John and Kelly React! Academy Awards Predictions, Part IV: “Important Stuff”

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

Kendall Ro- I mean, Jeremy Strong should also have been nominated.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami), Paul Raci (Sound of Metal), Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah)

John: Ya know… you could always just have more than five nominees in lead actor. The Oscars have always been kind of shady and loose with what is a leading performance and what is supporting. I just find the optics here really unfortunate. You have a film that is centered around a main character and then you label him as a supporting player. What sense does that make? Lakeith Stanfield should have been in the leading category. It won’t destroy the fabric of the Oscar universe to have an extra nominee. Either way I would love for either of them to take it home, especially Lakeith. He has been killing it in everything he’s in and it is a long time coming. 

Kelly: lol so Judas and the Black Messiah just led itself I guess, right? God forbid we don’t nominate Gary Oldman for his sleepiest Best Lead Actor role to date and give Lakeith Stanfield well-deserved recognition in the Lead category. If this guarantees a win for Stanfield, that’s totally fine I GUESS, but it’s taking away from someone else (Raci, Cohen, or Odom, Jr. should be the winner here) and it feels highly inaccurate.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Yuh-jung Youn (Minari)

John: So I’m genuinely surprised at all the Borat 2 love the Academy is showing. While I thought the film was intentionally cringe inducing, I also thought it had a lot of heart thanks to Maria Bakalova. Is it award-worthy? I mean… maybe? She did have to stay in character documentary style so the nomination feels deserved. As for will win I would guess either Seyfried or Coleman, but would especially happy if Youn takes it.

Kelly: I still need to see Minari and The Father, so I’m just speculating here- I think this will be a consolation prize for Glenn Close after having lost to Olivia Colman for Lead Actress a few years ago and never having taken home a little gold man. Seyfried seems out of her league here and I don’t know if her work in Mank is deserving of a nomination- it would have been great to see Olivia Cooke nominated here for Sound of Metal (surprise surprise).

May have only chosen these pictures to avoid inundating y’all with Sound of Metal.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

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

John: I feel as though it has to go to Boseman, to honor his passing and to celebrate his career overall. That being said Riz Ahmed’s performance in Metal was so moving and tangible. One of the most grounded pieces of acting I have ever seen. Hoping studios take notice and he has an outstanding career ahead of him.

Kelly: This is kind of a stacked category, as I don’t think you can go wrong with Ahmed, Boseman, or Yeun (I have yet to see Minari but have only heard good things). I’d love, love, love to see Ahmed take this for Sound of Metal– it’s one the best lead performances in the past five years- but if this is a career Oscar for Boseman, who we lost far too soon, it’s well deserved.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

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)

Kelly: I will never forgive the Academy for leaving Awkwafina out in the cold last year for the year’s best acting performance, for man, woman, lead, or supporting. I think this is between Viola Davis and Frances McDormand, both who aced their work. This would be a great opportunity for Davis to take home a Best Lead Actress, as she should have several times already. (POC can LEAD a freaking movie, come on now.) If it’s not one of those, it’ll be Andra Day for another movie I have yet to see but data of previous awards shows is pretty reliable and she’s got the Golden Globe.

Best Director

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

John: I am very disappointed that Shaka King is not included here, especially seeing as how Black Messiah was his first major studio film. As for the rest of the nominees it’s anyone’s game. Probably will be Fincher since he’s the biggest name and he’s been here before. 

Kelly: I’m inclined to say one of the directors that nominated a Best Picture nominee will take it. Although I think Mank is far from his best work, I can see David Fincher winning this year (somewhat due to the lack of overall big heavyweight competition). I’d love to see Zhao take this for her documentary-esque style- she should get at least one somewhere, right? Make NYU proud, Chloe!

Best Picture

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

John: Being slightly cynical, there are some flicks here that tick a lot of the typical Best Picture boxes. Mank, an old Hollywood throwback. Chicago 7, an uplifting historical flick tackling injustice. The Father stars two former winners, etc., so it feels like a toss-up. If I had to pick which one feels the most deserving, it’s Sound of Metal. It’s just simple emotionally effective filmmaking. It doesn’t rely on gimmicky edits or technical feats. It just feels so human and sincere. That being said Black Messiah was an excellent and gorgeous film and I would love if it won. I have yet to see Minari but I’m rooting for that one as well.

Kelly: The inevitable winner is Nomadland right? I mean, just based on all the other awards shows, we can safely say it’s heading that way. Nomadland winning during a housing crisis in Union Station/LA just feels so wrong to me though. And I won’t lie- I wouldn’t mind an upset from either Sound of Metal or Judas and the Black Messiah. I think Sound really challenged how an audience can connect with a movie and has all the makings of being a huge influence in future filmmaking.

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