Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Frontrunner Friday: ‘The Irishman,’ ‘1917,’ ‘Richard Jewell,’ light up the Oscar race

It’s the first Frontrunner Friday of the 2019-2020 Oscar season and for good reason: since the September Oscar predictions we’ve had Netflix’s The Irishman screen at NYFF to overwhelming raves, Universal’s 1917 ramp up its marketing and visibility and Warner Bros drop the first trailer for Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell.

For most of us, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman has been an easy ‘on paper’ prediction in multiple categories but with those raves (AW’s Tomris Laffly liked the film, but was a bit less enthusiastic than most), the bonafides of Scorsese’s team and the tried and true subject matter, the film might be an undeniable force.

Sam Mendes hasn’t been in the Oscar conversation since he burst onto the scene 20 years ago, winning Best Picture and Best Director for his debut film, 1999’s American Beauty. He’s making a serious comeback with his WWI ‘one-shot’ epic 1917. Universal has begun the marketing in earnest for the December release that will likely bypass an festivals before its Christmas Day release.

Clint Eastwood, at 89, is one of the world’s most efficient filmmakers right now. Following the path of 2018’s The Mule almost to the letter, Richard Jewell started filming in June, post-production in August and has a mid-December release and a first trailer already. While The Mule ended up being a box office hit, there was zero awards push for the film from Warner Bros. Will they go for it this year? They’ll have a hit with Joker (opening today) but the studio has been licking its wounds all year with bomb after bomb so there may just not be any money in their campaign coffers. At the moment I’m holding off on any top 10 or top 5 placement but I’m keeping a close eye on it, especially if it shows up at SAG to Million Dollar Baby this season’s awards.

Here is my Frontrunner Friday for October 4, 2019.


1. Marriage Story (Netflix – 11/6, theatrical / 12/6, streaming) Venice/Telluride/TIFF/NYFF
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia – 7/26) Cannes
3. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight – 10/18) TIFF
4. Parasite (Neon – 10/11) Cannes/Telluride/TIFF/NYFF
5. 1917 (Universal – 12/25)
6. The Farewell (A24 – 7/12) Sundance
7. The Irishman (Netflix – 11/1 theatrical / 11/27 streaming) NYFF
8. The Two Popes (Netflix – 11/27, theatrical / 12/20 streaming) Telluride/TIFF
9. Ford v. Ferrari (20th Century Fox – 11/15) Telluride/TIFF
10. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar – 11/22) TIFF


1. Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
2. Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story (Netflix)
3. Bong Joon-ho – Parasite (Neon)
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. Cynthia Erivo – Harriet (Focus Features)
5. Saoirse Ronan – Little Women (Sony)


1. Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
2. Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
3. Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
4. Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes (Netflix)
5. Al Pacino – The Irishman (Netflix)


1. Laura Dern – Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers (STX Entertainment)
3. Shuzhen Zhao – The Farewell (A24)
4. Margot Robbie – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey (Focus Features)


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


1. Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
3. The Farewell (A24)
4. Parasite (Neon)
5. 1917 (Universal)


1. The Irishman (Thelma Schoonmaker) Netflix
2. Ford v. Ferrari (Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker) 20th Century Fox
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Fred Raskin) Sony/Columbia
4. Marriage Story (Jennifer Lame) Netflix
5. Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (Maryann Brandon, Stefan Grube) Disney


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 Irishman (Bob Shaw) Netflix
3. 1917 (Dennis Gassner) Universal
4. Cats (Eve Stewart) Universal
5. Downton Abbey (Donal Woods) Focus Features


1. The Irishman (Sandy Powell) Netflix
2. Little Women (Jacqueline Durran) Sony/Columbia
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Arianne Phillips) Sony
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
4. Joker (Hildur Guðnadóttir) Warner Bros
5. Marriage Story (Randy Newman) Netflix


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”
4. The Lion King – “Spirit” (Disney)
5. Harriet, “Stand Up” (Focus Features)


1. 1917 (Universal)
2. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)


1. 1917 (Universal)
2. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Rocketman (Paramount)


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


1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
2. The Lion King (Disney)
3. Avengers: Endgame (Disney)
4. 1917 (Universal)
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. I Lost My Body (Netflix)


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 (Neon)
2. Spain – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)
3. France – Les Misérables (Amazon)
4. Sweden – And Then We Danced (Music Box)
5. Senegal – Atlantics (Netflix)

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