Another year has passed and so yet another academy awards ceremony is upon us. The 92rdAnnual Oscars takes place this Sunday (10thFebruary), however this year seems to lack the excitement and competitive energy of previous years. After the controversy surrounding the award season last year, including the creation of an insulting “Best Popular Film” category, and an equally insulting Best Picture win for Green Book, let’s see if the Oscars maintain what’s left of their somewhat dwindling prestige.
Best Lead Actor
Joaquin Phoenix for Joker
Adam Driver for Marriage Story
Johnathan Pryce for The Two Popes
Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio for Once upon a Time in Hollywood
Who Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix
Who Should Win: Adam Driver
Joaquin Phoenix is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors working today, and his performance in Joker will by no means be an overdue curtesy win for the 4 time Oscar nominee. However, Adam Driver delivers one of the greatest performances of the decade in Marriage Story. Hopefully Driver will have is day in the sun, but for now, its Phoenix’s time to shine.
Best Supporting Actor
Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood
Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes
Al Pacino for The Irishman
Joe Pesci for The Irishman
Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Who Will Win: Brad Pitt
Who Should Win: Joe Pesci
Brad Pitt has had an outstanding year in 2019, Starring in Ad Adstra and begin Oscar nominated for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. His performance is the best thing about Tarantino’s film; however Joe Pesci’s performance in The Irishman sees the actor make a career progressing comeback like no other. A Win for Pesci would bookend the actors 30 year development perfectly.
Best Lead Actress
Renee Zellweger for Judy
Cynthia Erivo for Harriet
Saoirse Ronan for Little Women
Scarlet Johansson for Marriage Story
Charlize Theron for Bombshell
Who Will Win: Renee Zellweger
Who Should Win: Florence Pugh for Midsommar
The Oscars love a good transformation performance and Renee Zellweger looks like the next actor to win for transforming herself into the late Judy Garland. However, the best lead performance by any actress this year isn’t even nominated. Florence Pugh’s performance in Midsommar is, in my opinion, the greatest performance of any actor this year. Pugh’s performance is truly devastating to watch and it’s a sin that is hasn’t been recognised by the academy.
Best Supporting Actress
Kathy Bates for Richard Jewel
Margo Robbie for Bombshell
Scarlet Johansson for JoJo Rabbit
Florence Pugh for Little Women
Laura Dern for Marriage Story
Who Will Win: Laura Dern
Who Should Win: Laura Dern
Acting in two best picture nominees, Laura Dern not only proves she is the best supporting actress, but this awards season demonstrates the actors range. Starring as the caring and generous mother of four, Marmee in Little Women, as well as, being nominated and most likely going to win for her performance as the battle-axe divorce lawyer Nora Fanshaw in Marriage Story. Laura Dern simply IS the Best Supporting Actress of the year.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit
Greta Gerwig for Little Women
Steven Zaillian for The Irishman
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver for Joker
Anthony McCarten for The Two Popes
Who Will Win:Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit
Who Should Win:Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit
No other nominee in this category has taken as many risks as Taika Waititi with Jojo Rabbit. Waititi has transformed Christine Leunen’s novel into an audacious satire always on the right side of taste. A difficult task to pull off, and one worthy of the Oscar gold.
Best Original Screenplay
Noah Baumbach for Marriage Story
Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Bong Joon-Ho and Han Jin-Won for Parasite
Rhian Johnson for Knives Out
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns for 1917
Who Will Win: Parasite
Who Should Win: Parasite or Knives Out
A very strong category with a number of worthy winners, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is a strong contender; however, I believe Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is a masterfully written whodunit murder mystery that should’ve been nominated for much more at this year’s ceremony. This being said it is the Korean language script for Parasite that should, and probably will, win the award.
Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Todd Phillips for Joker
Bong Joo-Ho for Parasite
Martin Scorsese for The Irishman
Sam Mendes for 1917
Who Will Win: Sam Mendes
Who Should Win: Bong Joon Ho
Despite the lack of female nominees, the best director category is a strong one. Sam Mendes has been dominating the category, bringing a theatrical approach to directing his “one take” war epic. This being said, Bong Joon-Ho directed a true masterpiece with Parasite, balancing character, genre and a poignant message on the class divide with the confidence of a true master of his craft.
Ford v Ferrari (Le Mans ’66)
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Who Will Win: 1917
Who Should Win: Parasite
Dominating almost everywhere this awards season, 1917 is one of the surest wins the Best Film Category has had. A technical masterpiece that will deservedly win Best Cinematography and Director; it will surely win Best Film also. On the other hand, this writer favours Bong Joon-Ho’s Palm D’Or winning masterpiece Parasite. I believe Parasite is equally as good if not better, and without any of the technical gimmickry.
Overall, it’s fairly easy to predict who will win this year based on the results of numerous award ceremonies. In my opinion there isn’t much to complain about, yes there is a clear lack of female director nominees and diversity as a whole which should and will change in the years to come, however, the recipients of this year’s awards have still produced excellent works that will be rewatched and remembered for years to come