My Oscar Predictions

Well, since the big show is tomorrow, I guess it’s time for me to try to predict what I think will win. Up until four weeks ago, I would thought Power of the Dog would be the obvious front runner but CODA seems to be the film that people are responding too. The same is true of Penelope Cruz, who went from being an also-ran to the new front runner in just a matter of days.

In short, this Oscar race is up in the air. Almost anything could happen. It should be exciting, though I think most people will be tuning in not to see who wins but to see how bad the show is.

Anyway, here are my predictions! We’ll see how right I am (or how wrong I am) tomorrow night!

Best Picture — CODA

Best Director — Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Best Actor — Will Smith, King Richard

Best Actress — Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Best Supporting Actor — Troy Kostur, CODA

Best Supporting Actress — Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Best Original Screenplay — The Worst Person In The World

Best Adapted Screenplay — CODA

Best Animated Feature Film — Encanto

Best International Film — Drive My Car

Best Documentary Feature — Attica

Best Documentary Short Subject — Audible

Best Live Action Short Film — The Long Goodbye

Best Animated Short Film — Affairs of the Art

Best Original Score — Dune

Best Original Song — Dos Origuitas from Encanto

Best Sound — West Side Story

Best Production Design — Dune

Best Cinematography — The Power of the Dog

Best Costume Design — Nightmare Alley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Film Editing — Don’t Look Up

Best Visual Effects — Spider-Man: No Way Home


Spider-Man Shows Up In The Nominations of the Denver Film Critics Society

Yesterday, the Denver Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2021 and it led to the first awards season appearance of Spider-Man: No Way Home.  There’s a lot of speculation about whether or not the Academy is going to nominate Spider-Man this year in an attempt to avoid repeating the ratings catastrophe of last year’s ceremony.  

The winners in Denver will be announced on January 17th!  Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
Drive My Car
The Power of the Dog
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Director
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
Joel Coen – The Tragedy Of Macbeth
Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
Denis Villeneuve – Dune

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain – The Eyes Of Tammy Faye
Lady Gaga – House Of Gucci
Alana Haim – Licorice Pizza
Nicole Kidman – Being The Ricardos
Kristen Stewart – Spencer

Best Actor
Nicolas Cage – Pig
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog
Peter Dinklage – Cyrano
Will Smith – King Richard
Denzel Washington – The Tragedy Of Macbeth

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett – Nightmare Alley
Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard
Ruth Negga – Passing

Best Supporting Actor
Ben Affleck – The Tender Bar
Ciaran Hinds – Belfast
Troy Kotsur – CODA
J.K. Simmons – Being The Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Best Sci-Fi/Horror
The Green Knight
Last Night In Soho
A Quiet Place Part II
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Animated Film
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Raya And The Last Dragon

Best Comedy
Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar
Don’t Look Up
Free Guy
The French Dispatch
The Suicide Squad

Best Visual FX
Godzilla vs. Kong
The Green Knight
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Original Screenplay
Zach Baylin – King Richard
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Mike Mills – C’mon C’mon
Michael Sarnoski – Pig
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
Joel Coen – The Tragedy Of Macbeth
​Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
Sian Heder – CODA
Jon Spaihts, Eric Roth & Denis Villeneuve – Dune

Best Documentary
The First Wave
Summer Of Soul
The Velvet Underground

Best Original Song
“Be Alive” – King Richard
“Dos Oruguitas” – Encanto
“Guns Go Bang” – The Harder They Fall
“Just Look Up” – Don’t Look Up
“No Time To Die” – No Time To Die

Best Score
Germaine Franco – Encanto
Jonny Greenwood – The Power of the Dog
Jonny Greenwood – Spencer
Jeymes Samuel – The Harder They Fall
Hans Zimmer – Dune

Best Foreign Language Film
Drive My Car
A Hero
Petite Maman
The Worst Person In The World

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for December

Well, the year’s nearly over and that means that it is time for me to post my final Oscar predictions for 2021.  The race has gotten much clearer with the start of the precursor season.  The critics love The Power of the Dog.  However, it’s perhaps a bit too early to declare it the front runner.  I want to see how things go with the Guilds in January before I bestow that title on any film.

