“We are going to go over all 23 categories: who we’re predicting and any potential upsets that we could see happening,” says Marcus James Dixon to kick off an epic final Oscar predictions slugfest with Zach Laws and Daniel Montgomery in which they hash out every single award up for grabs when the motion picture academy hands out its prizes on Sunday night, April 25. Watch the video above.
Not all Oscar races are created equal. Some front-runners seem so far ahead that it’s hard to even make a case for an upset victory. For instance, Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) probably has Best Supporting Actor in the bag after winning Golden Globe, Critics Choice, SAG, and BAFTA Awards — no one else in any of the four acting categories this year has swept all four of those. And does any other movie really come close to matching the sound of “Sound of Metal”?
Upsets are always possible, of course, but Dixon, Laws, and Montgomery agree with the overwhelming consensus in these races and a number of others. But when it comes to the top awards, things get a lot dicier. “Maybe it’s not the biggest ledge I’m going out on,” says Laws about his gutsy pick that Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) will upset Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) for Best Actor. “I just think that these are private ballots. Nobody has to know who you’re voting for,” so with all the affection Boseman has gotten from other awards groups and is likely to get from many academy members, a number of voters may think “he doesn’t need my vote” and thus lend their support to an actor in a film they seemed to like more judging from the nominations it got (“The Father” is up for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, while “Ma Rainey” was snubbed in those categories).
Laws is also betting that “The Trial of the Chicago 7” will upset “Nomadland” for Best Picture after its victories at the SAG Awards and ACE Eddie Awards. Montgomery is still picking “Nomadland” in the top category but agrees that “it could go any number of ways” thanks to the preferential ballot, which has produced multiple confounding surprises in recent years. Since voters rank the films instead of picking just one, there’s far more variability in the system. “We’ve only had the preferential ballot back for 12 years. It’s still very young for us to say [any particular surprise] can’t happen.”
And that’s even truer after a pandemic year that fundamentally altered the way the industry has engaged with movies. So watch out for those surprises on Sunday night.
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