Our Very, Very, Very Early Oscar Predictions

It is the weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and to hear the critics tell it: everything looks amazing and we’re due for a wide-open Oscar race in every category.


So taking everything the critics have said into consideration and all the films we’ve seen throughout the year, we’re looking at a few races to guess how the fields will shake out. Remember this is very (very, very) early, so don’t quote us. However, if it turns out we were right, then definitely quote us.

So Let’s Start With the Best Supporting Actress Category

(We think) The nominees are:

Jennifer Lopez in “Hustlers”

Emma Watson in “Little Women”

Charlize Theron in “Bombshell”

Da’Vine Joy Randolph in “Dolemite Is My Name”

Laura Dern in “Marriage Story”

Again, we’re just guessing, but these are some of the films currently being looked at as top contenders, and these are all top actresses in their fields. If the Oscars were today, we believe the trophy would probably be heading Ms. Lopez’s way just based on the reviews we’re seeing of her new movie due out very soon. But even still, this is a tight race that could see any one of these accomplished actresses give a speech in the Dolby Theater.

Also in contention: , Olivia Cooke in “Sound of Metal”, Anastasia Phillips in “Tammy’s Always Dying”, Beanie Feldstein  in “Booksmart”, Scarlett Johansson in “Jojo Rabbit”, Ja’nelle Monae in “Harriet”


Now Let’s Look At The Best Supporting Actor Category

(We think) The nominees are:

Robert Downey Jr. in “Avengers: Endgame”

Brad Pitt in “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

Tom Hanks in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Alan Alda in “Marriage Story”

Timothee Chalumet in “Little Women”

Yeah, we said it. RDJ will be getting an acting nod for a comic book movie, and we stand by it. He delivered a well-thought-out performance in Endgame, the movie is the biggest hit of the year, and after 12+ years of playing the philanthropic billionaire playboy, it was clear there was no greater role for him in Hollywood. He’s cemented as that character as Harrison Ford is to Indiana Jones. He still probably won’t get it but we can dream, can’t we? All other nominees are also equally deserving of their place. Pitt may be placed in this category or the Lead acting category for his role in “Ad Astra”. “Marriage Story” is all the rage coming out of TIFF spurred by Johanssen and Driver’s performances. If this is the field though, it’d be hard-pressed to look past Hanks or Driver for the golden trophy.

Also in contention: Christian Bale in “Ford v Ferrari”, Wesley Snipes in “Dolemite Is My Name”, Joe Pesci in “The Irishman”, Shia Lebouf in “Honey Boy”

And Now For Best Leading Actress

(We think) The nominees are:

Renee Zellweger in “Judy”

Scarlett Johanssen in “Marriage Story”

Jodie-Turner Smith in “Queen and Slim”

Awkwafina in “The Farewell”

Saoirse Ronan in “Little Women”

Mina Al Zahrani in “The Perfect Candidate”

And look for this to be the most heavily discussed category of the year. A field filled with veteran actresses and 2 newcomers. Current front-runner (Zellweger) has won an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category, but she is (possibly) up against some stiff competition. Johanssen has increased her acting merits this year alone with three projects including Avengers: Endgame, Jojo Rabbit, and the film which she’s sure to be nominated for, in Marriage Story. Can she be the busiest bee to nab the gold or will Irish sensation and breakout performer from 2017’s Lady Bird (Ronan) finally get her comeuppance? But the steal of the night could belong to Jodie-Turner Smith whose debut performance in the Lena Waithe-produced, “Queen and Slim” has the potential to be a dramatic tour de force even if the Academy isn’t known for handing newcomers the trophy on their first tries. Or what about Awkwafina, whose drift into the dramatic will shock audiences to no end in “The Farewell”. This also tends to be the category that looks more into foreign-language films for nominees, which is where we find Mina Al Zahrani being added into the race for her impressive and relevant role in “The Perfect Candidate”. All three are minority nominees entering a unique new field for Academy voters. Can they break the mold?

Also in contention: Alfre Woodard in “Clemency”, Felicity Huffman in “Tammy’s Always Dying”, Lupita Nyong’o in “US”, Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet”, Penelope Cruz in “Pain and Glory”, Constance Wu in “Hustlers”


What About The Leading Men?

(We think) The nominees are:

Leonardo Di Caprio in “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”

Anthony Hopkins in “The Two Popes”

Robert De Niro in “The Irishman”

Antonio Banderas in “Pain & Glory”

Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name”

Robert Pattinson in “The Lighthouse”

Willem Dafoe in “The Lighthouse”

Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”

Edward Norton in “Motherless Brooklyn”

Johnathan Pryce in “The Two Popes”

Adam Driver in “Marriage Story”

Okay, we recognize that there’s no way the Academy will have 11 nominees for the Best Actor category, but we honestly couldn’t decide where to cut anyone. It’s very likely some version of these 11 will be our nominees, and we’re pretty much okay with any of them. Most are veterans of the game with a number of accolades and Oscars already to their name, but each performance this year was no doubt outstanding, that we wouldn’t be surprised if some of them slipped into the Supporting category as well. Since it’s so early, we can pretty much throw this out there and see what sticks a little bit down the road.

Also in contention: Daniel Kaluuya in “Queen and Slim”, Dev Patel in “The Personal History of David Copperfield”, Hugh Jackman in “Bad Education”, Brad Pitt in “Ad Astra”, Matt Damon in “Ford v Ferrari”, Jimmie Fails in “The Last Black Man In San Francisco”



And Now For The Big One

And here are our current guesses for the biggest award of the night: Best Picture. The Academy has a max of 10 films they can nominate. So here’s how we think the field will shake out:


The Lighthouse

Dolemite Is My Name

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Ford v. Ferrari

The Two Popes

Marriage Story

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood


Jojo Rabbit


Also in contention: Just Mercy, Bombshell, Knives Out, Honey Boy, Little Women, Booksmart, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, The Perfect Candidate 



Again, we’re just guessing, and it is very, very early. And to be fair to the Academy, this was pretty tough for us to do, and they have to do it every year. No wonder your favorites always get left off the ballot. So what’d you think of our list? Did we get everyone? Are we crazy? And what would you place at the top of your lists this early out?







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