07 February 2020

Oscar 2020: The Wills, the Shoulds, and the Should Have Beens

In which I tell you what I think will happen on Oscar night (and what they got and will get wrong.)

Here. We. Go.


Kathy Bates, "Richard Jewell"
Laura Dern, "Marriage Story"
Scarlett Johansson, "Jojo Rabbit"
Florence Pugh, "Little Women"
Margot Robbie, "Bombshell"

Will Win: Laura Dern
Should Win: Florence Pugh
Should Have Been: Keep Margot but for "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood" (that's right!) and replace any of them that aren't Florence Pugh with Shuzhen Zhao, the grandmother in "The Farewell."

Tom Hanks, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Anthony Hopkins, "The Two Popes"
Al Pacino, "The Irishman"
Joe Pesci, "The Irishman"
Brad Pitt, "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"

Will and Should Win: Brad Pitt
Should Have Been: Replace Hopkins with Paul Rudd in "Avengers: Endgame"...I'm deadly serious.

South Korea, "Parasite"
Spain, "Pain and Glory"
France, "Les Misérables"
North Macedonia, "Honeyland"
Poland, "Corpus Christi"

Will and Should Win: "Parasite"
Should Have Been: I should have been seeing more of these movies.

"The Irishman"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Little Women"
"The Two Popes"

Will Win: "Joker"
Should Win: "Little Women"
Should Have Been: Any screenplay that's not "Joker." That movie is great to look at, well-made and acted and is utterly stupid and painfully on the nose.

"Marriage Story"
"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
"Knives Out"

Will Win: "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
Should Win: "Parasite"
Should Have Been: Any screenplay that's not "1917" (a movie that required no writing and has no story nor characters), including "The Farewell," "Midsommar," "Uncut Gems," and "Us."


"Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"
"The Irishman"
"Jojo Rabbit"

Will Win: "1917"
Should Win: "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"
Should Have Been: "Midsommar" instead of "The Irishman"...that is all.


"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
"The Irishman"
"The Lighthouse"

Will Win: "1917"
Should Win: "The Lighthouse"
Should Have Been: The visual sharpness of "Parasite" is as strong or stronger than that of "Joker" at any point, and the cinematography is the one true highlight of "Joker" for me.


"1917," Thomas Newman
"Joker," Hildur Guðnadóttir
"Little Women," Alexandre Desplat
"Marriage Story," Randy Newman
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," John Williams

Will Win: Thomas Newman
Should Win: Randy Newman
Should Have Been: Nathan Johnson's score for "Knives Out" is masterful. This is honestly a great lineup that probably has it right.


"The Irishman"
"Ford v Ferrari"
"Jojo Rabbit"

Will Win: "Joker"
Should Win: "Ford v Ferrari"
Should Have Been: Did the editor's branch not watch "Marriage Story"?


Antonio Banderas, "Pain and Glory"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"
Adam Driver, "Marriage Story"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Joker"
Jonathan Pryce, "The Two Popes"

Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix
Should Win: Adam Driver
Should Have Been: I'm sure Pryce is great. Haven't seen the movie. Adam Sandler missing from this list is one of the great travesties of the awards season.


Cynthia Erivo, "Harriet"
Scarlett Johansson, "Marriage Story"
Saoirse Ronan, "Little Women"
Renée Zellweger, "Judy"
Charlize Theron, "Bombshell"

Will Win: Renée Zellweger
Should Win: Scarlett Johansson
Should Have Been: I'm sure Zellweger is great. Haven't seen the movie (and likely won't). Lupita Nyong'o missing is one of the great travesties of the awards season. (See also: Ana de Armas in "Knives Out")


Martin Scorsese, "The Irishman"
Quentin Tarantino, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
Bong Joon-ho, "Parasite"
Sam Mendes, "1917"
Todd Phillips, "Joker"

Will Win: Sam Mendes
Should Win: Bong Joon-ho
Should Have Been: Honestly, they probably got this one right, though a strong case could be made for Greta Gerwig ("Little Women") and Lorene Scafaria ("Hustlers"), two women who can easily play ball with any of these dudes.


"Ford v Ferrari"
"The Irishman"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Little Women"
"Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"
"Marriage Story"

Will Win: "1917"
Should Win: "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"
Should Have Been: Just make it 10 with "Avengers: Endgame."


  1. Finally, someone who realizes how great Avengers: Endgame is as I think that film was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Best Picture as it was better than it was supposed to be and did more than just be an epic superhero blockbuster film. It was the kind of film that I think the Gods of Cinema would've enjoyed. It had everything you wanted in an epic and more.

  2. Good write-up, man.

    I agree with you on a lot of these. Dern & Pitt are locks.

    Parasite's locked in International Feature.

    I don't think Joker has a shot in Adapted Screenplay. I think it's Jojo Rabbit vs. Little Women there, with Jojo having the edge.

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has Production Design potentially locked, & Parasite is its only competition.

    Thomas Newman will sadly lose again. (I wish he got nominated for his score for In the Bedroom. You know I love that movie, Kevin. But he should've been nominated for & won there). Also, the Knives Out score got disqualified due to a "technical error," as the Academy put it.

    The Irishman should win Film Editing. Thelma Schoonmaker can do no wrong.

    Adam Sandler was robbed.

    You're not missing out on Judy at all. Renée Zellweger doesn't deserve a nomination, let alone a win. Saoirse Ronan should win. (You know I love her, man).

    Mendes is gonna win.

    1917 has a good shot at winning, but I think it goes Parasite. I'd be happy to see it happen.

  3. Cool list! Totally agree about Shuzhen Zhao for The Farewell. She was horribly overlooked. Ditto for the 'should've been' nominations for Midsommar's production design, the Knives Out score, Ana De Armas and Lupita N'Yongo. It's refreshing to see someone pick Lorene for Best Director too. Her work was amazing.