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The Trophy Hunter: Final 2020 Oscar Ballot

| Friday, February 7, 2020

Diane Park | The Observer

With the 92nd Academy Awards rapidly approaching, it’s time for me to complete my Trophy Hunter series with a final Oscar ballot. This is the first time that I’ve been able to watch all 53 nominated feature films and shorts prior to Sunday’s ceremony, and I’ve decided to celebrate with a full rundown of each category. Below, you’ll find my picks for who will win and should win each category.

 

Best Picture

Nominees: “1917,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” “Parasite”

Will Win: “Parasite”

Should Win: “Parasite”

If ever a movie was going to break the Academy’s 92-year streak of keeping foreign language films from the top prize, it’ll be Bong Joon Ho’s masterful class warfare satire. Most prognosticators are pointing towards Golden Globe winner “1917,” and with good reason; it’s picked up plenty of predecessor awards. The Academy has been working towards a more diverse voting body for years, though, and one year after a truly regressive decision in handing Best Picture to “Green Book,” it’ll make its most forward-thinking pick yet. 

 

Best Director

Nominees: Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite;” Todd Phillips, “Joker;” Sam Mendes, “1917;” Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman;” Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Will Win: Sam Mendes, “1917”

Should Win: Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

In recent years, this award has gone to the most impressive technical achievement, and Mendes’ one-shot pony fits the bill perfectly. If Bong or Phillips win here, watch out for a repeat in Best Picture. 

 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Nominees: Cynthia Erivo, “Harriett;” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story;” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women;” Charlize Theron, “Bombshell;” Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Will Win: Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Should Win: Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: 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, “Joker”

Should Win: Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”

Banderas had the best performance of any individual this year, a career-shifting peak that goes beyond awards. On a separate note: please, God, anyone but Phoenix.

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

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”

Should Win: Florence Pugh, “Little Women”

In a just world, Jennifer Lopez would be making a stop on the Oscar stage. Instead, Laura Dern is going to win a career-achievement-type award for a perfectly fine turn in “Marriage Story.”

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: 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, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Should Win: Al Pacino, “The Irishman”

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “The Two Popes”

Will Win: “Jojo Rabbit”

Should Win: “Little Women”

 

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: “1917,” “Knives Out,” “Marriage Story,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” “Parasite”

Will Win: “Parasite”

Should Win: “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

 

Best Cinematography

Nominees: “1917,” “The Irishman,” “Joker,” “The Lighthouse,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Will Win: “1917”

Should Win: “1917”

 

Best Costume Design

Nominees: “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Will Win: “Little Women”

Should Win: “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

 

Best Editing

Nominees: “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Parasite”

Will Win: “Parasite”

Should Win: “Parasite”

With the acting awards already all but decided, this is shaping up to be the tightest race of the night (and a potential Best Picture bellwether.) Parasite has the most impressive, showiest editing on display, but “Ford v Ferrari”’s tightly-cut racing scenes could play spoiler. 

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Nominees: “1917,” “Bombshell,” “Joker,” “Judy,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

Will Win: “Bombshell”

Should Win: “Joker”

 

Best Production Design

Nominees: “1917,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” “Parasite”

Will Win: “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Should Win: “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

 

Best Score

Nominees: “1917,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Will Win: “Joker”

Should Win: “Little Women”

The presumptive “Joker” victory will highlight the work of Hildur Guðnadóttir, the only first-time nominee in this category. Alexandre Desplat’s score for “Little Women,” though, is amazing work from the best film composer in Hollywood today. 

 

Best Original Song

Nominees: “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4”; “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”; “I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough;”; “Into The Unknown” from “Frozen II”; “Stand Up” from “Harriett”

Will Win: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again”

Should Win: “Into The Unknown”

First of all: justice for “Glasgow,” the unfairly snubbed song from “Wild Rose.” Elton John will probably get another trophy for his autobiographical “Rocketman” number; on the other hand, voters may not be able to resist giving Cynthia Erivo an EGOT with a “Stand Up” win.

 

Best Sound Editing

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

Will Win: “1917”

Should Win: “1917”

 

Best Sound Mixing

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

Will Win: “1917”

Should Win: “Ford v Ferrari”

 

Best Visual Effects

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

Will Win: “1917”

Should Win: “1917”

“1917”’s mix of practical and digital effects should come away victorious, but “The Lion King”’s CGI wasteland may sway voters. 

 

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “I Lost My Body,” “Klaus,” “Missing Link,” “Toy Story 4”

Will Win: “Toy Story 4”

Should Win: “Missing Link”

 

Best Documentary Feature

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

Will Win: “American Factory”

Should Win: “American Factory”

This is an uncommonly strong showing for this category this year, and the best documentary of 2019 (“Apollo 11”) wasn’t even nominated.

 

Best International Film

Nominees: “Corpus Christi,” “Honeyland,” “Les Miserables,” “Pain and Glory,” “Parasite”

Will Win: “Parasite”

Should Win: “Parasite”

 

Best Animated Short

Nominees: “Dcera,” “Hair Love,” “Kitbull,” “Memorable,” “Sister”

Will Win: “Hair Love”

Should Win: “Hair Love”

Do yourself a favor and watch “Hair Love;” it’s one of my favorite movies of the year, and it’s a six-minute short available on YouTube.  

 

Best Documentary Short

Nominees: “In The Absence,” “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone,” “Life Overtakes Me,” “St. Louis Superman,” “Walk Run Cha-Cha”

Will Win: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone”

Should Win: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone”

 

Best Live Action Short

Nominees: “A Sister,” “Brotherhood,” “Nefta Football Club,” “The Neighbors’ Window,” “Saria”

Will Win: “Brotherhood”

Should Win: “The Neighbors’ Window”

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