Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE



UPDATED: Feb. 18, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Chadwick Boseman’s performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” would be the first Black acting posthumous winner in Golden Globes history if he wins, and the second overall in the category after Peter Finch for “Network” (1976). Anthony Hopkins is the oldest nominee in the category’s history, and if he wins, he’ll be the oldest winner ever. If he loses, with seven career nominations in film, he will have the most losses by a male actor in the motion picture categories (he has one additional nod for television). Technically, Paul Newman has the most losses for film performances at nine, but he has won several other categories in his career, including directing. Hopkins is currently tied with Katharine Hepburn and Susan Sarandon (seven for film, two for television).

Riz Ahmed would be the second Muslim actor to win this category since Omar Sharif in “Doctor Zhivago” (1962), who did not get nominated for an Academy Award, obviously, the same outcome for Tahar Rahim if he made a stunning upset. When it comes to Gary Oldman, he resembles a nominee at Globes and SAG similar to Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari”) or Leonardo DiCaprio (“J. Edgar”), respected actors that are a “default” choices for the nominating committee but come up short at the Oscars. If he does end up being snubbed, it could be Delroy Lindo for “Da 5 Bloods,” but that could be more difficult than we initially realized. There’s a significant push to ensure a BAFTA nomination, which would be clutch for his campaign. We also could be in store for a nomination from someone who hasn’t been cited yet — perhaps Tom Hanks (“News of the World”), Lakeith Stanfield (”Judas and the Black Messiah”) or John David Washington (“Malcolm & Marie”).

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar

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  1. Chadwick Boseman
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Levee

    DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
    SYNOPSIS: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable "Mother of the Blues". Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play..
    STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Glynn Turman

  2. Anthony Hopkins
    "The Father" (Sony Pictures Classics)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 5 nominations, 1 win (1991's "The Silence of the Lambs" in best actor)
    ROLE: Anthony

    DIRECTOR: Florian Zeller
    SYNOPSIS: A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Anthony Hopkins, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams

  3. Riz Ahmed
    "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Ruben

    DIRECTOR: Darius Marder
    SYNOPSIS: A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
    STARRING: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Mathieu Almaric, Lauren Ridloff

  4. Steven Yeun
    "Minari" (A24)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Jacob

    DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
    SYNOPSIS: A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.
    STARRING: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-jung Youn, Will Patton

  5. Delroy Lindo
    "Da 5 Bloods" (Netflix)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Paul

    DIRECTOR: Spike Lee
    SYNOPSIS: Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide.
    STARRING: Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Jonathan Majors, Chadwick Boseman, Isiah Witlock, Jr,, Norm Lewis

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Courtesy of Amazon Studios


  1. Gary Oldman
    "Mank" (Netflix)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 2 nominations, 1 win (2017's "Darkest Hour")
    ROLE: Herman J. Mankiewicz

    DIRECTOR: David Fincher
    SYNOPSIS: 1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.
    STARRING: Tom Burke, Lily Collins, Joseph Cross, Charles Dance, Monika Gossman, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Tuppence Middleton, Toby Leonard Moore, Gary Oldman, Tom Pelphrey, Amanda Seyfried, Sam Troughton

  2. Mads Mikkelsen
    "Another Round" (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Martin

    DIRECTOR: Thomas Vinterberg
    SYNOPSIS: Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood.
    STARRING: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang

  3. Tahar Rahim
    "The Mauritanian" (STXfilms)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Mohamedou Ould Salahi

    DIRECTOR: Kevin Macdonald
    SYNOPSIS: A detainee at the U.S military's Guantanamo Bay detention center is held without charges for over a decade and seeks help from a defense attorney for his release.
    STARRING:Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley

  4. Sacha Baron Cohen
    "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" (Amazon Studios)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 1 nomination (2006's "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" in adapted screenplay)
    ROLE: Borat Sagdiyev

    DIRECTOR: Jason Woliner
    SYNOPSIS: A satire on Trump’s America that follows a Kazakh journalist who’s sent to America to deliver a gift from his government to Vice President Mike Pence. Along the way, his worldview is turned upside down and steadfast beliefs are challenged by his teenage daughter.
    STARRING: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova

  5. Ben Affleck
    "The Way Back" (Warner Bros.)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 2 nominations, 2 wins (1997's "Good Will Hunting" in original screenplay and 2012's "Argo" in best picture)
    ROLE: Jack Cunningham

    DIRECTOR: Gavin O'Connor
    : Jack Cunningham was a high school basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption..
    : Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal, Janina Gavankar

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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.


