2020 is a strange year no doubt. The awards seasons have faced the wrath already and the Oscars are now pushed back by two months to April 25. Does that bolster uncertainties all the more? We bet it does! But there’s something else that has retained constancy. Both Venice and Toronto film awards have continued the ritual of predicting films that will likely compete for the best awards.
Award Nights Reduced To 2!
So one of these was organized with screenings of people who maintained social distancing norms, and the other was held online. Strangely, both have ensured they narrow down the best-picture competition to barely a few films. They also went ahead to clarify on the other categories like the best actress and best director. Telluride and Cannes did not take place this year, and the New York Film Festival is postponed. So, these two enjoyed the hold over the awards session for the most part.
Just this month, Nomadland rejoiced over its Golden Lion Award, thanks to Venice. The film is a meditative take on the present economic crisis. It features Frances McDormand a ‘houseless’ woman, traveling through the country in her van. Not to forget, director Chloe Zhao was also felicitated. Now coming to the Toronto picture that took place shortly after Venice. In this event too, the ‘highly influential audience award’ was won by the Nomadland!
Yesteryear Legacy To Repeat?
Since 2008, The Toronto audience award has been quite exact in terms of prediction for the Oscars. It was Slumdog Millionaire back then. The movie was a surprise winner after bagging 7 awards, including the Best Picture. Following in similar footsteps was Green Book, 12 Years a Slave, and The King’s Speech. Even the runners-up in the audience section- Spotlight, Argo, and Parasite made it to the Best Picture award.
What’s In The Cans This Time?
Regina King is making headlines this year for the Oscars with One Night in Miami (wasn’t competing at Venice). However, going by her record of having won Emmys for acting and that too, 4 times in the last 5 years, we can say this year is special. She won the outstanding lead actress award for her role in Watchmen. And 2019 saw her win the best-supporting actress Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk.
One Night in Miami draws inspiration from a play by Kemp Powers. It revolves around the story of Cassius Clay (way before he became Muhammad Ali) who indulged in a grand celebration with his companions, after defeating Sonny Liston at the world heavyweight boxing championship. The star cast is amazing. But if there’s anyone who’s winning brownie points- it’s Kingsley Ben Adir, the British actor. He will be seen playing the role of one of the friends to Clay. Guess the best-actor nomination is awaiting him!
Who Else Is Battling For The Award?
But Adir won’t have it easy. Delroy Lindo, of Da 5 Bloods fame from Netflix, and a directorial venture by Spike Lee is a potent contender. Another one to watch out for is Anthony Hopkins from The Father (Zeller’s play adaptation). The film has already won a lot of appreciation at Sundance. And all this is because of the maestro Hopkins, alongside others who were in films that didn’t see the release date yet.
But the good thing is that they have already set people talking, for the right reasons! You might identify with the rivals, like Tom Hanks for News of the World, Daniel Kaluuya in Judas, and the Black Messiah, Gary Oldman in Monk; just to name a few. On the other hand, we have the former cast member from ‘Saturday Night Live’- Andy Samberg, who’s likely to bag the Oscar nomination this year for another hit, Groundhog Day– whose clever take has been Palm Springs, a hit at Sundance.
Talking about the best-film race, some of the best ones haven’t hit the screens yet. However, all eyes are on the fate of Nomadland and One Night in Miami. The traditional classic from Christopher Nolan’s house is making rounds too. Yes, we are talking about the movie Tenet that came out during the pandemic. Sadly, the grosses haven’t been that great and mixed reviews are all that it has for now!
The Battle Has Begun
Overall, you can count this time on the rivals for the best picture nomination as Mank, Judas and the Black Messiah and The French Dispatch, News of the World, and Father. For now, we know who the probable parties at the race are. All that’s left to see will be awaited with bated breath till the D-day!