Entertainment

Blugger’s 2020 Oscar Predictions

Hey, everyone, it’s that time of year again where we bet money on people winning meaningless trophies!  I’m kidding, I love watching the Oscars every year and pretty much most other film award shows, but the Oscars are like the Super Bowl of movies!  I watched a lot of movies in 2019, and my hope is to accurately predict as much of these awards as I can.  Last year, I correctly predicted 14 out of the 24 awards, and in 2018, I correctly predicted 17 out of the 24 awards.  I’m obviously not the best at these, but still, they’re super fun to do!

As usual, I’m going to do do a “will win” and “should win” selection as well as some brief thoughts as to why.

The 2020 92nd Academy Awards will happen on February 9 at 8:00 PM EST on ABC.


Lead Actor:

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story” – Should Win
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” –  Will Win
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”

Thoughts: My feelings about Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler not being nominated aside, Joaquin Phoenix is going to win this since he has swept pretty much every award show with his role as Arthur Fleck in “Joker.”  While I love the performance, I just thought Driver had similar theatrics without any of the flamboyance.  His subtle performance in “Marriage Story” is brilliant and genuinely made me feel like this is a guy I can pass by on the street.


Lead Actress:

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story” – Should Win
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy” – Will Win

To be honest, it sucks that the Oscars only give out one award because three of these actresses could easily take the award.  Renee Zellweger has swept every award just like Joaquin did, so I would be very surprised if someone other than her wins.  It is 100% deserved though because she literally becomes Judy Garland in this movie.  ScarJo in my opinion should win for the same reason I think Adam Driver should win: she just seems so real.  Also, Saoirse Ronan’s performance in Little Women is phenomenal as she just runs the gamut of emotional acting throughout.


Supporting Actor:

Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” – Will Win/Should Win

Thoughts: Dare I say, Robert Downey Jr. was robbed of a nomination and .  Had he been nominated, I actually think he would’ve won.  While I don’t like “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” I still think Pitt’s performance as Cliff Booth is actually really good.


Supporting Actress:

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story” – Will Win/Should Win
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Thoughts – Laura Dern as swept every award for this so far so she’s going to win, and it’s 100% deserved.  She’s had an insane year so this Oscar is a win for all her work this year.


Animated Feature:

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” Dean DeBlois
“I Lost My Body,” Jeremy Clapin
“Klaus,” Sergio Pablos
“Missing Link,” Chris Butler
“Toy Story 4,”  Josh Cooley – Will Win/Should Win

Thoughts: Considering the box office results, this is a surefire win.


Animated Short:

“Dcera,” Daria Kashcheeva
“Hair Love,” Matthew A. Cherry – Will Win/Should Win
“Kitbull,” Rosana Sullivan
“Memorable,” Bruno Collet
“Sister,” Siqi Song

Thoughts: Hair Love is so adorable, watch it!


Adapted Screenplay:

“The Irishman,” Steven Zaillian
“Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi – Should Win
“Joker,” Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
“Little Women,” Greta Gerwig – Will Win
“The Two Popes,” Anthony McCarten

Thoughts: Had Greta Gerwig been nominated for Best Director, I think she would’ve won, and this would be a maybe win for Taika Waititi, but now they just have to give the award to her.  She did such an incredible job with that movie overall writing and directing it that she has to be recognized.  However, personally for me, Taika Waititi’s script for “Jojo Rabbit” is a miracle that just somehow made some of the worst people in human history funny while also crafting a heartwarming story of a young kid recognizing his own independence.  Also I’m really pissed Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely didn’t get nominated here for “Endgame,” but that’s probably just me.


Original Screenplay:

“Knives Out,” Rian Johnson
“Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach – Should Win
“1917,” Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino – Will Win
“Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han

Thoughts: This is honestly one of the closest categories in this year’s Oscars.  Again, I just don’t get why people love “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” especially the script.  I get why people would like it for the acting and set design and all, but why the script?  Anyways, I’d be super happy if anyone wins this except for Tarantino (don’t worry I still think he’s a genius, I just didn’t understand the movie).  Rian Johnson crafted the best murder mystery in years, “Marriage Story” was apparently glued to its script down to the actors’ facial expressions, “1917” made a 9 mile journey feel like the most terrifying experience ever, and Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” weaves a culturally relevant narrative into a script that feels unnervingly comedic at times and insanely dramatic at other times.


Cinematography:

“The Irishman,” Rodrigo Prieto
“Joker,” Lawrence Sher
“The Lighthouse,” Jarin Blaschke
“1917,” Roger Deakins – Will Win/Should Win
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Robert Richardson

Thoughts: HOW IN THE WORLD DID ROGER DEAKINS FILM THIS!?


Best Documentary Feature:

“American Factory,” Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar – Will Win/Should Win
“The Cave,” Feras Fayyad
“The Edge of Democracy,” Petra Costa
“For Sama,” Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
“Honeyland,” Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov


Best Documentary Short Subject:

“In the Absence,” Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone,” Carol Dysinger – Will Win/Should Win
“Life Overtakes Me,” Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas
“St. Louis Superman,” Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
“Walk Run Cha-Cha,” Laura Nix

Thoughts: I’m sorry I honestly have no clue so I’m just basing this on previous awards.


Best Live Action Short Film:

“Brotherhood,” Meryam Joobeur – Will Win/Should Win
“Nefta Football Club,” Yves Piat
“The Neighbors’ Window,” Marshall Curry
“Saria,” Bryan Buckley
“A Sister,” Delphine Girard

Thoughts: Same thing as documentary short subject.


