Year In Advance Predictions: Netflix Again Out In Front Early?

Year in advance Academy Award predictions are a tricky thing. On the one hand, who doesn’t like to be right with their picks a full twelve months in advance? On the other hand, it’s almost impossible to be right. Especially over the last handful of years, the top prizes have largely gone to films and performances that one never would have initially picked. That’s just the nature of the Oscar beast. So, despite this being my first crack at predictions, keep in mind that they’re total shots in the dark. The movies and performances below may check off certain boxes for Academy members, but by and large, they’re totally unseen. So, there’s just no way to know.

We’ll kick it off with a bit of Best Picture chatter/speculation. In my eyes, Netflix has a pair of strong contenders in David Fincher’s Mank and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. Either one, or maybe both, could be the streaming giant’s ticket to getting their much coveted Best Picture win. They’re hardly the only players on the block, though, as Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story loom large. Don’t sleep on Mike Mills either, as his untitled film (potentially called C’mon C’mon) could be the indie player of 2020. The same can be said for Andrew Dominik and Blonde, along with Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater. Plus, Christopher Nolan has a potential X factor in Tenet. Basically, we have options, which we’ll sift through over the coming months…

Here now is my first crack at early Oscar predictions:

BEST PICTURE

1. Mank
2. Da 5 Bloods
3. The Trial of the Chicago 7
4. West Side Story
5. Untitled Mike Mills Project
6. The Last Duel
7. Blonde
8. News of the World
9. Stillwater
10. Nomadland

Next in Line: 11. Ammonite 12. Tenet 13. In the Heights. 14. The French Dispatch 15. I’m Thinking of Ending Things 16. Minari 17. Promising Young Woman 18. Annette 19. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 20. Dune 21. On the Rocks 22. Next Goal Wins 23. Those Who Wish Me Dead 24. Soul 25. King Richard 26. Greyhound 27. Happiest Season 28. Hillbilly Elegy 29. Wonder Woman 1984 30. Onward

BEST DIRECTOR

1. David Fincher – Mank
2. Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
3. Steven Spielberg – West Side Story
4. Mike Mills – Untitled Mike Mills Project
5. Andrew Dominik – Blonde

Next in Line: 6. Paul Greengrass – News of the World 7. Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 8. Chloe Zhao – Nomadland 9. Ridley Scott – The Last Duel 10. Christopher Nolan – Tenet

BEST ACTOR

1. Matt Damon – Stillwater (or The Last Duel)
2. Gary Oldman – Mank
3. Joaquin Phoenix – Untitled Mike Mills Project
4. Tom Hanks – News of the World (or Greyhound)
5. Bill Murray – On the Rocks

Next in Line: 6. Michael Fassbender – Next Goal Wins 7. Will Smith – King Richard 8. Adam Driver – Annette (or The Last Duel) 9. Andrew Garfield – The Eyes of Tammy Faye 10. Ansel Elgort – West Side Story

BEST ACTRESS

1. Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
2. Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
3. Ana de Armas – Blonde
4. Kate Winslet – Ammonite
5. Frances McDormand – Nomadland

Next in Line: 6. Rachel Zegler – West Side Story 7. Marion Cottilard – Annette 8. Jesse Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things 9. Kristen Stewart – Happiest Season 10. Zoey Deutch – Buffaloed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Tom Burke – Mank
2. Ben Affleck – The Last Duel
3. Jesse Plemons – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
4. Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
5. Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Next in Line: 6. Eddie Redmayne – The Trial of the Chicago 7 7. Bill Murray – The French Dispatch 8. Paul Walter Hauser – Da 5 Bloods 9. David Strathairn – Nomadland 10. Robert Pattinson – Tenet

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite
2. Rashida Jones – On the Rocks
3. Abigail Breslin – Stillwater
4. Jodie Comer – The Last Duel
5. Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Next in Line: 6. Lily Collins – Mank 7. Gabby Hoffman – Untitled Mike Mills Project 8. Ariana DeBose – West Side Story 9. Rebecca Ferguson – Dune 10. Rita Moreno – West Side Story

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7
2. Untitled Mike Mills Project
3. Mank
4. Da 5 Bloods
5. On the Rocks

Next in Line: 6. The French Dispatch 7. Tenet 8. The King of Staten Island 9. The Eyes of Tammy Faye 10. Ammonite

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. Nomadland
2. West Side Story
3. Blonde
4. The Last Duel
5. I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Next in Line: 6. News of the World 7. Next Goal Wins 8. Dune 9. Those Who Wish Me Dead 10. Greyhound

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Soul
2. Onward
3. How Do You Live?
4. The Croods 2
5. Tom and Jerry

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. Tenet
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. The French Dispatch
5. The Last Duel

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Mank
2. Tenet
3. West Side Story
4. Dune
5. The Last Duel

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. Mank
2. The French Dispatch
3. The Last Duel
4. Dune
5. Ammonite

BEST FILM EDITING

1. Tenet
2. Mank
3. News of the World
4. Dune
5. Da 5 Bloods

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. The French Dispatch
2. Mank
3. Dune
4. The Witches
5. Mulan

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. Tenet
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. In the Heights
5. No Time to Die

BEST SOUND EDITING

1. Tenet
2. West Side Story
3. Dune
4. In the Heights
5. No Time to Die

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Tenet
2. Dune
3. Eternals
4. Godzilla vs Kong
5. Wonder Woman 1984

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. Mank
2. Dune
3. Soul
4. The French Dispatch
5. Da 5 Bloods

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. No Time to Die
2. In the Heights
3. Soul
4. Annette
5. Onward

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. ???
2. ???
3. ???
4. ???
5. ???

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

1. ???
2. ???
3. ???
4. ???
5. ???

Stay tuned for an update next month!

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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