Oscars So Wha… Predicting the 2020 Academy Awards

I really thought this was Quentin Tarantino’s year. The Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood filmmaker has never won a Best Director or Best Picture Oscar (enter Buddy the Elf shout “shocking!”) and his love letter to movieland seemed like his best bet. The film was given some of the best reviews of his career and has had momentum since it opened last summer. But then something happened… 1917, a small war picture helmed by Sam Mendes (not juggernaut The Irishman, virtually out of nowhere became the frontrunner. But, wait… something happened again. Parasite is running at a 99 percent score at Rotten Tomatoes and has been a smash International hit. The suspenseful, masterfully executed film from South Korea has won the hearts of Hollywood and after its Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Ensemble and continued box office and critical success, has become a clear frontrunner and the first foreign language film with a shot at the Best Picture nod. Roma almost did it last year. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was thought to have had a shot decades ago. But, this take on greed and class by Bong Joon-ho, I believe, is going to beat all of the greats nominated this year – Tarantino and Martin Scorsese among them. But, we’ll see. I mean the Oscars are slowly becoming the Grammy’s: irrelevant. Recent winners have been concerning: Green Book winning last year was a big, fat joke. The Shape of Water, which I would’ve voted for, is long forgotten. Anyway, I’m totally going to get off point. Let me just present my predictions for the Oscars and hope they don’t screw the pooch like they did last year in virtually every category (Rami Malek winning over Bradley Cooper will always bother me as will the fact Taron Egerton didn’t even get nominated for a role he actually didn’t mimic, but sang and acted flawlessly in – in a much better music bio-flick.) Stop rambling, Jon. OK here goes..

Best Picture:
Possible Upset:
Saying 1917 here wouldn’t be an upset because it’s the frontrunner but I’d say 1917 stands the best shot at winning this. The biggest upset would be if JoJo Rabbit scores here.

Best Actor:
Joaquin Phoenix
Possible Upset:
Look you don’t nominate Joker for 11 awards if Phoenix isn’t so damn masterful. This isn’t a superhero movie. This isn’t even an origin movie. It’s a movie on mental illness and how our society fails us and Phoenix is absolutely brilliant. When I watch him I don’t think of Heath Ledger. I don’t think of the Joker character. I think of Taxi Driver, and that’s what Todd Phillips wanted. That said, Adam Driver is fucking amazing in Marriage Story so he’s my pick to spoil the circus.

Best Actress:
Renee Zellweger
Possible Upset:
Look everyone is saying Renee is going to win and I get. She’s really great in a movie that really sucks. I think she’s winning this for sure.  Last year Glenn Close shockingly lost here and I don’t think we’ll see any upset here. If we do look for Scarlett or Ronan but it ain’t happenin’.

Best Supporting Actor:
Brad Pitt has had this locked up since July.  His performance is one of the coolest ever on camera and he deserves it in a year that any of the nominees in this category is literally is deserving. No possible upset here. Pitt has never won an Oscar for acting – only for producing 12 Years a Slave.

Best Supporting Actress:
I thought Laura Dern’s character was actually underwritten in the masterful Marriage Story but she’s the frontrunner and she’s winning this for her performance and body of work. That said, double nominee Scarlett could be honored for her work in JoJo Rabbit to honor the movie in some way and to send her some love for Scar-Jo’s superior performance in Marriage Story.

Best Director:
What if the love for Bong joon ho and momentum for Sam Mendes (he won the DGA) somehow split the vote and Tarantino won his first Best Director Oscar? That’d be cool. Not happening though.  Mendes will win though a Parasite win here wouldn’t be shocking either.

In brief:

Adapted Screenplay: Little Women (I think JoJo Rabbit is winning this but I’m saying LW here because Greta Gerwig’s omission in the Best Director category was given a lot of play and her acceptance speech would make for great TV.)
Original Screenplay: Parasite (Only Tarantino can upset in this category.)
Cinematography: 1917
International Film: Parasite
Best Score: Joker
Best Song: I’m Gonna Love Me Again – Rocketman
Best Animated Film: This category is weird. The nominees are weird. Look for an upset- my gut tells me How to Train Your Dragon but I’ll just say Toy Story 4 anyway.
Documentary Feature: American Factory
Production Design: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Costume Design: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Best Editing: Ford v. Ferrari
Sound Editing: 1917
Sound Mixing: 1917
Effects: The Irishman
Makeup and Hairstyling: Bombshell