92nd Oscars Review and Predictions
February 17, 2020
On Sunday, we watched the 92nd Academy on Sunday, Feb. 9 and we made our predictions and picks beforehand. We explained why we had either the same or separate picks based on the movies we have seen. We also recapped and reviewed this year’s Oscars ceremony as well.
Our picks, predictions, and opinions:
Best Picture Nominees:
Ford v Ferrari
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Our Pick: Some of the directors in this year’s nominees are icons in the industry and are no strangers to winning awards, such as Tarantino and Scorese. However, we believe that despite the talent behind all the nominations, “1917” deserves Best Picture. The difficulty of using the long-shot method, the beautiful cinematography, the haunting true story, and the talented acting, especially by George McKay, merits “1917” as the winner.
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
Todd Phillips – Joker
Sam Mendes – 1917
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho – Parasite
Our Pick: Sam Mendes is our pick for best director because we believe that Mendes’ seamless directing of “1917” through difficult methods mentioned previously deserve praise from The Academy.
Prediction: Sam Mendes
Winner: Bong Joon-Ho
Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory as Salvador Mallo
Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Rick Dalton
Adam Driver – Marriage Story as Charlie Barber
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker as Arthur Fleck / Joker
Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Kerry’s Pick: I believe that Joaquin Phoenix should win Best Actor because of his dedication to his role and his convincing portrayal of mental illness. He additionally embodies the iconic character of the Joker while bringing a new take on the character that humanizes him.
Aynur’s Pick: Adam Driver is my pick for Best Actor because going into “Marriage Story” I did not believe it would be a plot that would resonate with me or evoke a lot of emotions from me, but Driver’s portrayal of Charlie Barber made my heart wrench. As Charlie went through the motions of getting divorced, trying to support his passion and his child Henry, we gradually began to see him deteriorate and break down. We start off the film with his wife Nicole telling us all the things she loves about Charlie, but are immediately plunged into their divorce. If Charlie was as lovely as this letter makes him out to be, then why are they divorcing? We begin to dive into their divorce and marriage more and see Charlie and Nicole’s cracks. The beautiful part about “Marriage Story” is that director Noah Baumbach does not allow us to “pick sides” during the divorce. Although I did love Scarlett Johansson’s performance as well, Driver’s performance was enough to put me into tears. Scarily, he reminded me of myself and other people in my life, so I forgot I was even watching two fictional people at times. Driver’s depiction of Charlie’s emotions of despair, anger, and love felt so real to me which is why I loved it. Charlie said and did things that you don’t mean to say or do and you could even see how he was feeling just by the look on his face. Driver put everything on the table for this film, so I believe he deserves to win “Best Actor” this year.
Prediction: Joaquin Phoenix
Winner: Joaquin Phoenix
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet as Harriet Tubman
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story as Nicole Barber
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women as Josephine “Jo” March
Charlize Theron – Bombshell as Megyn Kelly
Renée Zellweger – Judy as Judy Garland
Aynur’s Pick: My pick for Best Actress is Saoirse Ronan because I believe out of the performances I have seen (Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron), Ronan delivered an emotional performance that is bound to pull at anyone’s heart strings. Since I have read Louisa May Alcott’s novel and seen many other renditions of “Little Women,” I did not expect to be too emotional over the film, but I was wrong. Ronan was born to play the role of Jo March as her performance is the captivating yet. As we see the conflicts in her adulthood coincide with events from her childhood and her morals, Ronan puts on a spectacular adaptation of Jo. As she rejects Timothee Chalamet’s character Laurie due to her belief that she must defy society’s standards of a woman, Ronan shows how strong and inspiring Jo is, but also flawlessly depicts how lonely her chosen life ended up being for her. I believe this was Ronan’s best performance yet, although nerve-wrecking for her, because she highlights the strengths and the cracks that make up Jo March.
