Can 1917 Shake Up The 2020 Oscars?

Awards season is in full swing. With just over two months before Oscar nominations, most of the potential nominees have been released in theaters, premiered at festivals, or at the very least, been screened by critics. However, there’s still one film on the horizon that hasn’t been seen by most. It’s this year’s “ace-in-the-hole” and it should be on everyone’s watchlist. That film is 1917.

1917 tells the story of two young British soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) who are given a seemingly impossible task during the height of World War I during Spring 1917 in northern France. The soldiers must deliver a message in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, including one of the soldier’s brothers, from walking into a deadly trap.

1917 is no ordinary war epic. Director Sam Mendes imagined and eventually directed the film as one continuous shot, meaning that the film will feel like a few long takes with choreographed moving camera shots. The idea behind the one-shot technique heightens the race against time as well as immerse the audience with the two young soldiers throughout the entire film. Cinematographer Roger Deakins, who worked on the film, worried that the one-shot approach was a “gimmick” at first, but he later said, “It’s a way to get sucked into the story.”

1917 is full of speculation in the film community because hardly anyone has seen it. The majority of critics have not seen this film and most likely won’t see it until the end of November. The film will have its world premiere on December 4 at a UK Royal Charity event. However, back in September, there were reports about a test screening with enthusiastic and positive reactions, with one source comparing it to Saving Private Ryan.

If the test screening reactions are a sign of what’s to come, 1917 could end up being the film that shakes up the 2020 Oscars. Right now, most critics have Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, and Marriage Story as the leaders of the pack this awards season. However, with strong reviews and a successful run at the box office, 1917 could catapult to the top of the Best Picture hopefuls.

First of all, the Academy loves war movies. Giant set pieces, elaborate battle sequences, and elegant costumes are right up the Academy’s alley. Out of 91 ceremonies, 16 films set against the backdrop of war have won Best Picture at the Oscars. Casablanca, Patton, Platoon, Braveheart, and The Hurt Locker are some of the war films that have won Best Picture. That list doesn’t include previously nominated war movies that didn’t win like Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, and Dunkirk.

The Academy also loves familiarity and rewarding previously nominated filmmakers and actors. Mendes directed American Beauty, which won five Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture. Deakins is a living legend and one of the most heralded cinematographers ever. Deakins has received fourteen nominations (!) for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, winning once for Blade Runner 2049. Plus, the cast includes Golden Globe and Oscar nominees and winners such as Richard Madden, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

1917 has all the ingredients of an Oscar-nominated film. I don’t see a world where 1917 isn’t nominated for Best Picture. 1917 should be nominated (and win) for Best Cinematography. Plus, it should clean up in all of the technical categories (film editing, sound editing, etc.) and there’s a chance that Mendes could pick up a nomination for Best Director.

Let the 1917 Oscar campaign begin.

Will 1917 be a force at the 2020 Oscars? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow, or email us

2020 Oscars Best Picture Predictions: Is There A Frontrunner?

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.

Joker Review: Joaquin Phoenix Goes All In And Shines

Joker Movie Joaquin Phoenix

While speaking with his mother, Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck turns to his mother and says, “I used to think that my life was a tragedy. But now, I realize it’s a comedy.” Arthur may be smiling, but the audience cowers in fear as they watch a man embrace his inner demons and become one of the world’s most famous villains, the Joker.

*This article will have light spoilers. However, it will not discuss major plot points.

Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man who has been humiliated and disregarded by society in Gotham City circa 1981. Arthur, who has little to no money, is a clown for hire who dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian. Arthur cares for and lives with his mother Penny (Frances Conroy), who is both mentally and physically ill. The duo both share a love and obsession for acclaimed late-night host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro), who they watch every night on television. Franklin inadvertently becomes a catalyst for Arthur’s violent turn after the late-night comedian poked fun at Arthur’s standup. When Arthur and Murray finally meet, it’s suspenseful and downright terrifying because Arthur finally goes off the deep end. However, not all things are bad for Fleck as he’s able to strike up a relationship with Sophie (Zazie Beetz), who lives down the hall.

