2021 Academy Award predictions: Who will win best picture, best actor, actress and more (2022)

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Oscar predictions 2021: Who will win big at the Academy Awards?

Gold Derby contributor Tariq Khan chats with FOX's Ashley Dvorkin about who might win Hollywood's biggest honors

The glitz. The glamour. The gloves. Get ready for Hollywood’s biggest night, pandemic-style.

The ongoing COVID-19 health crisis will present some unique challenges to the 93rd Academy Awards. But the show will go on, with limited attendance and a host of scrupulous safety measures. While there were initially concerns that 2020’s drastically reduced cinematic output might result in a lackluster competition, the race for the Oscar has been as fierce as ever.

So who will go home with the gold? Here now are my annual predictions, designed to help you win your Oscar pool in any thoroughly sanitized and socially distanced setting.

OSCARS 2021: A BREAKDOWN OF THE NOMINATED MOVIES

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BEST PICTURE:

"The Father"

"Judas and the Black Messiah"

"Mank"

"Minari"

"Nomadland"

"Promising Young Woman"

"Sound of Metal"

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"The Trial of the Chicago 7"

PREDICTION: "The Trial of the Chicago 7"

The conventional wisdom is that "Nomadland" has the Oscar all sewn up. The timely contemporary drama has won many of the major bellwethers, including the Golden Globe, Critics Choice, Producers Guild of America and British Film Academy (BAFTA) Awards. However, those successes don’t necessarily lead to Oscar glory. Recent films like "La La Land" and "1917" similarly collected those kudos, only to go down in defeat at the Academy Awards. The reason? A preferential ballot is used to determine the Best Picture, and the system works against movies that are even slightly divisive. Though "Nomadland" does have plenty of admirers, it also draws a fair number of detractors. They typically criticize the glacial pace, as well as the lack of a conventional plot. Meanwhile, "The Trial of the Chicago 7" is generally appreciated by most Oscar voters. The script and direction have largely been praised, and the rich dramatic performances from its distinguished cast of actors have received exceptional acclaim. (Remember that actors make up the largest bloc of voters.) In the end, widespread support means that the Academy could rule in favor of "Trial," delivering it a verdict of Best Picture of the year.

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BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING:

"Another Round," Thomas Vinterberg

"Mank," David Fincher

"Minari," Lee Isaac Chung

"Nomadland," Chloé Zhao

"Promising Young Woman," Emerald Fennell

PREDICTION: "Nomadland," Chloé Zhao

Eleven years ago, Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") became the first woman in history to receive the Academy Award for Best Director. She’ll soon be joined by Zhao. Her work on "Nomadland" is considered the most significant artistic achievement of the year. She’s pulled off a clean sweep of all of the major directing prizes thus far – most notably the Directors Guild of America Award. Even if "Nomadland" loses Best Picture, this is one Oscar that it has in the can.

OSCARS 2021: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE 93RD ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS

BEST LEADING ACTOR:

Riz Ahmed, "Sound of Metal"

Chadwick Boseman, "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom"

Anthony Hopkins, "The Father"

Gary Oldman, "Mank"

Steven Yeun, "Minari"

PREDICTION: Chadwick Boseman, "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom"

2021 Academy Award predictions: Who will win best picture, best actor, actress and more (3)

Chadwick Boseman as Levee. (Netflix)

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The "Black Panther" actor tragically lost his battle to cancer last year. "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" was his final film, and it’s evident that he gave it his all in his farewell performance. His electrifying portrayal of a lively blues musician has already earned him Golden Globe, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards for Best Actor. It’s hard to imagine the Academy not following suit. Boseman’s only threat is the esteemed Hopkins, who delivers a career-best turn as an elderly man struggling with dementia in "The Father." (Hopkins was able to overcome Boseman at BAFTA.) As astonishing as Hopkins is, he’s a previous Oscar winner - for his iconic role as Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s Best Picture "The Silence of the Lambs." That probably gives Boseman the edge, coming out on top with "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom." Expect this to be the night’s most bittersweet moment, as the Academy pays tribute to a most talented actor gone far too soon.

