The 92nd Academy Awards are happening on Sunday, Feb. 9. There are plenty of movies and performances that deserve plenty of praise and recognition. Here are my predictions for most of the categories.
If you’re a fan of cinema, then awards season is usually an exciting time for you. At the end of the day, there are plenty of award shows, but the Academy Awards stand above the rest since it’s widely renowned as the most important and prestigious award for anyone to win. Obviously, just because one actor or one film you wanted to win doesn’t end up winning, it doesn’t make the film any less deserving, which is why there always is some sort of controversy or backlash depending on who does end up winning.
Compared to the last couple of years, I can’t remember a year where it has been as stacked as this one. 2019 was an incredible year for movies and the nominees represent exactly that. These are my predictions for the show. Other than simply discussing one possible winner, I will take a different route, explaining, who could win, who should win, and who will win. You probably won’t see an in depth discussion every single category, but I will be discussing the big ones, mostly.
- FORD V FERRARI
- The Irishman
- Jojo Rabbit
- Little Women
- Marriage Story
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Any of these films winning Best Picture would be a huge surprise, but it’s also very possible. The Irishman has a chance since it’s Oscar bait at its finest. It’s a Martin Scorsese mob drama with phenomenal acting throughout. It always had a chance.
Joker winning would be the biggest surprise, but I also didn’t expect it to get as many nominations as it did. So, not only was that unexpected, but a win here would be even more so.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of those genre films that seems like it can win an Oscar. Being that it’s mostly set in Hollywood, it’s directed by Quentin Tarantino, and Leonardo DiCaprio is involved means it always has a chance.
Who could win: 1917
I think Sam Mendes’ 1917 has a legitimate shot at winning “Best Picture.” It has gotten plenty of love and praise for its cinematography and direction. It also did win the Golden Globe, but if history repeats itself, it also doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed an Oscar either.
Who should win: Parasite
There isn’t a film from 2019 that’s more deserving of “Best Picture” than Parasite. It’s beautifully directed with gorgeous cinematography and editing. Plus, the performances aren’t getting enough credit since it’s one of the best aspects of the film. This a career-best effort for Bong Joon-ho and it should be rewarded.
Who will win: Parasite
Some will say 1917 is winning “Best Picture,” but I would have to disagree. Parasite has been racking up the wins lately at other award shows and I think the fan feedback from this film only helps it case. Of course, the Academy may think differently, but I’m hopeful and pretty confident it will take the win.
- Martin Scorsese for The Irishman
- Todd Phillips for Joker
- Sam Mendes for 1917
- Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
- Bong Joon-ho for Parasite
Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino winning “Best Director” wouldn’t be such a big surprise for me since they’re both proven and critically acclaimed directors. However, I do think they would be upset.
But, the biggest surprise, for me, would be Todd Phillips winning. It’s highly unlikely, sure, but so was Joker receiving 11 nominations, which is the most out of any other film at the 2020 Oscars. Personally, I don’t think he’ll win.
Who could win: Sam Mendes
Once again, what Mendes did with 1917 is incredible. When you think of “Best Director,” you have to consider a variety of factors. For me, camera direction and cinematography is extremely important and essential to a film and 1917 excels greatly. I also believe the way the scenes are shot elevate the performances from these actors.
Who should win: Bong Joon-ho
In every detail, I believe Bong Joon-ho delivered in terms of directing Parasite. From the editing between scenes, to the cinematography, and the way he shot certain scenes with the characters is borderline impeccable. Without a doubt, Joon-ho should win this one.
Who will win: Bong Joon-ho
Not only should he win, but I also think he has the greatest chance at winning as well.
- Antonio Banderas as Salvador Mallo in Pain and Glory
- Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
- Adam Driver as Charlie Barber in Marriage Story
- Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker in Joker
- Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in The Two Popes
I think Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Jonathan Pryce winning would be very surprising. Sure, they’re great performances, but a case can be made that, at least, two of them shouldn’t have even been nominated. I’m still shocked Christian Bale didn’t get a nomination for FORD V FERRARI. I also believe Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems) should’ve been recognized.