The entire film rests on the protruding backbone of Phoenix, who lost 52 pounds for the role. There’s going “all in” for a role, and then there’s what Phoenix did. Phoenix completely immersed himself into the mind of a mentally ill and deranged man who turns to unspeakable actions of violence. The way Phoenix contorts his body and maniacally laughs is both disturbing and unsettling, but also spellbinding. Phoenix expertly toes the line between a sympathetic and hopeful Arthur to a twisted and demented Joker. Phoenix, a three-time Academy Award nominee, terrifies and dazzles in a performance that will most certainly be nominated for Best Actor.

At the very beginning, there is some sympathy for Arthur after witnessing how society made him feel inconsequential and inferior. All of that sympathy is a credit to Phoenix’s ability to connect with the audience. That being said, the sympathy disappears as Joker reminds the audience that it’s a character study into the mind of a monster. Arthur is a murderous psychopath who commits heinous crimes that are unforgivable. Joker is a look into how a man could break bad and turn into a nihilistic outlaw who shows no remorse for his actions.

For the first time, the Joker is not the calculated criminal that Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger, whose legendary performance earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, portrayed. In fact, Batman is not even here to save the day. Joker is the origin story about how the villainous clown became a murderous criminal. This version of the Joker is not a mastermind. There’s never a moment where the Joker becomes the strategic genius that will rule Gotham. From the start, Arthur is suffering from a severe mental illness and the film never strays away from that fact.

Had it not been for a handful of references to the Wayne family and Gotham City, Joker would be a standalone film about a dark, damaged outcast from society. The film is actually better when it steers away from the comics and focuses on a man and his path towards evil. Joker was director Todd Phillips’ trojan horse as he used the famous clown to create an homage to dark, 70s crime movies. Phillips, who is known for directing comedic hits like Old School and The Hangover trilogy, crafted a film that’s the lovechild of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. The grim setting and spine-tingling score become characters in their own right as it adds to the suspense and pure shock value of the film.

Ever since Joker won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, critics have been divided on whether the film is a masterpiece or a Taxi Driver ripoff. With the FBI monitoring mass shooting threats ahead of its premiere, some critics have even debated if this movie is dangerous, saying that it glorifies villains and could incite violence from the “kill the rich” scenes in the movie. That being said, Joker makes the audience aware that it’s an origin story about a villain. Villans are bad guys who do bad things and yes, sometimes those bad things are murder. It’s not a sympathy piece to glorify a murderer, but rather a look at the circumstances that fueled a chaotic man to commit brutal crimes. Plus, the references to the Wayne family and Gotham City instill that the film is based on a famous villain from a comic book, not real life.

Joker is going to stir up controversy, but that’s the Joker’s job. The Joker is not kind or good, but rather, sadistic and evil. The film reflects those dark themes of isolation and omission. Furthermore, Joker also will change the future of superhero films especially if Phoenix receives a Best Actor nomination and the film is up for Best Picture. Some will call Joker a triumph. Others will say it’s a letdown because of the insurmountable hype it created. What it really caused is chaos and for that, Joker gets the last laugh.

Jokermania: How Joker Will Inflict Chaos This Awards Season

Joker Movie Joaquin Phoenix

The award for the “Most Divisive Film of 2019” is set stone. This film will certainly spawn hundreds of reviews, think pieces (including this one), and tweets about whether this film is good or bad for society. The most divisive and controversial movie of 2019 is Joker.

Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Joker, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past weekend to a widespread critical reaction and thunderous applause including an eight-minute standing ovation. If you thought a comic book movie didn’t belong at a serious film festival, think again. Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera said, “Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is outstanding and Todd Phillips did a great job,” and that the film should be in the running for multiple Oscars including Best Picture.

Joker stars Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a failed, mentally ill stand up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos due to his lack of success in Gotham City in 1981. Joker shows the rise of Fleck and the events that would shape him into the Joker, one of Batman’s biggest foes.

Based off early reviews, Phoenix gives a masterful performance that could be considered his magnum opus. In the trailers, Phoenix’s physical over-the-top acting and willing to go “all-in” are on full display. Phoenix’s ribs and shoulder blades are protruding due to his 52-pound weight loss. His laugh is based on people suffering from pathological laughter. Phoenix’s Fleck looks like a man who has been beaten and cast off by society, only to rise when he embraces his inner demons.

