Ridiculously Early 2025 Oscars Predictions

Casey Medeiros ’25 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

*This article was written in early April*

The 97th Academy Awards aren’t until next year, but for the Oscar-obsessed, it’s never too early to make predictions! Most of these movies haven’t been seen by anybody, which means at this point it’s mostly speculation and nobody really knows what they will be or how they will turn out. Below is an attempt to rank potential contenders on how likely they are to be nominated for Best Picture. Beyond the Oscars, you can take this list as movies to be excited about in the coming year.

The Predicted 10 for Best Picture:

Colman Domingo in Sing Sing. Photo courtesy of A24

1. Sing Sing (A24)

Greg Kwedar’s Sing Sing already had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, where it received huge standing ovations and rave reviews. A24 then purchased the film, planning an awards push for this year where it’s set to be released in July. The film follows a man who is wrongfully incarcerated in Sing Sing prison, where he joins a theater troupe. The trailer looks great, and people who have seen the film say it’s not only in contention to be nominated for Best Picture but in contention to win. Colman Domingo seems likely to get his second Best Actor nomination for the film, as well as potential Supporting Actor pushes for Clarence Maclin and previous nominee Paul Raci. It definitely has a path to winning: A24 is behind it, the film is said to be a deeply emotional and heartwarming film with a great script and cast, and the film is a potential SAG Ensemble winner which often lines up with Best Picture. On the other hand, with a summer release date, could this fly under the radar and only be nominated for Picture and Screenplay like Past Lives? It’s tough, but with nothing else to really go off of this seems like the safest bet to predict to win next year. 

Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Part Two. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

2. Dune: Part Two (Warner Bros)

Having been released in March, the reception to Dune: Part Two is clear: people LOVE it. The film has great reviews, did extremely well at the box office, and is considered by many to be even better than the previous film. With Denis Villeneuve’s first Dune film being nominated for ten Oscars and winning six of them, it seems certain that this will either match that total or even top it, with Villeneuve looking likely for Best Director this time after being surprisingly snubbed for the last film. Could this be this year’s Oppenheimer: a blockbuster that manages to be both critically acclaimed and a box office juggernaut, from a director who hasn’t been recognized yet and with the potential to win many Oscars? Or, could it follow in the footsteps of Barbie or Top Gun: Maverick where the critically acclaimed blockbuster does rack up nominations but fails to win Best Picture? Also, with Dune: Messiah being confirmed recently, will the Oscars wait to award the series with Best Picture until the third entry, just like they did with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King? We will have to see, but Dune: Part Two seems like a lock for multiple nominations, including Best Picture.

3. Blitz (Apple)

Now, it’s time to look at films that have not been seen by anybody yet. Of those, Steve McQueen’s Blitz seems like the biggest contender: McQueen directed a previous Best Picture winner in 12 Years A Slave. Blitz takes place during World War II, and it stars Saoirse Ronan — who seems overdue to win an Oscar — as well as Harris Dickinson. With Apple behind it, this film seems likely to get a major buzz out of the festival circuit and then translate it into Oscar success. Yes, McQueen’s previous film Widows didn’t receive any Oscar nominations, but that was a heist film and Blitz is seemingly a war drama. It seems unlikely that this won’t be in the conversations for Oscars next year. 

4. Conclave (Focus Features)

Edward Berger’s previous film All Quiet on the Western Front won four Oscars and was nominated for nine, and was likely #2 for Best Picture that year. Berger’s next film Conclave is based on a book and follows a group of cardinals tasked with finding a successor to the deceased Pope. The film has a great cast including Ralph Fiennes, who has never won an Oscar and could definitely be in the conversation for this film, as well as Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow, and Isabella Rossellini. Focus has given the film a prime awards season release date of early November, which shows that they have confidence in it. However, the screenwriter’s two most recent writing credits are The Snowman and The Goldfinch, which both received mostly negative reviews. Also, when a director first breaks through at the Oscars, their next film doesn’t always connect with the Academy. But with this cast and source material attached, and with the studio seemingly confident in it, this seems like a good bet to be a festival favorite and rack up Oscar nominations. 

