This year was the most accurate I’ve ever been at predicting the Oscar nominees. It’s also been the year where I have seen the least amount of the nominated films.
So, y’know… that’s hurtful.
In all seriousness, what my 41-for-48 predictions show is that this was the year when there weren’t going to be a lot of surprises on whom would be in the running for one of the golden statuettes. While there still were a few surprises (I’m shuffling through the internet to find out what the hell Another Round, nominated for Best Director, was about) and a lot of history made, this was a year where a lot of things fell into place the way most film nerds felt they would.
Is that a bad thing?
Honestly… not really.
Let’s take a look at some of the nominees and try and sort through what happened this morning.
Who were the big winners?
Leading all films with ten nominations was David Fincher’s Mank. It grabbed nominees for Fincher, Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried (all of those I predicted) but did not award Fincher’s late father Jack for Best Original Screenplay, which I thought was an absolute lock.
Besides that, the big winners were kind of who you expected them to be. Nomadland got nominated five times, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Change the Best Adapted Screenplay to Best Original Screenplay, and Promising Young Woman got the exact same nominations in the exact same categories. Soul didn’t just get a Best Animated Feature nomination, but also one for Best Original Score, and it definitely deserved that. Sasha Baron Cohen is in line to win an Oscar for his acting and his writing. And I had not predicted a Best Director nomination for Lee Isaac Chung, but it was one of Minari’s six nominations, which also included Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and two acting categories.
Who were the big snubs?
There were some surprise omissions with this year’s list, and it starts at Best Director.
I fully expected Aaron Sorkin to be nominated for the fantastic work he did in The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (he was nominated for the screenplay); I honestly felt like he served the story better with his direction than he did with his script. And while this was a historic year as we saw the Academy nominate two women for Best Director for the first time ever, it really could have (and probably should have) been three, because Regina King does a fantastic job with her debut film, the adaptation of One Night In Miami.
The other category we need to touch on is Best Supporting Actor, where the most curious decision made by the voters wasn’t who didn’t get nominated but rather who did. There are some great choices in here and this was a great year for supporting performances.
But who didn’t deserve to be nominated was Lakeith Stanfield for his work in Judas And The Black Messiah. And it’s not because he’s not deserving, it’s because his role in that film a lead role. The film is about his character and he has the most screen time. Why is he even considered for this? Especially because there are so many deserving actors giving amazing performances which are truly supporting: Bill Murray in On The Rocks, Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods, literally ANY actor in The Trial Of The Chicago 7.
I guess is all goes to show that this year, there were no surprises in the Oscar nominations- no real surprise on who would get nominated, and no real surprise that they would fuck something up.