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Preliminary 2019 Academy Awards Predictions

Movie list created by BradWesley123 Avatar

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Best Picture

People who added this item 265 Average listal rating (174 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
The Irishman (2019)

1.

Guaranteed a nomination, and the early frontunner.

2.

Another critically heralded lock for a nomination. Probably too niche to win, but distinct works have done well this decade.

3.

Another lock. While it was strongly reviewed, and had exceptional box office, this is in mainly because it's a Hollywood fairy tale; i.e. could make a genuine run at the prize.

4.

It was the last major player to screen, and it's already proving to be a critical lightning rod. Great reviews, with an Oscar-winning director, legendary subject matter, and major appeal in every department, make this a major player. Could even become the favorite.

5.

Roma kicked the door in last year, winning two major competitive awards (no offense to the International category, but that was guaranteed) including Best Director. With that in mind, and also taking into account the image of inclusivity that the film industry is trying to present, I'd say that non-English language films are going to start making major impacts here. While I'm not sure that this one is going to have Roma's heat, it's got ecstatic reviews and great box office; probably in.

6.

Reviews are exceedingly strong for Gerwig's Lady Bird follow-up. She broke out big with that one, and now she's back with another well-liked charmer. It's the kind of film that can draw older and younger voters alike; modernist enough to impress younger voters, while still doing justice to it's classic story for older ones. It's not quite a lock for a nomination just yet, though. I could see it slipping if voters like it (i.e. show's up in a lot of below-the-line categories), but don't find it substantive, or "big", enough to compete against some of the other films here. It looks pretty strong for now, though. SAG and DGA support would go a long way with this one (SAG's probably a shoe-in; if the directors go for it, that might be the clincher).

7.

It won the TIFF Audience Award, so it's most likely in for a nomination. I'm just not sure it's a lock, at least not yet. If it picks up the expected guild nods, then sure, but there's a coolness to the reception of this one that concerns me. Sure, Green Book didn't receive earth shattering praise, but it was one that was, naturally, going to play to a broad audience. While that'll be the case here, a Holocaust satire is not something that'll get the broad support of an interracial friendship in the 1960s South.

8.

After the success of Bohemian Rhapsody last year, I'd say you're likely to see, at the very least, one major populist pick going forward in this category. This year, there's no question that it's Joker. While the response wasn't universally positive, it's a movie that generated strong reactions on both sides, and provoked a lot of conversation; something that voters surely take note of. Plus, it's got the Best Actor favorite carrying the film, something that has propelled countless films to BP noms (only three times in the past twenty years has the Best Actor winner's film not been nominated here, and only once since the category expanded in 2009). Looking solid.

9.

Truthfully, this one is more for covering the bases. More than any other year in the past decade, I'm not sure this category is going to have a wide list (I wouldn't be surprised to see seven this time out, if not six). That said, voting patterns, being what they are, are scattered, with many groups going hard for certain films. Most of the films above will find support in several of these groups. While Ford v. Ferrari could too, I think it's main base will be older voters, particularly male (and white), who enjoy the film for it's classic filmmaking and storytelling; big name leads, technical thrills, sprawling old-school entertainment. It's a type of film that never goes out of style for the academy, and it's box office success will certainly aid it. Right now, it looks like the ninth man; it'll look strong if it can score PGA nod, even stronger if it can surprise with DGA, SAG or WGA.

Other Possibilities


10.

This one is just howling for accolades. It's a caustic, timely #MeToo story featuring celebrities playing celebrities; baity as baity gets. So then, why isn't this one seeming to catch on? There are a couple categories down the line that it's sure to pop up in, keep reading, but it doesn't seem to be sparking much passion. Is it too expected? Not deep enough? It could be, but I'm going with this; nobody wants to champion a movie that features someone like Megyn Kelly as it's hero. This is Hollywood. I could see it making a run, especially if it can show appeal beyond SAG, but I'm not buying in just yet.

11.

It's a solid nomination contender in a few acting categories, and a major player in Screenplay, but will The Farewell get the support it needs to cross the finish line? A true indie, one with no major stars and buzzy subjects, hasn't cracked this category since, essentially, Room, and it was a surprise after a lackluster season. That film, however, had a bigger impact though, as it had an acting winner as it's star and premiered much later in the season. Farewell is, certainly, the kind of film that could hold over in voters minds, but I just don't think it'll make it.

12.

Is this another party that Clint can crash? While he couldn't do it last year with The Mule, Jewell premiered to strong reviews, with many praising it as his best film since Letters from Iwo Jima over a decade ago. We know he's got the old white guy vote in the bag, the question with this one'll be if it has crossover appeal. If it gains momentum in some acting categories (particularly in a very crowded Actor field) then it may have the legs. It's a genuine unknown thus far.

13.

