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BuzzMeter 2021: Our experts predict the Oscar winners — and so can you (all polls open)

The BuzzMeter's predicted 2021 Oscar winners: Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya, Chadwick Boseman and Yuh-Jung Youn.
And the winners will be: The actors our BuzzMeter panel of experts expects to take home the 2021 Oscar gold are Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”). Don’t agree? Vote in our online polls!
(Focus Features / HBO Max / Netflix / A24)

Here’s your last chance to check the BuzzMeter winner predictions for an edge in your Oscar pool — and now you can vote in every one of the categories our experts are scrutinizing.

Each of the seven veteran film journalists on our panel has ranked picks in 10 Oscar categories. Think you can do better? Fill out your own slate in our online polls. This week: We feature our awards geniuses’ picks in all the acting races, with polls live in every category.

Your 2020 Emmy BuzzMeter panel!
Your 2021 Oscar BuzzMeter panel. Top row, from left: Justin Chang (Los Angeles Times), Tim Cogshell (KPCC’s FilmWeek), Dave Karger (IMDb and Turner Classic Movies). Bottom row, from left: Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Claudia Puig (KPCC’s FilmWeek), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times).
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2021 Oscar nominations: The complete list

Show me where it hurts: Carey Mulligan is the BuzzMeter's pick to win the lead-actress Oscar for "Promising Young Woman."
(Focus Features)

This is the closest of the acting races, by far. Carey Mulligan holds at No. 1, with Viola Davis creating some distance between herself and Frances McDormand for 2nd. As expected, Vanessa Kirby and singer Andra Day complete the field, matching the SAG noms (the BuzzMeter had all five nominees called). The major prizes have been spread out among the field, leaving no clear favorite. Bettors have Mulligan barely ahead of Davis, though at least one betting site has Day pulling an upset, using metrics such as age of previous winners and the fact that she is playing a historical figure.

Notable omissions include two-time Emmy winner Julia Garner (“The Assistant”), youngest drama lead actress Emmy winner Zendaya (“Malcolm & Marie”) and current Gotham winner Nicole Beharie (“Miss Juneteenth”).

1. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
4. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
5. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
3. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
5. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

“A terrific field all around, featuring two Oscar winners in superb form, two brilliant first-time nominees and one past-nominated actress, Carey Mulligan, who has felt like the one to beat for a while.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
3. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
4. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
5. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

“It’s feeling like the most-nominated Black actress in academy history may be due for her first lead-actress win. Viola Davis’ previous win, for ‘Fences,’ was as a supporting actress. Okay, fine, but if she wasn’t the female lead in that movie, I don’t know who was.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
3. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
4. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
5. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“A true toss-up between McDormand, Mulligan, and Golden Globe winner Day. I give the edge to Mulligan, thanks to the overall affection for ‘Promising Young Woman.’ ”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
4. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
5. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

“Mulligan pulls off the most surprising, bone chilling, thrilling and satisfying performance of the year.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
4. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
5. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

“I’m rooting for Mulligan for the biting satire ‘Promising Young Woman.’ ”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
4. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
5. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

“McDormand would be a shoo-in if she hadn’t won twice already. Which is why Mulligan will likely take the win, representing hotter-than-flapjacks ‘Promising Young Woman.’ ”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
4. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
5. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

‘Promising Young Woman’ scored nominations in several major categories, and voters will look to honor the woman who carries the film.”

Chadwick Boseman as Levee in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
When the Levee breaks: The late Chadwick Boseman’s final film performance is as the fiery trumpeter Levee in August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” He’s the runaway favorite to win the lead-actor Oscar.
(David Lee / Netflix)

The late Chadwick Boseman‘s leave-it-on-the-field performance has him as one of only two consensus picks in the entire Round 3 of the BuzzMeter.

Boseman has ruled the awards circuit, winning everywhere. He’s the runaway favorite for the Oscar, with only Riz Ahmed in earshot. Sir Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman and Steven Yeun complete the field. Yeun is the first of Korean descent to get a lead-actor Oscar nomination (1956 winner Yul Brynner, of partial Tartar descent and a naturalized American citizen at the time, is the only other Asian-American nominee thus far).

The panel correctly predicted this entire field. Notable omissions: Globe nominee Tahar Rahim for “The Mauritanian” and LaKeith Stanfield of “Judas and the Black Messiah” — but more on Stanfield in the supporting category.

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
3. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
4. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
5. Steven Yeun, “Minari”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

Justin Chang has recused himself from this category due to a previously disclosed friendship with ‘Minari’ filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung.

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
3. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
4. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
5. Steven Yeun, “Minari”

“I believe the late Mr. Boseman may have the advantage as Mr. Ahmed will likely find himself nominated again and again. Chadwick was that good; Riz is that good.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
3. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
4. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
5. Gary Oldman, “Mank”

“Chadwick Boseman is the only contender here whose film wasn’t also nominated for best picture, but his electrifying performance is too good to ignore.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
3. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
4. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
5. Gary Oldman, “Mank”

“Historically speaking, posthumous nominations fare poorly. Of the seven in the acting races, only two won (Peter Finch, ‘Network’; Heath Ledger, ‘Dark Knight’). I think Boseman has a lot of parallels to Ledger that should deliver his win, but watch out for Ahmed. It’s a much closer race than most Oscar pundits grasp.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
3. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
4. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
5. Gary Oldman, “Mank”

“The closest to a sure thing is Boseman winning for best actor, though I’d be happy with any of the nominees (except Oldman, who deserves it the least, and won three years ago).”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
3. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
4. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
5. Gary Oldman, “Mank”

“The Chadwick Boseman narrative will be hard to resist: His last performance may have been his best, as trumpeter Levee, who is young, gifted and black — and angry.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
3. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
4. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
5. Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Boseman’s anguished turn in ‘Ma Rainey’ caps a career cut too short.”

Aaron Sorkin is out (for directing), LaKeith Stanfield is in (for supporting actor) and all the Oscar morning surprises and snubs.

Drinking it in: Yuh-Jung Youn is the BuzzMeter's pick to win the supporting-actress Oscar for her work in "Minari."
(Courtesy of A24)

“Minari’s” Yuh-Jung Youn now sits alone at the top, well ahead of Maria Bakalova of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” Bakalova probably deserves combat pay for her performance; perhaps this would be her medal?

Amanda Seyfried (a surprising SAG omission), recent Oscar winner Olivia Colman and eight-time nominee Glenn Close complete the field. The panel went four-for-five in this category.

1. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
2. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
3. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
4. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
5. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

Justin Chang has recused himself from this category due to a previously disclosed friendship with ‘Minari’ filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung.

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
2. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
3. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
4. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
5. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

“I’ve decided to go with the performance with which I was truly smitten. Amanda Seyfried’s delightful work in ‘Mank’ still makes me smile. Smiling is good.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
2. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
3. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
4. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
5. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

“Truly, any of these five women could win. I’m predicting a Jim Broadbent-style surprise victory for Colman.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
2. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
3. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
4. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
5. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“Colman is still in that honeymoon period when voters will often give you a second soon after the first. Her role in ‘The Father’ is heartbreaking.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
2. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
3. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
4. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
5. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

“I don’t think Colman will take it since she won for her regal role in ‘The Favourite’ in 2019. I’m rooting for ‘Minari’s’ Yuh-Jung Youn.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
2. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
3. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
4. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
5. Olivia Colman, “The Father”

“This tight race that brings back old rivals Glenn Close and Olivia Colman (who won for ‘The Favourite’) will likely be won by Korean movie star Yuh-Jung Youn, the wily grandmother in the popular ‘Minari.’ ”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
2. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
3. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
4. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
5. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

“ ‘Minari’ owes much of its success to Youn’s turn as the irascible grandmother.”

Darrel Britt-Gibson, Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield appear in 'Judas and the Black Messiah', directed by Shaka King
Daniel Kaluuya (center) was in Marvel’s “Black Panther” and now may win an Oscar as real-life Black Panther Fred Hampton. He’s nominated alongside costar LaKeith Stanfield (rear, right) for “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
(Glen Wilson / courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Out of nowhere, this category has become a showdown between Judas ... and the Black Messiah.

