Oscars 2020 nominations: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix are top contenders

FP Staff

Jan 13, 2020 14:37:48 IST

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards, which will be on 13 January, should bring plenty of star power to the 9 February ceremony — a good thing, too, since the ceremony is being held without a host for the second straight year in a row. The nominations, to be read by Issa Rae and John Cho, will be live streamed on Oscar.com, Oscars.org and the The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ digital social platforms.

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Brad Pitt and Leonard DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese's Netflix crime drama The Irishman, Noah Baumbach’s intimate divorce drama Marriage Story and Sam Mendes' World War I feature 1917 are expected to be this year's front runners.

 Oscars 2020 nominations: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix are top contenders

From top: Stills from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Marriage Story and Parasite. Images from Twitter

As the time to the announcement draws nearer, many news outlets shared their predictions of possible nominees. Here is a round-up for the six primary categories of the Oscars:

Best Picture

Nate Jones of Vulture writes that 1917, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Parasite should make it to this category. "Three movies have been nominated for the top prize by all the major guilds: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, and Parasite. Throw in Once Upon a Time, which was ineligible at the WGA, and 1917, the big winner from Globes night, and that feels like a solid top five. Acting vehicles Joker and Marriage Story — our top-two Oscar villains as recently as last week, though that’s probably changed — each have enough support to get in," he writes.

The ones liable to replace these are Bombshell, The Farewell, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, and Marriage Story.

Adam Chitwood of Collider predicts pretty much the same line-up, except with the inclusion of Little Women, Knives Out and Ford v Ferrari. Other hopefuls are Two Popes, Bombshell and The Farewell. "Despite a rough start getting nearly shut out by SAG and the Globes, the film [Little Women] earned a PGA nomination and has been gaining momentum. I’m also fairly confident Knives Out has a very good shot at a nomination. It earned a PGA nomination and has been recognized by various guilds along the way. Good for Rian Johnson. And finally there’s Ford v Ferrari, a true crowdpleaser and classically made film for adults. It’s got a decent shot with a PGA nod in hand," he writes.

Equating this year's Best Picture race to the US' 2020 Democractic presidential candidates, Vanity Fairchose to go with 10 nominees with the addition of Adam Sandler's Uncut Gems: "Our boldest pick is Uncut Gems, which you can think of as the Andrew Yang (American entrepreneur and also a presidential candidate) of the field—unabashedly eccentric, but adored by its adherents—over the more mainstream Ford v Ferrari."

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) are the clear favourites. Todd Phillips (Joker), Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) and Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Pedro Almodóvar (Pain and Glory), and Greta Gerwig (Little Women) are the second-tier candidates.

"Though Greta Gerwig (Little Women) is a possibility, the academy is expected to nominate an all-male field despite a year in which women made significant gains behind the camera. The academy has nominated only men for best director in all but five years; Gerwig was the last woman nominated, two years ago," notes The Associated Press.

Best Actress

Forbes is in favour of Cynthia Erivo (Harriett), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Renée Zellweger (Judy), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story) and, Charlize Theron (Bombshell). Vanity Fair, on the other hand, adds Awkwafina for her performance in The Farewell.

"The Academy historically loves actors playing real-life people—see: Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich, Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash, Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, etc. Zellweger, hot off her Golden Globe win, has other pluses for her as well—she is playing one of Hollywood’s own icons, Judy Garland," says the publication.

Collider writes, "So this is Renee Zellweger’s to lose. Thanks for playing everyone. Filling out the category, Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron feel pretty safe, and if the Academy can’t find it in themselves to acknowledge any of the great performances from women of color this year in this category, God help them. Lupita Nyong’o has been a critical favorite, Awkwafina a bit of an underdog who got a boost at the Globes, Cynthia Erivo is getting strong notices for Harriet, and if voters actually take the time to watch Clemency it’s highly possible Alfre Woodard gets in."

Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker

Adam Driver (Marriage Story) and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) seem to definitely make it in Vulture's list. The other contenders include  Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Taron Egerton (Rocketman) George MacKay (1917), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) and, Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems).

"The foursome of Driver, DiCaprio, Egerton, and Phoenix has made it in at the Globes, SAG, and BAFTA. Of those, it’s tempting to assume Egerton is the odd man out … except that he’s the rare actor in this Über-serious field who’s mounted a full-scale charm offensive. That paid off with a Globes win Sunday night, and with his momentum building, I think he’s in," explains the outlet.

Entertainment Weekly has nominated Banderas, DiCaprio, Driver, Egerton, and Phoenix, writing, "The controversies surrounding Joker are no laughing matter to the Twitter elite, but the industry (which often operates outside the social media bubble) can’t get enough of Phillips’ antihero masterpiece...Phoenix’s performance has overwhelmingly dominated on the precursor trail, making him the one to beat."

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern in Marriage Story. Image from Twitter

Laura Dern in Marriage Story. Image from Twitter

Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Johannson (Jojo Rabbit), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Florence Pugh (Little Women), and Margot Robbie (Bombshell) have been recommended by LA Times. A nomination would be the first for Lopez. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair also endorses Zhao Shuzhen (The Farewell) and Robbie for Once Upon a Time.

Dern seems to have made a significant dent with her performance, seeing how she is a part of every prediction list. The actress recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in Baumbach's Netflix film.

Best Supporting Actor

Pitt has a lock on the supporting actor Oscar, which would be his first ever. Besides him, there is Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes),and Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood) and Song Kang Ho (Parasite).

"As you may be aware, "I love Parasite,” and have written about it ... oh ... a couple of (hundred) times since the Toronto International Film Festival. As such, I could be overestimating the chances of Song, a superstar in South Korea, to win enough favor with Oscar voters. But Roma actresses Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira scored acting nominations last year, and I suspect acting branch members will reward Song for his humorous and heartbreaking turn as Parasite’s patriarch," says LA Times.

Collider mentions Sam Rockwell (Richard Jewell) and Alan Alda (Marriage Story), stating that the Academy "tends to nominate the actor at every chance they get."

(With inputs from The Associated Press)

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Updated Date: Jan 13, 2020 14:42:41 IST