The Academy loves Pedro Almodóvar, movies about movies, and autobiographical works, and the film has a ton of acclaim behind it. That said, it appears that Parasite has stolen much of it's thunder. While disappointing, it's likely that there's only room for one non-English language film in this category, it that slot looks good and locked in. Could surprise, but it's a longshot.

14.

After strong showings at the Gotham, Independent Spirit and, most shockingly, the National Board of Review Awards, Uncut Gems has emerged as an outside pick. Too early to tell if it's more than a Sandler contender rather than a multi-category player, but if it can score some more major nods (if it could get a PGA nod, I'm calling it in) it might make the cut.
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Best Director

People who added this item 340 Average listal rating (240 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.6
Parasite (2019)

1.

Martin Scorsese- The Irishman
Looking for his second Oscar; guaranteed for a nomination, at the very least.

2.

Quentin Tarantino- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Likely locked in, though it's often easy to overlook Tarantino's filmmaking skill in favor of his screenwriting abilities. Still, the movie's beloved by Hollywood, so he's a very strong contender.

3.

Bong Joon-ho- Parasite
He's in.

4.

Sam Mendes- 1917
The last movie to pull off the one-shot trick was Birdman, which proved lucrative Oscar-wise, including this category. With that in mind, the film's success, technically and storytelling-wise, will be linked overwhelmingly to his vision, which should clinch him his first nomination since winning 20 years ago.

5.

Noah Baumbach- Marriage Story
It's a tough race for spot #5, with, seemingly, two main contenders. Funnily enough, the spot looks to go to one of two spouses; Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Baumbach has never scored a nomination here, but Marriage Story looks to be his biggest contender yet, with near-unanimous praise being showered upon him. Conventionally, he should be the nominee; his film has bigger Oscar prospects. That said, the Academy has been favoring larger-scale efforts in this category over the past few years, and Little Women is likely to be seen as that. Gerwig is, also, a previous nominee here, and this branch likes to reward "their own". I'm getting a bit worried about Little Women though, as it hasn't really caught fire the way I expected it to. So, for the moment, I'll take Baumbach.

Other Possibilities


6.

Greta Gerwig- Little Women


7.

Todd Phillips- Joker
The Globe nom helps, but they rarely go 5-for-5, and the other nominees (Joon-ho, Mendes, Scorsese, Tarantino) are getting in. I expect him to be the odd man out.

8.

Taika Waititi- Jojo Rabbit


9.

Pedro Almodóvar- Pain & Glory
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Best Actress

People who added this item 47 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7
Judy (2019)

1.

Renée Zellweger- Judy
While the male lead side is the strongest it's been in years, lead female performance looks to be a bit less so (at least compared to the all-timers that the past few years have been). In weaker years, there's usually one performance that comes in a owns the category; it appears that Zellweger's doing just that this time out. Combine the legendary biopic subject with Zellweger's own comeback narrative, and she looks damn near-unbeatable.

2.

Scarlett Johansson- Marriage Story
After Zellweger, there are a couple on solid nomination contenders, and a lot of outside possibilities who could benefit from a slight field. Johansson is one of the contenders. Looking for her first nomination, Johansson is getting the best reviews of her career for this one, and the film itself is a major BP contender. While there is some worry that her campaign for Jojo Rabbit could take away from her chance here (she's apparently campaigning for that one more than this), and that Driver outshines her to the point that too much of the focus will be on him, the category's lack of major players this year should clinch it for her.

3.

Charlize Theron- Bombshell
Early word is the Theron gives her best performance since she won for Monster in Bombshell. It's been 14 years since her last nomination, and a role this meaty should score her a nomination. If she wasn't playing Megyn Kelly, she might actually contender for the win (much like Christian Bale last year, voters don't want to reward performers playing controversial subject, they want the inspiring ones).

4.

Saoirse Ronan- Little Women
While the film is one the could go either way, Ronan looks like a solid contender for another nod. Her last go 'round with Gerwig scored her her third nomination, and the role of Jo March is one that has scored here before (Winona Ryder was nominated for it in 95), a role that Ronan has, apparently, knocked out of the park. Not a lock, there are a few women down the line who could catch heat, but if the film does well she's probably in.

5.

Cynthia Erivo- Harriet
The fifth spot has about three solid contenders, and one with an outside shot. Awkwafina has the more prominent film, with The Farewell a solid BP nod contender, among others, and is scoring a plaudits for her dramatic turn; Alfre Woodard has, stunningly, only has one Oscar nod to her name, and is getting some of the best notices of her career for her work in Clemency; Nyong'o's a past winner who gave a towering performance in Us, one that scored her a win with New York critics, and is easily the most visible of performances (it doesn't hurt that Jordan Peele's last movie surprised with an acting nod). With all that in mind though, the Academy loves the shit out of biopics, and Erivo's the only one who's playing a real person, a real historical hero. She's been getting excellent notices for her work here, with most acknowledging that she might've been in contention for the win if the film had been better. This is a tough one, but when in doubt, go for the biopic.

