Paul Predicts the Oscar Winners

Our movie critic, Paul McGuire Grimes (creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies) gives us his predictions on Oscar’s big winners.

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chloe Zhao’s film has dominated award season with its intimate look at van dwellers, what led them to that simple lifestyle, and the rich and beautiful landscape of the American west. Zhao wrote, director, edited, and produced the film and will likely go home a multiple winner Oscar night. This will also mark Frances McDormand’s third Oscar win as she produces the film as well as starring in it.

WILL WIN: Nomadland
SHOULD WIN: Nomadland

Best Directing

Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round
David Fincher, Mank
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

I would be very surprised if Chloe Zhao doesn’t win this. She will be the second woman to win Best Director following Kathryn Bigelow in the history of the Oscars. Zhao already won the Golden Globe, Critics Choice, and the Director’s Guild Award so far this season.

WILL WIN: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
SHOULD WIN: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

This will be the race to watch come Oscar night as there really isn’t a frontrunner. Andra Day won the Golden Globe, Carey Mulligan won the Critics Choice, Viola Davis won the SAG, and Frances McDormand won the BAFTA. We haven’t seen an acting race this spread out in years, which makes the opening of the envelope even more exciting.

WILL WIN: Viola Davis, I’m giving her the slight edge given the number of crossover votes who vote for the SAG Awards and are members of the Academy’s voting branch.

SHOULD WIN: Carey Mulligan. This would Mulligan’s first Oscar and gives a rich and complex portrayal of a deeply fractured woman seeking justice.


Best Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Chadwick Boseman is the sentimental favorite given his recent passing and a short career full of empowering performances. He gives over every part of himself in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. All that being said, I wouldn’t call this race closed just yet, as there is a lot of love for Anthony Hopkins for his portrayal in the stage to screen adaptation of The Father. His portrayal of someone losing his battle with Alzheimer’s is one of nuance, precision, and showcases how he’s one of the all-time acting greats.

WILL WIN: Chadwick Boseman

SHOULD WIN: Chadwick Boseman


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

The Best Supporting Actress race is another won worth keeping an eye on as there is no projected winner yet. Despite this being the eighth nomination for Glenn Close, I don’t see her going home a winner given the poor reviews for her film Hillbilly Elegy. This race has come down to newcomer Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Yuh-Jung Youn for Minari. Its rare to see the Academy acknowledge comedy performances, so the nomination for Bakalova is huge. The Hungarian actress was unknown to many but proved she could hold her own next to Sacha Baron Cohen and even Rudy Giuliani in the Borat sequel. Youn has won the SAG and BAFTA Award for playing the funny, pulls no punches grandma in Minari. It’s a heartbreaking role and one that sits with you if you’ve seen Minari. The actress has had a decades long career in Korea and now getting the recognition she deserves.

WILL WIN: Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari
SHOULD WIN: Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari


Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

This is the race that is the easiest to call as Daniel Kaluuya has won every award so far for his staggering portrayal of Chairman Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. He is a force in a film that feels so relevant to today’s fight for equality.

WILL WILL: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

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