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Numlock Awards: Five Oscar Nomination Predictions
Let's do some pre-nominations snubs and surprises guesses.
Numlock Awards is your one-stop awards season newsletter. Every week, join Walt Hickey and Michael Domanico as they break down the math behind the Oscars and the best narratives going into film’s biggest night. Today’s edition comes from Michael.
Michael here! First, I wanted to give a shout-out to our reader John, who bested me on his Golden Globes predictions (good call on Spielberg winning Best Director, John!).
For today’s post, I wanted to do something a little bit different and focus on five slightly more out-there predictions I have for Oscar nominations morning, which is this Tuesday!
Will all five of these happen? Probably not, but what’s the fun of Oscar morning if you don’t go against the grain.
1. RRR Cracks Best Picture
Foreign language films have always had an uphill battle in this category, but the expanded field has helped films like Drive My Car and Amour break in, with Parasite famously winning as the final Good Thing 2020 offered us.
A lot of predictions are going toward Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front, which may also get in, but I’m going to predict RRR here, which is ineligible for Best International Feature since it was not India’s official selection and has a ton of good will.
2. Michelle Williams gets blanked
Michelle Williams is campaigning as a lead actress for Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, and despite Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations, she’s come up empty-handed at SAG and BAFTA. The Best Supporting Actress race seems wide open — I mean, we might have our first winner from a Marvel movie, and it’s a sequel at that — so I’m not sure if the Lead Actress push made sense in the end, given the competition for Best Actress. And speaking of Best Supporting Actress…
3. Stephanie Hsu gets in for Everything Everywhere All at Once
She’s missed some nominations (Globes, BAFTA) and landed others (SAG, Critics’ Choice), sure, but I’m thinking the support for EEAAO will push a charismatic young actress from a Best Picture front-runner into a nomination, where she’ll compete against co-star Jamie Lee Curtis.
4. James Cameron misses for Avatar: The Way of Water
Sure, $2 billion at the global box office is nice, but is anything as sweet as Best Director? Well, according to Cameron himself, it’s all about Best Picture.
Remember when Avatar was up against The Hurt Locker, directed by Cameron’s ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow? His line that awards season became, Give her Best Director but me Best Picture. And we wonder why showbiz marriages don’t last! I don’t even think he’ll be able to be so, erm, generous, this year, since I don’t think he’ll make the cut for Best Director.
5. Babylon only gets below-the-line nominations
The enthusiasm for Babylon almost never really existed, but if it did, it was probably when the Globes nominations came out and the film scored a respectable five nominations, including three for its stars and Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.
Compare that to the recent BAFTA nominations, where it only landed Best Costume Design, Original Score, and Production Design. And the SAG nomination was for Best Cast, but zero individual nods for any of the actors. If there’s any enthusiasm left for this movie, it’s mostly in those below-the-line categories, so I’m predicting nothing for Babylon in Picture, Acting, Writing or Directing.
Let us know what you’re looking for on Oscar morning by replying to this email. Let’s see what happens on Tuesday!