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Oscars 2020 Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

on February 08, 2020, 11:00am
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Best Live Action Short Film

Nefta Football Club
The Neighbors’ Window
A Sister

What should win: Saria

What will win: The Neighbor’s Window

And the winner is… The Neighbor’s Window

Respectfully, these things are always such a game of roulette to pick. Global, social, and consciously-minded issues pack the live action short deck. But based on previous history, and pure style and impact in brief form? Consider The Neighbors’ Window. Marshall Curry, an already three-time nominee, could have some seniority working in his favor. And it’s a satisfyingly tricky blend. There’s strained metropolitan domesticity in a married couple that begins dabbling in neighborly voyeurism. But like any good short there’s more, and fast. Curry makes a weary and wise work of empathy. –Blake Goble

Best International Feature

Parasite bong joon-ho adam mckay hbo english language limited series

Parasite (Neon)

Corpus Christi
Les Miserables
Pain and Glory

What should win: Pain and Glory

What will win: Parasite

And the winner is… Parasite

Look look look, this is not an admonishment of Parasite at all. Suggesting it shouldn’t win? Absurd. Gosh, we only get foreign-language and best picture film nominees that gross $100 million globally once in a blue moon. Parasite is a critical class-A thrill ride among Consequence writers (and a new personal favorite for some of us as well). It’s covered. But, if for just a second, could we talk about the under-appreciated, semi-biographical beauty that is Pedro Almodovar’s wondrously hallucinatory Pain and Glory? A career-high for the famed Spanish drama king, and career-best effort from Antonio Banderas. It’s a humbling and heartfelt meditation on sense-memory and the human condition. Almodovar digs deep and asks why artists create, and what make us, well, us? A gem, and worth a find if you can. –Blake Goble

Best Animated Feature Film

2020 Oscar Predictions

I Lost My Body (Xilam Animation)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

What should win: Missing Link

What will win: I Lost My Body

And the winner is… Toy Story 4

Now that the animated hit most people had pegged as an early winner isn’t even nominated in 2020, this has become a surprisingly open race. It still feels foolhardy to bet against Disney/Pixar for any reason, but we’d hardly be surprised if a newcomer takes the gold instead. Regular Consequence readers know of our affinity for Laika’s revolutionary stop-motion work, and we’d be elated to see the charming and meticulously crafted Missing Link become the first of their six nominated films to finally win. With Netflix backing, though, we see the endlessly clever (and creepy) I Lost My Body taking the category, and getting a few more people to check it out along the way. You can do it right now! –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

Best Documentary Feature Film

2020 Oscar Predictions

American Factory (Netflix)

American Factory
The Cave
The Edge of Democracy
For Sama

What should win: Honeyland

What will win: American Factory

And the winner is… American Factory

In a year filled with documentaries stuffed end-to-end with searing images, Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s Honeyland offered up some of the most striking. Hatidze Muratova, the last of long line of Macedonian beekeepers, scales a mountain to capture the most nestled and hard-to-reach honeycombs imaginable. In a rage, Muratova slams a dish of food her mother refuses to eat, and the camera’s there to catch the cats running up to the waste ready to lick the floor clean. Image after image blazes upon the brain in Honeyland, a coyly environmentalist take on carbon footprint, wasting resources, and keep old world tradition alive. American Factory will play to older American voters, and Netflix has the capital and the Obama clout to push it over the top. But for what it’s worth, our minds are still in Honeyland. –Blake Goble

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sony releases first trailer for Little Women

Little Women (Sony)

The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi
Joker, Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
Little Women, Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

What should win: The Irishman, Steven Zaillian

What will win: Little Women, Greta Gerwig

And the winner is… Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi

Greta Gerwig’s remix on Louisa May Alcott’s perennial lit fave is nothing short of brilliant. Take a 150-year Great Work, and completely restructure it to focus on themes and offer new insights through a unique form. Gerwig’s command of character, plotting, and all-around genial storytelling is par excellence, and her winning would just feel right. But if we can, for a minute, praise the screenplay that had all-timer lines like, “You didn’t say you want a salmon, you want a haddock, you want a fucking cod?” IT’S A META-PHORRR!!! IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FISH! Point being… Whereas Little Women felt like a loving re-up on a classic novel, Steven Zaillian took a memoir of dubious reputation and made something grandly American, truthful, and enduring out of it. It’s a confession, a plea for more time, and an uber-epic crime film. The Irishman was arguably Zaillian’s best and most expansive work since, yes, Schindler’s List. –Blake Goble

Best Original Screenplay

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Sony, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, New Trailer

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
Knives Out, Rian Johnson
Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
1917, Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Parasite, Bong Joon Ho & Jin Won Han

What should win: Knives Out, Rian Johnson

What will win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino

And the winner is… Parasite, Bong Joon Ho & Jin Won Han

One of this year’s hardest races to call may end up coming down to which features are going to be left out of the mix elsewhere. The Academy has a long history of using the Screenplay categories to reward features that underperform elsewhere on the ballot, and on that basis, we’d be ecstatic to see Rian Johnson take one home for his clever and slyly topical Knives Out script. The WGA awards nodded to Parasite here, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won took the big one here as well. Still, it feels like this is going to be a notable year for Tarantino, and we’re seeing a third win in this category for him in 2020. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

