92nd Academy Awards (2019): The Hopefuls

Final*: January 9, 2020

*I say final now, but before Monday, I could still make small shifts as new information comes in. That said, this list represents a lot of additional research, a comparison to the precursor tallies that have come so far and a challenging reading of the tea leaves. Although a small number of minor precursors will announce before the nominations are announced, none of them will have a measurable impact on this list, so ostensibly this should be it. I made a lot of changes, cut out some of the chaff, left some of it behind, but this is the most compact list of hoepfuls I think I’ve ever put down.

UPDATE: Jan. 10 – Swapped The Farewell and Pain and Glory in Original Screenplay.
UPDATE: Jan. 12 – Swapped Judy and Dolemite Is My Name in Makeup & Hairstyling

Lock: It would be a major shock if these selections weren’t nominated. The buzz would be deafening.
Near Lock: These are selections that I think are pretty certain, but I cannot quite declare them as guarantees.
Good: There isn’t much of a chance that this nominee will be left off the list, but stranger things have happened.
Borderline: These are the achievements that I think are fighting for the slots not taken up by the locks, near locks and goods above. None of these selections are safe and could be bumped off by any other title with the “borderline” description.
Doubtful: These are outside contenders that have been in the conversation, but whose prospects have dimmed over time. They remain on the list because sometimes the Academy does some strange stuff.

Everything from Best Picture down through Best Documentary Feature have been placed in the order from most to least likely to be nominated. This year, I don’t have much confidence in the order presented as things are very fluid this year.

NOMINATIONS

AWARDS

The Irishman
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
1917
Little Women
Joker
Marriage Story
Parasite
Ford v Ferrari
Jojo Rabbit
Rocketman
Bombshell
Pain and Glory
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
11

9
8
7
6

4


3

1917
Rocketman
Marriage Story
Parasite
Apollo 11
Avengers: Endgame
Fire in Paradise
Judy
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Refugee
Sister
The Irishman
Toy Story 4
8
3
2

1







Best Picture

  • 1917 – Universal (c-3/27, n-3/27, o-12/15) — Lock —
  •  
  • The Irishman – Netflix (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Lock —
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Columbia (Sony) (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Lock —
  • Parasite – Neon (c-8/18, n-12/15) — Near Lock —
  • Marriage Story – Netflix (c-8/25, n-8/25) — Near Lock —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Fox Searchlight (c-9/15, n-9/15) — Good —
  • Joker – Warner Bros. (c-12/15, n-12/15) — Good —
  • Little Women – Columbia (Sony) (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Good —
  • Ford v Ferrari – Fox (Disney) (c-3/27, n-11/15) — Borderline —
  • The Farewell – A24 (c-7/16, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Uncut Gems – Netflix (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • The Two Popes – Netflix (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Neon (c-1/8) — Borderline —
  • Knives Out – Lionsgate (c-1/8) — Borderline —
  • Pain and Glory – Sony Pictures Classic (c-8/18) — Borderline —
  • Us – Universal (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

Best Animated Film

  • Toy Story 4 – Pixar (Disney) (c-3/27, n-3/27, o-3/27) — Lock —
  •  
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Universal (c-3/27, n-12/15) — Good —
  • Missing Link – Laika (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Good —
  • I Lost My Body – Netflix (c-10/16, n-12/15) — Good —
  • Frozen II – Disney (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Good —
  •  
  • Klaus – Netflix (c-10/16) — Borderline —
  • Abominable – Universal (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles – GKIDS (c-10/16) — Doubtful —
  • The Swallows of Kabul – TBD (c-10/16) — Doubtful —
  • Weathering with You – GKIDS (c-10/16) — Doubtful —
  •  
  • The Addams Family – MGM / UA (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • The Angry Birds Movie 2 – Universal (c-10/16)
  • Another Day of Life – GKIDS (c-10/16)
  • Away – Subliminal Films (c-10/16)
  • Children of the Sea – GKIDS (c-10/16)
  • Dilili in Paris – Samuel Goldwyn (c-10/16)
  • Funan – GKIDS (c-10/16)
  • Genndy Tartakovsky’s ‘Primal’ – Tales of Savagery – MGM (c-10/16)
  • The Last Fiction – TBD (c-10/16)
  • The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part – Warner Bros. (c-3/27)
  • Marona’s Fantastic Tale – GKIDS (c-10/16)
  • Ne Zha – Well Go USA (c-10/16)
  • Okko’s Inn – GKIDS (c-10/16)
  • Pachamama – SC Films (c-10/16)
  • Promare – GKIDS (c-10/16)
  • Rezo – TBD (c-10/16)
  • The Secret Life of Pets 2 – Universal (c-3/27)
  • Spies in Disguise – Fox (Disney) (c-10/16)
  • This Magnificent Cake! – GKIDS (c-10/16)
  • The Tower – TBD (c-10/16)
  • Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris – TBD (c-10/16)
  • White Snake – GKIDS (c-10/16)

