Update: I began my Oscar viewing thinking the show was fun and creative, but it went totally off the rails about half way through and ended in the most abrupt and confusing way possible, mostly because I think they assumed that Chadwick Boseman was going to win and they’d go out on an emotional note, and then he didn’t. Please, please next year, make it a show worth watching.  As for my ballot, I knew going in that I wasn’t going to get a lot of them right, and I was entirely correct! But I did get those surprises I asked for.  I only got 10/23, and I stand by my choices. I’ve annotate my original with the winners *bolded*.  ?. 

Between the two of us , we saw most of the films that are nominated this year and reviewed most of them here at Chickflix, so if you’re filling out a ballot (here’s one you can download), you can use this to read up on all the ones you might have missed, though we did miss a few. But it’s also my ballot, with my picks *bolded*. I’ll say right up front, I know a lot of my choices are non-mainstream and I won’t win any pools with this ballot, but I’m okay with that!

So happy Oscars! Here’s hoping the producers pull off a creative and entertaining pandemic-limited show. And I am hoping for a few surprises in the voting, too.


Tune in Sunday April 25, 2021 at 8pmET/5pPT on ABC.


Riz Ahmed,  Sound of Metal

*Chadwick Boseman,  Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom*

*Anthony Hopkins,  The Father*

Gary Oldman,  Mank

Steven Yeun,  Minari

Is the late Chadwick Boseman a lock for this one?  He did turn in a great performance. But then so did Riz Ahmed. Ultimately I think the Academy with go with Boseman as a show of love for him, and I’m good with that. Update: That was the shock of the evening!  So much so that the producers just quit and ended the show. I almost expected the screen to go to black and a test pattern to come on with the Star Spangled Banner playing in the background for 10 minutes.  



*Sacha Baron Cohen,  The Trial of the Chicago 7*

*Daniel Kaluuya,  Judas and the Black Messiah*

Leslie Odom Jr.,  One Night in Miami

Paul Raci,  Sound of Metal

Lakeith Stanfield,  Judas and the Black Messiah 

Daniel Kaluuya has gotten a lot of buzz, but I wonder whether the fact that two actors from the same film are up for this one could split that vote. I’m going with Sacha Baron Cohen, though I know it’s a long shot.  I loved him in the film and appreciate his non-comedic acting chops. Update: I was entirely unsurprised.



Viola Davis,  Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day,  The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby,  Pieces of a Woman

*Frances McDormand,  Nomadland*

*Carey Mulligan,  Promising Young Woman*

Frances McDormand feels like the one that the Academy will go for. She was amazing in the film. But so was Carey Milligan, and I’m voting for her brave, multifaceted performance. Update: Also entirely unsurprising.  But I was hoping.



Maria Bakalova,  Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close,  Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman,  The Father

*Amanda Seyfried,  Mank*

*Youn Yuh-jung,  Minari*

Everybody loved Youn Yuh-jung in her Grandma role, and while she was a standout, I wasn’t a huge fan of the film. So I’m going with Amanda Seyfried because I came away from the film wishing there’d been more of her and less of Gary Oldman. Update: Also entirely unsurprising.  But I was hoping. Her acceptance speech was fun though, and I hope to see pix of her with Brad Pitt from an afterparty or two. 




Over the Moon

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon



I’ll admit I didn’t see any of these, so I’m going with the buzz. But nevertheless I nailed it!  



Sean Bobbitt,  Judas and the Black Messiah

*Erik Messerschmidt,  Mank*

Dariusz Wolski,  News of the World

*Joshua James Richards,  Nomadland*

Phedon Papamichael,  The Trial of the Chicago 7

One of the things that made News of the World worth watching was the beautiful cinematography. But Nomadland‘s imagery was another character in the film, the landscapes, the faces. So that’s my pick! Update: This was somewhat surprising. But then Mank was all about style and black and white films always gets more attention.  




*Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom*




I forgot that EMMA was this year. And though I wasn’t a big fan of it, the costumes were delightful. But I expect the Academy to be more drawn to the prestige films, and that probably means Ma Raney’s Blackbottom, which did have some great costumes. No surprise here. 



Thomas Vinterberg,  Another Round

David Fincher,  Mank

Lee Isaac Chung,  Minari

*Chloe Zhao,  Nomadland*

Emerald Fennell,  Promising Young Woman

It’s a great list for having two women, two Asians, and only one white America man for a change.  I’d love it if Emerald Fennell won, but I suspect Chloe Zhao will take home the statue. And she should. The film is an amazing feat, working with all those non-actors, making a narrative from a memoire. It’s unlike anything that’s come before. Very happy for the outcome of this one! 