Best Supporting Actor

Brad Pitt The Matrix Red Pill Keanu Reeves

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony)

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 should win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Who will win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

And the winner is… Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

In another year, where one particular nominee hadn’t already swept his way through every major pre-Oscars version of this category, this would be as uncallable a field as it gets. From Tom Hanks’ human-in-every-way portrayal of a true cultural icon to Anthony Hopkins’ of an almost impossibly complex figure, and through a pair of turns from The Irishman that stand among the best work from a pair of top veterans, any of this year’s Supporting Actor nominees could have taken another year. This year, it was over by late July. Brad Pitt’s performance as disgraced stuntman Cliff Booth may be his best ever, as one of Tarantino’s thorniest and most morally complicated characters to date, and it’s time for one of the last true movie stars to win his first (acting) Oscar. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

Best Supporting Actress

2020 Oscar Nominations

Marriage Story (Netflix)

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Who should win: Florence Pugh, Little Women

Who will win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

And the winner is… Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Laura Dern basically got this when she brought god into court proceedings in Marriage Story. In supporting categories, the Academy loves villainy as much as they love a barn-burner speech, and Laura Dern’s Nora Fanshaw delivers one of the year’s finest stumps as she touches on everything from motherhood to alcohol consumption to gender inequality to god. Dern winning is an open-and-shut case. You just believe she’s a goddamn terrifying and truly sympathetic attorney. Amazing given the jokes about the profession. But in our heart of hearts, we kinda love Amy. Florence Pugh’s breezy and amiable coming-of-age take of Amy. The spirit of Little Women. Bangs and all. –Blake Goble

Best Actor

Joker Joaquin Phoenix evolution laugh Todd Phillips

Joker (Warner Bros.)

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

Who should win: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Who will win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

And the winner is… Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Joaquin Phoenix is already sweeping early awards shows, and Joker pretty much got the insane amount of nominations it has solely on the strength of the mercurial actor’s freakshow ballet. Say what you will about the clunky dialogue, choppy metaphors, or perceived toxicity, Phoenix is sticking around. It’s a role that people seem to be connecting with. (Which, we have to say, he’s been much much better elsewhere? Like, can we interest you in a Lynne Ramsay?) But from an emotional standpoint, no performance was more sensitive, nor purer, than Antonio Banderas’s work in Pain and Glory. Part naked testimonial, part reconciliation with old friends, Banderas got to show off just what the heartthrob’s always been capable of in a deeply touching show of performative poetry. –Blake Goble

Best Actress

2020 Oscar Predictions

Judy (Pathe)

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Who should win: Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Who will win: Renée Zellweger, Judy

And the winner is… Renée Zellweger, Judy

What a category to have to compete in this year. From stirring renditions of historical legends to uncanny transformations into complicated public figures, this year’s Best Actress race has a breadth of wildly different but uniformly strong performances. While the excellent Little Women has plenty of chances to win across the board, Saoirse Ronan’s resolute and tenacious approach to Jo March was as pleasing a performance as the last year had to offer. And while the double nomination is probably going to see her boxed out, Johansson’s portrayal of a devastated ex-spouse in crisis stands as one of her best turns to date. However, with the BAFTA, SAG, and Golden Globe already under her belt, we see Renee Zellweger claiming her second Oscar for her tender portrayal of Judy Garland. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

Best Director

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

What should win: A three-way tie between Bong Joon Ho, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese?

What will win: Sam Mendes, 1917

And the winner is… Bong Joon-ho, Parasite

It would be nice to see Marty get another gold statue, given the career he’s had, and the peak skill he was working with on with Irishman. It would be pretty cool to see Tarantino finally get the directing win, given the long-standing wins in screenwriting. And it would be wild, even amazing, if Bong Joon Ho, emerges from cult status and is recognized by the Academy as a director of great cinema, capping off a whirlwind awards campaign since Parasite’s audacious debut at Cannes. But hey, Sam Mendes knew what he was doing here. Based on targeted ads, he’s putting himself out there quite nicely. And you know, there are worse things than awarding a man with a laser-focused vision. Blake Goble

Best Picture

1917, Sam Mendes, World War I, George MacKay, Sam Mendes, War

1917 (Universal Pictures)

Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

What should win: Parasite or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

What will win: 1917

And the winner is… Parasite

The frontrunner for this year’s Best Picture has changed so frequently between September and now that this year’s category seems to be just about anyone’s guess. Even this group’s prediction has shifted between several titles over the course of putting this feature together. The easy money (as of this article’s publication) seems to be on 1917, the exact sort of humane spectacle that’s been a hit at the Oscars as long as it’s existed. Could Quentin Tarantino land what would somehow be his first Best Picture for another Academy favorite, a movie about the transcendent power of the movies? Does Bong Joon-ho ride Parasite shocking wave of late-year momentum into a game-changing win? Unlike the acting categories, we have no idea. We’re saying 1917 on the record. Just don’t be surprised if Sunday ends in a shocker. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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