At long last the 2021 Oscar’s have begun. Here’s the nominees and our picks for who should take a statue.
This year we had and extra three months to size up the field, and not too many of the contenders feel like a surprise. With the exception of Sound of Metal, all of the films up for the big award are well known quantities. With the exception of The Father, all of the films are also available currently on streaming, making for the most accessible Academy Awards season ever. Let’s get cracking.
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7
This category really depends on if we’re looking at the new Academy Awards or the old. The old academy would be a two way race between Mank and The Father. The new academy would likely be a photo-finish between Nomadland and Minari. As I said in my review, I think Judas and the Black Messiah should win every damn award this year, so I’m sticking to my guns: Judas and the Black Messiah.
Thomas Vinterburg – Another Round
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
This category is much the same as Best Film. That being said, I think Minari is in the drivers seat this time around, though Promising Young Woman could see some attention here as well. Pick: Lee Isaac Chung.
Animated Feature Film:
*Bonus: See our review for the Oscar Nominated Short Films – Animation, and our pick for winner, here.
Best Animated is a struggle. The Academy rarely takes this category seriously, just giving out lazy awards to Pixar. It’s also the tie breaking round in most years for our staff. I would say that Soul is probably handily ahead of Onward in the Pixar slot. Wolfwalkers, however, has the Oscar pedigree; Cartoon Saloon has either been up for or won for Animated feature or short nearly every year they’ve been around. I’m banking on their unique visuals to carry the day: Wolfwalkers.
Actor in a Leading Role:
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Steven Yeun – Minari
I could wring my hands making a case for nearly everyone here, but let’s be real, Chadwick Boseman could have been in the lead for this AND for best supporting for Da 5 Bloods. There’s a reason both leads from Judas and the Black Messiah are in the supporting category – so they don’t lose to Chadwick. Winner: Chadwick Boseman.
Actress in a Leading Role:
Andra Day – The United States Vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
I want Carey Mulligan to win this for the surprisingly versatile Promising Young Woman…but look at that field of Oscar royalty. I think this is the one category where Nomadland lets the traditionalists in the Academy vote how they usually do. Winner: Frances McDormand.
Actor in a Supporting Role:
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami
Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah
I hate when studios send their leading men into the supporting category. I hate that it’s always black leading actors who get this treatment as well. I would pick either lead from Judas and the Black Messiah, but Daniel Kaluuya gave a world-beating performance. Winner: Daniel Kaluuya.
Actress in a Supporting Role:
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari
Another category where the traditionalists and the new voters are going to have a war. I think Olivia Colman has a strong chance, but Minari has the “winds up upsetting every category” energy this year. Winner: Yuh-Jung Youn.