by Sara Michelle Fetters
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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 7, 2020 - Volume 48 Issue 06
92nd Annual Academy Awards predictions
Arts & Entertainment
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92nd Annual Academy Awards predictions

by Sara Michelle Fetters
SGN A&E Writer

            92ND ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS
            DOLBY THEATRE
            LOS ANGELES
            ABC & KOMO 4 TV BROADCAST
            Sunday, February 9 @ 5pm PST
            (Red Carpet @ 3:30pm PST)

            The 92nd annual Academy Awards are this Sunday, and I admit I’m having a heck of time getting excited about them. Not because I dislike the films or anything. I’m all for either of the supposed Best Picture frontrunners (Sam Mendes ambitious WWI drama 1917 and Bong Joon Ho’s inventively thrilling satire Parasite) taking home the top prize. Heck, even if I wasn’t over the moon about the movie, I’d even be okay with Taika Waititi’s controversial Nazi youth comedy Jojo Rabbit sneakily usurping the throne as some pundits predict might be a possibility.

            No, my issues aren’t necessarily with the nominated titles (Joker aside, which I’m on record for despising). It’s been more with the humdrum inevitability of those nominees throughout the so-called “awards season.” This is one of those years where, whether true or not, the membership of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have done the least amount of work possible during their annual voting process. There was never any drama. There was never any mystery. It was as if there were 15 or so designated titles deemed “worthy” of a nomination and those were the motion pictures voters stuck with, anything outside of traditional narratives (other than Parasite) or gender/cultural representation left at the bottom of the screener pile unwatched.

            As such, the nine features up for Best Picture (1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and Parasite) received the lion’s share of this year’s nominations. Sure, movies like Knives Out, Bombshell and even Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker pop up here and there. But for the most part those are the nine singled out in almost every viable category, and personally I find that to be incredibly disheartening.

            From a prediction standpoint, while it’s unlikely there will be a shocker in any of the acting categories (Joaquin Phoenix, Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern are going to win Oscars), the remainder of the categories are all by and large up in the air, including Best Picture. As already mentioned, 1917 and Parasite are the presumed frontrunners, but in reality it does feel like along with those two Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and even Joker have a legitimate shot at taking the top prize. Best Director is also noticeably competitive this year, as are the Screenplay, Editing, Costumes and both Sound categories.

            I guess that means I should check my whining about the lack of inclusion and diversity (both in representation and in the nominated films themselves) in this year’s nominees and celebrate the fact that there’s actually a competitive race in the majority of the categories. It certainly makes predicting the outcome this year at least somewhat fun. In fact, pretty sure my track record of finishing around 90% correct on my picks year-in and year-out might even be in jeopardy.

            Anyhow, here are my predictions for the 92nd annual Academy Awards. Enjoy!

            BEST PICTURE
            Nominees: 1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Parasite
            Prediction: 1917
            Thoughts: As cool as it would be to see Parasite make history and be the first foreign language film to win Best Picture, I just don’t see the Academy following through on delivering on something so momentous.

            BEST DIRECTOR
            Nominees: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood)
            Prediction: Sam Mendes
            Thoughts: I think this is a lock even if Parasite wins Best Picture as Academy Members tend to love technical wizardry, and on that front 1917 is clearly the superior choice.

            BEST ACTOR
            Nominees: Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time…in America), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)
            Prediction: Joaquin Phoenix
            Thoughts: While I couldn’t stand Joker and didn’t think Phoenix was actually all that good in the film, holy cow have awards season voters disagreed with me. This is a gigantic lock.

            BEST ACTRESS
            Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renée Zellweger (Judy)
            Prediction: Renée Zellweger
            Thoughts: I can’t help but keep thinking about how much more interesting this category would have been had Lupita Nyong'o (Us) and Awkafina (The Farewell) been here. Oh well. C’est la vie.

            BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
            Nominees: 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)
            Prediction: Brad Pitt
            Thoughts: Brad Pitt’s best 2019 performance was in Ad Astra. Just a reminder.

            BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
            Nominees: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
            Prediction: Laura Dern
            Thoughts: Don’t be surprised if Florence Pugh pulls off a shocker. This is the acting category where that frequently happens.

            BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
            Nominees: 1917, Knives Out, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Parasite
            Prediction: Parasite
            Thoughts: Freakishly competitive category. 1917 and Knives Out could easily take this as well.

            BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
            Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, The Two Popes
            Prediction: Jojo Rabbit
            Thoughts: Conventional wisdom Greta Gerwig gets the win for Little Women mainly because she wasn’t nominated for Best Director. Unfortunately, I suspect that’s not going to be the case.

            BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
            Nominees: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link, Toy Story 4
            Prediction: Toy Story 4
            Thoughts: My prediction is wrong. I almost guarantee it. One of the other four (I have no idea which) is likely going to pull off an upset.

            BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
            Nominees: American Factory, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland
            Prediction: For Sama
            Thoughts: Don’t watch all of these back-to-back. They’re all terrific. They’re also all REALLY depressing.

            BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
            Nominees: Corpus Christi, Honeyland, Les Misérables, Pain and Glory, Parasite
            Prediction: Parasite
            Thoughts: Think this is a foregone conclusion? It might not be. If Parasite loses here there’s an awfully good chance it’s going to win Best Picture instead.

            BEST CINEMATOGRPAHY
            Nominees: 1917, The Irishman, Joker, The Lighthouse, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
            Prediction: 1917
            Thoughts: Yeah, 1917 has this in the bag.

            BEST EDITING
            Nominees: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Parasite
            Prediction: Ford v Ferrari
            Thoughts: If Parasite wins here, it will pull off the Best Picture shocker.

            BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
            Nominees: 1917, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Parasite
            Prediction: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
            Thoughts: If The Irishman is going to win anything, it will be this. Otherwise, Scorsese’s mobster epic is going to go home empty-handed.

            BEST COSTUME DESIGN
            Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
            Prediction: Jojo Rabbit
            Thoughts: I really want Little Women to win this. I don’t think it is going to.

            BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
            Nominees: 1917, Bombshell, Joker, Judy, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
            Prediction: Bombshell
            Thoughts: Would actually love to see 1917 get this.

            BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
            Nominees: 1917, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
            Prediction: Joker
            Thoughts: I have this feeling John Williams will win in an upset. It’s his final Star Wars score, after all, and the entire Academy membership knows it.

            BEST ORIGINAL SONG
            Nominees: “I’m Standing With You” (Breakthrough), “Into the Unknown” (Frozen II), “Stand Up” (Harriet), “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” (Rocketman), “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (Toy Story 4)
            Prediction: “Stand Up” (Harriet)
            Thoughts: How is this Rocketman’s only nomination? That’s just crazy.

            BEST SOUND MIXING
            Nominees: 1917, Ad Astra, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
            Prediction: 1917
            Thoughts: I really want to say Ad Astra, mainly because this is inexplicably the film’s only nomination.

            BEST SOUND EDITING
            Nominees: 1917, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
            Prediction: 1917
            Thoughts: I’d rather Ford v Ferrari won at least one of the two Sound Oscars it is nominated for. Not going to happen, but I think that would be pretty neat.

            BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
            Nominees: 1917, Avengers: Endgame, The Irishman, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
            Prediction: Avengers: Endgame
            Thoughts: I feel like the effects in 1917 are going to be too subtle for the Academy membership. I’m hoping I am wrong.

            BEST ANIMATED SHORT
            Nominees: Daughter, Hair Love, Kitbull, Memorable, Sister
            Prediction: Hair Love

            BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
            Nominees: In the Absence, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl), Life Overtakes Me, St. Louis Superman, Walk Run Cha-Cha
            Prediction: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)

            BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
            Nominees: Brotherhood, Nefta Football Club, The Neighbors’ Window, Saria, Une soeur
            Prediction: Nefta Football Club

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