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Chadwick Boseman could win two posthumous Oscar nominations

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave Hollywood studios on the move, key decisions are still being discussed internally regarding the Oscars, such as the placement of actors in actor categories. Six months away from the Oscars, several factors are needed to prepare a film for the success of awards season. Without events to campaign and (metaphorically) kiss babies, the performances and films will speak for themselves.

Like the industry, Oscars predictions are changing, but the biggest unknown lies in the categories of male actors, who are showing real fluidity and will continue to do so throughout the season. season. One of the main questions concerns the late Chadwick Boseman and where Netflix will campaign him for his next job on ‘My Rainey’s Black Bottom’. While many pundits and prognosticators assume that he will ultimately fall into the supporting actor category, there are rumors that he could be campaigning as a lead actor. A Netflix representative has not confirmed either of the two storylines, but multiple sources who have seen the film claim that Boseman is one of the few instances that straddles the line between leading role and supporting. Charles S. Dutton, who was nominated for a Tony Award for playing the same role, was cited to support, but the late Theresa Merritt, who played Ma Rainey, was also nominated to support. We’d expect a better Viola Davis actress to push for the title role, but these days you never know where the tokens may fall.

If Boseman were to be nominated for Best Actor, that would leave a lot of space in the Best Supporting Actor category, which is full of seasoned veterans in search of their due. Bill Murray (“On the Rocks”) and David Strathairn (“Nomadland”) may be the best candidates to take over, but Leslie Odom, Jr. is having a hell of a year. His work as Sam Cooke in Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” is certainly one of the brightest places in movies (and there are many). While Amazon Studios has yet to confirm placement in the acting category, it is suggested that Odom will eventually fall into the support path. His Kingsley co-star Ben-Adir may find his way into a lead actor push, but no one on his side has confirmed the placement.

The other Boseman vehicle, “Da 5 Bloods” by Spike Lee, is getting a massive boost from Netflix. Boseman’s work as Stormin ‘Norman is another highlight of his career that begs the question: is there a possibility of double-acting nominations? There have been 12 actors in Academy history who received two acting nominations in the same year, most recently with Scarlett Johansson last year for “Marriage Story” and “Jojo Rabbit”. In those 12 cases, seven of them resulted in victories (Fay Bainter, Teresa Wright, Barry Fitzgerald, Jessica Lange, Al Pacino, Holly Hunter and Jamie Foxx). There has never been an actor to receive two posthumous nods in the same year. James Dean received two consecutive years for “East of Eden” and “Giant”. The late Massimo Troisi received two nominations for Best Actor and Original Screenplay for 1995’s “Il Postino”. The most posthumous nods ever received came when Howard Ashman received three in the same category for Best Song original for “Beauty and the Beast” from 1991. It won for the title number.

Another category to watch is for Best Actress, which may include Meryl Streep’s next turn in the musical “The Prom”. Streep, the most nominated actress in Oscar history, could be nominated for another Best Actress against her young co-star Jo Ellen Pellman.

In the absence of a definitive version from Warner Bros., Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” contemplates a lower eligibility window. There hasn’t been any discussion of the categories by the studio yet, but multiple sources claim that stars Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are pretty close in screen time, with the former deemed to be the star. There will likely also be an original song in play.

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Harry Macqueen’s “Supernova” received remarkable reviews at the London Film Festival, where it was screened. Just being picked up by Bleecker Street, the film is set to land on the eligibility schedule and could be a big factor for former Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci. The consensus of those who have seen it is that there are co-leaders, but the Oscars are never that simple. Watch for a Tucci push for Best Actor, which could make things very interesting. That wasn’t the only surprise announcement for the film year as John Patrick Shanley will be dropping his “Wild Mountain Thyme” in December, and Bleecker Street will be looking to get stars Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan into the mix. Everyone should expect HFPA to eat this one.

The latest, but most glaring, nugget is the affair surrounding “The Chicago Trial 7”. There are several rumors circulating around the beat, none of which have been confirmed by Netflix or any of the rewards strategists. They range from a better actor pushing for just Sacha Baron Cohen; or Eddie Redmayne joining him as a leader to make room for one or two men in the support categories; or they could all go the support route. Either way, even with plenty of time before the Oscars, trying to come up with a consensus choice in a large ensemble is tricky.



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