Chadwick Boseman and Anthony Hopkins go head-to-head just when you think you have a grasp on Oscar predictions. Even at the Oscars, it is clear that chaos is the order of the day.
The nominations for this year’s Oscars (which will air on ABC on March 27) will be announced on Tuesday morning as Hollywood continues to recover from the recent earthquake and tsunami. After a few years where the best picture field was limited to eight or nine films, there will be a 10-film best picture contingent in the future. Although there isn’t a clear front-runner, the guild nominations haven’t done anything to help.
The Golden Globes were held, but no one knows how much of an impact they will have because they were announced quietly by news releases and social media rather than a glamorous NBC show. A further unpredictable factor this year is that COVID-19-averse moviegoers aren’t returning to the theatre in full force.
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Since only one film in the past three years did not receive an honorable mention from the Producers Guild but still competed for the Academy Award for best picture, producers are the best place to start. PGA and Directors Guild nominations are virtually a lock for the coming-of-age dramas “Belfast” and “Licorice Pizza,” the Western “The Power of the Dog,” the musical remake “West Side Story,” and the sci-fi epic “Dune. King Richard, Don’t Look Up, and CODA are just a few of the films that have received PGA and SAG Awards recognition for their impressive resumes.
For the second round, Will Smith (King Richard) will face Denzel Washington (Tragedy of Macbeth). These actors, as well as Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“Power of the Dog”), and Andrew Garfield (“tick, tick… BOOM!”), have all been nominated by the SAG Awards Foundation.
As the most competitive, this is also the most volatile category (and most entertaining if you like tumult). The British Academy of Film Television and Arts (BAFTA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) both snubbed Kristen Stewart (Spencer) for a nomination. Nicole Kidman, the Golden Globe winner, is enjoying some late “Being the Ricardos” momentum, while she appears to be on the outside looking in. Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”) and Jennifer Hudson (“Respect”), whose portrayal of Aretha Franklin in the biopic “Respect” is receiving some late-breaking acclaim, are both in the running for an Oscar nod, which would be the fifth of their careers.
The Power of the Dog” star Kodi Smit-McPhee has been nominated for the SAG, Critics Choice, and BAFTA awards for his performance in the film, which won a Golden Globe and was nominated for four other prizes. Troy Kotsur, a fellow BAFTA and Critics Choice contender for his poignant “CODA” performance, is expected to join him in the nominations.
Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”), like Smit-McPhee, is busting a move in the competition and could make history if she wins the Oscar for best actress in a musical. Caitriona Balfe and Kirsten Dunst, both SAG, Globe, and Critics Choice nominees, are expected to join DeBose at the Oscars, too, thanks to their SAG, Globe, and Critics Choice nominations (“The Power of the Dog”).
In this category, order reigns supreme, as 4 of the 5 filmmaker nominees usually line up with the DGA field of honour. For Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Steven Spielberg (West Side Story), and Denis Villeneuve (Avatar), that’s a good thing. They’re all in good company (“Dune”).