Since “Judas and the Black Messiah’s” relatively late release, Daniel Kaluuya has rocked the awards circuit as Fred Hampton, the film’s “Messiah” figure, and he’s the heavy favorite here. However, the unexpected nomination as supporting of costar LaKeith Stanfield, the titular “Judas” stand-in who was campaigned as the film’s lead, adds a possible vote-splitting angle to the story. By the way, Kaluuya costarred in Marvel’s Oscar-nominated “Black Panther” as a friend who turned against the hero; he’s now nominated for an Oscar as a real-life Black Panther, the hero whose friend betrays him.

“Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. is a double nominee for “One Night in Miami ...”; he’s a co-writer on a strong contender for the original song prize as well: “Speak Now.” Sacha Baron Cohen is also a double nominee, for acting in “Chicago 7" and co-writing the adapted screenplay of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Paul Raci, a hearing member of Deaf West, fills out the field for his soothing, centered performance in “Sound of Metal.”

Notable omissions by the academy: Lance Henriksen from “Falling,” Jared Leto, a SAG and Globe nominee for the late-releasing “The Little Things,” Stanley Tucci from “Supernova” and the rest of the ensembles of “Ma Rainey,” “One Night” and “Chicago 7.” The panel went four-for-five in this category.

1. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
3. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”
4. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
5. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
3. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”
4. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
5. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Will Stanfield’s surprise appearance in this race siphon off votes from costar Kaluuya? I think it speaks more to the overall popularity of ‘Judas and the Black Messiah,’ and makes Kaluuya’s victory all the likelier.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
3. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”
4. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
5. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"

“Both Kaluuya and Stanfield are nominated in supporting category; this begs the question, ‘Isn’t one of them the lead?’ Whatever; I’m not too fond of that movie, but both performances are perfectly nominatable. The long shot might be Cohen.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”
3. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
4. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
5. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“This is Kaluuya’s to lose, and I’m not concerned about any vote-splitting with Stanfield. Kaluuya’s is the showier role and fans of the film will likely gravitate towards him.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
3. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”
4. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
5. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Stars who win in supporting often actually have lead roles – like Kaluuya, who is a rapidly rising superstar.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
3. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
4. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”
5. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

“I have a feeling it will go to Stanfield, although he and costar Kaluuya could cancel each other’s votes out. Then it would likely go to ‘Miami’s’ Odom Jr.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”
3. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
4. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
5. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“The actor who pops out of the ‘Miami’ ensemble — and leaves audiences humming — is Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, whom many audiences discovered in ‘Hamilton,’ on stage and on Disney+ .”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
2. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
3. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
4. LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
5. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami ...”

Costar Stanfield’s surprise placement in the category adds a wrinkle, but Kaluuya will still likely win for his powerful portrayal of Fred Hampton.”

Awards columnist Glenn Whipp looks at the unsettled awards season in his weekly newsletter.

Frances McDormand in "Nomadland."
Frances in wanderland: Frances McDormand stars in “Nomadland,” the BuzzMeter’s pick to win the 2021 Oscar for best picture.
(Searchlight Pictures)

“Nomadland” has been a frontrunner all awards season long, and the panel expects it to continue its winning ways Oscar night. Its recent Producers Guild triumph bodes well for its Oscar chances: the PGAs have been among the more predictive of Academy Award precursors, matching about 65% of the time in the last decade and the last 30 years (allowing half credit for the year they announced two winners, one of which matched). However, “Minari” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7" have significantly closed the gap in the panel’s eyes, possibly indicating a closer race for best picture than previously thought.

Nominations leader “Mank” is in fourth and Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” lurks in the shadows (with a candy-colored wig and a syringe).

Notably, neither “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” nor “One Night in Miami,” both staple contenders until now, received noms. The panel, by the way, limped to a 75% success rate predicting this category, largely because of those two omissions.

