Oscars 2020: Lucien’s Final Predictions

Lucien WD
Lucien WD
Feb 9 · 6 min read

What a wonderful night for moviesssss. Yes, it’s Oscar Sunday, one of my favourite days of the year, and it’s time for me to make my predictions in every category. I have a good amount of money waged on this year’s awards, so my investment is both emotional and financial. Read on to see where you should put your hopes tonight…

Best Picture

Biggest snub: Uncut Gems

It’s unusual how rapidly this category pivoted from feeling totally wide-open, anyone’s to win, to the dullness of the 1917 As Certainty we currently face. At various points since September I’ve had bursts of confidence in Little Women, The Irishman and Marriage Story, all of which emerged at the dragging end of the nominees list. It certainty seems like 1917’s to lose, a quintessential compromise “It’s pretty good!” pick that will be unlikely to top the first vote count, but will benefit from Jojo and Ford v Ferrari transfers to ascend into the top spot. This preferential ballot system means a win for Little Women or Marriage Story — films with a bohemian intellect that would’ve put off older white conservative Academy members from even watching them — is quite literally impossible. It could allow for a surprise for Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite, a curiosity with broad appeal that will certainly place second or third on ballots of voters young and old. The same is true of the most commercially-successful nominee, Joker, and Tarantino’s summer hit Hollywood.

Chances

Winner | 1917 — 70%

Parasite — 17%

Joker — 7%

Jojo Rabbit — 3%

Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood — 2%

The Irishman — 1%

Ford v Ferrari — 0%

Marriage Story — 0%

Little Women — 0%

Best Director

Biggest snub: Greta Gerwig (Little Women)

Sam Mendes is the pick of most prognosticators for this prize, and with DGA under his belt it seems likely. But Mendes, almost to his credit, doesn’t have a showman’s personality, something that is typically rewarded in Best Director (see specifically the trio of Mexican directors whose grandiose techniques have dominated this category for the last decade). This year’s equivalent of Guillermo, Alenjandro and Alfonso is Korea’s Bong Joon-Ho: a charismatic, smart, slightly cheeky and incredibly charming foreigner who made possibly the most enjoyable ‘traditionally Hollywood’ release of 2019 with Parasite. From the outside it seems as though he’s been to every party, charming all the right people, and getting all the right attention throughout his campaign. If voters choose to reward 1917 as a whole, I can see them rewarding Parasite as an auteur achievement. Two of the most famous filmmakers in America are also in this category but neither seems to have clicked as being deserving of this particular award this year.

Chances

Winner | Bong Joon-Ho — 45%

Sam Mendes — 40%

Martin Scorsese — 10%

Quentin Tarantino — 3%

Todd Phillips — 2%

Best Actor

Biggest snub: Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)

I made a bet with Gavin Kelly when the Joker trailer came out that Joaquin would under no circumstances win an Oscar for the film. Lol. There’s basically no way this will see an upset, Driver was an early frontrunner but the campaign simply didn’t click (surprising given his visibility this winter in The Report and Star Wars, as well as the fact that Marriage Story is incredible). The Academy loves to reward the MOST acting, which Joker has in buckets. At this point I’m just relieved Todd Phillips’s film isn’t a frontrunner in every other category too.

Chances

Winner | Joaquin Phoenix — 95%

Adam Driver — 5%

Jonathan Pryce — 0%

Leonardo DiCaprio — 0%

Antonio Banderas — 0%

Best Actress

Biggest snub: Ana De Armas (Knives Out)

One of the strangest sure-things in recent Oscar memory, Zellweger has had zero presence in the media this awards season, starred in a film that was barely released, little-praised, has already won, has been nearly totally absent from screens for a decade, and yet is set to walk away with Best Actress. I don’t know how anyone was going to stop her, but Sony should have pushed Ronan harder as the key winning ingredient of Little Women in my opinion. Keep in mind how hard she was positioned against Frances McDormand in 2017: they could’ve done it again.

Chances

Winner | Renee Zellweger — 80%

Saoirse Ronan — 10%

Scarlett Johansson — 10%

Charlize Theron — 0%

Cynthia Erivo — 0%

Best Supporting Actor

Biggest snub: Chris Cooper (Little Women)

This is the most satisfying batch of nominees this year: everyone nominated par Hopkins deserves to be there, and the only people whose exclusion I consider criminal are Chris Cooper in Little Women and Alan Alda in Marriage Story. From a good list, Brad Pitt is definitely winning, and deservedly so, having made the obnoxious Once Upon A Time… somewhat watchable with his intense charm, and also delivering in James Gray’s Ad Astra. If he were to lose, I imagine Pacino is the next strongest contender, but Pesci certainly has his supporters too.

Chances

Winner | Brad Pitt — 95%

Al Pacino — 2%

Joe Pesci — 2%

Tom Hanks — 1%

Anthony Hopkins — 0%

Best Supporting Actress

Biggest snub: Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart)

Laura Dern is maybe the best actress of her generation and is really terrific in both Marriage Story and Little Women. So why am I furious that she’s a near-certainty to take home Supp. Actress? Pugh, baby! Florence Pugh gave what rivals Sandler in Uncut Gems for THE performance of 2019 in Little Women, I’m thrilled that she’s nominated and I wish she would win. She won’t. But at least she’s not losing to Jennifer Lopez smh.

Chances

Winner | Laura Dern — 90%

Florence Pugh — 5%

Margot Robbie — 3%

Scarlett Johansson — 2%

Kathy Bates — 0%


Original Screenplay

Biggest snub: Uncut Gems

Baumbach’s Marriage Story script is the culmination of both a career of great human drama from the filmmaker and of his actual divorce process. His finest work since Madagascar 3 deserves to win. Sadly, he has fierce and deserving competition from Bong Joon-Ho, whose Parasite script has transcended subtitling and translation to unilaterally resonate with audiences. Tarantino has a decent chance here if Bong is awarded Best Director, but I think the Korean auteur will take both.

Prediction: Parasite

Adapted Screenplay

Biggest snub: Nothing. Such a weak category this year.

Adapted Screenplay was incredibly noncompetitive this year and was always going to be a Greta Gerwig/Taika Waititi head-to-head. Jojo Rabbit is the sort of schmaltzy garbage the Academy always falls for; I can’t see them rewarding Little Women for its structural genius which probably baffled some of the less bright members.

Prediction: Jojo Rabbit

Visual Effects

Will win: Avengers: Endgame

Costume Design

Will win: Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

Cinematography

Will win: 1917

Animated Feature

Will win: Toy Story 4

Film Editing

Will win: Parasite

Hair and Makeup

Will win: Joker

Original Score

Will win: Joker


Check back tomorrow for my reactions to the ceremony! It’s gonna be an exciting night…

Luwd Media

Keeping You Interested.

Lucien WD

Written by

Lucien WD

Communications student at Dublin City University.

Luwd Media

Keeping You Interested.

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