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BEST PICTURE

The handsome and essential “Nomadland” is clearly the favorite to win the Best Picture award this year, and rightly so. Chloe Zhao’s film is believed to be about a middle-aged woman forced to pack her belongings in a van and drive around the United States in search of temporary work to make ends meet – and on the ‘tribe lifelong vans she meets along the way – provocative, moving and perfectly formed. It would be a huge shock if he didn’t win. Among those that should also be considered rans (although they are all good movies in their own right), “Sound of Metal” – the story of a heavy metal drummer losing his hearing – would be an excellent choice. on the left field, but is surely a rank underdog, as is the excellent “The Father,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman in a heart-wrenching portrayal of a father and daughter struggling to cope with the dementia. The rape-revenge thriller “Promising Young Woman” has a lot of buzz about it, the bittersweet and sweet “Minari” is a wonderful film, and David Fincher’s biopic drama “Mank” is a film about the industry. cinematic (and a great movie), which always plays well with the Academy. Another biopic, “Judas and the Black Messiah,” is a timely and superbly performed examination of racial injustice. But if any movie wants to give this award to “Nomadland,” it will likely be the mighty “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” a historical legal drama based on court proceedings against a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and with a stellar ensemble cast.

OUR PREDICTION: Nomadland

BEST ACTOR

The Academy will surely take the opportunity to pay posthumous tribute to Chadwick Boseman, one of the most talented, popular and acclaimed actors of his generation, who died of cancer last year. Luckily for voters, Boseman was brilliant in his last role, as arrogant jazz trumpeter Levee Green in “My Rainey’s Black Bottom”. Among his fellow nominees, British veterans Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins are both rightly recognized for their starring stints in “Mank” and “The Father” respectively (with Hopkins’ performance just ahead, in our opinion), while that Steven Yeun is selected for his perfectly presented performance as a frustrated but loving father trying to build a working farm for his family. Perhaps Boseman’s biggest challenge will come from Riz Ahmed who in “Sound of Metal” showed a subtle and nuanced scale as well as some serious technical chops – learning to play the drums and “speak” the language. signs for the movie. You should, however, expect that Ahmed, like the others, will end up losing to Boseman. And they’re probably okay with that.

OUR PREDICTION: Chadwick Boseman

BEST ACTRESS

It is perhaps one of the hardest categories to call this year, with no clear favorites yet apparent. What is evident is that the five nominees performed exceptionally well. This could be the category in which “Promising Young Woman” wins a “major” award – Carey Mulligan is excellent in the lead role, adding nuance and humanity to a character that would have been easy to play in full. diet. Frances McDormand is just wonderful in “Nomadland,” but the role could (deliberately) miss the flashy touches that often catch the Academy’s attention. Viola Davis certainly can’t be blamed for this – as the eponymous frontman of ‘My Rainey’s Black Bottom’ she dazzles and transforms with her presence and vocal chops. Much like Andra Day in her feature debut “United States vs. Billie Holiday,” which turns into an electrifying performance as the legendary singer of the same name. Completed this talented category is Vanessa Kirby, recognized by the Academy for her heartbreaking and overly believable portrayal of a woman who loses her baby at birth in “Pieces of a Woman.”

OUR PREDICTION: Viola Davis

BEST DIRECTOR

For the first time in 93 years of history, the Academy has two women nominated for the award for best director. Could one of them become the second woman to win the award (after Kathryn Bigelow’s triumph with “The Hurt Locker” in 2009)? We believe so. Otherwise, it would be a huge missed opportunity for the Academy to show that they are making an effort to keep pace with the times. Chloe Zhao’s fantastic ‘Nomadland’ is, as mentioned, the frontrunner to win the Best Picture award, and while it’s not a guarantee of hitting that award, it certainly doesn’t hurt – and Zhao made a point. undeniably brilliant work. She deserves to win. The second female contestant is Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman”. It’s a very current play, and Fennell constructs it brilliantly, but being timely and socially relevant isn’t always a plus with the traditionally conservative Academy. Among men, David Fincher may feel his time has come. Widely recognized as one of the best filmmakers of his generation, “Mank” earned him his third nomination in this category. If anyone can beat Zhao at this year’s prize, it’s probably him. Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”) and Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) both made great films, but it would be a big shock if either of them won the award this year.

OUR PREDICTION: Chloé Zhao

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

The region’s hopes in this category lie in Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania, nominated for her dark satire “The Man Who Sold His Skin”, in which a Syrian refugee in need of money allows a famous artist to use her skin as a canvas for her last. job. But she faces stiff competition, especially from Thomas Vinterberg’s meditative dramatic comedy, nominated for Best Director, “Another Round”. The terrible Bosnian war drama “Quo Vadis, Aida?” may be the latter’s closest candidate, closely followed by Alexander Nanau’s “Collective”, a documentary thriller about a shocking medical fraud in Romania. Kwok Cheung Tsang’s irresistible detective story “Better Days” is an outsider here.

OUR PREDICTION: “Another Round”

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

The only other candidate from the Arab world for this year’s Oscars is “The Present”, directed by Farah Nabulsi and telling the story of a man in the West Bank looking for a gift for his wife, accompanied by his young daughter. He has already won a BAFTA and would be a worthy winner. “Feeling Through” – a touching story of connection between a deafblind man and a homeless teenager; “The Letter Room” (with Oscar Isaac); the hyper-timely “Two Distant Strangers”, about a young black man repeatedly confronted and killed by a white NYPD officer, and Israeli suitor “White Eye” make this a tough category to win.

OUR PREDICTION: “Two Distant Strangers”



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