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  • by Wes Singleton

Wes's Oscar Predictions

The 92nd Academy Awards (the Oscars) will be held Sunday, February 9th. The Oscar nominations will be announced Monday, January 13th.


Here are my predictions for the top categories.


Best Picture

1917

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Marriage Story

Parasite

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Little Women

Ford v Ferrari


I'm going with 9 nominees this year. The first 7 on this list are sure things, with the final two based on the recent round of awards and guild nominations (and Little Women's increasing momentum), though as well know the Academy can surprise us. Any of the following could also make the final cut: Knives Out, Bombshell, The Farewell or The Two Popes.


Best Director

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker


The first 4 are best bets, however the Academy is good with throwing a curve ball or two in this category, so there could be more surprises here. Taika Waititi received a Directors Guild Award nomination, so that could easily be the fifth slot here, but I'm going with Phillips, whose Joker was more widely seen and slightly less divisive. Anyone else would be a surprise, but don't rule out Noah Baumbach for Marriage Story or Greta Gerwig, whose Little Women has been getting some good buzz.


Best Actress

Renee Zellweger, Judy

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet


As much as I hate to say it (and it is unfortunate), this the weakest acting category this year. Zellweger, Johansson and Theron are all in easily, and Awkwafina's recent Globe win should propel her in. The final slot will likely go to Cynthia Erivo's strong performance in Harriet, which picked up both Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations. Don't rule out Lupita N'yongo for Us, Saiorse Ronan for Little Women or Emma Thompson for Late Night, any of whom could find their way in.


Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Christian Bale, Ford v. Ferrari


This is the year's tightest race, which means there likely will be a surprise or two in the final ballots. My 5 here matches the SAG's, which to me makes most sense; of these DiCaprio and Bale seem the most expendable, but the Academy loves them both. Still, there are many other very strong performances that could easily find themselves in the final 5, including: Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory, Robert De Niro in The Irishman, Jonathan Pryce's The Two Popes, Eddie Murphy in Dolemite is My Name and Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems.


Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell


Another tight category this year, the first 3 or 4 on this list are solid bets. This would mean a double nomination for Johansson, who scored double SAG nominations, of which I expect here too. Puzzling was Lopez's omission from the BAFTA's (British Academy of Film and Television Arts i.e. the British Oscars), but I don't think it'll hurt her chances of a nomination. The final slot could go many ways, but I'm going with Shuzhen, because the Academy loves to reward breakout turns or unconventional newcomers in this category, both of which apply to the charming Chinese actress. However, don't rule out: Annette Bening for The Report, Nicole Kidman for Bombshell, Kathy Bates in Richard Jewell, and Florence Pugh in Little Women.


Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes


Easily the most star-studded category, filled with acting legends and award winners. The first 4 here are in without a doubt, and I believe the final slot will go to Hopkins, who isn't short on acting accolades. Still, don't rule out: Jamie Foxx in Just Mercy, Song Kang Ho for Parasite (the one most primed to be a spoiler here), Taika Waititi in Jojo Rabbit and Alan Alda in Marriage Story.


Animated Film

Toy Story 4

Frozen II

Missing Link

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Abominable



My extremely early predictions for winners (and subject to change):

Best Picture: 1917

Best Director: Sam Mendes, 1917

Best Actress: Renee Zellweger, Judy

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 4