Ready for the 2020 Oscars? First, I gave you my picks. Now, I want to make you some money. Betting the Oscars is not a typical bet. It’s not like a sports bet where the result is determined live. Oscar bets are voted on by the Academy so essentially, we’re betting on how a group of people voted. It’s not easy, but there are some keys to look for while betting the 2020 Oscars.
Use Results From Other Award Shows As Guide – It’s very rare for an award winner to come out of nowhere. Usually, each category has one to three contenders. In most cases, these contenders won awards at major shows like the Golden Globes, SAGs, or BAFTAs. Furthermore, for technical awards, there are guild awards given out for crafts like writing, editing, and cinematography. The more awards won at the guilds, the better the chances of winning an Oscar.
Favorites Win A Lot – This doesn’t help when it comes to making money, but it does pay off to pick favorites if you are doing an Oscars pool where you have to pick winners without odds.
Look For Bets With The Best Value – The bets I’m suggesting to make are not “locks.” Most of them are underdogs and long shots. They may not win, but it’s your best chance of making money. Try to avoid categories where the favorite is significantly out of reach.
Bet At Your Own Risk – I’m not legally obligated to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Have fun, but be smart!
*Odds taken from Draftkings at 5:30 PM EST. Subject to change.
My picks do NOT reflect who I believe will win. They reflect the best bet you can make to win the most money.
Great value here for the top three spots. 1917is the favorite because of Best Picture wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and PGAs. Right on its tailis Parasite, which won the Best Ensemble Award at the SAGs and will win Best International Feature Film. My pick is 1917 because the PGA winner has won 8 of the last 10 Best Pictures at the Oscars. Plus, it has great odds for a frontrunner. I’d bet on both 1917 and Parasite. If you have extra money to blow, sprinkle a little cash on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Academy loves Tarantino and they love movies about Hollywood. 10 to 1 odds make for a great payout.
Bets To Make: 1917 in Best Picture -125 and/or Parasite in Best Picture +150
Every Acting Category
Do you like lighting your money on fire? If so, then you’ll love betting on the acting categories. I’m trying to make a case for any actor not named Renée Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, and Laura Dern, but I can’t do it with a straight face. All four actors are heavy favorites and have few losses on their resumes this season. Even though I don’t believe this will happen, if I had to pick one upset, it would be Scarlett Johansson in Best Actress. I can’t advise anyone to place a bet on an underdog in any of these categories, but Scar Jo in Marriage Story would be my play.
Bet To Make: Scarlett Johansson in Best Actress +1000
Best Original Screenplay And Best Adapted Screenplay
Two categories, two underdogs that have legitimate shots at winning. Let’s start with original screenplay. Parasite is the favorite because of wins at the WGAs and BAFTAs. However, right on Director Bong’s heels is Mr. Quentin Tarantino. You can never count out Tarantino in the original screenplay category because of his two previous wins for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. I would never blame someone for betting on Tarantino. In adapted screenplay, Jojo Rabbit also picked up wins at the WGA and BAFTAs. However, Greta Gerwig wrote the best adaptation of Little Women to date. Do not count her out, butTaika Waititi and Jojo is the best bet to make.
Bets To Make: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in Best Orginal Screenplay +150 // Jojo Rabbit in Best Adapted Screenplay -177
Best Sound Editing And Best Sound Mixing
The 1917 domino starts in the technical categories. If it wins in both sound editing and sound mixing, then 1917 is due for a huge night. That’s a possibility that may end up happening. However, for betting, Ford v Ferrari as a slight underdog in both categories is juicy. Ford v Ferrari is a very loud and effective film. If I had to choose which category Ford v Ferrari will win, I’m going with sound mixing.
Bet To Make: Ford v Ferrari in Best Sound Mixing +125
What are your best bets for the 2020 Oscars? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.
Oh, happy day! The 2020 Oscars are finally here. I love the Oscars. I always see people complaining about how it’s boring or too long on Twitter. I’m in the opposite camp. Make the ceremony 10 hours long and I’ll watch it from start to finish.
Will tonight be all chalk or will history be made? 1917 could clean up in all of the technical categories along with wins for Best Director and Best Picture. Parasite could become the first foreign film to win Best Picture. All of the acting categories include huge favorites, but the technical categories are up for grabs. Overall, I’m excited for tonight.
Without further ado, here are my picks.