A few thoughts:

There are ten Best Picture nominees this year so we won’t have any of that, “Here’s a random number of nominees” crap.  In theory, that should open the door for some unconventional nominees that might have missed the cut-off in previous years.  Again, I said, “In theory.”  They tried this 10 nominee thing before and it didn’t really lead to the results that a lot of people were expecting.

Still, I’m going to swing out on a web and predict a Best Picture nomination for Spider-Man: No Way Home.  It’s got Disney and Sony behind it.  It’s making a ton of money despite not playing in China.  It’ the film that’s currently giving the industry hope that there’s a future outside of the streaming sites.  Plus, after the nominations of Black Panther and Joker, it might be time to give the whole “They’ll never nominate a comic book movie!” argument a rest.  

I’m also going to predict a Best Picture nomination for Drive My Car, which has been getting a lot of attention from the critics.  

The critics also loved West Side Story but now, it’s probably best known for being a bust at the box office.  I still think the movie will be nominated but I don’t think it’ll win.  And I think it’s a lot less likely that Rita Moreno will pick up a nomination.  People seem to have moved on from the movie.  Again, this could all change once the Guilds start announcing their nominations.

The critics are split on Don’t Look Up.  I personally think it’s one of the worst films of 2021.  But the film will be nominated for much the same reason that The Big Short and Vice were nominated.  There’s a lot of Academy members who agree with McKay’s politics.  And the people who do like Don’t Look Up really, really like it.  And I also think there’s probably enough people annoyed with Elon Musk that Mark Rylance will sneak into the supporting actor race.

Belfast has not been dominating the early part of awards season but I think it will come on strong once the Guilds start announce their nominations.

Anywya, these are just my guesses, for better or worse.  To see how my thinking has evolved,  check out my predictions for March and April and May and June and July and August and September and October and November!

Best Picture



Don’t Look Up

Drive My Car


King Richard

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

Spider-Man: No Way Home

West Side Story

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza

Kenneth Branagh for Belfast

Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog

Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car

Denis Villeneueve for Dune

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

Peter Dinklage in Cyrano

Andrew Gardield for tick….tick….BOOM!

Will Smith in King Richard

Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of MacBeth

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci

Alana Haim in Licorice Pizza

Kristen Stewart in Spencer

Rachel Zegler in West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor

Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizza

Ciaran Hinds in Belfast

Troy Kostur in CODA

Mark Rylance in Don’t Look Up

Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress

Ariana DeBose in West Side Story

Ann Dowd in Mass

Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis in King Richard

Marlee Matlin in CODA


Spider-Man: No Way Home (dir. by Jon Watts)

This is basically where we are.

If you haven’t seen a film on the Thursday preview night, chances are every online publisher is going to share spoilers by Friday Evening. I get it. It’s the Nature of the Beast. It makes for news, and there are people out there who either don’t mind being spoiled or need to know what they’re seeing going into a film. It’s partially why sites like Movie Pooper, and Does The Dog Die are popular. I usually try not to say anything about a movie on Twitter because of this. Everyone deserves to feel that sense of awe and surprise when the lights come down in their cinema.

These are as spoiler free as I can make them. I may write something else to focus on my thoughts with spoilers down the road.

If you managed to stay off the Internet and avoid any spoilers to Spider-Man: No Way Home (outside of the trailers themselves), then you are in for some grand fun that is almost on the level of Avengers: Endgame. I’ve been to the theatres a few times during the pandemic. Perhaps because it was an After-Midnight showing, but the audience was fantastic. The film comes full circle, with an adventure that celebrates Spider-Man’s guest appearance in the MCU for Disney/Marvel, while still building on the character for Sony’s purposes in the future. As a Trilogy, Jon Watts and the team deserve a round of applause for sticking the landing so very well here. The third film in a series is never easy, and even Sam Raimi found that out with Spider-Man 3. By the time the movie was done, I was soaking up the applause like Colin Robinson in What We Do In the Shadows.

