Our Very, Very Early Oscar Predictions

All of the festivals have wrapped up, and the submissions are in for multiple categories. A little over 4 months remain until the biggest award ceremony of the year, and it’s time to look through our predictions once again. Since we’ve covered the acting categories and Best Picture category last time. We thought it best to check out some other contests that will also have very interesting competition.


Remember, it’s still pretty early. Not even the Academy knows who their nominees will be, so we’ll do our best.

Let’s Start With Best Foreign Language Film

(We think) the nominees will be:

“Pain and Glory” (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)

“Parasite” (Bong Joon Ho, South Korea)

“The Perfect Candidate” (Haifaa Al Mansour, Saudi Arabia)

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (Celine Sciamma, France)

“Hot Bread” (Umid Khamdamov, Uzbekistan)

This year, there’s been a record 93 films submitted for the Foreign Language film award and from that, they have to whittle it down to 5. We don’t envy the Academy, but judging from what we’ve seen these five look like the strongest contenders. Both “Pain and Glory” and “Parasite” stand a good chance of being selected for Best Picture, it won’t be the first time a foreign language film is considered for the top honor of the night. We could also be seeing first time nominees coming from both Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. But no one is a shoo-in just yet. There’s still heavy competition for those coveted 5 spots.

Also in contention: “And Then We Danced” (Levan Akin, Sweden), “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (Chiwetel Ejiofor, United Kingdom), “Heroic Losers” (Sebastian Borensztein, Argentina), “The Moneychanger” (Federico Veiroj, Uruguay)



Now Let’s Look at the Best Animated Feature Category

(We think) the nominees will be:


Bununel in the Labyrinth of Turtles

Frozen 2

Toy Story 4

Weathering With You

Also, this year, the Academy received a record number of nominees in the Animated feature category with 32.  Even in this crowded field, it’s clear to see who the possible front runners are. Disney and Pixar will usually always be in the mix and this year they have two surefire Billion dollar franchises on their slate with the latest Toy Story adventure and the sequel to their surprise mega-hit coming out in just enough time to be given Oscar consideration. But it won’t be easy. Abominable was an attractive film with a charming story, while Weathering With You is the kind of gripping storytelling we’ve come to expect from a Japanese studio and Bununel is a throwback to classic animation, and a unique tale on 1930’s Paris.

Also in contention: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”, “Klaus”, “Pachamama”, “Spies In Disguise”


Let’s Move On to the Best Documentary Feature

(We think) the nominees will be:

Apollo 11

American Factory

One Child Nation

Hail Satan?

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story

Sure to be one of the toughest categories for Academy voters to decide and clearly they can’t get anything right (I’m still not over the snub of Won’t You Be My Neighbor, but whatever.) This year, will be no different. All 5 of our presumptive nominees maintain a rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 92% or higher, and all 5 cover different topics from space exploration to oppressive governments all the way to religious acceptance. We’re excited to see who emerges from this field, but if we have to guess we’d probably go for One Child Nation to win over the Academy this season.

Also in contention: “Mike Wallace Is Here”, “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”, “Knock Down the House”, “The Edge of Democracy”


And Lastly, Let’s Look at the Best Director’s Race

(We think) the nominees will be:

Fernando Meirelles for “The Two Popes”

Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite”

Martin Scorsese for “The Irishman”

Quentin Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Noah Baumbach for “Marriage Story”

Again, sure to be a loaded race. I don’t think anyone would be against having at least 6 nominees in this category as it will be undoubtedly difficult to narrow it down to 5 and someone is guaranteed to be snubbed. Here’s the 5 we think will stand out, but there’s at least 5 others who could replace the field we have entirely. Joon Ho has been receiving solid praise ever since Parasite debuted at TIFF along with Noah Baumbach whose film Marriage Story has been a solid front runner since the Toronto festival, and hasn’t lost steam yet. Tarantino and Scorsese are both veteran filmmakers who’ve delivered excellent work this year, but have to contend with a changing Academy leaning more towards youth and diversity. It may or may not work in their favor.


Also in contention: Pedro Almodóvar for “Pain & Glory”, Marielle Heller for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, James Mangold for “Ford v. Ferrari”, Todd Phillips for “Joker”, Jay Roach for “Bombshell”, Taika Waititi for “Jojo Rabbit”, Lulu Wang for “The Farewell”, Robert Eggers for “The Lighthouse”



Well, those are our best guesses right now. Of course we can only speculate with so much time between now and the big show. But we think we’re on to something here. Let us know what films touched you this year and which ones you’d like to see nominated in all your favorite categories.

Til next time…see you at the movies!

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