Welcome to another year of our contribution to awards season, with this, our SIXTH year of The Odyssey Awards. Despite everything 2020 was actually an amazing year for films, and we are very excited to celebrate all the great stuff we watched, be it at home or at the cinema. As always, remember it is UK releases only that are eligible for this year’s awards, so films like Nomadland, Minari and Sound of Metal won’t feature, but films like Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Uncut Gems and 1917 most certainly will.
Below you can find our full list of nominations, but we also released a special episode of JumpCast earlier this week where Nick, Jakob, Holly and Rhys go through this year’s nominations and discuss their thoughts.
Best Support Actor
Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods), Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy), Song Kang-Ho (Parasite), David Thewlis (I’m Thinking of Ending Things)
These five actors may have had supporting roles in their respective films but in many ways they stole the show. Where would Da 5 Bloods be without Chadwick Boseman’s Stormin’ Norman? Would Robert Pattinson have lasted as long as he did without Willem Dafoe’s lobster? Will art ever be appreciated in the same way again now we have David Thewlis’ very literal readings as our benchmark? This category is stacked with talent, but only one man can win. With Chadwick Boseman the favourite for the Oscar later this year, can anyone upset the odds here?
Best Support Actress
Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Park So-dam (Parasite), Letitia Wright (Mangrove), Cho Yeo-jeong (Parasite)
For the first time ever, we have two actresses from the same film nominated in this category, with Parasite’s Park So-dam and Cho Yeo-jeong getting the nod, but can they make history even more and become the first foreign language winner of this award? They face stern competition from Scarlett Johansson who returns with a second acting nomination, after being nominated for the lead actress award for Marriage Story last year. Rounding out the nominations is Amanda Seyfried, who picks up the only nomination for Mank, and Letitia Wright for her powerhouse performance in the Small Axe series opener, Mangrove.
Best Stunt Work
Ben Cooke (1917), Rocky Dickey, Scott Rodgers (Birds of Prey), Amar Shetty, George Cottle (Tenet), Harry Dakanalis, Kathleen O’Dwyer (The Invisible Man), Jane Batey, Rob Inch (Wonder Woman 1984)
We are really proud here at JumpCut that we have been recognising stunt work in films for three years now (take note, Academy). As always, we have a decent share of comic book films nominated in this category, but perhaps most interesting is the fact that The Invisible Man makes it two-for-two for Leigh Whannell films, after 2018’s Upgrade also received a nomination in this category. The one to beat here though is surely the team behind the mind-blowing reverse stunts in Tenet, which if you have seen any behind the scenes footage from that film, are truly game-changing.
Sir Roger Deakins (1917), Hong Kyung-pyo (Parasite), Claire Mathon (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Hoyte van Hoytema (Tenet), Jarin Blaschke (The Lighthouse)
When it comes to cinematography, you can be sure that Sir Roger Deakins will never be far away from the awards talk. The Academy may have finally started to notice his work, but he has been a firm favourite with the JumpCut team for as long as The Odysseys have been running. With two wins to his name already (Sicario in 2015 and Blade Runner 2049 in 2018), can anyone overthrow this titan of the trade or will he reign supreme for a third time?
Best Adapted Story
Charlie Kaufman (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham (Just Mercy), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man)
Whether it be a meticulously faithful adaptation or taking a fresh and innovative approach with the source material, we’ve got a bit of everything in the adapted story category this year. In previous years, The Odysseys have shown a lot of love to sci-fi and horror adaptations in this category with winners such as Doctor Sleep and It, so could Leigh Whannell’s modern take on The Invisible Man continue that trend this year? We think Oscar-winner Taika Waititi could have something to say about that.
Best Original Story
Spike Lee, Paul De Meo, Danny Bilson, Kevin Willmott (Da 5 Bloods), Radha Blank (The Forty Year Old Version), Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won (Parasite), Celine Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, Ronald Bronstein (Uncut Gems)
Audiences are constantly crying out for more original stories, and last year we got them in abundance. From Spike Lee’s blistering tale of brotherhood in Da 5 Bloods, to the anxiety-inducing Uncut Gems, foreign language favourites Parasite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire face stiff competition if they are to become the first international winner of this award. And let’s not forget Radha Blank with her bold and brilliant debut. Can this underdog upset the odds here?