All of the Animated Films listed here are Official Selections of the Academy and the final five nominees will come only from these selected contenders. Films separated in the lower half are unlikely to be in contention, but are still eligible.

Best Directing

  • 1917 – Sam Mendes (c-3/27, n-12/15, o-12/15) — Near Lock —
  •  
  • The Irishman – Martin Scorsese (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Lock —
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Lock —
  • Parasite – Joon-ho Bong (c-8/18, n-12/15) — Near Lock —
  • Little Women – Greta Gerwig (c-3/27, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Joker – Todd Phillips (c-1/8) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach (c-8/25) — Borderline —
  • The Two Popes – Fernando Meirelles (c-9/15) — Doubtful —
  • Pain and Glory – Pedro Almodovar (c-8/18) — Doubtful —
  • Ford v Ferrari – James Mangold (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • The Farewell – Lulu Wang (c-7/16) — Doubtful —
  • Us – Jordan Peele (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

Best Actor

  • Adam Driver – Marriage Story (c-8/25, n-8/25, o-12/15) — Lock —
  •  
  • Joaquin Phoenix – Joker (c-3/27, n-9/15) — Lock —
  • Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory (c-8/18, n-8/18) — Good —
  • Robert De Niro – The Irishman (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (c-3/27, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Taron Egerton – Rocketman (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Eddie Murphy – Dolemite Is My Name (c-1/8) — Borderline —
  • Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Michael B. Jordan – Just Mercy (c-9/15) — Doubtful —

Best Actress

  • Renée Zellweger – Judy (c-5/19, n-5/19, o-7/16) — Lock —
  •  
  • Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story (c-8/25, n-11/15) — Lock —
  • Charlize Theron – Bombshell (c-8/25, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Lupita Nyong’o – Us (c-3/27, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Saoirse Ronan – Little Women (c-3/27, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Cynthia Erivo – Harriet (c-5/7) — Borderline —
  • Awkwafina – The Farewell (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Alfre Woodard – Clemency (c-9/15) — Doubtful —

Best Supporting Actor

  • Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (c-3/27, n-12/15, o-12/15) — Lock —
  •  
  • Joe Pesci – The Irishman (c-3/27, n-12/15) — Lock —
  • Al Pacino – The Irishman (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Good —
  • Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (c-3/27, n-12/15) — Good —
  • Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes (c-9/15, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Kang-ho Song – Parasite (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • John Lithgow – Bombshell (c-8/25) — Borderline —
  • Wesley Snipes – Dolemite Is My Name (c-12/15) — Doubtful —

Best Supporting Actress

  • Laura Dern – Marriage Story (c-8/25, n-10/20, o-12/15) — Lock —
  •  
  • Margot Robbie – Bombshell (c-8/25, n-12/15) — Near Lock —
  • Florence Pugh – Little Women (c-3/27, n-12/15) — Near Lock —
  • Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit (c-12/15, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  • Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers (c-9/15, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Nicole Kidman – Bombshell (c-8/25) — Borderline —
  • Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Annette Bening – The Report (c-8/25) — Borderline —
  • Margot Robbie – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

Best Original Screenplay

  • Parasite – Bong Joon-ho, Jin, Won-han (c-12/15, n-12/15, o-1/8) — Lock —
  •  
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Lock —
  • Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach (c-8/25, n-8/25) — Near Lock —
  • Knives Out – Rian Johnson (c-12/15, n-12/15) — Good —
  • Pain and Glory – Pedro Almodovar (c-8/18, n-1/10) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Booksmart – Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel (c-7/16) — Borderline —
  • The Farewell – Lulu Wang (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • 1917 – Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Us – Jordan Peele (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • Ford v Ferrari – Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Jason Keller, James Mangold (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • Waves – Trey Edward Shults (c-9/15) — Doubtful —
  • Bombshell – Charles Randolph (c-8/25) — Doubtful —

