Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 4

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).

Christmas is just around the corner, which means the vast majority of film critic groups are about to finish giving out awards. The last week has been hectic with Monday being one of the biggest announcement days of the year. There aren’t many critics groups left and it appears that the guild nominations are almost at a close. Weeks five and six will be slower before things ramp up into the final stretch.

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

Week 5

Tuesday, Dec. 17 – London Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 17 – Phoenix Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 17 – Phoenix Critics (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 18 – USC Scripter (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Dec. 19 – Florida Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Dec. 19 – Black Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 20 – Florida Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Dec. 20 – Women Journalists (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 20 – Golden Eagle Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 23 – Online Critics (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners

Parasite started off slow, but has really exploded in recent weeks, taking countless Best Picture prizes and positioning itself for a Best Picture run that would rival last year’s Roma.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood may have released early in the year, but it has held on quite well as the precursors have been announced. The film has been standing strong against strong competition while Brad Pitt has slowly turned into a Supporting Actor frontrunner.
Uncut Gems isn’t the kind of film that usually does well with Oscar voters, but film critics are working very hard at trying to make at least Adam Sandler’s Best Actor campaign stronger. This past week has showed nice strength and longevity for the film even if the Screen Actors Guild didn’t take notice.
Us is having a similar run as Uncut Gems in that critics are bolstering the film’s chances with Oscar voters. While the film hasn’t had the same level of support that Get Out did, star Lupita Nyong’o has been claiming numerous prizes and seems to now be in a strong position for an Oscar nomination, something that wasn’t entirely certain two months ago.
Marriage Story may not be picking up prizes left and right, but it has been a consistent presence in the race earning several nominations along the way, which will help keep its profile high going into the final stretch.

Big Losers

The Two Popes might have started strong, but it’s been eclipsed by a number of other films and has been slowly fading into obscurity the longer the awards season drags on with fewer and fewer recognitions coming at it.
Joker was supposed to be doing really well. Some even suggested Joaquin Phoenix was a slam dunk winner this year. The problem is that while he and the film have been a consistent presence this precursor season, his film has been slowly fading and his own performances isn’t getting the level of support that everyone though it might.
The Irishman also started out strong as it entered Oscar season with several recognition; however, in the last week, the film has slowed down in the number of accolades it has picked up as films like Once Upon a Time, Marriage Story, and especially Parasite have come on strong. The film is still in a strong position for multiple nominations, but this week hasn’t been a good one for Scorsese’s film.
Little Women earned incredibly strong reviews, but has been poorly pushed by Sony and has thus been struggling for attention. While it has picked up a handful of prominent awards, the film is still struggling for accessibility. Shut out at SAG and a non-entity with many of the guilds, the film is going to need a hefty boost to make it to the final race.
Richard Jewell got a boost from the Eastwood-friendly National Board of Review, but has since become something of a disappointment. With the film’s anemic performance at the box office and the controversy rising over its portrayal of a late female journalist, the film has hit several roadblocks with the mistaken Best Actress submission of Kathy Bates at the Screen Actors Guild being a major one. Eastwood’s film has received tepid reviews, but there are still a lot of his fans in the Academy, so he could still bounce back.

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