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. After the WGA Awards, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” led “The Irishman” by a score of 11 to 9.
The BAFTA nominations put four more boxes in play: picture, director, acting, writing. Three films managed to fill all four boxes: “The Irishman,” “Joker” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Of the other BAFTA contenders, “Parasite” scored three out of the four – missing out any acting nominations – while “1917,” (picture & director) “Jojo Rabbit, “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” and “The Two Popes” (all writing & acting) nabbed two each.
This has changed the league table up quite a bit, so let’s take a look:
Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” maintains its two-point lead over Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” at the top of the table, 15 to 13. Tarantino’s film is the Best Picture favorite heading into Oscar nominations on Jan. 13 assuming no egregious omissions of it by DGA and PGA later today.
“Joker,” meanwhile, has done very well to break clear of “Marriage Story” and now sits in third place by itself. After ticking all four boxes, “Joker” now has 12 to the 10 of Noah Baumbach’s film. Just behind that flick is the duo of “Jojo Rabbit” and “Parasite” tied on nine each. “1917” sits behind them at eight.
A cheer deserves to go the under-appreciated and under-performing “Little Women,” by the way. Greta Gerwig’s film has finally broken into the table properly and now sits on five boxes ticked – the same as “Knives Out,” “The Two Popes” (which performed well at the BAFTAs), and “Rocketman,” which continues to sneak up the table thanks to its consistent support for Taron Egerton.
“Ford v Ferrari” and “Bombshell” once promised to be more than the challengers they currently are – they sit on four each. Also at four is “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which has consistent support for Tom Hanks but nowhere else, while “The Farewell” has the same problem – Awkwafina is finding love, but no one else is. And, to round out the trio, it’s the same story with “Judy” – although no one ever expected that film to do well apart from lead Renee Zellweger.
Take a look at the league table below. It could all change later today when we revisit this theory after the PGA and DGA have announced their nominations. 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.