Select Page

1917, Parasite, Joker & the race to the finish

1917, Parasite, Joker & the race to the finish


Come this Sunday the first Academy Awards of the decade will get underway — which means we still have plenty of time to predict, hope and complain about who should really win until we go mad. With these last few days until the glitz and glamor on the horizon, I will be using the piece to break down the state of the race for the major categories and reveal my predictions for every single category. That’s right, if you’ve been dying to know what I think will win Best Animated Short, then suffer no more. 

Throughout the month of January, we saw a slew of awards being given out, such as Golden Globes, Critics Choice, BAFTAs, SAG, PGA. DGA, WGA and more. While it’s fun to see a little differentiation in the winners to spice up the race and make it a proper sport (and inspire Sandler-in-UNCUT-GEMS-level gambling), the recent race has resulted in a strong frontrunner sweeping the big awards: 1917. The war movie from Sam Mendes has been cleaning house and banking gold this last month, which is rare for a movie that didn’t hit the festival circuit like the other nominees. The South Korean movie PARASITE is still up there as a strong contender (I will go into that later), but otherwise, the major categories all seem to have winners locked in place at the moment, meaning that in those categories, there’s not a lot of room for surprises. 

All that on the table, that still doesn’t mean there’s no room to discuss why certain nominations are in the bag, or where there can be a little room for upsets. Below I will get into the major categories — Best Picture, Director, all the acting nominations and each of the screenplay sections — and break it down who or what I think will win, and maybe who or what stands a chance of proving me wrong. 

BEST PICTURE:

Last year was one of the best years for movies in recent memory, and while there are dozens of movies that we all wish made it into the top category (*cough* UNCUT GEMS* *cough* DOLEMITE IS MY NAME *cough cough*) most of these movies are worthy of the selection. Even with the 8-9 nominees we normally get, by this point in the race, so close to the end, there are usually 2-3 that emerge as frontrunners. In this case, the two to keep your eyes on are 1917 and PARASITE, both of which have emerged out in front, dominated the conversation and swept-up some key awards. Of the two, perhaps the best bet is 1917, which came out on top at the Golden Globes with Best Director and Best Picture wins, and it hasn’t slowed down since. It has since gone on pick up top prizes at the Director’s Guild, Producers Guild, and the recent BAFTAs. On top of that, it has become a box office hit, grossing over $100 million domestically so far. People seem to be loving it, and it has all the ingredients and clout of a strong BP winner, and one most people seem okay with seeing win.

Taking all that into account, PARASITE is still very close behind, nabbing a big win at the SAG awards with Best Ensemble, earning a standing ovation from the crowd. Perhaps more than 1917 there is nothing but love for this movie in the industry, and its win would mark a huge moment in Oscar history, being the first foreign-language film to win the prize. This situation is not dissimilar to what happened in 2017 between LA LA LAND and MOONLIGHT, the former also having the audience appeal, the Globes, the DGA, and the PGA, and then losing the top prize (but earning director).

A notable outlier is, perhaps, JOKER. The movie has made over a billion dollars around the world and become the most profitable comic book movie of all time, and has certainly solidified itself as a defining movie of the year. It even has 11 nominations backing it up, giving some strong feelings it could have more support than previously thought. And yet, I still think it’s sort of lucky to be in this category at all, and while it will win at least a trophy or two, I don’t think it will dance all the way to Best Picture. 

If you’re crafting a ballot in hopes of winning some money over your mates, the smart bet is 1917, considering all it has going for it. However, I’m personally putting money down on PARASITE. There’s a wave of support for the movie that I think will cause yet another split, with Mendes taking director, and PARASITE getting Picture. I may likely come out the loser in this scenario, but I feel we saw this same song and dance a few years ago, and I think the only thing missing will be Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway holding the envelope.

 

  • PARASITE
  • 1917
  • ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
  • THE IRISHMAN
  • JOJO RABBIT
  • MARRIAGE STORY
  • LITTLE WOMEN
  • JOKER
  • FORD V. FERRARI

 

BEST DIRECTOR:

This year the director’s race is filled with repeat entrants like Tarantino, Scorsese, and Mendes, with Bong Joon Ho securing a more-than-deserved first nomination – and Todd Phillips is there too. When the race began all eyes were on Scorsese, the titan delivering an outstanding entry in an already outstanding career, and all after a decade of trying to bring it to the screen. But then 1917 started making the rounds, and all the eyes shifted to Mendes, who brought to the table a visually arresting war film made for this exact trophy. Right now, with a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and the DGA under his belt, it’s his prize to lose, and much like everything around THE IRISHMAN, Scorsese’s chances have all but evaporated. If anything, it’s Bong Joon Ho who stands the best chance of surprising, but even still, Mendes is the easy frontrunner.

 

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:

From the moment he started dancing down those steps and showing off how gaunt he got, Joaquin Phoenix has been the man to beat for the prize. Sure, Adam Driver gave him some good competition with his fantastic work in MARRIAGE STORY, but to no avail. Phoenix has been cleaning house just as Heath Ledger did years ago when he played Joker, and his win here is all but assured. The movie may have its mixed reactions within the critic community and the industry, but Phoenix’s power in the role has been an undeniable strength that has made it one of the must-see movies of the year. The man will for sure walk home with his first Oscar, pending what could be the biggest upset of the evening (Banderas truly is amazing in PAIN AND GLORY).