1. “Nomadland
2. “Minari
3. “Mank”
4. “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
5. “Promising Young Woman”
6. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
7. “The Father”
8. “Sound of Metal”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

Justin Chang has recused himself from this category due to a previously disclosed friendship with ‘Minari’ filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung.

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Mank”
2. “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
3. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
4. “Minari”
5. “The Father”
6. “Nomadland”
7. “Promising Young Woman”
8. “Sound of Metal”

“Neither of the films I’d previously chosen, ‘News of the World’ and ‘One Night in Miami,’ received recognition, despite only eight of 10 possible slots being taken. ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ is also not nominated, while its two leads, conspicuously, are.

“Hollywood loves stories about Hollywood, told by the best storytellers in Hollywood. ‘Mank’ is the film that fits the bill in all categories.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Nomadland”
2. “Minari”
3. “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
4. “Mank”
5. “Promising Young Woman”
6. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
7. “Sound of Metal”
8. “The Father”

“ ‘Mank’ may lead the overall nominations tally, but its exclusion from the editing and writing categories puts ‘Nomadland’ firmly in the lead.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “Promising Young Woman”
2. “Nomadland”
3. “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
4. “Minari”
5. “Mank”
6. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
7. “Sound of Metal”
8. “The Father”

“Only ‘Promising Young Woman’ and ‘Nomadland’ have all of the key nominations usually needed to win: picture, director, acting, writing and editing. Personally, I think ‘Promising’ is most promising, given its fast-growing fan base.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Nomadland”
2. “Minari”
3. “Mank”
4. “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
5. “Promising Young Woman”
6. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
7. “The Father”
8. “Sound of Metal”

“It’s ‘Nomadland’s’ year. There’s a possibility that frontrunners ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Mank’ could cancel each other out and the most votes go to ‘Minari.’ It’s probably a pipe dream, but that scenario would give me endless pleasure!”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “Nomadland”
2. “Promising Young Woman”
3. “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
4. “Minari”
5. “Mank”
6. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
7. “Sound of Metal”
8. “The Father”

“Chloé Zhao’s ‘Nomadland’ has led the field since it won the Golden Lion in Venice and the People’s Choice Award in Toronto, as the writer-director-editor was the first woman to collect four Oscar nominations in one year. This heart-tugging portrait of loneliness and survival feels right for the zeitgeist.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Nomadland”
2. “Minari”
3. “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
4. “Promising Young Woman”
5. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
6. “Mank”
7. “Sound of Metal”
8. “The Father”

“ ‘Nomadland’ remains the frontrunner: An intimate, empathetic excavation of modern-day America.”

Multi-threat Chloé Zhao of Oscar favorite "Nomadland"
She’s everywhere: Chloé Zhao has four Oscar nominations this year, for writing, producing, directing and editing “Nomadland.” She’s favored to win several of those.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Chloé Zhao remains the solid frontrunner for “Nomadland,” as she has been all awards season. She would be the first Asian woman to win; she’s the first ever to be nominated.

But that’s only part of the history Zhao has already made: She has four nominations this year (writing, producing, directing and editing), making her the first woman to earn that many in one year. What’s more, she’s favored to win at least two of those and is a strong contender for all four. Fellow nominee Emerald Fennell, tabbed for producing, writing and directing “Promising Young Woman,” joins Zhao, Sofia Coppola and Fran Walsh as the only other women to earn three noms in one awards season.

The directing field includes, for the first time, two filmmakers of Asian descent (including its first Asian-American, Lee Isaac Chung of “Minari”) and two women. In 92 previous years, only five women were nominated.

Whereas Regina King had been considered a favorite to make the list for her directorial debut, “One Night in Miami ...,” but was not included, the biggest surprise on the list has to be Dogme 95 veteran Thomas Vinterberg. It’s rare, but not unprecedented, for the maker of an international feature nominee to make the cut, as Vinterberg does here for “Another Round.”

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. David Fincher, “Mank”
3. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
4. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
5. Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

Justin Chang has recused himself from this category due to a previously disclosed friendship with ‘Minari’ filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung.

