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Circuit Q&A – What If Next Year’s Oscars Come From 2020’s Releases So Far?

**Circuit Q&A’s are our daily community question, posed to the readers of AwardsCircuit that cover various topics from film and television to general wonderings and for instances.**

The longer this coronavirus pandemic goes on, the more the film industry will continue to be impacted. Independent movies are going straight to VOD, bigger flicks are delaying their releases entirely, and the Academy Awards could very well be in jeopardy. To have a little fun with that, as opposed to dwelling on the negative, we want to propose a hypothetical situation. What if the Oscars next year were comprised only of contenders available today? What might be nominated or even win?

Right now, Best Picture seems like it would be between the handful of well-reviewed smaller titles from this first section of the year, since box office wouldn’t be a factor anymore. A hypothetical five movie lineup could consist of “The Invisible Man,” “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” “Onward,” “The Way Back,” and maybe a Sundance Film Festival effort (provided the rules were relaxed) like “Promising Young Woman.” Ben Affleck would be an easy pick in Best Actor for “The Way Back.” A filmmaker like Eliza Hittman could be the clear frontrunner in both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” which would also potentially be a Best Actor winner for Sidney Flanigan. Whereas it would normally be a small indie hoping for a citation or two, in this scenario, it may well dominate.

It goes without saying that “Onward” would walk away with Best Animated Feature, given the lack of competition. Below the line, it would be harder to say, since most spectacle films haven’t opened yet. The early part of the year has obviously favored indies. So, if something below the radar has emerged in Best Cinematography, for example “Emma.,” this hypothetical would present some interesting opportunities.

Here’s your chance to do some early Oscar prognostication. What do you think would be up for prizes if the Academy Awards were held using titles out right now? Let us know!

What would be in contention if the Oscars were held next year only using contenders in release as of today? Discuss in the comments below!

What do you think?

72 points
Film Lover

Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.


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