The 93rd Annual Academy Awards - The Oscars - will air live this Sunday, April 25th, 2021, at 8pm EDT on ABC. Our Oscar Week coverage continues with a look at all of those "technical" categories that can be hard to predict, or even understand.
Don't fret! We've got you covered.
Before we dive in, a reminder: Join us and get ready for the Oscars this Sunday from 5pm - 6pm ET with the "Movie Show Plus LIVE! - Oscar Preview Special," streaming on MovieShowplus.com, as well as our Facebook and YouTube channels.
Everyone knows that there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of people involved in making a movie...you know that sea of names that you often leave behind in the theater or click away from on Netflix? Those skilled individuals are honored every year by the Academy, via a number of categories highlighting all of the major aspects of movie-making (sadly, there still is no "stunt work" category, inexplicably). Even if it most often leaves viewers scratching their heads, guessing randomly on their Oscar ballots, or using this time during the telecast for a much-needed bathroom break.
For those (like me) who are entrenched in the pizzazz and wonder of movies, these awards can also be eye-opening. I learned as a kid, for example, that there was someone who was responsible for making and designing all of the costumes I saw in one of my early favorite movies, "Tron," by watching the Academy Awards that year and seeing it nominated in the Costume Design category (it lost, by the way, to "Gandhi").
So buckle up and get ready, here's your guide to all of those "other" Oscars that will be handed out during this year's telecast:
Prediction: "Mank" was an early-front runner for several of the technical awards, but the movie has cooled overall and hasn't won many post-season awards. Look for the quiet beauty and cinematic landscapes of "Nomadland," from cinematographer Joshua James Richards. Richards also was the cinematographer for Chloé Zhao's previous film, "The Rider," and this would be his first win (and first nomination).
Prediction: You can mark down the brilliant period look of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" as the winner in this category. It would also be another honor for the legendary Ann Roth, now a five-time nominee and one-time previous winner (for 1997's "The English Patient"). Roth, at age 89, is now tied with screenwriter James Ivory and the late Agnes Varda as being the oldest-ever Oscar nominee.
Prediction: The fierce pacing of "The Trial of the Chicago 7" may be enough to win, but my money is on "Sound of Metal," a film that will win several technical categories this year if not some of the bigger prizes. It is the first nomination and would be the first win for Danish editor, Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, whose previous work includes 2015's "Beasts of No Nation" and 2012's "A Royal Affair."
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Prediction: Again, look to "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," the most gaudy and obvious of the nominees but also the most impressive.
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Prediction: The team of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scored (no pun intended) a record two nominations this year for two different films...an impressive fete. Add Jon Batiste's sensational work at the piano to the mix, and "Soul" will most likely earn Reznor and Ross their second-ever Oscars...they previously won in 2010 with their arrangement in "The Social Network."
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
Prediction: There's no question in my mind that Leslie Odom Jr. is well on his way to eventual EGOT status (those that win the coveted Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony over their careers), so it would be glorious to see him win for "Speak Now," and I think he will. There is a cult following and momentum behind "Husavik," but will the Academy really want to make "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" an Oscar-winning film? I think not.
Prediction: Not fitting into the winning picture in any other category, Production Design is the best shot that "Mank" has at winning an Oscar. I still think that "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" will win though, as it sweeps through many of the technical categories.
Prediction: While technically not a technical category, we decided to lump Short Films in here. We previously ran an in-depth article highlighting all of the Short Film nominees, which you can find here. And we love Short Films so much that we will have an entirely separate article dedicated to them in the coming days as well. But to keep it all in one place, go with:
Animated Short Prediction: "If Anything Happens I Love You"
Live-Action Short Prediction: "Two Distant Strangers"
Documentary Short Prediction: "Do Not Split"
Prediction: It's right there in the title of the film: It would be a terrible upset if the brilliant audio mixing/editing of "Sound of Metal" was overlooked. Also in case you are wondering, yes there is now only one Oscar "Sound" category, combining the ever-confusing "Sound Mixing" and "Sound Editing" categories from the past.
Prediction: It may not have worked for critics or movie-goers alike, but even those that found it confusing and under-whelming should be able to admit that "Tenet" was a stellar achievement from a visual effects perspective. With no other film in this category receiving any love anywhere else (minus the Costume Design nod for "Mulan"), I think "Tenet" is quite the safe pick here.
No matter how you watch join the #Oscars conversation across the Academy's social media channels.
OSCAR WEEK Coverage Continues! Stay tuned to Movie Show Plus for new Oscar content every day this week leading up to Oscar Sunday, including news, predictions and what to expect on this year's telecast.
Also check out:
Oscar Week: Where to watch this year's Oscar nominated films
Oscar Week: Predicting the Acting categories
Oscar Week: Screenplay, Animated Feature, Intl. Feature, Documentary Feature
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