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2006 MTV Video Music Awards: Winner Predictions

Happy birthday, MTV. You’re 25. A little old to be playing with 12 year olds, doncha think?

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Cristina Aguilera

Happy birthday, MTV. You’re 25. A little old to be playing with 12 year olds, doncha think? But that’s exactly what the premier music channel is doing at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Now that the Breakthrough Video category is legal (it turned 18 last year), it seems MTV is no longer interested. And, for the first time, the channel is allowing its viewers to help pick the winners at the ceremony. This attempt at appealing to the interactive generation could spell disaster for what’s left of the award show’s credibility: Over the past few years, the VMAs have become more and more like a popularity contest than an acknowledgement of craft in the music video medium, and involving the TRL hyper-voting contingent could feasibly push things over the edge. It also makes predicting winners almost as difficult as naming all of the Pussycat Dolls. So we urge you not to place any bets using our predictions and instead simply bask in the joy of knowing that our picks for who should win are, as always, right on the money.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man”

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should Win)

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Will Win)

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

Sal Cinquemani: Unless something goes awry (and it very well could), I’d place my bets on the two pioneers here, Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The three other times Madonna has been nominated in this category, the videos have been iconic (“Like a Prayer,” “Vogue,” and “Ray of Light”), so that puts “Hung Up” in nice company but that’s probably the award in and of itself. The video has a serious handicap since it’s the oldest one in all of the categories it’s nominated and it didn’t exactly stage a coup on the U.S. charts. RHCP have never won Video of the Year before, so this could be MTV’s chance to give the band props. Although I should mention that it just doesn’t feel right (this is not their big renaissance) and the video is mediocre at best.

Eric Henderson: Too bad they don’t give out awards for Costume Design, because I might give Christina Aguilera’s video much better odds if it were nominated for even one single tech category. But it was mysteriously snubbed for Director, Editing, Cinematography (dig those John Carpenter-esque horizontal lens flares), and even Art Direction. I’m not a huge fan of it, generally—it’s like a corny, forced version of the cover art for Missy’s The Cookbook—but, I mean, the thing has opening credits, people! I guess because RHCP’s video practically comes with footnotes that all say “rock history,” it’ll have an edge with people who can’t get past the fact that Xtina listens to her 78s on a silvery-sparkled wireless headset.

Ed Gonzalez: Yeah, I can’t get past the silvery-sparkled wireless headset, and if I were Mike D’Angelo, I wouldn’t give any of these videos higher than a 78. Xtina’s video is a po’ woman’s version of En Vogue’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” (the slapdash editing is embarrassing, betraying an otherwise attractive old-school vibe). The RHCP clip has none of the wit of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” and none of ecstasy that fueled OutKast’s “Hey Ya!,” but the MTV people seem to love it, and the band seems due for the top prize.

BEST MALE VIDEO

Busta Rhymes f/ Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Papoose, & DMX, “Touch It Remix”

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx, “Gold Digger” (Should and Will Win)

Nick Lachey, “What’s Left Of Me”

T.I., “What You Know”

EH: Remember what I just said about opening credits? Forget I said it. T.I. needs to give screen time to the name of the craft service coordinator, since they were the only ones doing their job on that set. On the other hand, Busta spreads the title card wealth for the entire duration of his video—superimposed, shouted out, worn on T-shirts. “Touch It Remix” even finds time for a funereal homily. More video than the skeletal song merits, but I’ll take any chance to see Rah Digga’s biceps I can get. That they show up in the proximity of a step dancing routine and what looks like a formal homage to the artistry of the ringtone ad just sweetens the deal. Sometimes having no ideas adds up to more than just one.

EG: I’m so bummed that Brooke’s hair doesn’t feature more prominently throughout the Busta video that I have to begrudgingly give my vote to Kanye West. Also, am I the only one who thinks James Blunt commits suicide at least four minutes too late in his video?

SC: It’s between the bling and the Blunt here, and rightfully so: “Gold Digger” and “You’re Beautiful” are the two best videos in the category. I’m surprised “Gold Digger” didn’t score a Video Of The Year nod; the simple red light district/pin-up vibe works well, and any video that downplays Jamie Foxx’s involvement gets my vote. “Touch It” is nice to look at but it doesn’t exactly beg for repeat viewings, and Nick Lachey has no business being here other than MTV making good on his solo reality show that never made it to the airwaves.

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man” (Will Win)

Kelly Clarkson, “Because Of You”

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should Win)

Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland, “Promiscuous”

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

EH: I like the mise-en-scène of this version of “Promiscuous” better than the original.

EG: Madonna’s video almost convinced me that I could touch my toes for the first time in my life without bending my knees, but I like the mise-en-scène of this version of “Hung Up” better than the original.

SC: I prefer this one, but just for the costumes and choreography, not the “mise-en-scène.” Anyway, despite being the artist with the most wins in this category, Madge doesn’t have the greatest track record: this is her 12th nomination for Female Video but she’s only won three times. I think Christina will take this one based on the illusion that it’s original—like the song itself, there seems to be something missing. But she’s become somewhat of an MTV darling and her fanbase is rabid. Foaming at the mouth and all. And are those implants? Looks like baby’s been emulating Mariah a little too much.

BEST GROUP VIDEO

The All-American Rejects, “Move Along”

Fall Out Boy, “Dance, Dance”

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (Should Win)

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (Will Win)

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California”

SC: If the Best Group Video should ideally incorporate the group members in an inventive, compelling way, then The All-American Rejects’ “Move Along” shouldn’t win, but the crafty clip certainly plays to that group’s strength: pretty-boy lead singer Tyson Ritter. It’s between RHCP and Gnarls Barkley, with a possible upset by Panic! at the Disco.

EG: What other things did you learn about Tyson Ritter after Googling his name?

SC: I didn’t Google his name, I got it from the poster on your wall.

EH: I think All-American Rejects are the dark horse in this one, not Panic! at the Disco. Don’t underestimate the sizable voting demographic who call Garden State the best movie ever made.

SC: Yeah, but they’re not watching MTV, are they? And they’re certainly not voting.

EG: True, Panic! at the Disco’s video may be a little too spastic for people trying to match their clothes with the wallpaper in their rooms, but I still think it’s between them and RHCP.

EH: I’ve been officially done with RHCP ever since they left behind George Clinton, so I can’t say I was all that impressed when the Mothership Connection was reduced to a linking device between acid and glam. Especially since the song itself makes “Under The Bridge” sound like “Psychoalphabetadiscobioaquadoloop.”

BEST RAP VIDEO

50 Cent, “Window Shopper”

Busta Rhymes f/ Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Papoose, & DMX, “Touch It Remix” (Should and Will Win)

Chamillionaire, “Ridin’”

T.I., “What You Know”

Yung Joc f/ Nitty, “It’s Goin’ Down”

EH: The real question is: Who is Fiddy going to threaten in this line-up like he did Fat Joe last year?

SC: Watching two rappers with significant speech impediments (Fiddy and Mase) express frustration while talking to a European sales person during the intro to “Window Shopper” was comical to me, but the video goes downhill from there—and fast.

EG: The Busta and T.I. videos are the only ones that don’t seem to be advertising how much bling these rappers were able to acquire after signing record contracts. The race, though, is probably between Fiddy and Busta. I’ll give it to the latter: He’s never won before, and given the amount of people rapping alongside him, the video is this category’s Crash.

EH: Then which is this category’s Brokeback? The one about goin’ down or the one about ridin’?

SC: The one about shopping.

BEST R&B VIDEO

Beyoncé f/ Slim Thug, “Check on It”

Chris Brown, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)”

Jamie Foxx f/ Ludacris, “Unpredictable”

Mariah Carey, “Shake It Off”

Mary J. Blige, “Be Without You” (Will Win)

Editor’s Note: We will be abstaining from choosing who should win in this category due to our inability to reach a consensus on which video is “least bad.”

SC: Mimi’s video fails on many levels, not least of which is her Fergie impersonation on the bleachers and that vintage Hollywood long-take that’s reminiscent of Janet’s ode to Touch of Evil in “When I Think Of You,” but it’s probably the best of the sorry lot here. Hype Williams’s clip for Beyoncé’s “Check on It” is a lot like the song itself: nauseating. Some Pepto might be in order.

EG: Just thinking about “Check on It” makes me want to go to the bathroom, only I’m afraid to because I might pee pink. To the video’s credit, the oceans of satin sheets do complement Beyoncé’s gyrations.

SC: The three-bar style worked much better on LL Cool J and J. Lo’s “Lose Control.” In light of the quality of most of these videos, I’m actually surprised that one didn’t get a nomination this year.

EH: “Check on It” may shriek pink, but I can’t get over how much the song sounds like “The Ballad Of The Green Berets.” Another notch in Beyoncé’s already sealed (or, rather, catering 2 u) reputation as the reigning queen of R&B for the epoch of Laura Bush.

SC: Speaking of overzealous dance moves, Chris Brown is like some creepy choreographer/stalker in his video.

EG: That kid is all teeth.

EH: I wouldn’t “next” him or anything, but he’s no Craig David.

SC: I wouldn’t even let either of them get on the Next bus.