I think the one who has the greatest chance at upsetting this category is Banderas.
Who could win: Adam Driver
I think this falls more in line as an upset as well, but it wouldn’t surprise me and honestly, I think Driver’s performance in this deserves a bit more love. He’s the best he has ever been in Marriage Story and I wouldn’t even be mad if he won.
Who should win: Joaquin Phoenix
Without a doubt, this is the performance of the year. Phoenix completely immersed himself in the role and delivered something truly special. It’s somewhat uncomfortable watching what he does on the screen sometimes, which is a testament to his greatness. If anyone else wins, it’s a robbery.
Who will win: Joaquin Phoenix
Considering all the other awards he has already won, I think he’ll top it off with his first Oscar.
- Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman in Harriet
- Scarlett Johansson as Nicole Barber in Marriage Story
- Saoirse Ronan as Josephine “Jo” March in Little Women
- Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell
- Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in Judy
By far, the biggest upset and biggest surprise would be Cynthia Erivo winning for Harriet. Honestly, I think the movie and the character deserved better than what was ultimately given. The film isn’t terrible and Erivo’s performance is great, but I think it’s stuck in the wrong movie.
Besides, Lupita Nyong’o is the one who is missing from this list and is a lot more deserving, in my opinion, for her phenomenal performance in Us.
Who could win: Renee Zellweger and Saoirse Ronan
I think Theron did a great job as Megyn Kelly. But, I don’t think she has much of a chance at winning. It doesn’t mean she isn’t deserving of it. Plus, I think the other nominees are gave just as good, if not better, performances, making them even more deserving.
I think Zellweger may have the best shot at winning considering she has already won many other awards. I wouldn’t sleep on Ronan as well, though. She’s been one of the best up-and-coming actresses for while now and she can pull off a win here for “Best Actress.”
Who should win: Scarlett Johansson
Johansson’s performance in Marriage Story is absolutely chilling and a career-best for the actress. There are so many incredible scenes with her in this film and it would be a shame if she doesn’t the Oscar, at least in my opinion.
Who will win: Renee Zellweger
In all honesty, Zellweger is probably the favorite here. I definitely do think Johansson is a bit more deserving and should be rewarded. Unfortunately, I think the Academy will think different.
Best Supporting Actor
- Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
- Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI in The Two Popes
- Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman
- Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino in The Irishman
- Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
I think the biggest surprises and/or upsets would be wins for Hopkins, Pacino, or Pesci. All of the performances are great and very memorable, but I think the other two nominees may be a bit more deserving.
Who could win: Tom Hanks
Hanks is always amazing in whatever he does and that’s no secret. The way he embodied the role of Mister Rogers is truly remarkable and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if he ends up taking the win here.
Who should win: Brad Pitt
Pitt is one of the best to ever do it and it’s honestly shameful that he hasn’t even won an Oscar yet (at least for a performance of his). It’s long overdue and he’s fantastic in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He should definitely take the win here.
Who will win: Brad Pitt
I think he’ll finally get his first acting Oscar here and rightfully so.
Best Supporting Actress
- Laura Dern as Nora Fanshaw in Marriage Story
- Scarlett Johansson as Rosie Betzler in Jojo Rabbit
- Kathy Bates as Barbara “Bobi” Jewell in Richard Jewell
- Florence Pugh as Amy March in Little Women
- Margaret Qualley as Pussycat in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
I believe the biggest surprises would be Scarlett Johansson and Margaret Qualley. 2019 was a career-defining year for Johansson. She was in Avengers: Endgame, Jojo Rabbit, and Marriage Story. Although she was best in Marriage Story, her performance in Jojo Rabbit did help her secure a nomination here, so anything is possible.
I do think it’s a possibility she can also win it, even though it would be a bit surprising.I don’t really see Qualley having a chance here, though.
