The 2020 Oscar nominees are going to be announced Monday morning. 2019 was perhaps the best movie year of the decade and one of the best of the past 20 years. If you’re a movie fan you should be looking forward to these Oscars. But, as with every year there are bound to be snubs and controversies with the nominees. I’m going to attempt to predict the nominees for this year’s awards. I’m sure I’ll end up being wrong all over the place but I’m going for it anyways. I’m going to be predicting 15 of the 24 categories. Mainly, because I don’t want to give full nominee predictions for categories I don’t know as much about.
To be clear, these predictions are what I think is most likely to happen. This is not a list of what I think should happen or what I hope happens. That would be a much different list.
Best Original Song:
- “Into The Unknown” – Frozen 2
- “Stand Up” – Harriet
- “Spirit” – The Lion King
- “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman
- “Glasgow” – Wild Rose
What’s In The Mix: There is no heavy front runner this year like “Shallow” was last year but the first four songs I listed here feel like virtual locks to at least be nominated. The 5th spot seems to be the one that is up for grabs. If it doesn’t go to “Glasgow” I would imagine it would go to either “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite or “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4. Longer shots include “Speechless” from Aladdin, and “I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough.
Best Original Score:
- Alexander Desplat – Little Women
- Randy Newman – Marriage Story
- Thomas Newman – 1917
- Hildur Guðnadóttir – Joker
- John Williams – Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
What’s In The Mix: Michael Giacchino has a very real shot of being nominated here for Jojo Rabbit, as well as Alberto Iglesias for Pain and Glory. I think Giacchino is more likely though and if he does get nominated I think he replaces John Williams. However, John Williams’ 51 career Oscar nominations hints towards the fact that the Academy enjoy nominating the legendary composer. Two dark horse picks that I don’t think are very likely but I wouldn’t hate to see are Michael Abels for Us, and Alan Silvestri for Avengers: Endgame.
- Thelma Schoonmaker – The Irishman
- Fred Raskin – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- Michael McCusker & Andrew Buckland – Ford Vs. Ferrari
- Lee Smith – 1917
- Jennifer Lame – Marriage Story
What’s In The Mix: Jinmo Yang for Parasite, and Jeff Groth for Joker are the two the could easily find their way into this category. It will be interesting to see what happens here because if Ford Vs. Ferrari does not get nominated here I think its chances at grabbing a Best Picture nomination decrease. Similarly, if Joker and 1917 get nominated here, their chances of winning some of the bigger awards increase. I also want to give a shoutout to Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie for their work on Uncut Gems. It seems unlikely that they will receive a nomination here but I do think it would be deserved if it somehow happens.
- Roger Deakins – 1917
- Robert Richardson – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- Lawrence Sher – Joker
- Rodrigo Prieto – The Irishman
- Phedon Papamichael – Ford Vs. Ferrari
What’s In The Mix: I would say the main contender outside of these five possibilities is Jarin Blaschke for The Lighthouse. Other potential contenders for a nomination include Hong Kyung-pyo for Parasite, Hoyte Van Hoytema for Ad Astra, and Jörg Widmer for A Hidden Life.
Best Animated Feature:
- Missing Link
- Toy Story 4
- Frozen 2
- How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- I Lost My Body
What’s In The Mix: I feel pretty good about my five choices in this category. Other possible contenders are Abominable, Klaus, and Weathering With You. But, I think those are all fairly long shots to varying degrees.
Best International Feature Film:
- Parasite (South Korea)
- Les Misérables (France)
- Pain and Glory (Spain)
- Atlantics (Senegal)
- The Painted Bird (Czech Republic)
What’s In The Mix: Parasite remains the heavy favorite here in terms of winner but things are a little trickier for what will get nominated. I feel fairly confident about the five I have selected, however, there is a lot of buzz for Honeyland (North Macedonia), Beanpole (Russia), and Those Who Remained (Hungary) so none of those would shock me.
Best Documentary Feature:
- Apollo 11
- American Factory
- For Sama
- One Child Nation
What’s In The Mix: Of the other possible contenders for this category I think The Cave has the best chance of finding its way into the nominees. Apollo 11 and American Factory seem to be the frontrunners and biggest locks for this category.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
- Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit
- Steve Zaillian – The Irishman
- Anthony McCarten – The Two Popes
- Greta Gerwig – Little Women
- Todd Phillips, Scott Silver – Joker
What’s In The Mix: I have two potential candidates just on the outside looking in here, and they are Noah Harpster & Micah Fitzerman-Blue for A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood and Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham for Just Mercy. The five I have predicted though all feel like really strong contenders and it will be hard to knock one of them off.
Best Original Screenplay
- Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
- Bong Joon-Ho & Han Jin-Won – Parasite
- Rian Johnson – Knives Out
- Lulu Wang – The Farewell
What’s In The Mix: This is tough because this is possibly my favorite category of the night and there are a lot of really good potential contenders this year, or at least many films I would like to see considered. Pedro Almodóvar for Pain and Glory, and Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns for 1917 are both very strong contenders and I could see one of them knocking off Wang or Johnson. Long shots, but screenplays that I love, include Robert Eggers & Max Eggers for The Lighthouse, Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins & Susanna Fogel & Katie Silberman for Booksmart, and Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski for Dolemite Is My Name.
Best Supporting Actress:
- Laura Dern – Marriage Story
- Florence Pugh – Little Women
- Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
- Margot Robbie – Bombshell
- Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell
What’s In The Mix: I could be picking with my heart over my head with Zhao Shuzhen here and including The Farewell in the previous category I predicted but I’m sticking with it. Although, Scarlett Johansson has a real shot for Jojo Rabbit and could replace her. This is also an interesting spot where I could predict the correct actress but for the wrong movie with Margot Robbie. She could easily be nominated in this category for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood rather than Bombshell. I suppose Annette Bening for The Report is also somewhat in the mix but at this point feels like a very big long shot.
Best Supporting Actor:
- Brad Pitt – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- Al Pacino – The Irishman
- Joe Pesci – The Irishman
- Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
- Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes
What’s In The Mix: Another category that feels like we have four locks and one available slot that a few people are fighting for. I gave the fifth spot to Hopkins here but it could easily go to Jamie Foxx for Just Mercy, who has been picking up steam as we get closer to the nominee announcements, or Song Kang Ho for Parasite. You also cannot count out Timothée Chalamet for Little Women or Willem Dafoe for The Lighthouse finding their way in here somehow.
- Renée Zellweger – Judy
- Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story
- Charlize Theron – Bombshell
- Lupita Nyong’o – Us
- Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
What’s In The Mix: Two real contenders on the outside here as well as one long shot. The real contenders are Awkwafina for The Farewell and Cynthia Erivo for Harriet. The long shot is Alfre Woodward for Clemency. Lupita is definitely not a lock here so she could get knocked out by someone. Also, Charlize is on my list and pretty much all the lists I’ve seen have predicted her, however, I can see a world where Bombshell just ends up with zero nominations. I don’t think its likely but I’m just throwing it out there.
- Adam Driver – Marriage Story
- Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
- Taron Egerton – Rocketman
- Christian Bale – Ford Vs. Ferrari
What’s In The Mix: Definitely the most stacked category of the year so there is a lot to breakdown here. Let me start by saying again my predictions are what I think is going to happen not what I hope happens. It seems that with this category there are three locks in Driver, DiCaprio, and Phoenix then after that shit gets crazy. I went with Egerton because like I pointed out in my Golden Globe predictions, Egerton has been campaigning maybe more than anyone this awards season and it paid off at The Globes where he won for Best Actor for a Musical or Comedy. Also, Rami Malek not only was nominated in this category last year but won for a very similar role. The legitimate possible contenders on the outside here are Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory, Robert De Niro for The Irishman, and Jonathan Pryce for The Two Popes. The long shots who are not completely out of the question are Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems, and Eddie Murphy for Dolemite Is My Name. I also want to mention Mark Ruffalo for Dark Waters who in another year could definitely be nominated and maybe even have a shot at winning. Lastly, I want to give a shoutout to Shia LaBeouf for Honey Boy who won’t get nominated but deserves to at least be mentioned for one of the most interesting and emotional performances of the year.
- Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- Bong Joon-Ho – Parasite
- Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
- Sam Mendes – 1917
- Todd Phillips – Joker
What’s In The Mix: Another category where there are seemingly four locks and one other slot. I went with Phillips to fill that slot here. Even though I prefer Greta Gerwig for Little Women. I think we have officially reached the point where her directing of that film has become incredibly underrated. Taika Waititi is also in the mix for Jojo Rabbit. I suppose Noah Baumbach for Marriage Story and Pedro Almodóvar for Pain and Glory are at best long shots here as well. However, I think this category is really the four locks and then Waititi, Gerwig, and Phillips fighting for that last spot.
- Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- The Irishman
- Little Women
- Marriage Story
- Jojo Rabbit
- Ford Vs. Ferrari
What’s In The Mix: It’s important to note that the Academy can nominate up to ten films but there does not have to be ten nominees. In fact, there has not been ten nominees since the Oscars in 2011 and in the eight years since that year they have nominated nine films five times and eight films three times. It’s also important to once again mention this is not what I’m hoping for, just what I’m predicting. Which is why some legitimate contenders that I loved from this year (Knives Out, The Farewell, Uncut Gems) are not on there. It’s also why some long shots or movies with no chance that I loved this year (Booksmart, The Lighthouse, Avengers: Endgame, Her Smell) are not on there. I think the nine that I do have all are very likely to be nominated and if they were going to go with ten I’d say either Knives Out or The Farewell would be the most likely 10th selection.