  1. Tom Hanks
    "News of the World" (Universal Pictures)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 6 nominations, 2 wins (1993's "Philadelphia" and 1994's "Forrest Gump")
    ROLE: Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd

    DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass
    SYNOPSIS: A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
    STARRING: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, Michael Angelo Covino, Ray McKinnon

  2. John David Washington
    "Malcolm & Marie" (Netflix)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Malcolm

    DIRECTOR: Sam Levinson
    SYNOPSIS: A director and his girlfriend's relationship is tested after they return home from his movie premiere and await critics' responses.
    STARRING: John David Washington, Zendaya

  3. Lakeith Stanfield
    "Judas and the Black Messiah" (HBO Max/Warner Bros.)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: William O'Neal

    DIRECTOR: Shaka King
    SYNOPSIS: The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O'Neal.
    STARRING: Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons, Martin Sheen, Dominique Thorne, Algee Smith, Lil Rel Howery, Jermaine Fowler

  4. Kingsley Ben-Adir
    "One Night in Miami" (Amazon Studios)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Malcolm X

    DIRECTOR: Regina King
    SYNOPSIS: A fictional account of one incredible night in 1964, where four icons of activism, sports and music – Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke – gathered, discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the ’60s.
    STARRING: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom, Jr.

  5. Adarsh Gourav
    "The White Tiger" (Netflix)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Balram

    DIRECTOR: Ramin Bahrani
    SYNOPSIS: The epic journey of a poor Indian driver who must use his wit and cunning to break free from servitude to his rich masters and rise to the top of the heap.
    STARRING: Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rajkummar Rao, Mahesh Manjrekar

  6. Colin Firth
    "Supernova" (Bleecker Street)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 2 nominations, 1 wins (2010's "The King's Speech")
    ROLE: Sam

    DIRECTOR: Harry Macqueen
    : Sam and Tusker are traveling across England in their old RV to visit friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have.
    : Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci, Pippa Haywood, Peter MacQueen, Nina Marlin

  7. Tom Holland
    "Cherry" (Apple TV Plus)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Cherry

    DIRECTOR: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
    SYNOPSIS: An Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder becomes a serial bank robber after an addiction to drugs puts him in debt.
    STARRING: Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, Kelli Berglund, Thomas Lennon

  8. Dev Patel
    "The Personal History of David Copperfield" (Searchlight Pictures)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 1 nomination (2016's "Lion")
    ROLE: David Copperfield

    DIRECTOR: Armando Iannucci
    SYNOPSIS: A modern take on Charles Dickens's classic tale of a young orphan who is able to triumph over many obstacles.
    STARRING: Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Peter Capaldi, Gwendoline Christie

  9. John Magaro
    "First Cow" (A24)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Cookie

    DIRECTOR: Kelly Reichardt
    SYNOPSIS: A skilled cook has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a successful business.
    STARRING: John Magaro, Orion Lee

  10. Denzel Washington
    "The Little Things" (Warner Bros.)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 9 nominations, 2 wins (1989's "Glory" and 2001's "Training Day")
    ROLE: Joe Deacon

    DIRECTOR: John Lee Hancock
    SYNOPSIS: Two cops track down a serial killer.
    STARRING: Denzel Washington, Jared Leto, Rami Malek

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in the lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories


The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. Daniel Day-Lewis has the most wins in this category with three, while Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Fredric March, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Spencer Tracy all have two each. Tracy and Sir Laurence Olivier have the most nominations in this category, with nine. Henry Fonda is currently the oldest winner at 76 for “On Golden Pond,” while Richard Farnsworth is the oldest nominee at 79 for “The Straight Story.” Adrien Brody is the youngest winner ever for “The Pianist” at 29, while Jackie Cooper is the youngest nominee ever for “Skippy” at 9.

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

About the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes Awards, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is held annually with 93 members since 1944. The group recognizes excellence in film and television across drama and comedy or musical categories. Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” holds the record for the most awards won by a single film with seven. Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Alan Parker’s “Midnight Express” are next in line with six each. Robert Altman’s “Nashville” has the record for most nominations received by a film with 11 while Colin Higgins’ “Foul Play,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III” and Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” share the record for receiving the most nominations and not winning a single award at seven.

  • The Golden Globes are scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021.

About the SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

  • The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021