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The Oscar Predictions of 2020
Who do you think will win at the Oscars?
Who do you think will win at the Oscars?

While it may seem that 2019 was a little short of titles to make for a wide range competition, but it hasn't really taken off much of the heat for the contenders.

Despite looking like there are only a handful of movies to pay attention to, you may be surprised when the winnings are scattered a bit based on the signs we have seen.


So, as we prepare ourselves for another night of back-patting, historical makings and a few unexpected surprises, here's our predictions of the winners for the 92nd Academy Awards taking place this Monday (20 Feb 2020) morning.

Best Production Design

The Nominees:

1. The Irishman
2. Jojo Rabbit
3. 1917
4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
5. Parasite

While every film nominated in this category had displayed impressive levels of production and set design, the three frontrunners here have used it to give their film another narrative layer. The first is "1917" which designed its trenches as a narrative railroad to take us through its one-track journey that added this category to its BAFTA haul. However, where "1917" failed to impress was in the Art Directors Guild Awards which gave their highest honours to "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and "Parasite". While technically not an important craft category for these frontrunners to increase their chances for Best Picture, we are pinning that "Parasite" takes this, not only to be the first Korean movie to take this award, but so that others will start to take notice in the subtlety of production design in reinforcing the themes of a film.

The Winner: "Parasite"

Best Costume

The Nominees:

1. The Irishman
2. Jojo Rabbit
3. Joker
4. Little Women
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

This year's competition goes back to the time period for the elaborate costumes. While the BAFTA went to the American Civil War dresses of "Little Women", the Costume Design Guild has given their honorary award to the bright dresses, grey suits, and flamboyant Nazi uniforms of "Jojo Rabbit". For that, we are going for "Jojo Rabbit" for showing some versatility that voters may vote on.

The Winner: "Jojo Rabbit"

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Nominees:

1. Bombshell
2. Joker
3. Judy
4. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
5. 1917

While this category has filled up its 5-contender spot, we don't see it making much of a difference on who would take it. With a BAFTA win and also taking another from the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, this would drop a bomb if "Bombshell" were to lose in what could be the only awards they will be seeing on Oscar night.

The Winner: "Bombshell"

Best Sound Mixing

The Nominees:

1. Ad Astra
2. Ford v Ferrari
3. First Joker
4. 1917
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

With "Ad Astra" being the only non-Best Picture nominee to contend for this award, this could have belonged to "1917" which won the ambiguous Best Sound award at the BAFTAs. But we don't think that would help "1917" in their Best Picture race, so we think "Ford v Ferrari" taking this after winning it at the Cinema Audio Society holds more weight.

The Winner: "Ford v Ferrari"

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees:

1. Avengers: Endgame
2. The Irishman
3. The Lion King
4. 1917
5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

With the contenders here have demonstrated visual effects from the subtle to the spectacular, it may be hard to pinpoint where the voters' needle would be on the spectrum. With tour-de-force effects in "Avengers: Endgame" and "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", and the hidden effects at work in "The Irishman" and "1917" (which took another BAFTA), the Visual Effects Society has gone with "The Lion King" in an odd celebration of where visual effects are at.

The Winner: "The Lion King"

Best Original Score

The Nominees:

1. Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker)
2. Alexandre Desplat (Little Women)
3. Randy Newman (Marriage Story)
4. Thomas Newman (1917)
5. John Williams (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

In a category with Academy veterans such as Alexandre Desplat and John Williams, it may be hard for the new names on this list to be noticed. However, if all the signs are true, things are actually very positive for Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir to repeat her win at BAFTA and the Golden Globes. This could potentially make her the first woman to ever win this award on her own (1983's win by Marilyman Bergman for "Yeti was shared).

The Winner: Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker)

Best Original Song

The Nominees:

1. I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away (Toy Story 4)
2. (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again (Rocketman)
3. I'm Standing With You (Breakthrough)
4. Into the Unknown (Frozen II)
5. Stand Up (Harriet)

Despite seeing a few musicals (yes, including the dreadful "Cats"), you would think that would be more smashing hits in the nominees. With "Into the Unknown" from a "Frozen" sequel not turning into the ear worm its predecessor was, we think that leaves room for an Elton John original in "Rocketman" to sweep the competition as it did in the Golden Globes, but this is still anyone's playing field.

