When I used to run NFL football games for my job, I had a co-worker who would come in on game day with a bunch of Proline tickets, the official way our Ontario government can make money from sports bets.
“You must really like football,” I said to him.
“Not really,” he answered. “But if I’m going to be forced to watch football all day, I might as well make it interesting.”
Since then I have taken that idea to heart. I won’t be at work on Sunday for the Oscars, but I will be coming in extra early to prepare some videos of the event for our Morning Show. So, I might as well make my Monday morning interesting with some spicy predictions.
FYI, not all of these picks are what I want to win but what I feel will win. Also, any category you don’t see a prediction for, like animation ones, I didn’t do because I haven’t watched the movies.
Performance by an actor in a leading role:
Antonio Banderas in PAIN AND GLORY
Leonardo DiCaprio in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
Adam Driver in MARRIAGE STORY
Joaquin Phoenix in JOKER
Jonathan Pryce in THE TWO POPES
I’d personally vote for Adam Driver because unlike Joker, Marriage Story is a good film (Hey-oh!) but I don’t think my bias is going to stop any voters from giving Phoenix the award. He is great in it and if it isn’t the first, it will be a rare event to have two actors win an Oscar for playing the same character (Heath Ledger won a Best Supporting Oscar for playing The Joker in The Dark Knight Rises in 2008.) I think most of the voters want to see that happen.
Winner: Joke-quin Phoenix in JOKER
Performance by an actor in a supporting role:
Tom Hanks in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Anthony Hopkins in THE TWO POPES
Al Pacino in THE IRISHMAN
Joe Pesci in THE IRISHMAN
Brad Pitt in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
I could make a solid argument that none of these actors were in supporting roles but co-leads instead. If it were up to me, I’d have had Sam Rockwell nominated and winning for Richard Lewell since he actually carried a great movie in a supporting role.
Anyway, I believe Pacino and Pesci are going to split their votes, and although I found Once Upon A Time to be a snoozefest, Pitt might just earn enough for never winning for an Oscar for acting before. (He earned one as a producer of 12 Years A Slave.)
Winner: Brad Pitt in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
Performance by an actress in a leading role:
Cynthia Erivo in HARRIET
Scarlett Johansson in MARRIAGE STORY
Saoirse Ronan in LITTLE WOMEN
Charlize Theron in BOMBSHELL
Renée Zellweger in JUDY
Renee Zellweger killed it in Judy. KILLED IT as she sang the tunes herself and carried the film. But she won’t win because she carried a good film, but not a great one. Meanwhile, Scar Jo did all of the little things that added up to one heck of a job in Marriage Story. I believe most of the voting pool will want to see her win.
Winner: Scarlett Johansson in MARRIAGE STORY
Performance by an actress in a supporting role:
Kathy Bates in RICHARD JEWELL
Laura Dern in MARRIAGE STORY
Scarlett Johansson in JOJO RABBIT
Florence Pugh in LITTLE WOMEN
Margot Robbie in BOMBSHELL
Kathy Bates would be a shoe-in for a lifetime achievement nod if she had never won an Oscar before (She has one already for Misery). She would have my vote but I believe most will pick Margot Robbie. She did show some acting chops in Bombshell but her age, her name, and upcoming films will tip the votes in her favor. I’m betting process will sync up like it did for Angelina Jolie just over 20 years ago for Girl Interrupted as Hollywood will not miss a chance to use her win to promote upcoming blockbusters.
Winner: Margot Robbie in BOMBSHELL
Achievement in cinematography:
THE IRISHMAN – Rodrigo Prieto
JOKER – Lawrence Sher
THE LIGHTHOUSE – Jarin Blaschke
1917 – Roger Deakins
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Robert Richardson
I can see Once Upon A Time sneaking in here because it takes place in ’60s Hollywood and this will rev up the nostalgia with a lot of the voters. But I’m betting on most doing the right thing because 1917 is an achievement in cinematography. I mean, what is this category here for anyway?
Winner: 1917 – Roger Deakins
Achievement in directing nominees:
THE IRISHMAN – Martin Scorsese
JOKER – Todd Phillips
1917 – Sam Mendes
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE – Bong Joon Ho
I don’t know how Marriage Story got overlooked in this spot. Sure, Noah Baumbach had a lot of talent to work with but keeping those actor’s performances in check can go seriously wrong in an instant (See Fay Dunaway in Mommie Dearest). Well, although I believe the cinematography in 1917 deserves the most credit for its achievements, I think the lines have been blurred often enough between the two positions in the past. So…
Winner: 1917 – Sam Mendes
Best documentary feature nominees:
THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY
The Cave and Honeyland are excellent, but For Sama has those memorable images that stick with you. It isn’t an easy watch but a humbling experience which I believe will speak to most of the voters.
Winner: FOR SAMA
Achievement in film editing nominees:
FORD V FERRARI
When it comes to editing I put pacing ahead of anything else and no other film had better than Parasite. It continuously moved from a wide range of emotions while getting some complex ideas across to the audience… in another langue! It is an accomplishment that deserves the award and I believe most of the voters will agree with me.
Adapted screenplay nominees:
THE IRISHMAN Screenplay by Steven Zaillian
JOJO RABBIT Screenplay by Taika Waititi
JOKER Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
LITTLE WOMEN Written for the screen by Greta Gerwig
THE TWO POPES Written by Anthony McCarten
The balls it took to make Jojo Rabbit. Seriously. A ten-year-old nazi boy, NOT an American, during World War II with a make-believe Hitler as a best friend. It jumps from hilarity to the most serious of consequences brought to you by vial propaganda on a whim. A strong script help them pull it off. Again, I believe the voters will agree with me.
Winner: JOJO RABBIT
Original screenplay nominees:
KNIVES OUT Written by Rian Johnson
MARRIAGE STORY Written by Noah Baumbach
1917 Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD Written by Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won Story by Bong Joon Ho
In my opinion, Parasite earned it. But if I was betting money… out of all of the films nominated in all of the categories, Knives Out is the one with many juicy roles with solid dialogue. Since actors love to act and make up a large portion of the voting pool, promoting this film will only encourage more like it. Although I found it hard to see past its few glaring plotholes, I believe most of the voters won’t care.
Winner: KNIVES OUT
Best motion picture of the year nominees:
FORD V FERRARI
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
When I look at the past decade of Best Picture winners, it is the acting showcases that usually win over the big spectacles. Like I mentioned before, most of the people voting for these awards are actors who want to see themselves getting similar roles in the near future. I believe most of them, under the guidance of the right director, can see themselves doing what Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson did in Marriage Story.
Winner: MARRIAGE STORY
I should be nice and wrong tomorrow! I can’t wait!