Oscars 2020: Our Predictions for the Big Winners This Year

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The 92nd Academy Awards are almost here.

This year, Hollywood has again shown its true colours by ignoring diversity, shutting out female directors, and nominating oh-so-white people. On the bright side, a Korean film has major footprints, and a streaming service has topped the nominations.

Now, getting down to business, let’s see who are slated to win on the big night.

BEST PICTURE

Nominees:

  • Ford v Ferrari

  • The Irishman

  • Jojo Rabbit

  • Joker

  • Little Women

  • Marriage Story

  • 1917

  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

  • Parasite

A still from <i>1917</i>.
A still from 1917.

Winner: In the past few years, Best Picture and Best Director categories have been splitting the victors, barring a few exceptions. This year, 1917 seems to be the undisputed favourite as far as the top prize is concerned. Mendes’ striving portrait of war poetry has won a garland of important awards: Directors Guild of America (DGA), Producers Guild of America (PGA), Golden Globes and BAFTA among others. It will now add Oscar to its kitty.

Spoiler: Come on, Parasite. Take it!

BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees:

  • Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite

  • Sam Mendes, 1917

  • Todd Phillips, Joker

  • Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

  • Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

A still from <i>1917</i>.
A still from 1917.

Winner: Tarantino never won here, but his chances are very slim this time. The race boils down to Sam Mendes and Bong Joon-Ho. The latter might be a favourite with the critics but the Academy is known to be highly conservative when it comes to rewarding foreign auteurs. The former, on the other hand, has won every award for his ambitious war drama. Hollywood also loves showmanship which 1917 has in abundance. Mendes it is.

Spoiler: It would be a delight if Bong Joon-Ho picks up the golden statue, and opens Academy’s doors of acceptance. In an ideal world, cinema should be borderless, and all great masters should compete here.

BEST ACTOR

Nominees:

  • Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

  • Adam Driver, Marriage Story

  • Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

  • Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Joaquin Phoenix in a still from <i>Joker</i>.
Joaquin Phoenix in a still from Joker.

Winner: Joaquin Phoenix has shown terrific acting chops in the past, but was always ignored by the Academy. But this time, for a vacuous ‘look at me’ performance, the actor has pocketed every award this season, from Screen Actors Guild (SAG) to Golden Globes and even BAFTA. Now we’re waiting for another fiery speech.

Spoiler: Mission impossible.

BEST ACTRESS

Nominees:

  • Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

  • Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

  • Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

  • Renée Zellweger, Judy

  • Charlize Theron, Bombshell

A still from <i>Judy</i>.
A still from Judy.

Winner: Like Phoenix, Renée Zellweger has swept every major award this year with her impressive portrayal of the iconic actor-singer. Academy loves biopics when it comes to acting awards, and this award is largely seen as a compensation for denying Garland a competitive Oscar during her lifetime.

Spoiler: If Academy decides to pull a Colman stunt like last year, it might go to the mighty talented Saoirse Ronan.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Nominees:

  • Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

  • Al Pacino, The Irishman

  • Joe Pesci, The Irishman

  • Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

  • Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A still from <i>Once Upon a Time in Hollywood</i>.
A still from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Winner: Brad Pitt seems to be the consensus since he’s been swimming in awards for his abs-olutely delicious turn as a stuntman.

Spoiler: If Pitt doesn’t make it, it’s a tie between the old-timers of The Irishman.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nominees:

  • Kathy Bates, Richard Jewel

  • Laura Dern, Marriage Story

  • Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

  • Florence Pugh, Little Women

  • Margot Robbie, Bombshell

A still from <i>Marriage Story</i>
A still from Marriage Story

Winner: Florence Pugh deserves kudos for redefining Amy of Little Women, and Scarlett Johansson is having a great year with bloating industry appreciation. But down to the award, Laura Dern has been a shoo-in right from the start.

Spoiler: None.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Nominees:

  • Marriage Story

  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

  • Parasite

  • Knives Out

  • 1917

A still from <i>Parasite.</i>
A still from Parasite.

Winner: The only competition here is between Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and Parasite. Tarantino has won Golden Globes and Critics' Choice, and has won twice in the past for his writing. Bong Joon-ho and his co-writer Han Jin-won, on the other hand, picked up the important nod at Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards. We have a feeling that this is the year of the Korean chuckle.

Spoiler: Since Hollywood loves love letters to its own town, Tarantino might just smile the third time.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Nominees:

  • The Irishman

  • Joker

  • Little Women

  • The Two Popes

  • Jojo Rabbit

A still from <i>Jojo Rabbit</i>.
A still from Jojo Rabbit.

Winner: Jojo Rabbit may have polarised audiences for its sweet-hearted take on the Nazis, but the buzz seems to be in favour of Taika Waititi who also won the WGA and BAFTA.

Spoiler: The ideal choice is Greta Gerwig, for her modernist crisscrossing adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s enduring novel. We would be thrilled, to say the least.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Nominees:

  • The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto

  • Joker, Lawrence Sher

  • The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke

  • 1917, Roger Deakins

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Robert Richardson

Winner: The great Roger Deakins and his all-encompassing camerawork made 1917 appear like a single unbroken shot, making way for an epic, immersive show, which embraces the audience like a virtual-reality apparatus. Academy members are already itching to give Deakins his second salute.

Spoiler: What’s that?

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Nominees:

  • Parasite (South Korea)

  • Pain and Glory (Spain)

  • Honeyland (Macedonia)

  • Corpus Christi (Poland)

  • Les Miserables (France)

Winner: Many capable names, but none got the buzz that the Korean masterpiece on class divide has garnered in America. Time for celebrations in Bong Joon-Ho’s homeland.

Spoiler: No arguments, please.

(The writer is a journalist, a screenwriter, and a content developer who believes in the insanity of words, in print or otherwise. He tweets @RanjibMazumder)

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