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Adam Sandler Preparing To Crash The Best Actor Lineup And Other Early Precursor Musings

As Golden Globe nomination voting ends today, a number of precursors have started to chime in, beginning the first wave of buzz for Oscar hopefuls. Nothing that happened this week has set anything in stone, but perception could be beginning to form. Groups like the Gotham Awards, the National Board of Review, the Annie Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the American Film Institute have just started the conversation. The Globes, other big critics groups, and then of course the guilds, will continue to have a say, with the latter being what we all need to pay the most attention to. Still, it’s all worth considering when thinking about the Academy Awards.

Some factors that have emerged this week via the precursors can be seen in our musings below…

First up, we can discuss Adam Sandler and Uncut Gems over performing with the first wave of precursors, especially when it comes to wins. Sandler winning the National Board of Review prize for Best Actor is a huge get. Combined with Uncut Gems being categorized in Drama at the Globes, an interesting pathway is forming to an Oscar nomination. If he gets nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the more “serious” category, that could get him up for a Screen Actors Guild nod. If that happens, the Academy will almost certainly follow suit with a nom. Then, we have the Safdie Brothers, Josh and Benny, picking up the Best Original Screenplay win from NBR (along with Ronald Bronstein), and then winning Best Director from the New York Film Critics Circle. Combine NBR (where it was a top ten film too) with NYFCC, as well as recent Gotham and Independent Spirit Award nominations, and early momentum is clearly forming.

Next, there’s the early dominance for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Nothing has come close to it, in terms of Best Picture wins, so far. NBR and NYFCC both gave it their top prizes, while AFI had it in their top ten. That’s a strong start for a presumed Best Picture frontrunner. Netflix has to be overjoyed (also seeing NYFCC reward Joe Pesci in Best Supporting Actor), as they’ve basically swept the precursors in Picture so far, between this movie and Marriage Story running away with all of the Gotham wins…

Finally, it’s worth noting that Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood has performed well so far. Quentin Tarantino especially has started off very strongly, picking up a Best Director win at NBR and a Screenplay victory with NYFCC. Brad Pitt also grabbed Best Supporting Actor at NBR, confirming his frontrunner status as well. Right now, it’s hard not to see Tarantino’s flick as a potential co-frontrunner with The Irishman in almost all of the major categories.

This is just what has emerged during this first wave. There’s plenty more precursors to come. Sit tight for more as they arrive hot and heavy, ready for instant analysis. As it happens, we’ll have the coverage…

Stay tuned to see what happens to the race as more precursors make their announcements in the days and weeks to come!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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