Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

Frontrunner Friday Oscar Predictions: ‘Can You See in the Dark?’

It’s the last Frontrunner Friday of the year. Of the decade! Official Oscar predictions for December were just last week, has much really changed since then? Well, yes and no.

Cats finally opened and audiences saw that yes, it was as bad and terrifying as critics said it was. In the space of just a week: the $100M feline fracas bombed hard at the box office, didn’t finish its VFX in time for release (did you see Judi Dench’s hand and wedding ring?); VFX that made the final Oscar shortlist of 10 films, beating out the likes of Ad Astra. Universal promised another version with better effects but the topper – the Academy is allowing this updated version to be the film’s official submission for Oscar contention. But, that might not matter as Universal decided to remove the Cats page from its awards page. Me-ouch. Good thing cats have nine lives because this kitty is off to the Heaviside layer.

The big Christmas Day openings and expansions of potential Oscar contenders set themselves on a path this week. The WWI epic 1917 hit 11 theaters with a $251K opening day and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women adaptation wrote itself a happy ending with a $6.4M start, besting the Will Smith/Tom Holland animated film Spies in Disguise. It followed that up with another $6M the day after Christmas. Just Mercy, inspired by a true death row case and starring Michael B. Jordan and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, made a quiet plea on its opening day to the tune of $81K in four theaters but didn’t make a strong case. Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler’s latest foray into dramatic acting, turned heads with a huge $5.9M, the highest grossing single day from A24 in its history. But, its C+ CinemaScore rating was reflected almost immediately with Thursday coming in at almost half that.

The first week of January could turn some of these predictions on their head as the 3rd gives us the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) nominations, the 5th is the Golden Globe Awards, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) offers up its noms on the 6th and the 7th, Awardsageddon Day, gives us the BAFTA nominations, Directors Guild of America (DGA) nominations and Producers Guild of America (PGA) nominations. That’s just six days before Oscar nominations are announced. I plan on keeping oxygen and copious amounts of water by my side that day.

My Golden Globe preview and winner predictions will drop on January 3rd, along with a new podcast. Here are my Frontrunner Friday Oscar predictions for December 27, 2019. Happy New Year, everyone!


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – CCA, GG (Comedy/Musical), SAG
2. Parasite (Neon) – CCA, GG (Foreign), SAG
3. Marriage Story (Netflix) – CCA, GG (Drama)
4. The Irishman (Netflix) – CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
5. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – CCA, GG (Comedy/Musical), SAG
6. 1917 (Universal) – CCA, GG (Drama)
7. Joker (Warner Bros) – CCA, GG (Drama)
8. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox) – CCA
9. Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – CCA
10. The Farewell (A24) – GG (Foreign)


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


1. Adam Driver – Marriage Story (Netflix) – CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
2. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker (Warner Bros) – CCA, GG (Drama), SAG
3. Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – CCA, GG (Comedy/Musical), SAG
4. Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics) – CCA, GG (Drama)
5. Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox) – GG (Drama), SAG


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


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


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


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


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


1. Ford v. Ferrari (20th Century Fox) – CCA, ACE (Drama)
2. The Irishman (Netflix) – CCA, ACE (Drama)
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – CCA, ACE (Comedy)
4. Marriage Story (Netflix) – ACE (Drama)
5. Parasite (Neon) – CCA, ACE (Drama)


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


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


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – CCA, CDG (Period)
2. Little Women (Sony/Columbia) – CCA
3. Downton Abbey (Focus Features) – CCA, CDG (Period)
4. Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix) – CCA, CDG (Period)
5. Rocketman (Paramount) – CCA, CDG (Period)


1. 1917 (Universal) – CCA, GG
2. Joker (Warner Bros) – CCA, GG
3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
4. Little Women (Sony/Columbia ) – CCA, GG
5. Marriage Story (Netflix) – CCA, GG


1. Frozen II – “Into the Unknown” (Disney) – CCA, GG
2. Toy Story 4 – “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (Disney/Pixar)
3. Rocketman – “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Paramount) – CCA, GG
4. The Lion King – “Spirit” (Disney) – CCA, GG
5. Harriet – “Stand Up” (Focus Features) – CA, GG


1. 1917 (Universal) – MPSE (x2)
2. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox) – MPSE (x2)
3. Joker (Warner Bros) – MPSE (x3)
4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) – MPSE
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – MPSE (x3)


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


1. Bombshell (Lionsgate) – CCA, MUAH (x3)
2. Judy (Roadside Attractions) – CCA
3. Joker (Warner Bros) – CCA, MUAH (x2)
4. 1917 (Universal)
5. Downton Abbey (Focus Features) – MUAH (x2)


1. The Lion King (Disney) – CCA
2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
3. Avengers: Endgame (Disney) – CCA, Annie
4. Alita: Battle Angel (20th Century Fox) – Annie
5. The Irishman (Netflix) – CCA


1. Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar) – CCA, GG, Annie
2. I Lost My Body (Netflix) – CCA, Annie (Indie)
3. Frozen II (Disney) – CCA, GG, Annie
4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dreamworks) – CCA, GG, Annie
5. Missing Link (LAIKA/Annapurna/UAR) – CCA, GG, Annie


1. For Sama (PBS)
2. American Factory (Netflix) – CCA
3. Apollo 11 (Neon) – CCA
4. One Child Nation (Amazon) – CCA
5. Midnight Family (1901 Media)


1. South Korea – Parasite (Neon) – CCA, GG
2. Spain – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics) – CCA, GG
3. France – Les Misérables (Amazon) – CCA, GG
4. Russia – Beanpole (Kino Lorber)
5. Senegal – Atlantics (Netflix) – CCA


Hair Love
Mind My Mind
The Physics of Sorrow
Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days


Fire in Paradise
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)
Life Overtakes Me
St. Louis Superman
Walk Run Cha-Cha


Little Hands
Nefta Football Club
The Neighbors’ Window
Sometimes, I Think about Dying

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