Thomas Newman (1917), Daniel Pemberton (Birds of Prey), Jung Jae-il (Parasite), Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste (Soul), Ludwig Goransson (Tenet)
Ludwig Goransson is arguably the hottest property in the composer game right now, but he hasn’t truly made it until he wins an Odyssey award. Is this all part of the plan, or will we see Oscar-nominee Thomas Newman make amends for his Academy snub? Interestingly, the nomination for Soul marks Disney’s sixth nomination in as many years, but can it be their first to win?
Best Visual Effects
Alannah Belanger (1917), Mary Swain (Birds of Prey), Mauricio Cuencas (Possessor), Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley (Tenet), Jonathan Dearing (The Invisible Man)
Visual effects are definitely an aspect of filmmaking that can either go really well, or horrifically bad. The unthinkable work all of these teams undertake to create stunning, convincing effects for their respective films is mind-boggling, and all five nominees here deserve huge praise. We are especially delighted to see a smaller film like Possessor getting the nod here, but it faces immense competition from some huge films with much bigger budgets. There is also a very notable absence in this year’s nominees in this category – no Disney property makes the list for the first time in our six year history.
Lee Smith (1917), Yang Jin-mo (Parasite), Jennifer Lame (Tenet), Andy Canny (The Invisible Man), Benny Safdie, Ronald Bronstein (Uncut Gems)
Much like the previous category, editing is the kind of thing that can make or break a film, and essentially good editing is editing we can’t see, which makes picking the winner especially difficult. Lee Smith picks up his second Odyssey nomination after previously being recognised for his work on Dunkirk in 2017, and the way he creates a one-take feel for 1917 could well see him win this time around. It wouldn’t be the first time a one-take approach has taken the editing award either, with Birdman winning in 2015, it’s clear that this editing technique is popular with our voters. Jennifer Lame also returns after earning a nomination last year for Marriage Story, too, and could go one step further this time around after her brilliant work on Tenet.
Best Production/Costume Design
Dennis Gassner, David Crossman, Jacqueline Durran (1917), K.K. Barrett, Erin Benach (Birds of Prey), Kave Quinn, Alexandra Byrne (Emma), Thomas Grezaud, Dorothee Guiraud (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Ha-jun Lee, Se-yeon Choi (Parasite)
A difficult category to assess due to the fact we combine two elements in one award – much to the dismay of our EIC (sorry, Fiona). Period pieces always tend to do well in this category during awards season, and last year’s winner Alexandra Byrne returns after success with Mary Queen of Scots last year with a good chance of securing back to back wins. However, by this point I’m sure you realise that Parasite is a big favourite among the JumpCut voters, and with such intricate production design, it’s hard to bet against it adding another award to its accolades here.
All In: The Fight For Democracy, Dick Johnson Is Dead, Miss Americana, One Man and His Shoes, Time
Counting the votes for this year’s documentary nominations was truly wild, and a little bit of a headache. More than any other category we saw a vast range of films and a wide spread of votes, which basically told us that there’s a lot of documentaries out there and we were all watching different ones. Nonetheless, these five docs did pull ahead in the end and it will be interesting to see which one clears the final hurdle.
Best Foreign Language Film
And Then We Danced (Georgia), Ema (Chile), Les Miserables (France), Parasite (South Korea), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France)
Well, I think it’s safe to say that international film had one of its brightest years to date in 2020. With Parasite making history by being the first foreign language film to win best picture at The Oscars, and Portrait of a Lady on Fire mesmerising audiences, it’s hard to see any other film standing a chance in this category. That said, in any other year the three films that complete this list would surely roar to victory, and with voters potentially split between the two favourites, perhaps an outsider can sneak to the win.
Best Animated Film
Onward, Over The Moon, Soul, Trolls: World Tour, Wolfwalkers
You’d be forgiven for seeing this list of nominees and debating which Disney film is going to win this year, and sure enough, with Onward and Soul, Disney now has ten nominations in the animated film category in six years of The Odysseys. However, of the five previous winners, Disney has only taken home the big prize once, with Inside Out in 2015. So, don’t be surprised if the Disney machine is halted once again, especially with the increasingly popular Wolfwalkers waiting in the wings.
