Art and Experience:

The Gotham Awards will be the first awards body on the independent circuit to choose its winners for the year on Monday.

On the film side, two Netflix features lead the tally, both from debut women filmmakers — Rebecca Hall’s “Passing” and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter.” There isn’t always an obvious blueprint to predicting this group. As we saw with last year’s two tied categories (please, God, no more ties), things could get interesting at Cipriani Wall Street. The Gotham are just the start of a busy week that has a great influence on the Oscar race. After Monday’s first critics and guild screening of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Wednesday’s unveiling of Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley,” Thursday brings us the National Board of Review selections before the New York Film Critics Circle weighs in on Friday.

 

 

As for the television side, the Gothams will offer up a first glimpse at how potent new contenders, including Netflix’s “Squid Game” and HBO’s “The White Lotus,” might be in future awards competitions. For “Squid Game,” Netflix is aiming to make history this winter awards season, as the South Korean thriller could potentially be the first non-English language series to break into the kudos game. The show is up for breakthrough longform series and performance in a new series, for Le Jung-jae. “The White Lotus,” which aired this summer, will get its feet wet ahead of the 2022 awards season. The show has nominations in breakthrough longform series and performance in a new series for Jennifer Coolidge. Looking for an awards redemption after being mostly snubbed at the Emmys is Showtime’s stellar “The Good Lord Bird,” nominated in longform and performance in a new series (Ethan Hawke), and Amazon Prime Video’s “The Underground Railroad” (longform and Thuso Mbedu). Other programs with multiple noms include three in the short form race: “Hacks,” “Reservation Dogs” and “We Are Lady Parts.”

Check out the winner predictions down below.

Best Feature

  • “The Green Knight” (A24) – David Lowery, director; Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, David Lowery, Tim Headington, Theresa Steele Page, producers
  • “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix) – Maggie Gyllenhaal, director; Osnat Handelsman Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Charles Dorfman, producers
  • “Passing” (Netflix) – Rebecca Hall, director; Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Margot Hand, Rebecca Hall, producers
  • “Pig” (Neon) – Michael Sarnoski, director; Nicolas Cage, Steve Tisch, David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, Dori Roth, Joseph Restiano, Dimitra Tsingou, Thomas Benski, Ben Giladi, Vanessa Block, producers
  • “Test Pattern” (Kino Lorber) – Shatara Michelle Ford, director; Shatara Michelle Ford, Pin-Chun Liu, Yu-Hao Su, producers

Prediction: “The Lost Daughter”
Alternate: “Passing”

The group has a solid track record of their top pick moving onto Oscar’s attention with past winners like “Birdman” (2014), “Spotlight” (2015), “Moonlight” (2016) and “Nomadland” (2020). We don’t know if any of these will end up in this year’s final ten, but at the moment, Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut with Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson and Jessie Buckley seem like the most likely of the field. Netflix pulled off a victory here in 2019 with Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” (2019) winning over “The Farewell” and “Uncut Gems,” demonstrating its sway with this group.

 

 

Best Documentary Feature

  • “Ascension” (MTV Documentary Films) – Jessica Kingdon, director; Kira Simon-Kennedy, Nathan Truesdell, Jessica Kingdon, producers
  • “Faya Dayi” (Janus Films) – Jessica Beshir, director and producer
  • “Flee” (Neon) – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, director; Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Charlotte De La Gournerie, producers
  • “President” (Greenwich Entertainment) – Camilla Nielsson, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joslyn Barnes, producers
  • “Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” (Searchlight Pictures) – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, director; Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, David Dinerstein, producers

Prediction: “Flee”
Alternate: “Summer of Soul”

There’s no rhyme or reason why one film does well with this group over another but looking through the history of this category, you have to go back to “Better This World” (2011) for a Gotham choice that did not translate to at minimum, an Oscar nomination. That also includes upset choices like “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” (2018) over what would become the shockingly snubbed Mr. Rogers doc, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” This looks like a clear race between Neon’s animated-international doc “Flee,” and Searchlight’s peek into a 1969 Harlem Music festival with “Summer of Soul.” Looking at how they tend to veer away from more populist choices (i.e., “Life Itself” and “Apollo 11”), “Flee” may just edge it out completely. Let’s hope they don’t go with another tie like last year’s between “A Thousand Cuts” and the Oscar-nominated “Time.”

