Ezra’s 2020 Oscar Predictions

By Ezra Stead 

There are several nominated films I have not yet seen, including Best Picture nominee Ford v Ferrari, but I will do my best to predict all 24 categories anyway, with a little help from the oddsmakers in Las Vegas. First, the snubs, as I see them. First and foremost is Uncut Gems, which is shockingly missing from any and all categories. The most obvious snub is Adam Sandler for Best Actor, but I think it should have a Best Picture nomination as well. There are a couple others missing from that category that I love even more (Avengers: Endgame, Midsommar), but Gems is the only one I am actually surprised to see missing.

In addition to Sandler’s captivating performance, it is a bit surprising to see Jennifer Lopez overlooked for her career-best performance in Hustlers (Best Supporting Actress), and not entirely surprising but still disappointing to see Lupita Nyong’o overlooked for her very challenging work in Us. The Academy almost always overlooks horror movies, though, and Us is not quite as undeniably great as Get Out was, so I suppose this disappointment was inevitable. I also would have liked to see Eddie Murphy nominated for Dolemite Is My Name, especially if it meant we could have seen a Sandler vs. Murphy showdown in the Best Actor category, and Wesley Snipes could have easily picked up a Best Supporting Actor nod for his scene-stealing work in the same film, but alas, it was not to be.

Final thoughts on the snubs: the always terrific Willem Dafoe deserves recognition for The Lighthouse (which could be considered Supporting or Lead Actor, really), and Parasite really should be up for more awards, especially Best Cinematography and Best Actor for Song Kang Ho, but I am happy to see it get the six nominations it has. On to my predictions and preferences!

BEST PICTURE – The smart money is on 1917, which is admittedly a pretty extraordinary movie, but with Parasite as the second favorite in Vegas, I am going to take my chances and bet on it. It is rare enough that my favorite movie of the year is even nominated for Best Picture that, if it actually wins, I don’t want to be the idiot that bet against it. But, yeah, it will probably be 1917.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – I have only seen three of the nominees, but I am confident Laura Dern will take this one, and she is the one I would vote for as well.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – Pesci and Pacino are both incredible in The Irishman, each in roles that feel like comebacks (Pesci to movies in general, and Pacino to really quality work), but the fact that they are nominated for the same movie might split the vote, and anyway, I think Brad Pitt‘s time has finally come, and he deserves the win.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM – I missed Missing Link, which won the Golden Globe, so it could pull something off here, too. Pixar is tough to beat, though, so I’m going to bet on Toy Story 4, which is also my favorite of the four I have seen.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – I also missed two of these (Pain and Glory, The Two Popes), but I have little doubt Joaquin Phoenix is finally going to win one, because apparently playing the Joker is the new appearing in a  Holocaust movie for actors who want an Oscar. Phoenix is one of the greatest living actors, of course, and should have already won for any number of performances, especially The Master and You Were Never Really Here (the latter of which he was stupidly not even nominated for), so I have no problem with his likely win, but if I had a vote I would probably cast it for Adam Driver in Marriage Story. He is clearly just getting started, though, and his time will come.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE – I am a little embarrassed to say I have only seen two of these movies, so if I were voting I would have a tough call between Scarlett Johansson and Saoirse Ronan (who, astonishingly, has already racked up as many nominations as Joaquin, despite being 20 years younger). I definitely would have voted for Saoirse in Lady Bird, but because I liked Marriage Story more than Little Women, I would probably give this one to Scarlett. Anyway, Vegas and the Golden Globes both agree it is going to be Renee Zellweger, so that is who I am betting on as well.

DIRECTORSam Mendes is taking this one even if 1917 fails to win the big prize, and it is great work, but I would personally have to give it to Bong Joon-ho for Parasite. In fact, as great as his work on 1917 is, Mendes would only be my fourth choice, after Bong, Tarantino and Scorsese, because come on…

CINEMATOGRAPHYRoger Deakins is taking home another Oscar for 1917, and I have no problem with that at all. He is easily one of the top cinematographers working today (and of all time, for that matter), and his work on this is arguably the most important element of its success.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Tarantino is tough to beat in this category, but if Parasite can’t break through the Foreign Language barrier to actually win Best Picture, then this is likely to be one of its consolation prizes.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Odds are this will go to Little Women or (ugh) Jojo Rabbit, but in this category I can’t bring myself to bet against my favorite, which is easily The Irishman.

COSTUME DESIGN – Always a good bet to pick a period piece for this one, and Little Women takes place further back than any of the other nominees.

FILM EDITING – This could be one of the few Ford v Ferrari picks up, and I haven’t seen it so it’s hard for me to say, but I’ll bet on Parasite for this one.



VISUAL EFFECTS – In 2018, Infinity War lost this one to a historical movie (First Man) and I fear this year will be a repeat of that, with 1917 cleaning up in the technical awards. But this is one last category where I can’t bear to bet against my favorite, so Avengers: Endgame. (The Irishman is actually my favorite movie nominated, but not because of the effects, which Endgame did better).

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM – If it isn’t Parasite, I will personally burn Hollywood to the ground.



ORIGINAL SONG – Though it did well at the Golden Globes, Rocketman is only nominated in this one category, and it would be very surprising if it doesn’t win.

PRODUCTION DESIGN – Though I am of course onboard with giving Parasite every award possible, the fantasy recreation of the late ’60s in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood will be tough to beat.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – I haven’t seen it, but the smart money is on American Factory.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl).

ANIMATED SHORT FILM – I am writing this before viewing the animated shorts, which is the one shorts program I rarely miss, but word on the street is Hair Love will probably be the one.



Finally, here are my personal rankings of the eight Best Picture nominees I have seen:





5. 1917





Ezra Stead is the Head Editor for MoviesIDidn’tGet.com. Ezra is also a writer, rapper, and occasional painter who has been previously published in print and online, as well as writing, directing and acting in numerous short films and two features. A Minneapolis native, Ezra currently lives in New York City, where he is working on his second novel (the first has yet to be published).

For more information, please contact EzraStead@MoviesIDidntGet.com

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