Crip Camp

The Mole Agent

*My Octopus Teacher*


This is a hard category. I LOVED Collective. And My Octopus Teacher, too. But I’m going with Collective because when I saw it I was blown away and wouldn’t stop talking about it to everyone I met. Update: I’m pretty sad that Collective has not gotten the buzz it deserved.  But My Octopus Teacher is also a good one. 




A Concerto Is a Conversation

Do Not Split

Hunger Ward

* A Love Song For Latasha*

I’m torn in this category, too. All of them are strong. But I think A Love Song for Latasha is the most timely and the one that made me cry. (Okay, I shed more than a few tears with some of the others. It’s a sad set of shorts) Update:  I felt that Colette was the weakest film of the bunch, but it’s about a Holocaust survivor and if it’s like other years, the oldsters are more likely to vote than the youngsters, and there you have it. 



The Father


Promising Young Woman

*Sound of Metal *

The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’m leaning towards Nomadland for this one because working with all those non-actors must have produced a lot of footage that had to be massaged to come out looking like a real narrative film.  Sound of Metal will probably win, and I’m okay with that, but my gut tells me that Nomadland deserves it. Update: Not surprised, but…



*Another Round  – Denmark*

Better Days  Hong Kong

Collective  – Romania

The Man Who Sold His Skin  – Tunisia

Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina

The fact that they nominated Thomas Vinterberg for Best Director means that the Academy really liked Another Round. So did I, though I’d love to see Collective win. Entirely unsurprising! 




Hillbilly Elegy

*Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom*



I haven’t a clue, and like Costumes, I wish EMMA would win, but it will most likely go to Ma Rainey. Entirely unsurprising! 



*Da 5 Bloods*



News of the World


I remember liking the music in Da 5 Bloods, though I’d be hard pressed to tell you anything about it now. News of the World was too heavy handed for my taste. But since Soul is about music, I think it may have the edge. Nevertheless, because I think Da 5 Bloods was hugely snubbed, I’m giving it this vote. Also entirely unsurprising! 



*Fight For You  from  Judas and the Black Messiah*

Hear My Voice  from  The Trial of the Chicago 7

Husavik  from  Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

lo Sì (Seen)  from  The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)

*Speak Now  from  One Night in Miami…*

I can’t say I remember any of them, though I did watch a couple of videos in the last week. The dark horse is Husavik, and I’d love to see it win, but I think Speak Now will take it home. Update: I’m wondering if you saw these in a theater if you’d remember them better, sitting through the credits and all.  



The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


News of the World


What Mank had in spades was a visual style. And it felt right. And the Academy agreed. 




*Genius Loci*

*If Anything Happens I Love You*



This year’s nominees are as different as can be, and the question is what will the Academy voters prize? The actual animation, the story, the feeling? Or will they be swayed by the marketing campaigns from Pixar and Netflix? I’m going for the one with the most interesting animation, also the oddest. Update: They went for the one about gun violence, and the fact that Netflix and Laura Dern were behind it probably helped. It’s a very good film, so I’m happy for them. 



*Feeling Through*

The Letter Room

The Present

*Two Distant Strangers*

White Eye

This was a great set of films! I’m thinking the Academy votes will go with Feeling Through because it has a sweet message, and has a blind/deaf actor in a lead role for the first time ever. It’s a memorable film. So is Two Distant Strangers, my second pick. Update: They went for my second choice, about police killing black people. 





News of the World


*Sound of Metal*

I’m pretty sure that Sound of Metal will win this. And it should. And it did!



Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky


The One and Only Ivan


I only saw one of these, but I think Tenet depended on Visual Effects the most, so I’ll go with that one. For the win! 



Borat Subsequent MovieFilm

*The Father*


One Night in Miami

The White Tiger

As adaptation go, I can’t remember another that took a book and treated it like Nomadland, with the documentary/narrative structure. Update: This one was a shock. I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know if it deserved it, but it felt like the one the older voters probably connected with, like Colette. 


Judas and the Black Messiah


*Promising Young Woman*

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

This is a total tossup. They’re all excellent, but Promising Young Woman is truly a creative script from beginning to end, and the only one about a woman taking on the world on her own terms. (Like Nomadland in that respect.) Update: Extremely happy about this one!  


The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah




Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

I think Nomadland is going to win this, and I’d like that to happen for a whole lot of reasons. A Chinese woman made a film about an American woman on the fringes, using real people in near homeless conditions. And she got incredible performances from them all. They got this one right, thank goodness!  


I just took a peek at Mainstream Chick’s ballot and we agree on most of the categories with notable exceptions. (she updated her ballot too, and was a lot more on the mark than I was.)

Happy Oscar Viewing!  






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