The Winner: (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again (Rocketman)

Best Film Editing

The Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari
2. The Irishman
3. Jojo Rabbit
4. Joker
5. Parasite

Another year that sees three different Best Picture nominees having a shot at this award. BAFTA gave their editing award to "Ford v Ferrari", but the American Cinema Editors have awarded "Jojo Rabbit" and "Parasite". As an indicator category for Best Picture, we think a win here for "Parasite" would have a greater impact, but Waititi's editing collaborator has done some magnificent cutting work to cushion "Jojo Rabbit"'s lose for Best Picture.

The Winner: "Jojo Rabbit"

Best International Film

The Nominees:

1. Parasite (South Korea)
2. Corpus Christi (Poland)
3. Honeyland (North Macedonia)
4. Les Misérables (France)
5. Pain and Glory (Spain)

Despite a strong lineup in another historical configuration of having nominees here that is also in the running for Best Picture and Best Documentary Feature, no one has stopped talking about Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" since it won the Palm d'Or. The real question is: will this be another repeat of last year's "Roma" that wasn't able to reach its final destination for Best Picture?

The Winner: "Parasite"

Best Documentary

The Nominees:

1. American Factory
2. The Cave
3. The Edge of Democracy
4. For Sama
5. Honeyland

It has been another fascinating year in the field of documentary features in 2019. Not only were there two documentaries from Netflix, there were also two that centered on the Syrian conflict. Also, not forgetting the Sundance hit to become the first documentary to also be nominated for Best International Film. Despite this historical year for the category, there can only be one winner. Looking at the score card from BAFTA and the International Documentary Association, the favour is blowing in the way of "For Sama", but even an outlier like "American Factory" wouldn't come as a surprise for their win at the Directors Guild of America.

The Winner: "For Sama"

Best Cinematography

The Nominees:

1. Rodrigo Prieto (The Irishman)
2. Lawrence Sher (Joker)
3. Jarin Blaschke (The Lighthouse)
4. Roger Deakins (1917)
5. Robert Richardson (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

After ending his curse in 2018, Roger Deakins may go on to be the Meryl Streep of the Cinematography branch for years to come. Although everyone on this list has done some of the more solid work of 2019, Roger Deakin's planning and execution for "1917" has proven to be the exception and has been its main strength on its way to Best Picture. It would be a surprising upset if Deakins doesn't get his second Oscar, especially when it has been agreed by the BAFTA and the American Society of Cinematographers.

The Winner: Roger Deakins, "1917"

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees:

1. Knives Out
2. Marriage Story
3. 1917
4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
5. Parasite

Despite a year that produced the written works of "Knives Out" and "Marriage Story", it is both strange and relieving that the race for this category is between two scripts written in different languages. Although "1917"'s nod here appears mostly ceremonial for it to stand a chance for Best Picture, the real fight is between the works of writer-directors Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon-ho. While Tarantino won the more popular Golden Globes, Bong and Han Jin Won walked home with the more indicative BAFTA. While it doesn't say much, but "Parasite" was the only nominee here to also score at the Writer Guild of America, which might be the edge it needs against "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood".

The Winner: "Parasite"

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees:

1. The Irishman
2. Jojo Rabbit
3. Joker
4. Little Women
5. The Two Popes

With the Golden Globes only awarding one screenplay (that went to Tarantino's original work), it would seem most of the contenders are left in the cold as who would win. So, with only the BAFTA and the Writers Guild of America left, it seems unanimous that "Jojo Rabbit" would be taking this Oscar.

The Winner: "Jojo Rabbit"

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees:

1. How to Train Your Dragon 3
2. I Lost My Body
3. Klaus
4. Missing Link
5. Toy Story 4

Another category that has shown the Netflix flex with two entries here, coming up against the traditional giants of Disney, Dreamwork and Laika. Winnings of these contenders have been sporadic among the awards with the stop-motion "Missing Link" taking the Golden Globes and the Visual Effects Society. On the other hand, Pixar's "Toy Story 4" has little to show for in the major awards, but it won at the American Cinema Editors and an all-important win at the Producers Guild of America which could be a done deal. The real curiosity is how would Netflix come out of this, with the hand-drawn "Klaus" winning the competition at BAFTA, but together with "I Lost My Body" coming out top at the Annie's, a strong indicator for this category. Regardless of who comes out on top, this is a place to certainly expect an upset, depending on who you are rooting for.

