Everything would seem to indicate that “Nomadland” will the big winner, at least in all the most prominent award categories, in a year that features its fair share of excellent nominees but lacks any of the hype we’d normally expect around the event

Practically everything has had to adapt to the pandemic, but in the case of the Oscars, the health crisis seems to have delivered the mortal blow. For the Academy Awards in Hollywood, the free fall has been years in the making, between the sterile controversies (Kevin Hart stepping down after a series of homophobic Tweets he had posted surfaced), the last-minute glitches (the Oscar theft by “Moonlight” from “La La Land”) and the progressive decrease in audience share, have all led to an unprecedented crisis. This year, and as is the case with practically every award ceremony worldwide, the feeling is that the Oscars are going ahead more out of obligation, because, like, we have to do it, rather than spurred on by the desire to deliver a diagnosis on the state of the industry or to acknowledge its brightest lights. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great nominees, but there are also a few candidates who under “normal” circumstances, probably wouldn’t even be there. In the end, the Academy scheduled the event for April but the feeling of excitement and hype around the affair is practically non-existent. As such, on a more formal level, the awards have no other real purpose beyond kicking the canned debate about their true meaning and capacity to recoup the significance of bygone days further down the road.

Frances McDormand. “Nomadland”.

As for the awards themselves, all signs appear to indicate that the magnificent “Nomadland” will walk away from the evening clutching an armful of all the major awards; best picture, director (Chloé Zhao), actress (Frances McDormand) and adapted screenplay. This film will be a winner based on merits for its quality rather than how many statuettes it collects. The only other picture that could overshadow it is “Promising Young Woman”, the story of a woman (played by the immensely talented Carey Mulligan, who if she weren’t up against McDormand would be the undisputed winner) who devises a plan to take revenge on several individuals involved in a group rape. No doubt the Academy will make up for it with the award for best original screenplay for director Emerald Fennell. The likelihood is that David Fincher’s “Mank” will face a rerun of its previous outings at other awards ceremonies: much ado and nominations, about nothing. Although it will undoubtedly collect one of the technical awards (best cinematography should be a no-brainer, but then again, with the Oscars you just never know), with all eyes on the best supporting actress category by virtue of the extraordinarily talented Amanda Seyfried. The only problem here is that she’ll be up against veteran actress  Yuh-jung Youn for “Minari”, and one of the most celebrated performances of the year. Insofar as best actor is concerned, the battle for the lead performance comes down to a standoff between Sir Anthony Hopkins for “The Father” and Chadwick Boseman for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” My money’s on Boseman winning the posthumous award, and truth be told, saying it’s well-deserved is an understatement. In the best international feature film category, practically everyone expects Denmark’s “Another Round” to triumph for a film that deserves to be nominated in several other categories.

“Mank”.

Another winner on the night could, and indeed should be, “Soul“. The latest Pixar production will probably take home the Oscar for best animated feature and best soundtrack, for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Two well-deserved nods for a controversial title at its premiere, given that it became the first Pixar feature released on a streaming platform before debuting in theaters. And this is a subject that will surely loom lofty over the entire ceremony, especially in a year when the concept of traditional distribution is facing an unprecedented crisis. In any case, it seems that the Oscars continue to resist affording the same honors to streaming platforms as they do the big screen, evidenced by the forecasts, if the oracles are accurate, the big wins will be for pictures that prioritize theater releases, while those expected to walk away empty-handed, “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7”, focused their commercial impact on their Netflix release.

Pep Prieto. Journalist and writer. Series critic on ‘El Món a RAC1’ and for the program ‘Àrtic’ on Betevé. Author of the essay ‘Al filo del mañana’, about time-travelling cinema, and ‘Poder absoluto’, about cinema and politics.

2021 Oscars. Here are the predictions from some of our regular contributors:

Conxita Casanovas

Best Picture: “Nomadland”

Best Actress: Carey Mulligan

Best Actor: Riz Ahmed

Best Supporting Actor: Paul Raci

Best Supporting Actress:  Amanda Seyfried

Best Director: Chloé Zhao

Best Original Screenplay: “Promising Young Woman”

Best Adapted Screenplay: “Nomadland”

Best International Feature Film: “Another Round”

Best Documentary Feature: “The Mole Agent”

Best Animated Feature Film: “Soul”

Best Cinematography: “Nomadland”

Best Costume Design: “Emma”

Best Film Editing: “Nomadland”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Original Score: “Soul”

Best Original Song: “Io sì”, Laura Pausini

Best Production Design: “Tenet”

Best Sound: “Sound of metal”

Best Visual effects: “Tenet”

Helena Cortés

Helena Cortés

Best Picture: “Nomadland”

Best Actress: Carey Mullingan for “Promising Young Woman”

Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Supporting Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen for “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman for “The Father”

Best Director: Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland”

Best Original Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Adapted Screenplay: Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton for “The Father”

Best International Feature Film: “Another Round”

Best Documentary Feature: “The Mole Agent”

Best Animated Feature Film: “Soul”

Best Cinematography: Erik Messerschmidt for “Mank”

Best Costume Design: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Film Editing: “Sound of metal”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Original Score: “Soul”

Best Original Song: “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Best Production Design: “Mank”

Best Sound: “Sound of metal”

Best Visual effects: “Tenet”

Best Live Action Short Film: “Two Distant Strangers”

Best Animated Short Film: “If Anything Happens I Love You”

Best Documentary (Short Subject): “Do not Split”

Bárbara Padilla

Bárbara Padilla

Best Picture: “Nomadland”

Best Actress: Frances McDormand

Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins

Best Supporting Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen

Best Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman

Best Director: David Fincher

Best Original Screenplay: “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Father”

Best International Feature Film: “Another Round”

Best Documentary Feature: “Collective”

Best Animated Feature Film: “Soul”

Best Cinematography: “Nomadland”

Best Costume Design: “Mank”

Best Film Editing: “The Father”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Mank”

Best Original Score: “Soul”

Best Original Song: “Hear My Voice”

Best Production Design: “Mank”

Best Sound: “Mank”

Best Visual effects: “Tenet”

Best Live Action Short Film: “The Present”

Best Animated Short Film: “If Anything Happens I Love You”

Best Documentary (Short Subject): “Colette”

Pere Vall

Pere Vall

Best Picture: “Nomadland”

Best Actress: Frances McDormand

Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins

Best Supporting Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen

Best Supporting Actress: Glenn Close

Best Director: Chloé Zhao

Best Original Screenplay: “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Adapted Screenplay: “Nomadland”

Best International Feature Film: “Another Round”

Best Documentary Feature: “The Mole Agent”

Best Animated Feature Film: “Soul”

Best Cinematography: “News of the World”

Best Costume Design: “Mank”

Best Film Editing: “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Mank”

Best Original Score: “Mank”

Best Original Song: “The Life Ahead”

Best Production Design: “Mank”

Best Sound: “Soul”

Best Visual effects: “Tenet”

Best Live Action Short Film: “Two Distant Strangers”

Best Animated Short Film: “Opera”

Best Documentary (Short Subject): “A Concerto is a Conversation”