Greyhound - 76/100 - Greyhound was a totally fine movie with decent special effects and use of sound, so the nom makes sense. Streaming: Apple TV
Mank - 90/100 - I really liked a lot about Mank, and the sound design is definitly up there as to the reasons why. I don't see it winning, but it is a well deserved nom. Streaming: Netflix
News of the World - 80/100 - The second entry into the Tom Hanks "Yea its solid" 2020 movies, I don't totally get the idea behind this one, but it may be more for lack of options. Streaming: Rent only
Soul - 90/100 - To me, Soul is the only competition for Sound of Metal in this category. The design of sound was obviously so integral into the success of the movie, and the success made the movie that much better. Streaming: Disney+
Sound of Metal - 97/100 - This is one of the easiest project wins among all categories IMHO. My #1 movie of 2020 had so many incredible features, but their use of sound(and lack thereof in some instances) was insanely good. Streaming: Prime Video
Projected winner: Sound of Metal
Judas and the Black Messiah - 94/100 - Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave, Widows) has been doing some great work over the past few years, and this movie is no exception. I will never forget the church speech in this movie, and the way it was shot is a huge part of that. Streaming: Now Rent only
Mank - 90/100 - Mank is obviously very stylized to put you into that world of old-Hollywood, and the way it was shot essential in capturing that feel. It made me feel like I was watching a movie of that era while having more of the grace of a modern movie. Streaming: Netflix
News of the World - 80/100 - Again, totally fine movie. Don't see this even sniffing gold this year, though. Streaming: Rent only
Nomadland - 88/100 - Nomadland is gorgeous and really helps put you in the shoes of the neo-nomads they depict in the movie. You get both the feeling of despair, and the feeling of freedom that comes with that territory. Streaming: Hulu
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - 83/100 - I don't like a lot about this movie, but the cinematography isn't something I would harp on. Streaming: Netflix
Predicted winner: Nomadland (Although if Nomadland is sweeping elsewhere in its 6 nominations, I could see this being a consolation for The Trial of the Chicago 7).
Love and Monsters - 86/100 - This was such a pleasant surprise that I think more people should watch. There is a fun, different fantasy world and Dylan O'Brien was great. It was very CGI heavy, but I don't think it was on the level of the lead dogs in this category. Streaming: FlixFling
The Midnight Sky - 42 - Oh brother this movie STUNK. REEEEEEKED out loud! I honestly don't even think the effects were that crazy good! That said, it is tracking as a favorite. Streaming: Netflix
Mulan - 72/100 - There was some stuff to like about Mulan, but I did not fight the VFX to be one of them. Streaming: Disney+
The One and Only Ivan - 64/100 - A decent kids movie that has no chance here. Streaming: Disney+
TENET - 85/100 - Personally, I would say this award was Nolan's to lose. The effects, both CGI and practical, were by far the most impressive part of the movie. Streaming: Rent only
Predicted Winner: The Midnight Sky (as of right now)
Da 5 Bloods - 94/100 - The OST to this movie was defintily awesome, but I wouldn't call it defining in the same way some of the competitors were. Streaming: Netflix
Mank - 90/100 - Dem Fincher Boyz Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross did some incredible work in this movie. Perfect vibe setting for the period, but I don't know if thats enough to get them over the hump with THIS movie…. Streaming: Netflix
Minari - 94/100 - This was such a small-scale, intimate story and Emile Mosseri's track did a great job of emphasizing that. Streaming: Rent only
News of the World - 80/100 - Not exactly what I would call a memorable score, but the Tom Hanks legacy noms roll onward. Streaming: Rent Only
Soul - 90/100 - Just like with the sound design category, the OST was make or break for this movie. And buddy, it made. Streaming: Disney+
Predicted Winner: Soul
Onward - 85/100 - As a guy who grew up with brothers and heavily empathized with this movie, I am fully cognizant of the fact that it has no chance of winning. Streaming: Disney+
Over the Moon - 72/100 - This movie was a very pleasant surprise! Anytime there is an animated movie not made by Disney/Pixar, I have tempered expectations, but this blew those away. It's still far from perfect and has no chance here. Streaming: Netflix
Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon - 42/100 - BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Streaming: Netflix
Wolfwalkers - 90/100 - If Soul didn't exist, Wolfwalkers would be walking home with some hardware come Oscars night. An old school Irish legend with beautiful animation and a lot of heart. Streaming: Apple TV+
Soul - 90/100: Winner winner chicken dinner. Streaming: Disney+
Predicted Winner: Soul
Borat 2 - 80/100 - Before you ask, the movie qualifies as an adapted screenplay because the Academy considers all sequels as adapted. Don't yell at me, yell at them. Regardless, I don't think they stand much of a chance here. Streaming: Prime Video
The Father - 94/100 - I LOVED this movie. Not only does it rip you fucking heart out, but it is one of my favorite Anthony Hopkins performances EVER. Streaming: N/A
Nomadland - 88/100 - I never read the book, but I think that has to be proof positive that this was a stellar adaptation. You don't see many people talking about this movie and saying "ahh boooo read the book it's so much better', and usually that is a guarantee with anything like this. Streaming: Hulu
One Night In Miami - 74/100 - This had the opposite effect of Nomadland in that the one thing I wanted to see after this movie was watch the play it was based off of. It's not a bad movie by any means, but it just seems like it was better suited as a play. Streaming: Prime Video
The White Tiger - 83/100 - This movie was so close to being really good, but fumbled the third act in annoying fashion. It might be loyal to the book, but didn't totally flow well to screen. Streaming: Netflix
Predicted Winner: Nomadland
Judas and the Black Messiah - 94/100 - This screenplay was incredible both in it's historical telling and dramatization. Streaming: HBO Max
Minari - 94/100 - Minari was a semi-autobiographical work and obviously a huge passion project by director Lee Isaac Chung. The dialogue caught both the immigrant experience and the base quest all of us have to achieve the American dream. Streaming: Rent only
Promising Young Woman - 92/100 - PYW is so unique and the dialogue is very witty. It perfectly fit each character, especially Cary Mulligan. Streaming: Rent Only
Sound of Metal - 97/100 - The screenplay was so dedicated to the CODA community and it was so full of heart. Streaming: Prime Video
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - 83/100 - Sorkin is an incredible writer, but this is far from his best and honestly, just not that great period. Streaming: Netflix
Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7. Every other movie on this list is more deserving of the award, but it's Sorkin.
Maria Bakalova (Borat 2) - 80 - In the first act of Borat 2, I was conivnced the movie was going to suck. Bakalova changed all that. She was funny, very brave considering the nature of the work, and simply did great work as an actress. Streaming: Prime Video
Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy) - 51/100 - This movie was not good. Straight up. HOWEVER, Glenn Close was definitly the best part of the movie. Streaming: Netflix
Olivia Colman (The Father) - 94/100 - As incredible as Anthony Hopkins is in this movie, Colman matches him nearly beat for beat. Streaming: N/A
Amanda Seyfried (Mank) - 90/100 - I liked Seyfried a lot in Mank, but I also don't think we got enough of her to warrant the nom. Streaming: Netflix
Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari) - 94/100 - By far by favorite supporting actress of the year, Yuh-Jung was a force, giving a backbone to the story and stole every scene she was in. Streaming: Rent only
Predicted Winner: Yuh-Jung Youn
Sacha Baron Cohen (Trial Chicago 7) - 83/100 - SBC is a great actor, but I don't see what the academy saw in his performance here. And I'll use their pick here to grandstand for Delroy Lindo really quick. Lindo had a top 10 performance by a supporting actor that I've seen in the last 5 years, and he didn't get nominated. For him not to get the nod but for SBC to is absolute fucking horseshit. One of the worst and most egregious snubs I've ever seen in my life. Streaming: Netflix
Daniel Kaluuya (Judas/Black Messiah) - 94/100 - Ok, so if you're confused as to how both Kaluuya and Stanfield got nominated for best supporting, it comes down to the Academy's process. WB campaigned for Stanfield as best lead and Kaluuya as best supporting, which makes sense. However, the Academy voters can pick what category they put a performance under, and the industry decided the were both supporting in this case. I don't agree, but whatever.
