‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,' ‘The Irishman' and '1917′ Lead 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions

On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominations for its 92nd annual Academy Awards

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What to Know

  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominations for its 92nd annual Academy Awards on Monday.
  • “1917,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “The Irishman” and “Parasite” are expected to score nods.
  • The ceremony will take place on Feb. 9 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

The Oscar race has only just begun.

On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominations for its 92nd annual Academy Awards.

Front runners for the biggest prizes of the ceremony, which will take place on Feb. 9 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, include “1917,” “The Irishman,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Parasite” and “Marriage Story.”

While Renee Zellweger (“Judy”) and Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) appear to be shoo-in nominees for best actress and best supporting actor, other categories are more contentious. There’s still no clear leader in the best picture race and there’s still a chance that several underdogs could find themselves in the directing category.

While more than two dozen awards will be presented during the aired awards ceremony in February, we took a look at the top categories to see who is most likely to snag nominations on Monday.

Best picture

Heading into the 2020 Oscar race there are a few clear front runners — “1917,” “The Irishman,” “Parasite” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

All four films received nominations from the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and are considered the top tier of candidates to be on the best picture ballot come Monday.

In 2009, the Academy amended its nomination rules so that up to 10 films could be nominated for the top prize. However, the awards ceremony doesn’t always utilize all 10 spots. Since the rule change, each year there have been at least eight nominees in the category.

“Jojo Rabbit,” “Marriage Story” and “Joker” are strong contenders for the final list, according to industry experts. Underdogs that could slip into the pack are “Little Women,” “Ford v. Ferrari,” “Knives Out,” “Bombshell,” “The Two Popes” and “The Farewell.”

Surprise nominations would include “Uncut Gems” and “Pain and Glory.”

The shoo-in nominees:

  • “1917”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “Parasite”
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

The wild card nominees:

  • “Marriage Story”
  • “Joker”
  • “Jojo Rabbit”
  • “Little Women”
  • “The Farewell”
  • “Ford v. Ferrari”
  • “Uncut Gems”

Best director

It’s not surprising that the directors behind the top anticipated best picture nominees would also find themselves at the top of the best director category. Sam Mendes (“1917”), Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”), Quentine Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) and Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”) are likely to find themselves on the best director ballot.

The Directors Guild nominated those four directors alongside Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”) for its award ceremony, but that doesn’t mean Waititi is guaranteed the fifth nomination spot at the Academy Awards.

After all, The Directors Guild’s slate of nominees has only ever matched perfectly with the Academy’s five times in 72 years, Ben Zauzmer, author of “Oscarmetrics: The Math Behind the Biggest Night in Hollywood” and a mathematical Oscar predictor, wrote in a piece for the Hollywood Reporter. More often, four of the guild’s selections go on to receive Oscar nominations and one gets left off the ballot.

Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”), Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) or Todd Phillips (“Joker”) are strong contenders should Waititi not be nominated.

The shoo-in nominees:

  • Sam Mendes, “1917”
  • Martin Scorcese, “The Irishman”
  • Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”
  • Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

The wild card nominees:

  • Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
  • Todd Phillips “Joker”
  • Taika Waititi, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
  • Lulu Wang, “The Farewell”

Best actor

The majority of industry analysts agree that the Oscar ballot for best actor will include Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) and Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”). That leaves three spots left for nearly a dozen other strong performances.

Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”) earned the Golden Globe win for best actor in a comedy or musical for his portrayal of Elton John, so many consider him to be poised to take one of the remaining spots on the best actor ballot.

Fighting for the other spots are Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”), Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite is my Name”), Adam Sandler (“Uncut Gems”) and Christian Bale (“Ford v. Ferrari”).

Robert De Niro (“The Irishman”) was left off the ballots at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards, so while he is poised as an underdog, it’s possible he could score a nomination from The Academy.

The shoo-in nominees:

  • Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
  • Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
  • Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”

The wild card nominees:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
  • Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems”
  • Robert De Niro, “The Irishman”
  • Christian Bale, “Ford v. Ferrari”

Best actress

The best actress category is going to be a hard one for underdogs to crack into this year. Renee Zellweger (“Judy”) is a clear front runner after her Golden Globes win. Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”), Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”) and Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”) are expected to round out the top four, leaving only one spot left.

Currently, Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”), Awkwafina (“The Farewell”) and Lupita Nyong’o (“Us”) are the strongest contenders for the fifth place on the ballot. Notably, Awkwafina won the best actress in a musical or comedy award at the Golden Globes, but that doesn’t guarantee her an Oscar nomination.

The shoo-in nominees:

  • Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
  • Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
  • Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
  • Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

The wild card nominees:

  • Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
  • Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
  • Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”

Best animated feature

With “Missing Link’s” upset win at the Golden Globes, analysts are wondering if the stop motion feature is poised for Oscar glory or if Disney’s three nominated films in the category split the vote.

Going into the Academy Awards, Disney likely won’t have that problem again. While the Golden Globes considered “The Lion King” to be an animated feature, the Academy has a different set of rules which will result in the film being absent from the animated feature category.

The current consensus that is that “Toy Story 4,” “Frozen II,” “How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World” and “Missing Link” will clinch nominations for the Oscar category.

“I Lost My Body” is a clear favorite with analysts to take the fifth spot, but “Abominable” and Netflix’s “Klaus” could also be in the running. Although unlikely, “The Lion King” could also be considered a wild card in this race.

The shoo-in nominees:

  • “Frozen II”
  • “Toy Story 4”
  • “Missing Link”
  • “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

The wild card nominees:

  • “The Lion King”
  • “I Lost My Body”
  • “Abominable”
  • “Klaus”

Best supporting actor

Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) is all but guaranteed a nomination for best supporting actor at the Oscars. And many see him as poised to win the category. Especially, as Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, both supporting actors in “The Irishman,” could split the vote among fans of Scorsese’s mobster film.

Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) appears to be a shoo-in for a nomination, but hasn’t been nominated for an Academy Award since 2000.

Other contenders include Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”), Willem Dafoe (“The Lighthouse”), Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy”), Song Kang Ho (“Parasite”) and Wesley Snipes (“Dolemite is my Name”).

The shoo-in nominees:

  • Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
  • Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”

The wild card nominees:

  • Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
  • Willem Dafoe, “The Lighthouse”
  • Jamie Foxx, “Just Mercy”
  • Song Kang-Ho, “Parasite”

Best supporting actress

Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”), Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”) and Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) are the current leaders heading into Monday’s official nomination announcement for best supporting actress.

Scarlett Johansson could also snag a nomination for her role in “Jojo Rabbit,” which would make her the first person since Cate Blanchett in 2007 to nab two acting nominations in the same year.

Nicole Kidman (“Bombshell”), Annette Bening (“The Report”), Florence Pugh (“Little Women”) and Zhao Shuzhen (“The Farewell”) are the remaining contenders. Controversy over the inaccuracies in Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewel” will likely mean that Kathy Bates will be left off the ballot despite her strong performance in the film.

The shoo-in nominees:

  • Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
  • Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
  • Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”

The wild card nominees:

  • Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
  • Annette Bening, “The Report”
  • Nicole Kidman, “Bombshell”
  • Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell”

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