Oscars 2021: Ian’s ranking and predictions…

In a year like no other, watching every nominated feature film pre-show for the first time was a real experience and is testament to the fact that even with everything that happened in the world and with the glut of delays, 2020 was still a perfectly decent film year. I’ve rounded up all the films and given my order along with my predictions. Lets see how many I get right in the next 12 hours or so… We start with the only film I say I “hated” out of the whole list…

41. Hillbilly Elegy (Supporting Actress, Make Up & Hairstyling)

The Make Up & Hairstyling nomination is probably fair enough though its far from the winner when looking at the nominees but Glenn Close getting nominated for this is incredibly wrong-headed and the sign of a voting body prepared to accept that Close may have to win an Oscar for a terrible film. At this point in time, I don’t think she’s winning but its closer than it should be.

Predicted wins: 0

40.The United States vs Billie Holiday (Actress)

A film which felt primed for more than it actually got due to the fact that frankly, its not very good. Andra Day elevates the material but is stuck with a character who its hard to tell if we’re supposed to feel all that sympathetic towards her. She’s certainly in the running and if the film were more well liked I’d pick her for the win but I don’t think it happens this time around.

Predicted wins: 0

39. The One & Only Ivan (Visual Effects)

By far the standout element of this film is the effects and they’re pretty seamless throughout. I don’t think it wins but its a well deserved nomination.

Predicted wins: 0

38. Over The Moon (Animated Feature)

Industry legend Glen Keane was finally able to direct a film and its a charming but pretty inconsequential bit of work which does feel a bit fortunate to be here.

Predicted wins: 0

37. Better Days (International Feature)

A perfectly serviceable look at high school bullying which gets a little too wrapped up in melodrama in the last third to really hit the mark. A film worth your time but it doesn’t have a sniff of winning.

Predicted wins: 0

36. The Life Ahead (Best Song)

Netflix were rumbling about trying to get something for Sophia Loren but the performance didn’t deserve it and the film itself feels like a missed opportunity. The obligatory Dianne Warren nomination but it won’t win.

Predicted wins: 0

35. Mulan (Visual Effects, Costume Design)

Would be a pretty worthy winner of both of these but the film itself feels like its already been virtually forgotten and there’s very strong competition in both categories.

Predicted wins: 0

34. Onward (Animated Feature)

I need to give Onward enough go as my Film Basterds co-host Becky absolutely swears by it but this didn’t properly work for me in the cinema and frankly it’s getting squashed by competition from its own studio.

Predicted wins: 0

33. The Midnight Sky (Visual Effects)

This is a dark horse and I’ve actually got money on it due to some good odds, the use of Epic’s technology which was made famous by the 360 degree virtual sets of The Mandolorian is put to terrific use here but if I’m being honest, I think this gets edged out.

Predicted wins: 0

32. Pieces of a Woman (Actress)

This peaked at the wrong time and problems with a certain actor here has put the film in a bit of a bad light. Vanessa Kirby is great, she’s going to win at some point but she’s not this year.

Predicted wins: 0

31. Greyhound (Sound)

The dark horse of the category but it’s not got enough heat going in and will lose out.

Predicted wins: 0

30. Sound of Metal (Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Sound, Editing, Original Screenplay)

Very much respect much of the work on show here and I wouldn’t begrudge Ahmed the win at all but its a film which I must confess I’m unsure what all the fuss is about and there’s certainly more worthy films which could have slot in for Picture. However, for Sound, I think this has an exceptional case and is going to go the distance.

Predicted wins: 1 – Sound

29. Soul (Sound, Animated Feature, Score)

It pains me to write this but its one of the dead certs of the evening with it undeniably winning Animated Feature. I like the film well enough but… you’ll see. I also think it’s getting Score which is more understandable though there’s one film I’d love to see get it and its not this…

Predicted wins: 2 – Animated Feature, Score

28. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Actor, Actress, Costume Design, Production Design, Make Up & Hairstyling).

On course to be the big winner of the night here. Actress is very tough to call but I think Davis has crested at the right time and there’s not enough people who LOVE Promising Young Woman to get Carey Mulligan over the line (though to be clear, she’s my personal choice). The only one of these its not winning is Production Design though I do wonder if Anthony Hopkins could also spoil in Actor. I think if The Father had been more widely seen and discussed, it would be VERY VERY tight but its Boseman’s to lose and that’s probably correct given the circumstances eh?

Predicted wins: 4 – Actor, Actress, Costume Design, Make Up & Hairstyling.

27. A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Animated Feature)

YOU. LOVE. TO. SEE. IT. Its not as good as the sublime first part but man, what a treat. Has not got a ghost of a chance but good on those involved and I hope they have the best night.

26. My Octopus Teacher (Documentary)

It shouldn’t win but it will because it warms the heart and is pretty. Which after the year we’ve collectively had seems fair enough but still… I’m grumbling.

Predicted wins: 1 – Documentary

25. Love & Monsters (Visual Effects)

The potential spoiler. Some fantastic creatures and world building in a charming bit of work. Really wouldn’t be surprised if it gets it but don’t think its quite there.

Predicted wins: 0

24. Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress).

Again, this peaked too early but it had to come out when it did. Unsure how the hell this got a screenplay nom when it relies so much on real-world reaction but the situations are undeniable and while she won’t win, Maria Bakalova’s made a career for herself and I hope she puts this to good use in the future.

Predicted wins: 0

23. Pinocchio (Costume Design, Make Up & Hairstyling)

Probably should win for Make Up & Hairstyling, its really a heck of an achievement, and for this utter batshit insanity to be nominated for more than one Oscar, god I’d love to see it get one. I don’t think it will but its close.

