‘Son of Saul’: Am I crazy to predict Oscar noms for Picture, Director and Actor?

son of saul geza rohrig

Every once in a while a foreign-language film like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” or “Amour” breaks into the Best Picture race at the Oscars, but it’s still the exception and not the rule. So am I crazy to predict a sweep of Picture, Director (Laszlo Nemes) and Actor (Geza Rohrig) nominations for Hungary’s “Son of Saul“?

Oscar welcomes 81 foreign-language entries

Rohrig plays the title character, a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz tasked with burning the bodies of gas-chamber victims. After witnessing the death of a young boy, he makes it his mission to give the child a proper Jewish burial against all odds. The film is as harrowing as it sounds, but it’s no secret that Holocaust stories strongly resonate with the academy, who awarded Best Picture to “Schindler’s List” (1993) and also nominated “Life is Beautiful” (1998), “The Pianist” (2002) and “The Reader” (2008) in recent years.

“Life is Beautiful” is the most pertinent example. The Italian film about a Jewish father trying to protect his sons from the horrors of the Holocaust was nominated for Picture and Director and won Best Actor for Roberto Benigni. It won two other prizes: Best Foreign Language Film and Best Dramatic Score.

Could “Son of Saul” be just as successful? I posed the question in our forums. Read some of our posters’ comments below, then click here to join the discussion.

AviChristiaans: I have had it in for Picture and Directing for a long while now. I am adamant this is a director’s film, the same way “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” was. It has the same technical appeal, the same emotional resonance (albeit more harrowing).

CanadianFan: Geza Rohrig would be an unprecedented nom in the lead actor field. His performance is so understated, and hits the same beat over and over. He has no emotional scene and no Oscar baitiness. Sure, it’s a movie about the Holocaust, but it’s a harrowing one that holds the viewer at arm’s length.

GusCruz: These have been my predictions for awhile now anyway.

Jhaddad: I’ve had “Son of Saul” in my best picture predictions for a while but have been hesitant about Nemes in the directing race. I seem to be switching him in and out constantly. Glad to see others are considering him as well!

JackO: I had it earlier in the summer but took it out once “The Martian” opened. Hasn’t been an opening in my predicts to add it since. Too many big names in too many big films. Needs many more dominoes to drop before I come back around to it.

Compare Oscar odds: Experts vs. Editors vs. Top 24 Users vs. All Users

Do you think “Son of Saul” will be nominated for Best Picture? Make your Oscar predictions and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Oscar nominations).

Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby’s in-house team of Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics

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