Oscar Predictions

By Steve Warren

Any film critic worth their salt has at some time been wished – or told – to go to hell by everyone in the movie industry. This year those industry-ites got their wish, because the end of the year was hell for critics.

With the exception of those who cover fall festivals in Toronto, Venice, etc. and get an early look at year-end releases, we had to deal with distributors holding their films back until the last minute. They had plenty of wannabe contenders and the average running time was longer than ever. Most clocked in at two hours or more, and of course there was The Irishman at three-and-a-half.

The 92nd Oscars (see below) picked a two-weeks-earlier date, Feb. 9, shortening the entire Award Season, since that's always the finale. Many critics' groups moved their voting deadlines up accordingly. Essentially we had to try to see a lot more in less time.

While some year-end films (1917, Marriage Story, The Two Popes) still made my list, others (The Irishman, Little Women) suffered because I had less patience with their excesses and shortages than I might have in less stressful times.

The Atlanta Film Critics Circle and Southeastern Film Critics Association, both of which I belong to, agreed on seven of the top ten films. Four of those also made my Top Ten list, an increase of three over last year.

Here are both groups' lists, as well as mine for INsite, and the rest of my year-end selections:

2019 SEFCA TOP 10
1. Parasite
2. The Irishman
3. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
4. Marriage Story
5. 1917
6. Jojo Rabbit

7. Little Women
8. The Farewell
9. Uncut Gems
10. Ford v Ferrari

2019 ATLANTA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE TOP 10
1. Parasite
2. The Irishman
3. Marriage Story
4. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
5. 1917
6. Little Women
7. Uncut Gems
8. Knives Out
9. Pain And Glory
10. Apollo 11

2019 INSITE TOP TEN
1. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
2. Marriage Story
3. Parasite
4. Toy Story 4
5. 1917
6. The Two Popes
7. The Lion King
8. The Lighthouse
9. Waves
10. Honey Boy

SECOND TEN (listed alphabetically)
Blinded by the Light, The Farewell, Fighting with My Family, The Good Liar, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, The Nightingale, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Woman at War, Yesterday

BEST ACTOR
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Runners-Up: Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood; Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell

BEST ACTRESS
ReneE Zellweger, Judy
Runners-Up: Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell; Tessa Thompson, Little Woods

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
Runners-Up: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood; Aldis Hodge, Clemency

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Runners-Up: Laura Dern, Marriage Story; Margot Robbie, Bombshell

BEST ENSEMBLE
Waves
Runners-Up: Knives Out, The Irishman

BEST DIRECTOR
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
Runners-Up: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite; Sam Mendes, 1917

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Marriage Story: Noah Baumbach
Runners-Up: Pain and Gory: Pedro Almodóvar; Parasite: Han Jin Won and Bong Joon Ho

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Jojo Rabbit: Taika Waititi
Runners-Up: Downton Abbey: Julian Fellowes; The Two Popes: Anthony McCarten

BEST DOCUMENTARY
For Sama
Runners-Up: One Child Nation; The Biggest Little Farm

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Parasite
Runners-Up: Pain and Glory; Sauvage/Wild

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Toy Story 4
Runners-Up: The Lion King; Ruben Brandt, Collector

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1917: Roger Deakins
Runners-Up: Ad Astra: Hoyte van Hoytema; A Hidden Life: Joerg Widmer

AS FOR THOSE OSCARS...

This could be a big year for Oscars as consolation prizes for some multiple nominees.

When Scarlett Johansson doesn't win Best Actress for Marriage Story, she could get Best Supporting Actress for Jojo Rabbit instead. And while Cynthia Erivo won't win Best Actress for Harriet, she could share the Best Original Song Oscar for "Stand Up," the song she co-wrote and sang in the same film.

If Parasite, a foreign film, loses for Best Picture, it could still win Best Director, and the retitled Best International Feature Film award, as Roma did last year. That would kick two more cans down the road. If Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood) or Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite) loses Best Director, he could still win Best Original Screenplay for the same film. And if Honeyland loses the International Feature award to Parasite, it can still win for Best Documentary Feature.

I'm not saying any of these things will happen, but they could.

Now let's see what I am saying will happen on Feb. 9:

BEST PICTURE:
Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood

BEST DIRECTOR:
Sam Mendes, 1917

Like last year, the Screen Actors Guild awards seemed to lock in three of the four acting prizes. The fourth – Best Actor - is still a crapshoot, but it's usually safe to predict the Oscars will echo the SAGs.

BEST ACTOR:
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

BEST ACTRESS:
RenEe Zellweger, Judy

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Laura Dern, Marriage Story

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
American Factory

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
Toy Story 4

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM:
Parasite (South Korea)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Roger Deakins, 1917

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Greta Gerwig, Little Women

BEST FILM EDITING:
Jinmo Yang, Parasite

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
"I'm Gonna Love Me Again," Rocketman

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Hildur Guanadottir, Joker

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Little Women

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:
Bombshell

BEST SOUND EDITING:
1917

BEST SOUND MIXING:
Ford v Ferrari

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
Avengers: Endgame

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM:
Sister

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM:
Brotherhood

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