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BEST LEADING ACTRESS:

Viola Davis, "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom"

Andra Day, "The United States Vs. Billie Holiday"

Vanessa Kirby, "Pieces of a Woman’

Frances McDormand, "Nomadland"

Carey Mulligan, "Promising Young Woman"

PREDICTION: Carey Mulligan, "Promising Young Woman"

This contest has created an Oscars conundrum like we haven’t seen in decades. Let me first do a quick race recap. Mulligan took the early lead after doing well with the critics. Day then shook things up by upsetting at the Golden Globes. Davis would go on to surprise at the SAG Awards. And McDormand recently accepted the BAFTA, where hometown girl Mulligan wasn’t even nominated. So what does this all mean for the Oscar? I think that it’s a case of process by elimination. First, you can count out Kirby – considered the weakest piece in this puzzle. I would argue that you can similarly discount two-time Best Actress champion McDormand, whose quiet performance in "Nomadland" doesn’t seem to merit her a third. Day was overlooked by both SAG and BAFTA and "Billie Holiday" generated no other nods. It’s not looking like her day. Davis was outstanding as always in "Ma Rainey," and her SAG victory is a certainly a good omen. However, she’s been somewhat overshadowed by her co-star Boseman. Also, "Ma Rainey" missed the Best Picture lineup. No film not up for Best Picture has ever taken both lead acting awards. That leaves Mulligan the last lass standing. Her portrayal of a young woman seeking revenge is arguably the most original, daring and intense performance by an actress this past year. "Promising Young Woman" is also very popular with the Academy, having scored nominations in five key categories – including Best Picture. I’ll concede that while I can’t promise anything, I sense that passion for "Promising" will carry Carey to conquest. So my money remains on Mulligan.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

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"

PREDICTION: Daniel Kaluuya, "Judas and the Black Messiah"

If you’ve been paying any attention to this awards season, you don’t need a messiah to tell you that Kaluuya is taking home the Oscar. He’s incredibly powerful in a plum role, which comes complete with an all-stops-acting killer speech. Kaluuya handily defeated the competition at all of the precursors, and "Judas and the Black Messiah" edged out several high profile releases to crack the Best Picture category. Kaluuya received his first Oscar nomination for 2017’s acclaimed horror comedy "Get Out." This time you can bet that he gets it. ("It" being the Oscar trophy.)

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Maria Bakalova, "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

Glenn Close, "Hillbilly Elegy"

Olivia Colman, "The Father"

Amanda Seyfried, "Mank"

Yuh-Jung Youn, "Minari"

PREDICTION: Yuh-Jung Youn, "Minari"

While this category was initially looking like a headscratcher, it appears that we have a clear favorite. Veteran Korean actress Youn’s warm role as the grandmother in the crowd-pleasing "Minari" has won over audiences and critics alike. She overcame far more famous names to triumph at both the SAG and BAFTA Awards, and delighted observers with her humble acceptance speeches. Best Picture nominee "Minari" is turning out to be a genuine sleeper hit, and this is easiest place to reward it. Ironically, Youn’s victory means a record eighth loss for perennial Oscar nominee Close. Yet no one is coming to close to Youn this year.

DIANE WARREN, 12-TIME OSCAR NOMINEE, HOPES FOR 'AWESOME' WIN

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

"Judas and the Black Messiah"

"Minari"

"Promising Young Woman"

"Sound of Metal"

"The Trial of the Chicago 7"

PREDICTION: "Promising Young Woman"

Hollywood heavyweight Aaron Sorkin would normally be the favorite for his superbly scripted "The Trial of the Chicago 7." But the award for "Best Original Screenplay" usually translates to "most original screenplay" – and that’s Emerald Fennell’s "Promising Young Woman." The film presents a unique and inventive premise, and fills it with numerous twists and turns. Like last year’s Original Screenplay winner "Parasite," it provides a surprise ending that leaves audiences astounded. Expect "Promising" to see a happy Hollywood ending, as Emerald rocks her way to Oscar gold.

