The 93rd edition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ceremony will be a weird one. It will be the first event since 1988 to take place in April, featuring modified criteria that make movies released on streaming services eligible for participation. It also has not been since 1934 that motion pictures released in two calendar years have been suitable for entry in all Oscar categories.

Academy Awards Winners Predictions

In many fans’ eyes, this year’s offer has been a weak one. Due to circumstances related to the ongoing pandemic, productions halted in March of 2020, and many films slated for a 2020 release got pushed back for 2021 in hopes of getting theatrical distribution.

Thus, some media outlets predict a rating disaster this year, similar to that of the Grammys, while others are busy reporting on the 93rd Academy Awards betting odds. Despite the lack of quantity, excitement is always in the air when the Oscars are in question.

Best Picture

Nomadland-Best Picture-Academy Awards

The most prestigious category of the evening is the hardest one to predict this year. Chloé Zhao’s meditative look of life on the road, Nomadland, is the odds-on favorite. It took home a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, the Golden Lion, and dozens of other awards. However, it is not the type of movie that Academy voters prefer. Therefore, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Judas and the Black Messiah also stand a decent chance.

Who should win: The Father

Who will win: Nomadland

Actor in a Leading Role

Chadwick Boseman Actor Leading Role Nominee

Steven Yeun is the first Asian American to receive a leading actor nomination. That gives him a ton of momentum with voters and has put him at the top of many 2021 Oscar predictions lists. Nevertheless, Chadwick Boseman will almost certainly posthumously get this honor.

Who should win: Anthony Hopkins

Who will win: Chadwick Boseman

Actress in a Leading Role

Frances Mcdormand Actress Leading Role Nominee

Who will win the Academy Award for best actress is another category that is super-hard to call. Carey Mulligan is a dark horse, with Viola Davis and Frances McDormand leading the charge as the favorites. The issue with the latter two is that they have both recently won Oscars. Whereas, before this year, Mulligan only had one previous nomination to her name, and she has gotten no Academy attention for a decade.

Who should win: Carey Mulligan

Who will win: Frances McDormand

Actor in a Supporting Role

Paul Raci- Sound Of Metal

It is pretty much a given that English actor Daniel Kaluuya will win best-supporting actor. The London native got nominated in 2018 for Get Out, in the leading role category, but rightfully lost to Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill. However, many believe that Sound of Metal’s Paul Raci should win, as his out-of-nowhere performance was mesmerizing.

Who should win: Daniel Kaluuya

Who will win: Paul Raci

Actress in a Supporting Role

Yuh Jung Youn Minari

Critics agree that Minari’s Yuh-jung Youn is a shoe win for the best-supporting actress this year. Netflix users may recall her from the Wachowski sisters show Sense8. She claimed the BAFTA in this category, and according to all Oscar predictions, will take this golden statue as well.  

Who should win: Yuh-jung Youn

Who will win: Yuh-jung Youn

Director

Cloe Zhao Best Director Nominee

It is an unwritten rule of the Academy Awards the director of the best picture of the year will win his category. Going by that logic, Chloé Zhao will emerge victorious on April 25th. Emerald Fennell is her most fierce contender, with Lee Isaac Chung lurking in the shadows. Thomas Vinterberg and David Fincher are two respected veterans that are not likely to make a fuss this year.

Who should win: Thomas Vinterberg

Who will win: Chloé Zhao

Adapted Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay Nominee The Father

Now, this is an ultra-interesting race. If emotion play, Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton should win for their work on the Father, directed by Florian Zeller and based on his play. However, given that this is the Oscars we are talking about, Chloé Zhao for Nomadland or Kemp Powers for One Night in Miami will likely triumph.

Who should win: Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton

Who will win: Chloé Zhao

Original Screenplay

Aaron Sorkin - Original Screenplay Nominee

While there are many doubts about who will win the best adapted screenplay prize, things are much clearer in the original script category. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the type of fare the Academy adores. Thus, Aaron Sorkin should fend off the competition en route to his second statue. Will Berson & Shaka King for Judas and the Black Messiah are prime candidates for an upset.

Who should win: Aaron Sorkin

Who will win: Aaron Sorkin

Animated Feature Film

: Best Animated Feature Film Soul

Soul. It is a no-brainer. Pixar has a tradition of raking in Academy Awards, and things are unlikely to change. The Good Dinosaurs is their only film that did not get any Oscar recognition, and Cars is their only franchise not to win. Their jazz-themed cartoon will not set a precedent by losing.

Who should win: Soul

Who will win: Soul

Best Documentary

Best Documentary Nominee -Time

How the best documentary gets pick is somewhat a mystery? Particularly given that last year, it should have been a two-film race between Honeyland and For Sama. Yet political reasons swayed Academy voters, giving American Factor the nod. Things are less muddy this year, as Garrett Bradley’s Time should and will likely win.

