/Predictions for who will win the top Academy Awards
Predictions for who will win the top Academy Awards

Predictions for who will win the top Academy Awards

Frances McDormand stars in Searchlight Pictures “Nomadland.”

Source: Searchlight Pictures

The path to the 2021 Academy Awards has been a strange one. After enduring date changes and delays as well as virtual film festivals and new eligibility rules, the Oscars will take place this Sunday.

Heading into the ceremony, there are a few clear frontrunners in major categories like best picture and best director, but the race is still wide open in others, like best actress.

Regardless of who wins, the 2021 Oscar nomination slate is a historic one. It marks the first time an all-Black producing team has been nominated for best picture (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), the first time two actors of Asian decent were nominated for best actor (Steven Yeun and Riz Ahmed) and the first year that two women have been nominated for best director (Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell).

Zhao’s “Nomadland” has swept the awards season and seems poised to nab best picture as well as the best directing award for the filmmaker, barring any unforeseen upsets.

Chadwick Boseman, who unexpectedly passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer that he concealed from the public, is likely to pick up the best actor award for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Daniel Kaluuya is expected to snag the best supporting actor trophy for his performance in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” while Yuh-Jung Youn appears to be on track to become the second Asian woman to win an acting prize at the ceremony.

The best actress award, on the other hand, is anyone’s guess.

While more than two dozen awards will be presented this Sunday. Here’s a look at who could take home the prize in the top categories.

Best picture

Heading into Sunday’s ceremony, “Nomadland” appears to be the clear frontrunner for the best picture award. The film has picked up the top award from the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.

Still, “1917” and “La La Land” had similar track records, but lost to “Parasite” and “Moonlight.” So, there’s still a chance for an upset from one of the other contenders.

“Nomadland” is nominated alongside “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Best director

Director Chloe Zhao attends a special screening of “The Rider” at the Writers Guild Theater on April 11, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

Amanda Edwards | Getty Images

Best animated feature

Jamie Foxx voices Joe Gardner in Disney Pixar’s “Soul.”

Disney

Best actor

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Source: Netflix

Best actress

It’s anyone’s guess which actress will take home the top acting award on Sunday. A different actress won the prize at the top award shows leading up to the Oscars.

Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) won at the Critics Choice Awards, Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) took home the BAFTA, Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) earned the Screen Actors Guild award and Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) garnered the Golden Globe win.

Only Vanessa Kirby has yet to secure a win for her performance in “Pieces of a Woman,” but she’s not totally out of the running.

Best original screenplay

Aaron Sorkin may have won best original screenplay at the Golden Globes, but it’s been Emerald Fennell that has swept the rest of the awards on the circut.

Fennell scooped up the BAFTA, Critics Choice and Writers Guild of America awards leading up to Sunday’s ceremony. If she does win the trophy at the Academy Awards, she will be the second solo female winner of this category. Diablo Cody was the first for “Juno.”

Carey Mulligan stars in “Promising Young Woman.”

Source: Focus Features