The 2021 Academy Awards: Thoughts and Opinions

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Anything but Hillbilly Elegy, please.

The Nominees: Emma., Hillbilly Elegy, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, Pinocchio

Will Win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Could Win: Hillbilly Elegy

Should Win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Deserved Consideration: Birds of Prey, i’m thinking of ending things, Possessor

Best International Feature Film: As always, this category is a pretty barren example of what was released internationally. Another Round earned a Best Director nod and is likely the most scene, so I’m sure it will win, despite being a mediocre and wayward film.

The Nominees: Another Round, Better Days, Collective, The Man Who Sold His Skin, Quo Vadis Aida?

Will Win: Another Round

Could Win: Collective

Should Win: Quo Vadis Aida?

Deserved Consideration: Beanpole, Martin Eden, I Carry You With Me, Song Without a Name

Best Original Score: The Best Animated Film winner is a movie about music. And the score is tremendous. Chalk it up.

The Nominees: Da 5 Bloods, Mank, Minari, News of the World, Soul

Will Win: Soul

Could Win: Da 5 Bloods

Should Win: Minari

Deserved Consideration: Antebellum, i’m thinking of ending things,

Best Original Song: If there’s a spiritual presence in the world, Eurovision will win.

The Nominees: “Fight for You” (Judas and the Black Messiah), “Hear My Voice” (The Trial of the Chicago 7), “Húsavík” (Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga), “Io Si” (The Life Ahead), “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami)

Will Win: “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami)

Could Win: “Húsavík” (Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga)

Should Win: “Húsavík” (Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga)

Deserved Consideration: “Jaja Ding Dong” (Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga)

Best Director: In one of the very few secured wins of the night, Chloé Zhao seems to be on a path to become the second woman to ever win this category. She’s a generational talent, a humanist with an empathetic eye, and is the kind of storyteller audiences need right now.

The Nominees: Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round), Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

Will Win: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

Could Win: Lee Isaac Chung (Minari)

Should Win: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

Deserved Consideration: Charley Kaufman (i’m thinking of ending things), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Darius Marder (Sound of Metal)

Best Actor in a Leading Role: I’d pick Riz Ahmed, but the late Chadwick Boseman will be your winner. Not just out of condolences either; he was just that damn good.

The Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Steven Yeun (Minari)

Will Win: Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Could Win: Anthony Hopkins (The Father)

Should Win: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal)

Deserved Consideration: Paul Bettany (Uncle Frank), Sacha Baron Cohen (Boratn Subsequent Movefilm), Jude Law (The Nest), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Jesse Plemons (i’m thinking of ending things),

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Every year, there seems to be one or two major surprises in the acting categories. I suspect this might be one. McDormand does an astonishing job essentially playing herself, and since I’m a win for Boseman, Davis might get a little overlooked. Which leaves us with Carey Mulligan’s didactic, carefully calculated performance. This is the hardest category of the night.

The Nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States v. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

Will Win: Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

Could Win: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Should Win: Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

Deserved Consideration: Haley Bennett (Swallow), Jessie Buckley (i’m thinking of ending things), Carrie Coon (The Nest), Pamela Medoza, (Song Without A Name), Han Ye-ri (Minari),

Best Picture: In a very weird year where great movies were too few and far between, Nomadland somehow managed to resonate, and is the likely best picture winner in this bizarre field of nominees.

The Nominees: The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Will Win: Nomadland

Could Win: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Should Win: Sound of Metal

Deserved Consideration: i’m thinking of ending things

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