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Oscars: Voting Begins With No DGA and PGA For Early Voters

Sound the alarms, the official voting for the 92nd Academy Awards has opened up and members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are making their selections on the very best of 2019.

So where are we at this moment?

Prediction wise…we’re all over the place. As we learned last year (and just about every year), the Academy will do what they want to do, and with such an historic year for film at their feet, the critics awards, as well as the guilds, haven’t really provided them with too much of a roadmap on what they should nominate.

If you are following along on The Circuit Hub, NEON’s “Parasite” still sits in the top spot but the ranking has been fluid all season long. If you listened to our most recent episode of Circuit Breaker, there seems to be a consensus of six films that look “good” for a Best Picture nomination:

  • 1917” (Universal Pictures)
  • The Irishman” (Netflix)
  • Jojo Rabbit” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Marriage Story” (Netflix)
  • Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)
  • Parasite” (NEON)

To be honest, the inclusion of “Jojo Rabbit” makes me more nervous than most but I’m willing to concede that the SAG Ensemble nomination really meant something.

After those six movies, we are looking for either two or three more entries to fill out the rest of the nomination list since the likelihood of getting ten Best Picture nominees is almost impossible.

Bombshell” received the biggest of boosts from SAG, co-leading the nomination day and we have to go back to 2007’s “Into the Wild” for a film that led SAG nominations and didn’t translate to Oscar’s Best Picture.

Joker” has the billion dollar story that has followed it, with a big and focused campaign from Warner Bros., who are gunning for more than just nominations. Joaquin Phoenix seems to be a true challenger (some will say frontrunner) in Best Actor, while the film could also rally some support in multiple tech races including Cinematography, Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Original Score.

Little Women” blasted through the Critics Choice body with major nominations and support. It’s a bit unclear if the film is really beloved with voting members or if it’s just a “critics thing” as multiple members haven’t really exuded a lot of passion for it.

And then there are the ones that Film Twitter, pundits, critics, PR reps, and awards Gods are praying get the love we all think they deserve. That includes Netflix’s “Dolemite Is My Name” and “The Two Popes,” A24’s “The Farewell,” “Uncut Gems,” and “Waves,” Paramount Pictures’ “Rocketman,” Sony Pictures’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Universal Pictures’ “Us,” Lionsgate’s “Knives Out,” Amazon Studios’ “Honey Boy” and “The Report,” STX’s “Hustlers,” Fox Searchlight’s “A Hidden Life,” Sony Pictures Classics’ “Pain and Glory,” Roadside Attractions’ “Judy” and “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” Walt Disney Pictures’ “Avengers: Endgame,” and Warner Bros.’ “Just Mercy” and “Richard Jewell.”

That’s a long list and they each have their own obstacles in terms of audience consensus and awards momentum.

Honestly, it’s hard to justify a prediction that includes any of those films listed above without having additional knowledge from Academy members that there’s a rally behind each film. Speaking to dozens over the past few weeks, everyone is naming a different favorite of the year, with some “not getting to that one” yet in regards to their screener pile.

The abbreviated Phase 1 season has really put some films in positions that both seem doomed and hopeful. A last-minute watch may propel something forward like “Just Mercy” but it’s hard to determine its placement.

To add one more very important point, the DGA (Directors Guild of America) and PGA (Producers Guild of America) award nominations have not been announced and don’t announce until Tuesday, Jan. 7, the FINAL day for Oscar voting. The Academy is “blindly” choosing so to speak, which may yield some interesting selections. Look at inclusions such as “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Darkest Hour,” and “The Tree of Life.”

But where there is a “yin,” there is a “yang,” and we could prepare for selections that ARE NOT as “special” or “exciting” as we want them to be. Look back at nominees like “The Reader,” “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” and “The Blind Side.”

So at this current march, there’s a shrug of “no idea” among pundits. Biggest shifts and changes made to the predictions, which you likely heard in real-time on the Circuit Breaker episode, is the moving of Leonardo DiCaprio to #1 for “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood.” Best Actor is FAR too packed to think that someone big won’t miss, or someone surprising won’t win.

You can find the latest predictions on THE COLLECTIVE and full rankings on THE CIRCUIT HUB!

How many Best Picture nominees do you think we’ll have? Who do you think is the frontrunner? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

What do you think?

Film Lover

Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.

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