August 1, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

2021 Oscar predictions: Experts pick early nominee hopefuls

It’s time for the annual gathering of our BuzzMeter experts, who will not only let you in on what’s getting early attention in the film awards races, but will also tout what they think deserves to be in the conversation. Even if you’re not an awards-season aficionado, maybe you just want some tips on quality viewing. In any case, the BuzzMeter aims to answer burning questions!

In a cinematic year like no other, will closed theaters prove the great equalizer in awards season? Will independent and foreign films be seen just as much as major studio releases, leveling the playing field? Will the big ensemble movies’ contenders cancel each other out?

Your 2021 Oscar BuzzMeter panel. Top row, from left: Justin Chang (Los Angeles Times), Tim Cogshell (KPCC’s FilmWeek), Dave Karger (IMDb and Turner Classic Movies). Bottom row, from left: Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Claudia Puig (KPCC’s FilmWeek), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times).

Each of the seven veteran film journalists on our panel has ranked his or her picks in 10 Oscar categories; together, their votes make up our first-round BuzzMeter lists. You can vote on which of their picks you think are most likely to get nominations, or just pump up the ones you like best in our online polls for that week’s featured category. This week: Their long-range shout-outs for best picture.

Frances McDormand and David Strathairn in Chloé Zhao's "Nomadland."

Frances McDormand and David Strathairn in Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland.”

(Searchlight Pictures)

Our first survey of best picture contenders shows a distinct advantage for indies, with only a handful of studio offerings among the panel’s Top 15 or so. One of those is David Fincher’s “Mank,” which, with Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” appears on the most lists. However, “Nomadland” dominates in the rankings from panelist to panelist. In second place is the Sundance hit “Minari,” which is a foreign-language film but an American production so does not qualify for the international feature Oscar. Interestingly, it apparently qualifies for the Golden Globe as a foreign language film but not for best picture, drama. In third place is Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his play, “The Father,” fueled by powerhouse performances from Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.

1. “Nomadland”
2. “Minari
3. “The Father”
4. (tie) “One Night in Miami”
4. (tie) “Soul”
6. “News of the World”
7. “Mank”
8. “The Trial of The Chicago 7”
9. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
10. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
11. “Da 5 Bloods”
12. “Martin Eden”
13. “The Assistant”
14. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
15. (tie) “The Forty-Year-Old Version”
16. (tie) “First Cow”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Nomadland”
2. “First Cow”
3. “Martin Eden”
4. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
5. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
6. “Beanpole”
7. “The Assistant”
8. “Mank”
9. “The Nest”
10. “Tenet”

“Post-’Parasite,’ it should be commonplace for non-English-language films to be nominated for (and win) best picture. ‘Martin Eden’ and ‘Beanpole’ are two of this year’s finest.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “News of the World”
2. “The Forty-Year Old Version”
3. “Minari”
4. “The Father”
5. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
6. “The Assistant”
7. “The Glorias”
8. “Mank”
9. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
10. “On the Rocks”

“ ‘News of The World,’ a traditional American western of the sort John Ford might have made, caught me by surprise. It’s sweeping and epic yet has the energy of a Paul Greengrass film (which it is), modern concerns and Tom Hanks holding it all together with a gravitas that is his and his alone. It’s the first film of the year that may have actually needed that big screen, but no matter where you see it, you’ll feel like you’ve been to the cinema.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Nomadland”
2. “Mank”
3. “News of the World”
4. “One Night in Miami”
5. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
6. “Minari”
7. “Soul”
8. “Da 5 Bloods”
9. “The Father”
10. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″

“ ‘Nomadland’ has the early lead thanks to its sweep of the fall film festivals, but Netflix and Amazon are hot on Searchlight’s heels with several acclaimed contenders.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “Soul”
2. “The Father”
3. “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
4. “Minari”
5. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
6. “Nomadland”
7. “Mank”
8. “One Night in Miami”
9. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
10. “News of the World”

“While ‘Nomadland’ has held steady at No. 1 in experts’ best picture predictions for months, expect a lot of frequent changes in jockeying ahead. This year we’ve got a real horse race.”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Minari”
2. “The Father”
3. “Nomadland”
4. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
5. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
6. “One Night in Miami”
7. “The Assistant”
8. “Mank”
9. “The Nest”
10. “On the Rocks”

“The smart money is probably on ‘Nomadland.’ My choice is ‘Minari.’ It’s loosely based on filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung’s personal story, and we feel its specificity as we watch it. Yet, like the best personal stories, it also feels universal. It captures the immigrant experience and the pervasive and captivating lure of the American dream.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “Nomadland”
2. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
3. “One Night in Miami”
4. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
5. “News of the World”
6. “Da 5 Bloods”
7. “Soul”
8. “The Father”
9. “Minari”
10. “Mank”

