Binge Break: What to watch if you want to see an Oscar winner

No matter the discourse on who deserved to earn an Academy Award nomination, it’s time to decide the winners in the Feb. 9 ceremony.

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Kayli Reese, Managing Editor

The time has finally come to get excited about my very favorite day of the year: Academy Award day.

While I’ll be considering my official Oscar predictions until the very moment the ceremony starts on Feb. 9, I’ve compiled my predictions of the major awards below. I’m usually fairly good at predicting who the Academy will choose as a winner — but if the Academy wants to award a movie I adored that I didn’t dare dream would win, that’d be wonderful, too.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Anyone that knows me or is a follower of this column knows how much I loved Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. If I were the one making decisions, the film would get all of the awards, including ones that it wasn’t nominated for.

On a more realistic note, I don’t think the Academy is going to give this gem of a film Best Picture. However, the script is something absolutely magical. I read a copy of it circulating online, and Gerwig adds something so much more than the dialogue and basic actions of the characters. It reads like a novel, something you can tell was nurtured by a heart that loves Louisa May Alcott’s words.

I’m so thankful for Gerwig’s contributions to film, and I would like to see that materialized in her first Academy Award. 

Best Original Screenplay

Every script nominated in this category is extraordinarily strong. When I asked for a second opinion on this category, my dear friend and fellow managing editor Brooklyn made a very strong case for Knives Out, and, as a person who also loves that movie, I would be more than happy to see it win.

However, I recently saw Parasite, and the movie is haunting me in the best way. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and how my expectations of what the story would be were completely blown to pieces. With so much hype, praise, and awards given to the film already, I could see it winning in this category. 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Before I divulge my predictions for the four acting categories, I would just like to express how I don’t find things nearly as much fun when everyone knows who will win every acting category, because they’ve already won at every other award show.

With this information known, Brad Pitt is the likely winner for his role in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. For some reason, the award show circuit has not been as kind to The Irishman, which has two nominations in this category, as anticipated.

For that reason and because he won the Golden Globe and SAG Award, Pitt is the likely winner. Also, he’s only ever won an Oscar as a producer for 12 Years a Slave, so it would be fun to see his reaction to winning an Oscar all his own.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Poor, poor Jennifer Lopez. I predicted her winning long ago, and now she’s not even nominated. My heart is still sad for her.

Since she’s out, Laura Dern for Marriage Story is the frontrunner for this category, though I also loved Florence Pugh in Little Women and Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit. She gives an absolutely brilliant, assertive monologue about how society holds mothers and fathers to such different standards to be considered a “good” parent that stands out against the somber tone of the rest of the film, and I can’t picture anyone doing it better than Dern.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

I’ll admit, I have a lot of thoughts about Joker for a person who hasn’t seen it. I made a decision that I would not see anyone portray the Joker in film after Heath Ledger, and I have stuck to that choice.

However, I know Joaquin Phoenix is going to win, and, like I said, I like seeing actors win Oscars for the first time. The role of the Joker demands a certain high level of excellence to portray so audiences deeply understand the character, as exemplified in recent years by Ledger. Phoenix is a great actor who was able to show how one of the most terrifying characters in comic book history came to be.

Best Actress in a Leading Role 

The Academy loves to give awards to actors portraying real-life figures. They’ll continue this trend in this category by giving Renée Zellweger her second Oscar for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy.

The mere idea of taking on the role of one of Hollywood’s biggest icons is no small feat. Zellweger was able to completely disappear into this role, however, which is even more impressive to watch after she took several years away from the screen. It’s a fitting golden end to Zellweger’s Judy journey. 

Best Director

There’s plenty of potential for any of these nominees to snag a win in this category. However, all signs and previous award show wins point to Sam Mendes for 1917 and I’m firmly behind that potential choice.

1917 was a directorial marvel, seemingly all done in one shot. It places you squarely in the shoes of its two main characters, experiencing every moment right along with them. The one scene where one of the characters runs across a battlefield just as soldiers start charging and bombs start raining is one of the best pieces of filmmaking this year, and Mendes should be recognized for the stunning feat he pulled off. 

Best Picture

Last year, a film that’s dialogue was not in English — Roma — was the frontrunner for the top prize. For no legitimate reason that I can see, the Academy chose not to make the historic choice to give Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture to the same film.

It should not make the same mistake again this year; I implore that Parasite get its due for its perfection.

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