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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.

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2021 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST ORIGINAL SONG

UPDATED: Jan. 14, 2021

AWARDS COMMENTARY:

The long list is beginning to fill out and we should expect about 70 songs to be submitted by the end of the eligibility period. Netflix could dominate while Leslie Odom, Jr. could go the way of Mary J. Blige and Cynthia Erivo as a double nominee.

(Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)


AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. "One Night in Miami" (Amazon Studios)
    "Speak Now" (Written by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    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., Joaquina Kalukango, Nicolette Robinson


  2. "The Life Ahead" (Netflix)
    "Io Si (Seen)" (Written by Diane Warren, Laura Pausini, Niccolò Agliardi)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 11 nominations (most recently for "I'm Standing With You" from 2019's "Breakthrough")

    DIRECTOR: Edoardo Ponti
    SYNOPSIS
    : In seaside Italy, a Holocaust survivor with a daycare business takes in a 12-year-old street kid who recently robbed her..
    STARRING
    : Sophia Loren, Ibrahima Gueye


  3. "All In: The Fight for Democracy" (Amazon Studios)
    "Turntables" (Janelle Monáe, Nathaniel Irvin III, George “George 2.0.” A. Peters II)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Liz Garbus, Lisa Cortés
    SYNOPSIS: The documentary takes a look at the history, and current activism against voter suppression; barriers to voting that most people don't even know is a threat to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.
    STARRING: Stacey Abrams, Debo Adegbile, Jayla Allen


  4. "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" (Amazon Studios)
    "Wuhan Flu" (Written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Erran Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Swimer, Jena Friedman, Jim Russell, Jerry Holleman)OSCAR HISTORY:: Baynham, Cohen. Hines, Mazer: 1 nomination
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    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. "Trolls: World Tour" (Universal Pictures)
    "Just Sing" (Written by Justin Timberlake, Ludwig Göransson, Max Martin, Sarah Aarons)
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    OSCAR HISTORY:
    Timberlake: 1 nomination ("Can't Stop the Feeling" from 2016's "Trolls")
    Göransson: 1 nomination, 1 win (2018's "Black Panther" in original score)
    Martin: Never nominated
    Aarons: Never nominated
    -
    DIRECTOR: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith (co-director)
    SYNOPSIS: When the Queen of the Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over all the Troll kingdoms, Queen Poppy and her friends try different ways to save all the Trolls..
    STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kenan Thompson


NEXT IN LINE:

  1. "The Prom" (Netflix)
    "Wear Your Crown" (Written by Adam Anders, Peer Astrom, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
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    DIRECTOR: Ryan Murphy
    SYNOPSIS: A troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theater stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.
    STARRING: Meryl Streep, Jo Ellen Pellman, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells. Tracey Ullman


  2. "Over the Moon" (Netflix)
    "Rocket to the Moon" (Written by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield, Helen Park)
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    Courtesy of Netflix

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Glen Keane, John Kahrs (co-director)
    SYNOPSIS: In this animated musical, a girl builds a rocket ship and blasts off, hoping to meet a mythical moon goddess.
    STARRING: Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ruthie Ann Miles, John Cho, Sandra Oh, Margaret Cho, Ken Jeong


  3. "Mank" (Netflix)
    "(If Only You Could) Save Me" (Written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 1 nomination, 1 win (2010's "The Social Network" in original score)

    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


  4. "The One and Only Ivan" (Disney Plus)
    "Free" (Written by Diane Warren)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 11 nominations (most recently for "I'm Standing With You" from 2019's "Breakthrough")

    DIRECTOR: Thea Sharrock
    SYNOPSIS: A gorilla named Ivan tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Ruby as they hatch a plan to escape from captivity..
    STARRING: Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Phillipa Soo, Chaka Khan, Mike White, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Danne DeVito, Ron Funches


  5. "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" (Netflix)
    "Húsavík" (Savan Kotecha, Rickard Goransson, fat max Gsus)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: David Dobkin
    SYNOPSIS: When aspiring musicians Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their country at the world's biggest song competition, they finally have a chance to prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.
    STARRING: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Mikael Persbrandt, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Graham Norton, Melissanthi Mahut, Demi Lovato


ALSO IN CONTENTION:

  1. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix)
    "Hear My Voice (Written by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Aaron Sorkin
    SYNOPSIS: The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
    STARRING: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, Jeremy Strong


  2. "Onward" (Pixar)
    "Carried Me With You" (Written by Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Dan Scanlon
    SYNOPSIS: Two elven brothers embark on a quest to bring their father back for one day..
    STARRING: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong


  3. "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios)
    "Green" (written by Abraham Marder)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    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. "Mulan" (Disney Plus)
    "Loyal Brave True" (Written by Jamie Hartman, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rosi Golan, Billy Crabtree)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Niki Caro
    SYNOPSIS: A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.
    STARRING: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Gong Li, Tzi Ma, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yosan An, Rosalind Chao


  5. "Belly of the Beast" (Independent Lens)
    "See What I've Done" (Written by Mary J. Blige, Darhyl Camper, Jr., Denisia Andrews and Brittany Coney)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 2 nominations (2017's "Mudbound")

    DIRECTOR: Erika Cohn
    SYNOPSIS: When an unlikely duo discovers a pattern of illegal sterilizations in women's prisons, they wage a near impossible battle against the Department of Corrections.
    STARRING: Cynthia Chandler, Kelli Dillon, Corey G. Johnson


  6. "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)
    "Uh Oh" (Written by Cynthia Nabozny, Matias More, Mia Minichiello)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Emerald Fennell
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
    STARRING: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Molly Shannon, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Greenfield, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Connie Britton, Chris Lowell, Adam Brody, Sam Richardson


  7. "The Outpost" (Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment)
    "Everybody Cries" (Written by Rod Lurie, Larry Groupé, Rita Wilson)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Rod Lurie
    SYNOPSIS: A small team of U.S. soldiers battle against hundreds of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
    STARRING: Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom, Caleb Landry Jones


  8. "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros.)
    "Fight for You" (written by H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, Tiara Thomas.)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    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


  9. "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey" (Netflix)
    "Square Root of Possible" (Written by Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, Michael Diskint, David E. Talbert)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: David E. Talbert
    SYNOPSIS: Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when his trusted apprentice steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within.
    STARRING: Forest Whitaker, Madelen Mills, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, Ricky Martin, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose 


  10. "Wild Mountain Thyme" (Bleecker Street)
    "I'll Be Singing" (Written by Amelia Warner, John Patrick Shanley)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: John Patrick Shanley
    SYNOPSIS: Rosemary is set on winning Anthony’s love. Anthony, stung by his father’s plan to sell the farm in Ireland to his American cousin, is finally jolted into pursuing his dreams.
    STARRING: Jamie Dornan, Emily Blunt, Christopher Walken, Jon Hamm


† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories
††† = official eligible nominees not yet determined by AMPAS

About makeup and hairstyling category:
The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Rick Baker (“Men in Black”), who is now retired, has the distinction of most nominations with 11 and wins with seven. Greg Cannon (“Bram Stoker’s Dracula”) is closest to him in both regards with 10 mentions over his career with four wins. The most decorated woman in this space is Ve Neill (“Mrs. Doubtfire”).

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