Ford v Ferrari
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The biggest award of the night is a two-horse race. 1917 is the favorite thanks to Best Picture wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and PGAs. However, Parasite, my favorite movie of 2019, is making a late push thanks to its win at the SAGs. If Parasite wins Best Picture, it would be the first foreign film to ever accomplish this feat. However, 1917’s win at the PGA was significant since 10 of the last 12 PGA winners went on to take home Best Picture at the Oscars. My pick is 1917.
P.S. The wild card in this race is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino has a lot of support in the Academy. It’s a movie full of stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood. It’s right up the Academy’s alley. Plus, OUATIH has multiple acting nominations. The last film to win Best Picture without an acting nomination was Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. (1917 and Parasite both have zero acting nominations.) If Tarantino wins for original screenplay, look out for OUATIH.
P.S.S. Enough with the narrative that 1917 winning Best Picture is boring. It’s an achievement in filmmaking that people are going to remember for a while.
Who Should Win:Parasite Who Will Win: 1917
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
Todd Phillips – Joker
Sam Mendes – 1917
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho – Parasite
Take my Best Picture argument and apply the same principles to Best Director. Mendes has won practically every directing award on the awards season circuit. However, people (including me) love Director Bong and Parasite. Tarantino is on the outside looking in. However, 1917 is in for a big night and Mendes will pick up his second win for Best Director.
Who Should Win: Bong Joon-ho – Parasite Who Will Win: Sam Mendes – 1917
Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory as Salvador Mallo
Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Rick Dalton
Adam Driver – Marriage Story as Charlie Barber
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker as Arthur Fleck / Joker
Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
I wish this category was more of a competition between Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix. I preferred Driver’s performance because of his ability to capture the emotional trauma and brutal truth of what happens during a divorce. However, Joaquin’s physical and mental transformation in Joker was undeniably good. I like Joaquin and I enjoyed Joker so I have no problem with him winning.
Who Should Win: Adam Driver – Marriage Story as Charlie Barber Who Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix – Joker as Arthur Fleck / Joker
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet as Harriet Tubman
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story as Nicole Barber
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women as Josephine “Jo” March
Charlize Theron – Bombshell as Megyn Kelly
Renée Zellweger – Judy as Judy Garland
Confession: I never saw Judy. I had the opportunity to watch it on a plane, but I chose to watch The Peanut Butter Falcon instead. Renée Zellweger hasn’t lost in this category all season and I don’t expect that to change. However, I’d love for Saoirse Ronan to win. She’s probably the best actress of her generation and it sucks that she’s going to have to wait a little longer to win an Oscar.
Who Should Win: Saoirse Ronan – Little Women as Josephine “Jo” March Who Will Win: Renée Zellweger – Judy as Judy Garland
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood as Fred Rogers
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes as Pope Benedict XVI
Al Pacino – The Irishman as Jimmy Hoffa
Joe Pesci – The Irishman as Russell Bufalino
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Cliff Booth
Brad Fucking Pitt. This is the speech I’m looking forward to the most.
Who Should Win: Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Cliff Booth Who Will Win: Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Cliff Booth
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell as Barbara “Bobi” Jewell
Laura Dern – Marriage Story as Nora Fanshaw
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit as Rosie Betzler
Florence Pugh – Little Women as Amy March
Margot Robbie – Bombshell as Kayla Pospisil
I love Florence Pugh and she’ll be a force for years to come, but it’s time for Laura Dern to collect some hardware. No arguments here.
Who Should Win: Florence Pugh – Little Women as Amy March Who Will Win: Laura Dern – Marriage Story as Nora Fanshaw
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Knives Out – Rian Johnson
Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach
1917 – Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino
Parasite – Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
Toughest category to predict. All five of these scripts are stellar. However, this will come down to Tarantino and Bong. Tarantino has the experience thanks to his two previous wins in this category. That being said, Bong won at the Writers Guild Awards (Tarantino was not eligible) last week, but I still believed Tarantino would win at the Oscars. Fast forward to the BAFTAs and Bong beat Tarantino head-to-head in this category. Because of that, I’m going with Bong by the slimmest of margins.
Who Should Win:Parasite – Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won Who Will Win: Parasite – Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Irishman – Steven Zaillian based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt
Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens
Joker – Todd Phillips and Scott Silver based on characters created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson
Little Women – Greta Gerwig based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
The Two Popes – Anthony McCarten based on his play The Pope
Once again, another early frontrunner came back to the pack. This should be Greta Gerwig’s first Oscar win because Little Women was brilliant. Unfortunately, I don’t think she wins here. Taika Waititi has all the momentum in the world thanks to two wins over Gerwig at the WGAs and the BAFTAs. Taika walks home a winner.
