Oscars 2020 predictions and snubs: Joker, The Irishman, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood



Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix face off in Joker.

Warner Bros.

The Oscars nominations have done us a couple of solids this year. The brilliant Parasite will vie for the top award, making it the first Korean film and 11th foreign-language film overall to be nominated in the best picture category. Voters also gave Florence Pugh her first supporting actress nod for her scene-stealing Amy in Little Women (she was snubbed by both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards).

But the most nominated film at the 2020 Oscars is, um, a comic book movie. Joker is nominated 11 times. Crucially, it’s nominated in the four fields that normally signify an Oscar winner: writing, directing, acting and editing. But The Irishman, which also scored in those fields and has 10 nominations, has a little something the Oscars prize: prestige. (Being a Netflix movie isn’t so much of a taboo after Roma’s success.)

1917 seems to be the front-runner after it took the top Golden Globe, plus it too has 10 nominations. Its only worry is the editing snub, although that wasn’t an issue for previous winner Birdman, which was also edited to look like one continuous shot.

Let’s do a quick rundown of who we think will win, taking into account BAFTA and SAG nominations, Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice winners, and nominations in those crucial Oscars categories. After the SAGs and BAFTAs take place (on Jan. 19 and Feb. 2. respectively), we may need to update this post.

The Oscars will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9 and will air on ABC.


Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Andrew Cooper


Best picture

1917 — will win
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite — want to win
Ford v Ferrari

Based on its 10 nominations and Golden Globes win, 1917 has its nose in front. Ultimately, The Irishman has failed to pick up the top award in any of the preceding awards shows, and Joker, well, comic book movies have never won. But let’s be honest, we all know the tour de force that is Parasite deserves to win.

Best director

Bong Joon-ho, Parasite — want to win
Sam Mendes, 1917 — will win
Todd Phillips, Joker
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

It’s a close one between Tarantino and Mendes, but as of this moment Mendes has the edge. That’s thanks to his Golden Globe win, although Tarantino has never won, and it would be a disaster if he never did. That being said, let Bong Joon-ho win.

Best actor

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker — will win
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Adam Driver, Marriage Story — want to win
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Joaquin Phoenix will win, but make him sing a rendition of Being Alive (Adam Driver did it in Marriage Story) before he receives the award.

Best actress

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Renée Zellweger, Judy — will win
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story — want to win
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Zellweger is swimming in best actress awards (her latest is the Critics’ Choice), so it wouldn’t be surprising to see her transformative performance garner her first best actress Oscar. Scarlett Johansson deserves a mention for her impressive year, with standout performances in Marriage Story as well as Jojo Rabbit.

Little Women

Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women.

Wilson Webb/Sony Pictures

Best supporting actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story — will win
Florence Pugh, Little Women — want to win
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Midsommar, Little Women, the upcoming Black Widow — even though Florence Pugh won’t win, she’s paved a huge career ahead of her. If Dern takes the SAG on top of her Globe, she’s a shoe-in for the Oscar. Where’s Jennifer Lopez? If Hustlers had been directed by Martin Scorsese, this category may have upped its diversity.

Best supporting actor

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood — will win, want to win
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Brad Pitt proved he’s still got A-list star power (and abs) in Once Upon a Time, having already taken the Golden Globe. Pacino and Pesci will split the vote for The Irishman, and Hopkins and Hanks haven’t really been in the conversation.

Best film editing

The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Ford v Ferrari — will win
Parasite — want to win

This category is difficult to predict, except Parasite has been nudged aside slightly by failing to secure a BAFTA nod. Ford v Ferrari (which goes by Le Mans ’66 in the UK) is a sports movie with lots of fast cuts. Let’s go with that one.

Best original screenplay

Rian Johnson, Knives Out — want to win (tie)
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood — will win
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite — want to win (tie)

It’ll probably be Tarantino based on his recent wins (Globes, Critics’ Choice), but let’s hold out for the BAFTAs before saying he’s a shoe-in.

Best adapted screenplay

Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
Greta Gerwig, Little Women — will win, want to win
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, Joker

The Oscars are still mulling around in the dark ages (with the BAFTAs) by failing to nominate a woman for best director. Instead, Greta Gerwig has a good chance of taking a conciliatory writing win, although The Irishman may be very close on her tail if it fails to score wins in the other categories.


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