Who could win: Florence Pugh
I think Pugh is arguably the best young actress working today. She has also had a memorable 2019 and it’s insane to think she’s only just beginning. Her performance in Little Women may be great, but there are many who think she was even better in the other films she was in, such as Fighting With My Family and Midsommar.
Who should win: Kathy Bates
Bates’ portrayal of Bobi Jewell is fantastic. Showing her grievance and sadness about the whole situation in that film felt extremely emotional and, in many ways, relatable since I think any parent in that predicament would feel the same way. I think she should be rewarded for her great efforts.
Who will win: Slight edge to Laura Dern
In all honesty, Dern is good in Marriage Story, but I don’t think it was even her best performance of 2019. She was arguably better in Little Women. But, she has won awards already and there’s a strong possibility she’ll win the Oscar as well.
Best Original Screenplay
- Knives Out by Rian Johnson
- Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach
- 1917 by Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino
- Parasite by Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
In all honesty, I believe this one is a toss-up. If there were to be an upset, I think Rian Johnson’s Knives Out would be it, considering that it isn’t getting a lot of awards buzz. I figured it would get more than it did, that’s for sure.
Who could win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
As mentioned earlier, I think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has the potential to win some of the categories it’s nominated, including this. I think its setting and Tarantino at the helm always gave it a chance.
Who should win: Parasite
Parasite is one of the most original stories I’ve ever seen on the big screen. I haven’t seen a story quite like it and it should be rewarded for its efforts.
Who will win: Slight edge to 1917
I think, ultimately, 1917 will get the nod. It also tells an original and intriguing story which caters more to the Academy rather than something like Parasite.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- The Irishman by Steven Zaillian (I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt)
- Jojo Rabbit by Taika Waititi (Caging Skies by Christine Leunens)
- Joker by Todd Phillips
- Little Women by Greta Gerwig (Novel of same name by Louisa May Alcott)
- The Two Popes by Anthony McCarten (Based on play The Pope)
This category is another toss-up, in my opinion, since it’s pretty stacked and there really isn’t a clear favorite. I think the biggest upset would be Joker. As mentioned, I’m actually surprised it got so many nominations. But, I don’t think it’ll win this category.
Who could win: The Two Popes
I think this may be one flying under the radar. It would be a sneaky win, that’s for sure. I think, compared to the other nominees, it’s unlikely it will win. But, I wouldn’t be very surprised either.
Who should win: Little Women
I enjoyed Little Women. Although I thought some of the pacing and transitions in the scenes between the past and present were a bit jarring, it’s a great adaptation of the novel with very memorable performances. I think it deserves it.
Who will win: The Irishman
I think The Irishman will edge this one out. It’s a great story loosely based on true events. Till this day, it’s still unknown what really happened, but what Martin Scorsese was able to craft here is very impressive and I don’t think anybody can deny that.
Best Animated Feature Film
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- I Lost My Body
- Missing Link
- Toy Story 4
The biggest surprise, for me, would be I Lost My Body winning. I honestly didn’t even expect it to get nominated. As a matter of fact, I never even heard of it. It would definitely be an upset.
Who could win: Klaus and Toy Story 4
I haven’t seen Klaus, but I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about it. It winning would not surprise me in the slightest.
I also think Pixar is always in the running with its film and seeing the great Toy Story 4 winning wouldn’t be a surprise either.
Who should win: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Some said the third installment of this fantastic series wasn’t as good as the others. However, I happen to disagree. I felt it was just as good and if it’s the end, then it ended on a heart-warming and emotional note. I definitely think it’s deserving.
Who will win: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I find it weird how Missing Link actually won the Golden Globe since nobody even expected it to win. It’s not even the best of the Laika films, if I’m being honest. I’m pretty confident the Academy thinks the same as I do.
Best International Feature Film
- Corpus Christi (Poland)
- Honeyland (North Macedonia)
- Les Miserables (France)
- Pain and Glory (Spain)
- Parasite (South Korea)
I can’t say I know every single one of the international films, because I don’t. But, based off of buzz, I don’t think Corpus Christi is getting a lot of it. I think it winning would be surprising and an upset.
