Editors slugfest: Who are the early frontrunners at the 2021 Oscars?

Only hours after the 2021 Oscar nominations were announced on March 15, upwards of 2,500 people are already making their predictions for the winners here at Gold Derby. As our managing editor Chris Beachum oversees the predictions center, I just had to get him to join me for an slugfest to discuss the early frontrunners for the 93rd Academy Awards. But be warned: With final voting not starting till April 15, there is plenty of time for these races to shift.

We both think that “Nomadland” reaped the bids it needed to maintain its status as one of the leading contenders for Best Picture. Chloe Zhao made Oscar history as the first woman to earn four nominations in one year; she produced, directed, wrote and edited this Searchlight Pictures release. However, Chris cautions that other contenders are strongly positioned, including “Minari” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Of the other seven Best Picture contenders, only one was nominated for directing, writing, editing, and acting as well:  “Promising Young Woman.” I think that this Brit flick could pull off the win for the top prize because of the preferential ballot that is used only for Best Picture. To get the nomination, a film must have a passionate fan base but to win Best Picture it needs to be a consensus choice. It has to be ranked second or maybe third by a majority of the voters.

SEE Complete list of 2021 Oscar nominations in all 23 categories

In our 2021 Oscar nominations analysis, Chris stresses the importance of keeping up with the results of the guild awards. These are often the best indicators of what will win at the Oscars. We are predicting all of these precursor prizes at Gold Derby so be sure to weigh in on those awards after you make your Oscar predictions.

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UPLOADED Mar 16, 2021 8:26 pm