Other Possibilities


6.

Lupita Nyong'o- Us
After a Critics' Choice nod and a stunner of a SAG nomination, Nyong'o is right back in this race. If she can score a BAFTA nod, I'm putting her in the final five.

7.

Awkwafina- The Farewell
A very strong contender who recently won the Gotham Award. If she can win the Golden Globe (in comedy), I may have her in for the final picks. That said, the SAG nod was a big miss.

8.

Alfre Woodard- Clemency
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Best Actor

People who added this item 543 Average listal rating (404 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6
Joker (2019)

1.

Joaquin Phoenix- Joker
He's a lock for a nomination, and is probably the favorite right now. It's close between him and Driver, but the Academy usually goes for the biggest performance which, obviously, Phoenix gives.

2.

Adam Driver- Marriage Story
Could easily win.

3.

Leonardo DiCaprio- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
I originally left him out. I thought that the more comedic-leaning performance would turn off voters looking for "serious" work. After major nominations everywhere he needs them (SAG, Golden Globes, Critics' Choice), it appears that I was wrong. He's done this before and been snubbed, though, as seen with 2011's J. Edgar (he scored nods with all three of those bodies). With that said, that film also didn't have the staying power of this one. If he can score a BAFTA nod too, I think he'll be a tough one to beat.

4.

Antonio Banderas- Pain & Glory
I'd say there are, at least, five major contenders for the last two spots (maybe even three). Of them, I think Banderas is probably in the strongest position. He's getting the best reviews of his career for his turn in Pain & Glory and he's already picked up some major hardware (he won the Cannes Film Festival award for best actor, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle Award). Combine that with a more international voting body this year, and he's looking like a very strong player here (the fact that he's playing a filmmaker certainly doesn't hurt).

5.

Adam Sandler- Uncut Gems
You know what? Fuck it, I'm going for it. After winning the National Board of Review Award, and scoring nomination at the Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards, Sandler is a legitimate threat here. NBR rarely picks the winner, but they have a pretty superb record of signaling future nominees; only four times in the past 20 years have they gone their own way, with one of those years being a tie (2014's award went to Oscar Isaac and Michael Keaton) that still picked an eventual nominee. The fact that the film itself is picking up some surprising steam (Best Director(s) win at NYFCC; NBR winner for Original Screenplay, and a top ten film) only furthers his case. He'll be an outsider for the duration of the season, unless he can actually win something but if, again, the film can actually become a player, he may been a strong bet. This is an incredibly tough one though, and his role doesn't meet the conventional trend here, while others do...

Other Possibilities


6.

Robert De Niro- The Irishman
After major Globe and SAG snubs, it appears the VFX-heaviness of his work in The Irishman is rubbing some voters the wrong way. While I still think the Academy might get his back, it appears that he's the weak link in the film's train.

7.

Eddie Murphy- Dolemite Is My Name
Two SNL vets up for, relatively, dramatic roles? It's certainly possible. Dolemite is seen by most as Murphy's comeback role, and who doesn't love those? He's also getting ecstatic reviews, and playing a real-life figure in a movie about movie making; catnip. He scored a major Globe nod, but I'm not sure about the other precursors. Does the film have the power to stay in voters minds? Can Murphy, somehow, get in alongside other major Netflix contenders De Niro, Driver, even Pryce? I'm inclined to think no at the moment.

8.

Taron Egerton- Rocketman
If Rami Malek hadn't won last year, Egerton would probably be leading this field, and the film itself would probably be a bigger player. But it did, and I think that sense of Deja vu is going to hurt his chances. It doesn't really matter that his performance, and the film itself, are stronger than that four-time winner, people just get burnt out. That said, the SAG nomination is major, as well as the Globe kicker. If he gets a BAFTA nomination, don't be surprised to see him on my final list.

9.

Jonathan Pryce- The Two Popes
An outside player who could catch fire if the movie gets a bigger than expected response. The Two Popes' screenwriter is Anthony McCarten, and his last three scripts (The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour and Bohemian Rhapsody) have all scored their actors Oscars. It's a tougher race this time around though, and I'm uncertain as to how big a player this film is actually going to be. Plus, Netflix has three legitimate contenders above, so their plate is full. A BAFTA nod would not surprise, but I think he need a SAG nod to really contend here. I'm not counting on it.

10.

Christian Bale- Ford v Ferrari
It says a lot about this field that even with Golden Globe and SAG award nominations, I still see Bale as a major underdog. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get in, but I think the guys above have a lot more momentum. Now, watch me be wrong.
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Best Supporting Actor

People who added this item 443 Average listal rating (300 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7

1.