“Chloé Zhao’s ‘Nomadland’ has led the field since it won the Golden Lion in Venice and the People’s Choice Award in Toronto, followed by IndieWire Critics Poll and NYFCC wins for best film and director. The frontrunner can be vulnerable to a late-season takeover, but this one feels right for the zeitgeist.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Nomadland”
2. “Soul”
3. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
4. “Collective”
5. “Da 5 Bloods”
6. “Martin Eden”
7. “One Night in Miami”
8. “Promising Young Woman”
9. “Kajillionaire”
10. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“ ‘Parasite’ became the first non-English-language movie to win best picture. Maybe ‘Soul’ can break another barrier and become the first animated film to take Hollywood’s top prize.”

Frances McDormand, right, on the set of "Nomadland"

“Nomadland,” starring Frances McDormand, has director Chloé Zhao at the fore of awards-season chatter.

(Searchlight Pictures)

Seven women land in the panel’s Top 15, including Oscar-winning actress Regina King for her directorial debut, “One Night in Miami.” The field is led by Chloé Zhao, who became an indie darling for 2017’s “The Rider” and now is a strong Oscar contender for “Nomadland”; next year will see the release (pushed from this November by the pandemic) of her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, “Eternals.”

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
3. David Fincher, “Mank”
4. Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
5. Paul Greengrass, “News of the World”
6. Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
7. Florian Zeller, “The Father”
8. Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
9. Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
10. Pietro Marcello, “Martin Eden”
11. Charlie Kaufman, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
12. George C. Wolfe, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
13. Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow”
14. Darius Marder, “Sound of Metal”
15. (tie) Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
15. (tie) Sofia Coppola, “On the Rocks”
15. (tie) Kitty Green, “The Assistant”
15. (tie) Lee Daniels, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
15. (tie) Kantemir Balagov, “Beanpole”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow”
3. Pietro Marcello, “Martin Eden”
4. Charlie Kaufman, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
5. Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
6. Kantemir Balagov, “Beanpole”
7. Kitty Green, “The Assistant”
8. David Fincher, “Mank”
9. Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
10. Christopher Nolan, “Tenet”

“Chloé Zhao should have been nominated in this category two years ago for ‘The Rider.’ Better late than never, academy.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Paul Greengrass, “News of the World”
2. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
3. Charlie Kaufman, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
4. Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
5. Darius Marder, “Sound of Metal”
6. Lee Daniels, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
7. David Fincher, “Mank”
8. Sofia Coppola, “On the Rocks”
9. Florian Zeller, “The Father”
10. Francis Lee, “Ammonite”

“Greengrass again displays his ability not only to cross, but meld, genres. It’s a western that often moves like a Bourne film but has the grave consequence of ‘United 93′ while still affecting a style one might call ‘Greengrassian.’ ”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. David Fincher, “Mank”
2. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
3. Paul Greengrass, “News of the World”
4. Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
5. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
6. George C. Wolfe, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
7. Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
8. Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
9. Florian Zeller, “The Father”
10. Sean Durkin, “The Nest”

“David Fincher leads the pack here and has a great shot to take home the Oscar he came so close to winning for ‘The Social Network.’ ”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Florian Zeller, “The Father”
2. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
3. Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
4. Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
5. George C. Wolfe, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
6. David Fincher, “Mank”
7. Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
8. Paul Greengrass, “News of the World”
9. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

“Presto! The best-director category is suddenly not a white men’s club anymore. Expect more gender and racial diversity than ever!”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
3. Florian Zeller, “The Father”
4. Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
5. David Fincher, “Mank”
6. Paul Greengrass, “News of the World”
7. Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
8. Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
9. Sofia Coppola, “On the Rocks”
10. Kitty Green, “The Assistant”

“The most impressive achievement in directing is Steve McQueen’s anthology of five films, ‘Small Axe’ (not Oscar-eligible – ed.), so he definitely needs to be on the short list. And also on that short list is Chloé Zhao for her beautiful and meditative saga, ‘Nomadland.’”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. Paul Greengrass, “News of the World”
3. Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
4. Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
5. Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
6. David Fincher, “Mank”
7. Pete Docter, “Soul”
8. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
9. Florian Zeller, “The Father”
10. George C. Wolfe, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Chloé Zhao is leading the director fray.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
2. Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
3. Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
4. Pietro Marcello, “Martin Eden”
5. Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
6. Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
7. Miranda July, “Kajillionaire”
8. Christopher Nolan, “Tenet”
9. David Fincher, “Mank”
10. Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

“Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to win this Oscar. Chloé Zhao should become the second for her masterful work on ‘Nomadland.’ ”

Viola Davis brings it as the titular jazz singer in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

Viola Davis brings it as the titular jazz singer in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

(David Lee / Netflix)

Two Oscar winners lead the pack: Viola Davis and Frances McDormand. The highly regarded Carrie Coon makes the most of a long-deserved showcase role in a prominent feature. Other prominent names include the legendary Sophia Loren, and should Amy Adams land a nomination, it would be her seventh.

1. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
2. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
4. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
5. Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
6. Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
7. Sophia Loren, “The Life Ahead”
8. Julia Garner, “The Assistant”
9. Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”
10. Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth”
11. Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
12. Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
13. Elisabeth Moss, “Shirley”
14. Anya Taylor-Joy, “Emma”
15. Julianne Moore, “The Glorias”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. Julia Garner, “The Assistant”
2. Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
3. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
4. Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
5. (tie) Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
5. (tie) Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”
7. Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth”
8. Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
9. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
10. Rachel Brosnahan, “I’m Your Woman”

“If Frances McDormand hadn’t won this three years ago for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ she’d be a shoo-in this year for this vastly better performance.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Sophia Loren, “The Life Ahead”
2. Elisabeth Moss, “Shirley”
3. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth”
5. Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
6. Andra Day, “United States vs Billie Holiday”
7. Julia Garner, “The Assistant”
8. Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
9. Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”

“Under the direction of her son Edoardo Ponti (with her late husband, Producer Carlo Ponti) 86-year-old Sophia Loren gives a performance that actors half her age might not muster. As a holocaust survivor who takes in a traumatized and unruly young refugee boy, Loren is every bit the earthy and captivating star she has forever been.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
2. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
4. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
5. Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”
6. Sophia Loren, “The Life Ahead”
7. Michelle Pfeiffer, “French Exit”
8. Andra Day, “United States vs Billie Holiday”
9. Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
10. Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”

“There’s a great chance the victor here will be a repeat winner if Viola Davis wins her second Oscar or Frances McDormand her third.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Andra Day, “United States vs Billie Holiday”
3. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
4. Meryl Streep, “The Prom”
5. Sophia Loren, “The Life Ahead”
6. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
7. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
8. Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”
9. Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth”
10. Amy Adams, “Woman in the Window”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
2. Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
3. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
5. Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
6. Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth”
7. Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
8. Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”
9. Anya Taylor-Joy, “Emma”
10. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

“An embarrassment of riches prevails in the best actress category this year. From pitch-perfect performance in low-budget, little-seen movies to more showy roles, it was a great year for meaty parts for women. Finally.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
3. Anya Taylor-Joy, “Emma”
4. Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”
5. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
6. Sophia Loren, “The Life Ahead”
7. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
8. Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
9. Rachel Brosnahan, “I’m Your Woman”
10. Amy Adams, “Hillbilly Elegy”

“Frances McDormand would be a shoo-in if she hadn’t won twice already. Which is why Viola Davis could score for her bold performance in the title role in August Wilson’s play-to-film ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ ”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
2. Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
3. Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
4. Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
5. Julia Garner, “The Assistant”
6. Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
7. Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
8. Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
9. Elisabeth Moss, “Shirley”
10. Hong Chau, “Driveways”

“Yes, Frances McDormand just won an Oscar and if she wins this year (as she should), she’ll have three, tying her Meryl Streep. But she’s a legend, so this is all right and good.”

Chadwick Boseman as Levee in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"

The late Chadwick Boseman’s final film performance is as the fiery trumpeter Levee in August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

(David Lee / Netflix)

It’s a wide range of contenders, with previous winners and rising stars. Riz Ahmed, who has been doing good work for years and whose profile has been rising (he followed the award-winning “The Night of” with big movies in the Bourne, Spider-verse and Star Wars franchises) is currently third in a very close race. It’s hard to believe Anthony Hopkins has only one Oscar win (quick, name it); he’s brilliant in “The Father.” But the one to beat may be the late Chadwick Boseman, whose leave-it-on-the-field performance makes him a top contender and puts him in line for the second-ever posthumous lead actor win.

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
3. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
4. Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
5. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
6. Tom Hanks, “News of the World”
7. (tie) Steven Yeun, “Minari”
7. (tie) Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami”
9. (tie) Luca Marinelli, “Martin Eden”
9. (tie) Jude Law, “The Nest”
11. Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
12. Ben Affleck, “The Way Back”
13. Jesse Plemons, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
14. George Clooney, “Midnight Sky”
15. Trevante Rhodes, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
2. Luca Marinelli, “Martin Eden”
3. Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
4. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
5. Jesse Plemons, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
6. Jude Law, “The Nest”
7. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
8. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
9. John Magaro, “First Cow”
10. Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami”

