Oscar Experts predictions slugfest: Breaking down almost every category

Will “West Side Story” be the Oscar nominations leader? Can “The Last Duel” recover enough to score some below-the-line bids? Gold Derby editors and Experts Christopher Rosen and Joyce Eng are here to go through all of their current predictions before shortlists are unveiled on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

“Dune” has been a safe pick below the line for a while and will likely notch a bunch of nominations, but it’s gotten some competition from certain late-breaking films. “West Side Story” feels formidable in categories such as production design, sound, editing and cinematography (that puddle shot!). There’s also “Nightmare Alley,” which opens Friday and is a craft monster as well. We both have it collecting a bunch of noms, including perhaps a production design win. But all of that tech support enough for it to snag a spot in the Best Picture top 10? Only one of us at the moment has it in.

SEE Oscar Experts predictions slugfest: Is Lady Gaga on the rise (again)?

“The Last Duel” is also teeming at the seams with crafts, but has an uphill battle after bombing at the box office in October. However, its current critical reassessment and VOD success could perhaps pave the way for a below-the-line nomination or two, as it feels like a supporting bid for Ben Affleck is getting out of reach.

The Best Supporting Actor category is still in flux — so much so that one of us has “House of Gucci’s” Jared Leto winning and the other just dropped him and explains why a Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”) nomination could happen.

Elsewhere, we discuss why the buzz for “The Lost Daughter” has not peaked yet, if Paul Thomas Anderson — the Best Original Screenplay favorite for “Licorice Pizza” — could actually go home empty-handed and more.

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UPLOADED Dec 15, 2021 6:23 pm