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. David Fincher, “Mank”
2. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
3. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
4. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
5. Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

“ ‘Minari’ and director Lee Isaac Chung are selected, and that is good; I don’t see them winning in either. Nominations for ‘Mank’ as best picture and David Fincher for best director bode well for both.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. David Fincher, “Mank”
3. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
4. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
5. Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

“I expect Chloé Zhao to win at least two and possibly all four of her personal nominations, this category included.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
2. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
3. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
4. David Fincher, “Mank”
5. Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

“ ‘Promising Young Woman’ doesn’t have the snob appeal of ‘Nomadland,’ but it delivers so much more: laughs, shock, gripping suspense and a central crazy character, who, once she gets a hold on you, won’t let go.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. David Fincher, “Mank”
3. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
4. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
5. Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

“I predict a best director win for Chloé Zhao and a narrow win for ‘Nomadland’ for best picture.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
3. David Fincher, “Mank”
4. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
5. Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

“Chloé Zhao is leading the director fray.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
3. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
4. David Fincher, “Mank”
5. Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

Zhao has won nearly every award for directing this year. That’s not going to stop with the Oscars.”

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Ben Shenkman, Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne and Alex Sharp in "The Trial of the Chicago 7."
Courting disaster: “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Ben Shenkman, Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne and Alex Sharp, is the BuzzMeter’s pick to win the Oscar for original screenplay.
(Netflix)

“The Trial of the Chicago 7" roars to No. 1 after a steady climb through Rounds 1 and 2; some of the panelists feel this might serve as a consolation prize for the multiply-nominated film that missed out on a director nod for writer-helmer Aaron Sorkin. Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” is solidly in second, with “Minari” in spitting distance behind it.

This category saw one of the more surprising snubs, for “Mank,” which was written by director David Fincher’s father, Jack Fincher, in the 1990s. “Soul” had also been considered a top contender but didn’t make the cut. The BuzzMeter only managed 60% in this category.

1. “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
2. “Promising Young Woman”
3. “Minari”
4. “Sound of Metal”
5. “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

Justin Chang has recused himself from this category due to a previously disclosed friendship with ‘Minari’ filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung.

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Minari”
2. “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
3. “Promising Young Woman”
4. “Sound of Metal”
5. “Judas and the Black Messiah”

At this moment, when hate crimes against our AAPI sisters and brothers are at an all-time high, the nomination of ‘Minari’ is correct. A win for Lee Isaac Chung’s drama about an American family in the nation’s heartland would be well deserved and make a profound statement.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
2. “Minari”
3. “Promising Young Woman”
4. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
5. “Sound of Metal”

“This is a tight three-way race between the personal ‘Minari’, the sprawling ‘Chicago 7,’ and the irreverent ‘Promising Young Woman.’ ”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
2. “Promising Young Woman”
3. “Minari”
4. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
5. “Sound of Metal”

“Privately, selfishly and secretly (shhhh), I’m rooting for ‘Promising Young Woman,’ but the grand achievement of ‘Trial of the Chicago 7’ should deliver this verdict to Aaron Sorkin.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
2. “Promising Young Woman”
3. “Minari”
4. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
5. “Sound of Metal”

“This will likely go to ‘Chicago 7’ since Sorkin was snubbed for directing the film he wrote. Personally, though, I’d like to see it go to ‘Minari.’ ”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
2. “Promising Young Woman”
3. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
4. “Minari”
5. “Sound of Metal”

“Having missed a director nod, Sorkin will handily take his second Oscar win for ‘Chicago 7,’ which brilliantly condenses a complex 1968 clash between protesters and police, and the trial that followed.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Promising Young Woman”
2. “The Trial of the Chicago 7"
3. “Minari”
4. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
5. “Sound of Metal”

“Fennell earned three nominations as a producer, director and writer and this is a nice spot for voters to reward her gut-wrenching film.”

