Oscars 2021 predictions: who will win, and who should win?
We may be approaching the end of the longest Oscar season in the event’s 93-year history, but with the exception of a handful of notable categories, the outcome remains pleasingly hard to predict. Best Picture and Best Director may both feel like foregone conclusions, but the two lead acting categories are unusually close-fought, with the usual bellwethers firing off in all directions. (In Best Actress, Frances McDormand took the Bafta and Andra Day the Golden Globe, while Viola Davis won at the Screen Actors Guild and Carey Mulligan at the National Board of Review.)
Nevertheless, here are my best guesses in the 20 feature categories:
A prime opportunity for the Academy to recognise a film it clearly adores but which isn’t going to win Best Picture – and in this of all years, they’ll surely be keen to spread the love.
Will and should win: Nomadland, though it’s a toss-up between this and Mank in both respects, and voters abiding by the spread-the-love ethos (see above) may tip the balance in its monochrome rival’s favour.
Best Film Editing
Will and should win: The Trial of the Chicago 7 – it’s just so snappy.
Best Animated Feature Film
Will and should win: Soul, but what a field, with the dazzling Wolfwalkers and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon running Pixar’s masterpiece extremely close.
Best International Feature Film
Will win: Another Round – Thomas Vinterberg’s Best Director nomination rather gives the game away here.
Should win: Quo Vadis, Aida?
Best Documentary Feature Film
Will win: My Octopus Teacher, which is on an unexpected tear.
Should win: Collective
Best Original Score
Will and should win: Soul – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste, though it’s a strong year. Reznor and Ross’s Mank score is a peach, and its classic-Hollywood orchestrations are impressively against-type to boot.
Best Original Song
Will win: Speak Now (One Night in Miami)
Should win: Fight for You (Judas and the Black Messiah)
Will and should win: Sound of Metal – the clue’s in the title.
Best Production Design
Will and should win: Mank
Best Visual Effects
Will and should win: Tenet
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Will and should win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best Costume Design
Will win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Should win: Mank
The Oscars will be shown on Sky Cinema from 10pm on Sunday