Best International Feature

  • “Azor” (MUBI) – Andreas Fontana, director; Eugenia Mumenthaler, David Epiney, producers
  • “Drive My Car” (Janus Films/Sideshow) – Ryusuke Hamaguchi, director; Teruhisa Yamamoto, producer
  • “The Souvenir Part II” (A24) – Joanna Hogg, director; Ed Guiney, Emma Norton, Andrew Low, Joanna Hogg, Luke Schiller, producers
  • “Titane” (Neon) – Julia Ducournau, director; Jean-Christophe Reymond, producer
  • “What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?” (MUBI) – Alexandre Koberidze, director; Mariam Shatberashvili, producers
  • “The Worst Person in the World” (Neon) – Joachim Trier, director; Thomas Robsham, Andrea Berentsen Ottmar, Dyveke Bjørkly Graver, producers

Prediction: “Drive My Car”
Alternate: “The Worst Person in the World”

With the category only in its second year, last year’s winner “Identifying Features” over “Bacurau” and “Beanpole” was a bit of a headscratcher considering how much the latter two were beloved. None of the nominees translated to Oscar but this year, there are three heavy-hitters in the mix — Japan’s “Drive My Car,” France’s “Titane” and Norway’s “The Worst Person in the World.” There are vocal admirers for Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Japanese three-hour entry that won three prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. If there’s a group that’s going to go to bat for the feature, just ahead of shortlisting voting that begins on Dec. 10, then this would be it. However, the coming-of-age comedy from Joachim Trier has gained considerable traction on the circuit and could be the easiest and most accessible international film for all awards groups.

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

  • Shatara Michelle Ford, “Test Pattern” (Kino Lorber)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix)
  • Rebecca Hall, “Passing” (Netflix)
  • Edson Oda, “Nine Days” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Emma Seligman, “Shiva Baby” (Utopia Distribution)

Prediction: Shatara Michelle Ford
Alternate: Maggie Gyllenhaal

This trophy can go to any of the five nominees. More times than not, the Gothams don’t make the “obvious” choices such as their last two winners, Andrew Patterson (“The Vast of Night”) over Radha Blank (“The Forty-Year-Old Version”) and Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (“The Mustang”) over Olivia Wilde (“Booksmart”). Selecting Gyllenhaal’s entry could be far too easy to check off, which makes me lean towards Ford, whose “Test Pattern” is nominated for best feature. This will be my Hail Mary pass in the prediction game.

Best Screenplay

  • “The Card Counter” – Paul Schrader (Focus Features)
  • “El Planeta” – Amalia Ulman (Utopia Distribution)
  • “The Green Knight” – David Lowery (A24)
  • “The Lost Daughter” – Maggie Gyllenhaal (Netflix)
  • “Passing” – Rebecca Hall (Netflix)
  • “Red Rocket” – Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch (A24)

Prediction: “The Lost Daughter”
Alternate: “Red Rocket”

The Gothams introduced this category in 2015. Of the six winners, three have won a screenplay Oscar (in either original or adapted) – “Spotlight” (2015), “Moonlight” (2016) and “Get Out” (2017). Two others have found their way to a nomination, “First Reformed” (2018) and “Marriage Story” (2019). Only last year’s tied winners, “The Forty-Year-Old Version” and “Fourteen,” failed to garner enough Academy votes. I don’t think we have that outcome in our midst this year with “The Lost Daughter” looking very competitive in adapted screenplay, along with its Netflix counterpart “Passing.” Original screenplay is a lot more difficult to crack this season, which is why films like “The Card Counter” and “Red Rocket” may face an uphill battle. With this being Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch’s first noms after being passed over for “Tangerine” and “The Florida Project,” they could be an upset pick.

