Breaking down the precursor awards — both nominations and winners — as well as the top Oscar nominations by categories gives us 35 key races that will determine the strongest films at the Academy Awards. Different films will have different strengths: some will do well with acting, others with writing and directing and some will pop up here and there. To be a leading Oscar contender, a film needs to be represented across a range of races.
Last year, “Green Book” checked 23 of these 35 boxes before winning Best Picture at the Oscars. Conversely, “Roma” filled in only 19 boxes while both “BlacKkKlansman” and “The Favourite” were at 20. Each of the three previous Best Picture winners numbered among the top three entries on our season-end charts.
This year saw the Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes announce their roster of nominees in quick succession on December 8 and 9. Here is how they played out on our charts of Academy Awards contenders:
As you can see, it looks like a battle between Martin Scorsese‘s “The Irishman” and Quentin Tarantino‘s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” They are the only two contenders with a perfect record at this very early stage, with the maximum four Globes boxes marked off plus that Critics Choice box, too. So that is five apiece for each film.
Following up is “Marriage Story” with four; Noah Baumbach was snubbed for Best Director by the Globes. “Joker” also earned four, with director Todd Phillips cited.
Sitting at three apiece are a quartet of contenders:”Jojo Rabbit,” “Parasite,” “1917” and “The Two Popes.” Five more films — “Dolemite is My Name,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Knives Out,” “Little Women” and “Rocketman” — are all on two.
Here’s the full leaderboard so far:
The next round is on December 11 when both the ACE Eddies and the Screen Actors’ Guild announce their nominees. Stay tuned.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 13.