Not-Oscars 2021

It’s been another unusually long awards season, though not quite as long as last year’s. The window for Academy Awards eligibility extended out of 2020 into the first couple months of 2021, meaning that some notable 2021 releases, like the Best Picture-nominated Judas And The Black Messiah, have already had their day in the sun, while this year’s eligible crop hails from the final ten months of last year.

The window may be two months shorter, but that certainly didn’t seem to thin the herd any. For those of us who follow awards releases, the fall movie season was insanely crowded. Some movies were shuttled in and out of theaters in just a couple of weeks to make way for the next batch of contenders.

It’s all culminating now in an Oscar race that’s about as competitive as they come. There are frontrunners in a few categories, but nothing’s set in stone. Several categories are still wide open. The theatrical experience is still in jeopardy, but you wouldn’t know it from how many quality films are in the running for awards this year.

Of course, this list has little to do with all that. These are my picks, not a collective voting body’s. I’m sure you’ll see some of my picks get Oscar nods, too, but I generally tend to highlight work that falls slightly outside of the Academy’s tastes.

Here are my winners in all my favorite categories, including the ones I made up myself, ranked in descending order.

BEST ACTOR

Simon Rex – Red Rocket

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power Of The Dog
Tahar Rahim – The Mauritanian
Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick… Boom!
Hidetoshi Nishijima – Drive My Car

Honorable Mentions:

Matt Damon – Stillwater

Filippo Scotti – The Hand Of God

BEST ACTRESS

Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers

Ann Dowd – Mass
Martha Plimpton – Mass
Jessica Chastain – The Eyes Of Tammy Faye
Jasna Đuričić – Quo Vadis, Aida?

Honorable Mentions:

Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit

Renata Reinsve – The Worst Person In The World

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Anders Danielsen Lie – The Worst Person In The World

Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power Of The Dog
Masaki Okada – Drive My Car
Robin de Jesús – Tick, Tick… Boom!
Mike Faist – West Side Story

Honorable Mentions:

Simon Helberg – Annette

Herbert Nordrum – The Worst Person In The World

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Tōko Miura – Drive My Car

Dakota Johnson – The Lost Daughter
Ruth Negga – Passing
Kirsten Dunst – The Power Of The Dog
Park Yoo-Rim – Drive My Car

Honorable Mentions:

Teresa Saponangelo – The Hand Of God

Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

BEST ENSEMBLE

Mass

The Hand Of God
Licorice Pizza
No Sudden Move
Red Rocket

*

BEST DIRECTOR

Jane Campion – The Power Of The Dog

Paolo Sorrentino – The Hand Of God
Joachim Trier – The Worst Person In The World
Steven Spielberg – West Side Story
Pedro Almodóvar – Parallel Mothers

Honorable Mentions:

Sean Baker – Red Rocket

Denis Villeneuve – Dune

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Jane Campion – The Power Of The Dog

Ryūsuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe – Drive My Car
Steven Levenson – Tick, Tick… Boom!
Tony Kushner – West Side Story
Nicole Holofcener & Ben Affleck & Matt Damon – The Last Duel

*

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Fran Kranz – Mass

Joachim Trier & Eskil Vogt – The Worst Person In The World
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch – Red Rocket
Paolo Sorrentino – The Hand Of God

BEST SCORE

Dune – Hans Zimmer

The Power Of The Dog – Jonny Greenwood
No Sudden Move – David Holmes
Parallel Mothers – Alberto Iglesias
The Card Counter  – Robert Levon Been and Giancarlo Vulcano

*

BEST MUSICAL MOMENT

“Bye Bye Bye” – Red Rocket

“Jet Song” – West Side Story
“Therapy” – Tick, Tick… Boom!
“Premiere Performance of Baby Annette” – Annette
“I Need More” – Cyrano

WORST AT BEING RICH

Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield – The Eyes Of Tammy Faye

Kristen Stewart – Spencer
Lady Gaga – House Of Gucci
Bradley Cooper – Nightmare Alley
Mark Rylance – Don’t Look Up

*

BEST AT BEING POOR

Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick… Boom!

Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit
Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumalo – Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar
Jamie Dornan and Catriona Balfe – Belfast
Will Smith – King Richard

Thoughts?

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