Today is the day! I am already on record that I disagree with a large portion of the nominees this year, so this is more of a reluctant task than in years past. I cannot grasp how we have had a year in film as strong as the one we had and yet we continue to haver nominees and potential winners that floundering in the abyss of cliché and mediocrity. But we can only play the hand we are dealt. These are my predictions for who will come out victorious in tonight’s Academy Awards.


BEST ORIGNAL SCREENPLAY

The Nominees are…

Rian Johnson – “Knives Out”
Noah Baumbach – “Marriage Story”
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns – “1917”
Quentin Tarantino – “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”
Bong Joon-Ho and Han Jin-Won – “Parasite”

The best script of the year is that of “Parasite” and I think the Academy will rightfully award the film. Tarantino has a history of making this category interesting as no one can write a script quite like him, but I would consider this a longshot this year.

Who should win: “Parasite”

Who will win: “Parasite”


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Nominees are…

Steven Zaillian – “The Irishman”
Taika Waititi – “Jojo Rabbit”
Todd Philips and Scott Silver – “Joker”
Greta Gerwig – “Little Women”
Anthony McCarten – “The Two Popes”

I do not think this category has a runaway favorite which always makes it more intriguing. I think it would be justice if the Academy awarded this Oscar to Greta Gerwig in light of her not receiving a Directing nomination, but it is just asking for disappointment to hope for that. What’s more is that Timothée Chalamet, the male lead in “Little Women”, is one of the presenters for this award and things just line up too perfectly for Gerwig that I am suspicious. She should win but expect Timothée to begrudgingly give Taika a hug instead.

Who should win: “Little Women”

Who will win: “Jojo Rabbit”


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Music)

The Nominees are..

Hildur Guðnadóttir –“Joker”
Alexandre Desplat – “Little Women”
Randy Newman – “Marriage Story”
Thomas Newman – “1917”
John Williams – “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

There are some incredible feats in this category. Randy and Thomas have made sure that the Newman household owns a plurality of the nominees, and John Williams is up for this particular award for an absolutely mind-melting 52nd time. But Hildur Guðnadóttir is going to win this year which will be a treat to watch as someone will have to pronounce her name on live TV and that will be some top quality entertainment in itself!

Who should win: “Joker”

Who will win: “Joker”


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Nominees are…

Rodrigo Prieto – “The Irishman”
Lawrence Sher – “Joker”
Jarin Blaschke – “The Lighthouse”
Rodger Deakins – “1917”
Robert Richardson – “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”

I am cheering as hard as humanly possible for Jarin Blaschke to win this award. “The Lighthouse” was my favorite film of the year and this is the only category it was nominated in, so it has my complete support. Truthfully, Jarin deserves to win here but I know the Academy will give it to Rodger Deakins. It is not that “1917” was not impressively shot, but I consider it more of an editing feat than a cinematographic one. Having said that, the odds overwhelmingly favor “The Deak” so I am just hoping for a miracle here.

Who should win: “The Lighthouse”

Who will win: “1917”


BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The Nominees are…

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

There are many snubs in this category, but this is not the place to rant about that. Florence Pugh stole a nomination here and she should be elated that she will always be referred to as “Academy Award Nominee Florence Pugh”. The remaining 4 actresses all make compelling cases to win but it seems Laura Dern is on pace to win this one. Watch out for Scarlett Johansson though, as she managed to pull off the very rare “double nomination”. Jamie Foxx pulled this feat off in 2005 and won 1 of the 2 Oscars he was up for, so you never know what sort of sway this had in voting.

Who should win: Laura Dern

Who will win: Laura Dern


BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The Nominees are…

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”

I can’t believe the Academy is making me do this. This category hosts what is perhaps the most egregiously incorrect group of nominees all night, but I will do what must be done. Brad Pitt is going to win this because… well because he always wins. Whenever he goes up against this crowd and Willem Dafoe is not among the nominees (please do not get me started), Pitt goes home with a trophy. Tonight will be no different and that is fine. I can live with it because of the 5 nominees, I only believe he and Pesci were really among the top 5 of the year.

Who should win: Joe Pesci

Who will win: Brad Pitt


BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

The Nominees are…

Cynthia Erivo – “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson – “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan – “Little Women”
Charlize Theorn – “Bombshell”
Renée Zellweger – “Judy”

I know I said that supporting actor was the category that was most egregiously incorrect, but damn does this one come in a close second place. The Academy nominated two actresses based on the role and not the performance and while I see that many people disagree with me, I stand firmly in my position that Renée Zellweger simply met expectations in “Judy” and was doing nothing more than hitting every mark of the “How to win an Oscar” checklist. It was a glorified impression in an aimless movie, but I cannot fight this battle anymore. Despite my protests, she is going to win. She has won virtually every award leading up to this and I do not see the Academy being the bold on to break the trend. Johansson and Ronan are far more deserving in my opinion.