The Winner: "Klaus"

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominee:

1. Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell)
2. Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
3. Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
4. Florence Pugh (Little Women)
5. Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

In a year about divorce, sexual harassment and women empowerment, the actress race should be one that has a lot going on. Between a breakout year for Florence Pugh (watch her from this year on) and a double nomination for Scarlett Johansson, it is still about the actress that gave the best performance. For that, Laura Dern has been nigh unstoppable especially after that monologue of absent husbands in "Marriage Story". We don't see any real reason why Dern would be denied for her first Academy (after 3 nominations) after collecting her BAFTA, Golden Globes and SAG.

The Winner: Laura Dern from "Marriage Story"

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees:

1. Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
2. Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes)
3. Al Pacino (The Irishman)
4. Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
5. Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

It's been a while since we've seen so many veterans on this field. Although everyone here is an Oscar winner, there is one person here who actually hasn't won it for acting. This year is going to be Brad Pitt's year to finally get that acting trophy, and like Dern, he was not denied by the BAFTA, Golden Globes, and SAG.

The Winner: Brad Pitt from "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Best Actress

The Nominee:

1. Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
2. Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
3. Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)
4. Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
5. Renée Zellweger (Judy)

While there were a few high profile women-centered films and performances, we shouldn't forget about the contenders here that did not get mainstream attention. One of them is "Judy" with Renée Zellweger taking us through the last days of the timeless Judy Garland, based on the Tony-nominated play. It might be a shame that we won't get to see it by the time the Oscars are over, but once Zellweger picks up her Oscar after the BAFTA, Golden Globes, and SAG, we would get to see it in our cinemas soon.

The Winner: Renée Zellweger from "Judy"

Best Actor

The Nominee:

1. Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory)
2. Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
3. Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
4. Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
5. Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

If there was one consistent struggle the men in this category had to go through was ruin. Antonia Banderas had to fight through his ailing health and creativity for "Pain and Glory", DiCaprio for his stardom in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", Driver for his marriage, and Pryce for his service as cardinal. However, the worst of the lot was Joaquin Phoenix's crumbling sanity as he is slowly taken apart as a comedian, a caretaker and a victim of capitalism. However, much like the last time the character Joker entered the Oscars, Phoenix's rendition of the character has paved a clear path to victory at the BAFTA, Golden Globes, SAG and now Phoenix's first Oscar.

The Winner: Joaquin Phoenix from "Joker"

Best Director

The Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)
2. Todd Phillips (Joker)
3. Sam Mendes (1917)
4. Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
5. Bong Joon-ho (Parasite)

As a shorter version of the Best Picture list, this is the all-important indicating category to see who will win Best Picture or won't. While Sam Mendes has safely won this category at BAFTA, Golden Globes and the Directors Guild of America that makes it a sure win for him, we hope this won't be the end of the line for Mendes when Best Picture is announced.

The Winner: Sam Mendes

Best Picture

The Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari
2. The Irishman
3. Jojo Rabbit
4. Joker
5. Little Women
6. Marriage Story
7. 1917
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
9. Parasite

After including every notable movie of 2019 and still having room to spare, it might be indicative of what a year it has been. While it seems that the competition is going to be crowded, the awards circuit have finally drilled down to the two frontrunners; "1917" and "Parasite". While "Parasite" has been the talk of the town, it doesn't have much in the major awards to back it up. Meanwhile, "1917" has already picked up the BAFTA, Golden Globes and the strong indicator PGA as Best Picture. But as always, the Best Picture winner isn't necessarily the best picture thanks to preferential voting (which worked in the favour of last year's "Green Book"), so who could swoop in from second place? Based on the nominations, it might belong to "Joker" and "The Irishman" with the right amount of nomination in the major indicator categories. So if either of them are able to pull any major upsets in the categories they are competing (we are not saying they won't), we might need to prepare ourselves for living in a reality we didn't imagine.

The Winner: "1917"


Cinema Online, 08 February 2020

Related Movies
Parasite (Korean) (15 Aug 2019)
1917 (16 Jan 2020)
Little Women (13 Feb 2020)
Joker (03 Oct 2019)
Ad Astra (19 Sep 2019)
Ford v Ferrari (14 Nov 2019)
Avengers: Endgame (24 Apr 2019)
The Lion King (17 Jul 2019)
Rocketman (25 Jul 2019)
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