The Hollywood Reporter chief film critic David Rooney makes his case for ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Hamilton,’ while awards analyst Scott Feinberg shares his predictions for films from ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ to the ‘Borat’ sequel.
SHOULD WIN: Nomadland
Chloé Zhao cements her place as one of the great poets of the new American West with this haunting study of a disenfranchised transient, played with resilience by Frances McDormand.
WILL WIN: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Mank has the most noms, but that hasn’t meant anything in recent years. This race often reflects Oscar buzz of the moment, which means Nomadland or The Trial of the Chicago 7.
SHOULD WIN: Hamilton
In a weak category this year, it has to be Thomas Kail’s performance-capture recording of the Broadway juggernaut that bottles the thrill of live theater with rare skill.
WILL WIN: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Music (poorly reviewed) and Hamilton (not really a movie) are controversial. And Meryl Streep’s snub is a bad sign for The Prom. Palm Springs and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm are both “LOL” comedies, but one has more to say.
SHOULD WIN: Carey Mulligan
Carey Mulligan delivers the most surprising turn, dismantling her subdued persona to create a unique character bristling with a barely suppressed howl of indignation and a thirst for justice at any cost.
WILL WIN: Carey Mulligan
Promising Young Woman, up for four prizes, is going to win somewhere, and here seems as likely as anywhere, since Frances McDormand and Viola Davis won recently, whereas Carey Mulligan never has.
SHOULD WIN: Chadwick Boseman
Riz Ahmed is an exciting actor who will have many opportunities. Chadwick Boseman, tragically, will not. In Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, his wrenching final performance, he leaves nothing behind.
WILL WIN: Anthony Hopkins
Most predict Ma Rainey‘s late Chadwick Boseman over The Father‘s Anthony Hopkins, but only Hopkins’ film is up for best pic, plus the HFPA adores him (eight noms going back 42 years!).