Oscar Nominations 2020: Analysis and Predictions

BY: RUBY SCHWEITZER

In a year full of movies with big budgets, but low ratings, the best picture race pulls films from all over the place: a supervillain origin story holds the most nominations, two Netflix dramas are strong contenders, and a subtitled South Korean comedy-thriller-drama competes against a movie about a little boy whose imaginary best friend is Hitler. Of course, there’s also the period pieces: six out of the nine Best Picture nominees are set in the past, though how historically accurate they are varies significantly.

This year’s best director race has been tight from the start, with Martin Scorsese, Bong Joon Ho, and Sam Mendes seeming like the frontrunners since the Golden Globes, and Noah Baumbach, Quentin Tarantino, Greta Gerwig, and Pedro Almodóvar also seeming like safe choices. However, once the nominations were released, people on Twitter were quick to point out that no women were nominated for the second year in a row. Considering that many of the most highly acclaimed movies of the year were directed by women— The Farewell, Little Women, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and Atlantics all have at least 95% on Rotten Tomatoes— this comes as a surprise. The acting nominations also have little diversity, with white actors receiving all but one of the nominations over stars like Eddie Murphy, Lupita Nyong’o, and Awkwafina. However, Bong Joon Ho became the first ever Korean director to receive a nomination, and his film Parasite is the first Korean film to be nominated for either Best International Feature Film or Best Picture.

Other snubs were the lack of nominations for horror movies like Us, Midsommar, or The Lighthouse, though this is hardly a surprise— only six horror movies have been nominated for Best Picture out of a total 563, and The Silence of the Lambs is the only one out of those six to win. Marvel had campaigned for a Best Picture nomination for Avengers Endgame in the fall, perhaps hoping that the Academy would give it a win as a way to honor all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe the way it did with the last Lord of the Rings movie, but Joker seems to have taken the spotlight from other superhero movies. And Knives Out, with its star-studded cast and stellar reception, was only nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

Frozen II was left out of the nominations for Best Animated Feature Film, despite becoming the highest-grossing animated movie ever. It’s possible that Frozen II’s lack of nominations could be because voters had assumed it was a shoe-in and voted for less popular movies like I Lost My Body. Last year it was theorized that the same thing had happened when the highly respected Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was left out of the nominations, although Frozen II does have significantly lower reviews than Won’t You Be My Neighbor? did.

After a review of other film awards shows, critic reviews, and overall popularity of the nominated movies, here are the predictions for the 2020 Oscars.

BEST PICTURE

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker 

Little Women

Marriage Story

1917 – Predicted Winner

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Parasite

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Antonio Banderas

Leonardo DiCaprio

Adam Driver

Joaquin Phoenix – Predicted Winner

Jonathan Pryce

Actress in a Leading Role

Cynthia Erivo

Scarlett Johansson

Saoirse Ronan

Charlize Thero

Renée Zellweger – Predicted Winner

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Tom Hanks

Anthony Hopkins

Al Pacino

Joe Pesci

Brad Pitt – Predicted Winner

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Kathy Bates

Laura Dern – Predicted Winner

Scarlett Johansson

Florence Pugh

Margot Robbie

DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese

Todd Phillips

Sam Mendes

Quentin Tarantino

Bong Joon Ho – Predicted Winner

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Knives Out – Predicted Winner

Marriage Story

1917

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Parasite

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women – Predicted Winner

The Two Popes

Animated Feature Film

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Klaus

Missing Link

Toy Story 4 – Predicted Winner

CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Irishman

Joker

The Lighthouse

1917 – Predicted Winner

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Costume Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women – Predicted Winner

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Documentary Feature

American Factory 

The Cave

The Edge of Democracy

For Sama – Predicted Winner

Honeyland

Documentary Short Feature

In the Absence

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) – Predicted Winner

Life Overtakes Me

St. Louis Superman

Walk Run Cha-Cha

Editing

Ford v Ferrari – Predicted Winner

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Parasite

International Feature Film

Corpus Christi

Honeyland

Les Misérables

Pain and Glory

Parasite – Predicted Winner

Makeup and Hairstyling

Bombshell – Predicted Winner

Joker

Judy

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

1917

Original Score

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

1917

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Predicted Winner

Original Song

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman – Predicted Winner

“I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough

“Into the Unknown” from Frozen II

“Stand Up” from Harriet

Production Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

1917 – Predicted Winner

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Parasite

Animated Short Film

Dcera (Daughter)

Hair Love – Predicted Winner

Kitbull

Memorable

Sister

Live-Action Short Film

Brotherhood – Predicted Winner

Nefta Football Club

The Neighbor’s Window

Saria

A Sister

Sound Editing

Ford v Ferrari – Predicted Winner

Joker

1917

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Sound Mixing

Ad Astra

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

1917 – Predicted Winner

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

Visual Effects

Avengers: Endgame – Predicted Winner

The Irishman

The Lion King

1917

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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