2021 Oscars Predictions: Will this be the second year a foreign-language film wins Best Picture?
Niamh Walsh predicts the results of this year’s Academy Awards.
Awards season is upon us and, as always, there is plenty of buzz about who is going to win what – especially after a year that saw the death of the cinema and movie-going. Although I am not a member of the academy and my opinion literally means nothing, I am delighted to give you my list of predictions of who I think is going to win and why.
Starting out with the only category anyone actually cares about, I think Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari (2020) will snatch the envied title. With raving reviews from critics and a 99 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes, Minari is the story of a Korean-American family who immigrated to rural America in the 1980s. I know this is a risky choice; the distribution company is A24 (an often snubbed film company by the Academy), and it is a foreign-language film. However, looking at how the South Korean foreign-language film Parasite (2019) swept up the awards last year, as well as the Mexican foreign-language film Roma (2018) being nominated in 10 awards categories at the 91st Academy Awards, I believe Minari has a fighting chance in winning Best Picture.
I think Chloé Zhao has this in the bag. Director of Nomadland (2020), Zhao’s film has already won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, as well as the People’s Choice Award at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Zhao has also just been nominated as Best Director by the Golden Globes (making her the first woman of Asian descent to be honoured) and so I expect she will be taking home multiple accolades this season.
The late Chadwick Boseman will win. His phenomenal and final screen appearance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) has been critically acclaimed, earning him a pair of Best Actor honours from the L.A. and Chicago critics. The emotional pull of this performance was astounding, with his work as Levee Green being in my opinion his best and most divine gift to film.
This was a tough one, but I think Carey Mulligan will slightly edge Viola Davis and win for Promising Young Woman (2020). Beloved by critics and audiences, she has won best actress prizes from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and, most recently, the National Board of Review — two critical precursors leading up to the Oscars. She has also just recently been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress and, although facing steep competition, I think she will come out on top.
Best Supporting Actor
I have my fingers crossed for this category, as I would really like for Daniel Kaluuya to win after his powerhouse performance in Judas and the Black Messiah (2021). Again, adored by critics, I definitely think he is in with a fighting chance of winning this category.
Best Supporting Actress
Youn Yuh-jung has received critical acclaim and international recognition for her performance as Soon-ja in Minari (2020). She has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award, as well as a Satellite award. She has been consistently praised for her performance and so I think she will easily take home the award of Best Supporting Actress this year.
Best Animated Feature
This is probably the easiest of them all, but Pixar’s Soul (2020) will win this category. With 96 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, it has received positive reviews from critics, praising it’s black-led storyline and deep emotional resonance. Nearly everything about the film is memorable and thought-provoking, with film critic Juanma Rulz describing it as “One of Pixar’s strongest works”.