Brad Pitt- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Barring some sort of major upset with precursors, Pitt is your likely winner here.

2.

Al Pacino- The Irishman
Nearly 30 years after winning, it looks like Pacino will finally score another nomination. If it wasn't for Pitt, he may even be the favorite.

3.

Joe Pesci- The Irishman
While not many are completely sold on Pesci's chances, I think he'll be in. Sure, it's rare for a single film to score two nominees here, but few films have Pacino in Pesci in, arguably, career best roles. Pesci's been praised mightily for his work in this one, including scoring a big win with the New York Film Critics' Circle. While they don't match up 100%, they've only missed twice in the past decade, including six straight nominees (from 2013 to 2016 they called the Oscar winner early). Particular note has been given to his coming out of retirement for the part; as mentioned before, everybody loves a comeback.

4.

Tom Hanks- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
It has, somehow, been 19 years since Hanks last nomination. He has, continually, throughout this decade, been snubbed for performances that, in theory, should've scored him nominations; he missed in slight Best Actor years for both Bridge of Spies and The Post, a lay-up legacy nod for Saving Mr. Banks and, stunningly, for what is arguably his finest performance in Captain Phillips. The prevailing theory for these snubs is that he just makes it look too damn easy, so why not go for someone else. While I could still, easily, see that happening, playing Mr. Rogers may just be too hard a role for voters to pass up. It's America's current dad playing America's former dad. Critically the film's had a strong response, but the cool box office gives me pause. I've got him in now, but don't be surprised if he falls off for a "hotter" performance.

5.

Kang-ho Song- Parasite
This fifth spot (hell, this whole damn category) is a bloodbath. Anthony Hopkins is a legend in a movie that, supposedly, has broad appeal, he's playing a real person, and his work has the kind of liveliness that wows in this category; Willem Dafoe's been on a hell of a run the last few years, with two straight nominations, and his work in The Lighthouse is, yet again, drawing praise; Sam Rockwell won here two years ago, was nominated again last year, and is getting praised for the late breaking Richard Jewell; Taika Waititi plays a comedic Hitler in a movie he directed; Sterling K. Brown has scored at every other major awards body, and is now looking to breakthrough at the Oscars with a powerful turn in Waves; Shia LaBeouf is giving a comeback performance as his father in Honey Boy; Alan Alda is Alan Alda in the beloved Marriage Story. Any of those guys could make the cut. In fact, that list is legitimately longer; Jamie Foxx, Tracy Letts, John Lithgow, Wesley Snipes, Daniel Craig (if Lionsgate would make the smart move and campaign him as supporting). Since these are preliminary picks though, I'll go outside the box with Song; he's getting strong reviews, the international vote is growing, and I think a film as respected as this one, a major BP nominee, would have some acting support. I could, and probably am, way off here, but why not?

Other Possibilities


6.

Anthony Hopkins- The Two Popes


7.

Jamie Foxx- Just Mercy
That SAG nod certainly helps his chances. Not sure how the film will play as the season goes on though.

8.

Willem Dafoe- The Lighthouse


9.

Sam Rockwell- Richard Jewell


10.

Taika Waititi- Jojo Rabbit


11.

Alan Alda- Marriage Story


12.

Shia LaBeouf- Honey Boy
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Best Supporting Actress

People who added this item 219 Average listal rating (151 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1

1.

Laura Dern- Marriage Story
Early frontrunner; probable winner.

2.

Jennifer Lopez- Hustlers
After a few cold years, cinematically speaking, Lopez had a hell of a comeback with Hustlers with a commanding performance that owned nearly every scene. If Dern weren't in this race, Lopez may have even been the favorite. If Hustlers can muster up a little more support (adapted screenplay is a possibility, so is editing), she may even have a chance to play spoiler.

3.

Margot Robbie- Bombshell
Outside of Dern and Lopez, this category is in flux. Some movies are picking up steam while others are running out of gas. That said, while Bombshell is looking less and less like a real contender, Robbie is looking rather solid. Her performance is getting rave reviews and, possibly even more importantly, she's also got another contender in this category with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. That would normally lead to vote splitting, but her role is so small in that one that most will, likely, support her for both roles in her Bombshell bid.

4.

Kathy Bates- Richard Jewell
While the film's status is still shifting, Bates's position here is looking stronger by the day. She won the NBR Award, scored a Globe nod, and is a highly respected Oscar winner who hasn't been nominated in 17 years. Actors in Eastwood films have a strong record when in comes to nominations, and her work is being praised as heartbreaking and memorable. Not a lock, by any means, but the stats are solid in her favor.

5.

