Oscar 2021: Best Picture–Predictions

Updated January 22, 2021

My Life as Oscar Guru for 36 Years!

In 1986, I wrote the first “serious” book about the history and politics of the Oscar Awards, thinking that it would be a text of limited appeal.  No one could have predicted, least of all I and my agent, that it would become (of the 9 books I had written) my most popular and enduring work.

Below please find the cover of the first edition, And the Winner Is….


I have always classified my predictions into three categories: Frontrunners, Strong Contenders, and Also in the Run (all arranged chronologically).


Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)

Mank (Netflix)

Minari (A24)

Nomadland (Searchlight)

One Night in Miami (Amazon)

Promising Young Woman (Focus)

Sound of Metal (Amazon)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)


Strong Contenders

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon)

The Father (Sony Classics)

Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)

Malcolm & Marie (Netflix)

News of the World (Universal

Soul (Pixar)

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)


Also in the Run

The Invisible Man (Universal)

The Little Things (Warner Bros.)

The Midnight Sky (Netflix)

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus)

On the Rocks (A24/Apple)

Palm Springs (Hulu/Neon)

The Way Back (Warner Bros.)