It’s rare that a film and awards show fan is ever satisfied with the results of the Academy Awards. Across its 24 categories, the winners and losers are bound to have ardent fans ready to celebrate their success or lament their loss. With that in mind, and the 93rd Annual Academy Awards fast approaching, I wondered: how would the most prestigious awards show in Hollywood fare if JumpCut were given the keys to the kingdom?

This is not a prediction. The wonderful team here at JumpCut Online (20 people) were tasked with voting for the films they want to win on Sunday night, placing themselves in the shoes of the (presumably old and white) Oscar voters.  Without further ado, had JumpCut had total power, this is how the 93rd Academy Awards would play out.

Best Visual Effects: Tenet

Boasting the brand of high-budget, blink and you’ll miss it visual effects to which we have become so accustomed with a Christopher Nolan film, Tenet combines such attention to detail with some miraculous reverse visual effects seamlessly, crafting a feast for the eyes for every step of the way of his temporally adventurous blockbuster. Remember when that building blew up, then didn’t, and then blew up again?

Best Costume Design: Emma.

Interview with Costume Designer Alexandra Byrne about Emma – Click Here

Alexandra Byrne’s sixth Oscar nomination is on its way to becoming the second win in her brilliant career with her fabulous costuming for the early-1800s set Emma. 

Best Make-up & Hair: Emma.

As well as Anya Taylor-Joy’s more showy pristine Regency curls as It-Girl Emma, Mia Goth’s much more minimal hair-and-make up look, as poor Harriet is just as effective at story-telling. And let’s not forget Tanya Reynolds’ elaborate bow made out of her own hair, as the ostentatious Mrs Elton. Then there’s Johnny Flynn’s mutton-chops as the down-to-earth Mr Knightley. The hair and make-up of Autumn de Wilde’s Emma is simply brilliant at conveying character.

Best Production Design: Tenet

The first surprise of the JumpCut Academy Awards is this one for Tenet, though the film does boast a built-for-destruction aircraft hangar, an abandoned town-turned-warzone, and the high-concept turntables around which the film’s greatest shenanigans revolve.

Best Sound: Sound of Metal

Interview with Sound Designer Nicolas Becker about Sound of Metal – Click Here

Arguably the most inevitable but entirely deserved award is the spectacular work by Nicolas Becker on Sound of Metal, a film that works as well as it does because of its sound. Sound design makes Sound of Metal a completely immersive experience for the viewer and translates hearing loss in a devastatingly impressive manner.

Best Editing: The Father

Like Sound of Metal, editing is The Father’s secret weapon, toying with the audience’s expectations with its manipulation of time and place, remarkably translating the experience of dementia suffered by the titular father, Anthony.

Best Cinematography: Nomadland

BAFTA award winner Joshua James Richards takes home the coveted trophy for his stunning work on Nomadland, taking advantage of the golden hour as his camera tracks Frances McDormand’s Fern across the country in lovely style.

Best Original Song: Fight For You – H.E.R. (Judas and the Black Messiah)

Equally modern as it is timeless, “Fight for You” is an incredible, Marvin Gaye inspired R&B hit that expertly captures the tone of the film for which it was written.

Best Original Score: Soul by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and John Batiste, Da 5 Bloods by Terence Blanchard (TIE – 40% each)

Unable to be separated, the spoils are shared by Soul and Da 5 Bloods. Rezner & Ross and Batiste expertly contrast one another with a distinct sound for the real world and its Soul world cousin, the calculated, ambient score of the latter countering the free-wheeling jazz of the former. Meanwhile, Terence Blanchard puts the epic in war epic with a rousing score that near enough bellows the stars and stripes at you. Blanchard put everything out there for this one.

Best Documentary Feature: My Octopus Teacher

For our piece on the Documentary Feature category – Click Here

The real-world Oscar front-runner takes the prize for JumpCut, too, in an intimate look at the bizarrely cute relationship between a man and his eight-legged friend. It feels like a feature-length entry into David Attenborough’s documentary phenomenon, Blue Planet.

