FBC Oscar Coverage, Part X: Predicting The Winners (Part 5)

Well, it’s been a long road. We’ve talked about screenplays. We’ve talked about leading performances and supporting performances. We talked about all of the categories that are on when you decide to take a bathroom break. But now, it’s time for the two big categories. Let’s get predictin’!!!

Best Director

THE NOMINEES:

Lee Issac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Thomas Vittenburg, Another Round
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Chloé Zhao with Frances McDormand, Nomadland

WHO WILL (AND WHO SHOULD) WIN?: I want to preface this by saying that I made a mistake last year. I distrusted the Academy so much that I assumed they would select the glossy 1917 over Parasite, which wasn’t just the best movie nominated, but also the best movie of 2019. However, AMPAS surprised me and I hope they keep on surprising me. Because ten years ago, I would have said that Mank and Fincher were an absolute lock, but I’m going to say that Chloé Zhao comes away as the winner on Oscar night. The work she did telling the story of Nomadland is nothing short of breathtaking and I think she’ll be just the second woman (and the first woman of color) to be crowned Best Director.

UPSET SPECIAL: Ok. There are a couple of ways I could be wrong here. No film got nominated more than Mank, and if that film has a big night, do not be surprised to see David Fincher winning his first (which is fucking criminal) trophy for directing.

WHO GOT SNUBBED?: Ok, so I’m definitely an Aaron Sorkin super-fan, but I think The Trail Of The Chicago 7 works more because of his work as a director than as a writer. That being said, I’m, going to remove Chung, Fincher and Vittenburg all from this list and say that AMPAS should have kept Fennell and Zhao and also nominated Regina King (One Night In Miami), Kelly Reichardt (First Cow) and Eliza Hittman (Never Rarely Sometimes Always) in order to showcase the amazing work female directors gave us last year.

Best Picture

THE NOMINEES:

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound Of Metal
The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Nomadland

WHO WILL (AND WHO SHOULD WIN): It wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, but it’s the best movie out of all the nominees. I think the Academy gets it right and chooses to reward Nomadland. This year’s list of nominees are absolutely great (though could be a hair better, more on that later) but the brightest star in the 2020 sky was this quiet and interesting little film looking at a group of people that we, as a nation, are sadly ignoring. Masterful performances and a touching story… what more could you ask for?

UPSET SPECIAL: I could easily see a world in which The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is walking home with Best Picture, and that would be ok. It’s a really good film anchored with some great acting and a whip-smart script, and while the win wouldn’t upset me, it would leave me feeling a little lost.

WHO GOT SNUBBED: Well, my top two films of the year didn’t get nominated, so let’s correct that mistake right now! In a perfect world, The Father and Mank would both be on the outside, and the soft and tender First Cow and the bold and hilarious Palm Springs would each have a spot at the table.

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