 

 

Outstanding Lead Performance

  • Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix)
  • Frankie Faison, “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” (Gravitas Ventures)
  • Michael Greyeyes, “Wild Indian” (Vertical Entertainment)
  • Brittany S. Hall, “Test Pattern” (Kino Lorber)
  • Oscar Isaac, “The Card Counter” (Focus Features)
  • Taylour Paige, “Zola” (A24)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, “C’mon C’mon” (A24)
  • Simon Rex, “Red Rocket” (A24)
  • Lili Taylor, “Paper Spiders” (Entertainment Squad)
  • Tessa Thompson, “Passing” (Netflix)

Prediction: Tessa Thompson
Alternate: Olivia Colman

This assortment of journalists and voters tend to go with their hearts in this category, unafraid to go with the “purity” choice. For example, Toni Collette (“Hereditary”) over Glenn Close (“The Wife”), Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) over Natalie Portman (“Jackie”) and Bel Powley (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”) over Cate Blanchett (“Carol”) or Brie Larson (“Room”). The Gothams have been known to set the tone of a coronation year, as with Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) but we don’t seem to be in that type of season (for the moment). With its first year going gender-neutral and expanding to ten nominees, it really is anyone’s game, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Tessa Thompson’s beautiful performance in Hall’s debut period drama could be a triumphant moment for many to stand up and cheer. She’s also a former winner for breakthrough performer for “Dear White People” (2014). Hopefully, it’ll lead to some very deserved Academy attention in best actress. Colman, Isaac and Rex are also strong possibilities.

Outstanding Supporting Performance

  • Reed Birney, “Mass” (Bleecker Street)
  • Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix)
  • Colman Domingo, “Zola” (A24)
  • Gaby Hoffmann, “C’mon C’mon” (A24)
  • Troy Kotsur, “CODA” (Apple Original Films)
  • Marlee Matlin, “CODA” (Apple Original Films)
  • Ruth Negga, “Passing” (Netflix)

Prediction: Troy Kotsur
Alternate: Ruth Negga

With three “Mass” actors out of the fold here, it’s hard to see Birney pulling off an upset in this field of nominees. Assessing the buzz of the actors over the past few weeks, I’ve boiled this down to either Kotsur’s infectiously lovable deaf father and husband from “CODA,” Domingo’s criminally underappreciated pimp in “Zola” and Negga’s thoughtfully assembled white-passing socialite in “Passing.” Mindful of being inclusive, how wonderful would it be to see Kotsur walk on stage, perhaps starting a precursor lovefest ahead of National Board of Review and New York Film Critics, which could see him emulate last year’s critical darling, Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)?

Breakthrough Performer

  • Emilia Jones, “CODA” (Apple Original Films)
  • Natalie Morales, “Language Lessons” (Shout! Studios)
  • Rachel Sennott, “Shiva Baby” (Utopia)
  • Suzanna Son, “Red Rocket” (A24)
  • Amalia Ulman, “El Planeta” (Utopia)

Prediction: Suzanna Son
Alternate: Emilia Jones

This is another category that history has shown the Gothams to “get it right” most of the time. Wonderful selections like Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”), Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Witch”) and Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”) have shown them to correctly predict who is someone to keep an eye on in Hollywood. This line-up is daunting. Emilia Jones is already shooting her next project for Netflix and Suzanna Son’s musical talent should be celebrated for the next few years. Will voters take into account that Natalie Morales also directed another film, “Plan B,” further adding to her successful year? Or are they smitten by Rachel Sennott’s comedic timing in “Shiva Baby?” Shot in the dark, Son edges out Jones.

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

  • “The Good Lord Bird” (Showtime) – Ethan Hawke, Mark Richard, creators; James McBride, Brian Taylor, Ryan Hawke, Ethan Hawke, Jason Blum, Albert Hughes, Mark Richard, Marshall Persinger, David Schiff, executive producers
  • “It’s A Sin” (HBO Max) – Russell T Davies, creator; Russell T Davies, Peter Hoar, Nicola Shindler, executive producers
  • “Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video) – Steve McQueen, creator; Tracey Scoffield, David Tanner, Steve McQueen, executive producers
  • “Squid Game” (Netflix) – Kim Ji-yeon, Hwang Dong-hyu, executive producers
  • “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime Video) – Barry Jenkins, Colson Whitehead, creators; Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Hoyt, executive producers
  • “The White Lotus” (HBO) – Mike White, creator; Mike White, David Bernad, Nick Hall, executive producers