“It’s been 16 years since Jude Law’s last nomination in this category. His work in ‘The Nest’ stands among his finest, and the year’s as well.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
2. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
3. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. Tom Hanks, “News of the World”
5. George Clooney, “Midnight Sky”
6. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
7. Trevante Rhodes, “United States vs. Billie Holiday”
8. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
9. (tie) Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
9. (tie) Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Hanks, Boseman, Ahmed and Yeun were all exceptional in their very different performances. I’ve picked 83-year-old Hopkins for his portrayal of an octogenarian suffering from dementia. Hopkins’ performance isn’t showy; it’s subtle and affecting and deserves the little statue.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
3. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
4. Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
5. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
6. Tom Hanks, “News of the World”
7. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
8. Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami”
9. Jude Law, “The Nest”
10. Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

“To me, this feels like a race between two career-capping performances: Chadwick Boseman in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and Anthony Hopkins in ‘The Father.’ ”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
2. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
4. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
5. Tom Hanks, “News of the World”
6. Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
7. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
8. Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami”
9. Jim Parsons “The Boys in the Band”
10. Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
2. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
3. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
5. Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
6. Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami”
7. Jude Law, “The Nest”
8. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
9. Tahar Rahim, “The Mauritanian”
10. (tie) Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
10. (tie) Jesse Plemons, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

“It will be hard to beat Boseman for his wondrous, and tragically final, performance. Sorrowfully, it’s the last chance we will have to honor this superlative actor. But Ahmed’s bravura performance also needs to be honored, as well as what may be one of the best performances in an amazing career by Hopkins.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
1. Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami”
3. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
4. Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
5. Tom Hanks, “News of the World”
6. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
7. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
8. Ben Affleck, “The Way Back”
9. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
10. Tom Holland, “Cherry”

“The Chadwick Boseman narrative will be hard to resist: His last performance may have been his best, as trumpeter Levee, who is young, gifted and black — and angry.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Gary Oldman, “Mank”
2. Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
4. Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
5. Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
6. Ben Affleck, “The Way Back”
7. Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
8. Luca Marinelli, “Martin Eden”
9. Steven Yeun, “Minari”
10. Jude Law, “The Nest”

“Ben Affleck gives a career-best performance in ‘The Way Back,’ a deeply moving drama that got lost in quarantine and deserves to be rediscovered.

Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins appear in "The Father."

Olivia Colman plays the daughter of a man (Anthony Hopkins) succumbing to dementia in “The Father.”

( From Sundance Institute | photo by Sean Gleason)

Leading is recent Oscar winner Olivia Colman for “The Father.” In second is Youn Yuh-Jung, who just won the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. award for her indelible portrayal of the grandmother in “Minari.” Maria Bakalova probably deserves combat pay (perhaps this would be her medal?) for her performance as the main character’s daughter in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

1. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
2. Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
3. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
4. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
5. Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”
6. Helena Zengel, “News of the World”
7. Sonia Braga, Bacurau
8. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
9. Toni Collette, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
10. Saoirse Ronan, “Ammonite”
11. Fiona Shaw, “Ammonite”
12. Charin Alvarez, “Saint Frances”
13. Nicole Kidman, “The Prom”
14. Talia Ryder, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
15. (tie) Mia Goth, “Emma”
15. (tie) Marisa Tomei, “The King of Staten Island”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. Talia Ryder, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
2. Mia Goth, “Emma”
3. Miranda Hart, “Emma”
4. Sonia Braga, Bacurau
5. Fiona Shaw, “Ammonite”
6. Marisa Tomei, “The King of Staten Island”
7. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
8. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
9. Debra Winger, “Kajillionaire”
10. Helena Zengel, “News of the World”

“Even with fewer movies, there’s a tendency to forget the wonderful work that was released in the year’s first half. Here’s hoping ‘Emma’s’ Miranda Hart and Mia Goth are duly remembered here.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
2. Saoirse Ronan, “Ammonite”
3. Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
4. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
5. Toni Collette, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
6. Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”
7. Lily Collins, “Mank”
8. Fiona Shaw, “Ammonite”
9. Bette Midler, “The Glorias”
10. Marisa Tomei, “The King of Staten Island”

“ ‘Queen’ Olivia Colman is having a remarkable reign when it comes to discovering and executing significant roles. As the daughter in ‘The Father,’ Coleman is an ordinary woman whose father is slipping into dementia. She plays the part with heartbreaking authenticity.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
2. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
3. Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”
4. Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
5. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
6. Saoirse Ronan, “Ammonite”
7. Helena Zengel, “News of the World”
8. Toni Collette, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
9. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
10. Lily Collins, “Mank”

“A diverse mix of domestic and international actresses all have a shot here, if they can catch potential two-time winner Olivia Colman.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
2. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
3. Helena Zengel, “News of the World”
4. Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
5. Nicole Kidman, “The Prom”
6. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
7. Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”
8. Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
9. Lily Collins, “Mank”
10. Candice Bergen, “Let Them All Talk”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
2. Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
3. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
4. Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”
5. Toni Collette, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
6. Sonia Braga, “Bacurau”
7. Charin Alvarez, “Saint Frances”
8. Fiona Shaw, “Ammonite”
9. Marisa Tomei, “The King of Staten Island”
10. Lily Collins, “Mank”

