John and Kelly React! Academy Awards Predictions, Part II: Pre-Production

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards are happening LiVe FrOm UniON sTaTiOn on April 25th! Let’s see how many of our predictions are wrong!

Best Original Screenplay

Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7

John: Aaron Sorkin is a big fish in the screenwriting world so I would bet Chicago 7 will take this one. It’s got all the Sorkinisms. It’s got hallways, witty lines, and great actors to say those lines. 

Kelly: This category has some real competition!  Sound of Metal and Judas and the Black Messiah are far superior movies, butI think Aaron Sorkin might take this one for The Trial of the Chicago 7 as some sort of consolation prize, meaning I think it has the worst chance of winning Best Picture. Ensemble cast, political courtroom drama, lots of juicy dialogue- check, check, check.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. The Father, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, The White Tiger 

John: Borat 2 had an ADAPTED script??? Regardless, it was a surprisingly well done movie and it’s nice that it’s here. Nomadland is the most hyped out of these nominees so I’m sure it will take this one. 

Kelly: I’m thinking this is between The Father or Nomadland. I’d be surprised if Nomadland didn’t win, based on how accurate and honest it is to its content; but similar to Trial, The Father might take this as it’s the most likely to get shut out of every other category it’s nominated for. 

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, News of the World, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

John: Just by the trailers I would guess it would go to Mank. Cynically, because Oscar voters love everything old Hollywood. Regardless it is a lovely looking film. 

Kelly: Mmmmmmm, Nomadland. I don’t think there is a better looking movie of 2020 than this national parks, desert, natural light splendor. Also, Chloe Zhao has to win something, right? The only other major contender is maybe Mank. Black and white done the right way.

Best Production Design

The Father, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, News of the World, Tenet

John: A movie nominated for an Oscar about OLD HOLLYWOOD???? AND IT”S IN BLACK AND WHITE??? It’s Mank, Mank all the way down, Mank for days. 

Kelly: Gotta go with Mank here, because opulence and old Hollywood glamour is very much well appreciated by the Academy. I’m a little surprised (and disappointed) that neither Judas and the Black Messiah or Nomadland is nominated here. Just because those movies aren’t glamorous doesn’t mean their design isn’t highly revealing or intentional.

Best Costume Design

Emma, Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mulan, Pinocchio

John: There was a Pinocchio movie NOT directed by Del Toro? My best guess it’s gonna go to Black Bottom or to Mank

Kelly: I’m very pleased to see Emma nominated here and for Makeup and Hairstyling. It’s a delightful little movie and those elements were key in bringing it to life. I’d love to see it win, particularly for Costume Design, but I’m looking at Mank or Ma Rainey as they are nominated for Best Picture… so… priorities, right? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Mank will take it, as there was an added layer of difficulty determining how colors would translate to the story in black and white.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, Pinocchio

John: I feel like Mank is gonna sweep all of the aesthetic nominees so I don’t see that changing here. It would be nice if Ma Rainey took it instead. 

Kelly: Feels like Hillbilly Elegy being nominated here is like how Suicide Squad was nominated (and won) a few years ago. Luckily there are a few more serious films in here, so see the above. I think the Academy is going to fawn over that old school Hollywood stuff, so let’s say Mank.

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