The Oscar race is like a horse race in that each studio pins their hopes on their respective films hoping to place. In such an analogy, the studio is the horse’s owner, public relations is the jockey, and the actor or film is the horse. In the table below, I’ve included my rankings as they stood on the eve of Oscar nominations—the number in brackets indicates my placement following nominations. I chose nine nominees for Best Picture out of a possible ten, as determined by the Academy’s preferential ballot system. All other categories reflect five nominees. The picks that appear in black text within the table were my original nominee picks, and those in red represent actual nominees that I had not chosen.
This year, I underestimated the Academy’s willingness to address the gender parity gap and expected Greta Gerwig to make it into the Best Director category for her rendition of Little Women, my number two film of 2019. I also relied on their inability to award my top film last year, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Best Picture for being a Netflix film, and placed Taron Egerton (Rocketman) in the Best Actor category instead of Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, also a Netflix film). Instead, the Academy went all in for Joker, my least favorite film of the year. Indeed, it gave this film the most nominations (at eleven), including Best Director.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to discuss the Best Supporting Actress race this year due to the condensed season (all precursor awards were moved up three weeks to accommodate the early Academy Awards date, February 9th, 2020), but if I had, you would’ve seen that Katy Bates was in the mix for Richard Jewell, having earned a Golden Globe nomination, but her inclusion was still a surprise.
With that, I give you my current Oscar predictions. May the best men and women win!