The logo for Megalopolis. Photo courtesy of Francis Ford Coppola

5. Megalopolis

Megalopolis is a film Francis Ford Coppola has been talking about making for decades, and Coppola has spent $120 million of his own money to produce it. This film has no distribution yet, but Coppola wants to give the film a major theatrical release. Megalopolis is one of the riskier films to predict, as it has many things going for it but also going against it. As for the positives, Francis Ford Coppola is a legendary and respected director who people want to celebrate again, especially with Megalopolis being his self-financed passion project. The project also does have a notable cast, including Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Giancarlo Esposito, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Schwartzman & Dustin Hoffman. As for the negatives, Coppola hasn’t made a critically acclaimed movie in a long time and hasn’t made an Oscar contender in over 30 years. Combine that with the fact that this film is entirely self-financed and Coppola has full creative control, this could be a self-indulgent mess. However, the film recently screened for many high-profile names where it was reportedly met with a standing ovation, but also reactions calling the film completely non-commercial. Ultimately, while there is a good chance this movie will flop commercially, it seems that the love for Coppola in the industry could be enough to push the movie into Best Picture if the movie is halfway decent.

6. The Apprentice

Another film with no distribution yet, The Apprentice is the next film from acclaimed director Ali Abbasi which follows Donald Trump in the 1970s and 1980s. The film stars Sebastian Stan as Trump, as well as Jeremy Strong and previous Oscar nominee Maria Bakalova. This is another film that could definitely not land, but with a respected director behind it, a solid cast, and with it coming out during the election year, there is a good possibility this connects with critics and Academy voters. Sebastian Stan’s performance as Trump could earn him his first Oscar nomination, and Jeremy Strong could also earn a Best Supporting Actor nomination, especially coming off of the success of Succession. Similarly to Adam McKay’s political films Vice and Don’t Look Up, The Apprentice could be divisive with audiences, but as long as the film has a decent enough reaction from critics the film has a good chance of being in the Oscar conversation.

Lady Gaga (left) and Joaquin Phoenix (right) in Joker: Folie à Deux. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

7. Joker: Folie à Deux (Warner Bros)

Joker: Folie à Deux is the sequel to 2019’s Joker, which grossed over a billion dollars at the box office and received 11 Oscar nominations. Todd Philips also directed the sequel, which once again stars Joaquin Phoenix in the role that won him an Oscar. Where the film differs is that Lady Gaga is playing Harley Quinn, and the film is apparently a jukebox musical, which is a risky change for a sequel to a massively successful film. It seems like Joker: Folie à Deux will definitely receive a festival and awards push from Warner Bros. with its October release date. However, if the studio’s Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga joins Dune: Part Two in being a critically acclaimed blockbuster and Joker: Folie à Deux doesn’t match the box office or critical reception of the first film, will Warner shift their priorities? Based on how big of a film Joker: Folie à Deux is, and how big of a creative swing the film sounds like it’s taking, it seems likely it will ultimately be a contender. 

8. The Nickel Boys (Amazon/MGM)

This film is the narrative debut of acclaimed documentarian RaMell Ross, and it is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Previous Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor stars in the film, which follows a reform school in the 1960s that was notoriously abusive toward its students. Yes, documentary filmmakers transitioning to narrative filmmaking doesn’t always translate. But with the film looking like the studio’s priority for awards season, and with it being a historically important story from a promising filmmaker, The Nickel Boys is definitely a film to look out for.

9. The Piano Lesson (Netflix)

This is another Netflix adaptation of an August Wilson play, this time the directorial debut of Denzel Washington’s son Malcolm Washington and starring his other son John David Washington. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, who will likely become the Best Supporting Actor frontrunner, as well as Corey Hawkins and Danielle Deadwyler, who many would love to nominate after she was snubbed for Till. However, with Netflix’s previous August Wilson adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom missing Best Picture, it’s possible this one could miss too. Netflix could also purchase one of the films without distribution yet, which could lower this on their priority list. But with a great cast and with it being Netflix’s top contender at the moment, it seems like The Piano Lesson has a good chance of being a contender. 

Emma Stone in Kinds of Kindness. Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures.

10. Kinds of Kindness (Searchlight)

Coming off the huge Oscar success of Poor Things and The Favourite, it’s hard to bet against Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone. But this new film Kinds of Kindness sounds like a really tough sell as an Oscar contender. To start, it’s an anthology film, which immediately puts it at a disadvantage for the Oscars. In addition, the film is being released in June, which is not a great release date for a non-blockbuster Oscar contender. Also, the difference between Poor Things and The Favourite and the rest of Lanthimos’s filmography is that those two films were written by Tony McNamara, who tends to water down Lanthimos’s weirdness a bit. None of Lanthimos’s non-McNamara written films have been nominated for Best Picture. Also, whereas the other two Lanthimos-McNamara films are period pieces, Kinds of Kindness is a contemporary film, which limits the amount of technical craft nominations that it could get. However the trailer looks really intriguing, and the cast of the film is stacked and includes Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, and Hunter Schafer. It also does seem unwise to bet against Lanthimos after last year, and with Searchlight behind the film, anything is possible. It’s tough, but after Lanthimos’s previous successes, it seems like people could like Kinds of Kindness so much that it can overcome all of its obstacles and get a Best Picture nomination anyway.

