I know what you’re thinking: “The Oscars just wrapped; we can’t possibly be having this conversation already.” And listen, I get it. Awards season is long, there’s a lot going on, everybody’s tired. But honestly, how can you watch Parasite take home that many wins and not get hyped for what the next year can bring? Movies are great! Sure, it’s way too early to tell if any of the below will receive nominations. We haven’t even seen many of them yet. But wild speculation is fun and you clicked on this link so we’re going on this ride together. Let’s take a look at which of this year’s movies have a shot at being nominated for an Oscar next year.
1. News Of The World
We haven’t seen or heard much about News of the World just yet, but that’s mostly because it doesn’t come out until Christmas this year. All the same, the premise has the makeup of an Oscar darling. Adapted from the novel of the same name, the film revolves around a newsreader who has to get an orphan to her last living relatives in the wake of the Civil War. That newsreader also just so happens to be played by one Tom Hanks, so you can bet there’ll be a Best Actor nomination in there at the very least.
2. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
This French stunner wowed at Cannes in 2019 and absolutely deserves to be a part of the Oscar conversation for 2021. Portrait of a Lady on Fire follows Marianne, a young painter facing an impossible task, and Héloïse, a stubborn aristocrat who both refuses to marry or to pose for portraits. What unfolds between the two is a passionate and forbidden love story that will remain burned in your brain for years to come. Plus, it’s being distributed in the U.S. by Neon, which just so happens to be the same distributor behind Parasite.
3. Pixar’s Onward
At this point, we’ve all basically assumed that Pixar films are a shoo-in for a Best Animated Feature nomination. The Oscars like films that hit people with the feels, and few studios do it better than Pixar does. Onward follows the tale of two brothers as they try to bring their father back from the dead in a seemingly magical land that’s actually been without magic for quite some time. That stuff’s bound to pull at your heartstrings!
Disney’s live-action retellings haven’t necessarily swept at the Oscars or even been nominated that much, but something about Mulan feels different. I have absolutely no data to back that up, but this is a predictions list filled with a bunch of movies none of us have seen yet, so I’m going to stand by it! This remake leans more heavily into the original myth than the film you remember: there’s no music and no Mushu, but there is more stunning scenery and fight choreography.
5. In The Heights
Lin Manuel Miranda is basically at the point in his career where I’m going to assume anything he touches will turn to gold. Add that to the fact that In the Heights is an adaptation of his hugely successful Broadway musical of the same name and you can bet he’s got at least one gold statue headed his way for this one. The story follows characters in Hispanic-American neighborhood, Washington Heights, in New York City. It was poignant before and even more relevant now considering the state of things. Something tells me it’s going to matter even more by the time it hits theaters this summer.
Minari played big at Sundance, taking home both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Hopefully, that means we’ll see it take off during awards season, as well. The story revolves around a Korean-American family that finds themselves uprooted from their home on the West Coast to rural Arkansas. Said family will have to overcome all the trials that come with a new home, a new life, and difficult soil that refuses to take root.
7. West Side Story
Classic theatre darling adaptation? Check. Stephen Spielberg directing? Check. Whether you’re hyped or annoyed by the idea of this particular West Side Story remake, you can’t deny that it’s probably going to do the numbers. There’s not a lot more to say on this one!
Christopher Nolan’s upcoming action thriller has come with a whole lot of hype since information on the film started dropping. Featuring an insane budget of 205 million dollars, fans have high hopes that Tenet will wow in all the ways they’ve expected from Nolan and more. We know there’s a secret agent, we know there’s some time travel, and we know said agent is trying to prevent World War III. That’s about it. Honestly? That’s all I want to know. This one seems like the type that you should go in as blind as possible. It also seems like the type that’s going to win some FX gold, and perhaps snag some nominations in some of the bigger categories.
9. The French Dispatch
We don’t know a ton about The French Dispatch, the upcoming Wes Anderson jam just yet, but it’s coming out this summer. At the very least, it will be gorgeous. Because it’s Wes Anderson, we’ve likely got a lot more to look forward to. The limited synopsis of the film is that it will play as kind of an anthology that intertwines the stories of three journalists. The film’s also assembled one heck of a cast, including the likes of Benicio Del Toro, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Saoirse Ronan, and many, many more.
10. Hillbilly Elegy
Ron Howard’s been involved with this one for a hot second. Since Imagine Entertainment acquired the rights in 2017, the film’s assembled quite a cast. Featuring the likes of Amy Adams, Glenn Close, and Gabriel Basso, Hillbilly Elegy will be an adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir of the same name. This one’s set for release in November, so we still haven’t heard a lot of details surrounding the project. All the same, it’s Howard, so it’ll likely get nominated for something!
Obviously, this is just a smattering of some of the big-name films that are coming our way throughout the next year. Hopefully, we’ll see plenty of little guys surprising us here and there. Maybe, just maybe, The Academy will even dare to nominate a woman for Best Director. Parasite just cleaned house at the Oscars. Anything is possible!
Missed the Best Picture nominees in theaters? Click here for all the ways to watch.