Welcome to the weirdest Oscars season ever.
Each facet of the 2021 race is unprecedented: Lots of the contenders have barely performed a brick-and-mortar theater, the glamorous ceremony will virtually actually not be held in-person and it’s been pushed to April 25 because of the pandemic. Nonetheless, the tussle for the trophies is in full swing, with the Golden Globes airing Sunday.
Now, The Submit kicks off its annual Academy Awards tracker — Gold Digger. First up, right here’s who’s within the lead for Finest Image, a class by which as many as 10 movies shall be named when Oscar nominations are introduced March 15.
Director Chloé Zhao’s social-issues drama, starring Oscar winner Frances McDormand as a struggling lady who decides to make a house out of her van, has been the Finest Image front-runner since early fall. When different nervous contenders have been kicking their theatrical releases far into 2021, “Nomadland” confirmed its swagger by having a well-received rolling premiere on the all-important Venice and Toronto movie festivals as a substitute. At TIFF, it snagged the folks’s alternative award, which the 2019 Finest Image victor “Inexperienced Ebook” additionally took residence. Oscar-bait to the core, it’s already been named finest movie of the 12 months by not less than 13 critics teams, and is nominated for finest drama within the movie class on the Golden Globes. Nonetheless, like all regular 12 months, voters are inclined to get exhausted by a monthslong Goliath, and the thrill is waning.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
If “Nomadland” is for deep thinkers, Aaron Sorkin’s historic drama is the “vote your coronary heart” possibility. Low on type, however massive on ardour, a lot of the Netflix movie’s award recognition comes courtesy of the Golden Globes, the place it’s nominated for finest supporting actor in a dramatic movie (Sacha Baron-Cohen), finest authentic track (“Hear My Voice“) in addition to screenplay and director (Sorkin). The Display screen Actors Guild (SAG) additionally gave it an excellent forged in a movement image nod — and actors occur to be the Oscars’ largest voting block. SAG + Globes = Be careful, Frances.
David Fincher’s biopic about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz would appear a primo Oscar contender by the standard requirements: It’s concerning the film enterprise (examine), is about in LA (examine) and stars an Oscar winner in Gary Oldman (examine). Hell, it’s even black and white (jackpot!). Not so quick. For one, the previous knowledge that Hollywood loves itself is flawed. (Whereas they’re flagrant narcissists, that now not interprets to awards.) The final flick about LA moviemaking to win Finest Image was “The Artist” in 2011. However the extra insurmountable hill is the subject: Orson Welles and “Kane” are, at this time, the choice of cinephiles with TCM subscriptions — not the typical middle-class viewer. Nonetheless, with six nods, “Mank” is probably the most nominated movie on the Golden Globes.
The shock success of Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” final 12 months modified the sport for overseas movies. Past only a small few, they’d been relegated to the Finest Overseas Language Movie class, fairly than allowed to vie for the massive kahuna. However that memorable Finest Image win for “Parasite” has saved the momentum for subtitles going, this time for a Korean-American movie referred to as “Minari.” That mentioned, this gentler household drama is a really completely different film — not an unraveling thriller like Joon-Ho’s — and may have a tougher time getting votes. However its SAG nomination for excellent forged ought to safe it an Oscar nod.
“One Evening in Miami”
A shoo-in for a nomination, however an extended shot for the win, is Regina King’s directorial debut about what drove the friendship of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. Vastly fashionable with critics, the Amazon film has had a trickier time on the awards circuit, largely getting nods for its actors, particularly Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, and infrequently for King. One glimmer of hope: The movie was, notably, runner-up for the folks’s alternative award at TIFF final 12 months. Current Finest Image winners to carry that very same distinction embody “Parasite” and “Highlight.”