Final Oscar predictions in all 23 categories

 Oscar statuettes
The 93rd Academy Awards take place Sunday.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Oscars are Sunday and I’m breaking out the fresh fava beans in honor of Sir Anthony Hopkins and making plans to return to Musso & Frank the minute it opens next month. In the meantime, please enjoy Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Carolyn Cole’s beautiful look at Yosemite, one year after the animals took over.

Makes you hungry for s’mores, doesn’t it? I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of the Envelope’s Friday newsletter. I’ll be taking a break after the Oscars. If you want to find me, I’ll be by the campfire looking up at the stars.

Final Oscar predictions for all 23 categories

The producers of this year’s Oscars have promised that the first 60 seconds of the show will “make your knees buckle.” As my knees have remained firmly in place for the many (so many) years that I’ve watched the Academy Awards, I cannot begin to predict what that moment might entail. As Steven Soderbergh is one of the brave (foolhardy?) folks running this ceremony, perhaps we could be looking at a cast reunion from one of his movies?

And, sure, OK, a “Che” reunion might make me a little giddy. (Not the Soderbergh movie you were thinking of? Sorry, comrade.)

While I can’t predict that knee-buckling moment, I did comb through all 23 Oscar categories (yes, one fewer than previously as the academy combined sound mixing and sound editing) and offer some thoughts. Keep the smelling salts handy.

How much history will we see at the show?

If you don’t know that the Oscars are Sunday, I understand and even endorse that lack of awareness. We’ve had a few (hundred) other things to think about this past year. Multiplexes have been mostly closed, consigning movies to the edges of the cultural conversation. And besides ... it’s nearly May. Thinking about the Oscars when the weather is warm and people are stocking up on margarita mix for Cinco de Mayo feels weird.


But if you are interested — and there are reasons you should be — take comfort that Steven Soderbergh and his fellow producers have promised to deliver an interesting ceremony that, in Soderbergh’s words, “challenges all the assumptions that go into an awards show.” Perfect! Because my primary awards show assumption is that the night will be dull and go on way too long. So, hopefully, this show won’t be that. What else to expect? I ran through five intriguing questions, including the number of historic firsts the show might deliver.

George C. Wolfe gestures between Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.
Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman with “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” director George C. Wolfe.
(David Lee / Netflix)

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.

Best picture nominees reveal an America in transition

“In a movie season turned upside down by COVID-19, it seems right on brand that the eight best picture nominees for this year’s Academy Awards all channel a feeling of the unsettled — in their narratives, but also in the architecture that they depict,” writes Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda in a perceptive piece looking at the ways that “home” is conveyed in films like “Minari” and “Nomadland.”

“In our pandemic year, when we have been collectively estranged from the familiar ... we think we build on firm ground,” Miranda notes. “It turns out our foundations are shakier than we assumed.”

A still from "Minari" shows the family driving up to their future mobile home
In “Minari,” a Korean American couple played by Steven Yeun and Yeri Han move to Arkansas to start a farm, living in a mobile home.


I’d love to hear from you. Email me at

Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.