Best Animated Feature: Wolfwalkers, Soul (TIE – 40% each)

Our second (and final) tie of the vote sees the animated feature award shared between the Disney-Pixar behemoth and the plucky Irish new kids on the block of Cartoon Saloon. It feels poetic for Soul’s state-of-the-art 3D animation that Pixar have nigh on perfected in recent years meets its match in the terrifically old-school, hand drawn 2D animation of Wolfwalkers.

Best International Film: Another Round

For our piece on the International Film Category – Click Here

A film that speaks to the souls of anyone within education, Another Round is one of the finest films in recent memory as it examines humanity’s relationship with alcohol, relationships, and loneliness under the guise of a couple of lads playing the world’s longest drinking game. Mads Mikkelsen is sensational throughout, cruelly missing out on a Best Actor nomination, right up to – and including – his cathartic, euphoric dance routine at the film’s conclusion. What a life.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Father

Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton’s screenplay, adapted from Zeller’s original French play of the same name, is breathtaking. It delicately balances character development, effortlessly natural dialogue, and shrouding the film’s central mystery in enough smoke and mirrors for the dénouement to land with a heart-breaking and devastating impact.

Best Original Screenplay: Sound of Metal

What started life as a documentary, Darius Marder’s tender, touching exploration of sudden deafness is a very personal effort for the writer-director after his grandmother became suddenly deaf, who is no doubt an inspiration for this stunningly well-written film. Every character feels alive, and every conversation had feels as close to real as anything seen in recent years.

Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

A funny, moving, beautiful performance as the matriarch of the Yi family. As her daughter’s family seek a new start in California, Soon-ja longs for the traditional life they once had in their native Korea, wreaking innocent havoc on their family’s quest for a simple, American life. Never better than when interacting with little David, Yuh-Jung Youn communicates her charmingly chaotic energy in wonderful style.

Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah

For an article about what makes Daniel Kaluuya such a compelling actor – take a look at the latest issue of our magazine.

What feels like one of the only foregone conclusions of the whole awards seasons, Daniel Kaluuya’s stunning performance as Chairman Fred Hampton looks likely to catapult the London-born actor to real stardom. Whether negotiating with rivals or stirring the masses, Kaluuya is nothing short of electric throughout. He is a revolutionary.

Best Actress: Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

A surprising sole win for Promising Young Woman sees Carey Mulligan take home the well-deserved Best Actress award for her unforgettable performance at the heart of this revenge drama. Channelling anger, injustice, and betrayal into her role as the devastated Cassie, Mulligan is the ferocious heart of one of the year’s best films.

Best Actor: Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

This year’s greatest performances had a bit of British flair to it, with Kaluuya and The Father’s Anthony Hopkins, but JumpCut argues the best of the lot was Riz Ahmed’s stunning performance in Sound of Metal. Convincingly so, too, with his 75% being the 2nd biggest share of the votes behind Sound of Metal’s Best Sound victory (85%). Ruben’s journey through Sound of Metal, from becoming deaf, to learning to be deaf, to regaining some semblance of hearing is played spectacularly by Ahmed, finding his best moments in the silence by simply living in it, exemplified by the film’s emotional, gorgeous final shot.

Best Director: Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Very few films nominated this year are as complete an artist’s vision as Nomadland, produced, written, edited, and directed by Chloé Zhao. Zhao is in total control of Fern’s melancholic wander through the American desert, finding the beauty in the every day of a woman’s houseless existence.

Best Picture: Sound of Metal

This JumpCut favourite just edged out Promising Young Woman for our top prize, and a deserving winner of JumpCut’s Best Picture award. Sound of Metal is a combination of brilliant performances, direction, writing, cinematography, sound design, and its loving portrayal of life in a deaf community make this a more than deserving winner of the big prize.

We have also taken a look at all three shorts categories, click below for more:

The Live Action Shorts

The Animated Shorts

The Documentary Shorts