OSCAR NOMINATIONS 2021 ANNOUNCED

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

"Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

"The Father"

"Nomadland"

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"One Night in Miami"

"The White Tiger"

PREDICTION: "The Father"

Most pundits are actually betting on "Nomadland." I can’t help but be somewhat doubtful. As I explained earlier, I question the strength of "Nomadland" in the Best Picture sweepstakes. And even if "Nomadland" succeeds there, its screenplay is hardly its biggest asset. There’s limited character discourse and very little plot. Will voters really wish to reward the writing? If they don’t, "The Father" seems perfectly positioned as the alternative selection. It’s the only other Best Picture nominee, and it’s a dialogue-driven picture from start to finish. Additionally, Hopkins’ expected defeat for Best Actor makes this best place to honor "The Father." Barring a potential spoiler by "One Night in Miami," "The Father" should go the farthest of these five.

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BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

"Onward"

"Over the Moon"

"Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon"

"Soul"

"Wolfwalkers"

PREDICTION: "Soul"

There’s not much that needs to be said here. Disney/Pixar tends to rule this category, and "Soul" has crushed the competition at all of the precursor animation awards. Even the presence of a second Disney/Pixar entry ("Onward") poses very little threat. As the animated feature with the most heart, "Soul" is marching onward and upward - on a steady course for Oscar.

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BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM:

"Another Round," Denmark

"Better Days," Hong Kong

"Collective" Romania

"The Man Who Sold His Skin," Tunisia

"Quo Vadis, Aida?," Bosnia and Herzegovina

PREDICTION: "Quo Vadis, Aida?"

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I always like to offer a specialty category, to help you impress your friends and really kill it in the office (or work from home) Oscar pool. I’m choosing International Film this time, because I suspect that we’ll see one of Oscar night’s biggest shockers. "Another Round" claimed most of the European film awards and is widely seen as the favorite. But having seen all five of the contenders, I’m expecting "Quo Vadis, Aida?" to triumph. The film dramatizes events leading up to the Bosnian War’s Srebrenica Massacre in 1995. It’s the most powerful, riveting and heart-stopping movie that I have seen in years. Conversations with my sources indicate that Academy members have been similarly blown away. "Quo vadis" is Latin for "Where are you going?" I envision "Aida" responding, "On my way to the Oscar – for Best International Film of the year."

FAQs

Who is up for Best Picture 2022? ›

The nominees for Best Picture were: BELFAST, CODA, DON'T LOOK UP, DRIVE MY CAR, DUNE, KING RICHARD, LICORICE PIZZA, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, THE POWER OF THE DOG and WEST SIDE STORY.

Who is expected to win Best Supporting Actress? ›

2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • Will win: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)
  • Could win: Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard” (Warner Bros)
  • Should win: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)
  • Should have been here: Olga Merediz, “In the Heights” (Warner Bros)
25 Mar 2022

Who is up for best actress at the Oscars? ›

Five actresses competed to take home the most prestigious award in film, the Oscar. The nominees for Actress in a Leading Role were: Jessica Chastain, Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart.

Who is up for best supporting actress 2022? ›

2022 Oscars Best Supporting Actress nominees: 1 past champ versus 4 rookies. The 2022 Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actress are Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”), Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”), Judi Dench (“Belfast”), Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”), and Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”).

Who won Best Actor actress picture? ›

"CODA" was the big winner of the night, taking home the Academy Award for best picture, while Jessica Chastain and Will Smith won best actress and actor in a leading role.

Who's up for Best Actor at the Oscars? ›

Contenders for Best Actor
  • Will Smith — King Richard. ...
  • Benedict Cumberbatch — The Power of the Dog. ...
  • Andrew Garfield — Tick, Tick… ...
  • Denzel Washington — The Tragedy of Macbeth. ...
  • Javier Bardem — Being the Ricardos.
20 Mar 2022

Who is nominated for best actress? ›

Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Who won Oscars CODA? ›

History was made at the 94th Academy Awards last week, as the film CODA scooped up all three of its Oscar nominations at the live show in Los Angeles. CODA was named Best Picture, star Troy Kotsur took home Best Supporting Actor, and writer-director Siân Heder accepted Best Adapted Screenplay.

Should CODA have won Best Picture? ›

Statistically, Coda should not have been a strong contender to win best picture at the Oscars. The small, independent film had just three nominations but walked away from the 94th Academy Awards with trophies for each of them - including the big one, best picture.

