Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Oscar Odds

I’m going to be seeing a lot of top contenders in the next couple weeks, and so, for the moment, I only have a bit more information to help me with my predictions.

The big announcement that has potential for impact is that the 93 submissions for Best International Feature, formerly Best Foreign Film, will now be able to be screened online by all Academy members to determine the ultimate five nominees, drawn from a shortlist of ten, up from nine. Theoretically, this makes it easier for films to be seen and might give stronger but lesser-known entries a better shot. It doesn't change my predictions just yet, however, but I'll keep an eye on the category going forward.

I had seen “Harriet” before posting last week’s predictions, and though star Cynthia Erivo appears to be getting positive mentions, I still think she may just miss out. I finally got to see “Parasite” on Tuesday and absolutely loved it. It stays in my predictions in all categories, though I understand it’s still a historical longshot, especially after “Burning” got snubbed in the Best Foreign Film race last year. The other big contender I saw after missing it in its initial theatrical release was “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” There was an awards screening in San Francisco on Saturday which featured a live-streamed Q and A session at the Los Angeles screening with Quentin Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie after the film. I personally didn’t love the movie, but getting to hear the actors talk after clued me into the fact that I’m in the minority. Pitt seems like a good bet since it’s a natural and entertaining performance, and Robbie, despite minimal screen time, will surely earn votes, though it sounds like her turn in “Bombshell,” which I won’t be seeing for a couple weeks, is likely to eclipse that. DiCaprio is less certain, but this seems to be a turn respected in a similar way to “The Revenant,” one that demonstrates clear effort and intention even if the end result isn’t quite as formidable as everyone believes it to be. Tarantino should be set for a directing nomination and the film shouldn’t have any trouble placing in the Best Picture field, especially considering “Django Unchained” made the cut.

I’m still making my way through DOC NYC’s Features Shortlist, so I’ll wait to revise my Best Documentary predictions until I’ve screened a few more films. The only change, therefore, that I’m making to my predictions is to sub in Sterling K. Brown for “Waves” in the Best Supporting Actor field after seeing a trailer for the film. This week, I’m planning to see “Dark Waters,” Polish International Feature submission “Corpus Christi,” and top contender “Marriage Story,” and possibly a few others. Reviews will be posted closer to release, but that will definitely inform my picks here. Stay tuned!

Current predictions:

Best Picture
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Farewell
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Director
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)
Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit)
Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story)
Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)

Best Actor
Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory)
Robert De Niro (The Irishman)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

Best Actress
Awkwafina (The Farewell)
Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
Alfre Woodard (Clemency)
Renée Zellweger (Judy)

Best Supporting Actor
Sterling K. Brown (Waves)
Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood )
Al Pacino (The Irishman)
Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Best Supporting Actress
Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers)
Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

Best Original Screenplay
The Farewell
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Adapted Screenplay
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women

Best Animated Feature
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Toy Story 4
Weathering with You

Best Documentary
American Factory
Apollo 11
Ask Dr. Ruth
The Biggest Little Farm

Best International Feature
Les Miserables (France)
Out Stealing Horses (Norway)
Corpus Christi (Poland)
Parasite (South Korea)
Pain and Glory (Spain)

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