 

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

Much like with Phoenix, all eyes have been on Zellweger to take home her second Oscar for her work as Judy Garland in JUDY, and I can’t really see that changing come Oscar night. The movie isn’t great, but she is such a powerhouse in the role and makes it all worth watching. Making it all the better is the “comeback” angle of it all, with Zellweger having stepped away from the spotlight for a time, hitting the screen again within the last few years. All the praise she’s been getting is earned, and again, this is another slot on the ballot you should feel comfortable in marking down.

 

 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Okay, there’s a bit of a pattern going on, so I’m just going to lay it out: Each one of the acting categories this year will be the most predictable of the evening. Phoenix and Zellweger are locks, as is Brad Pitt for his work in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD. The man has been winning all the awards up to this one, and it’s about as locked as locked can get. For one, Pitt is the only one of his fellow nominees never to win an acting Oscar. He’s won for producing (12 YEARS A SLAVE), but never for acting, despite several nominations. This will be his year for playing the endlessly cool Cliff Booth in Tarantino’s movie, which many are joking that Pitt is just playing himself. But it’s not so much that he’s playing himself and more that there’s no one else who could’ve played this part. Are people loving all these other men in their roles, especially Pacino and Pesci? Of course, but not more than Brad. Are people stoked Tom Hanks received his first nomination in 20 years? Yes, but not more stoked than they are on Brad. An additional plus is that his previous acceptance speeches have clearly given him opportunities to try out his comedy act, so here’s to seeing what new wisecracks he has in store for us.

 

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Again, no surprises here. Laura Dern has been sucking up prizes for her work in MARRIAGE STORY like a damn Dyson, and that won’t stop at the Oscars. Also nominated a few times, this is the perfect time for Dern to win an Oscar, as we’re going through a bit of a Dern craze at the moment in our society, which is fantastic. But is this her best work to be worthy of an Oscar for? She’s great in it, but she’s actually better in LITTLE WOMEN, if we’re talking 2019 Dern. Speaking of LITTLE WOMEN, while Dern has this locked up my personal hope is that Pugh takes home a surprise win for her work in the movie, turning in the best work out of one of this year’s best ensembles. A man can dream, though.

 

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

This one is a bit tricky, with two movies poised to possibly take the trophy. On one end, you have Gerwig, who did an amazing job bringing Louisa May Alcott’s classic “Little Women” to the screen and making it feel fresher than ever. It’s funny, heartbreaking and poignant – a perfect adaptation. On the more business-y side of things, there are a lot of folks who feel Gerwig (and many, many of the other talented female directors of 2019) was snubbed in the Best Director category, and Adapted Screenplay could be a way they give her a well-earned trophy. But also gunning for a win is Taika Waititi for his work on JOJO RABBIT, adapted from Christine Leunens’ “Caging Skies”. Diverging heavily from the book, Waititi brought his trademark wit and emotion to the story and was awarded the Writer’s Guild of America prize for his work. When it comes to that prize the guild has about a 60-70% accuracy (they awarded CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, ARRIVAL and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, all of which didn’t win the Oscar), so that doesn’t quite pose the best answer here. But, Taika did win the BAFTA recently, so if you’re all about the stats, he’s the solid bet. I liked LITTLE WOMEN more as a movie, but in terms of predictions, I’m going Waititi.

 

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

Tarantino won a Golden Globe for his work on HOLLYWOOD, and he’s undoubtedly one of the best screenwriters working today, if not of all time. You would not be faulted for thinking he would win yet another Oscar for his script (adding to PULP FICTION and DJANGO UNCHAINED) for HOLLYWOOD, but alas, it may not be his year. In a bit of a late break, Bong Joon Ho & Han Jin Won have been sweeping up some prizes for their masterful work on PARASITE, and I believe they’re the ones to mark down for the win here. Their work juggles a cast of complex characters across an equally complex story that seamlessly shifts tones, constantly leaving you guessing from start to finish. It’s incredible work that is likely to be awarded this Sunday…which could then give it more clout for a possible BP win.

 

 

And as for the rest:

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • I Lost My Body
  • Klaus
  • Missing Link
  • Toy Story 4

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • The Irishman
  • Joker
  • The Lighthouse
  • 1917
  • Once upon a Time…in Hollywood

 

COSTUME DESIGN

  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Little Women
  • Once upon a Time…in Hollywood

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • American Factory
  • The Cave
  • The Edge of Democracy
  • For Sama
  • Honeyland

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

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

FILM EDITING

  • Ford v Ferrari
  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Parasite

 

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

  • Corpus Christi
  • Honeyland
  • Les Misérables
  • Pain and Glory
  • Parasite

 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

  • Bombshell
  • Joker
  • Judy
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • 1917

 

ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Joker
  • Little Women
  • Marriage Story
  • 1917
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

 

ORIGINAL SONG

  • “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4
  • “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
  • “I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough
  • “Into The Unknown,” Frozen II
  • “Stand Up,” Harriet

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • The Irishman
  •  Jojo Rabbit
  • 1917
  • Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Parasite

 

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Dcera (Daughter)
  • Hair Love
  • Kitbull
  • Memorable
  • Sister

 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Brotherhood
  • Nefta Football Club
  • The Neighbors’ Window
  • Saria
  • A Sister

 

SOUND EDITING

  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Joker
  • 1917
  • Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

 

SOUND MIXING

  • Ad Astra
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Joker
  • 1917
  • Once upon a Time…in Hollywood

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

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

—————-

Well, there you have it. These are just my predictions, and lord knows what will happen this Sunday when the first Oscars of the decade airs. The date is February 9, 5 p.m.PST/8 p.m. EST, and be sure to stay tuned to JoBlo.com on Twitter for the latest updates on the night, featuring our own Paul Shirey, who will likely have a few tiki drinks to keep him company.

 





Source link

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *