Unpredictable Oscar season

Written by on December 14, 2020


Amanda Seyfried chats with USA TODAY’s Brian Truitt about her new movie “Mank.” Her portrayal of Marion Davies is receiving Oscar buzz. USA TODAY

A digital Oscars by way of Zoom? Or an Academy Awards ceremony in individual however with masks and social distancing? Who is aware of what Hollywood’s largest night time will appear and feel like on April 25, however one factor’s for positive: Whereas the contenders may not be as plentiful as they normally are in awards season, there are nonetheless sufficient high-end films you may need to watch in preparation.

That in itself is a minor miracle, with studios punting so lots of their huge tasks to subsequent yr within the wake of COVID-19, movie festivals logging on and film theaters quickly closing their doorways – lots of which stay shuttered. However the Academy made some daring however good selections, delaying Hollywood’s grandest night time to spring, growing the eligibility window (via Feb. 28) and permitting streaming-only films to be thought-about for Oscars with out the same old theatrical run. It is a boon for companies like Netflix, Amazon and others which have been within the hunt for finest image lately however now have an important shot at taking dwelling the Oscars’ high prize.

‘Mank’: Amanda Seyfried talks Oscar buzz, farm life and having a baby during the pandemic

Save a seat for Frances McDormand: ‘Nomadland’ is Oscar-ready

It has been a reasonably nutty yr, so we should not assume the often-unpredictable Academy Awards might be any completely different. Nonetheless, listed here are 10 movies to take a look at now that may possible be in competition on Oscar night time:

‘Da 5 Bloods’

Might Spike Lee’s Vietnam Conflict film (streaming now on Netflix) be the film that lastly earns the long-lasting filmmaker his finest image honor? “Da 5 Bloods” will in all probability no less than garner a nomination for the night time’s largest honor, in addition to consideration within the director and authentic screenplay classes. Delroy Lindo is poised to get his finest actor nod because the President Trump-supporting member of a band of Black veterans who return to Southeast Asia to retrieve their squad chief’s stays and a trove of gold bars. The late Chadwick Boseman may additionally garner a supporting actor nomination as the boys’s beloved superior.

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Backside’

Twelve years after Heath Ledger was honored with a posthumous Oscar, it seems potential once more: Boseman, who died Aug. 28 at age 43, might be a favourite for finest actor off his acclaimed efficiency as an selfish cornet participant within the August Wilson adaptation (streaming Dec. 18 on Netflix). “Ma Rainey” additionally may issue into the most effective image race, and Glynn Turman might sneak into supporting actor, although it is extra possible Viola Davis scores her second finest actress nomination because the fiery title blues singer.


Whereas “Citizen Kane” has a repute for being the best movie ever made, Orson Welles’ masterpiece took dwelling just one Oscar, for finest screenplay. A story about its creation, David Fincher’s throwback drama (streaming now on Netflix) would possibly snag extra. It is a main contender for finest image and director; Gary Oldman (as “Kane” author Herman Mankiewicz) is prone to nab a finest actor nomination three years after profitable for “Darkest Hour”; Amanda Seyfried is poised to get her first Oscar nod for supporting actress; and Charles Dance is a darkish horse in supporting actor. And “Mank” might be a pressure within the technical classes, from cinematography to attain.

‘Information of the World’

Do not look now, however Tom Hanks, America’s Dad himself, is again in one other Oscar-ready position. The post-Civil Conflict Western drama (in theaters Dec. 25) casts Hanks as a touring Texas information reader who comes upon a feral woman (Helena Zengel) taken and raised by the Kiowa tribe and agrees to move her again dwelling. Hanks is at all times a risk to make it into the most effective actor dialogue, although the class is stacked this yr, and nominations for finest image and director(Paul Greengrass) are higher bets.


Frances McDormand goes for Oscar No. 3 in Chloe Zhao’s road-trip drama (in theaters February) a couple of lady who works and travels throughout America as a nomad after her husband dies and her hometown collapses economically. The primary movie to win the highest prizes at each the Venice and Toronto movie festivals in the identical yr, “Nomadland” is probably the one to beat for finest image at this level. McDormand is a shoo-in to seize a finest actress nod, David Strathairn is a risk for supporting actor, and Zhao has an important shot at a finest director nomination, which might make her the primary lady of coloration within the class.

‘One Evening in Miami’

Truly, two feminine administrators would possibly make historical past, with Regina King a powerful contender to get a nomination for her function debut. Kemp Powers’ adaptation of his stage play a couple of night time spent within the firm of Black icons Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) ought to garner a finest image nomination. Odom, a Tony Award winner for “Hamilton,” has an actual shot at profitable supporting actor – a class the place Hodge additionally would possibly get a point out – whereas Goree and particularly Ben-Adir loom as potential finest actor candidates. 

‘Items of a Girl’

The Academy loves wrenching household dramas (see: “Atypical Individuals,” “Marriage Story”) and this movie (in theaters Dec. 30, streaming Jan. 7 on Netflix), a couple of lady coping with the aftermath of a tragic dwelling delivery, is that in spades. Vanessa Kirby getting her first finest actress Oscar nomination in a career-defining position is a no-brainer, and Ellen Burstyn additionally appears possible for supporting actress because the opinionated mom brutally butting heads with Kirby’s emotionally wrecked, more and more remoted lead character.

‘Promising Younger Girl’

As a medical-school dropout on a vicious, righteous and colourful path of vengeance, Carey Mulligan makes an exceedingly sturdy case for a second finest actress nomination within the biting and darkish thriller (in theaters Dec. 25) – albeit in a busy class with different potential contenders like Amy Adams (“Hillbilly Elegy”) and Sophia Loren (“The Life Forward”). A finest image slot additionally is not out of the query for the #MeToo-themed movie, neither is an authentic screenplay nod for first-time director Emerald Fennell.


Pixar films have change into as a lot of an Oscar hallmark as swag baggage and pink carpets – although perhaps not this yr. “Soul” (streaming Dec. 25 on Disney+), starring Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, is a thought-provoking, feel-good movie about life and the afterlife that might be within the pole place for the animated function Oscar (Pixar’s gained it 10 occasions in 19 years) and would possibly even snag a finest image nod. (If it occurs, “Soul” can be the third Pixar film to make that A-list combine.) 

‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’

Author/director Aaron Sorkin’s historical drama (streaming now on Netflix) re-creating the tumultuous riots on the 1968 Democratic Nationwide Conference in Chicago – and the infamous trial that adopted – is chock-full of recognizable names and top-notch performances. As well as being a significant participant in finest image, director and authentic screenplay classes, “Chicago 7” may place as much as three actors in supporting actor from a forged together with current Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Mark Rylance, Frank Langella, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Keaton and Sacha Baron Cohen (who may additionally rating a screenwriting nod for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”). 


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