Chadwick Boseman, Bong Joon-ho, Spike Lee, Steve McQueen
This award, now in its second year, is very important to us all at JumpCut. This award is our chance to truly celebrate individuals who have not only had a brilliant year, but have had a lasting effect on the film industry. This year’s nominees are heroes, groundbreakers, icons and masters of their art, and the world of film is brighter because of each and every one of them.
Maria Bakalova, Morfydd Clark, Roman Griffin Davis, George MacKay, Eliza Scanlen
Every year we recognise actors who have stormed onto the scene and really made a name for themselves. This year, we have George McKay and Eliza Scanlen who, despite a run of decent films and performances before 2020, well and truly stepped up in their leading roles and became fully fledged stars of the screen. Alongside them we have legitimate newcomers, who clearly have bright futures ahead of them, but only in claiming this prestigious award can they definitely, absolutely guarantee success. No pressure.
Radha Blank (The Forty Year Old Version), Rose Glass (Saint Maud), Andrew Patterson (The Vast of Night), Alex Thompson (Saint Frances), Remi Weekes (His House)
The future of filmmaking is clearly in good hands with directors like these, each of which brought us astounding debut features in 2020 and we can’t wait to see what they create next. Can Radha Blank and her one-woman-show take the crown? Or perhaps horror will lead the way, with both Rose Glass and Remi Weekes tantalising audiences with their terrifying debuts. Alternatively, Andrew Patterson clearly made his mark on the JumpCut voters with his stunning sci-fi genre piece, and Alex Thompson arguably made the sweetest film of the year in Saint Frances. Whoever does win, you’re going to want to remember these names.
Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Christopher Nolan (Tenet), The Safdie Brothers (Uncut Gems), Celine Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire)
Well, here we are at the big four now. It will come as no surprise that Bong, Mendes and Sciamma are in the mix here after being nominated left, right and centre for their respective films, and you’d have to say those three are the favourites as it stands. However, Christopher Nolan is a previous winner of the best director award for Dunkirk back in 2017, so perhaps he can become the first director ever to win this award more than once. Gamblers out there might fancy a risky bet on The Safdies, too and who knows – maybe this is how they win?
Best Lead Actor
Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Shaun Parkes (Mangrove), Jesse Plemmons (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)
An absolutely inseparable set of nominees make up this category as we see Chadwick Boseman pick up his second acting nomination of the year for his spell-binding, show-stealing role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Delroy Lindo is possibly the only man who can stop him at this stage, but truthfully, every actor here would be a worthy winner of this award. It would be great to see Jesse Plemmons get the awards he most definitely deserves, and seeing Shaun Parkes’ name in the mix is fantastic. Also, we never thought we would see Adam Sandler as an Odyssey-nominated actor, but that’s 2020 for you.
Best Lead Actress
Jessie Buckley (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Adele Haenel (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Noemie Merlant (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man)
We thought the lead actor category was inseparable, but this category takes that to the next level. Jessie Buckley and Viola Davis both pick up their second Odyssey nomination but can either of them nab their first win? In a year of firsts, we also see two actresses from the same film both being nominated as leads, with the formidable Portrait of a Lady on Fire double act leaving our voters with no other choice but to give them equal billing. Rounding out the nominations is the magnificent Elisabeth Moss, who could be the next in a line of horror’s leading ladies to win this award, after Lupita Nyong’o and Toni Collette in the last two years.
1917, Parasite, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Tenet, Uncut Gems
This is the big one! And let’s be honest, the writing was on the wall. After the pattern of the nominations so far this year, these five films were clear favourites amongst the Odyssey voters and are all very deserving of their place in this list. Parasite becomes the most nominated film in Odyssey history with 11 nominations and is definitely the film to beat here. But 1917 and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, both with 8 nominations, are clearly in with a good shot of overthrowing the Bong hive. Personally, I would think both Tenet and Uncut Gems are perhaps a little too divisive to have a chance of causing an upset, but stranger things have happened (see Baby Driver winning best film in 2017)
Well, there you have it. Our nominations are complete, and as you read this, our voters are hard at work trying to decide what to cast their invaluable final votes on. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for more information on when the big show will be airing as we bring you all the winners and losers through our podcast (@JumpCast_). But for now, thanks for reading, and please do let us know what you think of our nominations in the comments below, or over on Twitter. We especially love it when people tell us we got it wrong, so bring it on.