And the Oscar should go to...
Waking up to the film industry's biggest night of the year, and having reviewed all of the nominees for Best Picture, here are my picks for most of the rest of the categories.
“Ford v Ferrari” “The Irishman” “Jojo Rabbit” “Joker” “Little Women” “Marriage Story” “1917” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” “Parasite”
Will win: It has been a tough year for me to predict who will in fact go home with the grand prize of the night. However, I think at this point the race is between 1917 and Parasite. And, as fond as the Academy is for films like 1917, I think this time I'm leaning towards believing Bong Joon-ho's piece will win.
Should win: Parasite. I don't think there's any other film that come close to what Parasite did this year. My second option would be Little Women, because I think it's another one of the most deserving films as a whole, but I know this is a very long shot.
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory” Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” Adam Driver, “Marriage Story” Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
Will win: We know it's almost 100% certain Joaquin Phoenix will win for Joker.
Should win: Adam Driver. Not only is Driver one of the best actors of our generation. Particularly in Marriage Story, he gives one of the most heartbreaking, raw performances not only of 2019 but of the last years. To me, there isn't even a doubt that he should win, and this will be one of tonight's great disappointments.
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women” Charlize Theron, “Bombshell” Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
Will win: Renée Zellweger. This one's also pretty much a lock.
Should win: I have yet to watch Harriet and Judy -which I'm not sure I'll ever watch-, but from what I've seen this is one of the most underwhelming categories this year, which is pretty sad, considering we saw extremely powerful performances from female actors. In fact, I believe who should, in fact, win isn't even in the category, which is Awkwafina. Out of the nominees here, I would choose Saoirse, but this is merely an exercise of ruling out.
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes” Al Pacino, “The Irishman” Joe Pesci, “The Irishman” Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Will win: Brad Pitt.
Should win: Brad Pitt. Unlike the category mentioned before, this is one of the most interesting ones this year. Not only is the category packed with legendary names, but it will also be one of the most deserving wins of the night when the Oscar is handed to Brad Pitt, who gave one of the best performances of the year and one of his best performances ever, in Tarantino's latest.
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell” Laura Dern, “Marriage Story” Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit” Florence Pugh, “Little Women” Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
Will win: Laura Dern
Should win: Dern is also one of the most certain prizes of the night. However, as much as I love her and her acting, I didn't find her performance in Marriage Story to be particularly noteworthy, as I mentioned in my review. Also by ruling out, I would choose Florence Pugh, who at first I thought wasn't very noteworthy either -being much better in Midsommar-, but who I've come to realize does deliver a great performance in Little Women, even though it is still not the best of the year.
*Side note: Margot Robbie's character in Bombshell is totally and absolutely unnecessary, and I don't even know what she's doing in this category.
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman” Todd Phillips, “Joker” Sam Mendes, “1917” Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
Will win: Sam Mendes.
Should win: This one's a hard category to choose from. Except for Todd Phillips -where it should read Greta Gerwig-, all of the nominees listed here are tremendously deserving of this award. However, as outstanding as Mendes' job is in 1917, and as much as I adore both Tarantino and Scorsese, I would give this year's award to Bong Joon-ho, who has created a masterpiece for the ages with Parasite.
“The Irishman,” Steven Zaillian “Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi “Joker,” Todd Phillips, Scott Silver “Little Women,” Greta Gerwig “The Two Popes,” Anthony McCarten
Will win: Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit.
Should win: Greta Gerwig for Little Women. The fact that she wasn't included in the directing category is absurd, but this is the category where she truly shines -and outshines everyone else-. Her adaptation of Little Women is one that stands out amongst the hundred others out there. It's unique and it updates the story with her own speech and viewpoint. Is a brilliant screenplay and, even though we know it won't win, it definitely should.
“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, Jin Won Han
Will win: At this point, I think it's anybody's game between Bong Joon-ho and Jin Won Han for Parasite, and Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Should win: Parasite. The screenplay is pure gold, and if you read my review you will understand why.
“The Irishman,” Rodrigo Prieto “Joker,” Lawrence Sher “The Lighthouse,” Jarin Blaschke “1917,” Roger Deakins “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Robert Richardson
Will win: Roger Deakins for 1917.
Should win: Roger Deakins for 1917. Not only should Deakins win every award handed to achievements in cinematography, but his work in 1917 is truly one of the best he has ever made -and trust me, it's hard to compete with himself-. It's brilliant, and there's nothing more I can say that will live up to what you see.
“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir “Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat “Marriage Story,” Randy Newman “1917,” Thomas Newman “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams
Will win: Hildur Guðnadóttir for Joker.
Should win: As much as I would like to see Joker empty-handed, its score really is outstanding. I would say it's a tie between Joker and Little Women, because Alexandre Desplat's score is beautiful and equally deserving.
“Ford v Ferrari,” Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland “The Irishman,” Thelma Schoonmaker “Jojo Rabbit,” Tom Eagles “Joker,” Jeff Groth “Parasite,” Jinmo Yang
Will win: Ford v Ferrari.
Should win: The Irishman. This one's purely a personal choice, because I love the editing on Scorsese films. However, I do think Ford v Ferrari is deserving, if it ends up winning.
“Ford v Ferrari,” Don Sylvester “Joker,” Alan Robert Murray “1917,” Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Wylie Stateman “Star Wars: The Rise of SkyWalker,” Matthew Wood, David Acord
Will win: 1917.
Should win: Okay, I'm going to level with you here. I had to do research to understand the difference between sound editing and sound mixing -which I'm pretty sure a lot of the Oscar voters still don't get-. So, as far as sound editing goes I'm going to pick the one who is most likely to win, 1917.
“Ad Astra” “Ford v Ferrari” “Joker” “1917” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Will win: 1917.
Should win: Now, I'm going on a limb here, because most years the same picture wins for both sound editing and sound mixing. But, trying to understand the difference, I've come across to thinking that this one could actually go to Ford v. Ferrari.
“The Irishman,” Bob Shaw and Regina Graves “Jojo Rabbit,” Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova “1917,” Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh “Parasite,” Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee
Will win: 1917.
Should win: As impressive as I think it is to build an entire house just for the movie -I'm talking about Parasite-, I think this award should go to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for perfectly recreating the 1960s in all of our heads.
”The Irishman,” Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson “Jojo Rabbit,” Mayes C. Rubeo “Joker,” Mark Bridges “Little Women,” Jacqueline Durran “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Arianne Phillips
Will win: Little Women.
Should win: I'm torn between Little Women and Jojo Rabbit.
MAKEUP AND HAIR:
“Bombshell” “Joker” “Judy” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” “1917”
Will win: Bombshell.
Should win: Bombshell. The movie in itself is absolutely average, but when it comes to makeup, I mean, did you even recognize Charlize Theron?
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM:
“Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa “Honeyland,” Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov “Les Miserables,” Ladj Ly “Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodovar “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho
Will win: Parasite.
Should win: Even though I haven't seen most films in the category, I'm pretty certain the answer would still be Parasite.
Footnote: I hinder myself from talking about documentary or animated features, and about visual effects, because I didn't see the nominees and these categories are bit beyond my scope.