EG: Speaking of getting on the back of the bus, Crash almost got as much love from MTV as it did from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Consider a victory for Mary J. Blige a consolation prize for Terrence Howard losing the Oscar.

BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO

Black Eyed Peas, “My Humps” (Will Win)

Common, “Testify” (Should Win)

Daddy Yankee, “Rompe”

Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx, “Gold Digger”

Three 6 Mafia, “Stay Fly”

SC: Unfortunately, I didn’t see Common’s “Testify” until the nominations were announced. Otherwise, it probably would have made my Top 10 last year.

EH: I’m no more a fan of “Testify” than I am of the album it came from (leave it to Common’s overstated omniscience to make something like Kanye/Foxx’s dapper duo look like a paragon of modesty), and I’d rather see “Gold Digger” win a Pulitzer before seeing one more rhinestone-encrusted quarter land in Fergie’s humpy drawers. Unfortunately, “My Humps” was willed into a hit single by (among others) iTunes customers. So there’s no reason now to lose faith in the perseverance of text message-happy dimwits on the Internet with too much time on their humps. Democrazy at work.

EG: I don’t know if the Black Eyed Peas song is trying to raise breast cancer awareness, but I would rather have sex with Jerri Blank than feel Fergie’s lump any day.

BEST DANCE VIDEO

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should and Will Win)

Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland, “Promiscuous”

Pussycat Dolls f/ Snoop Dogg, “Buttons”

Sean Paul, “Temperature”

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

SC: Evidently, Snoop Dogg can name all of the Pussycat Dolls, so maybe we should defer to him on who’s going to win.

EG: I feel really close to all 47 members of the Pussycat Dolls: In the past year, I think I’ve seen all of their snatches up close and personal on the pages of Perez Hilton. But, alas, my hips don’t lie, and Madonna’s “Hung Up” has changed the way I look at the grooves in the speakers of my Aiwa stereo system.

SC: Madonna has never won in this category, surprisingly enough. Her two most notable losses were in 1990 (“Vogue” lost to “U Can’t Touch This”!) and 1998 (“Ray Of Light” lost to another Jonas Akerlund-directed clip, Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up”). This would seem to be her one lock (it’s the only true “dance” song, after all), but recent winners have skewed urban.

EH: I dunno, Madonna does hump a Radio Raheem-sized boom box in this one. Which is one of the better things she’s done since Erotica and which might be enough to offset Karen Lynn Gorney’s wardrobe.

BEST ROCK VIDEO

30 Seconds To Mars, “The Kill”

AFI, “Miss Murder”

Green Day, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (Should and Will Win)

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California”

SC: Back-to-back wins are a frequent occurrence in this category, so Green Day’s mini-movie could score here. Then again, it doesn’t have the multiple nominations that RHCP and Panic! both have.

EG: I suppose MTV, especially Kurt Loder, thinks the Green Day video is really cunning, but I dug it a lot more when I thought the only thing Jamie Bell did to hurt Evan Rachel Wood’s feelings was have sex with her mother.

EH: Wake me up when this category ends.

BEST POP VIDEO

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man”

Madonna, “Hung Up”

Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland, “Promiscuous” (Will Win)

Pink, “Stupid Girls” (Should Win)

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

EH: Dullest category, year in, year out. Even though the fact that Shakira’s is the only video nominated in the Viewer’s Choice line-up, portending a possible surge of popular support, it’ll probably just go to the dullest video of the lot.

SC: So…“Promiscuous” then? Pink’s “Stupid Girls” is the only video here not nominated for Best Female Video. I haven’t the faintest idea what that means but don’t be surprised if she’s thrown a bone for her lampooning of all things “pop.”

EH: Yeah, it’s nearly as good as Jessica Simpson’s way with a roller rink ice cream cone.

EG: The video pops all right, but certainly not as much as Nelly Furtado’s song or Shakira’s hips. A vote split could benefit Xtina and Madge, but I’ll give this one to Furtado by a pubic hair.

BEST NEW ARTIST

Angels and Airwaves, “The Adventure”

Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country”

Chris Brown f/ Juelz Santana, “Run It!”

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (Will Win)

Rihanna, “S.O.S.” (Should Win)

SC: This isn’t the Grammys, so James Blunt isn’t the shoo-in he’ll probably be with NARAS come winter.

EH: No, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the VMAs don’t follow suit with the Grammys in awarding stuff that’s up for the top prize in lower categories. And, since the moment for “You’re Beautiful” passed when one of Blunt’s former lovers revealed he didn’t, um, measure up, that leaves the field clear for Panic! Six million YouTube hits don’t lie.