Zhao Shuzhen- The Farewell
Dern, Lopez and Robbie look pretty strong here, leaving the last two spots up for grabs. Bates feels like she's coming on strong at just the right time, so that leaves about four women to duke it out for this last one; Annette Bening, Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh and Zhao Shuzhen. Bening was the only one to score a Globe nod, while the remaining three were nominated for a Critics' Choice Award. All have great shots but my gut, and heart, say Shuzhen gets in. Bening's very respected, but I'm not sure that The Report has the heat or legs to outlast the films of these other women. Johansson's got two major shots here, for this and Marriage Story in lead. While she's had a strong year, it would be a surprise to see her get two nominations, and she's not missing in lead, so I think voters will want to spread the love (Rabbit's also one that I'm unsure how well it'll do overall). Pugh's been having a breakout year, and she's said to steal the show in Little Women, but I think a lot of voters will want to go for more known women who have, in industry terms, paid they're dues. Kidman scored a surprise SAG nod, but I think that's another that can be chalked up to the Actor's branch loving movies that let performers go big. Shuzhen, in my eyes, really checks all the boxes; standout role, beloved film, older actress, international appeal. Also, it should be noted, she's just so damn delightful in the film, enlivening an already lively film.

Other Possibilities


6.

Scarlett Johansson- Jojo Rabbit


7.

Florence Pugh- Little Women


8.

Nicole Kidman- Bombshell


9.

Annette Bening- The Report
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Best Original Screenplay

People who added this item 74 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
The Farewell (2019)

1.

Noah Baumbach- Marriage Story
Really, the order of #1-3 don't really matter; each are 100% locks and any could win. Hell, maybe even two of them could tie.

2.

Quentin Tarantino- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


3.

Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won- Parasite


4.

Lulu Wang- The Farewell
Not quite a lock, the first three are just such a murderer's row that anything else could gain and/or lose momentum if they're out of a voter's mind for a second (also, women get passed over in favor of male writers all the time), but Wang's personal, humane screenplay should make the cut. The film's got enough support, and this is usually were strong films that aren't quite as hot in the BP race (i.e. beloved indies) can shine.

5.

Rian Johnson- Knives Out
As mentioned above, female writers have a rough history here, especially when there's such strong work also in the running. For the last spot, it's likely coming down to Pedro Almodóvar and Rian Johnson. Almodóvar has won this category before, and Pain & Glory is seen as his best work since winning this award for Talk to Her. Knives Out, however, has the momentum here, having been released later and, ultimately, being the more fun work. Johnson script is just so clever and invigorating, taking a worn-out genre and enlivening it with so much wit that I suspect that many voters will be won over by it's charms. Also of not, Almodóvar's script may have trouble standing out in a field that it, already, so filled with non-English scripts; Parasite's a lock and The Farewell is predominately in Chinese. The last time two non-English films made the cut was the year that Almodóvar won (2002), and the last time that three made it in was 1962; I don't like those odds.

Other Possibilities


6.

Pedro Almodóvar- Pain & Glory


7.

Benny Safdie & Joshua Safdie- Uncut Gems


8.

Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns- 1917


9.

Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman- Booksmart


10.

Jordan Peele- Us
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Best Adapted Screenplay

1.

Steven Zaillian- The Irishman
The winner.

2.

Taika Waititi- Jojo Rabbit
Lock.

3.

Greta Gerwig- Little Women
Lock.

4.

Anthony McCarten- The Two Popes
After those three, things get a bit bare here. There are about four or five movies that have a shot here, and maybe three of those are legit contenders. Of that lot, McCarten's is easily the most likely. He's got Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations, he'll almost certainly score a BAFTA nod, and the film is script-directed; close to a lock.

5.

Todd Phillips & Scott Silver- Joker
The last spot, likely, comes down to A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Hustlers and Joker. Any of them could make the cut, but that isn't exactly a positive; the pickings are so slim that even prominent films with little momentum could crack this field. Neighborhood is the safe pick, but it seems too easy, and Hustlers has yet to make much of an impression outside of JLo's supporting bid. With that in mind, Joker is the only of the three with major prospects. While it's script was, possibly, the most criticized element of the film, this is the same Academy that gave a script Oscar to Green Book last year; sometimes you just need a well-liked film, and voters will fall in line.

Other Possibilities


6.

Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


7.

Lorene Scafaria- Hustlers


8.

Billy Ray- Richard Jewell


9.

Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham- Just Mercy
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Best International Feature

People who added this item 97 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
Pain & Glory (2019)

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Winner.

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Best Animated Feature

People who added this item 329 Average listal rating (197 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.9
Toy Story 4 (2019)

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Best Documentary Feature

People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
Apollo 11 (2019)

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Best Original Score

People who added this item 115 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8
Little Women (2019)

1.

