Academy Awards: Rex’s Predictions

LemonWade’s Oscar lover Rex Okpodu has sifted through all the clues and come up with his predictions for Academy Awards 2020, which happen on Sunday. Thanks, Rex!

Best Picture: 9 Contenders:

Once Upon a time in Hollywood

The Irishman


JoJo Rabbit

Marriage Story


Little Women


Ford v Ferrari

Predicted Winner — 1917

Reasons For: It’s the precursor’s champ of the the season. It has won the Golden Globe best pic (Drama), the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA), Director’s Guild of America (DGA) and, most importantly, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) which has the same preferential ballot as Academy Awards and has predicted the best picture race correctly 8 times since 2010.

Reasons Against: No film in the last decade has won best picture without at least 1 acting nomination. LaLa Land swept the guilds in 2016 and still lost the Oscar to Moonlight.

Alternate winner – Parasite

Reasons For: It made history by becoming the first non-english language film to win the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble (SAG). Though not a best picture correlation, this win arguably indicates actors’ support. A win here will also make Oscar history as the 1st foreign-language pic (International Feature) to get the top prize. It will also makeup for the lack of minorities but 1 in the major categories.

Reasons Against: No film has won best picture in the current decade-long preferential balloting system without at least one acting nomination. Parasite will most likely win International Feature (hitherto Foreign Film) and no film has won both since the category was started in 1945.

Best Director:

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Sam Mendes – 1917

Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

Bong Joon-Ho – Parasite

Todd Phillips – Joker

Predicted Winner – Sam Mendes (1917)

Alternate Winner – Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite)

Reasons For: He won the DGA which has a correlation with the Oscar winner in this category in all but 8 times since 1948.

Reasons Against: Not that it makes a difference Mendes already has an Oscar for directing the 1999 winner for best picture and directing – American Beauty. A win by Bong will be good PR for AMPAS whose nominated films this year have been accused of mostly being about white men.

Best Actor:

Adam Driver – Marriage Story

Joaquin Phoenix – The Joker

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes

Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory

Predicted Winner – Joaquin Phoenix (The Joker)

Reasons For: This applies to all the lead acting categories this year. The SAG winners have gone on to repeat at the Oscars every year in the last decade except 3 times. In 2011, SAG winner Viola Davis (The Help) lost to Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady). 2016, SAG winner Denzel Washington (Fences) lost the Oscar to Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea) and last year SAG winner Glenn Close lost to Olivia Colman (The Favourite).

Best Actress:

Renee Zelwegger – Judy

Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story

Cynthia Erivo – Harriet

Charlize Theron – Bombshell

Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Predicted Winner – Renee Zellweger (Judy)

Alternate Winner – Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)

Reasons For: It is as much a reward for the character (Hollywood legend and gay icon Judy Garland) who never won a competitive Oscar despite two nominations in 1954 and 1961.

Best Supporting Actor

Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes

Predicted Winner – Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Reasons For: The belle of the ball this season has been 56-year-old Brad Pitt. Acclaimed by pundits as an evergreen A-lister who has managed a third-act reinvention as simultaneously, a veteran, an unknown (thanks to a strategic decision to wear his name tag at the Oscar nominees’ lunch), a frontrunner, an underdog, and now a footloose bachelor (his charming reference to Tinder during his SAG acceptance speech).

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Margot Robbie – Bombshell

Scarlett Johansson – JoJo Rabbit

Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell

Florence Pugh – Little Women

Predicted Winner – Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

Reasons For: As mentioned above, the SAG winner for the supporting acting  category has repeated more times than has lost in the last decade. Dern is a veteran and Hollywood royalty 

Reasons Against: This is arguably the likeliest to spring a surprise in the 4 acting categories because her closest rival here (Scarlett Johansson) has two nominations.

The Screenplays


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)
1917 (Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Sam Mendes)
Parasite (Bong Joon-ho & Jin Won Han)

Knives Out – Rian Johnson

Predicted Winner – Parasite

Alternate Winner – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Reason For: Parasite won the Writers Guild Of America (WGA).

Reasons Against: Once was not in contention at WGA as Quentin Tarantino is not a member of that guild. Also, Once is a dark horse to follow the winning route taken by Green Book (2019), Moonlight (2018), and 12 Years A Slave (2014) – all were winners of a supporting acting and screenplay Oscars on their way to best picture. That said, QT could win his third screenplay Oscar after Pulp Fiction(1994) and Django Unchained (2009).


The Two Popes (Anthony McCarten)
The Irishman (Steven Zaillian)
Joker (Todd Phillips & Scott Silver)
Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi)
Little Women(Greta Gerwig)

Predicted Winner – Little Women

Alternate Winner – JoJo Rabbit

Reason For: Greta’s non-inclusion in the best director category despite LW being a best picture nominee elicited a chorus of disapproval. That sometimes amounts to a consolation Oscar win in this category.

Reasons Against: JoJo Rabbit was the winner of the WGA and could repeat at the Oscars.

Best International Feature: 

Parasite (South Korea) – Predicted Winner 

And the rest….Predicted winners listed side by side include:

Cinematography: 1917

Production Design: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Costume Design: Little Women

Makeup: Bombshell

Film Editing: Ford v Ferrari

Sound Mixing: 1917

Sound Editing: 1917

Visual Effects: 1917

Score: Joker 

Song: Rocketman

Doc Feature: American Factory

Animated Feature: Toy Story 4 

Live Action Short -The Neighbors’ Window

Documentary Short – Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Animated Short – Hair Love

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