Best Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”

Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”

Florence Pugh, “Little Women”

Margot Robbie,” Bombshell”

Margot Robbie was quite sympathetic as an amalgam of Roger Ailes’ harassment targets and Florence Pugh brought a new wrinkle to the character of Amy March in “Little Women”, but this is Laura Dern’s to lose, she’s the closest thing to a lock in this year’s Oscar race. 

Winner: Laura Dern

Best Supporting Actor

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

This is a tough choice, as some of these actors delivered what I consider their best career performances. I think the Academy will note how Brad Pitt has been the favorite in earlier Award Shows and rightly so. Plus, he can deliver a great acceptance speech!

Winner: Brad Pitt

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”

Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”

Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”

Renée Zellweger, “Judy”

I thought Charlize Theron, as Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell”, showed an impressive ability to capture a real person’s voice and look.  Soirse Ronan was a force of nature in “Little Women”.  However,  Renėe Zellweger, as icon Judy Garland, skillfully captured the turbulence of the Legend’s later years and did so with humor and empathy.

Winner: Renée Zellweger

Best Actor

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”

Wow, what a lineup. Jonathan Pryce, as Pope Francis, delivers a flawless, multi-lingual performance, and Leo brings his washed-up TV Star character to life with humor and vulnerability, but Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker gives 120% in somehow eliciting a shred of sympathy for an obvious monster, while underscoring the danger of society ignoring mental health issues.

Winner: Joaquin Phoenix

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Sam Mendes, “1917”

Todd Phillips, “Joker”

Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”

Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

This is usually the tip-off  to which film will get the Best Picture Award, 90% of the time since 1950, but all are equally deserving. However, four of the last eight years the Academy split between Best Director and Best Picture.  Bong Joon Ho gave us a talented Korean cast and a brilliant story of class warfare, Quentin Tarantino told, in great period detail, a behind the scenes Hollywood story (and Oscar voters love that stuff), and speaking of period detail, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” gave us a picture of Mob warfare over several decades, but he won in 2007 with “The Departed”. Sam Mendes created a remarkably realistic portrait of WWI trench warfare, and the mechanics of basically marshaling an army of men in what appears to be 24 hours of warfare tension with what looks like only one or two takes is why I’m picking him for Best Director.

Winner: Sam Mendes

Best Picture

“Ford v Ferrari”

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”


“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”


This year the Academy honored 9 movies for the Best Picture category which highlights this as a year of excellent cinema.  I thought all of them were terrific, although the eventual ultra-violence in many of them (Quentin over the top?) gave me pause.  Great ensemble work from more intimate films like “Marriage Story”, “Parasite”, the oft-told tale, “Little Women” and sprawling tales like “The Irishman” and  “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “1917”  gave movie goers some great choices. “Joker” is a brilliant film, but is so disturbing and dystopian that to me the race comes down to :“The Irishman”, yet another Scorsese mob tale, with a potent combination of editing, writing, cinematography and acting and “1917”, perhaps the safer choice. Sam Mendes will probably take Best Director honors and the Academy voters still hold a grudge against the “Netflix Factor” of  “The Irishman”, so even though I’d  personally vote for the Scorsese film, I think “1917” will win.

Winner: “1917”

Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Irishman”, Steven Zaillian

“Jojo Rabbit”,  Taika Waititi

“Joker”,  Todd Phillips & Scott Silver

“Little Women”,  Greta Gerwig

“The Two Popes”,  Anthony McCarten

I think Greta Gerwig was robbed in the Best Director category so she will be honored for her efforts in taking this classic and reworking it in a whole new way,  giving it a contemporary vibe without changing the power of the original book.

Winner: Greta Gerwig

Best Original Screenplay

“Knives Out”, Rian Johnson

“Marriage Story”, Noah Baumbach

“1917”, Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, Quentin Tarantino

“Parasite”, Bong Joon Ho & Jin Won Han

This is a race between “Parasite” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, although Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” is a close contender.  I think this will be Tarantino’s consolation Oscar.

Winner: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, Quentin Tarantino

Best Cinematography

“1917”,  Roger Deakins

“The Irishman”,  Rodrigo Prieto

“Joker”,  Lawrence Sher

“The Lighthouse”,  Jarin Blaschke

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, Robert Richardson”

I’m all in for Roger Deakins for taking the “One Take Cinematography”  idea (most recently seen in “Birdman”) to new levels in “1917”.  In addition, he was able to bring to life my 30 seconds of fame as “Detective One” in the Cohen Brother’s “A Serious Man” where he captured my stunning emotionality (ha) through a screen door!

Me flashing my badge at star Micheal Stuhlbarg

Winner: “1917”, Roger Deakins

Best Costume Design

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Little Women”

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

“The Irishman”

I think the Oscar voters love a good period film and of all the nominees here, “Little Women” fills the bill.