Anyway, Kaluuya was phenomenal in this movie. In fact, in the absence of Lindo, he had my favorite performance as a supporting actor. He not only captured the charisma Fred Hampton accurately by most accounts, but in a great dramatic fashion. Streaming: Rent Only
Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night In Miami) - 74/100 - Odom was a fantastic Sam Cooke. But, again, I wish I could have seen him in a on-stage version of the role. Streaming: Prime Video
Paul Raci (Sound of Metal) - 97/100 - Raci, a real-life CODA, brought authenticity and a great intensity to Sound of Metal. I know he just got nominated for a god damn Oscar, but he still isn't being talked about enough in my opinion. Streaming: Prime Video
Lakeith Stanfield (Judas/Black Messiah) - 94/100 - Again, I would have prefered him as a lead actor nom. But he was phenomenal regardless. He really helped us feel that paranoia of the double life his character was leading. Streaming: Rent only
Projected Winner: Daniel Kaluuya
Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) - 92/100 - Davis was really good in this movie, but Boseman stole the show for sure. Streaming: Netflix
Andra Day (U.S. vs. Billie Holiday) - 52/100 - This movie was really not that good, but Globe winner Andra Day was undoubtably very good. Streaming: Hulu
Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman) - 85/100 - This movie is fuuuuuuuuuucked up. Really fucked. It's also a little akward watching after the Shia news broke, but I won't let that take away from Kirby's performance which was complicated and heart wrenching. Streaming: Netflix
Frances McDormand (Nomadland) - 88/100 - I enjoyed McDormand a lot in this movie, but I also don't think she is the one who made it good. It didn't even feel overly complicated, but it certainly wasn't bad. Streaming: Hulu
Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) - 92/100 - Mulligan is the favorite for a reason. Her role was layered and incredibly well acted. Streaming: Rent only
Predicted Winner: Promising Young Woman
Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) - 97/100 - Ahmed had a really hard task. He had to portray the world of the deaf while working across from Paul Raci, who is a CODA. Thats pretty daunting! He did it with grace and had an incredibly emotional performance. Streaming: Prime Video
Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey) - 92/100 - For Boseman to give the type of performance he gave in this movie while going through what he was is honestly a miracle. He left it all on the field and brought the character of Levee from the stage to the big screen in a one-of-a-kind way. RIP to a great actor and even better person. Streaming: Netflix
Anthony Hopkins (The Father) - 94/100 - Like I mentioned before, Hopkins is a total force in this movie. For a guy who has such an insane catelogue to deliver on a role this late in his career is just so great. Streaming: N/A
Gary Oldman (Mank) - 90/100 - Oldman was solid, but he didn't make the movie in the way these other actors did. Streaming: Netflix
Steven Yeun (Minari) - 94/100 - Yuen continues to prove the point that he is one of the most underratedly great actors in the game right now. The best thing about this role is that there is nothing underrated about it. It is right in your face fantastic. Streaming: Rent only
Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman
Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) - 94/100 - Another round is really, really good. Honestly, it's one of the most unique movies of 2020 and Mads Mikkelson is incredible in it. The closing 20 of that movie? Chefs kiss, baby. Streaming: Rent
David Fincher (Mank) - 90/100 - Fincher took the script his father wrote before passing away, poured his heart and soul into it and got a really good movie as a result. It's not for everyone, but it's hard to to admire it. Streaming: Netflix
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) - 94/100 - Like I mentioned before and like Fincher with Mank, this was a passion project for Chung and it comes across on screen. It's one of the best movies of 2020 and the effort Chung poured into it is what made it what it is. Streaming: Rent only
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) - 88/100 - Just on the pure technical side of directing, what Zhao did was amazing. She has become the big favorite as time has gone by. Streaming: Hulu
Emerald Fennel (Promising Young Woman) - 93/100 - Watching this movie, you would never have expected it was the first work of a rookie director. Fennel wrote, directed, produced and really did a phenomenal job making a movie that stuck out against the grain. Streaming: Rent only
Predicted Winner: Nomadland
The Father - 92/100 - A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
This movie will be available to rent on March 26th, and I highly recommend you do so. Especially if you have a loved one or friend dealing with dementia. It is a near flawless movie hat deserves your time. Streaming: N/A
Judas and the Black Messiah - 94/100 - Offered a plea deal by the FBI, William O'Neal infiltrates the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton.
If you are a fan of great biopics, outstanding performances, or just great drama, you gotta watch this movie. Sucks you missed out on the HBO Max window, but you can wait to stream it or rent it now. Streaming: Rent only
Mank - 90/100 - 1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish "Citizen Kane."
Mank is not a movie that is for everyone, but I loved watching Fincher get into the niche weeds of something he loved. Fincher, I know that you read BSS so I want you to know that you did your dad proud, king. Streaming: Netflix
Minari - 94/100 - A Korean American family moves to an Arkansas farm in search of its own American dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they discover the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
The American Dream, the immigrant experience, and just a universal family drama. You get all of that done to perfection in Minari. Streaming: Rent Only
Nomadland - 88/100 - A woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
I don't really think this was the best movie of the year, but it is inarguably authentic and incredibly well made. Streaming: Hulu
Promising Young Woman - 92/100 - Nothing in Cassie's life is what it appears to be -- she's wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she's living a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs from the past.
A great, unique thriller that really doesn't miss a beat. I don't see it winning, but it certainly stands out against a lot of what came out this year. Streaming: Rent only
Sound of Metal - 97/100 - A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
This is my favorite movie of the year. It's nearly-flawless and a must-watch in my opinion. I'd be ecstatic for it to win, but I don't think it will. Streaming: Prime Video
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - 83/100 - The film is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.
I am simply not a huge fan of this movie. It's built to try and win Oscars and I'm just not really about that. Streaming: Netflix
Projected Winner: Nomadland
Delroy Lindo for best supporting actor: Lindo was not only the best supporting actor of the year, but arguably delivered the best performance of the series period. It is fucking insane to me that he got skipped over this year not only at the oscars but at other shows as well.
The Sound of Metal getting six nominations this year. As much as I loved this movie, this had academy snub written all over it.