Critics Choice Awards: Oscars preview again?

The Critics’ Choice Awards are renowned as one of the best barometers for predicting the Oscars. Over its 25-year history, the Critics Choice Awards has previewed 14 Best Picture Oscar winners as well as 20 Best Director, 17 Best Actor, 14 Best Actress, 15 Supporting Actor and 18 Supporting Actress champs. Let’s take a closer look at the results of the last five awards seasons to see if the Critics Choice Awards are still a good resource when making your 2021 Oscar predictions.

In 2020, the critics were won over by “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” but the academy went with “Parasite.” The CCA did preview the Oscar win for “Parasite” director Boon Jong Ho (he tied here with “1917” helmer Sam Mendes) and all four of the acting champs: leads Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) and Renee Zellweger (“Judy”) and supporting players Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) and Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”).

Likewise in 2019, the CCA didn’t align with the academy on the pic for best pic opting for “Roma” over “Green Book” but did agree on the top helmer – Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma.” It aced the supporting races with wins for Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) and Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”). But it failed to predict the lead winners, going for Christian Bale (“Vice”) over Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and two of the Oscar also-rans — Glenn Close (“The Wife”) and Lady Gaga (“A Star is Born”) — over Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”).

In 2018, this group of journos foresaw the outcome in all of those Academy Awards races. “The Shape of Water” took the top prize here and Guillermo del Toro had a chance to practice the acceptance speech he would give at the Oscars. Likewise for the four acting winners: Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) and Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”).

SEE 2021 Critics’ Choice Awards: Full winners list in the 20 film and 19 TV categories

In 2017, the Critics’ Choice Awards were handed out on Dec. 11. That early date could have worked against these prizes as a precursor. “La La Land” won a whopping eight Critics’ Choice Awards, including Best Picture where it contended against seven of its eight Oscar rivals (only “HIdden Figures” was missing). “La La Land” repeated at the Oscars for Director (Damien Chazelle) as well as cinematography, production design, score and song. While Emma Stone lost here to Natalie Portman (“Jackie”), she bested her at the Oscars. Eventual Oscar champs Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) and Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) solidified their frontrunner status in the lead and supporting acting races with wins here as did featured player Viola Davis (“Fences”) on the distaff side.

In early 2017, “Spotlight” won over the critics first before prevailing at the Oscars. All five of the Best Actor nominees at the Oscars first contended here, with Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) winning both awards. Likewise, all five of the year’s Best Actress nominees at the Oscars first contended here, with Brie Larson (“Room”) winning both awards. And four of the year’s six Critics’ Choice nominees for Best Supporting Actor went on to contend at the Oscars. While Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”) won this race at the Critics’ Choice, he lost the Oscar to Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). As with the two lead races, all five of that year’s Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actress contended first at these awards. Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) won both prizes.

PREDICT the 2021 Oscar nominations through March 15

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