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale (o-11/13/20) — Likely —
  •  
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara, Diana Stoughton — Spoiler —
  • Tenet – Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas — Spoiler —
  • The Father – Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone — Spoiler —
  • News of the World – Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan — Spoiler —

Best Costume Design

  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Ann Roth (o-11/13/20) — Likely —
  •  
  • Mulan – Trish Summerville — Spoiler —
  • Pinocchio – Massimo Cantini Parrini — Spoiler —
  • Emma – Alexandra Byrne — Spoiler —
  • Mank – Bina Daigeler — Doubtful —

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson (o-11/13/20) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • Pinocchio – Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti — Toss Up —
  • Hillbilly Elegy – Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle, Patricia Dehaney — Spoiler —
  • Emma – Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze — Doubtful —
  • Mank – Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri, Colleen LaBaff — Doubtful —

Best Sound

  • Sound of Metal – Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés, Phillip Bladh (o-3/13/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Greyhound – Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders, David Wyman — Spoiler —
  • Soul – Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott, David Parker — Spoiler —
  • News of the World – Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, John Pritchett — Doubtful —
  • Mank – Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance, Drew Kunin — Long Shot —

Best Visual Effects

  • Tenet – Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, Scott Fisher (o-11/13/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • The Midnight Sky – Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon, David Watkins — Spoiler —
  • The One and Only Ivan – Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, Santiago Colomo Martinez — Spoiler —
  • Love and Monsters – Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt, Brian Cox — Spoiler —
  • Mulan – Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, Steve Ingram — Doubtful —

Best International Feature

  • Another Round – Denmark (o-1/29/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina — Spoiler —
  • Collective – Romania — Spoiler —
  • Better Days – Hong Kong — Doubtful —
  • The Man Who Sold His Skin – Tunisia — Long Shot —

Best Documentary Feature

  • My Octopus Teacher – Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, Craig Foster (o-3/15/21) — Likely —
  •  
  • Collective – Alexander Nanau, Bianca Oana — Spoiler —
  • Time – Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn — Spoiler —
  • Crip Camp – Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht, Sara Bolder — Spoiler —
  • The Mole Agent – Maite Alberdi, Marcela Santibáñez — Doubtful —

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • Hunger Ward – Skye Fitzgerald, Michael Scheuerman (o-4/19/21) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • Colette – Anthony Giacchino, Alice Doyard — Toss Up —
  • A Concerto Is a Conversation – Ben Proudfoot, Kris Bowers — Toss Up —
  • Do Not Split – Anders Hammer, Charlotte Cook — Toss Up —
  • A Love Song for Latasha – Sophia Nahli Allison, Janice Duncan — Toss Up —

Best Animated Short Film

  • If Anything Happens I Love You – Will McCormack, Michael Govier (o-3/15/21) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • Burrow – Madeline Sharafian, Michael Capbarat — Toss Up —
  • Genius Loci – Adrien Mérigeau, Amaury Ovise — Toss Up —
  • Opera – Erick Oh — Toss Up —
  • Yes-People – Gísli Darri Halldórsson, Arnar Gunnarsson — Toss Up —

Best Live Action Short Film

  • Feeling Through – Doug Roland, Susan Ruzenski (o-2/9/21) — Toss Up —
  •  
  • The Letter Room – Elvira Lind, Sofia Sondervan — Toss Up —
  • The Present – Farah Nabulsi — Toss Up —
  • Two Distant Strangers – Travon Free, Martin Desmond Roe — Toss Up —
  • White Eye – Tomer Shushan, Shira Hochman — Toss Up —

NEW: March 15, 2021

Now that the nominations have been announced, it’s time to predict the winners. None of the omissions or surprises had much of an impact on my predictions outside of in the short film categories.

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