2020 Oscar predictions: How big is Parasite’s late-season surge?

Gwyneth Paltrow attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Golden Globes, at Hotel Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, USA, on 05 January 2020. | usage worldwide

Since this year’s awards season was so compressed and the month of January was a flaming garbage pile of shenanigans and drama, I didn’t get to write up a “Oscar nominations predictions” post. Also, at the time, I had no idea what to predict – while I was fairly certain which awards were going to various actors, the other nominations were in the air. I mean, who could have predicted that Jennifer Lopez would be snubbed and Scarlett Johansson would somehow tree her way to TWO Oscar nominations in the same year? Mess. So let’s try something else: an Oscar preview, with my thoughts on who will win, plus some additional thoughts on performances or films you might have missed.

Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt is a sure thing.
Pitt is a sure thing. The biggest sure thing of the night, probably. If there’s any disruption in any category, it won’t be here. At the start of the season, I thought Joe Pesci would pull some upsets, but the feeling I get is that Pesci has already won an Oscar (years ago) and that his big return to acting isn’t worthy of an Oscar. CB loved Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which I still haven’t seen (I loved the Mr. Rogers documentary though).

Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern is mostly a sure thing.
Dern has been winning every major award – the Globe, the SAG, the BAFTA. She missed out on some critics awards though, and I do wonder if people might end up voting for Margot Robbie or Scarlett Johansson here. Still, all of the predictors are there: Dern will likely win. And it upsets me, because Dern sucks.

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix is a sure thing.
Yes, I thought Joker was absolute indulgent garbage. I also thought Joaquin did a good job within a garbage movie. If I was an Oscar voter, I wouldn’t vote for him, but I would be open to the argument of “Joaquin deserves this for his body of work,” because his body of work is legitimately great. I would have loved for Antonio Banderas to get more hype for Pain and Glory, because his work was so beautiful and still and subtle. I also thought Leo DiCaprio was GREAT in OUATIH and I would have preferred to see Leo get more hype & awards than Brad. Also: after seeing Ford v. Ferrari, I do find it odd that neither Christian Bale or Matt Damon got nominated from that. Both did good work, quite honestly.

Best Actress: Renee Zellweger is mostly a sure thing.
Much like Laura Dern, Renee has picked up all of the big awards, and Hollywood seems to want to shower her with love for her big “comeback” role, even though she’s been coming back for a few years now, toiling in bad movies no one watched. What’s slightly funny to me is that two months ago, I would have said that Scarlett Johansson is the sure thing for Marriage Story. But she screwed up her Oscar campaign, and I guess people like Renee better. Charlize Theron is probably a non-starter, as is Saoirse Ronan for Little Women. I would be so disappointed if Ronan won for LW anyway – she deserved it for Brooklyn or Lady Bird. I feel like Cynthia Erivo didn’t have much of a chance, or much of a campaign.

Best Director/Best Picture: ?????
The acting categories are all pretty much guaranteed. I’m 99.99% sure that Pitt, Phoenix, Zellweger and Dern will walk away with trophies. But all the drama will be with Best Director and Best Picture, and I truly don’t know who will win what. Part of me thinks that there will be a Parasite split somewhere, just because it’s made such a huge late surge into the awards season. Does that mean a Director win for Bong Joon-ho, and then Best Picture going to OUATIH or 1917? Perhaps. Or it could go the other way – Parasite wins Picture, then they give Director to Sam Mendes (who has won before) or Todd Phillips (for Garbage Joker) or Quentin Tarantino, who has NEVER won a Director Oscar. He’s only ever won for screenplay. Those are the big Picture contenders, I think: Joker, OUATIH, 1917 or Parasite. I don’t see Picture going to Little Women, Ford v. Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit or Marriage Story.

Gwyneth Paltrow attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Golden Globes, at Hotel Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, USA, on 05 January 2020. | usage worldwide

Justin and Hailey Bieber go for a rainy day coffee run

Photos courtesy of IMDB.

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44 Responses to “2020 Oscar predictions: How big is Parasite’s late-season surge?”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    Isnt Parasite up for best foreign film as well? I think it will win for that but not Best Picture (isn’t that what happened with Roma last year?)

    I think, if Parasite doesn’t win BP, 1917 will.