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Irishman – Steven Zaillian (c-3/27, n-3/27, o-3/27) — Lock —
  •  
  • Little Women – Greta Gerwig (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Near Lock —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi (c-9/15, n-9/15) — Near Lock —
  • Joker – Todd Phillips, Scott Silver (c-12/15, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  • The Two Popes – Anthony McCarten (c-9/15, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  •  
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Noah Harpster, Micah Fitzerman-Blue (c-1/13) — Borderline —
  • Hustlers – Lorene Scafaria (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Dark Waters – Mario Correa (c-8/25) — Borderline —

Best Original Song

  • ( I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman (c-12/16, n-12/16, o-1/8) — Lock —
  •  
  • Glasgow – Wild Rose (c-12/16, n-12/16) — Borderline —
  • Into the Unknown – Frozen II (c-3/27, n-12/16) — Good —
  • Spirit – The Lion King (c-3/27, n-12/16) — Good —
  • Stand Up – Harriet (c-12/16, n-12/16) — Good —
  •  
  • Speechless – Aladdin (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • A Glass of Soju – Parasite (c-12/16) — Borderline —
  • Catchy Song – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (c-12/16) — Borderline —
  • I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away – Toy Story 4 (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Da Bronx – The Bronx USA (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • Letter to My Godfather – The Black Godfather (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • Daily Battles – Motherless Brooklyn (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • High Above the Water – The Pieces I Am (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • I’m Standing with You – Breakthrough (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • Never Too Late – The Lion King (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

All of the Songs listed here are Official Selections of the Academy’s Music branch and the final five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best Original Score

  • 1917 – Thomas Newman (c-3/27, n-12/16, o-12/16) — Lock —
  •  
  • Joker – Hildur Guðnadóttir (c-12/16, n-12/16) — Near Lock —
  • Marriage Story – Randy Newman (c-8/25, n-1/8) — Near Lock —
  • Little Women – Alexandre Desplat (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Near Lock —
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – John Williams (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Good —
  •  
  • Us – Michael Abels (c-11/15) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Michael Giacchino (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Avengers: Endgame – Alan Silvestri (c-12/16) — Borderline —
  • Motherless Brooklyn – Daniel Pemberton (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • Ford v Ferrari – Marco Beltrami (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • The Farewell – Alex Weston (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • Frozen II – Christophe Beck (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • Pain and Glory – Alberto Iglesias (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • The King – Nicholas Britell (c-12/16) — Doubtful —
  • Bombshell – Theodore Shapiro (c-8/25) — Doubtful —

All of the Scores listed here are Official Selections of the Academy’s Music branch and the final five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best Editing

  • 1917 – Lee Smith (c-3/27, n-12/15, o-1/8) — Good —
  •  
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Fred Raskin (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Lock —
  • Ford v Ferrari – Michael McCusker (c-3/27, n-12/15) — Near Lock —
  • Parasite – Jinmo Yang (c-12/15, n-12/15) — Good —
  • The Irishman – Thelma Schoonmaker (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Little Women – Nick Houy (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Marriage Story – Jennifer Lame (c-8/25) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Tom Eagles (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Rocketman – Chris Dickens (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Us – Nicholas Monsour (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Maryann Brandon, Stefan Grube (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

Best Cinematography

  • 1917 – Roger Deakins (c-3/27, n-9/15, o-12/15) — Lock —
  •  
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Robert Richardson (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Lock —
  • The Irishman – Rodrigo Prieto (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Near Lock —
  • Joker – Lawrence Sher (c-12/15, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  • The Lighthouse – Jarin Blaschke (c-12/15, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Parasite – Hong Kyung-pyo (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Claire Mathon (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Ford v Ferrari – Phedon Papamichael (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • A Hidden Life – Jörg Widmer (c-1/8) — Borderline —
  • Ad Astra – Hoyte Van Hoytema (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Mihai Malaimare Jr. (c-9/15) — Doubtful —
  • Marriage Story – Robbie Ryan (c-8/25) — Doubtful —

