“1917” expected to sweep, others predicted to take home big wins at the Oscars


Photo Courtesy of CNN

George Mackay in Best Picture predicted winner, “1917”.

Lucy Valeski, A&E Editor

It has been a short awards season this year, concluding this Sunday, Feb. 9 with the Oscars. The films nominated this year span topics from war to classic Hollywood and from classic novel adaptations to comic book adaptations. Here are the nominations for some of the most anticipated awards:

Best Picture

“Ford v Ferrari” 

“The Irishman”

“JoJo Rabbit”


“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”


“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”


The best picture line up is pretty consistent with how the awards season has been lining up. The biggest surprise here was “Ford v Ferrari”, but because it has no nominations in the directing, acting or writing categories, I don’t expect it to win. “Marriage Story” started the season out strong with rave reviews from critics, but it did not pick up much traction throughout the awards season. “Little Women” was my favorite film of the year, but after a snub in the directing category and a complete shut out at the SAGS, the movie does not seem likely to win. “Joker” picked up the most nominations, so it is obviously well loved by the Academy. “The Irishman”, Scorcese’s new mafia film, lost steam over the season and will probably not win after failing to take home any prizes at the Globes. Also, the Academy has had a habit of not rewarding Netflix films, which include “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman”.

Last year, “Green Book” took the top prize, despite being controversial for it’s depiction of race relations in the 1960s Deep South. Because “JoJo Rabbit” is controversial for similar reasons, it could have a chance of winning Best Picture.

Realistically, the movies most likely to win are “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”, “Parasite” and “1917”. “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” was a box office and critical success, and it won the Critic’s Choice for Best Picture. “Parasite” has been gaining fast momentum after the success at the SAGs. “1917” won both Best Drama and Best Director at Globes as well as the PGA. 

Will Win: My gut is telling me “1917” will be the big winner this year because it has been pushing ahead with wins at the PGAs, Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.

Want To Win: My first choice would be “Little Women”, but a win for the beloved classic seems unlikely. I would also be ecstatic to see “Parasite” take home the gold; it would be the first foreign film to win the top prize at the Oscars.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”

Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”

Banderas and Pryce were the two surprise nominations here after Taron Egerton’s breathtaking “Rocketman” performance was snubbed (despite winning a Golden Globe for Best Actor In A Musical or Comedy). The three locked nominations ultimately were Driver, Phoenix and DiCaprio. The clear winner in this category is Phoenix; he won both the Globe, the SAG and the Critic’s Choice. 

Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix is pretty locked here.

Want To Win: Adam Driver’s dynamic performance of a man going through a divorce created so many memorable scenes that I will remember for years to come. However, Antonio Banderas’ subtle portrayal of an aging suffering director was also one that has stayed with me.

Photo Courtesy of Forbes
Greta Gerwig’s sophomore film “Little Women” had a fresh adaptation of a classic tale.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”

Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”

Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”

Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

This category reflects the Best Actress category for the Golden Globes, and I am predicting the results to swing in the same direction.  Zellweger has been winning this entire season, and the winning streak will most likely not be interrupted. Theron’s brilliant transformation into Megyn Kelly, Johansson’s emotional portrayal of a woman going through a painful divorce and Erivo’s strong portrayal of Underground Railroad hero Harriet Tubman may sway some voters, but it is unlikely they will come out on top. 

Will Win: Renee Zellweger has been sweeping all of the leading actress categories, so the Oscar gold is a lock at this point. 

 “Renee Zellweger has been pretty much sweeping, probably more than anyone in the category,” sophomore Owen Espinosa said. “The only one I could see possibly upsetting [her is] Scarlett Johanssen for “Marriage Story”.”

Want To Win: My bias towards “Little Women” makes me choose Saoirse Ronan; she was true to the beloved Jo March; however, she put her own modern spin on it that delivered so much needed truth and sincerity. 

Actor in a Supporting Role

Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”

Al Pacino, “The Irishman”

Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”

Brad Pitt, “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”

The Oscar is Brad Pitt’s to lose; after repeated wins at the SAGs, Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards, as well as the overall love for “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”, Pitt has ensured his win in this category. He had a career best performance in the film, as well as a fantastic performance in this year’s “Ad Astra”. Pacino and Pesci both had solid performances in “The Irishman” (though I preferred Pesci to Pacino). Hopkins and Hanks have both been hanging onto nominations this awards season; however, neither will likely win for their respective roles of Pope Benedict XVI or Mr. Rogers.

Will Win: With the vote split for “The Irishman” actors and a lack of awards season hype for Hopkins and Hanks, Brad Pitt (who took home the Globe and SAG) has the definitive edge in this category.

Want To Win: Brad Pitt gave an effortlessly flawless performance as the coolest stunt double you will ever see on the big screen.

Photo courtesy of Katie Jones for Variety
Laura Dern is locked to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as a divorce attorney in “Marriage Story”.

Actress in A Supporting Role

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”

Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

Scarlett Johanssen, “JoJo Rabbit”

Florence Pugh, “Little Women”

Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Dern would be the obvious win in this category considering the actress has been raking in the awards this season for her role as an unflinching divorce attorney in “Marriage Story”. However, Margot Robbie has also been consistently nominated in this category all season. Her performance as a gung-ho, wannabe Fox News anchor was both amusing and heartbreaking. Florence Pugh, an up and coming  actress who turned out two remarkable performances this year, deserves a mention for transforming the consistently loathed March sister into a driven woman the audiences could get behind. Kathy Bates is the surprise nomination in this category: her “spot” was expected to go to the snubbed Jennifer Lopez. Finally, the double acting nominee Scarlett Johanssen gave my least favorite performance in this category as the mother of a young Nazi boy who seemed too far removed from any truth in the film “JoJo Rabbit”. 