Who Should Win:Little Women – Greta Gerwig based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott Who Will Win: Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Dean DeBlois, Bonnie Arnold, and Brad Lewis
I Lost My Body – Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
Klaus – Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh, and Marisa Román
Missing Link – Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner, and Travis Knight
Toy Story 4 – Josh Cooley, Jonas Rivera, and Mark Nielsen
When in doubt, Pixar at the Oscars. When in even more doubt, Toy Story at the Oscars.
Who Should Win:Toy Story 4 – Josh Cooley, Jonas Rivera, and Mark Nielsen Who Will Win: Toy Story 4 – Josh Cooley, Jonas Rivera, and Mark Nielsen
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Corpus Christi (Poland) in Polish – Directed by Jan Komasa
Honeyland (North Macedonia) in Turkish and Macedonian – Directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov
Les Misérables (France) in French – Directed by Ladj Ly
Pain and Glory (Spain) in Spanish – Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Parasite (South Korea) in Korean – Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Who Should Win:Parasite (South Korea) in Korean – Directed by Bong Joon-ho Who Will Win: Parasite (South Korea) in Korean – Directed by Bong Joon-ho
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
American Factory – Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, and Jeff Reichert
The Cave – Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod, and Sigrid Dyekjær
The Edge of Democracy – Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, and Tiago Pavan
For Sama – Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts
Honeyland – Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, and Atanas Georgiev
Flip a coin between American Factory and Honeyland. I’ll back the Obama-produced American Factory.
Who Should Win:American Factory – Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, and Jeff Reichert Who Will Win: American Factory – Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, and Jeff Reichert
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Joker – Hildur Guðnadóttir
Little Women – Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story – Randy Newman
1917 – Thomas Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – John Williams
Five really good scores. If any person in this category won, I’d be happy. It’s a win-win-win-win-win for me. One of my favorite scores of the year belongs to Randy Newman, who has never won in this category. However, Hildur Guðnadóttir’s haunting score was the co-MVP of Joker.
Who Should Win:Marriage Story – Randy Newman Who Will Win: Joker – Hildur Guðnadóttir
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 – Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman – Music by Elton John; Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
“I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough – Music and Lyrics by Diane Warren
“Into the Unknown” from Frozen II – Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“Stand Up” from Harriet – Music and Lyrics by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo
This should have happened at the Oscars. It’s a damn shame. Since it’s not happening, I’ll always root for Elton John.
Who Should Win: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman – Music by Elton John; Lyrics by Bernie Taupin Who Will Win: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman – Music by Elton John; Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
The Irishman – Rodrigo Prieto
Joker – Lawrence Sher
The Lighthouse – Jarin Blaschke
1917 – Roger Deakins
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Robert Richardson
Roger “The God” Deakins.
Who Should Win:1917 – Roger Deakins Who Will Win: 1917 – Roger Deakins
*Note: The difference between sound editing and sound mixing at the Oscars is confusing and I still don’t understand it. However, if you said 1917 wins all of the technical categories, I wouldn’t blame you. That being said, Ford v Ferrari might split with 1917. I’m honestly not sure and I’ll stop talking.