    I agree that I thought Leo was better than Brad in OUATIH, but I think Brad will get it and Best Actor will go to Joaquin.

    • Lightpurple says:

      I agree that Parasite will get Best Foreign Film and 1917 will get Best Picture, and I’m fine with that. Both were really good films and the two best out of all those nominated.

    • Eliza_ says:

      Same thing happened to ‘Life Is Beautiful’ which win Foreign Language and Acting awards but ‘Shakespeare in Love” won BP. Seriously… no.

      • Lady Baden-Baden says:

        To me, Shakespeare in Love was a much better movie. But it’s true that the Academy don’t give foreign language films Best Picture . I guess you could argue that’s what the separate category is for but… it’s a mess

      • Grant says:

        I just re-watched Shakespeare in Love the other night and really, really enjoyed it. I think people like to hate on Goop on this site, but I kind of understand why she won that year… She gave a very moving, charming performance and played a great character.

  2. Mia4s says:

    I never watch the ceremony anymore, and this year I particularly wouldn’t. The odds of surprises are VERY low. 1917 was great but Parasite was fresh, unique, and REALLY great. But Hollywood does love their pasty British white boys. We will see.

  3. Eliza_ says:

    When acting awards are all sure things, I feel like less people watch. So I’m not sure the Academy or ABC is thrilled.

    I think best picture and best director is a three-way race: OUATIH, Parasite and 1917. Doubt Joker for either.

    I think directing will go to Sam Mendes (as direction was the really the only interesting part of 1917), and hope the Best Picture goes to Parasite, but given the xenophobic voter comments yesterday, I’m prepared for OUATIH to win.

  4. Silver Charm says:

    I think this will be the first time in more than a decade i won’t be watching. I used to be an avid award season follower but it has been so predictable, so white and I kinda hate that there’s still no host. There’s no point.

    I do hope Pitt reveals who his speechwriter is though.

  5. lemonylips says:

    Parasite and 1917 were both amazing. 1917 had a great leading actor, who should have gotten more credit, and it was just technically innovative. Parasite though brought so much to the table in terms of conversation after watching it, the state of our society. And I’d be glad if any of them got the Oscar, although I think that award has lost its shine long time ago, I know it means a great deal to many.

  6. Jackie O'Glasses says:

    I really enjoyed Leo’s performance in OUATIH. I thought it was a visually stunning movie despite the gratuitous violence at the end. Joker was too over the top, imo. I saw Judy because my bff dragged me to it, but wanted to leave 30 minutes in. Nothing about Marriage Story interests me, despite my Laura Dern love. I hope we see an upset like we got with Olivia Coleman beating Glenn Close last year. The predictability and length of awards ceremonies turns me off. I’ll be here for the fashion recaps tho.

    • Silver Charm says:

      I kinda hope we get an upset as well but am afraid it would go to Johannson. Ugh.

      • Jackie O'Glasses says:

        The Academy will give ScarJo an Oscar at some point. We may as well make our peace with it. Hopefully it won’t be for a Woody Allen film.

      • Lady Baden-Baden says:

        I agree – if there’s any upset in the acting awards (which I think is highly unlikely) it will probably be in supporting actress and it will probably go to Johannson instead. Really hope not!

    • Lightpurple says:

      If there are any upsets, they will be in one or both of the actresses categories.

  7. Jen says:

    Completely agree on Leonardo-he was excellent in OUATIH and in my opinion, much more deserving of the awards than Brad.

    • Call_me_al says:

      Leo delivered another surprising, vulnerable, engaging, lovable character. I love him as an actor. He didn’t get the recognition for Shutter Island and Inception he deserved.
      Brad was good in it too but nowhere near the level of Leo.

  8. Leriel says:

    1917 will win BP, Mendes will win directing, because both won Producers guild award and Directors guild award. People pay a ton of attention to GG and BAFTA, while it’s guilds who collide with the Oscars mostly (and because members of guilds and the academy are mostly same people).

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      You’re probably right, but the upset may still come with Best Picture as all Academy members can vote for that one (as opposed to Best Director, which is voted for by the directing branch, which most likely does have the same members as the guild)

      • Leriel says:

        If so I will be shocked, because 1917 win would happen in like 99,(9)% chances out of 100%. This movie won e v e r y t h i n g even without single SAG nomination, but the academy value creators over actors recently in voting and deciding BP.