Chloé Zhao adapted Jessica Bruder's "Nomadland," about Americans living unrooted existences. Frances McDormand stars.
Adapt or die: Chloé Zhao’s adaptation of Jessica Bruder’s nonfiction book “Nomadland” is about Americans living unrooted existences. The film follows Fern (Frances McDormand) after the Great Recession; she must find a new way to live and cope with what she has lost.
(Searchlight Pictures)

Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” script adapts the Jessica Bruder book that came from experienced, lived-in research; some of the actual people Bruder met appear in the film. The panel has it barely edging out Kemp Powers’ adaptation of his play, “One Night in Miami ...,” while Florian Zeller’s adaptation (with Christopher Hampton) of his play “The Father” is not far behind at No. 3.

As predicted, “Nomadland” and “The Father” landed noms despite not qualifying for the WGAs. The other three nomineees did receive WGA nods, including: The “Borat” sequel and Rahmin Bahrani’s “The White Tiger,” which springs out of the tall grass to take a spot.

1. “Nomadland”
2. “One Night in Miami”
3. “The Father “
4. “The White Tiger”
5. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Nomadland”
2. “One Night in Miami ...”
3. “The Father “
4. “The White Tiger”
5. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“The lack of a best-picture nomination for ‘One Night in Miami ... ‘ could make this a handy consolation prize, though the ‘Nomadland’ train will be hard to derail.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “One Night in Miami ...”
2. “The White Tiger”
3. “Nomadland”
4. “The Father “
5. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“Kemp Powers’ imagining of what might have been the conversations between Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X is lyrical yet pointed. That ‘One Night’ isn’t nominated for best picture or director (Regina King) is nuts.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Nomadland”
2. “One Night in Miami ...”
3. “The Father “
4. “The White Tiger”
5. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“In a much-less competitive race than the original screenplay category, this goes to ‘Nomadland’ without question.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “One Night in Miami ...”
2. “Nomadland”
3. “The Father “
4. “The White Tiger”
5. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“ ‘Nomadland’ has only minimalist dialogue. Here, ‘One Night in Miami’ probably has the edge.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “One Night in Miami ...”
2. “The Father “
3. “Nomadland”
4. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
5. “The White Tiger”

“I think after having been snubbed for best picture, ‘One Night in Miami ...’ will win best adapted screenplay.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “Nomadland”
2. “The Father “
3. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
4. “One Night in Miami ...”
5. “The White Tiger”

“Two films not eligible for the WGA will duke it out: Zhao’s ‘Nomadland’ and Zeller’s ‘The Father,’ which could use a win.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Nomadland”
2. “The Father “
3. “One Night in Miami ...”
4. “The White Tiger”
5. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“Zhao will need a trophy case for all the Oscars she’s going to win for ‘Nomadland.’ ”

"Another Round" (starring Mads Mikkelsen) tops the BuzzMeter international-feature list.
Bottoms up: “Another Round” (starring Mads Mikkelsen) may be getting drunk with power. Its best-director nomination for Thomas Vinterberg makes it a virtual lock for the international-feature Oscar, according to the BuzzMeter panel.
(Samuel Goldwyn Films)

“Another Round” is now the dominant pick, not only because of its awards-season-long acclaim, but because it received a rare best-director nomination (for Thomas Vinterberg) for an international-feature nominee. The journalism-vs-the-Romanian-healthcare-system documentary “Collective” is the only other nominee anywhere near it (with less than 75% of “Another Round’s” BuzzMeter vote total).

Notably, despite having a nominee in this category (“Better Days”), Hong Kong will not be carrying the Oscars live for the first time in more than 50 years. Though supposedly a commercial decision, the nominations of “Do Not Split” in the documentary short subject category and “Nomadland” all over the awards are sure to rile the Chinese government.

Major contenders such as the highly regarded “I’m No Longer Here” (Mexico), “Two of Us” (France) and “La Llorona” (Guatemala) didn’t make the cut. The panel only scored 40% in the category when predicting the nominees, and shakes its fist at the academy for its very questionable rules for picking international features.