Who is up for supporting actress? ›

The nominees for Actress in a Supporting Role were: Jessie Buckley, Ariana DeBose, Judi Dench, Kirsten Dunst and Aunjanue Ellis. The category this year includes four first-time nominees, while Judi Dench gains her eighth nomination and third for Actress in a Supporting Role.

Who won the 2022 Academy Awards? ›

94th Academy Awards

Who won Best Actress at the Oscars last night? ›

Watch the top moments from the 2022 Oscars in 4 minutes

Jessica Chastain won her first Oscar for best actress in a leading role for her performance in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Will Smith took home his first Oscar for best actor in a leading role in "King Richard."

Will Rachel zegler be nominated for an Oscar? ›

Zegler, who is of Colombian and Polish descent, was not nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Maria. But her co-star Ariana DeBose earned a nomination in the best supporting actress category for her performance reviving the iconic role of Anita.

Who are the nominees for Best Actor? ›

Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

What movies are nominated for Best Picture 2022? ›

Best Picture Oscar Nominees of 2022, Ranked by Tomatometer
  • #1. Drive My Car (2021) 97% #1. ...
  • #2. CODA (2021) 94% #2. ...
  • #3. The Power of the Dog (2021) 94% #3. ...
  • #4. West Side Story (2021) 91% #4. ...
  • #5. Licorice Pizza (2021) 91% #5. ...
  • #6. King Richard (2021) 90% #6. ...
  • #7. Belfast (2021) 86% #7. ...
  • #8. Dune (2021) 83% #8.

Who is the most awarded actress of all time? ›

Katharine Hepburn won four Academy Awards (all for Best Actress), more than any other actor or actress in the history of the award.

Who Won 3 Oscars for Best Actress? ›

Meryl Streep

All those nominations have resulted in three Oscars. Streep has won twice for Best Actress, though “The Iron Lady” felt a little dubious, and once for Best Supporting Actress for “Kramer vs. Kramer.”

Who is the most decorated actress of all time? ›

As of 2022, Katharine Hepburn maintained her lead as the actor with the most Oscar wins of all time.

Who is nominated for Best Actor 2022? ›

Actor in a Leading Role
  • Will Smith. King Richard.
  • Javier Bardem. Being the Ricardos.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch. The Power of the Dog.
  • Andrew Garfield. tick, tick...BOOM!
  • Denzel Washington. The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Who won most national award for Best Actress? ›

Top 10 actors who have won maximum number of national awards till date. 1. Shabana Azmi (5 times): The actress who changed the curve of acting in the industry has won this prestigious award the most number times.

How many films have won Best Picture Best Actor and Best Actress? ›

Films That Won Best Actor and Best Actress

Only six films have the distinction of winning the awards for both Best Actor and Best Actress.

What awards did Will Smith get? ›

Will Smith

Who won best picture last night? ›

Oscars: 'CODA' Wins Best Picture; 'Dune' Leads With Six Trophies – Full Winners List.

Which actress has the most nominations without a win? ›

Glenn Close

Close is tied with the late Peter O'Toole for the record for the most Oscar acting nominations without a win, having garnered eight across her nearly five-decade long career.

Who is Troy Kotsur daughter? ›

She is married to Troy Kotsur, who is also a deaf actor. Bray is an advocate for improving early childhood education for deaf children and is a spokesperson for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K). On September 8, 2005, she gave birth to daughter Kyra Monique Kotsur.

Did Emilia Jones learn ASL for CODA? ›

Even though she played the child of deaf adults in CODA, Jones herself is not deaf or hard of hearing. However, she did spend 9 months learning ASL to prepare for her starring role in CODA in between her 75-hour a week shooting schedule for Netflix series Locke & Key.

How many deaf actors have won Oscars? ›

Until Sunday night's Oscars, Marlee Matlin had for over three decades been the only deaf person to receive an Academy Award. LOS ANGELES -- Until Sunday night's Oscars, Marlee Matlin had for over three decades been the only deaf person to receive an Academy Award.

Was CODA a flop? ›

It got strong reviews, a wide release on a prominent date, and became one of the two eventual Best Picture nominees to gross more than $18 million. However, its $38.5 million domestic total stunned the film business with its failure to gain audience traction.

