Oscar Picks: 13 Dec 2019

We’ve only had the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild announce their nominees so far, and they have a tendency to highlight showier things, which may mean some performances are getting a little more shine than they’ll actually get. But here’s where we are now, and it’s not looking good for The Farewell, The Two Popes and especially Little Women.

The cast of The Irishman
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Marriage Story
Once upon a Time in Hollywood

Falling off: The Farewell, The Two Popes
Rising star: Richard Jewell
The skinny: While The Two Popes felt like it was destined to be a hit with older voters, completely blanking with SAG feels like a major blow. Still, Netflix has two guaranteed Best Picture nominees, both of which are the frontrunners in my view. Missing with SAG also seems to be an even more devastating hit for The Farewell, which needed some of these major precursors to remind voters of its greatness. Neither are completely cooked, but they’re on the outside looking in right now. Richard Jewell is surging, thanks to its AFI selection, but serious concerns about its demeaning treatment of a minor character (who’s not even alive to defend herself) might kill it before it even gets off the ground.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Quentin Tarantino and wife Daniella at the Cannes premiere of Once upon a Time in Hollywood
Sam Mendes, 1917
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Quentin Tarantino, Once upon a Time in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite

Falling off: None
Rising star: Todd Phillips, Joker
The skinny: Everything remains the same for now, but that Golden Globe nomination for Todd Phillips feels ominous, though hopefully the Directors Guild knows better. 

Adam Driver in Marriage Story
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Falling off: Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Rising star: Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
The skinny: It’s getting very crowded in here, and it’s looking less and less likely that Antonio Banderas will get the nod for his career-best work. Egerton is firmly in now, joining the other three locks. But with a Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice nod, Christian Bale is looking resurgent in Ford v Ferrari. And does anyone else find it weird that The Irishman has gotten nothing but acclaim, yet Robert De Niro hasn’t gotten any major recognition?

Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Falling off: None
Rising star: Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
The skinny: Matching the SAG line-up, I think these are our five, featuring two black women for the first time since the ’70s. Saoirse is beloved, so she may still find her way in. But I think it’s time we start accepting there may be a world in which Little Women‘s only major nod is in Adapted Screenplay.

Brad Pitt in Once upon a Time in Hollywood
Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once upon a Time in Hollywood

Falling off: Sterling K. Brown, Anthony Hopkins
Rising star: Wesley Snipes, Dolemite Is My Name
The skinny: Our SAG line-up, though I remain unconvinced about Just Mercy‘s strength going into the season. That spot is up for grabs, and it would be wild to see Wesley Snipes take that spot, though Dolemite Is My Name needs notices from more than the Golden Globes.

Laura Dern in Marriage Story
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

Falling off: None
Rising star: Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
The skinny: Pugh and Zhao are vulnerable, but there are far too many ladies who could take their place. Kathy Bates may get her first nomination in more than 15 years, but Annette Bening (The Report) and Nicole Kidman (Bombshell) have also picked up serious attention elsewhere. There’s also the possibility of Scarlett Johansson being nominated here as well for Jojo Rabbit, though her going from zero nods to two in one year seems a little hard to buy.

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story
The Farewell
Knives Out
Marriage Story
Once upon a Time in Hollywood

Falling off: Waves
Rising star: Uncut Gems
The skinny: Feeling pretty confident in this slate, though Uncut Gems increasingly feels like the Hip Movie the Olds Don’t Get that almost always gets a nomination in this category (see also: First Reformed, The Lobster, Nightcrawler). The most likely victim then is Knives Out, which almost everyone loves but may be perceived as too light.

Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis in Jojo Rabbit
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women
The Two Popes

Falling off: Hustlers
Rising star: Joker (still)
The skinny: At this point, it seems safe to say Hustlers is only getting a Supporting Actress nod. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Joker comes on strong, possibly taking out The Two Popes and leaving it with zero nods. Nominating that screenplay is a terrible idea, but that’s never stopped the Oscars before.

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

Falling off: Weathering with You
Rising star: Klaus
The skinny: I Lost My Body seems like the de facto weird pick for this year. The rest dominated by category stalwarts Disney, DreamWorks and LAIKA. Disney will definitely be getting two nods, though I don’t think Netflix will be so lucky.

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