Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

FINAL 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions – Part 2

The critics awards are in. So are guild nominations. The Golden Globes have spoken, the Critics’ Choice will the day before nominations are out. Every bit of guessing, hoping, predicting, hopedicting comes down to this. I’ve broken down my final Oscar nomination predictions into two sections, 12 categories each. Part 1 dropped yesterday. Some of these categories today are crucial in my Build by Guild concept that if you have widespread support among multiple branches you help propel yourself to Best Picture. But it’s the acting and directing categories that we really have some spectacular races in.

Oscar nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced in two parts on Monday, January 13th.

FINAL 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions – Part 1

Here are my final 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Best Picture, Directing, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Writing (Original Screenplay), Film Editing, Cinematography, Production Design and Costume Design.

It’s hard not to play it safe and go with the PGA top 10 even though it never really pans out like that. There’s always one or two, or sometimes three, films that don’t make the Oscar cut. Plus, with a fluctuating number, Best Picture is tough to nail down. It’s either going to be eight or nine and I think it will be nine but if it’s 10, Knives Out squeezes in. Is there room for another contender to vault themselves in? Bombshell‘s four SAG noms, including Cast seems like it should have made it a clear contender but the reality is it hasn’t gotten any other traction outside of its performances and makeup. The Farewell needed PGA to have a fighting chance here. It’s not impossible but it would be a surprise at this point.


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Comedy/Musical), PGA, SAG
2. Parasite (Neon) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Foreign), PGA, SAG
3. 1917 (Universal) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), PGA
4. The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), PGA, SAG
5. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – CCA, GG (Comedy/Musical), PGA, SAG
6. Joker (Warner Bros) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), PGA
7. Marriage Story (Netflix) – CCA, GG (Drama), PGA
8. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox) – CCA, PGA
9. Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – CCA, PGA
10. Knives Out (Lionsgate) – GG (Comedy/Musical) – PGA

An extremely tough category as weird things can happen here, and often do. Prevailing wisdom says Bong, Mendes, Tarantino and Scorsese are locks as they’ve hit all four precursors but it’s that kind of thought that allows blind spots to come in and take over. It’s not a crazy idea that one of them could miss. If one did I would suspect it would be Tarantino or Scorsese. But, if those four are in who gets that 5th spot? Phillips has BAFTA and GG but Waititi showed up in DGA. We already know that Joker is a major player but Waititi’s nom, to me, showed how strong Jojo will probably be on Monday morning. But, and it’s a big but, Little Women has been surging at exactly the right time and the backlash of the lack of women directors being nominated this season could find her in the history books as the only female helmer to be nominated here twice. A nomination for Gerwig here serves a few purposes; it would be deserved but it would also help quell anti-awards talk about the lack of women in the awards conversation for directing by being a history-making moment. I’m taking a big risk with Gerwig here as Phillips and Waititi makes more sense on paper but when you look at the last few years of DGA, BAFTA and the Globes no single org has gone 5/5 with Oscar’s Best Director so there is a window of opportunity to take that gamble. Gerwig could Paul Thomas Anderson herself right in. But then, I keep having this weird feeling the directors branch could throw a classic lone director nom to the Safdie brothers.


1. Bong Joon Ho – Parasite (Neon) – BAFTA, CCA, DGA, GG
2. Sam Mendes – 1917 (Universal) – BAFTA, CCA, DGA, GG
3. Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, DGA, GG
4. Martin Scorsese – The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, DGA, GG
5. Greta Gerwig – Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – CCA

Spoiler: Todd Phillips – Joker (Warner Bros) – BAFTA, GG

Phoenix and Driver can rest easy but boy is there a lot of room for the next three spots. DiCaprio is the only other actor to nab all four precursors yet he still feels like a weak contender. Banderas won the critics trifecta of LAFCA, NYFCC and NSFC but missed SAG and BAFTA, crucial misses. Egerton has held on since last May, winning the Globe and only missing Critics Choice. But watch out for Pryce if The Two Popes has any kind of pull with the Academy.


1. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker (Warner Bros) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
2. Adam Driver – Marriage Story (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
3. Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Comedy/Musical), SAG
4. Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics) – CCA, GG (Drama)
5. Taron Egerton – Rocketman (Paramount) – BAFTA, GG (Comedy/Musical), SAG

Spoiler: Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes (Netflix) – BAFTA, GG (Drama)

Another cutthroat category with so many fierce performances fighting for those five spots. Only three have all four precursors but, like her film, Saoirse Ronan is surging with Little Women. She only missed SAG and I think we can probably chalk that up to late screener issues at this point because she’s hit everything else. I’m still hesitant to put her in unless something weird happens with Scarlett Johansson or Charlize Theron here. Nyong’o is also super vulnerable as she’s likely to be her film’s only nomination and that can be more than enough to get snubbed in Best Actress as Marion Cotillard and Tilda Swinton will tell you. If Nyong’o and Erivo are both nominated, as I’m predicting, it will be the first time that two Black actresses have been nominated together in this category since 1973 when Cicely Tyson and Diana Ross both got in.


