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.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
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.
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
*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.
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
*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.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
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.
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
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!
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.
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.
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…
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
*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!
MAKEUP and HAIRSTYLING
*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!
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.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
What Mank had in spades was a visual style. And it felt right. And the Academy agreed.
ANIMATED SHORT FILM
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.
LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
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.
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND
I’m pretty sure that Sound of Metal will win this. And it should. And it did!
Love and Monsters
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!
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.
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!
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!