Thomas Newman- 1917
Looking for his 14th nomination, which would tie him for the most nominations all-time without a victory. While I'm not sure he'll finally win for this one, it's a certainty that he'll be nominated...

2.

Randy Newman- Marriage Story

... alongside his cousin Randy. He's a lock for his lovely work in Marriage Story, and a very strong contender for his first score win (he has two for best song).

3.

Alexandre Desplat- Little Women
Desplat's a favorite here, having won twice in the past five years and having been nominated 10 times. His work for Little Women is typically strong and, even if the film loses steam as the season winds on, should score him his 11th nomination.

4.

Hildur Guðnadóttir- Joker
Joker's a movie that requires a foreboding and ominous score. Guðnadóttir achieves this, and then some. It's a dark, hypnotic, chilling piece of work that heightens every scene of the film. She scored a Globe nomination and a Critics' Choice one too (she also won an Emmy for Chernobyl); I think she'll add an Oscar nod to that list.

5.

John Williams- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
When in doubt, go with John Williams. There are a few solid contenders here, but this is Williams' last go 'round in a galaxy far away. He's been nominated for the previous two films in the new trilogy, I see no reason why he wouldn't be for the finale.

Other Possibilities


6.

Alberto Iglesias- Pain & Glory


7.

Michael Giacchino- Jojo Rabbit


8.

Daniel Pemberton- Motherless Brookyln


9.

Nicolas Brittell- The King


10.

Alan Silvestri- Avengers: Endgame
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Best Original Song

People who added this item 111 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Frozen II (2019)

1.

"Into the Unknown"- Frozen II
Probably the winner.

2.

"(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again"- Rocketman
John's a legend, getting to do a song for his own biopic; not a lock, but a strong contender.

3.

"Stand Up"- Harriet
The academy loves an inspirational ode from a predominatly African-American production, and Harriet's "Stand Up" is this year's player from that group. It doesn't hurt that the film's star, Cynthia Erivo, wrote and performs it.

4.

"Spirit"- The Lion King

A song written to be performed at the Oscars. Nothing in the new version comes close to the songs in the original, but this one is a big ballad that would, likely, lure Beyonce to play at the ceremony; probably in.

5.

"I'm Standing with You"- Breakthrough
This is a tough fifth spot. Critically speaking, it should be "Glasgow" from Wild Rose; the film was very well-received, and the song itself a small-scale, yet powerful, ballad, written by a celebrity/previous winner (Mary Steenburgen). Unfortunately, this is a category that likes it's syrupy hits and category favorites. With that in mind, I'm thinking they'll take "I'm Standing with You" from Breakthrough, a song nobody remembers from a movie that no one remembers. It was written by Diane Warren though, and she's been nominated 10; this branch loves her, and is willing to keep putting her in here. There's also that cloying-ass song from Aladdin, a tune from BP contender Parasite, and Thom Yorke's "Daily Battles" from Motherless Brooklyn that I can't make heads or tails of (I could see it in and snubbed, but can't pull the trigger just yet).

Other Possibilities


6.

"Glasgow (No Place Like Home)"- Wild Rose


7.

"Speechless"- Aladdin


8.

"A Glass of Soju"- Parasite


9.

"Daily Battles"- Motherless Brooklyn


10.

"I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away"- Toy Story 4
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Best Cinematography

People who added this item 166 Average listal rating (111 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.5
1917 (2020)

1.

Roger Deakins- 1917
After going decades without winning, it appears that Deakins will end the 2010s with his second win in as many years. In a down year, Deakin's one-shot trick feels like a certain victory.

2.

Robert Richardson- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
While not the Richardson-Tarantino's most memorable visual landscape, Hollywood's retro look, complete with differing film stocks and shooting methods (some contemporary, some 1960s black-and-white), should score Richardson his 10th nomination.

3.

Jarin Blaschke- The Lighthouse
While the film will likely be overlooked in every other category, it would be hard for the academy to ignore the contrast-heavy black-and-white box-screen photography found in The Lighthouse. No lock, but artsy enough to catch even dismissive eyes.

4.

Rodrigo Prieto- The Irishman
Not the most beloved aspect of the beloved film, Prieto's work is still likely to make the cut. It's a thin field, this film's a hit, and the degree of difficulty, capturing multiple eras while, also, dealing with the abundance of visual effects, should net him some more respect.

5.

Lawrence Sher- Joker
While this category often favors the neatest, prettiest works, it's hard to discount how striking the ugliness of Joker is. The harsh lighting, the grubbiness, the colors; while the film proved to be divisive, Sher's work is, likely, the most pointed articulation of what the film is trying to achieve. For that reason, I think Sher skates into a thin field. With that said, however, there are still some solid contenders.

Other Possibilities


6.

Hong Kyung-pyo- Parasite


7.

Phedon Papamichael- Ford v Ferrari


8.

