The 2020 Academy Awards: Thoughts and Predictions

Best Documentary FeatureHoneyland should take the prize, as it’s so meticulous and precise it could almost sell itself as an original feature. It’s one of the best films from 2019. Having said that though, I see this coming down to the conventional and average American Factory and the emotional Syrian film For Sama. Foreign language documentaries about war zones are no stranger to this category, and yet they never win. By that logic, the easy choice is the Netflix streaming, Obama produced doc American Factory.

The Nominees: American Factory, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland

Will Win: American Factory

Could Win: For Sama

Should Win: Honeyland

Deserved Consideration: Apollo 11, Maiden

Best Documentary Short Subject: Quite honestly, I have no idea what will win this category. It’s hard to make a guess when you haven’t seen them all. Still, I’m predicting Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) if only because it’s empowering and currently available on Hulu.

The Nominees: In the Absence, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl), Life Overtakes Me, St. Louis Superman, Walk Run Cha-Cha

Will Win: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Could Win: In the Absence

Should Win: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Best Supporting Actress: All roads lead to Laura Dern. She’s won everything up to this point (even though I think she’s better in Little Women), and she’s worked all of the right angles. I’m leaning towards her given this awards season track record and that she is such a talented actress who’s never won. But of all the acting categories, I’d say this one is the most vulnerable. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to hear the more deserving Pugh or Johansson have their name plucked from this role call to start the evening.

The Nominees: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

Will Win: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

Could Win: Florence Pugh (Little Women)

Should Win: Florence Pugh (Little Women)

Deserved Consideration: Adèle Haenel (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Taylor Russell (Waves), Zhao Shuzhen (The Farewell), Park So-dam (Parasite), Cho Yeo-jong (Parasite)

Best Sound Editing: That the Academy is considering combing sound editing and sound mixing into one homogeneous category goes to show that most voters, all involved in making movies, don’t really even understand the difference between the two. So just pick 1917 and know you’ll almost certainly be be right.

The Nominees: 1917, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: Ford v Ferrari

Should Win: 1917

Deserved Consideration: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Judy, Luz, Waves, Us

Best Sound Mixing: When in doubt, hedge your bets and make the same choice in both sound categories. Rarely are they ever not a two for one deal.

The Nominees: 1917, Ad Astra, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: Ford v Ferrari

Should Win: Ford v Ferrari

Deserved Consideration: Judy, Midsommar, Uncut Gems, Us, Waves

Best Cinematography: I love the nomination for The Lighthouse here, but the winner should and will be Roger Deakins for 1917. After seemingly being destined to perpetually go home empty-handed, one of the great cinematographers to ever capture a film will take home his second Oscar in the past 3 years. Well deserved.

The Nominees: Roger Deakins (1917), Rodrigo Prieto (The Irishman), Lawrence Sher (Joker), Jarin Blaschke (The Lighthouse), Robert Richardson (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood)

Will Win: Roger Deakins (1917)

Could Win: Robert Richardson (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood)

Should Win: Roger Deakins (1917)

Deserved Consideration: Drew Daniels (Waves), Benoît Debie (Climax), Hong Kyung-pyo (Parasite), Claire Mathon (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Pawel Pogorzelski (Midsommar)

Best Film Editing: There’s a big separation between what should win here and what actually will win. It should go to Parasite because it has editing that elevates everything about its being. And yet last year’s winner was the horribly edited Bohemian Rhapsody, and while Ford v Ferrari is far superior and incredibly well done, I think it’ll win by the same logic that most in recent memory have. Best Editing normally goes to the feature with the most obvious editing, and there’s plenty of it in this gearhead fever dream.

The Nominees: Andrew Buckland & Michael McCusker (Ford v Ferrari), Thelma Schoonmaker (The Irishman), Tom Eagles (Jojo Rabbit), Jeff Groth (Joker), Yang Jin-mo (Parasite)

Will Win: Andrew Buckland & Michael McCusker (Ford v Ferrari)

Could Win: Yang Jin-mo (Parasite)

Should Win: Yang Jin-mo (Parasite)

Deserved Consideration: Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Waves

Best Visual Effects: I’d like to see this one go to Endgame simply because of the sheer amount of work that went into its making. But Marvel already won for Infinity War and I don’t think they’ll be rewarded for essentially the same visuals. By that logic, the likely winner will be 1917, which has such great effects you hardly even see them.

The Nominees: 1917, Avengers: Endgame, The Irishman, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: Avengers: Endgame

Should Win: Avengers: Endgame

Deserved Consideration: Ad Astra, Aladdin, Alita: Battle Angel, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Midsommar

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