The 2020 Academy Awards, Predicted

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The 2020 Academy Awards, Predicted

Sebastian Hunt, The Forum's Head Writer of Film & TV

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Snubs notwithstanding, the 91st Academy Awards looks exciting. The majority of the nominees are deserved, the show is thankfully hostless, and there’s no clear favorite in a number of categories.

The predictions I’ve made could be wrong. In some cases, I hope they are wrong. Regardless, here’s my forecast on what to expect at The Oscars:

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nominees: Scarlett Johannson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

It really is a shame that Marriage Story doesn’t have more awards season momentum. With the exception of Laura Dern’s performance, the film has received no major accolades. Dern is expected to repeat with an Oscar win, though is she deserving? Dern was great, but surely Florence Pugh was more memorable in Little Women.

Will Win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Should Win: Florence Pugh, Little Women

Should’ve Been Nominated: Lee Jeong-eun, Parasite

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Nominees: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes)

Cliff Booth, Brad Pitt’s morally ambiguous Hollywood stuntman, proved to be one of 2019’s most enjoyable characters, and coupled with Pitt’s recent Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA wins, a second Oscar looks pretty much in the bag for the iconic star.

Will Win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Should Win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Should’ve Been Nominated: Christain Bale, Ford v Ferrari

 

BEST ACTRESS

Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saorise Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renée Zellweger (Judy)

Like Leonardo DiCaprio, Saorise Ronan probably won’t get an Oscar until way past her due. She’s my personal favorite, but the odds are more in favor of Renée Zellweger. Even discounting that she’s swept basically every other major awards show, Zellweger portrays an icon of Golden Age Hollywood. Anything to do with Judy Garland is sure to strike a chord with voters, particularly those of an older demographic (a depressingly large majority).

Will Win: Renée Zellweger, Judy

Should Win: Saorise Ronan, Little Women

Should’ve Been Nominated: Lupita Nyong’o, Us

 

BEST ACTOR

Nominees: Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

Joaquin Phoenix looks set to cackle his way to a first Oscar, but does he really deserve it? Granted, Phoenix was fantastic, but my heart is set on Adam Driver as 2019’s defining performance. In addition to being utterly mesmerizing, Driver is the only nominee to successfully cover Being Alive (no easy task!).

Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Should Win: Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Should’ve Been Nominated: Robert De Niro, The Irishman

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees: Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood)

The Academy loves big, difficult directing jobs, and Sam Mendes’ work on 1917 certainly fits the bill. Superior directing is at the heart of 1917’s appeal; Mendes’ mind-melting blocking and style is the sole reason for 1917’s accumulated praise. Ergo, I reckon he’s the likely winner.

Will Win: Sam Mendes, 1917

Should Win: Sam Mendes, 1917

Should’ve Been Nominated: Greta Gerwig, Little Women

 

BEST PICTURE 

Nominees: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Ford v Ferrari, 1917, Joker, Parasite, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story, Little Women

Circumstances suggest that it’s a toss-up between 1917 and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, with an outside chance for Parasite. A win for Parasite would certainly be a fairytale ending — a foreign language film has never won Best Picture before — yet I doubt The Academy will break precedent and award Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece. Between 1917 and Once Upon a Time, though, things get… tricky. One could make a case for either film. 1917 resides in a very award-friendly genre, while Once Upon a Time heavily depicts Golden Age Hollywood. It really could go either way, but my gut gravitates towards Once Upon a Time. Think about it: The Oscars is an event in which three hours are put aside to honor the art of cinema. Once Upon a Time is all about the greatness of the medium, from sentimental aesthetics to Tarantino’s inversion of real-life Tinseltown tragedy. It’s basically 50-50, but I’m betting that Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood will take home the gold. I’ll see you on February 9th!

Will Win: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Should Win: Parasite

Should’ve Been Nominated: Us