“The irascible grandmother from ‘Minari,’ Youn Yuh-Jung, is my favorite for this award. I always really appreciated the understated performance of Charin Alvarez in the brilliant little indie ‘Saint Frances’ and Maria Bakalova in ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.’ ”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
2. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
3. Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
4. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
5. (tie) Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
5. (tie) Helena Zengel, “News of the World”
7. Nicole Kidman, “The Prom”
8. Jodie Foster, “The Mauritanian”
9. Alicia Vikander, “The Glorias”

“The ingénue who surprises often takes this one, as Marisa Tomei did in ‘My Cousin Vinny.’ Amanda Seyfried shines as Marion Davies in ‘Mank’ and more than holds her own opposite Gary Oldman in the title role.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
2. Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”
3. Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”
4. Charin Alvarez, “Saint Frances”
5. Sonia Braga, Bacurau
6. Helena Zengel, “News of the World”
7. Gina Rodriguez, Kajillionaire
8. Olivia Colman, “The Father”
9. Elizabeth Debicki, “Tenet”
10. Marisa Tomei, “The King of Staten Island”

“Maria Bakalova had to endure a close encounter with Rudy Giuliani. An Oscar nomination can’t erase that memory, but it would be a start and a nice reward.”

Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom, Jr. (as Sam Cooke) in "One Night in Miami."

From left, Eli Goree as Muhammad Ali, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown and Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami.” Odom is atop the BuzzMeter’s first survey of supporting actor contenders.

(Amazon Studios)

“Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. is out in front for his portrayal of legendary crooner Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami.” Chadwick Boseman scores highly on the supporting list for “Da 5 Bloods” while topping the lead list above. His “Rainey” costar and “Fear the Walking Dead” star Colman Domingo, has a lot of support as the steady band leader in August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Two ensemble films dominate: “Ma Rainey” (two on the supporting list) and “The Trial of the Chicago 7″ (three).

1. Leslie Odom Jr. “One Night in Miami”
2. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
3. Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
5. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
6. Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”
7. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
8. David Strathairn, “Nomadland”
9. Frank Langella, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
10. Glynn Turman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
11. Charles Dance, “Mank”
12. Bill Burr, “The King of Staten Island”
13. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
14. Matthew Macfadyen, “The Assistant”
15. Brian Dennehy, “Driveways”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
2. Bill Burr, “The King of Staten Island”
3. Glynn Turman, ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. David Strathairn, “Nomadland”
5. Mark Rylance, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
6. Matthew Macfadyen, “The Assistant”
7. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
8. Charles Dance, “Mank”
9. Robert Pattinson, “Tenet”
10. Tom Burke, “Mank”

“A mention in this category for Chadwick Boseman could make him a double nominee — a bittersweet but worthy achievement.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Frank Langella, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
3. Charles Dance, “Mank”
4. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
5. Tracy Letts, “French Exit”
6. Richard Jenkins, “Kajillionaire”
7. Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”
8. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
9. Rami Malek, “The Little Things”

“More than one performance in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ might earn a supporting actor nom, but Colman Domingo’s is the one that calls out loudest for me. Domingo’s graceful employment of August Wilson’s words sings like the blues band he leads in the film. His presence, from his silky baritone to his strategically deployed $10 smile, is phenomenal. “

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
2. David Strathairn, “Nomadland”
3. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
4. Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”
5. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
6. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
7. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
8. Glynn Turman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
9. Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
10. Tom Burke, “Mank”

“This race is wide open; I’m particularly happy to see so many performers of color in contention.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
2. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
3. Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”
4. Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
5. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
6. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
7. David Strathairn, “Nomadland”
8. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
9. Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
10. Charles Dance, “Mank”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Glynn Turman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. Frank Langella, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
4. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
5. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
6. Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”
7. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
8. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
9. Matthew Macfadyen, “The Assistant”
10. David Strathairn, “Nomadland”

“It’s a complicated year in terms of determining which performances qualify for best actor or best supporting actor. There are some good ensemble dramas that feature several excellent portrayals. Leslie Odom Jr. is also a standout, but his three co-stars are also terrific. The little-known Paul Raci from ‘Sound of Metal’ is also fantastic in his part.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
2. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
3. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
4. Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”
5. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
6. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
7. Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
8. Stanley Tucci, “Supernova”
9. Frank Langella, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
10. Richard Jenkins, “Kajillionaire”

“The actor who pops out of the ‘One Night in Miami’ ensemble —and leaves audiences humming — is Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, whom many audiences discovered in ‘Hamilton,’ on stage and on Disney+ .”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
2. Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
3. Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
4. Brian Dennehy, “Driveways”
5. Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
6. Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
7. Frank Langella, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
8. David Strathairn, “Nomadland”
9. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
10. Hugh Laurie, “The Personal History of David Copperfield”

“The cast of ‘Chicago 7’ decided to go all-in for supporting, a decision that will give Oscar voters fits. Cohen is the clear standout for his turn as principled prankster Abbie Hoffman.”

Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz, writer of "Citizen Kane," in "Mank."

Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz, writer of “Citizen Kane,” in “Mank,” which was written by Jack Fincher, father of the film’s director, David Fincher.

(Netflix)

The top four contenders in the initial poll are separated by two points. “Minari” cements its status as an 800-pound awards gorilla by finishing at or near the top for picture, director, supporting actress and original screenplay. Right behind it is “Mank,” which was written by director David Fincher’s father, Jack Fincher, in the 1990s, and Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

1. “Minari”
2. (tie) “Mank”
2. (tie) “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
4. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
5. “Soul”
6. “Da 5 Bloods”
7. “Sound of Metal”
8. “The Nest”
9. “Kajillionaire”
10. (tie) “Ammonite”
10. (tie) “Promising Young Woman”
12. “The Assistant”
13. “Saint Frances”
14. “Palm Springs”
15. “On the Rocks”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
2. “The Nest”
3. “Kajillionaire”
4. “Sound of Metal”
5. “Ammonite”
6. “Mank”
7. “Palm Springs”
8. “The Assistant”
9. “I’m Your Woman”
10. “Soul”

“If I had an 11th slot, it’d go to ‘The Invisible Man’ — a riff on a classic that took it in a thrillingly unexpected direction.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Mank”
2. “Ammonite”
3. “The Assistant”
4. “Minari”
5. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
6. “On the Rocks”
7. “Da 5 Bloods”
8. “Miss Juneteenth”
9. “Wander Darkly”
10. “I’m Your Woman”

“Director David Fincher’s father, Jack Fincher, wrote the original screenplay for ‘Mank.’ It’s the only one he wrote. Herman J. Mankiewicz, whom the film is ostensibly about, wrote many great scripts, including ‘Citizen Kane.’ Something is satisfying in a screenplay about a prolific Oscar-winning screenwriter garnering an Oscar for a screenwriter who only wrote one.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Mank”
2. “Minari”
3. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
4. “Soul”
5. “The Nest”
6. “Promising Young Woman”
7. “Sound of Metal”
8. “Pieces of a Woman”
9. “Da 5 Bloods”
10. “Ammonite”

“ ‘Mank,’ ‘Minari,’ and ‘Chicago 7′ all seem within striking distance. Jack Fincher could become only the second posthumous winner for screenwriting.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
2. “Mank”
3. “Minari”
4. “Da 5 Bloods”
5. “Sound of Metal”
6. “Soul”
7. “Judas and the Black Messiah”
8. “Promising Young Woman”
9. “The Nest”
10. “On the Rocks”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Saint Frances”
2. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
3. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
4. “Minari”
6. “Sound of Metal”
6. “The Assistant”
7. “Mank”
8. “Da 5 Bloods”
9. “The Nest”
10. (tie) “Wander Darkly”
10. (tie) “Promising Young Woman”

“My favorite original screenplay this year is ‘Saint Frances,’ written by and starring Kelly O’Sullivan. My second favorite would be ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always.’ Both films deal with unexpected pregnancies in authentic and moving ways.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″
2. “Soul”
3. “Da 5 Bloods”
4. “Minari”
5. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
6. “Mank”
7. “The Little Things”
8. “Kajillionaire”
9. “I’m Your Woman”
10. “Ammonite”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Soul”
2. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
3. “Promising Young Woman”
4. “Kajillionaire”
5. “Minari”
6. “Palm Springs”
7. “Da 5 Bloods”
8. “Sound of Metal”
9. “The Nest”
10. “The Trial of the Chicago 7″

“The sharp, spirited ‘Palm Springs’ has grown in stature with each passing month. By the time the Oscars roll around, I might be ready to declare it the defining movie of this past crummy year.”

Anthony Hopkins as Anthony in "The Father."

Florian Zeller co-adapted his play, “The Father,” with renowned playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton. The film stars Anthony Hopkins, above.

(Sean Gleason / Sony Pictures Classics)

There are three theater-based scripts in the Top 5, with Florian Zeller’s adaptation (with Christopher Hampton) of his play “The Father” leading the way. “Nomadland” adapts Jessica Bruder’s book that came from years of lived-in research; some of the actual people Bruder met in her experiences appear in the film. The extremely technically specific “Greyhound” was written by Tom Hanks.