Ever since a movie about the Joker was announced in 2017, fans have been divided on the character. On one hand, a Joker origin story is something that is interesting and has never been done before. Having an ensemble cast which includes the great Robert De Niro makes this film feel important. It even garnered the interest of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio in the developmental process. On the other hand, seeing anyone play the Joker besides the late Heath Ledger, who gave the greatest performance in a comic book movie of all time, would be disappointing. Jared Leto gave it his all in Suicide Squad, but his Joker could never live up to the performance that Heath gave in The Dark Knight.

As previously stated, Joker will stir the pot and cause a lot of controversy upon its release. As much praise as Phoenix’s performance and Phillips’ direction have received, there have been plenty of negative remarks. Robbie Collin of the Telegraph compared Joker to Fight Club, saying, “Make no mistake, this is a film that is going to stir up trouble – in the consciences of everyone who watches it, and almost certainly in the outside world as well.” Expect a lot of opinion pieces, whether fair or unjust, on issues over mental health, violence, and the potential for “copycat” crimes.

With that being said, Joker has a release date of October 4, which is a prime awards season date. Can Joker become a serious player this awards season? If Phoenix continues to receive universal acclaim, his chances of receiving a Best Actor nomination are very high. Best Picture is a more interesting debate. Will the Academy vote for a comic book movie for a Best Picture nomination for the second straight year? If Joker is a box office hit and a critical success, it will be hard to leave Joker off the Best Picture ballot.

Joker is a film that will portray violence, brutality, and chaos that will send a chill down your spine. Since it’s based on one of the most sinister and cruel villains in comic book history, would you expect anything less?

Are you excited to see Joaquin Phoenix in Joker? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @unafraidshow.

Little Women Trailer: Greta Gerwig’s Adaptation Will Be Major Factor At The Oscars

Little Women

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Best Picture race for the 2020 Oscars and how there have been few, if not any, favorites to be in the hunt for the industry’s top prize. After the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it’s clear that OUATIH is the first clear contender for Best Picture. After watching the first trailer to Little Women, Tarantino will have some company in the form of Greta Gerwig.

In her second solo directorial feature, Gerwig presents her adaptation of Little Women, which is based on the 1869 novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. Little Women focuses on the lives of the March sisters in 1860s New England in the aftermath of the Civil War. This marks the eighth film adaptation of the novel.

In order to differentiate itself from the novel, Gerwig is going to focus more on the sisters’ young adult lives, particularly after Meg, Jo, and Amy leave their family home, according to one of the film’s producers. The film will jump back and forth between timelines to focus on themes rather than narratives. The trailer presents a more modern approach to 1860s New England that’s full of strong female protagonists.

Speaking of protagonists, this cast is full of young stars and living legends. The March sisters are Saoirse Ronan as Joe, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, and Eliza Scanlen. As if those four women weren’t popular enough, throw in future “It” star of Hollywood, Timothée Chalamet, and this young core would make the Denver Nuggets jealous. I purchased Saoirse Ronan stock years ago thanks to Atonement and Brooklyn, but Florence Pugh is joining Saoirse in my “Drop Everything And See Their Movie” list. Did I mention that Laura Dern and MERYL FREAKING STREEP rounds out the cast?

I only needed to watch this trailer once to convince myself that Little Women will be nominated for multiple Oscars. The Academy tens to award historical period pieces based on famous works of literature AND films with actors and directors who have received/won previous Oscars. Ronan, Chalamet, Dern, and Gerwig have all received Oscar nominations previously while Streep and Chris Cooper have won for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively. The ingredients of an Oscar-nominated film are present. The question is not if they will receive nominations, but how many nominations it will receive.

Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh in Little Women (2019) / Wilson Webb/© 2019 CTMG, Inc.

The person whose Oscar chances intrigue me the most is Gerwig. In 2017, Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, Lady Bird, was nothing short of a success. Lady Bird was nominated for five Oscars including Best Orginal Screenplay and Best Picture. More importantly, Gerwig became the fifth women in Oscar history to receive a nomination for Best Director. Gerwig set the bar extremely high. I have no doubt that she can match or even surpass those expectations, but will the Academy reward with her more nominations so quickly?

Little Women is going to be nominated for Best Picture. I’d bet that Gerwig receives an Adapted Screenplay nomination as well. Director is where it gets tricky. As previously stated, The Academy has only nominated five women for Best Director so unfortunately, history is not in Gerwig’s favor. However, if Little Women receives a Best Picture nomination as well as a screenplay and multiple acting nominations, don’t be surprised if Gerwig makes history once again.

