'Creed' Oscar Predictions Are Grim, But Could A Last Minute Push Get The Film Some Love?

It's a wonderful time for Oscar — predictions, that is. And what better movie to start with than Creed, the unexpected awards contender from director Ryan Coogler? Creed burst onto the scene with a coveted Thanksgiving Day release, making it appear just in time for Oscar season. Since its release, it's earned a decent amount of Oscar buzz, most notably for Sylvester Stallone, who reprized his iconic role as Rocky Balboa in the Rocky reboot. In the first week following Creed's release, the movie became a surprise critical darling, destined to be the commercial hit that breaks through the Academy's tough (read: traditional and boring) standards on what is considered a film worth winning awards. Less than a month later, the Oscar odds for Creed are looking slimmer and slimmer. But don't count it out just yet — there is still time for Creed to have a resurgence of buzz before the nominations are voted on and announced in January.

Upon its release, Creed seemed on track to ride the wave of good reviews and box office love straight into awards season. Sure, sports movies haven't been overwhelmingly embraced by the Academy in the past — franchise films even less — but Creed had the potential to break tradition. After all, Rocky did the same almost 40 years ago when it was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning three including the Academy Award for Best Picture. Unfortunately, Creed might not get the same warm reception from the Academy this year. After being completely snubbed by the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards, Creed almost certainly will not be flooded with Oscar nominations. Instead, if Oscar nominations mirror the Golden Globes, Creed's only nomination will be one for Best Supporting Actor for Sylvester Stallone.

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If Stallone gets the only nod for Creed, at least everyone can agree it's deserved. "People have a tendency to take his [Stallone's] talent for granted. Because he's so good, he makes you believe he is these characters — Rocky Balboa, Rambo. He's totally not. It's all performance. If people are handing out awards, I think Sly definitely is deserving," Coogler told EW. But what about Coogler himself?

Saying a nomination for Coogler for Best Director is a long shot is like saying I have a good chance of marrying Michael B. Jordan (aka Adonis Creed). It's a stretch, but not impossible, and would be 100% deserved. Without Coogler, a second time director who personally brought his idea for Creed to Stallone years ago, there would be no film to begin with. Not to mention the fact that Coogler managed to revive a franchise by making a distinctly personal film — a feat not easily accomplished by any director, let alone a relative newcomer. Should Coogler not be nominated by the Academy this year, it will be his second snub for as many films. Just two years ago, his first movie, Fruitvale Station, was ignored come Oscar season despite its critical success and a breakout performance by Jordan. It seems members of the Academy are insistent on dragging their heels when it comes to giving Coogler the recognition he deserves.

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It's possible Coogler could receive a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, which Coogler co-wrote with Aaron Covington, but, that too, is a long shot — as is a nomination for Best Actor Michael B. Jordan. Other nods remain in sight, however, with Creed on many shortlists of Oscar predictions for Best Cinematography for Maryse Alberti. And, as strange as it sounds, despite being completely shut out of the majority of categories, it's also possible Creed could nab a Best Picture nomination, becoming this year's Selma. In 2015, Selma was largely considered one of the best films of the year, only to receive two Oscar nominations — one for Best Original Song and one for Best Picture. Could the Academy be gearing up for some repeat weirdness?

As 2015 comes to a close, there's no doubt Creed will find its way onto countless "Best Of 2015" lists. Maybe this extra boost in the media will be enough to make Academy voters think twice before they dismiss Creed altogether.

Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; Giphy (2)