Best International Feature Film:

“Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa
“Honeyland,” Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
“Les Miserables,” Ladj Ly
“Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodovar
“Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho – Will Win/Should Win

Thoughts: “Parasite” is the juggernaut to beat this season in general, it’s easily going to take this award.


Film Editing:

“Ford v Ferrari,” Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland – Should Win
“The Irishman,” Thelma Schoonmaker – Will Win
“Jojo Rabbit,” Tom Eagles
“Joker,” Jeff Groth
“Parasite,” Jinmo Yang

Thoughts: Why did “1917” not get nominated?  I’ve heard the argument that it’s because the movie is made to look like one shot and that’s a cinematography achievement, but it’s also an editing achievement because the editor had to stitch those scenes together flawlessly.  Anyways, “The Irishman” is over 3 hours long and I feel so bad for longtime Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker for having to scour through and stitch together what I can only imagine is hundreds of hours of footage.  However, my personal choice here is “Ford v Ferrari” for making some of the best racing scenes ever put to movies.


Sound Editing:

“Ford v Ferrari,” Don Sylvester – Should Win
“Joker,” Alan Robert Murray
“1917,” Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate – Will Win
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Wylie Stateman
“Star Wars: The Rise of SkyWalker,” Matthew Wood, David Acord

Thoughts: While 1917 is a sound design masterclass, I actually think Ford v Ferrari’s sound editing completely sold the movie to me.  Every car sounded different and they got a lot of cool fx for it.


Sound Mixing:

“Ad Astra”
“Ford v Ferrari” – Will Win/Should Win
“Joker”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Thoughts: Getting the effects was the first part, but actually mixing them into the movie made it sound amazing.


Production Design:

“The Irishman,” Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
“Jojo Rabbit,” Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova
“1917,” Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales – Should Win
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh – Will Win/Should Win
“Parasite,” Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee

Thoughts: I’m pissed Little Women wasn’t nominated for this, but I have to give it to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for this.  That whole movie is production design to the max and everything just *is* the 1960s.


Original Score:

“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir – Will Win/Should Win
“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
“1917,” Thomas Newman
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams

Thoughts: Hildur Guðnadóttir’s soundtrack for Joker is haunting and should be recognized.  Plus, she’s swept every award in this category leading up to the Oscars.


Original Song:

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” “Rocketman” – Will Win/Should Win
“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen 2”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”

Thoughts: This song turned Rocketman into the memorable movie it is, and I’d love to see Elton John be on stage.


Makeup and Hair:

“Bombshell” – Will Win/Should Win
“Joker”
“Judy”
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
“1917”

Thoughts: I liked Bombshell.  It wasn’t extraordinary or anything, but one thing that was incredible was the hair and makeup design for Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly.


Costume Design:

”The Irishman,” Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson
“Jojo Rabbit,” Mayes C. Rubeo
“Joker,” Mark Bridges
“Little Women,” Jacqueline Durran – Should Win
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Arianne Phillips – Will Win

Thoughts: Sorry, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is production design *and* costume design.  However, I think Little Women’s costume design must have been really hard to get right because each of the four March sisters have distinct costumes.


Visual Effects:

“Avengers Endgame” – Should Win
“The Irishman”
“1917” – Will Win
“The Lion King”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Thoughts: Oscar voters are gonna be like omg 1917 is the best movie here so let’s ignore the groundbreaking VFX in Endgame and give it to 1917.


Director:

Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
Sam Mendes, “1917” – Will Win/Should Win
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Thoughts: What about 1917 hasn’t been said yet?  Sam Mendes turned in his best directorial work ever with this movie, and he’s swept almost every award for it.  Personally I think this is a 4-way tossup between all of these directors except Phillips, but Mendes has won several important awards like the Golden Globe and the DGA.


Best Picture:

“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story” – Should Win
“1917” – Will Win
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Thoughts: Sam Mendes’ made-to-look-like-one-shot war movie is easily my favorite movie about WWI (I guess I would put Wonder Woman in a close second?).  Like seriously, see this on the biggest screen you can, and your mind will be blown.  It’s an ode to courage and never backing down in the face of extreme adversity.  I’ve never been so scared of a battlefield in my whole life.  Even the smallest roadblock in this movie is presented in such a visceral and scary way.  Since we only follow our two leads for the whole movie, there isn’t any typical war movie flashback scene.  There’s literally no time to rest for these characters, but we still learn so much about them through their actions.  I was on the edge of my seat throughout, and I’m so glad I watched this.

That said, Noah Baumbach’s story of a couple going through a divorce is the most heartbreaking love story I’ve ever seen (and I’m not even married).  Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson practically invent acting in this movie, and it’s sad that neither of them are going to win Oscars because they both truly deserve it.  I love this movie so much because nothing is black-and-white.  These are both good people at heart, they just didn’t work together because reasons I don’t want to spoil if you haven’t seen the movie.  It’s on Netflix, if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d highly recommend it as long as you have a box of tissues for your tears.  There’s are three scenes in this movie that absolutely broke me: one each with Adam and Scarlett, and yes, *that* scene – the one that’s been getting clipped on Twitter a billion times.  I’d be really happy if it wins, but 1917 will probably take it and that’s completely fine with me.


Twitter: @MohitPuvvala

Instagram: @MohitPuvvala

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