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.
Following the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice slate of nominees earlier this week, we now have the SAG and ACE Eddie nominations to enter. There were three boxes up for grabs: individual SAG nomination, SAG Ensemble nomination, and ACE Eddie nomination. Only three films scored all three.
Who’s up? Well, “Jojo Rabbit” was the third film to secure all three of those boxes after Scarlett Johansson surprised with a supporting nomination for “Jojo” along with her lead bid for “Marriage Story.” But Noah Baumbach’s film was snubbed in the Best Ensemble category, so “Jojo” and “Marriage Story” are now on six apiece. Also at six is “Joker” after adding to it’s solid start earlier in the week with two boxes ticked here.
Moving up a place is “Parasite,” which, like “Joker,” scored an ACE nomination. Unlike “Joker” it didn’t get any individual SAG nominations but surprised with a Best Ensemble bid. Those two boxes means “Parasite” is now on five and sits in sixth place.
“Ford v Ferrari” is in seventh after Christian Bale was nominated for Best Actor at SAG and the movie was cited at the ACE Eddies, too. “Bombshell” is also up after it’s individual SAG nominations and Ensemble bid, meaning it is now on three and is seriously gaining momentum fast – which is key in our theory.
Who’s down? Well, Greta Gerwig‘s “Little Women” has had a disappointing week. After performing poorly at the Golden Globes, it missed out on several guild awards and was shut out by the Eddies and SAG, despite featuring a stellar cast including Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Timothee Chalamet. “The Two Popes” stuttered after a great performance earlier in the week, with thoseSAG snubs of Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins. And “The Farewell” was also shut out at SAG.
Here’s the full leaderboard:
Next up in this theory is the Golden Globe on January 5. It’s looking pretty good for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “The Irishman” as they are placed in comedy and drama, respectively. But could that be the night where one of them pulls ahead for the first time?
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.