Hello Cineworlders! On the eve of the 92nd Academy Awards, we're here to take you on a tour through the 2020 Oscar nominations. What did we manage to predict correctly? And which films failed to make the cut? Let’s find out.
We called this one correctly. Joker leads the Oscar pack (no pun intended) with an amazing 11 nominations. This, of course, includes a Best Actor nod for the ferocious Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the tormented Arthur Fleck.
The movie has also been nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Todd Phillips, although sensible money is surely on Phoenix. He’s got the advantage of an intense publicity campaign on his side, not to mention a Golden Globe win. This may give him the edge over competitors such as Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory.
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Trailing Joker with 10 Oscar nominations is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s the ninth movie from the controversial Quentin Tarantino, who has found love with the Oscars before – both Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained triumphed with the Academy. Tarantino’s track record, plus the movie’s clever riffing on Tinseltown history, may help convert its Best Picture nomination into a win.
And, given that Tarantino has won Best Original Screenplay twice before, he’s also got an excellent shot with that particular trophy. We’re also backing Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor – his role as implacable yet ultimately badass stuntman Cliff Booth was a highlight of the movie.
War movies tend to track well with Oscar voters – look at the likes of Saving Private Ryan. And Sam Mendes may be on course for Oscar victory with 1917, a gripping World War I drama that unfolds in the illusion of one long take.
The film has been nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Mendes and, unsurprisingly, Best Cinematography for Roger Deakins. Given this is a film that flaunts its astonishing technical prowess, we reckon both Mendes and Deakins have got this in the bag.
1917 has already secured the best film trophy at the Producers Guild Awards, and Mendes recently won Best Director at the Directors Guild Awards. (Mendes adds this to his Golden Globe win for Best Director.) It all cements the movie's status as a favourite in this year's race to the Oscars.
Here’s one that didn’t make our initial predictions list. South Korean black comedy Parasite was one of the best-reviewed movies of 2019. And this acclaim has translated into six Oscar nominations, including historic South Korean firsts for Best Film and Best International Feature Film.
Parasite is the latest movie from celebrated helmer Bong Joon-ho, responsible for the likes of Snowpiercer. The movie is an example of a foreign language movie that has broken out into the mainstream, and Joon-ho has himself been nominated for Best Director. Even so, given he’s up against the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips, it will be a closely contested battle.
That said, given the attendant hype and critical acclaim, expect Parasite to easily clinch the Best International Feature trophy. The film is released in Cineworld cinemas on the 7th of February.
5. Jojo Rabbit
Taika Waititi’s madcap World War II satire, another Best Picture contender, is about the relationship between a young boy and his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler.
The film is a comic take on Christine Leunens' relatively sober novel Caging Skies, and its sheer weirdness has helped propel it to a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination. However, we think Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed Little Women has that one in the bag. Maybe an Oscar win will help make up for Gerwig’s shocking omission in the Best Director category?
This year’s Best Actress field is a competitive one, with the likes of Little Women’s Saoirse Ronan competing with Bombshell’s Charlize Theron. However, in terms of public exposure and acclaim, we reckon the Oscars will hand this to Renee Zellweger, who stuns as Judy Garland in Judy.
Zellweger already walked away with the Golden Globe for Best Actress - Musical or Comedy, and received worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of the troubled Hollywood legend. Plus, the Oscars love actors who play real people, let alone individuals like Garland who are synonymous with the history of the industry.
What movies were snubbed during the 2020 Oscar nominations?
If we’re talking about the Oscars, we have to also mention the movies that didn’t make the grade. We tipped the remarkable Lupita Nyong’o for Best Actress for Us. But astonishingly she was shut out for her mesmerizing dual performance in Jordan Peele’s horror-comedy. This was one of our favourite performances from last year, so, seriously, what gives?
We’ve already mentioned Greta Gerwig’s disappointing absence in the Best Director field. But what about critically acclaimed black and white horror The Lighthouse? We reckoned that director Robert Eggers had a shot at Best Director, but the film’s sole nomination was for Best Cinematography. Be sure to catch the movie in Cineworld from the 31st of January.
We’re also really gutted to see The Farewell absent from any nominations. We had originally tipped this for Oscar success, but despite star Awkwafina's Golden Globe win, it wasn’t to be. This lovely and sensitive drama was one of our favourite films in 2019, and its absence hurts. Still, it wouldn’t be the Oscars without a few controversial upsets, would it?
Well, that’s our quick guide to the 2020 Oscar nominations. And now we want to hear your Oscar predictions. Which movies do you think will triumph on the 9th of February? Let us know on Twitter @Cineworld.