Winner: “Little Women”

Best Film Editing

“Ford v Ferrari”,  Andrew Buckland & Michael McCusker

“The Irishman”, Thelma Schoonmaker

“Jojo Rabbit”, Tom Eagles

“Joker”, Jeff Groth

“Parasite”, Jinmo Yang

My wife is not a great fan of action packed racing films but even she thought the editing in “Ford v Ferrari” was amazing, and I agree, so I’ll give it the nod over the venerable Thelma Schoonmaker for “The Irishman”.

Winner: “Ford v Ferrari”, Andrew Buckland & Michael McCusker

Best Makeup and Hairstyling





“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

Two characters, John Lithgow as Roger Ailes and Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, say it all.

Winner: “Bombshell”

Best Original Score


“Little Women”

”Marriage Story”


”Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Interesting category with the Newman cousins Randy (“Marriage Story”) and Thomas (“1917”), the venerable John Williams (“Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker”), but the eerie cello drone of “Joker” sets a hard to escape mood, so I think Hildur Gūdnadóttir, from the land that brought you Björk, will take the prize.

Winner: “Joker”

Best Original Song

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4,” Randy Newman

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman,” Elton John & Bernie Taupin

“I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough,” Diane Warren

“Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2,” Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez

“Stand Up” from “Harriet,” Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo

I think the odds on favorite here is Elton John & Bernie Taupin but I think that the voters will want to award Cynthia Erivo for her acting performance in “Harriet” by recognizing her co-writing  and performance of the song “Stand Up”.

Winner: Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo,“Stand Up”

Best Production Design

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”


This is a tough category, some remarkable work this year with a tight race between “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, “1917”, and “Parasite”. But capturing the look of 1969 in Hollywood (big year for me: College Graduation, going to Woodstock, yada, yada) with such accuracy (except for the ending) gives it the edge for me.

Winner: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” 

Best Sound Editing

“Ford v Ferrari”



“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

A battle here between “1917” and “Ford v Ferrari”. My choice is “Ford v Ferrari”, although I think “1917” will probably win. corralling the intense, driving, race underscore with the roar of those race cars  was masterful in telling the story.

Winner: “Ford v Ferrari”

Best Sound Mixing

“Ad Astra”

“Ford v Ferrari”



“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Same frontrunners here as in best Sound Editing. Same prediction.

Winner: “Ford v Ferrari”

Best Visual Effects

“Avengers: Endgame”

“The Irishman”

“The Lion King”


“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

“Avengers: Endgame” has the advantage of extensive CGI here, as do all of these nominees (even “The Irishman” de-aging process). But I think the images in“1917” leaves an indelible impact about the horrors of WWI trench warfare.

Winner: “1917”

Best Animated Feature

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

“I Lost My Body”


“Missing Link”

“Toy Story 4”

“Missing Link” has done well in the early award ceremonies, but how can you argue against “Toy Story 4” and the skill of those Pixar folks. Loved the details of the Antique Store (to those of a certain age, you might want to ditch that Jerry Mahoney dummy-Google it.) that Woody and friends have to navigate.

Winner: “ToyStory 4”

Best Animated Short

“Dcera (Daughter)”

“Hair Love”




There are a number of themes here. Dark, (“Dcera”: ailing father, “Memorable”: ahlzheimers, “Sister”: China’s one child policy, and lighter themes “Hair Love” and the cute “Kitbull”, I think the emotional family story of “Hair Love” will take the day.

Winner: “Hair Love”

Best Documentary Feature

“American Factory”

“The Cave”

“The Edge of Democracy”

“For Sama”


I thought “Honeyland”, the travails of an old school Macedonian beekeeper, was amazing, but the complicated Capitalism story of a Chinese-American auto glass making factory in Ohio, the first project from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Netflix deal, combines current issues and International relations will bring home the gold.

Winner: “American Factory”

Best Documentary Short

“In the Absence”

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”

“Life Overtakes Me”

“St. Louis Superman”

“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

How can a movie about Afghanistani girls getting opportunities, not just educational but physical as well, (“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”) go wrong.

Winner: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”

Best International Feature

“Corpus Christi” (Poland)

“Honeyland” (North Macedonia)

“Les Miserables” (France)

“Pain and Glory” (Spain)

“Parasite” (South Korea)

I think “Pain and Glory” gave us Antonio Banderas’ best work, and “Honeyland” is a strong contender, but nothing could give us that Best Picture vibe in this category like “Parasite”. This will be their consolation Oscar.

Winner: “Parasite”

Best Live Action Short


”Nefta Football Club”

“The Neighbors’ Window”


“A Sister”

“Nefta Football Club”

“Nefta Football Club”,  about two Tunisian football loving brothers finding a mysterious donkey in the desert, may be the crowd pleaser here but the heartbreaking “Brotherhood”, about the family tensions surrounding an Isis fighter and his young new Syrian wife returning to his Tunisian family will win.

Winner: “Brotherhood”

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