• Larry

Larry's 2020 Oscar Predictions

Hello all! I, like so many other people on the internet, am putting my picks for the 2020 Academy Awards online. I have watched almost all of the movies that are up for awards and I think that this year, more so than years past, I have a pretty good idea about what is going to take home the little gold men! For the most part, I am going to pick just who/what I think will win. But for the bigger categories I am going to pick not only who I think will win but also what I think should win. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Visual Effects - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Costume Design - Jacqueline Durran, Little Women

Makeup & Hair - 1917

Original Song - “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman

Original Score - Marriage StoryRandy Newman

Best Film Editing - Parasite – Yang Jin-mo

Best Production Design - 1917 – Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Best Sound Mixing - 1917Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson

Best Sound Editing - Once Upon a Time in HollywoodWylie Stateman

Best Animated Short Film - Hair LoveMatthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver

Best Live Action Short Film - A Sister – Delphine Girard

Best Documentary: Short Subject - Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) – Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva

Best Documentary Feature - For SamaWaad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts

Best International Feature Film - Parasite (South Korea) in Korean – Directed by Bong Joon-ho

Best Animated Feature Film - KlausSergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh, and Marisa Román

For the next categories, I have provided my personal analysis for what I think will win and what my personal pick to win is!

Best Adapted Screenplay - (should win) JokerTodd Phillips and Scott Silver based on characters created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson (my personal pick) Jojo RabbitTaika Waititi based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

As you will see later, I am not picking Joker to win Best Picture. And since I think they will lose that, I feel the voters will give them Best Adapted Screenplay instead. But for me, I think what Waititi did adapting Caging Skies was amazing. There are a lot of differences between the novel and the film, but Waititi did what was most important, he kept the heart behind it all.

Best Original Screenplay - (should win & my pick) Once Upon a Time in HollywoodQuentin Tarantino

For me this is easy. I was terrified before seeing this film. I really, really, really did not want to see Margot Robbie gutted and murdered like Sharon Tate was all those years ago by the Manson family. So when the ending came, and SPOILERS it was the Manson family that got mutilated I could not contain my hysterical relief. Couple that with Tarantino’s running themes throughout the film (a love of old, fun Hollywood and fear of being forgotten) this is one of his best efforts.

Best Cinematography - (should win & my pick) The Lighthouse – Jarin Blaschke

Now I think that the favorite for this is 1917, but as you will read later I have that film taking home the big golds. Which is why I feel that Jarin Blaschke is going to take this one home. The Lighthouse is shot in black and white with a 1.19:1 aspect ratio, something almost never seen in modern cinema. It is because of this and the direction of Robert Eggers that make this such a beautiful film to watch. With horror being so poorly represented this year, I really expect this to be a shining spot for the genre.

Best Supporting Actress - (should win) Laura DernMarriage Story as Nora Fanshaw (my pick) Florence PughLittle Women as Amy March

Now, the reason why I have my own choice in this category is not to slight Laura Dern. I think her role as the brutal divore lawyer was amazing. If she wins, I will not be upset at all. But I think it should go to Pugh. Not only was she amazing in Little Women, but I feel she was snubbed for a best actress nomination for her performance in Midsommar. Her career is just kicking off, but I am so excited to see where it goes!

Best Supporting Actor - (should win) Brad PittOnce Upon a Time in Hollywood as Cliff Booth (my pick) Joe PesciThe Irishman as Russell Bufalino

Another category where the actor I have projected to win deserves it. Pitt was scene stealing as Booth and I think that he has really shown us all again why he is such an amazing actor. But for me, and I know that it has a lot to do with my love of the genre, this award has to go to Joe Pesci. He came out of retirement for this role, and he didn’t miss a beat. Russell Bufalino is a very complex character, with a quiet demeanor and a violent streak. Pesci brought that to every scene. In particular, during the award ceremony where all of our characters are forced into the same room, Pesci steals the show. And that is saying something with DeNiro and Pacino turning in some of their best performances of their lives. I’m pulling for you Joe!

Best Actress - (should win) Renée ZellwegerJudy as Judy Garland (my pick) Scarlett JohanssonMarriage Story as Nicole Barber

I am going to say it, I think that the only reason Zellweger is getting the kind of praise for her performance is because she is playing the icon Judy Garland. The Academy has a penchant for scratching its own back, so giving the award to a film idolizing one of their favorites just makes sense. But I do not know how you watch Scarlett in Marriage Story and not just usher her to the podium. Her performance is powerful, nuanced and measured. It shows the conflict that so many women who leave failing relationships are confronted by. Who are they without their husband? How will they raise their family? Should they get a lawyer to protect their interests? Is their husband worse than even they know? I think Johansson showed once again why she is such an amazing actress and she deserves the Oscar more than anyone.

Best Actor - (should win & my pick) Joaquin PhoenixJoker as Arthur Fleck / Joker

I feel dirty picking someone over my boy Leo, especially when he gave such a jaw dropping performance like he did in Hollywood. But what Phoenix did as the Joker is stunning. So many amazing actors have taken on this role, and somehow Phoenix brought something new while also paying reverence to Nicholson and Ledger. He has also just been cleaning up the previous awards leading up to the Oscars I would be shocked if he did not win.

Best Director - (should win) Sam Mendes1917 (my pick) Bong Joon-hoParasite

This is hard for me. I think that every director nominated this year deserves to win. And honestly, I see why Sam Mendes is the favorite to take this award home. But this is where my love of Parasite is going to come through. Joon-ho made a beautiful film, and I think that a lot of that goes in his direction. The pacing of the film is exquisite, the performances he got out of his actors was amazing, and the class discussion is not just applicable to South Korea but globally. That deserves to be praised at the highest level and I think that there is no one more deserving.

Best Picture - (should win) 1917Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren, and Callum McDougal (my pick) Parasite – Kwak Sin-ae and Bong Joon-ho

Again, I understand why 1917 is the favorite. I loved the movie, and felt it handled the horror and brotherhood of World War I astonishingly well. But that is why this is always hard right? All of the films nominated for Best Picture can make the case for being the winner. But that is why we have to find something about the films nominated that make them stand out. Not only from each other, but from other films that have won in the past. That is why I think that it should go to Parasite. The film, like I mentioned previously does a wonderful job highlighting class differences and the effects it has on everyone in society. It glides seamlessly from dark comedy to thriller in the blink of an eye, and the audience can empathize with every character on the screen. It is also the movie that made me think the most after leaving the theater. For all of these reasons and more, Parasite should win Best Picture.

So those are all of my picks! It was a lot of fun going through all of the nominees and reminiscing on the films. I am hoping that 2020 is able to bring as many wonderful films like 2019 did. And just maybe, horror will get more respect too.

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