Prediction: “Squid Game”
Alternate: “The White Lotus”

This seems to be “Squid Game’s” big moment, and the timing feels right for a breakthrough. The Gothams have been all about recognizing breakthrough storytelling in this category, including “Watchmen,” “When They See Us,” “Killing Eve,” “Atlanta,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Mr. Robot.” “Squid Game” feels like the next step in that evolution. Otherwise, Barry Jenkins’ profound “The Underground Railroad” could pull it off, but the addictive “The White Lotus” might be undeniable.

 

 

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

  • “Blindspotting” (Starz) – Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, creators; Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder, Ken Lee, Tim Palen, Emily Gerson Saines, Seith Mann, executive producers
  • “Hacks” (HBO Max) Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky, creators; Jen Statsky, Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, Michael Schur, David Miner, Morgan Sackett, executive producers
  • “Reservation Dogs” (FX) – Sterlin Harjo, Taika Waititi, creators; Taika Waititi, Sterlin Harjo, Garrett Basch, executive producers
  • “Run the World” (Starz) – Leigh Davenport, creator; Yvette Lee Bowser, Leigh Davenport, Nastaran Dibai, executive producers
  • “We Are Lady Parts” (Peacock) – Nida Manzoor, creator, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Surian Fletcher-Jones, Mark Freeland, executive producers

Prediction: “Hacks”
Alternate: “Reservation Dogs”

After the Gothams switched their TV categories in 2019 to focus on more commercially available series, the two winners in this category both centered on unique female characters at a crossroads, including “Pen15” (2019) and “I May Destroy You” (2020). The success of “Hacks” may give it the upper hand here, but “We Are Lady Parts” could surprise as well. However, if voters want to be the first to recognize the ground breaking “Reservation Dogs,” that could be the winner.

Breakthrough Nonfiction Series

  • “City So Real” (National Geographic) – Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Alex Kotlowitz, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Jolene Pinder, executive producers
  • “Exterminate All the Brutes” (HBO) – Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety, executive producers
  • “How To with John Wilson” (HBO) – John Wilson, creator; Nathan Fielder, John Wilson, Michael Koman, Clark Reinking, executive producers
  • “Philly D.A.” (PBS) – Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, Nicole Salazar, creators; Dawn Porter, Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen, Ryan Chanatry, Gena Konstantinakos, Jeff Seelbach, Patty Quillin, executive producers
  • “Pride” (FX) – Christine Vachon, Sydney Foos, Danny Gabai, Kama Kaina, Stacy Scripter, Alex Stapleton

Prediction: “City So Real”
Alternate: “How To with John Wilson”

For this new category, we’re taking a stab in the dark by predicting that voters may want to award the veteran Steve James and his project “City So Real,” a stirring portrait of Chicago during its recent mayoral election. But maybe they’ll want to select something more unconventional, and John Wilson’s “How To with John Wilson” definitely fits that bill.

Outstanding Performance in a New Series

  • Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus” (HBO)
  • Michael Greyeyes, “Rutherford Falls” (Peacock)
  • Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird” (Showtime)
  • Devery Jacobs, “Reservation Dogs” (FX)
  • Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game” (Netflix)
  • Thuso Mbedu, “The Underground Railroad” (Prime Video)
  • Jean Smart, “Hacks” (HBO Max)
  • Omar Sy, “Lupin” (Netflix)
  • Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
  • Anjana Vasan, “We Are Lady Parts” (Peacock)

Prediction: Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”
Alternate: Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus”

This is a brand-new category for the Gothams, so there’s no hint to how voters might lean. Perhaps they’ll stick with the always deserving superstar on this list, Emmy winner Jean Smart. Or maybe Ethan Hawke will finally get the attention he deserves for his incredible work on “The Good Lord Bird.” But we’re going to stick with the possibility that voters may have gotten swept up in “Squid Game” mania and selected Lee Jung-jae. And as a backup, perhaps they couldn’t resist being the very first awards show to recognize the brilliance of Jennifer Coolidge in “The White Lotus.”

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

Source: Variety