1. “Another Round” (Denmark)
2. “Collective” (Romania)
3. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
4. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
5. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Another Round” (Denmark)
2. “Collective” (Romania)
3. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
4. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
5. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

“The fact that ‘Another Round’ scored a directing nomination for Thomas Vinterberg suggests that any other winner in this category would be a big surprise.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Another Round” (Denmark)
2. “Collective” (Romania)
3. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
4. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
5. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

“ ‘Two of Us’ is not among the nominees. Hence, I return to my previous choice, ‘Another Round,’ for its simplicity, quirkiness, and constant search for the things that make us human. Vinterberg is also nominated for best director; this is the more likely category for a win.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Another Round” (Denmark)
2. “Collective” (Romania)
3. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
4. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
5. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

“That surprise director nomination for Thomas Vinterberg gives the fascinating ‘Another Round’ the clear advantage.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “Another Round” (Denmark)
2. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
3. “Collective” (Romania)
4. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
5. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

“The fact that ‘Another Round’s’ Thomas Vinterberg is nominated for best director shows its strong academy support.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Collective” (Romania)
2. “Another Round” (Denmark)
3. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
4. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
5. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)

“This should go to ‘Collective,’ for its powerful story of Romanian corruption, but it likely will go to the banal story of middle-age ennui, ‘Another Round,’ which is, to my mind, one of the weaker movies by the very talented Vinterberg.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “Another Round” (Denmark)
2. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
3. “Collective” (Romania)
4. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
5. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)

“Thomas Vinterberg’s grief-tinged drama ‘Another Round,’ about a teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) in mid-life crisis, swept the European Film Awards and could win the Oscar.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Another Round” (Denmark)
2. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
3. “Collective” (Romania)
4. “Better Days” (Hong Kong)
5. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

“With director Thomas Vinterberg scoring a surprise nomination, ‘Another Round’ stands as the clear favorite.”

Disney/Pixar's "Soul" ascends to the top of the BuzzMeter's animated-feature nominations predictions.
“Soul” has this on ice: Disney/Pixar’s “Soul” is a rare BuzzMeter consensus pick, one of only two this season.
(Disney/Pixar)

Pixar’s jazzy, philosophical “Soul” didn’t get the love the panel thought it might for best picture and original screenplay, but it’s still the BuzzMeter’s runaway pick to win the animated-feature Oscar. In fact, it’s one of only two consensus picks in Round 3. The Irish studio Cartoon Saloon’s first three features each scored Oscar nominations; “Wolfwalkers” continues that streak and has won the hearts of some of the panel members.

Idiosyncratic smaller films such as “No. 7 Cherry Lane” and “On-Gaku: Our Sound” failed to gain academy notice; Big Hollywood studio movies have won 14 straight.

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “Onward”
5. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Onward”
4. “Over the Moon”
5. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“ ‘Soul,’ once tipped for a best picture nomination, seems certain to extend Pixar’s strong track record in this race. Still, sending prayers for ‘Wolfwalkers.’ ”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Onward”
4. “Over the Moon”
5. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“I know ‘Soul’ will win, though this is also not a film that I care for, save the [also-nominated] score. ‘Wolfwalkers’ would be my personal choice.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “Onward”
5. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“A worthy group of films to be sure, but I don’t see how any film has a shot against ‘Soul.’ ”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “Onward”
5. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“Huffy Oscar pontificators will tell you that ‘Soul’ is a shoo-in to win and it might do that. But don’t make the idiotic mistake of underestimating ‘Wolfwalkers,’ ‘Onward’ or ‘Over the Moon.’ It’s a very tight race, ripe for surprise.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
5. “Onward”

“Animated feature will go to the much-loved ‘Soul,’ with ‘Wolfwalkers’ a close second.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
5. “Onward”

“Pixar’s got this one, for Pete Docter’s ‘Soul,’ the studio’s first African American-themed feature.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
5. “Onward”

“ ‘Soul’ should have been nominated for best picture. This, I suppose, will be its consolation prize.”

“No. 7 Cherry Lane,” “Kill It and Leave This Town” and “On-Gaku: Our Sound” are among the idiosyncratic, personal animated works this season.


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