Will Win: Again, a double winner at both the SAGs and the Golden Globes seems to be winning an Academy award this year. Congratulations Laura Dern!

Want To Win: “Little Women” was my favorite film of the year, and Florence Pugh’s hilarious, heartfelt and passionate performance really made it for me. I would be delighted to see her pull out a win here.

“Phoenix, Zellweger, Pitt, Dern.” Espinosa said. “Those are the winners you should put on your ballot.”


Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”

Todd Phillips, “Joker”

Sam Mendes, “1917”

Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” 

Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Martin Scorsese started as the frontrunner in this category, but he lost the momentum after failing to pick up wins at precursor awards. Similarly, Tarantino has not won any prizes for directing this season. Todd Phillips was a surprise in this category for directing “Joker”, but the film is not original or strong enough in its direction to win. Bong Joon Ho tied with Sam Mendes for the Critics Choice, but Mendes will probably get the Oscar after also winning the Golden Globes and the DGA. 

Will Win: Sam Mendes has won all the precursor prizes, so he is almost a lock at this point. 

Want To Win: My favorite direction of the year was easily Greta Gerwig for “Little Women”, but after her snub Bong Joon Ho has my support for directing the brilliant “Parasite”. 

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“Knives Out”

“Marriage Story”


“Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”


If “Marriage Story” has any chance of winning an Oscar (apart from Best Supporting Actress) it would be in this category. The film has been applauded for its script over its direction; however, I doubt will win. The two major contenders are “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” and “Parasite”.

Will Win: “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” is a Tarantino script commemorating old Hollywood- it could very easily win here. 

Want To Win: “Parasite” had the most clever and original screenplays of the year, and I hope it will win.

“This is probably the most up in the air category of the whole year,” Espinosa said. ““Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” is most likely going to win, but we will have to see at the Writer’s Guild Awards. If “Parasite” wins that, then it will be the new frontrunner.”

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) 

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Little Women”

“The Two Popes”

“Little Women” is the clear choice here: it compensates director Greta Gerwig for the lack of her director nomination; the screenplay updated a beloved tale with a modern but classic twist. Gerwig also won the Critics Choice earlier this season. However, “JoJo Rabbit” or “The Irishman” could possibly upset this if voters prefer to award the hilarious World War II dramedy or Scorcese’s mafia epic. 

Will Win: “Little Women” should win here after Gerwig lost a best director nomination. 

Want To Win: I’m hoping “Little Women” wins for Gerwig’s modern take on a beautiful classic. 

Photo courtesy of Gold Derby
Brad Pitt is expected to win his first acting Oscar for his performance as a stunt double in “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”.


“The Irishman”


“The Lighthouse”


“Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”

“1917” was a fully immersive World War I film that was done completely in one shot, so the cinematography was very impressive. “Joker” had some very weak shots, but it did, however, transport the audience into a grotty, dystopian New York City circa 1981. Similarly, “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” felt very authentic to 1960s Hollywood. “The Irishman” had some amazing shots, but it was probably not strong enough to actually be in the running for this award. 

Will Win: “1917” took the critic’s choice, so it is likely to take home the Oscar as well.

Want To Win: “1917” fully engaged me in the battlefield of World War I, and it also had some of my favorite shots of the year.

Costume Design

“The Irishman”

“JoJo Rabbit”


“Little Women”

“Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”

“Little Women” appears to be the frontrunner in this category and for a good reason. The period costume pieces were authentic to the time and the characters that wore them. The only other contender in this category (after the “Dolemite Is My Name” and “Rocketman” snubs) would be “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”.

 Will Win: “Little Women” had costumes that added to the characters as well as the time period.

Want To Win: As a “Little Women” enthusiast, I began to notice the costumes more and more every time I saw the film. Because of the detail in the colors assigned to characters and the switching of Jo and Laurie’s costume pieces, I am hoping costume director Jacqueline Durran can win the Oscar. 

Makeup and Hairstyling




“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”


“Bombshell” had some terrific performances that were really complimented by the hair and make up. I don’t see any other winner for this category. 

Will Win: All the actresses in “Bombshell” looked perfectly transformed into Fox News anchors (especially Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly).

Want To Win: “Bombshell” was probably the strongest in this category, and I would like to see this film take home some Oscar gold.

Music (Original Score)


“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Though all of these films had very strong scores, the “Joker score”, composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir really created an atmosphere and complimented the cinematography beautifully, making it easily the best one of the year. 

Will Win: Guðnadóttirwon the Golden Globe this year for best score, so I’m expecting her to have a repeat success. 

Want To Win: Probably the greatest part of “Joker” was the score, so if it had to receive a trophy, I would like to see it go to the brilliant Hildur Guðnadóttir. 

Photo Courtesy of LA Times
Best Picture nominee “Parasite” would be the first foreign film to win the top prize if it wins on Sunday.

Production Design

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”


All of the films nominated in this category had strong production designs this year. The house in “Parasite” was a character in itself; it brought the themes to light. “JoJo Rabbit” transported the audience to Nazi Germany through the eyes of a young child; it bright and exciting in the beginning, but it turned dark and grey as the movie wore on. “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” was a golden 60s Hollywood; again, the production design was a character in itself. However, I think the real winner will be “1917”. The set was enormous, and all the details were immaculate. 

Will Win: The love for “1917” this awards season will most likely push it to take home the production design win.

Want To Win: Though I loved the design of the “Parasite” home, 1917 takes the prize for creating such an immersive war film. Everywhere the camera turned (and it went a lot of places), the audience was exposed to intricate ruin and the horrors of the battlefield.