BEST SOUND EDITING
Ford v Ferrari – Donald Sylvester
Joker – Alan Robert Murray
1917 – Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Wylie Stateman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Matthew Wood and David Acord
Who Should Win:1917 – Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate Who Will Win: 1917 – Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
BEST SOUND MIXING
Ad Astra – Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
Ford v Ferrari – Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Steven A. Morrow
Joker – Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
1917 – Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, and Mark Ulano
Who Should Win:Ford v Ferrari – Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Steven A. Morrow Who Will Win: 1917 – Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Irishman – Production Design: Bob Shaw; Set Decoration: Regina Graves
Jojo Rabbit – Production Design: Ra Vincent; Set Decoration: Nora Sopková
1917 – Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Production Design: Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
Parasite – Production Design: Lee Ha-jun; Set Decoration: Cho Won-woo
Who Should Win:Parasite – Production Design: Lee Ha-jun; Set Decoration: Cho Won-woo Who Will Win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Production Design: Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Bombshell – Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker
Joker – Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
Judy – Jeremy Woodhead
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten, and David White
1917 – Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis, and Rebecca Cole
Who Should Win:Bombshell – Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker Who Will Win: Bombshell – Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Irishman – Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
Jojo Rabbit – Mayes C. Rubeo
Joker – Mark Bridges
Little Women – Jacqueline Durran
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Arianne Phillips
Who Should Win:Little Women – Jacqueline Durran Who Will Win: Little Women – Jacqueline Durran
BEST FILM EDITING
Ford v Ferrari – Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker
The Irishman – Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit – Tom Eagles
Joker – Jeff Groth
Parasite – Yang Jin-mo
Who Should Win:Parasite – Yang Jin-mo Who Will Win: Parasite – Yang Jin-mo
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avengers: Endgame – Dan DeLeeuw, Matt Aitken, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick
The Irishman – Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, and Nelson Sepulveda
The Lion King – Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Elliot Newman
1917 – Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, and Dominic Tuohy
Who Should Win:Avengers: Endgame – Dan DeLeeuw, Matt Aitken, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick Who Will Win: 1917 – Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy
Note: I’m a novice when it comes to shorts at the Oscars so these predictions are based on what I’ve read.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
In the Absence – Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) – Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
Life Overtakes Me – John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
St. Louis Superman – Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
Walk Run Cha-Cha – Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt
Who Should Win:Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) – Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva Who Will Win: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) – Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Brotherhood – Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
Nefta Football Club – Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
The Neighbors’ Window – Marshall Curry
Saria – Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre
A Sister – Delphine Girard
Who Should Win: Brotherhood – Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon Who Will Win: Brotherhood – Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Dcera (Daughter) – Daria Kashcheeva
Hair Love – Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
Kitbull – Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
Memorable – Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre
Sister – Siqi Song
Who Should Win:Hair Love – Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver Who Will Win: Hair Love – Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
Do you agree with these predictions for the 2020 Oscars? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.
The chaos of awards season has only just begun. This past week, both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards released its nominations, which means it’s one step closer to the Oscars in February. The Irishman, Marriage Story, andOnce Upon a Time In Hollywood all took giant steps towards Oscar glory while Little Women, Uncut Gems, and The Farewell have a lot of campaigning left to do. Here are the biggest Oscar takeaways from these nominations.
Four (Maybe Five) Movies Can Best Picture
While the field of Best Picture nominees slowly narrows, the frontrunners are clear. As of 12/13, there are four films that can win Best Picture: The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Parasite. These four films are towards the top of every expert’s ranking on GoldDerby. The only film that could make it a five-way race is 1917, which hits theaters on Christmas Day. The Golden Globes will announce their Best Picture winners in early January, but the most important show for films looking to win Best Picture at the Oscars is the Producers Guild Awards (PGA). 21 of the 31 winners for Best Theatrical Motion Picture at the PGA Awards have gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Win at the PGA Awards and you become the frontrunner.
Robert De Niro And Adam Sandler Are In Trouble
Best Actor is one of the most crowded races of the season. There are 10-15 performances that have legitimate cases for a Best Acting nomination. Two of the most notable names that are on the outside looking in are Robert De Niro for The Irishman and Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems. Both De Niro and Sandler failed to receive a best acting nomination at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. This is less than ideal for their Oscar chances. De Niro has a better chance to crack into the field because of his previous Oscar wins, but Sandler is in serious trouble despite winning Best Actor from the National Board of Review. That being said, not all hope is lost. Bradley Cooper received a best acting nomination for American Sniper despite being shut out from the Globes and SAGs. The precedent is there, but the difficulty remains.
Can Anyone Beat Renée Zellweger or Laura Dern?
By the time the Oscars air on February 9, Renée Zellweger and Laura Dern will be experts at acceptance speeches. Both Zellweger and Dern are huge frontrunners for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. The Academy loves transformations and honoring “Old Hollywood” so Zellweger portraying Judy Garland is like using L + Down, R + C-Right, R + C-Up, L + Right, L + C-Down, R + C-Up, L + Right, R + Down, L + Left, L + R + C-Right for invincibility in N64’s Goldeneye. Barring an unexpected nomination, Dern’s only competition is Jennifer Lopez, who was fantastic in Hustlers. In any other year, Lopez would be the favorite, but Dern’s on fire with an Emmy win and Golden Globe win since 2017. It’s her time to win the Oscar.
No Love For Little Women
This is my biggest surprise of awards season. Little Womenhas all the components for an awards season movie: Established filmmaker (Greta Gerwig), star-studded cast (Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, and MERYL STREEP), and a favorable release date (Christmas Day). Little Women checks all of the boxes and yet the film received two Golden Globes nominations and zero SAG nominations. It makes no sense. After nine Critics’ Choice Award nominations, Little Women has the ability to make a late-push for the Oscars, which is what I believe will happen. Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score are all possibilities.
