The Oscars will take center stage this Sunday, and it seems that many of the major categories are devoid of excitement. When looking at how many of the major nominees have faired in the numerous award shows that have happened over the last six weeks, it’s not hard to see who will likely come out on top. In many ways, the 2020 Academy Awards are a coronation. Now there are bound to be some surprises, just not in the major categories except perhaps one. We will outline that and reveal who our picks to win on Sunday.
Best Supporting Actor – Brad Pitt – ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’
Nothing short of a meteor striking the actor will deter him from becoming an Oscar winner this Sunday. Pitt has virtually swept guild, and award shows scoring big wins at BAFTA, CCA, and The Golden Globes.
Best Supporting Actress – Laura Dern – ‘Marriage Story’
Just like Pitt, Dern has been sweeping through awards season as the prohibitive favorite. In a year where there have been incredible performances in the supporting actress category, Dern has and will remain to be head and shoulders above her competition. This is a lock.
Best Actor – Joaquin Phoenix – ‘Joker’
While some might not agree with this pick, it’s hard to ignore the inevitable. Phoenix’s performance has undoubtedly resonated with award voters this year. We have to remember that it’s not always the best performance which comes away with the big prize on Oscar night (re: Adam Driver in Marriage Story)
Best Actress – Renee Zellweger – ‘Judy’
For a short while, it seemed Mrs. Zellweger would get some competition from either Charlize Theron in ‘Bombshell’ or Scarlett Johansson in ‘Marriage Story,’ recent wins (SAG, Golden Globes, and CCA) for the former Oscar winner have made this a sure thing. After Sunday night, Renee will be a two time Oscar winner.
Best Director – Bong Joon-Ho ‘Parasite’
While some have Sam Mendes winning this award, it’s become increasingly clear that ‘Parasite’ will make a dent Sunday night, and I quite frankly will be shocked if the voters give Best Picture to a foreign language film. This is not fair because although ‘1917’ is technically unmatched, ‘Parasite’ is far and away from the better film. That’s why I think a split between Director and Best Picture is highly likely. Mr. Joon-Ho’s film is fantastic and what better way to honor his work.
Best Picture – ‘Jojo Rabbit’ – Directed by Taika Waititi
Conventional wisdom dictates that this should be a race between ‘1917’ and ‘Parasite,’ but the voting process is anything but that. The Academy uses a preferential ballot (ranking movies 1-10), in which rankings are allotted a certain amount of points. Green Book won last year for that very reason. Academy voters are often attracted to films that have themes involving social injustice. Remember, it doesn’t have to be #1 on all the ballots to even win. The Academy isn’t likely to award a foreign language film best picture. ‘Parasite’, ‘1917’, and ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ will undoubtedly be in the running, which could split voters opening the door for this improbable win. Now, conventional wisdom could prevail here, but rarely are the Oscars entirely predictable. This is the one big upset that will make headlines post Oscars.