Rex’s Oscar Predictions

And so we have finally come to the end of what has been the longest Oscar race in recent Academy history. The date was moved back from late February to April 25 due to the pandemic. As always, LemonWade’s expert Rex Okpodu has been tracking the race, and has come up with the following predictions. Thank you, Rex!


“Nomadland” has won nearly every major award this season and looks likely to claim the top Oscar. Possible spoilers: “Promising Young Woman,” which to its fans feels fresh and contemporary, and “Minari,” which in Oscar nominations showed across-the-board strength.

“Nomadland,” predicted winner

“Promising Young Woman,” alternate winner

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”



“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”


This is the most unpredictable category in 2021. Heading into Oscar night, four of the five nominees have won at least one precursor award. Day won the Golden Globe, Mulligan the Critics Choice, Davis the SAG and McDormand the BAFTA. The predictor’s rule has been that as long as there has been a SAG award no actress has won the Oscar without winning either the Globe or SAG first. This pits Andra against Viola with either Frances or Carey as spoilers. “Nomadland,” McDormand’s film, is stronger than Day’s or Davis’s (neither of which is a best picture nominee), and is, in fact, the likely best picture Oscar winner. There are good arguments for and against each candidate. Davis seems to have a lot of support, having won SAG, plus she has esteemed-veteran status. On the negative side, her film has no Best Picture nomination. What’s more, Davis won an Oscar recently (best supporting actress in 2016 for “Fences”) so voters might not feel a sense of urgency for her. If voters want to make history in this ridiculously white-dominated category they will support relative newcomer Andra Day for being the second black actress to be nominated for playing Billie Holiday. (Diana Ross was the first.) Then there is Carey Mulligan, who has the distinction of being in a strong best picture contender, as is Frances McDormand. Plus, Mulligan the Independent Spirit award this past week, which in best actress terms has a respectable correlation to the Oscar winner.

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” predicted winner

Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” alternate winner

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”


The late Chadwick Boseman, of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” has swept the precursor awards with the exception of BAFTA, where he was bested by Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins. Was that a fresh surge or just an aberration because Hopkins is British isles born? Either way, I am predicting:

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — winner

Anthony Hopkins, “The Father” — alternate winner

The other men will need to wait longer. Besides, Oldman won recently, in 2017.

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Steven Yeun, “Minari”

Oscar trivia: A win for Chadwick will be the third posthumous acting Oscar, following Peter Finch (“Network,” 1976) and Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight,” 2008)


Having swept the circuit, South Korean veteran Yuh-Jung Youn is predicted to make history as the first Korean winner of this category.

Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari” — winner

Maria Bakalova, “Borat” sequel — alternate winner

Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy” — spoiler

Olivia Colman, “The Father”

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Oscar trivia: This will be Glenn Close’s eighth acting nomination without a win.


Like Yuh-Jung, Daniel Kaluuya has won the Globe, Critics Choice, SAG, and BAFTA and will hear his name called out on Oscar night.

Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah” — predicted winner

Sacha Baron Cohen, “Trial of the Chicago 7” — alternate winner

Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah” — spoiler

Leslie Odom, Jr., “One Night in Miami”

Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”


Chloe Zhao of “Nomadland” has swept the precursors. A win for her would be only the second time a woman has won this notoriously male-dominated category. (The other was Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.)

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” — predicted winner

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”


If “Nomadland” wins best picture, it may win here, too. The only problem is that it is extremely rare for a sole writer and sole director to win both categories as there is usually a co-writer in that instance. This is also a problem for “Chicago 7” — to win both director and screenwriter for Aaron Sorkin. “The Father” won the BAFTA and many pundits believe it will also win its sole Oscar in this category.

“The Father,” predicted winner

“Nomadland,” alternate winner

“Borat Subsequent Movie Film”

“One Night in Miami”

“The White TIger”


“Promising Young Woman,” predicted winner

“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” alternate winner

“Minari,” spoiler

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Sound of Metal”


“Another Round” (Denmark), predicted winner

“Collective” (Romania), alternate winner

“Once Upon a Time in Venezuela” (Venezuela)

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)

“Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)


Animated Feature — “Soul”

FIlm Editing — “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Cinematography — “Nomadland”

Visual Effects — “Tenet”

Documentary Feature — “My Octopus Teacher”

Documentary Short — “A Love Song for Latasha”

Live Action Short Film — “Two Distant Strangers”

Animated Short Film — “If Anything Happens I Love You”

Original Score — “Soul”

Original Song — “One Night in Miami”

Sound — “Sound of Metal”

Production Design — “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Makeup and Hairstyling — “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Costume Design — “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

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