Oscar Experts predictions slugfest: ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Nightmare Alley’?

The time has come. The last two big Oscar contenders, “West Side Story” and “Nightmare Alley,” have screened, and Gold Derby editors and Experts Christopher Rosen and Joyce Eng are here to discuss both.

Steven Spielberg‘s remake of “West Side Story” has earned enthusiastic reviews and we both think it has huge Oscar potential. Will it match the 1961 film with a Best Picture win? Too early to say, duh, but we have it in our Best Picture top five and have slotted in Spielberg into our Best Director lineups. The original earned 11 nominations and won 10 Oscars, losing only Best Adapted Screenplay.

SEE Oscar Experts predictions slugfest: Is ‘Don’t Look Up’ going, uh, up or down in the race?

We could also see three acting nominations for the film — one more than the 1961 version received — in the unsettled supporting categories for Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno and our personal fave, Mike Faist. Moreno, of course, won for the original for her turn as Anita, DeBose’s role, and has more to do in this version as Valentina, the widow of Doc, in this version than perhaps was initially expected.

“Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo del Toro‘s first film since his Best Picture winner “The Shape of Water” (2017), is a visual feast and ought to clean up below the line. But the mixed reviews for the period noir might make above-the-line bids a tad more difficult. Is Cate Blanchett its best chance at an acting bid? Bradley Cooper is the undisputed lead of “Nightmare Alley” and has a killer final scene, but is that enough for him to edge out an increasingly crowded Best Actor category where the likes of Andrew Garfield has been winning over fans with his performance in “Tick, Tick… Boom!”?

Elsewhere, we wonder what the cast of “Succession” thinks of “Nightmare Alley” (there’s a reason for this, don’t worry).

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UPLOADED Dec 3, 2021 8:41 am