Who is Best Supporting Actor in CODA? ›

Troy Kotsur has won the Oscar for best supporting actor at the 94th Academy Awards, currently under way at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles.

Is Emilia Jones nominated for Best Actress? ›

Emilia Annis I. Jones (born 23 February 2002) is an English actress. She played the lead role of Ruby Rossi in the Academy Award-winning 2021 film CODA. She has received several accolades, including a Screen Actors Guild Award and a nomination for a BAFTA Award.
...
Emilia Jones
ParentAled Jones (father)
4 more rows

Did Rachel Zegler Attend 2022 Oscars? ›

Though Rachel Zegler was in attendance for the 2022 Oscars on Sunday night, she took a moment during the show to poke fun at not being invited to the ceremony in the first place.

Who from West Side Story didn't get invited to the Oscars? ›

After Zegler revealed in an Instagram post that she isn't attending the 94th Academy Awards, the ensuing outrage pressured the Academy to invite her to present.

Why was West Side Story star not invited to Oscars? ›

In response to an Instagram follower who couldn't “wait to see” what she'd be wearing the night of the Oscars, Zegler commented, “I'm not invited so sweatpants and my boyfriend's flannel.” (The 20-year-old performer is dating her “West Side Story” co-star Josh Andrés Rivera.)

What is the movie that Will Smith won an Oscar for? ›

Will Smith

Which movie won the most Oscars in history? ›

Ben-Hur won with: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor; Best Supporting Actor; Cinematography; Art Direction; Sound; Music Score; Film Editing; Special Effects; Costume and loosing out to Room at the Top for Screenplay based on material from another medium.

Will Lady Gaga Win Best Actress? ›

(The star was previously nominated for best actress in 2018 for her role in A Star Is Born — she didn't win in the category, but took home the best original song award for “Shallow.”) Despite the snub, Gaga showed love to her peers who earned nominations for the 2022 Academy Awards.

Can Kristen Stewart win the Oscar? ›

Kristen Stewart

Who is nominated for best actress this year? ›

Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

What is Lady Gaga worth? ›

At 34, Lady Gaga is a Grammy- and Academy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress—and businesswoman worth $150 million.

Is Lady Gaga singing at 2022 Oscars? ›

Lady Gaga Sings a 'Cabaret' Classic Next to Liza Minnelli at 2022 Oscars.

Is Lady Gaga Italian? ›

Her father is of Italian descent; and her mother, who is from West Virginia, is of half Italian and half French, English, German, and Scottish ancestry.

Did Robert Pattinson won an Oscar? ›

Robert Pattinson

Who did Kristen Stewart take to the Oscars? ›

The actress walked the Oscars red carpet with her screenwriter girlfriend, Dylan Meyer, who co-ordinated with her partner in black suiting and a white shirt. In a classic Kristen Stewart move, once she had walked the red carpet the Oscar-nominee swapped her heels for a pair of classic black loafers and ankle socks.

Who is the most awarded actress of all time? ›

Katharine Hepburn won four Academy Awards (all for Best Actress), more than any other actor or actress in the history of the award.

Who Won 3 Oscars for Best Actress? ›

Meryl Streep

All those nominations have resulted in three Oscars. Streep has won twice for Best Actress, though “The Iron Lady” felt a little dubious, and once for Best Supporting Actress for “Kramer vs. Kramer.”

Who is the most decorated actress of all time? ›

As of 2022, Katharine Hepburn maintained her lead as the actor with the most Oscar wins of all time.

Who won best actress at the Oscars last night? ›

Watch the top moments from the 2022 Oscars in 4 minutes

Jessica Chastain won her first Oscar for best actress in a leading role for her performance in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Will Smith took home his first Oscar for best actor in a leading role in "King Richard."

Will Rachel zegler be nominated for an Oscar? ›

Zegler, who is of Colombian and Polish descent, was not nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Maria. But her co-star Ariana DeBose earned a nomination in the best supporting actress category for her performance reviving the iconic role of Anita.

Who has the most Oscars for Best Actor? ›

Since its inception, the award has been given to 84 actors. Daniel Day-Lewis has won the award a record three times. Spencer Tracy and Laurence Olivier were nominated a record nine times. Peter O'Toole is the most nominated actor in this category without a single win.

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