Bob's 2020 Oscar Predictions and Picks

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So as I post this, the Oscars started 45 minutes ago. I’m late I know. I started this as a quick “Will/Should” post and ended up writing 6 pages! Whoo boy.

So I present this list with a minimum of editing since they already started. So I’m not going in to italicize or bold or the the like. Will update later, to see how my tally went. Order is based upon the site that came up with nominations rather than order of release.

Best Picture — in order of preference.

  1. Parasite – Gorgeous, multi-genre powerhouse of a film.
  2. Little Women – Amazing performances and incredible writing build a film that relates to its time and resonant today.
  3. JoJo Rabbit – Far more than “Imaginary hitler!” movie. The humor (both dark and light) humor Waititi brings to this film covers a heartbreaking and tough story of the layers of people, surviving in an awful situation, and innocence- of the loss among holding on. 
  4. 1917 – Breathtaking and infinitely thrilling. More than just a gimmick, the two 50 minute sustained sequences are used to comment on the never-ending awful of the warzone. That said, one amazing sequence after the other, from the horror-film German bunker to the beautiful loss of the burning town, 1917 is an astounding feat.
  5. Ford V Ferrari – I didn’t expect to like this movie, let alone love it. I’m not a vroom vroom guy, but James Mangold though his shots and editing create a mise-en-scene that drew me into the rest. The light character growth is covered by a set of great performances. 
  6. Marriage Story -Baumbach’s story of a divorce feels first and foremost honest. It tried for a middle ground, no winners or loser, heroes of villains though I do feel it’s more on Charlie (aka the director’s) side but in no way does that make Nicole a bad guy as her reasons for everything is just as clear. It took me a while to sit and watch it (Friday) as I knew it would be a hard watch. 
  7. Irishman – Been there, done that. I appreciated moments and many of the performances but also felt Irishman was Scorcese emulating his earlier work not because he wanted to but because trying be relevant again. (no comments on his Marvel notes, I still love the guy’s work, this didn’t work for me). 
  8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Blah. Another overlong, self-indulgent, and often just dead-air film of a director reflexing back to previous eras. Taratino lovingly recreates the Hollywood of the 60s but wants you to know how much he LOVES it and his actors. So much of this could have been cut. A few moments of brilliance – Brad Pitt at the Spano ranch was one of the best sequences of the year hands down.
  9. Joker – I don’t get the love. I’m sorry but I don’t. Just gonna link ot my review.

As the list shows, I really hope Parasite will win. I don’t think it will by any means. It’ll get Foreign Flick, easy. Of the films that stand a chance – I’m hoping for JoJo Rabbit, despite Little Women being ranked higher on the list. But when it comes to winning? My money’s on 1917 or Hollywood. They love their war pics – and this is an impressive one, but in many ways can be seen emptier by nature of it’s light plot – and they REALLY love movies about themselves. OOOH, I really don’t know. One of them. -=flips a coin=- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

Best Actor:

Nominees – Johnathan Pryce, The Two Popes, Adam Driver, Marriage Story, Antonio Bandaras Pain and Glory, Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

I didn’t see Two Popes and Pain and Glory so gonna toss them away. Of the remainder, I’m hoping for Driver. He had a naturalness through the layers and layers of Charlie. Leo didn’t really make an impression on me. He’s good but still Leo. I think Pheonix will win though. A very lauded performance. While in my review I said I didn’t care for it then, I did come around. He’s damned good, but I also feel like the was trying too hard. Just a few steps too much, ya know? But it also feels he’s putting everything into it. 

Hope: Driver Will: Pheonix.

Best Supporting Actor

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

Didn’t see The Two Popes. This is Brad Pitt’s to lose. While Leo didn’t connect, Pitt stole the movie, without obvius effort and a ton of cool. I just dug him so much. Coming close in Pesci in Irishman in a coldly threatening performance. Pacino also gave best in decades, but it’s more of “he’s Pacino but calmer”. More Pacino than Hoffa. Hanks was solid as normal, but just above an imitation. A good one, mind you, I really felt his radiating goodness. Until I looked him in the eyes and Hanks took over for Rogers. And certain pronunciations also felt like acting.

Hope and Will : Pitt.

Best Actress

Charlize Theron, Bombshell. Renee Zellweger, Judy, Cynthia Ervio, Harriet, Scarlett Johannson, Marriage Story. Saoirise Ronan, Little Women.


I didn’t see Judy, but I’m still thinking this will be an award for Zellweger. The movie came and went quickly without fanfare, but Judy Garland is Hollywood royalty and the Academy loves this type of performance. The previous award cycle wins are a push. But I’m going for Ronan. It’s hard to put into words why she worked for me so well, but I just latched into Jo; Ronan has to play every emotion under the son at different life periods and relationships. So much, so well. Ervio was the best part of Harriet – otuside of her it’s a Hallmark movie. I liked her, but she was written so over-wraught and extra-dramatic. She did everythign she could to make Harriet Tubman alive again and she’s damnn good at it. JOhannson was excellent, and Theron BECAME Megan Kelly. So well I’m suprrised I”m not picking her, but maybe for the same reason on Hanks and Rogers, in few lights it’s an imitation. 

WANT: Ronan; WILL: Zellweger

Best Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell; Marot Robbie, Bombsell; Scarlett Johansson, JoJo Rabbit, Florence Pugh, Little Women; Laura Dern, Marraige Story

Didn’t see Richard Jewell so I can’t really comment (despite mine above on Judy). Robbie was just alright in Bombshell, though the rain confession scene was a great monologue. This was a great year for Florence Pugh – with Little Women, Fighting With My Family, and the snubbed Midsommar. In each she gave very different but all very real performances (Fighting is surprisingly fantastic, check it out on Hulu). Oddly enough, I the nominated Amy was the lesser of the three (but only one that was supporting).but I’m rooting for ScarJo as JoJo’s mom in JoJo Rabbit. It’s her career best. I want to get into WHY, but you need to see the movie and I’m not going to spoil it. But the will – Laura Dern. She absoltuly makes an impression as ScarJo’s divorce lawyer and does her best Laura Derning. Her speech about Mary and mothers (which is the one thing I didn’t care for about the movie; felt too over-written) has got much traction and she stands out for her scenes. When she’s on screen it’s her movie. And that’s why she’ll get it.

Best Director

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Todd Philips – Joker, Bong Joo-Ho Parasite, Martin Scorsese, Irishman. Sam Mendes, 1917. 

I want Bong Joo-ho. Parasite is a master class of filmmaking from top to bottom and Joo-Ho’s hand keeps a wonderful balance and flow, too many in any direction and the whole thing comes crashing down into silly. But it won’t be his. As it was for Best Picture I’m betting on either Hollywood or 1917. I’m leaning at Hollywood. 

Best Original Music Score

John Williams, Rise of Skywalker. Thomas Newman 1917, Hildur Guonadottir Joker, Alexandre Displat, Little Women. Randy Newman. Marraige Story. 

Don’t have a lot to say here – except Williams score was good but more of the same. Newman’s was annoying. I’m going to go for Little Women as want but Joker for the win.

Best Animated Feature

Klaus, Missing Link, Toy Story 4, How to Train Your Dragon The HIdden World, I Lost My Body.

I’ve not seen Klaus or I Lost My Body (both are on Netflix, so that’s on me). Of these How to Train Your Dragon was the best. Missing Link is very impressive for it’s stop-motion style that I love but was a little weak as a movie (though I did really like it). Toy Story 4 is a great take on new life in retirement and is a step down from the original trilogy but still a damned fine film. But I’m hoping and expecting Dragon. 

Foreign Language

Les Miserables, Parasite, Corpus Christie, Honeyland, Pain and Glory.

I’ve only seen Parasite… sorry.  But it’s the 2nd best movie of the year. This will win. And should.

Best Original Screenplay

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story; Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a TIme in Hollywood, Han Jin-Won & Bong Jo-Hoon, Parasite, Rian Johnson, Knives Out.; Krysty WIlson-Caines & Sam Mendes, 1917. 

Baumbach writes a balanced, real story. Tarantino fills his movie with self-important speeches and coolness, coming off considedied in cleverness; Parasite’s script is tight and continal perfection, everything comes together so well. 1917 doens’t have enough meat to chew on in this category.  But I’m hoping for Knives Out – Rian Johnson’s crime caper is so goddamned clever and smart with its wide bevie of characters, intricate notions of relationships, of puprosely twisty mystery and intrigue. Hoping though, but I expect Tarantino (but hoping if not Johnson, Parasite)

Documentary

Edge of Democrazy, For Sama, Honeyland, American Factory, The Cave.

I’ve seen half of For Sama, and none of the rest so I can’t comment. 

Despite that – I’m expecting Honeyland.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi; Little Women, Greta Gerwig; The Irishman, Steven Zaillan; Joker, Todd Philips & Scott Silver; The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten.

I’ve not seen Two Popes so pushing out. I’m hoping for Greta Gerwig. She adapts and updates the well-worn novel, making it fit then and now. Each of the women has their own voice, wants, and desires, and the screenplay doesn’t neg on any of them. I actually. Everyone is a fleshed out character and the whole thing is easily accessable. Waititi also delivers an amazing script, finding pathos and kindness and humor in a dark, awful situation. JoJo, the character, is expertly written for all going on for him and damn that kid is good (not part of the category but had to say). Meh on the other two, Irishman is clunky and very exposition. Joker has ideas but doesn’t explore them enough. I’ll be mad if they give it to Joker, but I think it’ll be Gerwig’s.

Best Original Song

Stand Up; Harriet; I’m Standing With You; Breakthrough; I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away; Toy Story 4; (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, Rocket Man; Into the Unknown, Frozen II;

The only one of these I can remember at this point is the Elton John song. Stand Up rung false, I never saw Breakthrough, Into the Unknown was trying NOT to be Let it Go and for that lost anything interesting. Kristof’s ballad is the only notable song from a barely notable movie. 

Cinematography

Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; Rodrigo Prieto, Irishman; Roger Deakins, 1917; Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse; Lawrence Sher, Joker.

No matter if if I didn’t care for the films – Joker, Hollywood, and Irishman looked great and really helped set the tone of the films. Deakins put together a hell of a look for 1917, not just in the long-shots but in how it all looked. Gorgeous. And Lighthouse’s cinematography helped set the claustrophbia and paranoia of the film, and really felt early 1900s. He got it. I’m rooting for him. BUT, I’m betting on Hollywood.

Sound Mixing 

Joker, Ford V Ferrarri, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ad Astra, 1917;

Sound Editing

Star Wars, Joker, 1917, Ford v Ferrari, Once Upon a Time in Hollwyood.

I’m giving both of these to Ford V Ferrari.

Visual Effects

Star Wars, Avengers Endgame, 1917, Lion King, Irishman.

First off, Irishman’s deaging didn’t always work at all. Sometimes it did, but always felt off in some way. No. 1917 looked great, no doubt had a butt-ton of great effects to create the world. So damned impressive. Avengers Endgame is also damned impressive  with it’s size and melding of so many elements. Star Wars is huge and grand and everythign looked great – even the fully CG creatures and characters didn’t scream so. Lion King was a boring boring movie, but damn it looked great. Photo realisitc. As much as I hate to say it, this should win the category. Will… not sure. Will : Avengers.

Costume Design.

Joker, Irishman, Little Women, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

I’m glad it’s not just dress period picks this year (thank you Mad Max for breaking that trope), though we do have LIttle Women here. And it’s really good in costuming. Hollywood felt too on the nose for me, Irishman felt like Deniro’s closet. Joker’s was seamless and felt the era. JoJo’s had many creative touches to the standard WWII expecations and meshes into the story. So I’m hoping for it. I’m expecting Little Women. 

Production Design

1917, Parasite, JoJo Rabbit, Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

These technical ones are the same titles over and over! Ahem. All of these were great in this matter – that’s why they are nominating. They each set the tone and feel of their era(s). It’s a hard choice. I want Parasite, so much is in the details of the world. I’m expecting Hollywood.

Animated Short Film

Sister, Kitbull, Memorable, Hair Love, Daughter.

See my whole write up here.  TL DR: Want Memorable. Expect Hair Love

Live Action Short

Nefta Footabll Club, Saira, Brotherwhood, Nieghtbor’s Windwo, A Sister.

I’ve seen none. So random choice – Football club

Editing

JoJo Rabbit, Ford V Ferrari, Joker, Parasite, Irishman.

For once I’m not rooting for Schoonmaker. She’s the best in the business but Irishman was out of control. Her job here was to reign in Scorsese instead we get 3.5 hrs. I’m expecting and rooting for Ford V Ferrari. That sucker moves, even when not on a race. It’s just so well done.

Make-up and Hairstyling.

1917, Maleficient, Joker, Bombshell, Judy

Didnt’ see Judy or Maeficent. I’m aiming at Bombshell here. Theron is indistinguahble from Megan Kelly. Good good. 

Short Documentary.

I didn’t see any of them. Sorry.  

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