Who should win: Time

Who will win: Time

Best Short Documentary

Best Short Documentary- A Concerto In Conversation

A Concerto Is a Conversation is a New York Times Op-Doc piece that checks all the Academy boxes. There is little chance for an upset in this category. I such a thing happens, Netflix’s A Love Song for Latasha will be the likely culprit.

Who should win: A Concerto Is a Conversation

Who will win: A Concerto Is a Conversation

International Feature Film

International-Feature-Film--Thomas-Vinterberg---Another-Round

Another category with a frontrunner. Another Round is not the first Thomas Vinterberg movie to receive a best foreign-film nomination, but this year marks the first time he has gotten a best director’s nod. It is hard to believe that his 1998 classic, The Celebration receive no Academy recognition. In 2021, Vinterberg should get his just due.

Who should win: Thomas Vinterberg

Who will win: Thomas Vinterberg

Film Editing

Film-Editing--Sound-of-Metal

Best editing is a winner that is always tough to call, as few voters understand the intricacies of what makes a good edit. Thus, they default to what they think was the best movie or vote for the best picture underdog. Sound of Metal is such a pick, and it is the rightful best edit winner.

Who should win: Sound of Metal

Who will win: Sound of Metal

Cinematography

Cinematography--Mank

You cannot go wrong with golden-age Hollywood and black and white. Though some critics were not too kind to David Fincher’s Mank, no one had a bad thing to say about Erik Messerschmidt’s cinematography. Mank is his first nomination, and it should be his first win. Nomadland features some stunning panoramas, so its DOP Joshua James Richards could prove to be a surprise winner.

Who should win: Mank

Who will win: Mank

Sound

A movie about a metal drummer trying to cope with hearing loss cannot lose in the best sound department. 2021 marks the first time this category is active, as it fuses the former best sound mixing and editing into one award. It would make no sense for any movie other than Sound of Metal to win it. It should and will.

Who should win: Sound of Metal

Who will win: Sound of Metal

Music (Original Song)

Music-(Original-Song)--One-Night-In-Miami

The Eurovision Song contest is the most watch musical competition in Europe. It is now something that North American audiences are familiar with thanks to the Netflix film starring Will Farrell and Rachel McAdams. It features many excellent original songs. However, given its campy nature, it will likely lose to the conventional Speak Now (One Night in Miami).

Who should win: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Who will win: One Night in Miami

Costume Design

Costume-Design--Ma-Rainey's-Black-Bottom

When it comes to costume design, Academy voters love period pieces. Particularly those set in Britain. They have a long history of voting for these kinds of movies. So, Emma fits that bill. That said, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is another historical movie that also has massive voter appeal and will most likely edge out Emma. Mulan can also muddy the waters, but a Disney win is doubtful.

Who should win: Emma

Who will win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Makeup and Hairstyling

Unless there is a monster movie in play, the same things said about costume design apply to the makeup and hairstyling category.

Who should win: Emma

Who will win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Production Design

Florian Zeller, the director of The Father, has mentioned in several interviews that his production design team moved props around in Anthony Hopkins’ apartment to reflect his failing mental state. Sadly, few notice such nuances. So, the likely winner here is the one that boasts the most grandiose set designs, Mank. Its win will not be unjustified.

Who should win: Mank

Who will win: Mank

Visual Effects

Visual-Effects--Tenet

There were not many mega-budget spectacles this year. The one that featured a theatrical release, Tenet, is the likely winner. Given the lack of competition. Mulan is an epic, but it was not well-received, and Christopher Nolan has enough credit with voters not to lose the VFX Oscar.

Who should win: Tenet

Who will win: Tenet

Short Film (Animated)

Short-Film-(Animated)-If-Anything-Happens-I-Love-You

Few people used to be aware of the animated short film nominees. The internet changed that, as today interested parties can search them out online. Will McCormack’s and Michael Govier’s film caused quite the stir on Netflix, prompting many YouTube reaction videos. It is a very emotional story about grief that is a sure winner.

Who should win: If Anything Happens I Love You

Who will win: If Anything Happens I Love You

Short Film (Live Action)

Short-Film-(Live-Action)--Feeling-Through

Academy aficionados know that the short film category is notoriously controversial. In the past few decades that have been some strange winners. Come April 25th, it is a toss-up between The Letter Room and Feeling Through on who will be victorious. The first has an ace in that Oscar Isaac stars in it.

Who should win: Feeling Through

Who will win: Feeling Through

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a cheat sheet regarding the 2021 Academy Awards predictions, we hope our Oscar odds list helps. As always, the nominations contain unjustifiable snubs and some surprises. It is always hard to get predictions 100% right, and we do not doubt that once the April 25th event at both Union Station and the Dolby Theatre concludes, we will be wrong about a few of our picks.


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