Who could win: Honeyland and Pain and Glory
Honeyland has been getting plenty of buzz, so it’s not completely crazy to think it could win. I also think Antonio Banderas’ “Best Actor” nomination has put a lot of eyes on Pain and Glory.
Who should win: Parasite
If Parasite gets robbed of “Best Picture,” at the very least, it’s an absolute lock for this award. I would be extremely shocked if it doesn’t win this one. The others do have a chance, but Parasite is simply too good to overlook.
Who will win: Parasite
I think the Academy agrees with me on this one.
Best Original Score
- Joker by Hildur Guonadottir
- Little Women by Alexandre Desplat
- Marriage Story by Randy Newman
- 1917 by Thomas Newman
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by John Williams
For this one, I believe Joker winning would be pretty surprising. I’m not saying the score isn’t great, but I didn’t think it would get nominated. If there was a superhero film to get nominated for its score, it should’ve been Alan Silvestri’s amazing work on Avengers: Endgame.
Who could win: John Williams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
I don’t think the movie was the greatest, but you can never count out John Williams and the incredible composer he is. Him winning wouldn’t be very surprising.
Who should win: Thomas Newman for 1917
There were plenty of tense moments in 1917 and the score was a crucial factor in making these moments. I think it’s the best score out of all the nominees.
Who will win: Thomas Newman for 1917
1917 should be the favorite here and I think it more than likely takes home the award.
Best Original Song
- “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (Toy Story 4) by Randy Newman
- “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Rocketman) by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
- “I’m Standing with You” (Breakthrough) by Diane Warren
- “Into the Unknown” (Frozen II) by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
- “Stand Up” (Harriet) by Joshua Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo
I think “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough winning would be very surprising. The chances are slim, though.
I also think the Toy Story 4 song winning would be surprising as well since it didn’t get a lot of love, at least from what I saw.
Who could win: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” and “Into the Unknown”
Since Rocketman is based on the life of Elton John, that alone gives it a huge chance to win this category. As for Frozen II, the song may not have been as big a hit as “Let It Go” from Frozen, but I can never count Disney out.
Who should win: “Stand Up”
If there was one great thing from Harriet, it was the song. It should win this one.
Who will win: “Stand Up”
The song is very empowering and impactful. I think it has resonated with all the listeners, including the Academy.
- Rodrigo Prieto for The Irishman
- Lawrence Sher for Joker
- Jarin Blaschke for The Lighthouse
- Roger Deakins for 1917
- Robert Richardson for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
I think the biggest surprise would Joker winning. I didn’t even think it’d get nominated for “Best Cinematography,” although I’m glad it. I don’t think it’ll win, though. The biggest upset would definitely be The Lighthouse.
Who could win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino’s films are always beautifully shot and his latest effort is no different. It winning isn’t something that would necessarily surprise me.
Who should win: 1917
It’s debatable that Roger Deakins is the best cinematographer of all time and his genius is on full display in 1917. It’s definitely the most deserving film.
Who would win: 1917
There are certain nominees that are locks for some categories. This is one of them.
I won’t be going to in-depth with these categories since I haven’t seen some of the documentaries and some of the technical categories are usually toss-ups. Most of the predictions may be based on the buzz and some personal preference.
Best Documentary Feature: Honeyland
Best Documentary Short Subject: Life Overtakes Me
Best Live Action Short Film: Brotherhood
Best Animated Short Film: Hair Love
Best Sound Editing: 1917, but would love to see FORD V FERRARI win
Best Sound Mixing: 1917, but would love to see FORD V FERRARI win
Best Production Design: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: I think Bombshell has a chance
Best Costume Design: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Film Editing: Would love Parasite or FORD V FERRARI to win
Best Visual Effects: Avengers: Endgame or The Lion King
Feel free to comment and discuss down below!