Wed. Aug 5th, 2020

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: BEST PICTURE (October)

PARASITE (Neon) creeps up the Best Picture chart (Image courtesy of Neon)

Where there was green, now there is a sea of red.

The top is pretty much the same as last month (just one drop and one add) but placements keep moving around. Parasite keeps getting stronger and stronger. I have it at #1 in Best Director and International Feature Film and even though I think we’re not quite there with a non-English language film winning Best Picture (Roma got so close) we seem to be inching ever so much closer. There is still probably going to be the prevailing thought that since non-English language films have their own category there’s no ‘need’ to give them Best Picture too.

As I acquiesced in Best Director, The Irishman moves back up the Best Picture chart as well. Between that, Marriage Story and The Two Popes, one of the most interesting things this season will be to see how Netflix navigates awards season differently than last year. With everything focused on one film and the countless stories about how much was spent on Roma’s campaign, that became the conversation. With a wider net and a more diverse set of films to promote – and increasing the theatrical window – Netflix is moving towards playing the Oscar game in a more traditional way and for older members or those that aren’t on board with streamers quite yet, that could be the tipping point.

That means a bunch of films take small dips, including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, TIFF Audience winner Jojo Rabbit (we’ll see what that films’ beginning box office looks like this weekend) and even top 5 from last month, 1917. These are all moveable chess pieces, there is very little set in stone. It’s probably a safe bet that Parasite will earn the lion’s share of critics’ awards this year (like Roma did last year), which will take the heat of ‘critics’ fave’ status off from other films. The Academy doesn’t like being told what’s the best or what to vote for so any film that sidestep frontrunner status before Oscar nominations come out will probably find itself (themselves) in a better place than the film with the target on its back.

As in virtually all other categories this month, Bombshell moves up and up, this month into the top 10. Judy, Pain and Glory and Richard Jewell also all find their stock improving for October while others, like Ford v Ferrari, Just Mercy and A Hidden Life fall.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Best Picture for October 18, 2019.

Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry

1. Marriage Story (Netflix – 11/6, theatrical / 12/6, streaming) – Venice/Telluride/TIFF/NYFF
2. Parasite (Neon – 10/11) – Cannes/Telluride/TIFF/NYFF
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia – 7/26) – Cannes
4. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight – 10/18) – TIFF
5. The Irishman (Netflix – 11/1 theatrical / 11/27 streaming) – NYFF
6. 1917 (Universal – 12/25)
7. The Farewell (A24 – 7/12) – Sundance
8. The Two Popes (Netflix – 11/27, theatrical / 12/20 streaming) – Telluride/TIFF
9. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar – 11/22) – TIFF
10. Bombshell (Lionsgate – 12/20)

NEXT UP (alphabetical by film)

The Aeronauts (Amazon – 12/6, theatrical / 12/20, streaming) – Telluride/TIFF
Ford v. Ferrari (20th Century Fox – 11/15) – Telluride/TIFF
Hustlers (STX Entertainment – 9/13) – TIFF
Joker (Warner Bros – 10/4) – Venice/TIFF/NYFF
Little Women (Sony/Columbia – 12/25)

WATCH OUT FOR (alphabetical by film)

Cats (Universal – 12/20)
Dark Waters (Focus Features – 11/22)
Judy (Roadside Attractions – 9/27) – Telluride/TIFF
Pain and Glory (Sony Classics – 10/4) – Cannes/Telluride/TIFF
Richard Jewell (Warner Bros – 12/13) – AFI

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by film)

Ad Astra (20th Century Fox – 9/20) – Venice
Avengers: Endgame (Disney – 4/26)
Harriet (Focus Features – 11/1) – TIFF
A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight – 12/13) – Cannes/Telluride/TIFF
Just Mercy (Warner Bros – 12/25) – TIFF
Knives Out (Lionsgate – 11/27) – TIFF
Motherless Brooklyn (Warner Bros – 11/1) – Telluride/TIFF/NYFF
Queen & Slim (Universal – 11/27) – AFI
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (Disney – 12/20)
Us (Universal – 3/22) – SXSW
Waves (A24 – 11/15) – Telluride/TIFF

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