Full Oscar Predictions for Little Women

  • Best Picture
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – Greta Gerwig
  • Best Actress – Saoirse Ronan
  • Best Supporting Actress – Meryl Streep OR Florence Pugh
  • Best Costume Design

See you this Christmas when Little Women arrives in theaters.

Are you excited to see Little Women? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @unafraidshow.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Predicting Its Oscar Chances

Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood

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?

Brad Pitt oscars

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

  • Cinematography
  • Production Design
  • Film Editing
  • Costume Design

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.

Oscars 2020: Best Picture Race Is Set For Takeoff

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The year is more than halfway over and the field for Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars is hazy, to say the least. Most of the films that are drawing buzz have not premiered yet at major film festivals, which means their theatrical release date will be in the fall. There’s no such thing as a “sure thing,” but this year, in particular, has more questions than answers.

Where are all of the contenders in the first half of the year? If you’re looking for this year’s Get Out or Mad Max: Fury Road, which both hit theaters before June in their respective years, your search will come up short. That’s not to say there haven’t’ been any critically acclaimed films or box office success that will garner awards consideration. Us, Apollo 11, Toy Story 4*, and The Farewell have all been lauded by critics across the board. However, the likelihood that these films receive Best Picture nominations is slim.

*Toy Story 3 was the last animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. Depending on how the back half of the year goes will determine if Toy Story 4 can sneak into the Best Picture race.

The lack of Best Picture buzz for the first half of the year is concerning, but not problematic. The majority of films looking to be in awards contention position their release dates between September and December/early January so they stay fresh in voters’ minds and can be seen at the box office while the awards are happening. In fact, the last film to win Best Picture that had its release date before July was The Hurt Locker, which had its release in late June 2009.

Although the first half of the year provided little hope, the future is still bright. The film community won’t have to wait until September to see a contender. In fact, the first film that will receive major Oscar buzz premieres on July, 26. That film is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

If you could draw up the perfect film to receive awards consideration, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would be the blueprint. It includes huge movie stars like Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who is returning to the big screen for the first time since his Oscar-winning performance in The Revenant. The film involves a well-known and well-received director in Quentin Tarantino, who previously won two Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay. Plus, the Academy loves films about Hollywood that capture the true essence of cinema, which is the very nature of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 5/5 stars and said it’s “entirely outrageous, disorientating, irresponsible, and also brilliant.”

Speaking of festivals, there are three major ones that typically serve as launching pads for the Best Picture race. They are the Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). All three festivals will occur over the course of a few weeks at the end of August through the middle of September. Last year’s Best Picture winner, Green Book, premiered at TIFF. In 2017, The Shape of Water premiered at Venice. In 2016, Moonlight premiered at Telluride. It’s no secret as to why films with awards’ aspirations premiere at these three major festivals. If a film has a strong premiere at one of the three festivals, it’s odds for entering the Best Picture conversation dramatically increase.

According to Variety, Joker with Joaquin Phoenix, Bradd Pitt’s space epic Ad Astra, Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts, Fernando Meirelles’ The Pope, and The Burnt Orange Heresy starring Mick Jagger are all rumored to be showing at Venice. Since 2014, at least one film has been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars that was shown at Venice so expect the same to happen this year. The lineups have not been announced for Telluride or Toronto, but it’s a guarantee that films from the festival will draw Best Picture hype.

Films that should also accumulate serious Best Picture conversations: Martin Scorsese’s star-studded The Irishman, Ford v. Ferrari starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the musical adaptation of Cats featuring Taylor Swift, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Goldfinch starring Ansel Elgort, Ang’s Lee Gemini Man starring Will Smith, and Jay Roach’s Fair and Balanced about the former head of Fox News, Roger Ailes.

There’s bound to be at least a few films not previously mentioned that sneak up on the film community and join the Best Picture race. That being said, here are my best guesses for Best Picture nominees at the 2020 Oscars as of July 17.

Best Picture Predictions

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Ad Astra
  • Cats
  • Fair and Balanced
  • Ford v. Ferrari
  • The Irishman
  • Little Women
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Toy Story 4

Only time will tell as to which films receive nominations. However, with an abundance of films premiering these next five months, the Best Picture race is about to take off.