Prediction: Scarlet Johansson
Winner: Renee Zellweger
Best Supporting Actor:
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood as Fred Rogers
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes as Pope Benedict XVI
Al Pacino – The Irishman as Jimmy Hoffa
Joe Pesci – The Irishman as Russell Bufalino
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Cliff Booth
Our Pick: Our pick for “Best Supporting Actor” is the beautiful and iconic performance of Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth. Brad Pitt is consistently good in all his roles; however, his acting in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” stands out because of how much depth he brought to Booth’s character. Even in the most insignificant scenes, Pitt brought a flare to his actions which embodied the nature of his character. Although Leonardo Dicaprio was the main character, we felt that Pitt overshadowed Dicaprio’s similarly amazing performance.
Prediction: Brad Pitt
Winner: Brad Pitt
Best Supporting Actress:
Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell as Barbara “Bobi” Jewell
Laura Dern – Marriage Story as Nora Fanshaw
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit as Rosie Betzler
Florence Pugh – Little Women as Amy March
Margot Robbie – Bombshell as Kayla Pospisil
Aynur: My pick for Best Supporting Actress would be either Florence Pugh as Amy March or Laura Dern as Nora Fanshaw. Although I have not seen Kathy Bates’ or Margot Robbies’ performances, I heard all these females gave powerful performances in the roles they were in. Upon seeing “Jojo Rabbit,” I believed Rosie Betzler was one of Johansson’s best performances yet; however, Pugh’s depiction of Amy changed my opinions and made me understand the character more. The first time reading Little Women was hard for me because I disliked Amy with a burning passion and seeing more movie adaptations confirmed that belief for me. Pugh brought Amy into a new light. Due to Greta Gerwig’s phenomenal directing as well, all the March sister’s stories and actions were reflected as powerful and important. Especially Amy, who marries rich, was hated upon due to her actions, but was brought justice by Pugh and Gerwig. I believe Dern also deserves recognition for Nora because she was one of the most prominent and hilarious parts of “Marriage Story.” Dern has been an incredible actress in all the movies she has been in, but her supporting role as Nora solidified the diversity within her acting.
Prediction: Laura Dern or Margot Robbie
Winner: Laura Dern
Best Original Screenplay:
Knives Out – Rian Johnson
Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach
1917 – Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino
Parasite – Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
Kerry: I believe that Rain Johnson should win Best Original Screenplay for “Knives Out.” This movie is one of the best of the year, yet it lacks nominations in all other categories. The combination of the humor and the mystery genre works perfectly, and the writing manages to both keep you on edge and keep you laughing throughout. It stands out from the genre and from the other films nominated, and I believe it deserves recognition for the talented writing.
Aynur: The reason I believe “Parasite” should win Best Original Screenplay is because of the abnormal plot points and characters. Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won wrote a screenplay for “Parasite” that is so powerful that it will leave a mark as one of the best and most interesting movies in cinema. Every element of a “great” film is reflected in “Parasite” which is why I believe it should win the award.
Prediction: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Irishman – Steven Zaillian based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt
Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens
Joker – Todd Phillips and Scott Silver based on characters created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson
Little Women – Greta Gerwig based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
The Two Popes – Anthony McCarten based on his play The Pope
Our Pick: We want “Jojo Rabbit” to win Best Adapted Screenplay. Taika Waititi perfectly blends the dark aspects and social commentary of the film with its comedy. At the end of the film, there is hope. “Jojo Rabbit” may not be a big picture, but the emotion within the movie–its ability to make you cry tears of joy and sadness all within two hours–deserves appreciation.
Prediction: “Joker” or “The Irishman”
Winner: “Jojo Rabbit”
Best Animated Feature Film:
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Dean DeBlois, Bonnie Arnold, and Brad Lewis
I Lost My Body – Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
Klaus – Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh, and Marisa Román
Missing Link – Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner, and Travis Knight
Toy Story 4 – Josh Cooley, Jonas Rivera, and Mark Nielsen
Prediction: “Toy Story 4”
Winner: “Toy Story 4”
Best International Feature Film:
Corpus Christi (Poland) in Polish – Directed by Jan Komasa
Honeyland (North Macedonia) in Turkish and Macedonian – Directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov
Les Misérables (France) in French – Directed by Ladj Ly
Pain and Glory (Spain) in Spanish – Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Parasite (South Korea) in Korean – Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Our Pick: “Parasite”
Best Original Score:
Joker – Hildur Guðnadóttir
Little Women – Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story – Randy Newman
1917 – Thomas Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – John Williams
Our Pick: “Joker” is a perfect example of tying music and story. The music from the film has a haunting tone that matches the emotions of the film and the character’s struggles. It enhances the movie’s ability to make you feel disturbed and uncomfortable. The main character is able to hear it with us, and his twisted dancing and the knowledge that no music is really playing for him makes the music on “Joker” part of the development of the character and story.