Best Production Design

  • 1917 – Dennis Gassner (c-3/27, n-7/16, o-12/15) — Lock —
  •  
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Barbara Ling; Nancy Haigh (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Near Lock —
  • Parasite – Lee Ha-jun (c-12/15, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  • The Irishman – Bob Shaw; Regina Graves (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Near Lock —
  • Little Women – Jess Gonchor; Claire Kaufman (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Joker – Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran (c-1/8) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Ra Vincent; Nora Sopkova (c-9/15) — Borderline —
  • Harriet – Warren Alan Young; Marthe Pineau (c-5/7) — Borderline —
  • Rocketman – Marcus Rowland, Judy Farr (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Downton Abbey – Donal Woods (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Rick Carter, Kevin Jenkins (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – Patrick Tatopoulos, Dominic Capon (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Ad Astra – Kevin Thompson, Karen O’Hara (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Dumbo – Rick Heinrichs, John Bush (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Dolemite Is My Name – Angela Stauffer, Lisa K. Sessions (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Aladdin – Gemma Jackson, Tina Jones (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • Ford v Ferrari – Francois Audouy; Peter Lando (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

Best Costume Design

  • Rocketman – Julian Day (c-3/27, n-3/27, o-3/27) — Lock —
  •  
  • Dolemite Is My Name – Ruth E. Carter (c-12/15, n-12/15) — Lock —
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Arianne Phillips (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Little Women – Jacqueline Durran (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit – Mayes C. Rubeo (c-9/15, n-9/15) — Borderline —
  •  
  • The Irishman – Christopher Peterson, Sandy Powell (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Downton Abbey – Anna Robbins (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – Ellen Mirojnick (c-11/15) — Borderline —
  • Aladdin – Michael Wilkinson (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Harriet – Paul Tazewell (c-5/7) — Doubtful —
  • Dumbo – Colleen Atwood (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • Ad Astra – Albert Wolsky (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • 1917 – Jacqueline Durran (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  • Rocketman (c-3/27, n-3/27, o-3/27) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Bombshell (c-11/15, n-12/16) — Near Lock —
  • Joker (c-11/11, n-11/11) — Borderline —
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Dolemite Is My Name (c-12/16, n-1/12) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Judy (c-12/16) — Borderline —
  • 1917 (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Little Women (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (c-12/16) — Borderline —
  • Downton Abbey (c-12/16) — Doubtful —

All of the Films listed here are Official Selections of the Academy’s Makeup branch and the final three nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best Sound Mixing

  • 1917 (c-3/27, n-8/18, o-9/15) — Lock —
  •  
  • Rocketman (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Near Lock —
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Good —
  • Ford v Ferrari (c-3/27, n-11/15) — Good —
  • The Irishman (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Joker (c-12/15) — Borderline —
  • Avengers: Endgame (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit (c-9/15) — Doubtful —
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • The Lion King (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

Best Sound Editing

  • 1917 (c-3/27, n-3/27, o-3/27) — Lock —
  •  
  • Avengers: Endgame (c-3/27, n-1/8) — Near Lock —
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (c-3/27, n-7/16) — Good —
  • Joker (c-12/15, n-1/8) — Good —
  • Ford v Ferrari (c-3/27, n-3/27) — Good —
  •  
  • The Irishman (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Rocketman (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Gemini Man (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Jojo Rabbit (c-9/15) — Doubtful —

Best Visual Effects

  • Avengers: Endgame (c-3/27, n-3/27, o-3/27) — Lock —
  •  
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (c-3/27, n-7/16) — Good —
  • The Irishman (c-9/15, n-11/15) — Borderline —
  • Alita: Battle Angel (c-12/16, n-1/8) — Borderline —
  • 1917 (c-3/27, n-12/16) — Borderline —
  •  
  • The Lion King (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Gemini Man (c-3/27) — Doubtful —
  • Captain Marvel (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (c-3/27) — Borderline —
  • Cats (c-3/27) — Doubtful —

All of the Films listed here are Official Selections of the Academy’s Visual Effects branch and the final five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best International Film

  • Parasite – South Korea – Bong Joon Ho (c-10/7, n-10/7, o-10/7) — Lock —
  •  
  • Pain and Glory – Spain – Pedro Almodóvar (c-10/7, n-10/7) — Near Lock —
  • Atlantics – Senegal – Mati Diop (c-10/7, n-12/15) — Near Lock —
  • Les Misérables – France – Ladj Ly (c-10/7, n-10/7) — Good —
  • The Painted Bird – Czech Republic – Václav Marhoul (c-10/7, n-12/15) — Borderline —
  •  
  • Beanpole – Russia – Kantemir Balagov (c-10/7) — Borderline —
  • Truth and Justice – Estonia – Tanel Toom (c-10/7) — Borderline —
  • Honeyland – North Macedonia – Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska (c-10/7) — Borderline —
  • Corpus Christi – Poland – Jan Komasa (c-10/7) — Borderline —
  • Those Who Remained – Hungary – Barnabás Tóth (c-10/7) — Borderline —