The film picks up right at the last end credit from Spider-Man: Far From Home with Quentin Beck’s Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) proclaiming to the world (through J. Jonah Jameson, played by J.K. Simmons as usual) that Spider-Man was in control of the Stark Drones and that he is really Peter Parker. Normally, my first thought here would be to own it – like Stark did. However, with murders tied in, it’s a bad rap for our webbed hero and anyone associated with him. Peter decides to make things right by visiting Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch, Power of the Dog) to make everyone forget that Spider-Man is Peter Parker. This gets botched and pulls through some villains that our Peter (Tom Holland) isn’t quite ready for.

As you’ve seen in the posters and trailers, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina, Spider-Man 2), and Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man) along with a few others are pulled from their universe into Peter’s. When Peter discovers their fates in their own universes, he makes an attempt to save them, which puts him at odds with Doctor Strange. Can Peter find a way to change their futures, and clear his name in the process?

Of course, the gang’s all here. Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Marisa Tomei, and Jon Favreau are all on hand for this third one. Everyone has something to offer, with Zendaya, Batalon, and Tomei carrying the most weight. The only awkward character in the whole bunch is Favreau’s Happy Hogan, who is regulated into kind of a silly comic relief here. I don’t know. I just remember Happy being a bit more capable than they way they have him this time around.

From a writing standpoint, it’s somewhat innovative. If we didn’t already have the 2019’s Academy Award winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, I’d say No Way Home was walking into uncharted territory. The film makes up for this by allowing our Peter to choose differently, compared to what we historically know about Spider-Man and these villains. I honestly enjoyed that angle and thought it helped to drive home the whole “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility” motto that defines Spider-Man.

Musically, Michael Giacchino weaves his own form of magic here. Pulling themes both from Doctor Strange and what he’s done with the previous films, there are a number of great sequences. When all is said and done, the score for this film may very well rival Shirley Walker’s Batman: Mask of the Phantasm score for me.

At the time of this writing, it sounds like NYC is headed for another lockdown. I’m hoping that’s not the case. If this is the last movie I get to see in a theatre for a while, I’m thankful for it. Spider-Man: No Way Home completes a great handoff from Disney/Marvel to Sony. The character did what he needed for Disney/Marvel’s MCU, and Sony still holds the movie rights to the character for where they want to take him. I’m hopeful for Spider-Man’s cinematic future.

Our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man’s going to be okay.

Here’s The Trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home

I haven’t really been that excited about the MCU lately. Infinity War was such a big film that, to me, it felt like the proper ending point for the whole story. Everything that follows has been a bit anti-climatic. That said, I do like the Spider-Man films and I do hope that Marvel will eventually make a movie about the low-budget European version of Spider-Man, Night Monkey.

Here’s the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Here’s The Official Trailer For Spider-Man: No Way Home!

A few days ago, the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home supposedly leaked online.  I say “supposedly” because I would honestly be shocked at the idea of anything in the world of entertainment happening without Disney somehow knowing about it beforehand.

Anyway, I held off on sharing the leaked trailer because I have integrity or something.  Or maybe I was just scared I would get sued or the site would be taken down.  I don’t know.  I held off for some reason.  But now that the trailer has been officially released …. well, here it is:

Apparently, Peter’s life has gotten difficult now that the world knows that he’s Spider-Man.  Since Tony Stark is dead and Robert Downey, Jr. would probably demand too much money to play Tony’s hitherto unknown twin brother, Peter decides to get a new bearded mentor but, in typical Peter fashion, he screws up Dr. Strange’s spell by talking too much and soon, universes are literally colliding.

If I sound like I’m being snarky, that’s just the way I always sound.  I love these movies in all of their occasionally silly glory and I’m really looking forward to Spider-Man: No Way Home.  I really enjoyed the previous two movies and this trailer is certainly more entertaining than the one that dropped for The Eternals.  I actually think that Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch have the potential to be a pretty good team.  Plus, I know a lot of our readers are probably really excited about Alfred Molina showing up there at the end.  Will the other Spider-Men make an appearance?  We’ll find out soon.