The months long build up comes to a close Sunday night when ABC airs the 92nd Annual Academy Awards. Honoring the best in film of 2019, the annual celebration features some surprise nominees, some surprise snubs, and some of the biggest names in cinema today. While the awards season has been long and shocking, by the end of the weekend we’ll finally know who wins the coveted Oscar trophy and who walks away an also run.
While many of the races this year are surprisingly tight, we pored over the nominations and the wins so far to make our best predictions in some of the night’s biggest categories. We won’t know for sure until Sunday night, but here are our picks for who should win, and who will win, Hollywood’s biggest night.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Ford v Ferrari
What I hope wins: Marriage Story is a film that has stuck with me for months and easily the best film of 2019. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of resistance to the idea of a Netflix movie walking away the big winner so it’s probably not going to happen.
What will probably win: If there are two things Hollywood loves it’s movies about war and movies about Hollywood. Lucky for them, they’ve got both to pick from this year. Both 1917 and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood did remarkably well in the lead up to the big night, and both are poised to take home the trophy. While it’s impossible to fully discount Joker or Parasite from contention, Hollywood or 1917 will probably walk away the big winner. Given its surprise win at the Golden Globes last month, I’d say the advantage goes to 1917.
Best actress in a leading role
Renée Zellweger, Judy
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Who I hope wins: Scarlett Johannsson gave an impressively nuanced and emotional performance in Marriage Story that proves she’s an actress capable of so much range and depth. In a just world, it would be hers to lose.
Who will win: This award comes down to a battle between Zellweger and Ronan. While Erivo could come through with an upset, Harriet has had a lackluster run through the awards season. In the end, the Academy loves its biopic performances and Zellweger has some juice walking into the ceremony. It’s hers to lose.
Best actor in a leading role
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Who I hope wins: Literally anyone but Joaquin Phoenix.
Who will win: Joaquin Phoenix.
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Who I hope wins: Bong-Joon Ho crafted a delicate, beautiful, timely film that will be will be studied and loved for generations.
Who will win: Sam Mendes walked away the big winner of the Directors Guild Awards. There isn’t a 100% correlation between the two but it’s close enough to put smart money on. This one is Mendes’ to lose.
Best actor in a supporting role
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Who I hope wins:If we’re being really honest, I’d be happy if any of these men walked away with the statue. Heart of hearts? I hope it goes to Pesci, if for no other reason than it was so very good to see him work again.
Who will win: Just go ahead and carve Pitt’s name on the statue now. He’s basically swept the season and there’s no reason to think the Oscars will go any differently.
Best actress in a supporting role
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Who I hope will win: Laura Dern was transcendent and incendiary as Scarlett Johannsson’s attorney in Marriage Story and got to the deliver one of the best monologues of the decade. I want nothing more than for her to win.
Who will win: Florence Pugh has won acclaim and accolades for her performance as Amy March in Little Women. While this category is extremely tough and almost too close to call, my gut tells me she’ll bring home the gold when all is said and done.
Best international feature film
Pain and Glory
What I hope wins: All of these movies are beautiful and represent some of the finest examples of the current state of cinema. Literally any of them deserve to win and I’ll be happy no matter what.
What will win: All that being said, this is Parasite’s category to lose.
Best original screenplay
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
What I hope wins: At this point it shouldn’t be a surprise when I say something about the beautiful sentimentality of Marriage Story and mention how it all begins and ends with Noah Baumbach’s wonderful script, so maybe I’ll just skip that part.
What will win: Parasite walked away the big winner of the Writers Guild Awards. Just like with the DGA, there’s not exactly a 1:1 correlation between the awards, but it does suggest that it’ll be the big winner at the Academy.
Best adapted screenplay
The Two Popes
What I hope wins: I’m always hoping that Taika Waititi gets the love he deserves, so I’m really pulling for Jojo Rabbit.
What will win: Again using the WGA as our guide, it’s looking a lot like Waititi’s to lose.
1917, Roger Deakins
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Robert Richardson
The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto
Joker, Lawrence Sher
The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke
Who I hope wins: Jarin Blaschke filmed an unforgettable movie that managed to capture the horror latent in the sparse, claustrophobic conditions of The Lighthouse all while presenting it in a period-accurate aspect ratio in glorious black and white. Honor him.
Who will win: Roger Deakins changed the game with the techniques and styles he used to film 1917. While it’s true he only just won the award for Blade Runner 2049 two years ago, it’s easy to consider that win more of a legacy award. If that’s the case, then he deserves to win for the movie he’s nominated for, especially one that was so beautifully filmed.
The 92nd Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday February 9 on ABC.