There's a lot going on this week. Iowa had a meltdown. Trump was acquitted. And the 92nd Academy Awards are this Sunday. The Oscars, too? Sure, why not.
Even though we're a few days out, many of the categories are already locked down. Only a few of the awards suggest they'll be anywhere near as close as this.
Let's start by reviewing the awards we can totally predict, which are the acting categories:
The Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards are pretty much handed out. This season, Renée Zellweger has won Best Actress awards at the BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards for her portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy. The same is true of Laura Dern, who snagged the Best Supporting Actress awards at those ceremonies for her performance in Marriage Story. Dern has never won an Oscar, so this will be a huge night for Marianne Williamson's former roommate (Dern).
Here's who is nominated for those two categories:
CYNTHIA ERIVO Harriet
SCARLETT JOHANSSON Marriage Story
SAOIRSE RONAN Little Women
CHARLIZE THERON Bombshell
RENÉE ZELLWEGER Judy
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
KATHY BATES Richard Jewell
LAURA DERN Marriage Story
SCARLETT JOHANSSON Jojo Rabbit
FLORENCE PUGH Little Women
MARGOT ROBBIE Bombshell
These categories are equally on lock. Joaquin Phoenix is arguably the only "transformational" performance among the Best Actor nominees, and the Academy is a sucker for these types of performances. (See also: The reason Renée Zellweger will win for Judy.) The Best Supporting Actor category should be more of a toss-up, but Pitt, like Phoenix, has swept this awards season. They've both won a BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award for their performances this year—just like Zellweger and Dern. It would be a wild upset if any of them lost. Personally, I have a soft spot for Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory. I'm so happy he's nominated.
Here are those nominees:
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
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
I'm really paying attention to this race, which is probably the most interesting toss-up. Toy Story 4 remains the leader in Best Animated Film, but there are two underdogs that could reasonably steal the trophy.
First is Netflix's Klaus, a hand-drawn Christmas movie that features the voices of a slippery Jason Schwartzman and stoic J.K. Simmons. It's the film most likely to have an upset win in this category. It beat out Toy Story 4 to win the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, which is seen as the highest award in the field of animation. The past five years, the Annie Award winner for Best Animated Feature has become the Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature four out of five times. If Netflix beats Disney in this category, consider it shots fired against Disney.
Then there's Portland-based animation studio Laika's Missing Link, which I wrote about in this issue of The Stranger. Read my write-up for more thoughts on Missing Link, but I'd be thrilled if that film won. Shockingly, it took home the Golden Globe despite being a box-office catastrophe.
But my secret pick is Netflix's other horse in this race, I Lost My Body, which is a stunningly weird animated (and very adult) film about a severed hand trying to locate its body.
The next two categories are down to a battle between two movies: 1917, director Sam Mendes's technically marvelous film about World War I soldiers fighting through trench warfare; and Parasite, director Bong Joon-ho's Palme D'or-winning (by unanimous vote) Parasite, an extraordinary film about a lower-class family tricking their way up the class system. This could go either way, but I'm thinking Bong Joon-ho will sneak out the win here, especially considering that the Academy is comfortable giving this award to foreign language directors. Mexican directors—Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and Guillermo del Toro—took home this trophy for most of the last decade.
All the nominees:
THE IRISHMAN Martin Scorsese
JOKER Todd Phillips
1917 Sam Mendes
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE Bong Joon Ho
And now on to Best Feature. Based on the previous big awards of this season, it looks like 1917 might inch through and take home the biggest award of the night. It swept the BAFTAs and won heavily at critics' awards and associations, winning a total of 51 awards so far. Parasite is the #2 here, but the odds are that 1917 will pull through. If that's the case, this will be a snooze fest. Here's hoping there are some surprises.
Here's what's nominated:
FORD V FERRARI
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD