Wed. Aug 5th, 2020

Frontrunner Friday Oscar Predictions: Critics Awards, Golden Globe and SAG Nominations Gives the Race Shape

This has been the most important week in the Oscar race so far as dozens of critics groups have begun to announce nominations and winners (giving us an idea of what they’ve actually seen, where they’re piggy-backing from and the impact of the big ones like LA and NY) but even more so from the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations from earlier this week.

As is with every year, sometimes these nominations help lock things down but in some cases (like supporting actress) it makes it even more confusing. That’s a good and a bad thing. Good because a stale season makes for easy predicting and when there’s a bit of disagreement it means groups are thinking on their own. It also reveals potential spoilers we had been a bit gun shy on before.

2019-2020 Awards Tracker Leaderboard – The Critics

We’re also starting to get guild nominations. Costume design, production design, film editing, sound design and makeup & hairstyling guilds have announced and those can often give us left field contenders. They’re telling us that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is rising to the top (or has it really always just been there?) and that Jojo Rabbit is making good on that TIFF Audience Award (even if critics are soft on it – where have we heard this story before…). Joker is also showing a strong guild presence but did fall shy of getting a SAG Cast nomination. Had it done that (especially with Marriage Story missing there) we’d be looking at the film as a Top 5 contender and Phoenix as a pretty undeniable Best Actor winner.

Between guilds, SAG and the Golden Globes it also tells us that some films may be underseen, specifically Little Women. The Greta Gerwig adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel has received rave reactions but is barely making a blip with actual critics awards (with the exception of Florence Pugh) and was shut out entirely at SAG. With it, 1917, Just Mercy and Bombshell being the mid-late December releases that need visibility and attention, that visibility is in desperate need of some new spectacles because voters are not biting, with the exception of Bombshell, which exploded at SAG, even overperforming last year’s Vice, which it closely resembles. But what if Bombshell is just like Jay Roach’s other SAG hit Trumbo? That movie went from SAG Cast, Actor and Supporting Actress nominations to just a single Oscar nomination for Bryan Cranston. I think Bombshell exists somewhere in the middle between those two.

Next week will give us even more pieces to the puzzle, or, in a sense, fewer as the Academy shortlists for Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film and Visual Effects will be revealed on Monday, December 16.

Or maybe Cats will just win everything and this has all been for naught. Official December predictions are coming next week but here are my Frontrunner Friday Oscar Predictions for December 13, 2019.


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
2. Parasite (Neon)
3. Marriage Story (Netflix)
4. The Irishman (Netflix)
5. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
6. 1917 (Universal)
7. Joker (Warner Bros)
8. Ford v. Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
9. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
10. The Farewell (A24)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


1. 1917 (Roger Deakins) – Universal
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Robert Richardson) – Sony/Columbia
3. The Irishman (Rodrigo Prieto) – Netflix
4. A Hidden Life (Jörg Widmer) – Fox Searchlight
5. The Lighthouse (Jarin Blaschke) – A24


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Barbara Ling) – Sony/Columbia
2. 1917 (Dennis Gassner) – Universal
3. The Irishman (Bob Shaw) – Netflix
4. Jojo Rabbit (Ra Vincent) – Fox Searchlight
5. Parasite (Lee Ha-jun) – Neon


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


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


1. Frozen II – “Into the Unknown” (Disney)
2. Toy Story 4 – “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (Disney/Pixar)
3. Rocketman – “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Paramount)
4. Cats – “Beautiful Ghosts” (Universal)
5. Harriet – “Stand Up” (Focus Features)


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


1. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
2. Judy (Roadside Attractions)
3. Joker (Warner Bros)
4. Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix)
5. Downton Abbey (Focus Features)


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


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


1. For Sama (PBS)
2. American Factory (Netflix)
3. Apollo 11 (Neon)
4. One Child Nation (Amazon)
5. Honeyland


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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