1. Renée Zellweger – Judy (Roadside Attractions) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
2. Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
3. Charlize Theron – Bombshell (Lionsgate) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
4. Lupita Nyong’o – Us (Universal) – CCA, SAG
5. Cynthia Erivo – Harriet (Focus Features) – CCA, GG (Drama), SAG

Spoiler: Saoirse Ronan – Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, GG (Drama)

Can Tom Hanks finally get another nomination after those snubs for Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks? He’s hit everything but his film has been on mute this season and that just makes him ripe for a big snub. If he makes it in then we’re looking at just one open spot and that’s good for Hopkins who comes in with BAFTA, Critics Choice and a Globe nomination. But, I’m thinking we’ll see Song emerge as an Academy pick if Parasite over performs.


1. Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG
2. Joe Pesci – The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG
3. Al Pacino – The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG
4. Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG
5. Song Kang Ho – Parasite (Neon)

Spoiler: Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG

BAFTA really threw this category a wrench by nominating Margot Robbie twice (something not allowed at the Oscars), which didn’t help us to figure out who past Dern, Robbie (for Bombshell) and Lopez are getting in. Is the Academy going to go for Johansson twice after snubbing her for years? It seems odd but her films are going to be strong contenders elsewhere so maybe not that odd. Florence Pugh definitely built a case at the right time but is there a path for Zhao here? I think there is and it’s going to take a big snub for it to happen.


1. Laura Dern – Marriage Story (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG
2. Margot Robbie – Bombshell (Lionsgate) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG
3. Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers (STX Entertainment) – CCA, GG, SAG
4. Florence Pugh – Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA
5. Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell (A24) – CCA

Spoiler: Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – BAFTA, SAG

This feels as locked as any category can be. I don’t really see how this five falls.


1. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – BAFTA, CCA, WGA
2. The Two Popes (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG
3. The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, WGA
4. Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, WGA
5. Joker (Warner Bros) – BAFTA, CCA, WGA

Spoiler: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar) – CCA, WGA

The Farewell feels like it’s barely holding on having only earned a Critics Choice nomination (it wasn’t eligible for WGA) and both Knives Out and Booksmart have surged right at the end (that Booksmart BAFTA nom was quite a get) so we have three films vying for two spots, two of them from female screenwriters.


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, GG
2. Parasite (Neon) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, WGA
3. Marriage Story (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, WGA
4. The Farewell (A24) – CCA
5. Knives Out (Lionsgate) – BAFTA, CCA, WGA

Spoiler: Booksmart (Annapurna) – BAFTA, WGA

A tough category with something like Ford v Ferrari certainly a feat of editing but not a top Best Picture contender like other films here. Jojo‘s BAFTA nom says a lot but predicting the BAFTA five here don’t feel right. Parasite needs this nomination probably more than anyone but will it be Joker or Jojo that fall?


1. Ford v. Ferrari (20th Century Fox) – BAFTA, CCA, ACE (Drama)
2. The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, ACE (Drama)
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, ACE (Comedy)
4. Joker (Warner Bros) – ACE (Drama), BAFTA
5. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – ACE (Comedy), BAFTA

Spoiler: Parasite (Neon) – CCA, ACE (Drama)

I know some are thinking that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is vulnerable here and after its BAFTA snub, I can see it. Ford v Ferrari is revving its engine ready for that to happen but maybe there’s an outside shot for LAFCA/NYFCC/NSFC winner Portrait of a Lady? If Neon had mounted even the smallest campaign for the film I could see it happening. Still an outside shot but outside nonetheless.


1. 1917 (Universal) – ASC, BAFTA, CCA
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – ASC, CCA
3. The Irishman (Netflix) – ASC, BAFTA, CCA
4. Joker (Warner Bros) – ASC, BAFTA, CCA
5. The Lighthouse (A24) – BAFTA, CCA

Spoiler: Ford v. Ferrari (20th Century Fox) – ASC, BAFTA, CCA

It’s going to be pretty criminal if Parasite misses out here. As the only contemporary contender in the bunch that could work equally to its advantage and disadvantage. Do voters know that not just the house but the entire village was created for the film? If they do, how could they ignore it? This is another tech category where the BAFTA five makes the most sense but I’m cautious.


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, ADG (Period)
2. 1917 (Universal) – BAFTA, CCA, ADG (Period)
3. The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, ADG (Period)
4. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – ADG (Period), BAFTA
5. Joker (Warner Bros) – BAFTA, CCA, ADG (Period)

Spoiler: Parasite (Neon) – CCA, ADG (Contemporary)

Rocketman missing the BAFTA made zero sense and I don’t see the Oscars making the same mistake. Dolemite should be in and give Ruth Carter a nice post-win nomination. Downton Abbey should have been a bigger player here but it’s just disappeared. I have The Irishman on the outside even though there’s no more prolific costume designer alive than Sandy Powell. If The Irishman under performs in any way on Monday this is exactly where one of those places would be.


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA, CDG (Period)
2. Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – BAFTA, CCA
3. Rocketman (Paramount) – CCA, CDG (Period)
4. Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix) – CCA, CDG (Period)
5. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – BAFTA, CDG (Period

Spoiler: The Irishman (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA

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