All of the Films listed here are Official Selections of the Academy’s International Film branch and the final five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best Documentary Feature

  • Apollo 11 (c-11/12, n-11/12, o-11/12) — Good —
  •  
  • American Factory (c-11/12, n-11/12) — Good —
  • For Sama (c-11/12, n-12/16) — Good —
  • Honeyland (c-11/12, n-1/8) — Good —
  • One Child Nation (c-11/12, n-11/12) — Good —
  •  
  • The Cave (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • Knock Down the House (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • The Biggest Little Farm (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • The Great Hack (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • Maiden (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • Midnight Family (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • The Edge of Democracy (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • Advocate (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • Aquarela (c-11/12) — Borderline —
  • The Apollo (c-11/12) — Borderline —

All of the Documentary Features listed here are Official Selections of the Academy and the final five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • Fire in Paradise (c-12/16, n-12/16, o-12/16)
  •  
  • After Maria (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • The Nightcrawlers (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • St. Louis Superman (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  •  
  • Ghosts of Sugar Land (c-12/16)
  • In the Absence (c-12/16)
  • Life Overtakes Me (c-12/16)
  • Stay Close (c-12/16)
  • Walk Run Cha-Cha (c-12/16)

All of the Short Subjects listed here are Official Selections of the Academy and the final three to five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best Animated Short Film

  • Sister (c-12/16, n-12/16, o-12/16)
  •  
  • Hair Love (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • He Can’t Live without Cosmos (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • Kitbull (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • Memorable (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  •  
  • Dcera (Daughter) (c-12/16)
  • Hors Piste (c-12/16)
  • Mind My Mind (c-12/16)
  • The Physics of Sorrow (c-12/16)
  • Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days (c-12/16)

All of the Animated Short Films listed here are Official Selections of the Academy and the final three to five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

Best Live Action Short Film

  • Refugee (c-12/16, n-12/16, o-12/16)
  •  
  • The Christmas Gift (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • Miller & Son (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • Saria (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  • Somestimes, I think About Dying (c-12/16, n-12/16)
  •  
  • Brotherhood (c-12/16)
  • Little Hands (c-12/16)
  • Nefta Foothball Club (c-12/16)
  • The Neighbors’ Window (c-12/16)
  • A Sister (c-12/16)

All of the Live Action Short Films listed here are Official Selections of the Academy and the final three to five nominees will come only from these selected contenders.

NEW: March 27, 2019

I put together my list two months early because I had some time available to me. This is a very broad list of potential contenders, many of which will get pushed into 2020 and there will be a few missing as they haven’t been scheduled for 2019 yet.

Updated: May 7, 2019

Harriet makes her way into the race in a big way while Best of Enemies, Captain Marvel, and Hotel Mumbai are almost entirely eradicated. Gemini Man is still on the list, but was removed as a prediction in several categories. A number of changes to predictions were made, but not a lot. A couple of clerical updates were done. The Star Wars: Episode IX title was changed to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the Best Makeup & Hairstyling category was expanded to 5 (Academy rule change), and the Best Foreign Language Film category was changed to Best International Film (Academy rule change).

Updated: May 19, 2019

Made two adjustments: to add Renée Zellweger to the field and to alphabetize the actors.

Updated: June 25, 2019

Made a few minor adjustments, such as downgrading the chances of both Gemini Man and Ad Astra and shifting around a few other details and nominees, but for the most part, these are largely unchanged.

Updated: July 16, 2019

Woman in the Window has moved to 2020 and Yesterday flopped with critics. Meanwhile, The Farewell has pulled off (presently) a rare 100% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. These and a few other factors have resulted in a few minor shifts of my predictions.

Updated: August 18, 2019

The Kitchen is the latest critical flop to get pulled from this list. Rocketman seems to have faded in time, so it’s been demoted from a number of categories. Pain and Glory has become a potential nominee as has Parasite in the remotest of senses.

