Oscar season is unusual short this year, with the ceremony planned for Sunday, February 9. Despite so little time to roll out their campaigns, a few front runners have emerged. Here are the best bets for big winners at this year’s awards.
Brad Pitt has this one in the bag for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.” He already picked up several major awards on the road to the Oscars, including a BAFTA.
Laura Dern will almost certainly pick up a statue for her work in Noah Baumbach’s “A Marriage Story.” She swept the major awards prior to the Oscars, including the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and the BAFTAs. If she doesn’t win, it will be a shocker.
Despite the controversy prior to its release, “Joker” and star Joaquin Phoenix are poised to win big at the Oscars. Phoenix is really the only actor in the running for Best Actor this year, although there’s a slim possibility that Leonardo DiCaprio might pull an upset for his role in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
There’s little doubt that Renee Zellweger will be taking home an Oscar for her performance as Judy Garland. Hollywood loves a biopic, especially one where the actor has to transform physically. Zellweger has been having a great awards season and will cap it off with a Best Actress Oscar.
Quentin Tarantino has never won an Oscar as a director. That may well change this year with the much-lauded “OUATIH.” It’s exactly the kind of “love letter to cinema” that the Academy likes to reward, plus many consider that it’s Tarantino’s turn to win Oscar gold for his body of work.
However, don’t discount Sam Mendes and “1917.” The Academy also loves war films, and this one is a technical marvel that was cut to appear as one seamless, breathtaking shot. Even if Tarantino wins this category, expect “1917” to win for cinematography and editing.
Although the winner of Best Director usually goes on to win Best Picture, too, this year things might pan out a little differently. Korean dramedy “Parasite” is your best bet for Best Picture this year, but it’s doubtful that Bong Joon-Ho will beat out veteran English-language directors Tarantino or Mendes.