Call it a fool’s errand, but it’s February and that means it’s time to predict who the Academy will reward at the Oscars. One thing about predicting the Oscars – it doesn’t really matter if you’ve seen everything. Sometimes that just gets in the way. I often find myself picking with my heart instead of my brain. If that were the case, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood would win all 10 of the awards it’s up for. But, that’s not going to happen this year. I’m in it to win it, and if you want a helpful guide to win your office, library or family pool, look no further (predicted winners in bold).
Ford v Ferrari
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Strong year and, despite what the Joker haters might say, not a dud among these nominees. This category can basically be split into three groups: (1) Thanks for Playing (Joker, Ford v Ferrari, Little Women) – these have no chance of winning; (2) Long Shots (The Irishman, Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit) – self-explanatory; and (3) the Frontrunners (1917, Parasite, Once Upon a Time). Smart money is on 1917, which won the Golden Globe, PGA, DGA and BAFTA. But, based on the standing ovation its cast received at the SAG Awards and the fact that it’s near-perfect and nobody has anything bad to say about it, I think Parasite will win and become the first foreign language film to take the top prize.
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Todd Phillips, Joker
Sam Mendes, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
I would love for QT to win this. He only has one film left in the tank (he’s reportedly stopping at 10), and Once Upon a Time is his masterpiece. People love Bong, but the second I got out of 1917, I said it was a galactic flex by Sam Mendes. It’s the “most directed” of the bunch. He won the DGA. He’s probably going to win on Oscar night.
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
I just re-watched Marriage Story, and Adam Driver is so damn good in it. Leo gives one of his best performances in Once Upon a Time. But, c’mon, who are we fooling? With a leading 11 nominations for Joker thanks in large part to his commanding performance, Joaquin Phoenix is a shoo-in to win.
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renee Zellweger, Judy
Since Judy premiered on the festival circuit, Zellweger has been the frontrunner. Hard to believe nobody has seriously challenged her. It’s not like Judy is a good movie or anything. But, nobody has really derailed her chances. Scarlett has an outside shot, and Saoirse is certainly deserving, but Zellweger should pick up her second trophy.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishma,
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Will win: Pitt. Should win: Pitt. Who doesn’t want this to happen? He’s never won. Even though he’s in his mid-50s, he’s like the young whipper snapper in this category. He’s amazing in Once Upon a Time in a role tailor made to suit his strengths as an actor. His jokes on the awards circuit have been fantastic. He’ll give a good speech. He deserves it. GIVE IT TO HIM.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
These acting categories are so predictable. Pugh rules, but she’ll be back. Robbie should have been nominated for Once Upon a Time instead. There is no stopping Laura Dern though. She has this in the bag. Will likely be Marriage Story’s one win.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Two Popes
I originally thought Greta Gerwig would take gold for her excellent Little Women script, especially since she wasn’t nominated for director. But, the tide has turned in Jojo Rabbit’s favor lately with its WGA win. If that means Taika Waititi gets an Oscar, good by me! Irishman has an outside chance, but Academy members like to spread the wealth – and I can see Irishman and Little Women being potentially recognized elsewhere. This is Jojo’s only real shot, and most folks seem to like it.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Awesome category. Love all these. Since the Academy probably won’t give QT the directing Oscar, I think they’ll award him here – he’s won this category several times before. I don’t feel too confident about it though. Watch out for Parasite in this category. It’s a strong contender. If it wins Adapted Screenplay, its chances of winning Best Picture (as I’m predicting) just jumped up a notch. Could be a key bellwether.
BEST OF THE REST
ANIMATED FEATURE: Toy Story 4. Not confident. Klaus or I Lost My Body could spoil here.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: 1917. All hail Roger Deakins, the GOAT.
COSTUME DESIGN: Little Women. Here’s where this movie probably wins.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: American Factory. But Honeyland is also nominated for International Film, so it could spoil. For Sama is a strong contender too.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone. Cool title. Sure, why not?
EDITING: Parasite. Another bellwether for a Best Picture win. Irishman has a shot – could be its only one?
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: Parasite. A no-brainer.
MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: Bombshell. Charlize’s Megyn Kelly makeup is tough to beat.
ORIGINAL SCORE: Joker. Close race between this, Marriage Story and 1917.
ORIGINAL SONG: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” – Rocketman. These songs all suck.
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. The scope and breadth of the 1969 design required for this film should beat out Parasite’s cool house and 1917’s war zones.
ANIMATED SHORT: Hair Love. Haven’t seen any of these.
LIVE ACTION SHORT: Brotherhood. Again, haven’t seen ’em.
SOUND EDITING: 1917. Will win one or both of these sound categories. Ford v Ferrari could zoom in to win.
SOUND MIXING: 1917.
VISUAL EFFECTS: 1917. Academy members usually like to go highbrow in this category where possible. Sorry, Avengers.
That’s it! If all goes according to my predictions, then 1917 will win 5, Parasite will win 3 (including the top prize), Once Upon a Time will win 3, Joker will win 2; Little Women, Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit will each win 1, and Irishman and Ford v Ferrari will get blanked. We’ll see.
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