Claire Mathon- Portrait of a Lady on Fire


9.

Jörg Widmer- A Hidden Life


10.

Mihai Mălaimare Jr.- Jojo Rabbit
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Best Costume Design

People who added this item 156 Average listal rating (103 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Rocketman (2019)

1.

Arianne Phillips- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Lock.

2.

Jacqueline Durran- Little Women
Probably in, but the CDG snub is concerning. That said, there's typically one film here that wasn't nominated there, and the period setting, coupled with a favorite like Durran, should do the trick.

3.

Ruth E. Carter- Dolemite Is My Name
She's still got a lot of goodwill form last year's win, and her work here is likely too hard to ignore. Not the safest pick here, but the 1970s urban setting exudes a great deal of flair, and Carter's work illustrates that beautifully.

4.

Julian Day- Rocketman
He was snubbed last year for the otherwise beloved Bohemian Rhapsody, but I've got a feeling that this similar film will get him in. It's all just too flashy to ignore, with his work capturing both the spirit of the film and the film's subject, throughout multiple eras.

5.

Mayes C. Rubeo- Jojo Rabbit
My fifth spot comes down to Downton Abbey, The Irishman and Jojo Rabbit. Historically, Abbey is the likely player; it's 1920s England, with the lavish wardrobe that that entails. It's scored some solid early support (Critics' Choice and CDG nominations), and the British voting block should help with that. I'm just not sure if enough voters are going to see past it's television roots. People have seen this work before; i.e. the degree of difficulty isn't what it is for the other films in contention (this is a similar thought process to that of sequels). The Irishman, by contrast, doesn't have that problem; despite it's Netflix roots, it's a Scorsese epic with top-shelf work in every single department, including costumes. The wardrobes just aren't fussy though; they aren't splashy, they aren't over the top, they aren't "big". This is, primarily, a category for big. Jojo's costumes are relatively big, period-detailed, and offbeat enough to, I think, make a mark here. It's razor thin, but I'm going with Rubeo.

Other Possibilities


6.

Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson- The Irishman


7.

Anna Robbins- Downton Abbey


8.

Mark Bridges- Joker
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Best Production Design

People who added this item 188 Average listal rating (130 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8
Jojo Rabbit (2019)

1.

Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Lock.

2.

Bob Shaw and Regina Graves- The Irishman
Where it's structural sturdiness may hurt it in costume design, it's likely what will help The Irishman here. Spanning decades and locations, there's a lot of ground to cover, and Shaw and Graves work does an exceptional job bringing these times and places to life.

3.

Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales- 1917
1917 is as technically accomplished a film as it gets, and that includes the production design. With no set used twice, Gassner's degree of difficulty was off the charts; he pulled off, and then some.

4.

Ra Vincent and Nora Sopková- Jojo Rabbit
After the first three, which seem relatively safe, this category gets pretty bloated. You've got the usual suspects (period flicks, fantasy), a few newbies, and a glut of films that deserve a shot, but won't get it. Of that bunch, I think Jojo Rabbit toes the line on all of those categories enough to satisfy various groups. It's a period piece, but there's a bit of the fantastical thrown in there too (there's a definite Wes Anderson-influence). The film is, also, likely broad enough that it'll play to various voting blocks. Strong contender.

5.

Mark Friedberg and Kris Moran- Joker
The fifth spot here is a killer. Little Women is a lavish period piece, Parasite's a contemporary labyrinth, Ford v Ferrari is (like the film itself) a sturdy '60s flick, Joker a grimy '70s Gotham-by-way-of-NYC nightmare, and Star Wars is, well, Star Wars. While each of them are players, my gut is saying the griminess and ugliness of Joker will score the nod. While it often the prettiest that make the cut, few would argue that that production design of the DC flick is central to the film and, by extension, the psychology of the protagonist. It would be atypical for a '70s set film to make it here, but it's strong work and this isn't the most loaded field.

Other Possibilities


6.

Jess Gonchor and Claire Kaufman- Little Women


7.

Lee Ha-jun- Parasite
Strong work, but contemporary movies are, really, at a disadvantage in this category. Still, the movie is beloved, so it has a big shot.

8.

Eve Stewart and Rebecca Pilkington- Cats


9.

Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins and Rosemary Brandenburg- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker


10.

François Audouy and Peter Lando- Ford v Ferrari
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Best Film Editing

People who added this item 104 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.2
1. Thelma Schoonmaker- The Irishman
2. Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland- Ford v Ferrari
3. Fred Raskin- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
4. Jinmo Yang- Parasite
5. Jeff Groth- Joker

Other Possibilities

6. Tom Eagles- Jojo Rabbit
7. Jennifer Lame- Marriage Story
8. Bob Ducsay- Knives Out
9. Lee Smith- 1917
10. Chris Dickens- Rocketman
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Best Sound Editing

People who added this item 513 Average listal rating (350 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.5
1. Ford v Ferrari
2. 1917
3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
4. Avengers: Endgame
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Other Possibilities

6. Ad Astra
7. The Irishman
8. Rocketman
9. The Lion King
10. Cats
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Best Sound Mixing

1. 1917
2. Ford v Ferrari
3. Rocketman
4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Other Possibilities

6. Avengers: Endgame
7. The Irishman
8. Joker
9. Ad Astra
10. Cats
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Best Makeup and Hairstyling

People who added this item 54 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Bombshell (2019)

1.

Bombshell
The only out-and-out lock that the category has. I'm not going to call it the presumptive winner yet; this category typically goes to BP nominees, and there are a couple in contention this year (though if this one does make the BP cut, it's done). That said, it's getting nominated.

2.

Rocketman
Outside of Bombshell, Rocketman feels the safest. It's turning actors into musical legends; i.e. the easiest way to win one of these.

3.

Joker
It took me a bit, but I'm warming to the idea of Joker being a major contender here. It's, possibly, the only real BP contender here, and movies featuring The Joker have a pretty strong record here; The Dark Knight snagged a nomination, while Suicide Squad won. When I think of this film here, I think of something like Dallas Buyers Club; it's not pretty, but it's memorable, brilliant work for what it is. I think it's in.

4.

Dolemite Is My Name
FINALLY! After years of criticism, the Academy has decided to expand this category to five nominees instead of three. Ironically, they've also got one of the blandest shortlists in years. Outside of Bombshell, there aren't many major contenders with heavy prosthetic work. With that in mind, it really comes down to more nuanced cosmetic work and, of course, hairstyling. With that in mind, I'll take Dolemite at #4. There's a lot of hair work in this one, Eddie Murphy films have a strong track record here, and it did quite well with the Make-up and Hairstylists guild. In thin field, that's enough for me.

5.

Judy
For this last spot, it came down to Judy and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with my gut leaning towards the former. While Hollywood is likely to be the more nominated film overall, Judy's makeup team helps turn an Oscar-winner into a legend; most will see that, rather unfairly, as the more impressive feat.

Other Possibilities


6.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


7.

Downton Abbey
Did well with the Makeup Guild, and will having most of the British voting block going for it. I don't think it'll make the cut, but it wouldn't be the biggest surprise.

8.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil


9.

1917


10.

Little Women
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Best Visual Effects

People who added this item 207 Average listal rating (148 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7

1.

The Irishman
While the effects received a somewhat mixed reaction, The Irishman is the only BP contender with extensive work to make the shortlist; i.e. it's got the most support overall, and that will, likely, give it boost it needs here.

2.

Avengers: Endgame
It's a critically-acclaimed, big budget epic with some of the most expensive displays of visual effects ever. It would be a stunner to see it snubbed.

3.

The Lion King
Despite critical derision, The Lion King's expansive, photo-realistic effects all but guarantee it a place here, if not a victory (the muted reception to the film overall is the only reason I don't have it higher, as this category has been veering more towards awarding well-reviewed films for the past decade or so).

4.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
All but one Star Wars film has been nominated here (with the original trilogy winning, each time), and the most recent four (including the side stories) have been nominated. It would be a surprise for such a major franchise film to be snubbed, so I expect it to make it in.

5.

Alita: Battle Angel
The fifth spot is a tough one to crack. Most are going with 1917, and that's a solid contender; there's obvious work here (it is a one-shot film, so they use vfx because they can't cut), and it's a major picture player. That said, the Academy has an iffy history when it comes to nominating smaller-scale, subtler effects over bombastic ones. While Ex Machina and First Man have one over the last few years, we've also seen movies like Dunkirk, The Shape of Water and The Tree of Life get snubbed. Assuming that that happens, I am, you then have to look at the rest of the field, which is blockbuster-laden. I can't imagine anyone thinking that Cats has great effects and, similarly, Gemini Man makes some technological leaps, but the results are way too mixed, and the film was ripped to shreds (that doesn't necessarily rule it out, though). Even people who liked Dark Fate don't remember it, and the effects were fine (it doesn't help that T2 revolutionized the art form; i.e. if it's not as good as that, forget it. Captain Marvel has a shot, but it's too mixed a bag. While the work on Samuel L. Jackson is terrific, the rest of the film is pretty much standard Marvel (it's also being overshadowed by Endgame). That leaves us with Alita. While the effects here are a bit wonky at times, there's enough technological advancement on display, between the work itself and merging it with live-action, that I think it'll sway many in the visual effects branch.

Other Possibilities


6.

1917


7.

Gemini Man


8.

Captain Marvel


9.

Cats


10.

Terminator: Dark Fate
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