My 2020 Oscar Picks

One week after the regular, boring Super Bowl, is my version of the Super Bowl. The Oscars always mark the end of awards’ season which for many, is the end of a long, tumultuous three or four months of planning, anticipating, disappointment (or joy) and lots of arguments whether online or in person.

The Oscars matter as much as you want them to matter, my favorite films aren’t always recognized for awards and being “snubbed” or simply not even being considered won’t affect my love of them any more. It’s always nice to see your faves being nominated and celebrated by their peers, but ultimately, your support and your relationship with a film will always be more important than whether or not a film won an award. The Academy Awards are a business decision, not a guaranteed mark of excellence.

Ask any film major, film reviewer, blogger or industry insider their thoughts on the Oscars and you’ll receive a mix of “they don’t matter” to “they only matter when your favorites are winning” and will then proceed to give you their opinions of who should win, should’ve been nominated and who will probably win… This is my version of that.

Tech Categories (+ Shorts)

Visual Effects

Should Win: The Irishman for photoshopping youthful skin onto Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
Will Win: 1917 or Avengers: Endgame, and honestly, I’m at peace with that.
Should’ve been nominated: Cats, obviously.

Image result for jennifer hudson cats
You KNOW someone on J.Hud’s team convinced her this role would land her an Oscar nom.

Costume Design

Should Win: Little Women. Period.
Will Win: Praying for Little Women but I could see Once Upon A Time in Hollywood or 1917 upsetting.
Should’ve been nominated: Rocketman, or Knives Out for Chris Evans’ cable-knit sweater alone.

Image result for chris evans sweater
It was a cultural reset.

Makeup and Hair

Should Win: Joker, for obvious reasons.
Will Win: People are saying Bombshell for prosthetic noses.
Should’ve Could’ve been nominated: Cats, if they didn’t end up doing whatever the hell they actually did.

Image result for Cats
Whoever decided this was OK should not be allowed to make real-world decisions.

Sound Mixing + Sound Editing

Should Win: 1917 is this year’s technical marvel and deservedly so.
Will Win: 1917 will win both, and rightfully so.
Should’ve been nominated: Uncut Gems.

Production Design

Should Win: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood for its flawless recreation of 1960s Hollywood.
Will Win: Hollywood or 1917.
Should’ve been nominated: Little Women for its flawless recreation of 19th century America.

Film Editing

Should Win: Parasite; if you’ve seen it, you’ll know why.
Will Win: Parasite, or Joker if they’re feeling xenophobic.
Should’ve been nominated: Uncut Gems, it’s wild.

Image result for this is how i win uncut gems
Oscar voters reading this.

Documentary + Live-Action Shorts

Haven’t watched any of these admittedly so I have no horse in this race.

Animated Short

Should Win: Rumor on the street is, “Kitbull” and “Hair Love” are pretty good.
Will Win: “Hair Love” if I had to guess, based on others’ reception.

Cinematography

Should Win & Will Win: 1917 is the only choice.
Should’ve been nominated: Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Monos or Midsommar but Portrait could’ve and should’ve been the frontrunner.

Image result for portrait of a lady on fire
Just gonna leave this here.

Original Score

Should Win: Little Women is perfect, Little Women is beautiful.
Will Win: Apparently, Joker, whatever.
Should’ve been nominated: Replace Rise of Skywalker‘s score with Uncut Gems, Monos or The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Now THOSE are memorable scores.

I love listening to this and thinking about what could’ve been.

Original Song

Should Win: None of this year’s nominees will ever be as iconic as Shallow so just give that the award again. Just kidding, not really, but “Into the Unknown” is huge, so for popularity’s sake… My pick’s Frozen.
Will Win: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman is killing it, so probably that.
Should’ve been nominated: “Don’t Call Me Angel.” Seriously. Or Jonathan Groff’s power ballad from Frozen II.

Acting + Feature Categories

Documentary Feature

The Nominees:
American Factory
The Cave
The Edge of Democracy
For Sama
Honeyland

Should Win: Haven’t seen The Cave, or For Sama but the latter has gotten a lot of praise. American Factory is my favorite of the ones I’ve seen, though Honeyland is intimate, tragic and beautifully told.
Will Win: Honeyland and For Sama are the two most likely, though Honeyland is also nominated for foreign so I’m not sure how that’ll affect its chances here.
Should’ve been nominated: I teared up watching Knock Down the House and One Child Nation‘s scrunity of China’s one-child policy is also worthy of a spot here.

International Feature

The Nominees:
Corpus Christi
Honeyland
Les Miserables
Pain & Glory
Parasite

Should Win & Will Win: Parasite is one of the best films of the decade.
Should’ve been nominated: Portrait of a Lady on Fire should’ve been France’s pick but I’m over it. Monos would also be a worthy addition.

Image result for parasite
the only option

Animated Feature

The Nominees:
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Klaus
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

Should Win: Can’t attest to Klaus and Missing Link since I haven’t seen either, but, Toy Story 4 is a great ending (hopefully) to the iconic franchise and beautifully animated.
Will Win: Missing Link has been winning consistently, but the Oscars love Pixar so we’ll see.
Surprisingly, not nominated: Frozen II seemed like a shoe-in before nominations but missed the mark, not really up to par with films like I Lost My Body or Toy Story 4 so it’s not really missed much, in my opinion.

