The Academy Awards is now less than three weeks away – Sunday April 25th. Final voting takes place from the 15th through the 20th. Some races are pretty much (though not entirely) locked-in, while others are still very wide open. Let’s break it down:
“Nomadland” is the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and PGA recipient. It’s also probably going to win the BAFTA this Sunday. Interestingly, the Oscar and BAFTA Best Picture winners have not matched since 2013’s “12 Years a Slave”. Will “Nomadland” be the movie to break this streak? I think so, but “The Trial of the Chicago 7”’s SAG Awards Best Ensemble win could help the Netflix drama in this fight for the top prize.
Chloe Zhao, for “Nomadland”, seems to be a lock. “Chicago 7”’s Aaron Sorkin isn’t in the Oscar category, which means “Mank”’s David Fincher is likely in the second position, though a distant one.
The late Chadwick Boseman is very close to a lock for a posthumous Oscar win for his incredible final on-screen performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) and Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) may receive some votes from Academy members who LOVE their work, but likely not too many.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) is definitely the favorite, after picking up Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG honors. He’s also a BAFTA nominee. The only thing that stands in his way of winning the Oscar is his co-star. Lakeith Stanfield stunned the movie world when he earned a surprise nomination. Not only had he not received any major recognition up to that point in the awards season, but WB was campaigning him in LEAD Actor, not Supporting Actor. If the votes split, could Sacha Baron Cohen (“Chicago 7”), Leslie Odom, Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) or Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) sneak-in for an upset win? I don’t think it’s impossible.
Now we get to the two most unpredictable categories of the year:
All five Oscar nominees were up for the Actress in a Drama Golden Globe, which went to Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”). The Critics Choice Award went to Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”). And SAG favorite Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) took home yet another trophy in a surprise win. All three ladies are NOT nominated for the Best Actress BAFTA, but the other two Oscar nominees are. Either Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) or Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) will probably win the BAFTA – making it four different winners leading into the Academy Awards. Does this mean the fifth woman takes the Oscar, or will it be the woman who only won the Globe, only won the Critics Choice, only won the SAG or only won the BAFTA? It’s so up in the air at this point.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The same goes for this category, which has also had three different winners so far… and yet, one of them isn’t even Oscar nominated. Jodie Foster received the Golden Globe for her performance in “The Mauritanian” but got Oscar snubbed. The Critics Choice honoree: Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”. And the SAG Awards gave it to “Minari” actress Yuh-jung Youn. She and Bakalova are BAFTA nominees, though their Oscar competitors Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”), Olivia Colman (“The Father”) and Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) are not. Whoever wins the BAFTA (if it’s Youn or Bakalova) may have the advantage heading into Oscar night. But Close is still looking for her first win out of eight career nominations, and some older Academy voters may want to finally give her a gold statue.