Fri. Jan 17th, 2020

Frontrunner Friday Oscar Predictions: Bombshells, Bales and Marches

Hot off the first screenings of Bombshell, which vaulted Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie up Oscar predictions charts everywhere (including mine), another unseen December release, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women adaptation, showed itself to great critical responses and, like Bombshell, resplendent with an all-star SAG Q&A that featured the entire main cast, including Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh (more on her in a bit), Laura Dern and Meryl Streep. Gerwig introduced the film herself, who received praise for the film’s non-traditional structure and time-shifting storytelling.

One of the main takeaways from these early responses, and one that many had heard about before the screening, was the performance by Florence Pugh. Pugh is having a stellar year, with many introduced to her in Fighting with My Family from last February to her scorching performance in Ari Aster’s summer horror Midsommar, which just earned her a Gotham nom. Pugh is prime for a potential Supporting Actress nomination for earning some field-best notices for playing Amy March in Little Women and is even an outside contender for Midsommar (although her path for that will probably be similar to Toni Collette’s in Hereditary last year). She enters my top 5 for the first time.

The other big reveal this week was finally knowing the category placement for Christian Bale and Matt Damon in Ford v Ferrari. Despite being clear co-leads, prevailing thought was that Bale would go supporting and Damon go lead to best increase one or both of their chances (it’s really only been Bale though). Surprisingly, Bale and Damon chose to both compete in Best Actor and have been submitted as such for both the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes. Trouble is, Best Actor this year is staaaacked.

My top 3 – Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) – feel pretty unmovable but, things aren’t set in stone in October. There is some wiggle room in case Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and/or Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory, looking for his first nomination) but with Taron Egerton (Rocketman, and really playing the game hard), Robert De Niro (The Irishman, a top tier Best Picture contender) and Eddie Murphy (looking for a huge career comeback in Dolemite Is My Name, which is out on Netflix today) in the mix it’s going to be tough for Bale to break in unless Ford v Ferrari ends up being a bigger player than most think it’s going to be.

That leaves just 1917, Richard Jewell and Cats as high-profile December contenders waiting to be seen. Richard Jewell will debut at AFI Fest in November, a month before its release.

Here are my Frontrunner Friday Oscar predictions for October 25, 2019.


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. Little Women (Sony/Columbia – 12/25)
10. Bombshell (Lionsgate – 12/20)


1. Bong Joon-ho – Parasite (Neon)
2. Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story (Netflix)
3. Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
4. Sam Mendes – 1917 (Universal)
5. Martin Scorsese – The Irishman (Netflix)


1. Adam Driver – Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes (Netflix)
3. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker (Warner Bros)
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)


1. Renée Zellweger – Judy (Roadside Attractions)
2. Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story (Netflix)
3. Awkwafina – The Farewell (A24)
4. Saoirse Ronan – Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
5. Charlize Theron – Bombshell (Lionsgate)


1. Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
2. Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
3. Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes (Netflix)
4. Al Pacino – The Irishman (Netflix)
5. Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse (A24)


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


1. The Two Popes (Netflix)
2. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
3. The Irishman (Netflix)
4. Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)


1. Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
3. Parasite (Neon)
4. The Farewell (A24)
5. Bombshell (Lionsgate)


1. Ford v. Ferrari (Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Dirk Westervelt) – 20th Century Fox
2. The Irishman (Thelma Schoonmaker) – Netflix
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Fred Raskin) – Sony/Columbia
4. Marriage Story (Jennifer Lame) – Netflix
5. 1917 (Lee Smith) – Universal


1. 1917 (Roger Deakins) – Universal
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Robert Richardson) – Sony/Columbia
3. The Irishman (Rodrigo Prieto) – Netflix
4. Ford v. Ferrari (Phedon Papamichael) – 20th Century Fox
5. The Lighthouse (Jarin Blaschke) – A24


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Barbara Ling) – Sony/Columbia
2. The Two Popes (Mark Tildesley) – Netflix
3. The Irishman (Bob Shaw) – Netflix
4. Cats (Eve Stewart) – Universal
5. Ad Astra (Kevin Thompson) – 20th Century Fox


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Arianne Phillips) – Sony/Columbia
2. Little Women (Jacqueline Durran) – Sony/Columbia
3. The Irishman (Sandy Powell) – Netflix
4. Downton Abbey (Anna Robbins) – Focus Features
5. Dolemite Is My Name (Ruth E. Carter) – Netflix


1. 1917 (Thomas Newman) – Universal
2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (John Williams) – Disney
3. Little Women (Alexandre Desplat) – Sony/Columbia
4. Joker (Hildur Guðnadóttir) – Warner Bros
5. Marriage Story (Randy Newman) – Netlfix


1. Frozen II – “Into the Unknown” (Disney)
2. Toy Story 4 – “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” (Disney/Pixar)
3. Rocketman – “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Paramount)
4. Cats – “Beautiful Ghosts” (Universal)
5. Western Stars – “Sundown” (Warner Bros)


1. 1917 (Universal)
2. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
3. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox
4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
5. Joker (Warner Bros)


1. 1917 (Universal)
2. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
3. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Rocketman (Paramount)


1. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
2. Judy (Roadside Attractions)
3. Joker (Warner Bros)
4. The Irishman (Netflix)
5. Downton Abbey (Focus Features)


1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
2. The Lion King (Disney)
3. Avengers: Endgame (Disney)
4. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
5. The Irishman (Netflix)


1. Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)
2. Frozen II (Disney)
3. Weathering With You (GKIDS)
4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dreamworks)
5. Missing Link (LAIKA/Annapurna/UAR)


1. American Factory (Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar) – Netflix
2. Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller) – Neon
3. One Child Nation (Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang) – Amazon
4. Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov)
5. The Cave (Feras Fayyad) – National Geographic


1. South Korea – Parasite (Bong Joon-ho) – Neon
2. Spain – Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar) – Sony Classics
3. France – Les Misérables (Ladj Ly) – Amazon
4. Sweden – And Then We Danced (Levan Akin) – Music Box
5. Senegal – Atlantics (Mati Diop) – Netflix


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