1. “The Father “
2. “One Night in Miami”
3. “Nomadland”
4. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
5. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
6. “News of the World”
7. “First Cow”
8. “Martin Eden”
9. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
10. “Shirley”
11. “Emma”
12. “The Glorias”
13. “The Boys in the Band”
14. (tie) “Greyhound”
14. (tie) “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Martin Eden”
2. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
3. “First Cow”
4. “Nomadland”
5. “The Father”
6. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
7. “One Night in Miami”
8. “Shirley”
9. “Emma”
10. “The Personal History of David Copperfield”

“A strong year for this category, but ‘Martin Eden’ and ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ merit particular consideration for deviating from their source material so brilliantly.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “News of the World”
2. “The Glorias”
3. “The Father”
4. “Greyhound”
5. “One Night in Miami”
6. “First Cow”
7. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
8. “French Exit”
9. “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
10. “The Boys in the Band”

“Adapting Paulette Jiles’ novel, screenwriters Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies culled a modern narrative from a classic story about honor and decency during a dishonorable and indecent time. This is a case of a good book making for an excellent movie.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Nomadland”
2. “One Night in Miami”
3. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
4. “The Father”
5. “News of the World”
6. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
7. “First Cow”
8. “French Exit”
9. “The Midnight Sky”
10. “The Boys in the Band”

“Chloé Zhao’s intimate study could give her the edge here even if she doesn’t end up winning best director.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “Nomadland”
2. “One Night in Miami”
3. “The Father”
4. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
5. “News of the World”
6. “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
7. “The Boys in the Band”
8. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
9. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
10. “Prom”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “The Father”
2. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
3. “Emma”
4. “Nomadland”
5. “One Night in Miami”
6. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
7. “Shirley”
8. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
9. “The Personal History of David Copperfield”
10. “The Boys in the Band”

“This one should go to ‘The Father,’ which was written by Florian Zeller who also directed — his first effort at helming a film. The screenplay is so smart and surprising and Zeller adapted it from his own play.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “One Night in Miami”
2. “Nomadland”
3. “The Father”
4. “News of the World”
5. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
6. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
7. “Emma”
8. “First Cow”
9. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
10. “The White Tiger”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
2. “Martin Eden”
3. “Shirley”
4. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
5. “One Night in Miami”
6. “Nomadland”
7. “The Father”
8. “News of the World”
9. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
10. “The Boys in the Band”

“ ‘The Call of the Wild’ gets all the classroom love, but ‘Martin Eden’ is Jack London’s most essential character. Filmmaker Pietro Marcello does right by him in his audacious adaptation.”

Robyn Goodfellowe and Mebh Óg Mactíre perched on a tree in the animated movie “Wolfwalkers.”

Robyn Goodfellowe and Mebh Óg Mactíre perched on a tree in the animated movie “Wolfwalkers.”

(Apple TV+)

The panel has Pixar’s jazzy, philosophical “Soul” tied for fourth in the running for best picture and fifth for screenplay; here it takes first place by a single point. Cartoon Saloon’s first three features each scored Oscar nominations; the studio’s “Wolfwalkers” looks a good bet to continue that streak. Only seven movies made this first list, leaving off such titles as big-budget sequels “The Croods: A New Age” and “Trolls World Tour,” the Netflix hit “The Willoughbys” and idiosyncratic smaller films such as “On-Gaku: Our Sound.” Big Hollywood studios have won 14 straight.

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “Onward”
5. “Earwig and the Witch”
6. “Ride Your Wave”
7. “Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification”

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Wolfwalkers”
2. “Soul”
3. “Ride Your Wave”
4. “Onward”
5. “Earwig and the Witch”

“Tomm Moore, the merrier.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Earwig and the Witch”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “Onward”
5. “Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification”

“Goro Miyazaki has always had large shoes to fill; his father is the venerable Hayao Miyazaki. Goro’s films ‘Tales From Earthsea’ and ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’ were excellent and much in his dad’s style. But his ‘Earwig and the Witch’ is his most fun film to date. It’s Studio Ghibli’s first 3-D animation, and it’s a mystical, magical hoot that suggests a new path for the traditional anime studio and its next generation.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Soul”
2. “Over the Moon”
3. “Wolfwalkers”
4. “Earwig and the Witch”
5. “Onward”

“There have been several worthy releases, but it’s hard to see any of them beating ‘Soul.’ ”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

1. “Soul”
2. “Over the Moon”
3. “Wolfwalkers”
4. “Onward”
5. “Earwig and the Witch”

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Wolfwalkers”
2. “Soul”
3. “Over the Moon”
4. “Onward”

“It’s really down to ‘Wolfwalkers’ vs. ‘Soul,’ and both are worthy. It depends if your taste tends more to the gentle Celtic fairy tale or to jazz and eye-popping colors.”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “Soul”
2. “Over the Moon”
3. “Wolfwalkers”
4. “Earwig and the Witch”
5. “Onward”

“Pixar’s got this one, for Pete Docter’s ‘Soul,’ the first African American-themed feature for Pixar.”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Soul”
2. “Wolfwalkers”
3. “Onward”
4. “Over the Moon”
5. “Earwig and the Witch”

“With ‘Onward’ and ‘Soul,’ it’s Pixar’s year.”

