Oscars 2021 predictions slugfest: Claudia vs. Keith vs. Tom on Best Picture, Actor, Actress

“I think it’s ‘Nomadland’s’ year,” says film critic Claudia Puig (KPCC) while discussing the Oscar race for Best Picture with me and Keith Simanton, who is Senior Film Editor of IMDb and Managing Editor of IMDbPro. (Watch above or listen to the audio podcast below). “I think it speaks to where we are, within the pandemic still and what people have been going through. It’s a beautiful film.”

Keith acknowledges “Nomadland’s” multiple award wins and widespread critical praise so far in this derby, but adds, “I wonder how it’s going to sit with academy members,” considering it’s an art-house film that’s largely a mood piece that moves with deliberate slow, poignant pace, delivering powerful vignette after vignette, instead of a dense, fast-paced plot with a strong rooting factor, which voters often prefer.

“My number-one film of the year — and I’m surprised it’s just not a lock to win — is ‘One Night in Miami,’ which I absolutely adored,” Keith adds. “I felt it was really all about recognizing our history, the context with these four amazing men and four incredible performances and amazing direction by Regina King to make Kemp Powers‘ play really stay alive.”

I agree that both films are within reach of winning, but I note that “The Trial of the Chicago 7” also feels timely, was also a movie all about acknowledging our history, packed with grand performances, too, written and directed expertly by Aaron Sorkin. And, like “One Night in Miami,” it has a storyline and characters that audiences can root for with vigor.

What other films are within reach of winning win Best Picture? And who’s ahead to win Best Director, Actor and Actress? Watch our full chat and check out our latest predictions of all of our Experts. Use the drop-down menu on the page to view picks in other categories.

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UPLOADED Jan 25, 2021 11:48 am