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: Apr. 1, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARYThis is the place for Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) to cement her status as the one to beat since she won’t be at the BAFTA awards. The same goes for Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), one of the many jury-selected voting casualties. Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) and Mulligan could also act as the representation for their films since they’re not nominated in an ensemble. Amy Adams is just happy to be there.

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar


  1. Carey Mulligan
    "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)

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    ROLE: Cassandra "Cassie" Thomas
    SAG HISTORY: 3 nominations
    (2018) - "Mudbound" - Cast ensemble
    (2010) - "An Education" - Female actor in a leading role and cast ensemble

    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

  2. Frances McDormand
    "Nomadland" (Searchlight Pictures)

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    ROLE: Fern
    SAG HISTORY: 7 nominations, 4 wins
    (2019) - "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" - Female actor in a leading role (WINNER)
    (2019) - "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture (WINNER)
    (2015) - "Olive Kitteridge" in female actor in a television movie or miniseries (WINNER)
    (1997) - "Fargo" - Female actor in a leading role (WINNER)

    DIRECTOR: Chloé Zhao
    SYNOPSIS: After losing everything in the Great Recession, an old woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
    STARRING: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells

  3. Vanessa Kirby
    "Pieces of a Woman" (Netflix)

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    ROLE: Martha
    SAG HISTORY: 2 nominations
    (2018) - "The Crown" - Cast ensemble in a drama series
    (2017) - "The Crown" - Cast ensemble in a drama series

    DIRECTOR: Kornél Mundruczó
    SYNOPSIS: When a young mother's home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.
    STARRING: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Molly Parker

  4. Viola Davis
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)

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    ROLE: Ma Rainey
    : 8 nominations, 5 wins
    (2017) - "Fences" - Female actor in a supporting role (WINNER)
    (2016) - "How to Get Away with Murder" - Female actor in a drama series (WINNER)
    (2015) - "How to Get Away with Murder" - Female actor in a drama series (WINNER)
    (2012) - "The Help" - Female actor in a leading role in a motion picture (WINNER)
    (2012) - "The Help" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture (WINNER)

    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

  5. Amy Adams
    "Hillbilly Elegy" (Netflix)

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    ROLE: Bev
    SAG HISTORY: 9 nominations
    (2019) - "Sharp Objects" - Female actor in a TV movie or Limited Series
    (2019) - "Vice" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
    (2017) - "Arrival" - Female actor in a leading role in a motion picture
    (2013) - "American Hustle" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (2010) - "The Fighter" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
    (2010) - "The Fighter" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (2008) - "Doubt" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
    (2008) - "Doubt" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (2005) - "Junebug" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture

    DIRECTOR: Ron Howard
    SYNOPSIS: An urgent phone call pulls a Yale Law student back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his own future.
    STARRING: Amy Adams, Glenn Close, Gabriel Basso, Haley Bennett, Freida Pinto, Bo Hopkins, Owen Asztalos

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