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The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

My Oscar predictions: What’s gonna be going for gold?

Tuesday, Jan. 16 marked the end of the Oscar nomination period, which lasted for five days starting Jan. 11. Official nominees are to be named on Jan. 23, one week after the nomination period. Since the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, the Critic’s Choice Awards commenced, and the  Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Awards and Screen Actors Guild of America (SAG) Awards nominations both were announced. 

While the Critic’s Choice Awards don’t necessarily tell us a whole lot about the Oscars, since critics are not a part of the Academy, the DGA and SAG awards most definitely do, as directors and actors make up the majority of the Academy body. What’s changed with these new nominations combined with the results from the Globes? Here’s what I think the race for the top six awards of the night — Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress — will look like. 

Best Supporting ActressEmily Blunt (‘Oppenheimer’), Penelope Cruz (‘Ferrari’), Jodie Foster (‘Nyad’), Julianne Moore (‘May December’) & DaVine Joy Randolph (‘The Holdovers’)

I’m very happy that I can put Penelope Cruz here for her work in “Ferrari.” Overall, I’m just happy that I can mention “Ferrari.” I love the movie and the totality of director Michael Mann’s work, and am sad that it is going largely overlooked this awards season because the movie, Cruz and lead actor Adam Driver are all phenomenal (Driver especially gives a classical movie star performance). But Cruz is predicted here, not them. She comes into the movie guns blazing (Quite literally) and is the loud and fiery engine under the hood of Mann’s vision. 

Cruz received a SAG nomination for her work seemingly out of the blue, and instead of another person I have here: Julianne Moore. “May December” received zero nominations at the SAG awards, which was a borderline fatal blow to its Oscar chances outside of a few categories. I still think that Moore will pull in a nomination given the film’s stature throughout awards season and since she is competing in a very top-heavy category. 

Best Supporting Actor Robert De Niro (‘Killers of the Flower Moon’), Robert Downey Jr. (‘Oppenheimer’), Ryan Gosling (‘Barbie’), Charles Melton (‘May December’) & Mark Ruffalo (‘Poor Things’) 

This is the most fun award to predict, in my opinion at least. I think every single performance I have here is equally great and they are all equally deserving of winning. Once again, I may be going out on a limb recognizing a performance from “May December” here, but Melton was always going to be the one to get nominated if any of the main three (Him, Moore and Natalie Portman) were after his win at the Gotham Awards. 

While this is the most fun five, I also think it is the most safe five, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One all-time legend of the industry in De Niro is getting recognized, plus three of our most talented modern day movie stars in Downey Jr., Gosling and Ruffalo. Then a newcomer in Melton. This would be any category’s ideal nomination pool. Also, I am so ready for Gosling to perform “I’m Just Ken” at the ceremony. 

Best Actress Lily Gladstone (‘Killers of the Flower Moon’), Sandra Huller (‘Anatomy of a Fall’), Carey Mulligan (‘Maestro’), Margot Robbie (‘Barbie’) & Emma Stone (‘Poor Things’)

Lily Gladstone vs. Emma Stone should be the headliner of the night. the two best performances of the year in my opinion, and they’re in the same category as each other. Other notes, Carey Mulligan has some of the best scenes of the year in “Maestro,” and it’s really a shame that she’s not running in supporting actress because I think she would have made a run at winning in that category. 

My first real victim of “May December” syndrome though, sadly, is Natalie Portman. I don’t think she will be getting nominated, despite my admiration for her work in the film. Actors don’t like seeing themselves portrayed in a negative light, and Portman’s character is not kind to actors or how some of them decide to conduct their work. I am also devastated to omit Greta Lee for what she did in “Past Lives.”

Best Actor Bradley Cooper (‘Maestro’), Leonardo DiCaprio (‘Killers of the Flower Moon’), Paul Giamatti (‘The Holdovers’), Cillian Murphy (‘Oppenheimer’) & Jeffery Wright (‘American Fiction’)

DiCaprio notably did not receive a SGA nomination, which is both confounding and concerning. His role in “Killers of the Flower Moon” is his most challenging to date for my money, and he undergoes a complete external and internal transformation in a way that he has never done before throughout his career. Thankfully, I do think that this is just a bump in the road for him, and that the discourse caused by his snub plus the admiration that directors feel towards him and his work will result in him getting recognized. 

Not like it matters, because he has somehow been lapped by both Paul Giamatti and Cillain Murphy. This isn’t even a slight at those two, moreso just admiration for what a year it’s been. I feel Cillian has this award in the bag, but Giamatti has been gaining a lot of steam recently. I’d keep an eye out. 

Best Director Greta Gerwig (‘Barbie’), Yorgos Lanthimos (‘Poor Things’), Christopher Nolan (‘Oppenheimer’), Alexander Payne (‘The Holdovers’) & Martin Scorsese (‘Killers of the Flower Moon’)

Poor Bradley Cooper. Getting mocked on the campaign trail for his bizarre tendency to cry at every interview he’s given so far, to being completely unrecognized at the Golden Globes, to now, here, not being included in some random guy’s Oscar predictions. For what it’s worth, I capital-L loved “Maestro,” and I included Cooper in my Best Actor predictions, but it seems to have lost all of its steam, at least in terms of winning anything.

This is verbatim the list of DGA nominees. Many outlets and pundits have Jonathan Glazer in this category over Lanthimos for his work on “The Zone of Interest,” but I think that actor’s admiration for what he did with Stone in “Poor Things” will push him ahead. 

It seems like a longshot at this point, but I would really like to see Scorsese win this award. Nolan and the others will be competing in this category for decades to come, can we not get Marty one more for the road? 

Best Picture ‘American Fiction,’ ‘Anatomy of a Fall,’ ‘Barbie,’ ‘The Holdovers,’ ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ ‘Maestro,’ ‘Oppenheimer,’ ‘Past Lives,’ ‘Poor Things’ & ‘The Zone of Interest’

Wow. This would be the best list of Best Picture nominees in a long time. At least since 2019. Am I being too generous? Too optimistic? Weirdly, I don’t think so. I love the seven movies here that I have seen (Still waiting on “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Zone of Interest”), and it seems that the Academy voting body does as well. 

One movie that I could see falling out of this is “Maestro.” I don’t think that the campaign has gone that awry, but it’s a non-zero chance. Movies that I could see slipping in here are “May December,” “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” “Air,” “The Iron Claw,” “Ferrari” and “All of Us Strangers.”

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