Tomorrow, February 1, is the last day for members of the Academy to vote on their nominations for the Academy Awards including for Best Picture. There have been some great films nominated at the other awards this year and some solid movies but the field has to be narrowed. Here are my predictions for who will be included in the Best Picture category:
- Expected: CODA
A Sundance winner and SAG favorite, CODA may be a rare uplifting film to take a Best Picture trophy home. Still a long shot compared to some of the darker pieces, CODA is without question my favorite of the year and definitely will make the top roster.
- Surprise: No Time to Die
There has been a ton of buzz around the last Bond film. I was not a big fan of it, but the critics loved it and with all the politics around who will be replacing Daniel Craig it’s on everyone’s mind which could give it a sneaky nomination no one is expecting.
- Expected: The Power of the Dog
The Power of the Dog is my second favorite movie of the year and is definitely going to receive a Best Picture nomination. There is almost no way it’s going to win since it took home Best Picture at the Golden Globes and the Academy never likes to repeat the Globes plus there is a big feud between American cinema and the Globes right now.
- Frontrunner: Belfast
Belfast is the favorite to win Best Picture which kind of like a murder mystery party means it probably won’t (or because we know that does it mean once it again its the most likely to win?). I haven’t gotten to see it yet but it’s on every short list.
- Expected: King Richard
I really did not like King Richard but for some reason the politics around this movie are impenetrable so it’s definitely going to make the Best Picture list even though Will Smith was genuinely terrible in it.
- Wild Card: Encanto
Lin Manuel Miranda has two films shortlisted for Best Picture. One is the most obvious choice, Tik Tik Boom, and one is the animated Disney film, Encanto. It’s tough for animated features to make the Best Picture list but if anyone can do it, it’s Disney. Further the song, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the movie has broken the music industry with success outperforming even “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen. Animated movies have only been nominated three times in Oscar history and that is in the case of Beauty and the Beast in 1991, Up in 2009 and Toy Story 3 in 2010. It’s an outside chance but there is a lot of momentum around the film and why not make bold predictions?
- Expected: Licorice Pizza
One I have yet to see but on everyone’s favorites list is Licorice Pizza. Paul Thomas Anderson is an awards favorite director and it also has the benefit of starring the late Phillip Seymor Hoffman’s son, Cooper Hoffman.
- Expected: West Side Story
I mean, Steven Spielberg for one. Second, it’s one of the greatest musicals of all time but this time they made the movie with the correct races (re: the Natalie Wood fiasco). It’s kind of like writing a wrong but also honoring a legacy all at once. I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes home the trophy.
I think Dune has a big fat snub coming its way. I loved Dune and it was a critical success. But it was omitted from all the performance categories at the Screen Actors Guild Awards which is a problem for Dune because a lot of the voting members of SAG cross over with the Academy. It is highly unusual that a film that is so heavily character driven could be shut out from the SAG Best Ensemble Cast nomination and make its way to the Best Picture category.
WILD CARD SNUB: Don’t Look Up
It’s got no less than four Academy Award winners as leads but for some reason I just do not think the Academy is going to go for it for Best Picture. Just a hunch.