92nd Oscar Nomination Predictions

Continuing a tradition since May 16, 1929, the 92nd Oscars will air Sunday February 9, 2020 at 8e, 5p (GMT-8).

I’m going to tackle predictions for the majority of categories, 14 in total, and almost every major category. The ones being skipped are where I haven’t seen every movie nominated in the category. For example, International Feature Film, where I’ve only seen one of the nominees (Parasite). I do not think it is fair having an opinion on movies not watched, rated and reviewed.

Let’s dig in…

BEST PICTURE

The film to beat, the way I see it

Of the 9 choices pictured above, here’s how I see it:

My pick: 1917

Likely Picks (if not mine):
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood – this one won the Golden Globe and cannot be counted out
Ford v Ferrari
Little Women

Unlikely Picks
Joker, The Irishman, Marriage Story

Long shots
Parasite, Jojo Rabbit

MY THOUGHTS
Of all films nominated, 1917 is the most immersive viewing experience. It’s also a technical marvel considering the camera work, the whole “one continuous shot” which if it wasn’t shot that way doesn’t give the same effect. The acting by the two soldiers is also spot on, given they don’t have a lot of dialogue or complicated story. It’s mostly like a videogame: run to the end goal, avoid the obstacles.

Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood is a strong, strong likely pick because of the Golden Globes win. Personally, I wouldn’t put that film ahead of Ford v Ferrari or Little Women, but something tells me this could be the voter’s choice.

Joker and Marriage Story have a small chance, but are real long shots. The Irishman almost certainly has no chance, but anything with Scorsese, DeNiro, Pacino and Pesci can never be completely discarded.

Forget about Parasite and Jojo Rabbit. Parasite deserves to be nominated, but that’s not the case for Jojo Rabbit. If Jojo Rabbit beats out the other eight movies nominated, it will be total travesty. Parasite at least has the critical acclaim to be considered but it should not win.

DIRECTING

My Pick: Sam Mendes – 1917

Likely Picks (if not mine):
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

Long Shots:
Todd Phillips – Joker
Bong Joon Ho – Parasite

MY THOUGHTS
Would like to see Sam Mendes win this, I think he’s the best choice, but something tells me that the critics want to favor the genius of Quentin Tarantino. Let’s be honest, of his 9 films, this one isn’t even in the top 3. Same for Scorsese, who also could win based on his career rather than The Irishman being one of his best movies.

Joker is seen by some as a ripoff and/or heavily inspired by multiple Scorsese films, so don’t think Todd Phillips has a chance of winning. Bong Joon Ho might be the people’s choice on this one, but he’s a huge long shot. Mendes is the best pick. We’ll see what happens.

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

My Pick: BombshellKazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker

Likely Picks (if not mine)
Judy
Joker

Long Shots
1917
Maleficient: Mistress of Evil

MY THOUGHTS
Somebody get Kazu Hiro’s name engraved on this already because what he did with prosthetics and makeup on Charlize Theron is amazing. I’m not sure what Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker contributed, but if their names are there, start engraving them too.

I liked how Renee Zellweger was done up as Judy, but it’s not as impressive as Theron as Megyn Kelly. Joker? You got to love his makeup work. So either Judy or Joker are good alternate picks.

Not feeling 1917 in this category. Hairstyles? Makeup? They are soldiers and looked realistic to the time period, but … ? Puzzling nomination.

Maleficient: Mistress of Evil I can see the nomination, but not as sure where the CGI begins and the makeup begins — except for Angelina Jolie, I guess. Am saying no here as well. Better choices.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

My Pick: Renee Zellweger – Judy

Likely Picks (if not mine)
Scarlett Johannson – Marriage Story

Long Shots
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Should not have been nominated
Charlize Theron – Bombshell

MY THOUGHTS
Renee, Renee, Renee! She acts and sings, and had to do so in one take in front of an audience singing Judy fricking Garland songs. We can debate all day long how difficult this was, but I’d argue nobody else even comes close.

ScarJo has the best script of the bunch to work with and some really meaty divorce drama material, so if we’re looking at pure acting and not considering her very minor song number (which was cute, but not that noteworthy), then she’s a good second choice.

I also like Cynthia Erivo who had the most physical role of everybody nominated. She made me believe she was Harriet Tubman. I like her as an alternate choice.

Can’t get behind Saoirse Ronan, despite loving the film she was in. It’s OK Ronan fans, she’ll be nominated for an Oscar again and it might actually be in a film that’s original enough for her performance to win. The others — except for Charlize Theron who should never have been nominated — a case could be made to win. If Theron wins for Bombshell, the voting is rigged and we should demand a recount.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

My Pick: Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Likely Picks
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

Long Shots
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes
Al Pacino – The Irishman

Should not have been nominated / travesty
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

MY THOUGHTS
Joe Pesci somehow managed to play a subdued Joe Pesci. That alone deserves an Oscar. I thought for sure we’d get another Casino Joe Pesci — but we didn’t.

Brad Pitt probably wins this, like he did the Golden Globe. It’s not deserved vs. the others but Hollywood seems to have a love affair with all things Pitt. Personally, I think he’s a good actor, but not one of the all time greats. Hopkins, Pacino, Hanks, all better performances than him by a mile.

Speaking of Hanks, though, he’s got no business being nominated in this category. They are considering him as a “supporting actor” when he was Mister Rogers in a movie about Mister Rogers? The logic is lost on me. Somebody please explain.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

My Pick: Roger Deakins – 1917

Likely Picks
Once Upon a Time .. In Hollywood
Joker

Unlikely Picks
The Irishman
The Lighthouse

MY THOUGHTS
Seriously, just give Roger Deakins the award already. The man is like the Wizard of Oz behind the camera.

COSTUME DESIGN

My Pick: Little Women – Jacqueline Durran

Likely Picks
Joker – Mark Bridges
The Irishman – Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson

Long Shots
One Upon a Time .. In Hollywood – Arianne Philips
Jojo Rabbit – Mayes C. Rubeo

MY THOUGHTS
My pick is suspect here. I’m mainly going with Little Women because I felt the costumes seemed very period-accurate. This is not an areas of expertise for me at all, so I might be all wet and am admitting as much. I also liked the Joker costumes a lot, so would be fine with that pick.

The other picks? The Irishman seemed accurate but plain, One Upon a Time … Hollywood did a great job capturing the end of the 60s. Jojo Rabbit? They were WWII Nazis, yes, that seemed accurate too.

Really there are multiple picks that could be chosen and I won’t protest one way or another. I liked Little Women costumes the best.

WRITING – ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

My Pick – Little Women – Greta Gerwig

Likely picks:
Joker
The Irishman

Long Shots
The Two Popes
Jojo Rabbit

MY THOUGHTS
Greta Gerwig clearly had the most difficult task, adapting a novel that has already been adapted 7 times! And she delivered. The non-linear narrative was risky but it worked.

The Irishman is too long and Joker is strongest for the ad-lib acting by Joaquin Phoenix, not the script.

The Two Popes was dialogue heavy and Jojo Rabbit would have been better sans Hitler.

WRITING – ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

My Pick: Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach

Likely Picks
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino
Knives Out – Rian Johnson

Long Shots
1917 – Sam Menedes
Parasite – Bong Joon Ho

MY THOUGHTS
I don’t think Tarantino’s alternate timeline Manson-era script is all that original, but it is creative. Rian Johnson’s Knives Out was a lot of fun. Noah Baumbach just hit it out of the park with Marriage Story.

FILM EDITING

My Pick: Joker – Jeff Church

Likely Picks
Ford v Ferrari

Long Shots
Jojo Rabbit
Parasite

Should not even have been nominated
The Irishman

MY THOUGHTS
Joker had the best editing of everything here. It made viewers feel all kinds of nasty and shock. The Irishman was badly in need of more editing. I could see a case being made for Ford v Ferrari as well. The racing scenes were fantastic.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

My Pick: 1917

Likely Picks
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

Long shots
The Irishman
Parasite

Should not even have been nominated
Jojo Rabbit

MY THOUGHTS
That night time scene with the flares going off in the war torn city? My goodness, that scene alone was gorgeous. The production design in Parasite was very creative too.

MUSIC – ORIGINAL SCORE

My Pick: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – John Williams

Likely Picks
Joker

Unlikely Picks
Little Women
Marriage Story

Should not even have been nominated
1917

MY THOUGHTS
Not a fan of the movie, but a huge fan of John Williams. When it comes to Star Wars, is there any better music fix?

SOUND EDITING

My Pick: Ford v Ferrari

Likely Picks
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
1917

Unlikely Picks
Joker

Should not even have been nominated
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

SOUND MIXING

My Pick: Ford v Ferrari

Likely Picks
1917
Joker

Unlikely Picks
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

Should not even have been nominated
Ad Astra

MY THOUGHTS
Why is Ad Astra nominated? Sound-wise the mix of auto racing sounds was excellent in Ford v Ferrari. I could also get behind 1917 here. Forget about Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood.

My Reviews For All 2019 Oscar Nominated Movies

For reference, below are my ratings and reviews for all Oscar nominated movies (click the title to read). Note: some titles are nominated in categories I didn’t profile above because I haven’t seen all the movies in that category.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. The Irishman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Marriage Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
  6. JUDY ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
  7. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️️
  8. Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  9. The Two Popes⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  10. The Lighthouse ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  11. Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  12. Jojo Rabbit ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  13. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  14. Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  15. Parasite ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  16. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  17. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  18. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil ⭐️⭐️½
  19. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ⭐️⭐️½
  20. Ad Astra ⭐️

YOUR NOMINATION PREDICTIONS/THOUGHTS
What are your predictions and picks? Tell me about it in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “92nd Oscar Nomination Predictions

  1. Thanks for the predictions Todd! I have many qualms with your choices and reasoning behind various picks, but I appreciate you posting your thoughts! I’m taking a short hiatus from writing so I haven’t gone into my predictions yet, or even reviews of any recent Oscar films…just been a busy season of life 🙂 I will say tho that this year’s Best Picture nominees are maybe the strongest set of films we have had in quite some time.
    Follow me on Facebook @RedBeardMovieReviews

    Like

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