Other Contenders To Look Out For:

11. The End (Neon)

This film is an apocalyptic musical by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, and it stars Tilda Swinton, George MacKay, Moses Ingram & Michael Shannon. This definitely could be the Cannes Palme d’Or winner and become a contender, but it’s too risky to predict.

12. Maria

This is Pablo Larraín’s third biopic focusing on a famous woman, with this film starring Angelina Jolie as Maria Callas. Jackie and Spencer came very close to Best Picture nominations but were ultimately too controversial with their portrayals of their public figures. It’s unclear whether Maria will be any different, but what is clear is that Angelina Jolie will likely be nominated, just as Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart were for their films.

13. Nosferatu (Focus Features)

This has a prime Christmas release date, and a reimagining of the classic film definitely seems like a potential Oscar player. However, Robert Eggers has not made a film that has appealed to the Academy yet. The cast is great: Bill Skarsgård, Nicholas Hoult, Lily-Rose Depp, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emma Corrin & Willem Dafoe, but this is likely not Focus’s priority and probably won’t align with the taste of the Academy.

14. We Live In Time (A24)

While an A24 film starring Florence Pugh and Andrew Garfield seems like an Oscar contender on paper, the film is a romance film by John Crowley. Crowley did have Oscar success with Brooklyn, but that seems like potentially a one-time thing, especially after The Goldfinch. There is a chance We Live In Time could end up being great, but even then it likely wouldn’t be A24’s main contender. 

15. Queer

A Luca Guadagnino film starring Daniel Craig is exciting, but unclear whether it will be something the Academy responds to. Yes, they responded to Call Me By Your Name, but Bones and All was not a contender and Guadagnino’s other 2024 film Challengers doesn’t seem to be positioned as one either, being released in April. If this is more like Call Me By Your Name though, this could definitely be a contender. 

16. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (Warner Bros.)

While Mad Max: Fury Road was a major Oscar contender, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a prequel and seems to be Warner Bros’s third priority. However, people are excited about the trailer and the film is debuting at Cannes. If the reception is incredible and Joker: Folie à Deux’s reception isn’t, this could definitely squeeze into the race. Regardless, the film will likely be a player in the technical categories.

17. Gladiator 2 (Paramount)

The sequel to the Best Picture-winning Gladiator starring Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal & Joseph Quinn seems like it would definitely be a contender, but Ridley Scott has been hit-or-miss lately. It has potential for sure, but it’s too risky to predict anything other than the technical categories.

18. A Real Pain (Searchlight)

This premiered at Sundance and was purchased by Searchlight, who gave it a solid October release date. Jesse Eisenberg and Kieran Culkin star, and Culkin definitely seems like a potential acting nominee for the film. 

19. Here (Sony)

A new film from Robert Zemeckis will always be a question mark, and this one from legendary writer Eric Roth and starring Tom Hanks is no exception. The film takes place in a single room and covers events spanning all of its history, which sounds like it could either be interesting or a total mess. The film received a November release date though, so it’s definitely one to look out for.

20. Anora (Neon)

Sean Baker will likely break into the Best Picture race someday, but Anora is probably not the film that will do it. The film seems more like Red Rocket than it does The Florida Project, which is his only film to ever receive an Oscar nomination.

Possible Contenders:

21. The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (Searchlight)

22. His Three Daughters (Netflix)

23. Hit Man (Netflix)

24. Civil War (A24)

25. Wicked (Universal)

26. The Actor (NEON)

27. Hard Truths (Bleecker Street)

28. Eden

29. Hedda (Amazon/MGM)

30. Didi (Focus Features)

31. Mother Mary (A24)

32. The Fire Inside (Amazon/MGM)

33. The Collaboration

34. Bird (A24)   

35. Juror No. 2 (Warner Bros)


Rumours, Nightbitch, The Bikeriders, Challengers, The Outrun, A Different Man, Fancy Dance, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Emmanuelle, The Brutalist, Parthenope, Exhibiting Forgiveness, Horizon: An American Saga, Twisters, Mufasa: The Lion King

Probably Not Coming Out This Year But Would Be A Contender If They Did:

Mickey 17, The History of Sound, Guillermo Del Toro’s Frankenstein, Untitled Noah Baumbach Movie, A Complete Unknown, SNL 1975, Ella McCay, The Room Next Door, The Way of the Wind, Polaris, Eleanor the Great

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