EG: Rihanna all the way, because I haven’t been so thrilled by a scene inside a hall of mirrors since Lady in Shanghai.

EH: Nice to see flash done correctly. I haven’t been so thrilled by a masturbation-referencing dance routine involving mirrors since “The Pleasure Principle.”

SC: I was just about to cry foul and say that Rihanna’s technically not a new artist, but her debut wasn’t released in time to qualify for the 2005 VMAs. Incredibly, she’s managed to squeeze out two albums since last year’s ceremony.

BEST DIRECTION

10 Years, “Wasteland” (Director: Christopher Sims)

AFI, “Miss Murder” (Director: Marc Webb)

Common, “Testify” (Director: Anthony Mandler)

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (Director: Robert Hales) (Should Win)

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Director: Tony Kaye) (Will Win)

EH: I’ve got nothing against videos with fractured-unto-faux-profound titles like “Former Yugo…SLAVE,” but I feel like Christopher Sims forgot to include a shot of Djimon Hounsou with a graphic reading “Give! Us! Free!”

SC: Since there are no big names here, decisions will either be based on popularity or quality, so it’s a race between Tony Kaye’s rock-through-the-ages homage and Hales’s ink-blot clip, respectively.

EH: There’s really nothing in the Adobe After Effects style of “Crazy” that doesn’t feel completely cliché now that every cable network’s bumper spots use it. But there remains something inherently personal in the program—it’s the laptop equivalent of a mixtape, and coupling that with the Rorschach patterns adds up to a deft if obvious visual accompaniment to the song’s casually tossed-off DSM-IV sentiments.

EG: What he said.

SC: What did he say? I didn’t understand a word of it.

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man”

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should Win)

Pussycat Dolls f/ Snoop Dogg, “Buttons” (Will Win)

Sean Paul, “Temperature”

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

EG: The Pussycat Dolls are all pelvic thrust. This is a good thing, but given all the love for “Hung Up” this year, I imagine MTV’s base would rather have Madonna teasing their cocks. Still, Xtina’s video probably hits the desired overlap of “originality” and craftiness to carry it to victory.

EH: Unless Nomi Malone presents the award this year, in which case both Xtina and Madonna should start worrying about losing this one to the Pussycat Dolls.

SC: Are we still calling Christina Aguilera Xtina just to piss her off? Like calling Madonna the Material Girl?

EG: Yes.

SC: Rules are made to be broken, especially on MTV, but it’s worth noting that it’s been over a decade since the winners in this category and Best Dance Video have aligned. The Material Girl’s update of the Saturday Night Fever dance moves might not be considered original enough, and are crumping and parkour, the other two styles of dance featured in the video, really choreographed?

EH: Okay, I could’ve choreographed “Hips Don’t Lie.” Of course hips don’t lie! How can they when all they’re doing is demonstrating the physics of a fulcrum? The step dance in “Touch It Remix” has more choreography than this whole category.

SC: And Shakira’s disembodied hips could’ve choreographed “Buttons”! It’s just sexy walking. But that Nicole Scherzinger—yes, I named one of the Pussycat Dolls, but I had to call Snoop first—is like a bionic stripper. She should win a Moon Man for those indubitable chair tricks alone.

EH: Well there’s some architecturally pleasing poses thrown in with the Cats’ feigned prowling and one-upmanship. The video’s like an episode of Next directed by Bob Fosse.

EG: Did you know that there are as many “hips don’t lie” jokes and references to Orson Welles films in this article as there are Kubrick homages in this year’s lot of nominees?

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

Angels and Airwaves, “The Adventure”

Beck, “Hell Yes”

Missy Elliott, “We Run This”

Pearl Jam, “Life Wasted” (Should and Will Win)

U2, “Original Of The Species”

EH: There always seems to be a Peter Gabriel video struggling to get out of every Missy Elliot clip. But in a weird twist of fate, Pearl Jam (of all artists) has upstaged Missy’s shtick.

EG: Funny, I thought the Peter Gabriel video was trying to get out of the U2 clip.

SC: And I thought the Peter Gabriel video was rolling its stop-motion eyes, wondering where the fuck the Breakthrough Video category went.

EH: Why wasn’t Beck’s “Hell Yes” nominated for choreography?

SC: It should have been! At the very least, it’s the best video in this category, but it admittedly doesn’t have the best special effects.

BEST ART DIRECTION

10 Years, “Wasteland”

Common, “Testify”

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Will Win)

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie” (Should Win)

EH: Does hubris count as art direction? If so, my vote is a tie between Common and the Chili Peppers.

SC: Do little creepy mummy midgets count for art direction? If so, my vote goes to Shakira.

