Despite the fact that we're living in pretty unprecedented times at the moment, the Oscars this year managed to be predictable in its nominations.
Netflix's 'Mank', a cinematic ode to Oscar-winning screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, managed to pick up a total of 10 nominations across the board, while 'Judas & The Black Messiah' had the dubious honour of having both its leads nominated in Best Supporting Actor.
Elsewhere, 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' - the most Oscar-y movie to ever receive an Oscar nomination - is in the running for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Sacha Baron Cohen. Chloé Zhao's 'Nomadland' is also in hot contention for Best Picture and has a Best Director nomination for Chloé Zhao.
Zhao has company in the Best Director category with 'Promising Young Woman' director Emerald Fennell also in the running - the first time in Oscar history that two women have been up for Best Director.
So, let's get to the predictions. As always, we're keeping to the major categories. The ceremony itself takes place on April 25th and we'll have full coverage on the leadup. For now, we begin with...
The nominees are...
'The Sound of Metal'
In normal times, 'Nomadland' would be the clear winner here. It won out at the Venice Film Festival, taking home the Golden Lion. That's always a reliable indicator for Oscar success. Next, it won the People's Choice Award at TIFF. Again, another reliable indicator for Oscar success. It also won in the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama, another reliable indicator. So, yes, all indications point to 'Nomadland' winning here.
Does it deserve to win, though? It's been a rough year, and a gentle, soft movie like 'Nomadland' that's about exploration of the soul and the country, of showing resilience in the face of adversity - yeah, that's deserving of a win. As much as 'Mank' feels like a big Oscar-bait movie, along with 'The Trial of the Chicago 7', they're all just too... obviously made for Oscar season. So, to our predictions...
WILL WIN: 'Nomadland'
COULD WIN: 'Judas & The Black Messiah', 'The Trial of the Chicago 7'
Chloé Zhao - 'Nomadland'
Thomas Vinterberg - 'Another Round'
Lee Isaac Chung - 'Minari'
This category might surprise on the night. Chloé Zhao is the heavy favourite to win here with 'Nomadland', but you could quite easily see the likes of Emerald Fennell or even - gasp - David Fincher pick up a gong here for 'Mank'. If you're putting money down, the safe money is on Chloé Zhao to win. That said, maybe back Emerald Fennell and David Fincher. You'll probably get really good odds on Fincher, too. Our predictions?
WILL WIN: Chloé Zhao
COULD WIN: Emerald Fennell
Riz Ahmed - 'The Sound of Metal'
Anthony Hopkins - 'The Father'
Gary Oldman - 'Mank'
Steven Yuen - 'Minari'
Chadwick Boseman's final performance in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' is the outright winner here, without question. He's going to win, he deserves to win, and he will win. Because of this, let's throw in a hypothetical here. If he wasn't in the category, you could very easily see Riz Ahmed pick up the Oscar here.
His performance in 'The Sound of Metal' is what makes that movie so good, and the places he goes to with it are incredible. Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins, sure, they're always safe, reliable nominees, and yes, Steven Yuen did a great job in 'Minari'. Riz Ahmed, however, has proven what a talent he is. He'll be back, and he'll win.
WILL WIN: Chadwick Boseman, 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'
COULD WIN: Riz Ahmed, 'The Sound of Metal'
Viola Davis - 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'
Andra Day - 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday'
Frances McDormand - 'Nomadland'
Carey Mulligan - 'Promising Young Woman'
Carey Mulligan is probably the favourite here but you could also see Andra Day as the next best chance to win. Frances McDormand and Viola Davis both gave incredible performances but the oddsmakers are favouring Carey Mulligan and the likelihood is she's going to win. When in doubt, follow the money and the money says Carey Mulligan. So, for predictions...
WILL WIN: Carey Mulligan
SHOULD WIN: Andra Day, Viola Davis
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Yes, fine, we're an Irish entertainment publication. We're obviously going to favour 'Wolfwalkers' over anything in this category. Yes, we had them virtually certain to win at the Golden Globes, but let's be clear - the Golden Globes are a jokeshop of an awards show, so don't just count them out because of that.
'Wolfwalkers' has been getting stellar reviews from US outlets since its release, and there is nothing stopping it from winning. 'Soul' and 'Onward' will probably cancel each other out, and it's unlikely that 'Shaun of the Sheep' and 'Over The Moon' are going to do anything here. Put on the green jersey, folks. 'Wolfwalkers' is going to win.
WILL WIN: 'Wolfwalkers'
COULD WIN: 'Wolfwalkers' *COME ON IRELAND, COME ON IRELAND*
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Daniel Kaluuya - 'Judas & The Black Messiah'
Lakeith Stanfield - 'Judas & The Black Messiah'
Leslie Odom Jr. - 'One Night In Miami...'
Paul Raci - 'The Sound of Metal'
Sacha Baron Cohen - 'The Trial of the Chicago 7'
At some stage before this is all over, somebody is going to have to sit us down and explain how you can have a movie with two leads and then nominate those two leads for Best Supporting Actor. That... just doesn't make any sense. Their names are literally in the title of the movie. How are they supporting? It's ridiculous.
Anyway, Daniel Kaluuya is probably going to win here, and rightfully so. His performance in 'Judas & The Black Messiah' deserves to be nominated in the Best Actor category, by all accounts. Predictions, then?
WILL WIN: Daniel Kaluuya - 'Judas & The Black Messiah'
COULD WIN: Sacha Baron Cohen - 'The Trial of the Chicago 7'
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova - 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm'
Glenn Close - 'Hillbilly Elegy'
Olivia Colman - 'The Father'
Amanda Seyfried - 'Mank'
Youn Yuh-jung - 'Minari'
Maria Bakalova's nomination here was a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. She's probably going to win this, as her only viable competition in this category is either Amanda Seyfried's performance in 'Mank' - which really was one of the best things about it, in fact - and maybe Youn Yuh-jung. Glenn Close being nominated for 'Hillbilly Elegy' is a continual reminder of just how... ineffective... awards shows are at highlighting truly great performances. Without even trying, we could think up of ten better performances than hers. What about Swankie from 'Nomadland', or Jessie Buckley in 'I'm Thinking Of Ending Things', or literally anybody else?!
WILL WIN: Maria Bakalova - 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm'
COULD WIN: Amanda Seyfried - 'Mank'
And for the remaining predictions...
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
We're calling this one for... 'Promising Young Woman'.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
'Nomadland' or 'One Night In Miami...' will win here.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
'Another Round' is going to win here. Who doesn't love day-drinking? Nobody, that's who.