Updated: August 27, 2019

Thanks to a lot of interesting titles coming out (as well as some interesting trailers) and some other titles I didn’t give proper consideration to, I decided to re-examine my list. Several changes have been made, namely surrounding movies Marriage Story and Bombshell on the nominations front while titles like Dark Waters, The Laundromat, and The Report were added.

Updated: September 17, 2019

Now that Telluride, Toronto, and Venice film festivals are all wrapped, we have a better idea what the 2019 Oscar landscape is. Harriet and The Goldfinch have faded while Jojo Rabbit, Waves, and Hustlers have emerged in better positions for Oscar dominance. While a lot of my winner predictions haven’t changed yet, several nominations have and even more hopefuls have shown up. We’ll see how things look in early December when the critics groups have their say.

Updated: October 20, 2019

The big changes this time are the removal of Gemini Man and The Goldfinch, both of which were savaged by critics. The addition of all Animated Feature and International Film submissions have been updated with initial predictions in the latter category. For the most part, there weren’t a lot of changes.

Updated: November 15, 2019

We’re in something of a holding pattern until the critics start announcing their winners later this month and throughout December. This will be at truncated season due to the timing of this year’s Oscars, so there might be more carbon-copying critic selections than ever before. We’ll see how things go. I’ve made a few minor adjustments here and there, but most everything has stayed the same. The only sizable change was the removal of The Laundromat from all but one category, because you can never count out Meryl Streep. I’ve also added all 159 documentary features to the list, though that should be narrowed down soon when the shortlists are announced.

Updated: December 17, 2019

I was working on several changes over the months, but it took time to get everything together. Plus, I wanted to wait until the shortlists were announced to post my changes. There are a lot of them, so buckle up.

19 Comments

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  1. I think I noticed something. You had Joaquin Phoenix as an Oscar winner before. But I see you changed it to Adam Driver as best actor winner. What made you do that? Or was Adam always predicted the winner?

    1. The Hopefuls page is for nominations and during the precursors, it seemed like Adam Driver would run away with it because of all of the awards he won. Then Phoenix started steamrolling, so it was changed. The Hopefuls page is never updated after the nominations are announced.

  2. I’m honestly surprised you replaced The Lion King with Alita in beet VFX. I’m not complaining though, great choice on your part.

    But I have to ask, what made you change your mind into doing that?

    1. It was doing so well and I couldn’t imagine any of the other four nominees being booted. The Lion King seems like one of those fully animated films that Disney claims are live-action but aren’t. At least Jungle Book had a live person in it.

      1. But still, thanks for doing that. I was also hoping that Gemini Man would honestly replace the Irishman. I respect your decision, but did you see how Will played both versions extremely well?

        And I’m a little sad that Gemini was taken off best sound editing. Oh well, but i’m not complaining though. I’m pretty happy with these choices.

  3. Also, “The Apollo” is missing from the doc list. Not like it’s a front-runner for a nomination anyway, but still.

    1. Didn’t notice that until now. Will update.

  4. I think “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” has a better shot at Adapted Screenplay than “Dark Waters.”

    1. I hadn’t even noticed it wasn’t on the list all. That’s super strange. I added it back. Not that it matters at this late juncture.

  5. Oscar nominations are 5 days away. You ready?

    1. Not the least bit. Still trying to square away my final predictions and get everything updated for the site. It’s a madhouse.

      1. I meant when the nominations are announced.

  6. I’ve been working on an update to this list, but have been having trouble getting everything finalized. Trust me when I say there are radical changes on the way.

    1. Expecting to see Parasite in a few more places, maybe a couple mentions for The Lighthouse and Richard Jewell. Probably a few less mentions for Waves and Dark Waters.

      1. I haven’t updated in a month and I’m still working on my current update. Should be up today or tomorrow (after shortlists are announced). I’ve already made several internal changes as result of the precursors.

  7. Feel like you’re sleeping on Parasite.

    1. I don’t think I am. It’s on my list, but I don’t predict it earning nominations. Joon-ho Bong has been here before with Snowpiercer and unless it starts running the table at the critics awards, I cannot suggest it as a Best Picture nominee.

    2. I’m liking what i’m seeing so far. FYI, why are your hopefuls better than the actual nominees every year? I’m just saying.

  8. Pretty sure Transformers 6 turned out to be Bumblebee last year.

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