Best Original Song:
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 – Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman – Music by Elton John; Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
“I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough – Music and Lyrics by Diane Warren
“Into the Unknown” from Frozen II – Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“Stand Up” from Harriet – Music and Lyrics by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo
Our Pick: We believe “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” should win because the song displays the unending talent of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
Prediction: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
Winner: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
Best Sound Editing:
Ford v Ferrari – Donald Sylvester
Joker – Alan Robert Murray
1917 – Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Wylie Stateman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Matthew Wood and David Acord
Our Prediction: “Ford v. Ferrari”
Winner: “Ford v. Ferrari”
Best Sound Mixing:
Ad Astra – Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
Ford v Ferrari – Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Steven A. Morrow
Joker – Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
1917 – Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, and Mark Ulano
Our pick: “1917”
Best Production Design:
The Irishman – Production Design: Bob Shaw; Set Decoration: Regina Graves
Jojo Rabbit – Production Design: Ra Vincent; Set Decoration: Nora Sopková
1917 – Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Production Design: Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
Parasite – Production Design: Lee Ha-jun; Set Decoration: Cho Won-woo
Our Prediction: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Winner: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
The Irishman – Rodrigo Prieto
Joker – Lawrence Sher
The Lighthouse – Jarin Blaschke
1917 – Roger Deakins
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Robert Richardson
Our Pick: “1917”
Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
Bombshell – Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker
Joker – Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
Judy – Jeremy Woodhead
1917 – Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis, and Rebecca Cole
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten, and David White
Our Prediction: “Bombshell”
Best Costume Design:
The Irishman – Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
Jojo Rabbit – Mayes C. Rubeo
Joker – Mark Bridges
Little Women – Jacqueline Durran
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Arianne Phillips
Kerry: “Jojo Rabbit,” Mayes C. Rubeo
Aynur’s Pick: “Little Women,” Jacqueline Durran
Our Prediction: “Jojo Rabbit,” Mayes C. Rubeo
Winner: “Little Women,” Jacqueline Durran
Best Film Editing:
Ford v Ferrari – Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker
The Irishman – Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit – Tom Eagles
Joker – Jeff Groth
Parasite – Yang Jin-mo
Kerry’s Pick: “Joker”
Aynur’s Pick: “Parasite”
Prediction: “Ford v. Ferrari”
Winner: “Ford v. Ferrari”
Best Visual Effects:
Avengers: Endgame – Dan DeLeeuw, Matt Aitken, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick
The Irishman – Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, and Nelson Sepulveda
The Lion King – Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Elliot Newman
1917 – Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, and Dominic Tuohy
Our Pick: “The Irishman” displayed great visual effects in their use of deaging. The movie told the story of three mobsters throughout their lives, and in order to do so, they had to make Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci look much younger than they are. Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli and Nelson Sepulveda accomplished so well that we think they should win.
Prediction: “The Irishman”
Our opinions on the ceremony and winners:
Firstly, this year was one of the best years for movies, so it was really hard to pick our choices and predictions. Usually, the Academy has a pattern in who they normally will choose for each category, but this year had quite an unusual turnout. There were also a lot of details within the actual ceremony that made things a bit awkward to watch.
Janelle Monae’s opening performance of Come Alive was an exciting way to begin the Oscars. The choreography and song was executed really well and presented a message to the Academy and the audience that more people of color and women should have been nominated. However, the costumes inspired by Ari Aster’s Midsommar made the performance a little bit awkward since Aster and the crew were not nominated for anything. Although it was nice to see many felt that Aster was snubbed, it was uncomfortable to see.
To start off the night, the Academy decided to announce the winner for Best Supporting Actor, which in our opinion was an odd introduction to the ceremony. Best Supporting Actress did not directly follow Best Supporting Actor which was, once again, an unusual sequence. On top of that, highly acclaimed winner Brad Pitt only had 45 seconds to talk about his seamless performance in “Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.” Pitt also allegedly “moo’d” at Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars after party and we thought it was the best part of the Oscars. It is also why we feel he should’ve had more than 45 seconds for his speech.
The musical performances dispersed throughout the ceremony made it all the more interesting. Iconic musician Elton John performed this year because of his release of his biopic “Rocketman” alongside other performances by stars like Idina Menzel and Randy Newman. The memoriam performance, done by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, was beautiful and honored not only stars in the industry but also Kobe Bryant who recently passed in a helicopter crash. However, the performance failed to include Cameron Boyce, Tim Conway, Michael J. Pollard, Peggy Lipton, and most prominently Luke Perry who was actually in the nominated movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Aside from the performances and announcers, many of our predicted outcomes did not come true. The most unfortunate outcome of this year’s Oscars was Sam Mendes’ snub for Best Director for “1917” and 0verall snub of Martin Scorcese’s “The Irishman.”
Martin Scorcese, director of films like “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull,” is an icon in the film industry, and at 77 years old, who knows how many more films Scorsese plans to make? Scorcese’s past films and age are not necessarily a reason to give him an Oscar, but “The Irishman” is an impeccable exploration of mob life, different from movies of the past, and features wonderful acting, visual effects, and directing. Leaving with no wins despite its multiple nominations, “The Irishman” was definitely snubbed.
“1917” won for a few categories, like visual effects and sound mixing, but we believe that Sam Mendes was snubbed for directing for this beautiful war film. In Oscar’s history, almost always the person who wins Best Directing ends up having his or her film win Best Picture. However, we disagree with the Academy in doing this because by separating them, more films and directors can get recognition, and if one movie was overall better and more creative to the Academy but another director presented greater technical skill, then each director can get what they deserve in the award ceremony.
That was what the case should have been for “1917” and “Parasite.” Sam Mendes directed a beautiful and emotional story, but more importantly, he directed the film using a one-shot method. It was extremely difficult and stressful for him to do so, but in the end, it turned out amazing. He should have been rewarded for this. We think “Parasite” was a totally new and creative film, and we appreciate the history that it made by winning. However, we still believe Mendes deserved Best Director over Bong Joon-Ho, director of “Parasite.”
Lastly, the most shocking pick of them all, Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” managed to win the award for “Best Picture.” Although “Parasite” was personally one of my favorite films of the year, we did not expect it to win at all. We were beyond elated for the movie to get the recognition it deserved for multiple reasons.
The film effortlessly highlighted it’s theme of class differences and the impact of climate disasters in a way that has never been shown in cinema within the United States. The story line is bizarre, interesting, and horrifying all at the same time which is why we couldn’t remove our eyes from the screen while watching it. As the lower class Kim family wiggle their way into conning the wealthy Parks family, the plot thickens and all the themes are connected towards the end. Without spoiling anything, we would have to say everything about “Parasite” was incredible and was not an easy film to pull off, but the cast and Joon-Ho definitely managed to do.
Without taking away any success of Joon-Ho and “Parasite,” we definitely do feel a bit sad for the Scorcese’s “The Irishmen,” Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Mendes’ “1917.” The biggest argument we have seen so far is that “Parasite” won because of it’s creativity and diversity and although that is true, it sucks to see amazing movies by legends like Scorcese and Tarantino get little recognition. It also hurts to see a movie beautifully made like “1917” not be recognized for “Best Picture” although it did rightfully win awards for “Best Cinematography,” “Best Sound Mixing,” and “Best Visual Effects.” These films although argued to be “not as original” as “Parasite” are nominees for a reason. They have that “Best Picture” aura that we get when we compare them to past winners which is why “Parasite” being picked by the Academy is such a shock to me and everyone else.