Early Monday morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its nominations for the 2020 Oscars. Based on our projections below, we should expect to see a pretty even distribution this year, with The Irishman likely to lead the field with a projected nine nominations, followed by a projected seven nominations each for 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Marriage Story and Joker and six for JojoRabbit.
Below are our predictions for all of the categories (click on the movies highlighted in yellow for our reviews), as well as our predictions of the eventual winners:
The Reelness Prediction: Admittedly it is an odd Oscar year for Best Picture, with no clear frontrunner. For now, there are FIVE clear shoo-ins: Golden Globe winners 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, JoJo Rabbit (which tops OUR list of 10 Best Movies of 2019), Joker, and Cannes Film Festival winner Parasite.
After that, it is less certain. Netflix films The Irishman and Marriage Story should get nominated but lack the horsepower to win, as does Greta Gerwig’s remake of Little Women. One darkhorse that could have the speed is Ford v Ferrari, which is poised to win a slew of technical Oscars.
Our next three contenders are really our wish list of films that SHOULD be nominated (ranked in order of their chances of getting nominated) but sadly, likely won’t be.
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose
The Reelness prediction: Renée Zellweger and Charlize Theron are the two frontrunners here, with Zellweger widely expected to win. With Scarlett Johansson and Saoirse Ronan virtual locks on the next two spots, the fifth is a toss up between Awkwafina and Cynthia Erivo – Awkwafina’s is the better film (and she did recently win the Golden Globe).
The Reelness prediction: Here again, another pretty tight five, with the only possible upset being Jonathan Pryce taking the place of Rocketman‘s Taron Egerton. It won’t happen. Golden Globe winner Joaquin Phoenix should STILL win for his disturbingly terrific performance, despite that odd, off-putting acceptance speech at the Globes.
The Reelness prediction: Laura Dern is the current frontrunner, but we suspect that could change, as Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson are frankly both more deserving of this Oscar. We are going to go with Robbie for the surprise win Oscar night. The last two spots will be a toss up with Florence Pugh and Jennifer Lopez just edging out Nicole Kidman, Zhao Shuzhen and Beanie Feldstein.
The Reelness prediction: Brad Pitt has ALL the award season momentum, with Tom Hanks his closest competition. The three older gents in the two Netflix movies likely will round out the five, mostly for sentimental reasons, although honestly, Taika Waititi’s hysterical, satirical portrait of a goofy Adolf Hitler in Jojo Rabbit is by far the best performance of the entire lot of them.
The Reelness prediction: The likely nominees are a tight five. Todd Phillips could slip in for Joker, but it would be a huge shock to see him replace any of the others. Sam Mendes will probably win, reinforcing its Best Picture chances.
The Reelness prediction:Parasite is by far the most cleverly constructed and deserving screenplay of the bunch. But Marriage Story resonates with LOTS of divorcees. Plus there is the cute factor of having life partners Noam Baumbach and Greta Gerwig each win original and adapted screenplay Oscars for their respective films on the same night. 1917, Booksmart, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are all strong contenders too. Bombshell could slip into the five, but who would be knocked out?
The Reelness Prediction:Toy Story 4 was the most clever, entertaining and surprisingly original (and for a sequel, no less!) of the lot, but Frozen II‘s historic milestone of being the biggest box office animated film of all time could net it the win.
Best Animated Short
Hair Love Kimball The Physics of Sorrow
Dcera (Daughter) Sister
Best Live Action Short
Brotherhood The Neighbors’ Window A Sister Little Hands Refugee
The Reelness prediction: As strange a movie as it was, The Lighthouse had some truly remarkable cinematography that sets it apart from the pack. Still, it’s hard to beat a good war epic of the likes of 1917, and its incredible cinematography that gives the illusion of the film being shot in a single take.
The Reelness prediction: Look at the photo above from Rocketman. Seriously? Like anyone else comes close? Actually, in all honestly, while Rocketman is the flamboyant choice, Ruth E. Carter could score her second consecutive win for Dolemite Is My Name – it did require 75 costume changes. The other three – Downton Abbey, Little Women and Judy should round out the five.