A scene from "Collective."

A scene from “Collective.”

(Magnolia Pictures / TNS)

The journalism-vs-the-Romanian-healthcare-system documentary “Collective” is well on top. “Minari,” which has been all over the BuzzMeter, doesn’t qualify in the international feature Oscar category because it’s an American production (though it’s a Golden Globe contender for foreign-language film, but not for best picture, drama). But you know what does qualify? “The Father.” Not that “The Father”; this one is from Bulgaria, and Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman are not in it, unless their transformative powers have reached amazing new heights.

1. “Collective” (Alexander Nanau, Romania)
2. “Another Round” (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
3. “Minari” (Lee Isaac Chung; U.S.— not eligible for the international-feature Oscar, but in the running for the Golden Globes and critics’ prizes)
4. “I’m No Longer Here” (Fernando Frias, Mexico)
5. “La Llorona” (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala)
6. “Song Without a Name” (Melina León, Peru)
7. “My Little Sister” (Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond, Switzerland)
8. “Notturno” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy)
9. “Apples” (Christos Nikou, Greece)
10. (tie) “Exile” (Visar Morina, Kosovo)
10. (tie) “The Father” (Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov, Bulgaria)
10. (tie) “Night of the Kings” (Philippe Lacôte, Ivory Coast)

Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times

1. “Collective” (Alexander Nanau, Romania)
2. “Apples” (Christos Nikou, Greece)
3. “Another Round” (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
4. “Notturno” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy)
5. “Sun, A” (Chung Mong-hong, Taiwan)

“Thomas Vinterberg received a nomination in this category eight years ago for ‘The Hunt’; his latest Mads Mikkelsen collaboration, ‘Another Round,’ seems likely to repeat that feat.”

Tim Cogshell
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Another Round” (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
2. “Minari” (Lee Isaac Chung, USA)
3. “The Father” (Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov, Bulgaria)
4. “La Llorona” (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala)
5. “Breasts” (Marija Perović, Montenegro)

“One of the founding Dogme 95 filmmakers, Thomas Vinterberg, has been making complicated movies in simple ways for nearly 30 years.
‘Another Round’ is about the benefits of always being a little drunk. Or not. With great anchoring performances by Vinterberg regulars Mads Mikkelsen and Thomas Bo Larsen, it’s a complicated film made simply — and beautifully.”

Dave Karger
IMDb and TCM

1. “Collective” (Alexander Nanau, Romania)
2. “Another Round” (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
3. “I’m No Longer Here” (Fernando Frias, Mexico)
4. “Charlatan” (Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic)
5. “Funny Boy” (Deepa Mehta, Canada)

“ ‘Collective’ and ‘Another Round’ have amassed the greatest amount of acclaim and buzz so far.”

Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby

(abstain)

Claudia Puig
KPCC’s FilmWeek

1. “Minari” (Lee Isaac Chung, USA)
2. “Song Without a Name” (Melina León, Peru)
3. “La Llorona” (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala)
4. “I’m No Longer Here” (Fernando Frias, Mexico)
5. “Collective” (Alexander Nanau, Romania)

“My personal favorites are Latin American this year, ranging from ‘I’m No Longer Here,’ from Mexico, to ‘La Llorona’ from Guatelama, to the Peruvian ‘Song Without a Name.’ ”

Anne Thompson
IndieWire

1. “Another Round” (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
2. “Collective” (Alexander Nanau, Romania)
3. “My Little Sister” (Stéphanie Chuat, Véronique Reymond, Switzerland)
4. “I’m No Longer Here” (Fernando Frias, Mexico)
5. “Notturno” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy)

“After ‘Honeyland,’ more countries are submitting documentaries. Alexander Nanau’s Romanian health exposé ‘Collective’ is building good word, along with Italian Gianfranco Rosi’s border story ‘Notturno.’ ”

Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times

1. “Collective” (Alexander Nanau, Romania)
2. “Another Round” (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
3. “Night of the Kings” (Philippe Lacôte, Ivory Coast)
4. “Notturno” (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy)
5. “Dear Comrades!” (Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia)

“Alexander Nanau’s devastating documentary is many things, chief among them a reminder of the power and necessity of investigative reporting.”