Predicted wins: 0

22. The Mole Agent (Documentary)

An entertaining and quietly powerful bit of work which will make you want to call your grandparents. Nice to see it here, doesn’t have a chance.

Predicted wins: 0

21. The Man Who Sold His Skin (International Feature)

A really interesting dissection of contemporary art which was a lot more entertaining than expected going in. It won’t win but its cool that it got the exposure.

Predicted wins: 0

20. Emma (Costume Design, Make Up & Hairstyling)

A charming bit of work which almost feels like an automatic nomination in these categories and it won’t win either with more striking work certainly being done elsewhere.

Predicted wins: 0

19. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Song)

A potential spoiler in Screenplay and Cinematography but I think the one it gets here is Editing. Expect riots if Sacha Baron Cohen gets rewarded for his overall year.

Predicted wins: 1 – Editing

18. Mank (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Score, Cinematography, Make Up & Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound, Costume Design)

A film I wish I liked more and one which feels like its got nominations by default and will walk away with no wins.

Predicted wins: 0

17. Crip Camp (Documentary)

The Obama’s already won last year and though this is powerful stuff, there’s better filmmaking elsewhere.

Predicted wins: 0

16. The White Tiger (Adapted Screenplay)

A tense, fun and worthwhile time with a well deserved nomination. It won’t win but again, its good to see something like this have a spotlight.

Predicted wins: 0

15. Promising Young Woman (Picture, Director, Actress, Original Screenplay, Editing)

There’s still too many “steak eaters” as Indiewire’s Anne Thompson calls them, within the Academy to give this much of a shot for Picture or Director but I think Mulligan’s running a tight second place for Actress and Emerald Fennell is getting the Screenplay win.

Predicted wins: 1 – Original Screenplay

14. Minari (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Score)

Yuh-Jung Youn has been doing charming work on the awards circuit and is peaking nicely so I think she stops Glenn Close and thank god for that. I think that’ll be its win for the night but everyone involved will be thrilled with that I’m sure.

Predicted wins: 1 – Supporting Actress

13. Nomadland (Picture, Director, Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography).

Its gonna win Picture and Director, there’s not a world where that doesn’t happen at this point, but the others are up in the air. Joshua James Richards is looking good for Cinematography though that might be one of the strongest overall categories (my Film Basterds co-host thinks Erik Messerschmidt gets that for Mank incidentally). Wouldn’t be overall surprised if it won all of these and McDormand is knocking on the door for Actress but hey, she’s going to win tonight as a Producer so she’s gonna be fine!!!

Predicted wins: 3 – Picture, Director, Cinematography

12. Judas & The Black Messiah (Picture, Supporting Actor (twice!), Cinematography, Song, Original Screenplay)

Feels like in a different year this would be more of a contender overall but it’s getting Supporting Actor and that’ll likely be it for the night. Very much looking forward to Daniel Kaluuya’s acceptance speech I must say.

Predicted wins: 1 – Supporting Actor

11. Quo Vadis, Aida? (International Feature)

In most years this would win. It won’t but its exactly the kind of thing that does. AND ITS REALLY GOOD.

Predicted wins: 0

10. Time (Documentary)

A striking and powerful bit of work which says more about life in 80 odd minutes than most films do with 120. Its also not about an Octopus.

Predicted wins: 0 

9. Collective (Documentary, International Feature)

Despite being nominated in 2 categories, I don’t think this quite gets there but god, its a great and important doc.

Predicted wins: 0 

8. Da 5 Bloods (Score)

Insane that this is the only nomination is fighting for and I would LOVE to see Terence Blanchard get it but I don’t think its happening. Honestly, if Delroy Lindo managed to get a nomination I think he’d have taken it home.

Predicted wins: 0

7. News of the World (Cinematography, Production Design, Sound)

I wish this got more love and frankly it probably seems a bit “old Hollywood” on the outside looking in. Mad that this is Dariusz Wolski’s first go around for Cinematography, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the work he’s done on Ridley Scott’s next 2 films over the next year, but I think this leaves empty handed.

Predicted wins: 0

6. Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga (Song)

It’s going to win and its going to be a terrific performance. My heart will break a bit if it doesn’t.

Predicted wins: 1 – Song

5. Tenet (Visual Effects, Production Design)

A film that a year ago you’d have expected to see elsewhere but hey, it didn’t quite grab people, though the Score omission’s a bit of a surprise. It’ll win Visual Effects unless Love & Monsters has turned enough heads.

Predicted wins: 1 – Visual Effects

4. The Father (Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Production Design, Adapted Screenplay)

If Olivia Coleman lost to Glenn Close a couple years back, she’d be winning here and she’s better here than she was in The Favourite. This could trouble a few categories but I think Production Design and Adapted Screenplay are locked in though Editing is tight and Actor MAY be tighter than we think. The whole film is so much more interesting than you’d expect going in and I’d love to see it get more wins.

Predicted wins: 2 – Adapted Screenplay, Production Design

3. Wolfwalkers (Animated Feature)

My beloved Wolfwalkers will fall to Soul and I’m still annoyed about the prospect.

Predicted wins: 0

2. One Night In Miami (Supporting Actor, Song, Adapted Screenplay)

Should have got more nominations, particularly surprised Kingsley Ben-Adair didn’t get an Actor nom, and I don’t think its winning any.

Predicted wins: 0

  1. Another Round (International Feature, Director)

The fact this got a Director nod is tremendous and basically cements the win for International Feature, a very well deserved probable win for an exceptional film.

Predicted wins: 1 – International Feature