The Reelness predictions: Two standouts in this category made our 10 Best Movies of 2019: Apollo 11, an immersive, start-to-finish first person look at the historic 1969 moon walk, featuring never before seen footage, and The Biggest Little Farm, the life affirming tale of a couple creating a self-sustaining, organic farm north of Los Angeles. Others likely to make the cut: For Sama, the tale of a woman raising her daughter in Aleppo during the Syrian Civil War, One Child Nation, the brutal look at the personal impacts of China’s one child policy; and The Great Hack, the terrifying look at Cambridge Analytica’s impact on the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
American Factory, an eye-opening look at the differences between American and Chinese factory workers when the Americans visit a car glass factory in China is also a compelling film that could get nominated.
Best Documentary Short Subject
Fire In Paradise Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl) Life Overtakes Me Stay Close Walk Run Cha-Cha
The Reelness prediction: Expect Ford v Ferrari, with all its whiz-bang sound and editing, to take this one.
International Feature Film (formerly Foreign Language Film):
Czech Republic, The Painted Bird
France, Les Misérables
South Korea, Parasite
Spain, Pain and Glory
Estonia, Truth and Justice Hungary, Those Who Remained North Macedonia, Honeyland
Poland, Corpus Christi Russia, Beanpole
The Reelness predictions: If there is anything as close to a sure thing, it is that Parasite, South Korea’s big prize winner at 2019’s Cannes Film Festival, not only will get nominated but will easily win the Oscar in this category. Spain’s Pain and Glory is also expected to be nominated just because of its wide release and its big name stars Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz. The remainder is more of a toss up.
The Reelness predictions: Bombshell‘s dramatic, prosthetic-filled transformation of Charlize Theron into Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly makes it the clear frontrunner, with nominations also likely for Joker (clown, is in!) and Judy (Renée Zellweger IS Judy).Downton Abbey, with its fabulous period hairstyles, also should easily make the cut if voters can get past the TV series-to-film snobbery, along with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, just because Angelina Jolie looked so devilishly good.
The Reelness prediction: One of the biggest joys of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was in seeing the transformative detail that was put into making 1969 come alive on the big screen, be it clothes, cars, locales, television shows and products of the era. It truly was incredible and Oscar-worthy.
The Reelness predictions: Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir’s chilling, cello-laden score in Joker sets such a perfect, dark mood that it is the one to beat, especially after winning the Golden Globe. Also likely to get nominated: Avengers: Endgame (c’mon, it’s the big rousing franchise finale!), Jojo Rabbit (Michael Giacchino’s wonderful score makes a great film even better), Marriage Story (the score from perennial nominee Randy Newman is as much a star as Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver’s performances).
That fifth spot is a little trickier. We’re going with the very memorable score from Bombshell, although 1917 could easily slip in (making it a battle of the Newman cousins) as could Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker if The Academy decides to give a courtesy nod to FIVE-time winner John Williams – who won an Oscar for the original Star Wars film).
Frozen II‘s “Into the Unknown” has its eyes on Oscar for a Best Original Song nomination… and likely win.
Wild Rose, “Glasgow”
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, “Catchy Song” The Lion King, “Never Too Late” Toy Story 4, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away”
The Reelness prediction: This category is another tight five, with the Idina Menzel/AURORA duet “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II is a horserace thanks to the recent surprise Golden Globe win by the bland Elton John tune “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman. Beyoncé’s “Spirit” from The Lion King should also easily make the cut along with the inspiring Naomi Scott tune “Speechless” from Disney’s Aladdin and Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up” from Harriet.
If voters in this category are feeling edgey, the Jessie Buckley tune from Wild Rose, about a Scottish ex-con trying to become a country music star in Nashville, or even the very catchy “Catchy Song” from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part could surprise.
The Reelness predictions: The Lion King, with its ground breaking, freakishly realistic-looking blend of live action and animation, is the one to beat in this category. Other easy picks are 1917, which has AMAZING visual effects and The Irishman, with its gimmicky but cool de-aging software. The category’s franchise behemoths Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Avengers: Endgame will snag the two remaining nominations.
There you have it – THE LIST. The 92nd Academy Awards will be held Sunday, February 9th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, televised live (on ABC in the United States) and in more than 225 countries and territories around the globe.
Who do YOU think will get nominated? Add your comments below!