Check back in January for Oscar nomination predictions. In the meantime, go see Parasite.
It may have taken seven months, but the film community has its first serious Oscar contender with Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino’s tribute to the end of the Golden Age in Hollywood has been rumored to be in the Oscar race ever since the film was announced two years ago. Once Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and the prolific ensemble cast were officially announced, the Best Picture hype began to build.
*This article will contain light spoilers.*
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood revolves around the friendship between an aging actor, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his stuntman, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), in 1969 Los Angeles. The film industry is changing and Dalton and Booth both struggle to adapt to the new times. While this is going on, the major subplot of the film involves Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), Dalton’s next-door neighbor, and the Manson family and their interactions leading up August 9, 1969, when members of the Manson family murdered Tate and her guests at Tate’s house.
All of Tarantinos’ films include his signature style of extended dialogue sequences, large ensembles, and brutal depictions of violence. Those elements were on full display in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. However, this film will go down as Tarantino’s most nostalgic and tender film to date. This film is a love letter to the Golden Age of Hollywood. From recreating Hollywood Blvd to the music, clothing, and stars, Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is as accurate a description of 1969 LA as you’ll ever see on film.
Due to Tarantino’s reputation and a star-studded cast which included DiCaprio, Pitt, and Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood debuted to $40.3 million at the box office, marking the largest opening of the director’s career. The film has also been well-received from critics with an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, attention will turn to the 2020 Oscars. The question is not if Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be nominated for Oscars, but how many Oscar nominations will it receive? Let’s break it down by category.
Best Picture – Yes
There is nothing that the Academy loves more than a film about Hollywood. A film that showcases Hollywood and all it has to offer is a lock for nominations. Add in the fact that it’s a Tarantino film and has “movie stars” in every sense of the word means Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be in the running for multiple Oscars. For example, take La La Land as another film that highlights Los Angeles. Damien Chazelle’s musical received a record-tying fourteen nominations, winning six categories. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood may not receive that many nominations, but Best Picture is just the first of many nominations.
Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio – Yes
In his first film since his Oscar-winning performance in The Revenant, DiCaprio is at his best once again in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The way DiCaprio is able to channel an aging star with such intimacy and care is amazing to witness. It’s a sentimental and loving side of DiCaprio we haven’t seen in years. Add Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to his long list of excellent performances.
Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt – Yes
Pitt did not have as much screen time or lines as DiCaprio so Sony is most likely going to position Pitt as a supporting actor. That being said, Pitt and DiCaprio have tremendous chemistry. Pitt’s cool, no-nonsense persona blended perfectly with Dalton’s egotistical and conceited mannerisms. Essentially, Pitt was his Rusty character in the Ocean Eleven series. Keep in mind that Pitt is going to push for Best Actor for his performance in Ad Astra, which comes out in September. Could Pitt be a double nominee come Oscar night?
Best Supporting Actress for Margot Robbie – No
This is tricky. I thought Robbie did a solid job with the material she was given. Robbie depicted Sharon Tate as this beautiful, star-in-the-making who was married to one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, Roman Polanski. We know what happens to Tate in real life so it’s hard to watch her onscreen and not think ahead to her encounter with the Manson family. Robbie also does not have many lines. My gut says she won’t receive a nomination, but if Once Upon a Time in Hollywood dominates major categories in award shows prior to the Oscars, I won’t be surprised if the momentum leads to a nomination for Robbie.
Best Director And Best Orginal Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino – Yes
If I had to say which category Tarantino has a better shot in receiving an Oscar nomination, Best Orginal Screenplay over Best Director is the better bet. Tarantino received screenplay nominations for Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, and Django Unchained, winning for the last two in that list. On the flip side, Tarantino has been nominated twice for Best Director: Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. Tarantino’s revisionist history in the final act may rub some voters the wrong way, but it shouldn’t stop him from receiving a nomination for screenplay. This should also lead to a directing nomination as well because as I’ve previously stated, this is a softer, more contained version of Tarantino in his homage to 1969 Hollywood. Voters will reward his nostalgic vision.
Other Categories Where Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Will Receive Nominations
If these predictions turn out to be true, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will receive at least nine Oscar nominations, which would be a career-high for a Tarantino film. It’s not out of the question that the film will receive less than nine or more than nine nominations. However, don’t expect this film to ride off into the Hollywood sunset. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be a major player in the Oscar race.