The Oscars are almost here! 2019 was the year I really started to pay attention to movies that weren’t just Marvel or Star Wars, and there have been some incredible movies released this year (and some not-so-great ones). This is also the first year where I’ve seen every movie nominated for Best Picture, so I can finally make a truly informed decision!
The nominees this year are generally good choices, but there are a few snubs that are just baffling. As excited as I am for Parasite, Knives Out, Florence Pugh and Greta Gerwig’s nominations, I am just as frustrated at the lack of nominations for The Farewell, Jennifer Lopez, Lupita Nyong’o or any female directors.
2019 seems like a year pulled in two directions – honoring the past and leaning into nostalgia or trying to look to the future and tell new kinds of stories. So here are the nominees for some of the biggest Oscar categories, along with who I’d like to win and who I think will end up taking a trophy home.
Ford v Ferrari
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
What I want to win: Having seen all nine of these movies, there’s only one that I really did not at least partially enjoy. Seven of the nine take place in real or fictional historical eras, while the other two are modern stories. My top two that I would love to win are Parasite and Little Women.
What will win: 1917 seems to have the most momentum going into the awards.
The Irishman — Martin Scorsese
Joker — Todd Phillips
1917 — Sam Mendes
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — Quentin Tarantino
Parasite — Bong Joon-ho
Who I want to win: Bong Joon-ho makes every second of Parasite as fascinating and engrossing as I’ve ever seen.
Who will win: Sam Mendes having the guts to make 1917 a “one-take” movie was a bold choice but it pays off so well.
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Irishman — Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit — Taika Waititi
Joker — Todd Phillips and Scott Silver
Little Women — Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes — Anthony McCarten
What I want to win: Greta Gerwig revitalized a 150-year-old novel and made it feel current for Little Women. Folding the timelines on top of each other highlighted the highs and the lows of the March sisters. Would also not be upset with a Taika Waititi win.
What will win: This one is really a toss-up. Gerwig has a good chance to win, and it would be nice for the Academy to recognize her here since they didn’t nominate her for Best Director. I think Jojo Rabbit will ride the surprise wins from the BAFTAs and the WGA awards and win.
Best Original Screenplay
Knives Out — Rian Johnson
Marriage Story — Noah Baumbach
1917 — Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — Quentin Tarantino
Parasite — Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
What I want to win: Knives Out!! But honestly this is a truly competitive category. All five of these movies had interesting and unique stories that were laid out well. I’d be happy with any of these winning.
What will win: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Parasite will win (which it deserves).
Best Leading Actor
Antonio Banderas — Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio — Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver — Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix — Joker
Jonathan Pryce — The Two Popes
Who I want to win: Adam Driver ridiculously good in Marriage Story and I’d love for him to take home a trophy for his work here.
Who will win: It’s going to be Joaquin Phoenix. He’s won every acting award this season for Joker, and regardless of how I feel about the movie as a whole, his performance was next-level.
Best Leading Actress
Cynthia Erivo — Harriet
Scarlett Johansson — Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan — Little Women
Charlize Theron — Bombshell
Renée Zellweger — Judy
Who I want to win: This is another very competitive category. Saoirse is electric in Little Women and Scar Jo commands the screen in Marriage Story. A Cynthia Erivo win would be incredible too.
Who will win: This is Renee Zellweger’s to lose. Judy is a fine movie but her transformation into Judy Garland was spectacular.
Best Supporting Actress
Kathy Bates — Richard Jewell
Laura Dern — Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson — Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh — Little Women
Margot Robbie — Bombshell
Who I want to win: Florence Pugh is delightful in Little Women and I love everything about her.
Who will win: Laura Dern is a force to be reckoned with in Marriage Story and will add an Oscar to her growing collection for her work in this role.
Best 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
Who I want to win: Buncha old white men. All are very talented actors, and have been for a long time. Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers is the only performance on this list that really drew me in.
Who will win: Brad Pitt is his charismatic Brad Pitt self in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and he’ll win his first(!?) Oscar this year.
Best International Feature Film
Corpus Christi — Poland
Honeyland — North Macedonia
Les Misérables — France
Pain and Glory — Spain
Parasite — South Korea
What I want to win: Parasite has this in the bag.
What will win: Parasite has this in the bag.
Best Animated Feature Film
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Toy Story 4
What I want to win: The big shock here is Frozen II not getting nominated. I would love for How to Train Your Dragon to get some love here out of respect to the entire trilogy. Klaus was a surprise hit and Missing Link somehow won the Golden Globe, so this could be a toss-up.
What will win: Toy Story 4
Best Original Score
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
What I want to win: I truly love all these scores, but I have to vote for Star Wars. The poetry of John Williams winning for Rise of Skywalker when he hasn’t won for a Star Wars movie since 1977 would be incredible. Little Women’s soundtrack is beautiful and classic and 1917’s score does a great job of building the tension throughout the movie.
What will win: Joker’s score is one of the most enjoyable parts of the movie for me, so I won’t be upset when this wins.
Best Original Song
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” — Toy Story 4
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” — Rocketman
“I’m Standing With You” — Breakthrough
“Into the Unknown” — Frozen II
“Stand Up” — Harriet
What I want to win: Nothing in Frozen II was ever going to match the might of “Let It Go,” but “Into the Unknown” was a powerful display of Idina Menzel’s talent and has lodged itself in my head since the movie came out.
What will win: I wish Rocketman had been nominated for more awards, but this song is great and catch and really connects with the theme of the movie, so I’ll be happy when Elton John wins with “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”