‘Parasite’? ‘1917’? ‘Joker’?!!! Let’s Predict the 2020 Oscar Winners!

Published on February 7, 2020

In terms of dates, this is the earliest Oscar ceremony in history. But didn’t it seem like it was never going to get here? Once again, the granddaddy of all awards shows — now in its 92nd year — has weathered an exhausting maelstrom, from the all-male directing nominations to the lack of diversity in the acting categories. Jennifer Lopez didn’t get her nomination (but she can rock a Super Bowl halftime show!); Taylor Swift didn’t even make the shortlist for Best Original Song for Cats. 1917 was a lock for Best Picture, then it wasn’t, now it is again, maybe? A host would have had a field day with all the above, but for the second consecutive year, we’re on our own. There’s only one thing left to do: Devour every glorious, hopefully weird moment and hope our favorites are golden. Here’s my forecast for the 2020 Oscar winners in all 24 categories, keeping in mind that my No. 1 prediction is that we’ll all have something to buzz about on Monday morning. Especially if Brad Pitt goes there. Happy watching!



Best Picture

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit


Little Women

Marriage Story


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


Will Win: 1917

Spoiler Alert: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Just like last year, the biggest category is the trickiest to predict. The World War I drama — which unspools as one continuous take — is the Prestige Pick in that it’s a stunning technical achievement enhanced by an important, heart-tugging narrative that likely appealed to Academy members ages 19 to 90. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Drama, the BAFTA and the Producer’s Guild Award. That means something! But! Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a sprawling homage to the very industry putting on this shindig. And don’t dismiss the wild cards: The Irishman is an epic directed by one of the All-Time Greats; the much-beloved and provocative Parasite took the SAG Best Ensemble award; and Joker leads the pack with 11 nominations.



Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

Will Win: Renee Zellweger

Spoiler Alert: Scarlett Johansson

“The movie is fine but Renee Zellweger is amazing.” That’s been the party line ever since Judy premiered at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day Weekend. Now she’s a lock to take gold for the second time. Her portrayal of Judy Garland soars, and it’s the kind of role capable of melting even the iciest of Academy hearts. Her closest competition — and I’m using the word “closest” loosely — is Scarlett Johansson, who had such a standout year that she received two acting nominations. (And that’s not even including her work in Avengers: Endgame.) No win this year, but she’ll be fine.




Best Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain & 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

Spoiler Alert: Adam Driver

More than a decade after Heath Ledger took gold for taking on Joker, Phoenix is poised to follow suit. (Who says you need to play a member of the royal family to strike gold?!). And while his troubled character chilled to the bone, the win is also a bit of a make-good for his decades of extraordinary and challenging work in front of the camera. That means runner-up Adam Driver will come up short despite an equally stirring — albeit less showy — performance.



Best Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit  

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Will Win: Laura Dern

Spoiler Alert: Florence Pugh

Justice for J.Lo!!!!!!! Anyway, even if Jennifer Lopez were nominated for Hustlers, she’d still have to sit in the audience and feign happiness when Laura Dern name is called. The veteran actress has been racking up trophies for her performance as an ultra-smooth divorce attorney in Marriage Story, and the Oscar will be her piece de resistance on the mantle. Just note that Best Supporting Actress is also the unofficial ingénue category, so Florence Pugh has an outside shot.



Best Supporting Actor

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 Win: Brad Pitt

Spoiler Alert: Joe Pesci

Brad Pitt has this baby sewn up so let’s get to the real suspense at hand: Will he make another hilarious self-deprecating swipe at his own personal life in his acceptance speech? I say no. The Oscar is too important and a dig at his past will cheapen the moment. In fact, I’m secretly glad that Jennifer Aniston won’t be in the audience for a cutaway shot. After delivering such a killer performance (and, frankly, making it look easy for 30 years), Pitt deserves to own the spotlight. Consolation prize goes to Joe Pesci, who emerged from his film hiatus to play against type as a reserved mafia Don.



Best Director

Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will Win: Bong Joon Ho

Spoiler Alert: Sam Mendes

And now, the controversial all-male category of directors. And though a nod for, say, Greta Gerwig (Little Women) or Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) would have been terrific, the truth is that the five nominated directors presided over distinct works of art. The slight edge here goes to Bong Joon Ho, whose vision of class warfare in South Korea was the most dynamic of all. Mendes also has a great shot, though all those whisper-complaints that the one-shot movie is more gimmick than style don’t help.



Best of the Rest

Original Screenplay — Once Upon a Time in Hollywood  

Best Adapted Screenplay — Jojo Rabbit

Best Cinematography — 1917

Best Costume Design — Little Women

Best Film Editing — Ford V Ferrari

Best Makeup & Hairstyling — Bombshell

Best Production Design — Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Score — 1917  

Best Song — “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” (I still can’t hum this Elton John song; can you?)

Best Sound Editing — 1917

Best Sound Mixing — 1917

Best Visual Effects — Avengers: Endgame

Best Animated Feature — Toy Story 4

Best Documentary Feature — American Factory

Best Foreign Language Film — Parasite

Best Animated Short — Hair Love  

Best Documentary Short — Learning to Skate in a Warzone

Best Live Action Short — Brotherhood


The 92st Annual Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 9 at 8 PM on ABC