Predicting the 2020 Oscars

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.

Best Picture

Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women
Marriage Story
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.

Best Director

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
Missing Link
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

Little Women
Marriage Story
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”

October Movie Preview

Movies hoping to be in the run for Oscars and other major awards wait to be released until the end of the year so they’re still fresh on the minds of the public and industry voters when awards season begins. Some major awards hopefuls are coming out this month, aiming to rule the box office until Disney comes back with the one-two punch of Frozen 2 and Star Wars in November and December. Here are my five most anticipated movies for October 2019.

Joker (Oct. 4)
Rating: R
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy

A dark, psychological thriller with a new origin story about Batman’s greatest villain. Joker follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian, and his descent into a life of crime.

Why I’m excited: Oh boy, this movie is already causing controversy and getting tons of Oscar buzz. It will certainly be a unique take on the character, and it could be a major turning point for comic book and superhero movies. I’m interested to see the response from comic book fans, the general audience, and the industry.

See this if you liked: The Dark Knight trilogy, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy

The Addams Family (Oct. 11)
Rating: PG
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Bette Midler, Allison Janney

An updated tale of the creepy and kooky Addams family. After moving to New Jersey, the Addams family must face new neighbors that don’t see eye to eye with their way of life.

Why I’m excited: The 90s Addams Family movies are pretty iconic, but doing a new version as an animated movie should allow for some new and interesting ideas. Plus the voice cast is so impressive. As it’s the only family-friendly movie coming out in October, I assume it will do well at the box office, regardless of reviews.

See this if you liked: The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values, Sherlock Gnomes

Zombieland: Double Tap (Oct. 18)
Rating: R
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson

In the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a makeshift family travels across the country fighting zombies and coming into contact with other survivors.

Why I’m excited: The original Zombieland is an incredibly fun movie. Ten years after the first one was released, Double Tap looks just as wild and unruly. The first trailer hilariously reminds you that these four actors are incredibly talented and have all been nominated for or won Oscars, and the fact that they all came back for this is a testament to the first movie. Definitely one of my most anticipated movies of the rest of the year.

See this if you liked: Zombieland

Jojo Rabbit (Oct. 18)
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell

During World War II, a young Hitler Youth recruit comes to terms with the Nazi regime surrounding him. With an imaginary Adolf Hitler as his main companion, he learns his mother is secretly hiding Jews and his whole world turns upside down.

Why I’m excited: This is quite possibly one of the most bizarre ideas for a movie I’ve ever heard. But with Taika Waititi directing and playing an imaginary Hitler? That’s something I need to see. The movie won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and is already creating some controversy, so it should definitely generate some interesting conversations.

See this if you liked: Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows

The Current War (Oct. 25)
Rating: PG-13
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult

Edison. Westinghouse. Tesla. Today we know them as icons of the electric age, but The Current War tells the story of their war to power the modern world. They put their competing systems to the test as they fight to power the Chicago World’s Fair.

Why I’m excited: I’m not expecting spectacular things from this movie, but the cast is fantastic. It’s based on real events, but time will tell if it’s enough to stay engaging. It looks like it wants to be Oscar bait, but I would doubt it gets the recognition it wants.

See this if you liked: The Prestige, Argo