It’s been postponed by months, moved in part to a train station, and might be missing a fair few nominees due to travel restrictions, but the Academy Awards are finally taking place.

And after a year which has seen cinema releases scrapped and rescheduled, film festivals taking place virtually, and the number of voters increased to be more representative, this is actually going to be one of the most interesting Oscars races in recent memory.

While in the run-up to last year’s awards it was obvious who was going to take home each of the four acting prizes, as the same group – Brad Pitt, Laura Dern, Renee Zellweger and Joaquin Phoenix – had cleaned up at all ceremonies prior, things aren’t so clear cut this year.

So if you’re in the market for tips ahead of filling out your Oscars ballot then look no further, as the team behind Sky News’ film and TV podcast Backstage has used all its experience and knowledge (plus a large amount of guess work) to give you the following predictions…

Animated Feature

Jamie Foxx's character in Soul. Pic: Disney +
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Soul has already received several awards so far this year. Pic: Disney +
  • Onward
  • Over The Moon
  • A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
  • Soul
  • Wolfwalkers

While we’d like to give honourable mentions to British nominee A Shaun The Sheep Move: Farmageddon and the fabulous and original Wolfwalkers, this one’s an easy one: Soul has got this award sewn up. The first ever Pixar film to feature an African-American protagonist, the film tells the story of a jazz musician on the verge of his big break.

Touching, poignant and with an exploration of the existential, Soul might not be on many youngsters’ favourite film lists but it’s proved a big hit with the grown-ups and become an awards juggernaut this year, sweeping up gongs throughout the season.

Adapted Screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Pic: Amazon Studios/ AP
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Could Borat become an Oscar winner? Pic: Amazon Studios/ AP
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • The Father
  • Nomadland
  • One Night In Miami
  • The White Tiger

You might be wondering what great literary work Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is based on, but here’s a fun Oscars fact: sequels are always eligible for the adapted screenplay category, rather than original. So that’s why it’s here. We think this is Sacha Baron Cohen‘s best chance of making an Oscars acceptance speech, though he is also in the running for best supporting actor.

The spoof film has been steadily winning awards this year, with voters wanting to reward Baron Cohen and his team’s skewering of political figures. Plus, he brings a star quality to the category that might well weigh in his favour when it comes to undecided Academy members filling out their ballots.

Original Screenplay

Writer/director Emerald Fennell, left, and actress Carey Mulligan promote their film Promising Young Woman during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January 2020. Pic: AP
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Promising Young Woman’s writer and director Emerald Fennell (left) and star Carey Mulligan. Pic: AP
  • Judas And The Black Messiah
  • Minari
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound Of Metal
  • The Trial Of The Chicago 7

This is a tough one to call. Academy voters might plump for Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial