92nd Oscars: Oscar Guy’s Final Thoughts

There’s not much time left. Sunday, we will find out just how much we did and did not know about this Oscar season. While I’ve contributed quick thoughts to our Rundown articles, I always like to do more with my final prediction post of the year. This will include how I think the races will finish out, what has the best chances of surprising, and what I overall felt about the nominees, non-nominees, and other general thoughts. Please note that I have not made it through all of the Oscar nominees, so my thoughts will be based on what I have seen and what I see as problem nominees if that applies.

The categories below are sorted in order from least competitive to most competitive. Best Picture, whether competitive or not, will always be last.

I will not be sharing my personal thoughts on the quality of the international and documentary categories, but I’ve seen all the nominees in the short film categories, so I can offer my thoughts on those. I don’t know that my guesses would have much impact, but I have still written a little something on each.

Best International Film

What Will Win: Parasite. This is absolutely the only category with any guarantee of a winner. It would be utterly shocking if something else won.
What Could Potentially Upset: Pain and Glory. The only reason something else might conceivably win is if the Academy’s members en masse decided to award Parasite for Best Picture and then give something else this consolation prize. History does not favor this explanation, but then again history doesn’t support a foreign language film winning Best Picture either, so there’s that.

Best Supporting Actor

Who Will Win: Brad Pitt. With the vast majority of prizes for Supporting Actor going to Brad Pitt this season, I see little reason for him to lose. That he won all four televised prizes (Globe, Critics Choice, SAG, and BAFTA), the Oscar should follow
Who Could Potentially Upset: Joe Pesci or Al Pacino. Both actors from The Irishman could conceivably win if Pitt looks too effortless, but which one? Pesci won longest ago, but has a rather minimal performance. Pacino won more recently (barely), but has a very explosive performance. Neither of these veterans is likely to win, though.
My Personal Thoughts: Song Kang-ho, Taika Waititi, Chris Cooper, Timothée Chalamet, Willem Dafoe, and Sterling K. Brown all gave terrific performances and I would certainly replace Pesci or Pacino with one of them as they all gave more complex characterizations than Pesci and Pacino. Ultimately, Chalamet and Cooper would have been my choices with Song and Waititi the next most likely to replace any of the other three performances once I’ve had a chance to assess them. If I were to give a prize for Best Supporting Actor, I would probably give it to Chalamet because his performance is that good and he’s more deserving than Pesci or Pacino at the least. Among the nominees, though, I’d probably go with Pesci from what I’ve seen.

Best Actor

Who Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix. Since Phoenix has never won an Oscar, some will think it’s his time regardless of how explosive his performance is. The Joker may now become the Willy Loman role of cinema, a role that always wins accolades with each new rendition. Then again, neither Jack Nicholson nor Jared Leto were even nominated for the role, so who knows.
Who Could Potentially Upset: Adam Driver. Driver has the plurality of awards this season and is certainly very deserving, but being only his second nomination and being so young, I expect a lot of voters will take a “next time” approach with him.
My Personal Thoughts: Driver, who is absolutely sensational in Marriage Story, would be my choice of the performances I’ve seen and I can’t really say any other male lead performances really stuck out for me this year, so that’s about the only thing that I can say about this. It just wasn’t the best year for lead male performances.

Best Actress

Who Will Win: Renee Zellweger. The acting categories this year are exceptionally predictable. The one group (BAFTA) that could have started a new conversation rubber-stamped the winners of all of the televised awards. That means Renee Zellweger will get a second Oscar. Whether she deserves a second Oscar or not does not rely on whether she merited one for this performance, which she does, it’s that she might not have deserved it for her prior in Cold Mountain. Either way, Zellweger will be welcomed back to the Oscars for this gutting performance.
Who Could Potentially Upset: Scarlett Johansson. Charlize Theron will get a second Oscar one day, but not today. Saoirse Ronan is already close to setting a record for most nominations by an actress under age 30, but this won’t be the year she wins. She’ll need something much more complex to do that with. Cynthia Erivo is just happy to be at the party. The only real competition is Johansson who has been toiling away in Hollywood for a very long time and earned not just her first nomination, but her first two nominations in the same year. It used to be that an actress or actor who scored double-noms in a single year would take the Oscar for one of them, but that hasn’t seemed to be the case since Sigourney Weaver broke the tradition with her nominations in 1988. Either way, this isn’t the most likely of her two categories to win in.
My Personal Thoughts: This was an amazing year for actresses with these five ladies plus Beanie Feldstein for Booksmart, Brie Larson in Captain Marvel, Awkwafina in The Farewell, Constance Wu in Hustlers, Florence Pugh in Midsommar, and the most overlooked Lupita Nyong’o for Us. It would be hard to drop the performances I’ve seen to fit these in, so I can’t imagine how the Academy felt. If anyone deserved a nomination it was Nyong’o. Nyong’o is also the most deserving of this award, though Ronan is really good and I can’t really say I begrudge Zellweger the award, either and in this slate, she probably would get my vote even though I love Ronan.

Best Supporting Actress

Who Will Win: Laura Dern. Like the others, she’s won everything that wasn’t nailed down in the televised awards even if she only recently bypassed Jennifer Lopez for most honored of the year. That’s just enough to give her the Oscar and there isn’t much anyone can do about it.
Who Could Potentially Upset: Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie, Florence Pugh. Pugh had a great breakthrough year, Johansson landed that rare double-nomination, and Robbie has been bubbling under for Oscar consideration for awhile. Any one of these actresses could surprise and win the day, but I wouldn’t count on it.
My Personal Thoughts: I wasn’t on the Lopez bandwagon, but Zhao Shuzhen would have been a very welcome nominee for The Farewell. And beyond that, I’m at a loss for more selections. I wouldn’t replace any of the nominees I’ve seen, so I’d have to check the others before saying she was definitively unfairly blocked. This is tough as I love Florence Pugh and Scarlett Johansson in their films and while Laura Dern is dependably great, I preferred her in Little Women, but would probably vote for her in this slate with Pugh a close second.

Best Cinematography

What Will Win: 1917. It wasn’t terribly long ago (three years now) that we were lamenting that one of the greatest living cinematographers, Roger Deakins, didn’t have an Oscar. Now, two years after his much deserved win for Blade Runner 2049, he’s about to pick up his second and no one will be disappointed at that.
What Could Potentially Upset: The Lighthouse, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. While any of the nominees could conceivably shock with an upset, none of them are particularly likely. That said, recent history suggests the Academy loves its black-and-white photography and The Lighthouse was incredibly well regarded. That said, Once Upon a Time also got a lot of praise and could be a distinct possibility as well.
My Personal Thoughts: Some other films that merit recognition for their cinematography include Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Parasite, and Us. Were I to replace The Irishman, which definitely didn’t belong here, I’d probably have gone with Little Women. If I don’t care for the photography in the ones I haven’t seen, I could definitely sub in Us and Parasite. The Lighthouse is the best among the nominees with Parasite a close second. Little Women would come in third.

Best Original Song

What Will Win: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again. Before the Golden Globes, no one had really considered the fact that Elton John and Bernie Taupin had never won an award together. That little anecdote might have helped secure them the award.
What Could Potentially Upset: “Stand Up”. Then again, I could also see a song like “Stand Up” win in its stead, but right now, favor seems to be in Rocketman‘s direction.
My Personal Thoughts: I couldn’t really say I remember many songs from this year, which will explain why I don’t have a lot to change here.

Best Sound Mixing

What Will Win: 1917. War is a popular subject for sound winners and 1917 won at BAFTA, which could suggest its strength. That said, it wasn’t even nominated for one of the more important precursors: Cinema Audio Society. That might suggest that another film is stronger in the competition, but not likely if you know the Academy.
What Could Potentially Upset: Ford v Ferrari. The film that won at CAS is the stiffest competition 1917 has this year and not because it won CAS, but because it has a ton of sound to mix in it and if there’s one thing Academy voters love as much as war films, its racing films.
My Personal Thoughts: I cannot say there were a lot of films that could have deserved a nomination here, though Us is probably a good film to consider. I could definitely pick Us as winner among these nominees as I cannot really say I’d vote for any of them.

Best Sound Editing

What Will Win: 1917. The Academy itself raised concerns that this category was too easy to confuse with Sound Mixing and thus resulted in Oscar voters picking the same film for both awards. That suggests 1917 is probably a good bet to win and this might even be the more important award for it to win in order to capture Sound Mixing. This time, the corresponding guild, the Motion Picture Sound Editors, did pick 1917 for one of its awards, which could be a good sign.
What Could Potentially Upset: Ford v Ferrari. That said, its biggest competitor also picked up an MPSE Golden Reel award for Sound Editing. That means 1917 won’t have an easy time winning here.
My Personal Thoughts: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Parasite were excellent contenders for this award, but I’m not sure if I could replace any of these nominees as I haven’t seen them all. How to Train Your Dragon 3 was the best of what I did see.

Best Documentary Feature

What Will Win: American Factory. Although Barack and Michelle Obama weren’t specifically nominated for this award, their production company was and that could give them a boost going into the awards.
What Could Potentially Upset: The Cave, For Sama. That said, The Cave and For Sama are also very likely to pique viewers’ interests, which could point to either as a winner with BAFTA winner For Sama the most likely of the two to upset.
My Personal Thoughts: I don’t watch a lot of documentaries, so I have no personal opinion, though I understand Apollo 11 might have been robbed and that Hail Satan was also quite good.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

What Will Win: Bombshell. This category has the least notable prosthetics I can remember in the many years I’ve been following the Oscars. Usually, there’s a lot of new faces on old faces to select, which could well help Bombshell to victory just for making John Lithgow look like the repugnant Roger Ailes.
What Could Potentially Upset: Joker, 1917. The only two films I could see beating out Bombshell are Joker because of the clown makeup and 1917 for the sheer amount of makeup needed to scar and dirty up the soldiers as the film progressed.
My Personal Thoughts: Perhaps one of the main reasons this category felt so light this year was because there weren’t a lot of films that felt like they might be worthy. Captain Marvel featured some solid makeup and/or hairstyling work as did Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Downton Abbey, and The Lighthouse. Little Women over the others, but really, I am not in love with any makeup & hairstyling nominees this year.

Best Costume Design

What Will Win: Little Women. It’s quite possible that Little Women‘s win at BAFTA will secure its Oscar, but the film had a rough struggle to get here, having been ignored by the Costume Designers Guild. Part of that is poor campaigning late in the process, and the other part is concern that the film won’t appeal to many male voters. The latter might have some basis in fact considering most male reviewers tend to devalue the film’s quality compared to female critics.
What Could Potentially Upset: Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Had Little Women been up against expected nominee Dolemite Is My Name, the show would have been over; however, the two competitors it does have to face are Jojo Rabbit, which has the benefit of having won the CDG award (although nothing else), and Once Upon a Time…, which has the added benefit of being the most likely winner of Best Production Design. That category and this have gone together quite frequently in Oscar history. Women has to win something and it has tons of outfits to stick in voters’ minds whereas these other two films aren’t as memorable in the costume department.
My Personal Thoughts: Having not watched a lot of costume dramas this past year, Downton Abbey is the only such film that stands out as having missed the boat. Dolemite Is My Name, from what I’ve seen, would also have been a worthy nominee. The outfits in the trailer for Rocketman alone would have merited nomination. That said, I would definitely dump the drab costumes of The Irishman for any of these films. Little Women has the best costumes bar none.

Best Directing

Who Will Win: Sam Mendes. With the Directors Guild prize in his pocket as well as the BAFTA, it seems fairly certain that Mendes will win his second Oscar in this category. His film hit its remarkable peak at the absolute perfect time to go from being a film no one thought would go very far to a potential Best Picture sweeper that the Academy hasn’t seen since Slumdog Millionaire 11 years ago (cases could be made for subsequent winners The Hurt Locker and The Artist as well).
Who Could Potentially Upset: Bong Joon-ho. The one fly in the ointment is Bong Joon-ho, who has been bubbling under for years and finally made it to the big contest with Parasite. There’s buzz about the film being popular enough that it surprises in Best Picture, but all historical evidence speaks against such a result in this category.
My Personal Thoughts: The biggest omission of the year is the brilliant Greta Gerwig whose Little Women direction is the best of the year and would easily replace every single one of these nominees in my mind, though I’d keep Bong Joon-ho around. Scorsese would be an instant dispatch for me. I could also make room for Jordan Peele for Us once I figure out which of the films I haven’t seen doesn’t deserve to be here, if any. Gerwig did something unique with a book that has been frequently adapted. Watching the movie, you know you’re watching a master class filmmaker. It’s too bad she wasn’t nominated as she’s the best. Bong is my runner-up.

Best Film Editing

What Will Win: Ford v Ferrari. Having won the plurality of awards this season, it would be easy to say Ford v Ferrari is a sure winner here thanks to its myriad tense racing scenes. BAFTA certainly thought so. The problem is the American Cinema Editors didn’t. They chose Parasite and Jojo Rabbit.
What Could Potentially Upset: Parasite. I give more credence to the BAFTA winner than I do the ACE winner, but Parasite could start a mini-sweep of its own and could conceivably win all of its nominations and this would be one of the better signs that it’s about to sweep. While I think it barely trails Ford, I would not be at all surprised if Parasite came from behind to win.
My Personal Thoughts: Of the non-nominated films that deserved nominations, Little Women was clearly better than either the linear Jojo Rabbit or the tedious The Irishman. If Thelma Schoonmaker weren’t a legend in the field, I would not have been shocked to see Irishman left off the list. Ridding the list of both of these would also leave room for the superb editing of Us as well. I’d give this award to either Parasite among the nominees or Little Women of all the rest.

Best Original Score

What Will Win: Joker. This race used to be wide open, but recent events have suggested it’s a lot narrower than we anticipated. Neck-and-neck for most awarded score of the year (10 apiece), Joker has the benefit of having won two televised prizes for Original Score: BAFTA and the Golden Globe. When the film won BAFTA, the race might just have been decided.
What Could Potentially Upset: 1917. The other film with ten awards so far this year is the film everyone thought might finally bring an Oscar to longtime composer and 15-time nominee Thomas Newman. It seemed like a distinct possibility until BAFTA rubber-stamped the Golden Globe selection and that pretty much nailed Newman’s coffin. There’s still a remote chance that he could win, especially if enough Oscar voters were turned off by Joker, but if the more conservative BAFTA can go that direction, especially over a hometown film, then the likelihood of Oscar going a more traditional route seems unlikely.
My Personal Thoughts: The big omission here is Us, which features one of the best horror scores ever written. The film may have peaked too early, but it got plenty of praise going into Oscar season, so why it missed we may never know. I could easily have dropped John Williams’ score from this list to give the spot to Us composer Michael Abels. Heck, he deserved to be there over both John Williams and Randy Newman (Marriage Story). There was no question for me that Us had the best score of the year. I cannot imagine voting for anything else.

Best Production Design

What Will Win: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. This is one place I think Oscar voters will diverge from the BAFTA selections as Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is far more obvious in its production design than any of the other nominees and restoring the Hollywood of the 1960s to the present should appeal to Academy voters just a bit more.
What Could Potentially Upset: 1917, Parasite. Yet, the BAFTA winner, 1917, still has a good shot of winning, especially if the film is heading towards a sweep, something we haven’t seen in a long time. Parasite could also surprise with a victory, especially if it impresses voters as much as it did critics.
My Personal Thoughts: Little Women certainly deserved a nomination over The Irishman. The blandness of the Irishman settings never really amounted to award-worthy consideration in my view. Heck, nearly every animated film deserved a nomination more and then there’s also The Lighthouse. Parasite is the big winner for me in this category, though Little Women would have been a solid alternative choice.

Best Original Screenplay

What Will Win: Parasite. Until BAFTA and the Writers Guild of America chose Parasite as Best Original Screenplay, it seemed likely that Quentin Tarantino would pick up his third prize in this category. However, Parasite has proven to be a more popular film than anyone expected and, like Get Out, is looking more like the kind of film that’s a multi-Oscar winner than we might have thought a few months ago.
What Could Potentially Upset: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Parasite might have 22 precursor awards, but once Upon a Time… in Hollywood has the Golden Globe, which is a decent harbinger. The film also won the other televised precursor, the Critics Choice award. If Academy voters saw what I saw, though, they might be reticent to hand Tarantino another trophy. He was more egotistical than usual in his acceptance speeches. Most winners try to be humble, but not Tarantino. He even negatively reacted to losing the BAFTA, which might just sour more voters on him. This could leave an opening for Marriage Story, which is the second most honored original screenplay of the year and could win if voters don’t want to recognize Bong Joon-ho at all or they are tired of Tarantino’s schtick.
My Personal Thoughts: Booksmart should have been nominated over Knives Out. The outpouring of love for Rian Johnson’s screenplay seems to come from people who haven’t seen hundreds of similar stories from great mystery writers on the big screen, small screen, and in literature. Hell, Agatha Christie could have fashioned a more fascinating story and frequently did. The Farewell was also a solid screenplay and it could have gotten in over 1917, though I haven’t seen 1917 yet, so I can’t be sure whether it deserves it or not. Us and Midsommar would also have been more deserving than Knives Out. The Academy missed the boat on this one. Parasite is my choice with Marriage Story a close second. Us would be third.

Best Visual Effects

What Will Win: 1917. This category has gone back and forth so many times that it’s impossible to know for sure who’s in contention and who isn’t. If it weren’t for BAFTA, I don’t think any of us would be predicting 1917 for an Oscar win. Yet, when they could have gone with 1917 in Original Score, they didn’t, which does suggest that they had to be impressed with the film’s effects to give it an award.
What Could Potentially Upset: The Lion King, Avengers: Endgame. The Academy likes obviousness in their visual effects and 1917 doesn’t scream obvious, neither does fellow Best Picture nominee The Irishman. Two other films do, The Lion King and Avengers: Endgame. The latter is the better reviewed film of the two Disney features, but the former has significantly more effects as it’s entirely visual effects whereas Avengers has a few human elements involved. Ultimately, I lean towards Lion King only because The Jungle Book also won here. However, the perception that the film is more animated than live-action might hurt it and enable Avengers to triumph where its franchise predecessors didn’t. That said, both films’ weaknesses could be the reason why 1917 managed to sneak past them at BAFTA.
My Personal Thoughts: This is another category I would drop The Irishman from. The one film I think deserved some recognition, but was ignored because critics hated it, was Dark Phoenix. For a frequently mediocre film, the visual effects work was outstanding, definitely better than the de-aging in Irishman. Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far from Home would also have been better selections. Dark Phoenix would probably be my choice of the non-nominees and Avengers: Endgame if I had to pick from the existing list.

Best Adapted Screenplay

What Will Win: Jojo Rabbit. Once again, BAFTA throws a wrench in the works by going for Jojo Rabbit over Little Women. With the same results at the Writers Guild of America, the more inventive concept is likely to win out.
What Could Potentially Upset: Little Women. Little Women is barely leading this year’s list of award winners having collected 15 adapted screenplay prizes compared to The Irishman‘s 11 and Jojo‘s 8. That said, it has seemed obvious for awhile that men just aren’t appreciating the quality production that is Little Women. Even though it’s one of the best, if not the best, film of the year, it’s surprising to see so many male critics devalue the film behind titles that were unoriginal or mediocre at best. If it weren’t for BAFTA and WGA, we might all be predicting Greta Gerwig to win this award after being snubbed for Best Directing, but ultimately voters like original and while this is an inventive way to stage Little Women, Jojo Rabbit is just more enticing.
My Personal Thoughts: The Irishman isn’t that great of a screenplay, but there really aren’t that many screenplays to replace it with, so I would leave the category as is and give Little Women all of the awards.

Best Animated Feature

What Will Win: Klaus. This one will be nail biter. When Oscar season began, Toy Story 4 seemed like the obvious choice as part of a beloved franchise. Yet, this started shifting after expected nominee Frozen II didn’t make the Oscar cut and I Lost My Body and Klaus both did. What eventually pushed Klaus into the lead was not the sweep it carried out at the Annie Awards, but the victory over Toy Story 4 at BAFTA. That alone suggests the Academy might be more friendly to something original rather than a sequel. Matter of fact, looking at the category’s history, the most likely films not to get nominated have been sequels, and every winner with the exception of Toy Story 3 has been an original film, not a sequel. That leads me to believe that Klaus might just be the film they go with as it’s appropriate for children and largely original, even if predictable. As to that one exception, Toy Story 3, the first two films came out before the category existed and were the reasons that prompted the Academy to create the category in the first place. The third was the Academy’s first chance to recognize the film series that started it all, at least in terms of this category.
What Could Potentially Upset: Toy Story 4, Missing Link, I Lost My Body. Although I give Klaus the edge, I could see Toy Story 4 winning anyway for nostalgia’s sake, or the inventive I Lost My Body taking the prize. Missing Link won the Golden Globe, and it’s the most kid-friendly of Laika’s output to date, so it could get the nod. However, I think if it’s not going to be Toy Story 4, then Klaus with all the press its gotten from its Annie surprise victory and the BAFTA win might just pick up enough last-minute votes to carry it over the threshold.
My Personal Thoughts: Frozen II and Abominable are better films than all but I Lost My Body and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. I would dump Toy Story 4 and Missing Link to get those two films on the list and then give the award to How to Train Your Dragon.

Best Documentary Short Subject

What Will Win: Learning to Skateboard…. This category is difficult for me. Had I never watched the nominees, I would have picked Learning to Skateboard without question. Having seen them all, I don’t think that short is that good, but it has a hopeful, important message that may resonate better than the other films on the list.
What Could Potentially Upset: Walk Run Cha-Cha. Another film with an uplifting conclusion, it’s also perhaps the most unusual of the bunch and could encourage voters to give a story of true love a chance. Really, any of the others could win. Historically, it’s possible for a surprise vcitory every year in this category.
My Personal Thoughts: Personally, I found Walk Run Cha-Cha the best of the bunch with In the Absence not too far behind. Life Overtakes Me and St. Louis Superman weren’t exceptional with Learning to Skateboard somewhere in the middle.

Best Live Action Short Film

What Will Win: The Neighbors’ Window. Of the five short films, this one has the most surprising ending and it’s a good, if depressing kind of surprising. It’s an inventive story told incredibly well whereas the others all seem to be somewhat familiar in their storytelling techniques and narratives. This film, also the only one in English, might just have an advantage.
What Could Potentially Upset: A Sister, Saria, Nefta Football Club. Nefta Football Club is predictable, but it has cute kids, which might be enough. A Sister has a very potent narrative, but seems very familiar. Saria tackles a haunting true story with fiction, which might have fit better into the documentary category directly told. Even Brotherhood has a chance of winning, but it doesn’t seem as fresh or intriguing as the others.
My Personal Thoughts: The Neighbors’ Window, A Sister, and Saria are the best to me and in that order, with Neighbors’ Window far above the others. Brotherhood is confusing and not nearly as interesting as it could have been mostly because the narrative doesn’t tell enough to compensate for what it doesn’t show. Nefta Football Club is a rather dull short film that might have a cutesy ending, but doesn’t say much of anything about anything.

Best Animated Short Film

What Will Win: Kitbull. This award likely comes down to two films. Kitbull maintains the lead in spite of its less interesting animation style (all of the others have a fascinating conceptual art at heart, this one is rather rudimentary). What it lacks in artistic originality, it more than makes up for in poignancy. It’s a touching film that builds to its climax and rewards the viewer. Dcera, Memorable, and Sister don’t really do that.
What Could Potentially Upset: Hair Love. which leaves the potential spoiler. I really want to pick this as the winner, but Kitbull just seems to be slightly more interesting. Hair Love is also very likely to upset Kitbull, it’s probably that close. I won’t be surprised, nor will I be upset. It’s a lovely short film. The problem for Hair Love and it’s sad that it would even be a factor is that it’s not as accessible to white voters as it should be. The ending makes up for that lack of relatability, but I suspect that might just be enough to put it below Kitbull, which is accessible to everyone because who doesn’t love animals?
My Personal Thoughts: Kitbull and Hair Love are both terrific short films and either would be a worthy winner. Memorable is also interesting and is visually outstanding, but the story has been done so many times before, it starts losing its luster. Dcera (Daughter) is confusing and ultimately a bit of a downer, but the art is at least interesting to look at. Sister on the other hand may tackle an important sociopolitical message directed at China, but the artwork feels cheesy and somewhat lazy and the big reveal doesn’t seem that interesting after sitting through the rest of it.

Best Picture

What Will Win: 1917. Before almost anyone else, I sensed the 1917 sweep coming. I was the only person on my message board to predict Sam Mendes for Best Director at the Golden Globe. Since then, he’s been steamrolling through it all with DGA and BAFTA the crowning victories. The same can be said for the film, which came on strong late in the game, peaking at just the right moment and is now on its way to Oscar victory, at least that is if people’s second-place choices don’t win out.
What Could Potentially Upset: Parasite. Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed film has taken home a very large number of prizes this year and Best Picture would be a feather in its cap. It is likely to rate highly on many Best Picture ballots even if not first, but as those first-place votes are eliminated, it could pick up enough steam to overcome 1917. It’s been a long time since a single film won as many awards as people are predicting for 1917 and that could be telling. With the Academy, two of the last seven Best Picture winners did not match Best Directing. That’s a rather large disparity, especially for a category that in the five years prior to that streak saw both Picture and Directing going to the same film and the same is true historically before that with the occasional Roman Polanski or Ang Lee thrown in the mix. All of this is to say that the critically acclaimed film in those five recent occurrences picked up Best Picture while the more technical achievement won in Directing. That kind of situation would fit perfectly for a Sam Mendes Best Directing win and a Parasite Best Picture win. I wouldn’t be surprised if it won, but 1917 is doing just a bit too strongly not to be taken seriously as the frontrunner.
My Personal Thoughts: There isn’t really a film I would put in in place of these, but I would scrap The Irishman if I could. I just didn’t care as much for the film as others did and I thought it was little more than a retread of what we’ve seen so many times before. Little Women is the best of this bunch with Parasite a close second. Of the remaining films I’ve seen, I would rank Marriage Story third and Jojo Rabbit fourth. Irishman would come in fifth only because I haven’t gotten to the others yet.

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