Image result for missing link
Laika is long overdue for an Oscar so I’m lowkey hoping for this upset despite not having seen it yet.

Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees:
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
The Two Popes

Should Win: Since writing my top films of 2019, Little Women has moved up a spot to my #2 film of 2019 so, I’m in Greta’s corner till I die. She took the original 19th century novel and added new life by putting her own, signature Gerwig twist on it.
Will Win: Jojo Rabbit has been winning this consistently so it’s Taika Waititi’s to lose.
Should’ve been nominated: A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood and Hustlers over Joker and dare I say, Two Popes. I’ll just… uh, leave it at that.

Original Screenplay

The Nominees:
Knives Out
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Parasite

Should Win: Marriage Story had my favorite screenplay of the year, beautifully detailing the decay of a relationship; but Parasite is my favorite film overall so I’m rooting for either, though Parasite has more of a chance.
Will Win: Parasite or Once Upon a Time are the two frontrunners here for sure.
Should’ve been nominated: I’d switch out 1917 with The Farewell or Pain & Glory. 1917 is great, but its screenplay doesn’t really have the substance that its alternates do. I would even say Honey Boy was more emotionally charged and deserving.

Image result for marriage story
Marriage Story made me long for marriage and then divorce within the first 5 minutes.

Supporting Actor

The Nominees:
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Should Win: Honestly, all did amazing jobs, I’d love for Tom to win for heartwarming take on Mr. Rogers, but Brad Pitt was my favorite part of Once Upon a Time and, he’s probably my favorite of the bunch.
Will Win: Brad Pitt is pretty much locked in at this point, anyone else would be an upset.
Should’ve been nominated: I’d drop one of The Irishman nominees and Anthony Hopkins for Willem Dafoe’s horrifyingly dirty role in The Lighthouse and Shia Labeouf for mustering up the courage to play his own father in Honey Boy. Sue me.

Image result for willem dafoe the lighthouse gif
Willem dedicates this monologue to those in The Academy who wronged him

Supporting Actress

The Nominees:
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Should Win: I would LOVE Florence to win, but, in my head, Laura Dern’s nomination is for both Marriage Story and Little Women and she absolutely kills it in both so she’s my pick.
Will Win: Again, it’s Laura Dern’s award to lose, she’s been winning consistently so, fingers crossed.
Should’ve been nominated: Kathy Bates was the best part of Richard Jewell, but getting nominated over JLo in Hustlers is a felony and whoever made that choice must be dealt with. Scarlett’s nom here also feels undeserved and Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell deserved better.

Image result for zhao shuzhen
Grandma deserves better.

Actor

The Nominees:
Antonio Banderas, Pain & Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Should Win: Adam Driver and Antonio Banderas both deliver career-defining performances in their respective films so either of them would be my pick.
Will Win: Joaquin has been dominating and will probably win come Sunday. His latest speech at the SAG awards make me more accepting of his eventual win though.
Should’ve been nominated: I have nothing against The Two Popes I promise but, Kanye moment, Adam Sandler delivered one of the best performances of all-time!

Image
…and now we have to deal with Adam Sandler never being in a serious role again.

Actress

The Nominees:
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renee Zellwegger, Judy

Should Win: I haven’t seen Bombshell or Harriet, I absolutely love Saoirse and Scarlett’s performances in their films, but Renee’s been my pick since I watched Judy. The film itself is no more than a vehicle for her to earn another Oscar nomination and well… she deserves to win too.
Will Win: Judy was okay, Renee is incredible though, her performance is heartbreaking and haunting. Pretty much a lock at this point.
Should’ve been nominated: I can’t attest to Charlize in Bombshell or Cynthia is Harriet but I’m willing to guarantee I won’t like either of them as much as I loved Awkwafina in The Farewell.

Director

The Nominees:
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Todd Phillips, Joker
Sam Mendes, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Should Win: #BONGHIVE. But also, Sam Mendes did an outstanding job on 1917 and should be recognized.
Will Win: Bong and Sam are the frontrunners here, but Quentin could upset.
Should’ve been nominated: Get Todd Phillips out of there and put in Greta Gerwig for writing and directing the best adaptation of Little Women while pregnant.

Image result for greta gerwig little women
Look at this woman, directing, who let this happen?

Best Picture

The Nominees:
Ford V Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Parasite

Should Win: Though I love 1917 and Marriage Story, Parasite and Little Women have my heart but I’d be fine with any of the four winning.
Will Win: The top contenders seem to be 1917, Parasite and Once Upon a Time, I’ve been calling 1917 winning since like October and it feels great to be right.
Should’ve been nominated: No one’s checking for Ford v Ferrari so you can drop that and add Uncut Gems, Pain & Glory, The Farewell or Knives Out for a nice lil’ wildcard.

Well, those are my picks. If you disagree, don’t hesitate to call me out and fight me on it. I stand by 95% of what I said and, win or lose, Oscar’s are just a cherry on top to an already amazing year of films. I’ll see you all in the trenches.

Image result for 1917
To the person reading this:
if 1917 wins Best Picture, you owe me $1

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