Marriage Story

The race for Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars is heating up, or is it? Back in July, these were my early Best Picture predictions.

These predictions aren’t bad, but there are a few misfires. Your honor, please remove A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, Cats (LOL), and Toy Story 4 from the list. Now, let’s go with the locks of the group. The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are guaranteed to be nominated for Best Picture. From there, I’m confident in keeping Ford v. Ferrari and Little Women on this list because of their positive reviews and well-respected directors (James Mangold for Ford v. Ferrari and Greta Gerwig for Little Women). I’m also going to keep Bombshell (previously titled Fair and Balanced) for now because of strong buzz after its initial screening last week. Plus, it’s a reflection on the political climate (think Vice from last year) and that should play well with voters.

So who rounds out the list? For argument’s sake, let’s say that the Academy will choose ten films to receive Best Picture nominations, which means there are five spots remaining. (Best Picture has not included 10 nominations since 2010. It’s usually been eight or nine.) One of those spots is going to Marriage Story, which has a chance to win the top prize. Because it won the Golden Lion at Venice and its box office success, Joker should get a nomination as well.

Now comes the hard part. With three spots remaining, the Academy can go in one of many directions. Parasite, the South Korean thriller from Bong Joon-ho, has been met with universal acclaim and should win Best International Feature Film. That being said, will it also be nominated for Best Picture? Remember that last year, Roma won International Film, but lost in Best Picture. Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi’s satirical black comedy about Hitler youth, won the People’s Choice Award at TIFF. Why is that significant? The last seven winners of that award went on to be nominated for Best Picture. The Farewell won critics over earlier this Summer, but the film’s best chance at a nomination may be in Best Actress for Awkwafina. The Two Popes has not been seen by most people but it received a warm reception on the festival circuit. Finally, watch out for 1917, a WWI film about two young British soldiers racing to deliver a message to save their troops against the Germans. WWI epic with an Academy Award-winning director (Sam Mendes for American Beauty) has a Best Picture nomination written all over it.

We’re still over a month away from Golden Globes‘ nominations, which will be a good barometer for the Oscars. That being said, here are my Best Picture nominations as of Oct. 25.

Best Picture Predictions

  • 1917
  • Bombshell
  • Ford v. Ferrari
  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Little Women
  • Marriage Story
  • Parasite
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

As for the answer I posed in the headline, there is no true frontrunner, but the three films near the top are The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

What are your Best Picture predictions? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

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