      • Lady Baden-Baden says:

        Well, Parasite won the SAG ensemble (their equivalent of Best Picture). Most of the same actors that voted for that will be voting for Best Picture at the Oscars (although granted – 1917 wasn’t nominated for the SAG so they didn’t have that option). The actors are also by far the largest voting branch in the Academy. I agree 1917 is probably the favorite – but don’t count out Parasite for Best Picture.

      • Leriel says:

        If Parasite will win BP, I will celebrate for a week straight in every bar in my city, seriously, I love this movie.
        But the academy is a club for racists (yesterday THR oscar ballot showed it) so it probably not going to happen, like two years ago with Roma, and that movie was made by American studio, this one is full foreign, they won’t bother.

      • Lightpurple says:

        The nominations for Best Director are voted on by only the directing branch but everyone gets to vote in every category for the Oscar.

      • Lady Baden-Baden says:

        Like I said – you’re probably right and it won’t happen. But there’s def a chance. The Producers Guild award have only matched the Best Picture winner 2 out of the last 4 years. Best Picture is a tight race this year – and thank God because most of the other awards are boring lock-ins. But sure – it definitely doesn’t help that Parasite is “foreign” and they’ve never given BP to a foreign language film.

      • Smalltown Girl says:

        All members of the academy vote for every category, it is only nominations that are locked per category. So directors nominate for best director but all branches vote (which is why we get the weird and random Totally Honest voter ballots).

        Personally, I think 1917 will win best picture and Tarantino will get best director, because I think he might be more popular with the actors (And even the other branches) than he is with the director branch.

  9. grabbyhands says:

    The Academy will give Parasite Best Foreign Picture so they can pat themselves on the back and tell everyone they rewarded it, like they always do.

    Best Picture COULD go to 1917, but white guys are really feeling themselves right now (more so than usual, I mean) so I could see OUATIH take that award, especially since it is a middle aged white guy triumphing over the hippie threat in the movie. Which would suck, but in a war of sexist pig directors I’d rather the guy who hasn’t been moaning about how he can’t be funny anymore because people are too easily offended come out on top. It’s not much of a commendation considering what a douchebag QT is, but this is the timeline we’re living now.

  10. Kelly says:

    Brad is so undeserving of that Oscar. That’s not the best performance of his career (not even close) and he wasn’t even the best performance of that movie (Leo was sooo much better).

    I don’t even know which scene they will pick to show of him, because nothing he did in that movie was very memorable.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      You’re completely right – but you could say the same about Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Or Paul Newman in The Color of Money. Leo gave a MUCH better performance in OUATIH than he did in The Revenant (God, I hated The Revenant) but it was the same for him – the Academy decided he was ‘owed’, just like everyone seems to have decided Brad Pitt is ‘owed’, regardless of the actual performance. Stupid, unfair system.

      • Kelly says:

        I don’t even think this is a case of Brad being “owed” as much as it is a case of him being a Hollywood A-List who hasn’t won an Oscar yet. I don’t think Brad is a bad actor, but he’s not particularly good either. Definitely not on the same league as Leo, and not even on the same galaxy as Al Pacino or Paul Newman.

      • Lady Baden-Baden says:

        Yeah – I don’t think even Brad Pitt would claim he is as good an actor as any of them! He’s beloved in Hollywood – both as an actor and producer (he should stick with the latter more, in my opinion) plus he’s played the award season game so well. He does have an Oscar, but not for acting – so they are jumping at the chance to ‘reward’ him.

      • Grant says:

        I thought Leo was superb in OUATIH but I also thought he did a great job in the Revenant too.

  11. Sarah says:

    It’s so sad to see that mere accusations of abuse or misconduct can ruin good men’s careers and reputa… Oh, hello Quentin Tarantino! Have you talked to Uma recently? Hey Brad, how are your kids doing since you did NOT hit one of them in the face? And what about you, Emile Hirsch? Is the woman you assaulted in a room full of people OK?

    • Biff says:

      THIS!!! I was trashing OUATIH yesterday, and I don’t want to ruin the experience for the people who liked it by being a naggy, but that movie….is SO problematic on SO many levels!

  12. Case says:

    I just watched Parasite last night — what an excellent movie. It took about two minutes to make me forget I was reading subtitles because it was so engrossing. It was basically a drama version of Jordan Peele’s Us, which was one of my favorite movies I saw last year. I’d be happy with Best Picture going to Jojo Rabbit, Parasite, or OUATIH — in that order, I think. Loved all three.

    TOTALLY agree that Leo was better than Brad. I feel like I’m going crazy that Brad is a sure thing and Leo seems like a non-starter this year. I think Brad is a good actor but this wasn’t his best work, while Leo was awesome.

    I’d much rather see Best Actor go to Leo or Adam Driver over Phoenix. I don’t like the “body of work” argument — people should win for the films they’re genuinely great in, not get pity awards for not winning sooner. IDK.

    I hate to say this because I don’t like ScarJo as a person and usually not as an actor either, but she was honestly a delight in Jojo Rabbit. I wouldn’t mind if she won over Dern.

    • Kelly says:

      As someone who has never liked ScarJo herself or as an actress, Jojo Rabbit is her best work ever, she easily delivered the best performance of the movie, and she did earn that nomination. I agree that I liked her better than Dern.

      Can’t speak for Marriage Story because I couldn’t finish it. That movie was so boring.

      • Moneypenny says:

        It’s so funny how different opinions are. I really liked Marriage Story–my husband did too (and so did my boss, but his wife and daughter didn’t like it). I was totally riveted the entire time and thought ScarJo was surprisingly good. Driver is always good and was very good here too. Him singing Being Alive at the end was wonderful!

        I really need to see JoJo Rabbit. Parasite was brilliant and the best of the movies I’ve seen for the awards.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Scarlett’s character was the sane, moral center of JoJo Rabbit and she gave a lovely performance; in my view, the best nominated in this category. However, the best performance in this category, Zhao Shuzen in The Farewell, wasn’t nominated.

    • potatoe says:

      Absolutely Case. I think the same.
      And I always watch foreign movies so I am not disturbed by the subtitles.

  13. MellyMel says:

    Thank you! Totally agreed about Leo. I really don’t get why he hasn’t been the one winning awards from that movie. Brad was good, but he’s been better in other films. But I guess being up against Joaquin and Adam might have something to do with it. I don’t really care about the Oscars this year, except for making sure Parasite and Bong Joon-ho get the love they deserve.

  14. A says:

    I want Adam Driver to win but Joaquin Phoenix is prolly going to get that one. Best movie will either go to Parasite or 1917. Brad has his name written on the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ award. Best Actress could go to Scarlett cause she’s down with sexual predators and those people can make things happen in Hollywood. Remember how Harvey used to buy awards for his girls? For Best Supporting Actress I want Florence Pugh or Kathy Bates to win but watch it go to Laura Dern LOL. Idk how she was nominated for that .There was nothing remarkable about her performance.

    • Moneypenny says:

      I agree. I saw Marriage Story last weekend and really liked it. But I was so surprised to see that THIS was the performance getting so much praise. There was nothing special about Laura Dern in that movie. She was good, but nothing noteworthy in my opinion.

  15. Lightpurple says:

    If you get the chance, try to see the nominees in the smaller categories like Documentaries and all the shorts. Many of them are currently available On Demand, Netflix or Amazon. Some of the most moving, heartbreaking, and funniest films appear in these categories every year. Four of the feature length documentaries focus on women; the fifth was produced by Michelle Obama. One of those women chronicles her country’s political turmoil & her family’s role in it. Two of the women are literally living in hospitals, saving lives, so brave, while bombs fall on them nightly. And then there is Hatidze in Honeyland, which is also nominated for Best Foreign Film. I hope all of these women attend and I hope dear Hatidze and her bees win.

    And my favorite film of the year is in Documentary Shorts: Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (If You’re a Girl), those enchanting little Afghan girls and the women who risk their lives to teach them stole my heart.

  16. Samanthalous says:

    I would have liked the Japanese film 37seconds to be nominated. Parasite was ok wasn’t great I have seen better from korean film makers.