Sunday, January 12, 2020

Oscar Nomination Predictions 2020


It's that time of year again. On Monday January 13th the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce their nominees for the 92nd annual Academy Awards. Since this is my version of football season, I sort of take this stuff seriously, so without further ado I present my 87% fearless Oscar nomination predictions. On with the show...



Best Picture
It’s a pretty strong year for film and I wouldn’t be surprised to see as many as 9 nominees (for the record, there has never been a list of 10 nominees since the Academy changed its rules to allow for between 5-10 nominees). I think the first 7 on here are basically locks. I’d be shocked to see one of them miss. Beyond that it’s really a guessing game. I think Ford v Ferrari has a really solid shot as does Little Women. The Farewell is a little tiny movie and films like that tend to break through when they have a small but passionate fan base. Plus, the Academy’s membership is more diverse and international than ever before. (But still predominately white and male). What are the other possibilities you ask? The Two Popes, Knives Out, Bombshell… I wouldn’t be TOO surprised to see any of those make it in. In the last few years there haven’t been any absolute shock nominees in this category. It’s just must harder to predict the actual winner…

Here are my projected nominees in order of likelihood of being nominated:
“The Irishman”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”
“1917”
“Marriage Story”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Little Women”
“The Farewell”
alternates – Knives Out, The Two Popes, Bombshell

Best Director
People have been underestimating Taika Waititi for far too long. He recently got in at the DGA, and I’m all like, duh. I’ve been saying for the longest time: since Jojo Rabbit won the coveted Audience prize at TIFF, it would surprise everyone and probably win Best Picture. It’s about WWII, is heartfelt, is relevant to today, and has a strong ensemble cast. If that doesn’t scream best picture I don’t know what does. So I think Waititi will sneak in here… if he doesn’t that fifth slot could easily go to Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig, or Todd Phillips. My predicted five is the same lineup as DGA which rarely is a perfect match so one is bound to get bumped.

projected nominees:
Bong Joon Ho “Parasite”
Sam Mendes “1917”
Martin Scorsese “The Irishman”
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Taika Waititi “Jojo Rabbit”
alternates – Todd Phillips “Joker,” Noah Baumbach “Marriage Story”

Best Actor
I also don’t know why people have been underestimating Rocketman’s Taron Egerton. If Rami Malek could WIN there’s not way Taron couldn’t get nominated. His SAG nomination and Globe win has sealed the deal as far as I’m concerned. Robert DeNiro seemed like a lock as soon as The Irishman hit Netflix but he hasn’t showed up in any of the precursor awards except for the Critics Choice Awards (where they have 7 nominees). Another possibility is Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems; he’s very good but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Projected nominees:
Antonio Banderas “Pain and Glory”
Leonardo DiCaprio “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Adam Driver “Marriage Story”
Taron Egerton “Rocketman”
Joaquin Phoenix “Joker”
alternates – Christian Bale “Ford v Ferrari,” Eddie Murphy “Dolemite is My Name”

Best Actress
I’m still in deep denial that Lupita Nyong’o - like last year’s Toni Collette - is not quite the frontrunner most thought she would be. However, I actually think she has a pretty decent shot. If she doesn’t get in, she was definitely 6th. I also think the Academy’s push for more diversity certainly helps her cause. I could see her slot or Cynthia Erivo’s slot going to Awkwafina which would also be another deserving and diverse choice. Saoirse Ronan could easily land in here as well, but I feel like Little Women in general hasn’t made much of a big splash this award season. I’m pretty sure Renee and Scarlett are locks however.

Projected nominees:
Cynthia Erivo “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson “Marriage Story”
Lupita Nyong’o “Us”
Charlize Theron “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger “Judy”
alternates – Awkwafina “The Farewell,” “Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Best Supporting Actor
It feels like anything can happen in the supporting category and I feel like there could be a fun surprise or two. The only one who feels like a total lock is Brad Pitt and everyone else sort of feel like placeholders. Tom Hanks is not knew to the shocking snub, see “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Captain Phillips.” Can you believe that Tom Hanks hasn’t been nominated since 2000’s “Cast Away”?? Having said that I’d be a little surprised to see him not show up here, along with two other Oscar winning veterans, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci who both haven’t been nominated since winning their Oscars in the early 90s. The fifth slot is tricky. Could it go to another veteran like Anthony Hopkins or a newbie? I’ve been holding out for a long time for Willem Dafoe in “The Lighthouse” but his lack of precursor nominations is telling. Besides is “The Lighthouse” the type of movie that the Academy is even watching? So I’m gonna go with Song Kang Ho in “Parasite” a film that everyone is seeing and it feels like it has to get an acting nomination somewhere.

Projected nominees:
Brad Pitt “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Tom Hanks “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Song Kang Ho “Parasite”
Al Pacino “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci “The Irishman”
alternates – Willem Dafoe “The Lighthouse,” Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”


Best Supporting Actress
Like I said, there are always surprising in these supporting categories and I wonder if I can sense a snub coming? Jennifer Lopez has long be a frontrunner for her charismatic work in Hustlers but I wonder if the subject matter will work against her. She wasn’t nominated at BAFTA which worries me. Having said that, she’s still a pretty strong contender, as is frontrunner to win Laura Dern. Scarlett looks to earn double bids, though she’s less likely to show up here. I think Zhao Shuzhen and Margot Robbie are pretty likely. When it comes to Robbie which film will she even be nominated for? Many predicted her small part in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” would nab her a nom but then Bombshell came along. I almost wonder if she could end up canceling herself out. The BAFTAs nominated her TWICE but that’s against the Academy’s rules. Florence Pugh could get in but got left out at SAG. Also, never underestimate Academy alumni Annette Bening (The Report) or Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell).

Projected nominees:
Laura Dern “Marriage Story”
Scarlett Johansson “Jojo Rabbit”
Jennifer Lopez “Hustlers”
Margot Robbie “Bombshell”
Zhao Shuzhen “The Farewell”
alternate - Florence Pugh “Little Women,” Lee Jung Eun “Parasite

Best Adapted Screenplay
I’m pretty confident with 4 of these picks. The fifth slot is a race between two films about two men having conversations: “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and “The Two Popes.” Flip a coin really. Besides these 6 I’d be kinda surprised to see anything else make it in. This has definitely been a stronger year for original screenplays.

Projected nominees:
Steve Zaillian “The Irishman”
Taika Waititi “Jojo Rabbit”
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver “Joker”
Greta Gerwig “Little Women”
Anthony McCarten “The Two Popes”
alternate - “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Best Original Screenplay
There’s usually a really witty funny comedy in this category, but I think this year the more prestigious and serious movies will bump out the more “fun” ones. In any other year Knives Out and Booksmart would be shoo-ins here, but foreign language movies do surpringsly well in the screenplay categories. Rian Johnson has been snubbed before, hello Looper, but maybe the Academy will accept his clever murder mystery. If it misses here on nomination morning, don’t expect it in Best Picture.

Projected nominees:
Lulu Wang “The Farewell”
Noah Baumbach “Marriage Story”
Quentin Tarantino “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Pedro Almodovar “Pain and Glory”
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won “Parasite”
alternates - “Knives Out,” “Booksmart”

Best Animated Feature
I’m preparing for a major snub in this category since it happens every year. The funny thing is I could really care less about this category this year. I haven’t even seen any of the potential nominees. Well I saw half of Toy Story 4. Is the Academy really going to nominate three sequels? We shall see.

Projected nominees:
“Frozen II”
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body”
“Missing Link”
“Toy Story 4”
alternate - “Abominable”

Best Cinematography
I feel like The Lighthouse has to get in here. But I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out who to kick out. I don’t know if “The Irishman” is as visually dazzling as some of Martin Scrosese’s other recent works and I’d be surprised to see many of the potential nominees left out. Ford v Ferrari doesn’t feel like a lock, but I think the degree of difficulty in those racing scenes will push it through. A snub for DP legends Roger Deakins or Robert Richardson would be criminal. I could also see Parasite pushing another frontrunner out, but who??

projected nominees:
Roger Deakins “1917”
Phedon Papamichael “Ford v Ferrari”
Lawrence Sher “Joker”
Jarin Blaschke “The Lighthouse”
Robert Richardson “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
alternates - “The Irishman,” “Parasite”

and the rest:

Best Costume Design
“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Little Women”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Rocketman”
alternates – “Downton Abbey,” “Joker”

Best Documentary Feature
“American Factory”
“Apollo 11”
“For Sama”
“Honeyland”
“One Child Nation”
alternate - “The Cave”

Best Film Editing
“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”
alternates - “1917,” “Marriage Story”

Best International Film
“Atlantics” (Senegal)
“Les Miserables” (France)
“Pain and Glory” (Spain)
“The Painted Bird” (Czech Republic)
“Parasite” (South Korea)
alternate - “Honeyland” (“North Macedonia”)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Bombshell”
“Joker”
“Judy”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Rocketman”
alternates - “Dolemite Is My Name””Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

Best Production Design
“1917”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Little Women”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
alternate - “Parsite,” “Joker”

Best Original Score
Thomas Newman “1917”
Hildur Guðnadóttir “Joker”
Alexandre Desplat “Little Women”
Randy Newman “Marriage Story”
Michael Abels “Us”
alternates – Michael Giacchino “Jojo Rabbit,” John Williams “Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker”

Best Original Song
“Into the Unknown” (Frozen 2)
“Stand Up” (Harriet)
“Spirit” (The Lion King)
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Rocketman)
“Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” (Wild Rose)
alternates - “Speechless” (Aladdin), A Glass of Soju (Parasiste)

Best Sound Editing
“1917”
“Ad Astra”
“Avengers: Endgame”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker”
alternates - “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Joker”

Best Sound Mixing
“1917”
“Ad Astra”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Rocketman”
“Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker”
alternates - “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Avengers: Endgame”

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Irishman”
“The Lion King”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
“Terminator: Dark Fate”
alternates- “1917,” “Alita: Battle Angel”

Best Animated Short
“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“Kitbull”
“The Physics of Sorrow”
“Sister”

Best Documentary Short Subject
“After Maria”
“Fire in Paradise”
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)”
“Stay Close”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

Best Live Action Short
“Brotherhood”
“Little Hands”
“The Neighbors’ Window”
“Refugee”
“A Sister”