Who should win: Saoirse Ronan

Who will win:  Renée Zellweger


BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The Nominees are…

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”

I am more comfortable with this group than I am with any of the other acting categories and I STILL can see a major mistake. I want to make specific mention that I admire the Academy for including Antonio Banderas who was not really someone on my radar but deserves the recognition that comes with a nomination. However, unless the Academy decides to take a poorly thought out protest stance against violence (for whatever reason they think this is the time to do so), Joaquin Phoenix will win his much overdue Oscar.

Who should win: Joaquin Phoenix

Who will win: Joaquin Phoenix


BEST DIRECTOR

The Nominees are…

Martin Scorsese – “The Irishman”
Todd Philips – “Joker”
Sam Mendes – “1917”
Quentin Tarantino – “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”
Bong Joon-Ho – “Parasite”

I get that this was an exceptionally crowded year at the top, and while this group isn’t totally unjustified, I find it difficult to rationalize not including the likes of Greta Gerwig or Lulu Wang here. Of the nominees we are given, Bong Joon-Ho is who I am rooting for. He is an adorable human being and created a profound and thrilling piece of cinema that transcends culture and language barriers. What he has achieved is all the more impressive considering the uphill battle that he faced by his geographical and cultural circumstances. However, this can be seen as a toss-up between him and Sam Mendes. Mendes’s work on “1917” is very impressive and fits much more comfortably into the mold of what the Academy likes to see. I expect them to think Bong Joon-Ho should just feel honored to be nominated.  

Who should win: Bong Joon-Ho

Who will win: Sam Mendes


BEST PICTURE

The Nominees are…

“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Let’s be real here, “Ford v Ferrari” is outclassed here and is just thrilled to have stolen a nomination. Of the remaining 8 films, 6 of them should only be considered “dark horses” at best, despite being tremendous films. I rated “Jojo Rabbit” the lowest score out of the group but I respect the opinions of those who enjoyed the film. In the end, it will come down to “1917” vs “Parasite”. Both are tremendous films, but it would mean so much more to the filmmaking community, at large, if “Parasite”, a foreign language film, won the award. I thought “Roma”, a Mexican film, deserved this last year, but ultimately, the Academy gave it to “The Green Book”, a by-the-numbers historical drama about racism, instead. It’s hard to say if the Academy has changed their ways…

Who should win: “Parasite”

Who will win: “1917”


Other Categories

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Klaus”
“Missing Link”
“How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“Toy Story 4”
“I Lost My Body”

Bet against Pixar at your own Peril.

Winner: “Toy Story 4”

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

“Corpus Christi” – Poland
“Honeyland” – North Macedonia
“Les Miserables” – France
“Pain and Glory” – Spain
“Parasite” – South Korea

“Parasite” might damn near win everything so this is just a formality.

Winner: “Parasite”

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Feature)

“American Factory”
“The Cave”
“The Edge of Democracy”
“For Sama”
“Honeyland”

These never make sense to me. Just bet the odds and follow the trends.

Winner: “American Factory”

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Short)

“In the Absence”
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
“Life Overtakes Me”
“St. Louis Superman”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

Let’s be real, you haven’t seen any of these.

Winner: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”

The Academy loses their minds over period pieces and for once they might actually be right about it.

Winner: “Little Women”

BEST FILM EDITING

“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Parasite”

An actual toss-up, so when in doubt, bet on the better overall film.

Winner: “Parasite”

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Bombshell”
“Joker”
“Judy”
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
“1917”

I’d like to see “Joker win this but it’s going to “Bombshell”.

Winner: “Bombshell”

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 Unkown” – “Frozen II”
“Stand Up” – Harriet”

The last time a film whoes only nomination was in this category lost to a film that was nominated in multiple categories was in 2002.

Winner: “Rocketman”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Tough call but the odds favor Tarantino’s film here. It is also the film that I would perosnally vote for, if that is worth anything.

Winner: “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”

BEST SHORT FILM (Animated)

“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“Kitbull”
“Memorable”
“Sister”

“Hair Love” is a safe bet.

Winner: “Hair Love”

SHORT FILM (Live Action)

“Brotherhood”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbor’s Window”
“Saria”
“A Sister”

There is no true favorite in this category but “Brotherhood” sounds like a film that wins these things.

Winner: “Brotherhood”

BEST SOUND EDITING

“Ford v Ferrari”
“Joker”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

“Ford v Ferrari” might try to sneak in here but this is for “1917” to win.

Winner: “1917”

BEST SOUND MIXING

“Ad Astra”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Joker”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood”

“1917” was an electric factory with its use of sound. It should win.

Winner: “1917”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Irishman”
“The Lion King”
“1917”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Visual Effects includes practical effects, not just CGI despite what some of you may think.

Winner: “1917”


And those are my predictions! If I am wrong, just know that I am trying to predict how other people will think, not who actually deserves to win. I will watch tonight with an adult beverage readily available to help filter out the nonsense that is surley to come. The one prediction I am certain of is that the show will go on too damn long (*Jeb Bush voice* please clap). I will also be releasing my Zachademy Awards tonight to bring justice to the world so please look out for that!

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