EG: I think Suri Cruise is inside that mummy suit. But seriously, it seems strange that this could be Shakira’s best chance at a victory. The video’s fusion of Latin and Haitian cultural styles is more appealing than Panic! at the Disco’s annoying No Doubt-meets-Deadwood aesthetic, but then there are the RHCP, whose video could sweep.

SC: Yeah, sweep up the trash in the theater after the show.

BEST EDITING

The All-American Rejects, “Move Along” (Should and Will Win)

Angels And Airwaves, “The Adventure”

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California”

U2, “Original Of The Species”

EH: Though the rhythms of the quicksilver animation in “Crazy” is seamless…um, just that. There are no seams, hence no edits. Odd nomination for a slate that didn’t make room for a single dance-oriented video. Rihanna’s clip, for one, would’ve brightened this dour category up.

SC: “S.O.S.” should have been nominated for Best Lighting. “Move Along” is the obvious pick here, and it probably should win, but MTV has occasionally been known to go with subtler choices in this category.

EG: I’m tired of picking Red Hot Chili Peppers.

EH: I’m wondering if the same might not be true of the voters. You know, those famous MTV attention-spans and all? Maybe this could tip favor to an even more self-congratulatory group rocking their dotage.

SC: You’re talking about Angels And Airwaves, right?

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

AFI, “Miss Murder”

Ashlee Simpson, “Invisible”

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Should and Will Win)

Prince, “Black Sweat”

EH: Prince? Who do the VMAs think they are, the AMAs?

EG: Isn’t it sad that Ashlee Simpson had to cut part of her nose off in order to get a nomination in this category?

EH: Does the nominating committee just take it for granted that “black and white” is congruent with “best”? Simpson’s desecration of Million Dollar Baby, in which the less butch boxette gets the chance to get up from the canvas and finish the job, trashes Clint Eastwood’s carefully coordinated colors schemes (which provide no easy compass for moral alignment) for a video that is black and white in the worst sense of the phrase. RHCP ditch monochrome as a way of signaling progress. As for Prince, the word “ashy” comes to mind.

SC: Okay, fine. RHCP deserve this one, although MTV should take it away from them the following day just because of that Kurt Cobain thing. I would rather have seen them impersonate themselves circa 1994—you know, back when silver body paint was considered a “breakthrough”?

BEST VIDEO GAME SOUNDTRACK

“Final Night Round 3” (Electronic Arts)

“Burnout Revenge” (Electronic Arts) (Will Win)

“NBA 2K6” (2K Games)

“Driver: Parallel Lines” (Atari) (Should Win)

“Mark Ecko’s Getting Up”

EG: Tempted as I was to download these soundtracks, I chose instead to compare their GameSpot scores to determine the victor here. With a scorching 8.8—a 0.4 lead over “Mark Echo’s Getting Up”—this will be “Burnout Revenge”’s award to lose.

EH: I don’t play any other video games aside from The Sims, so I had to turn to Wikipedia to see what songs accompanied these games. “Mark Ecko” has that Nina Simone song other Slant writers can’t get enough of (“Sinnerman”). “Burnout Revenge” has the highest percentage of songs nominated for other VMAs, so it’s got that going for it. But Grandma Henderson dropped the controller long enough to inform me that the soundtrack for the 1978 half of “Driver: Parallel Lines” is, quote, “her jam.”

SC: Red Hot Chili Peppers.

BEST VIDEO GAME SCORE

“Hitman, Blood Money” (Jesper Kyd)

“Ghost Recon, Advanced Warfighter” (Tom Salta)

“Dreamfall, The Longest Journey” (Even “Magnet” Johansen)

“Elder Scrolls IV, Oblivion” (Jeremy Soule) (Should Win)

“Electroplankton” (User Generated Soundtrack) (Will Win)

EG: It’s tempting to pick “Electroplankton” given its ostensibly innovative music-based construction, but gamers seem to appreciate it more as an application than a game. “Oblivion” could win since it’s supposed to be one of the best RPGs ever made.

EH: Hey, I’ve played “Electroplankton”! Man, my soundtrack to that game was fantastic. Give me the award.

SC: Beep. Beep. Boop. Bop. Beep. Blip. Boink. Geek.

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Awards

Oscar 2020: Complete Winners List

Parasite earned four awards, edging out 1917 for best picture.

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Parasite
Photo: Neon

Across the last month, we contemplated various pendulum swings, drew links between the Oscar voting process and the Iowa caucuses, and generally mulled over the academy’s ongoing existential crisis, only to come the conclusion that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or that’s what we thought prior to the Academy Awards ceremony. In a welcome surprise, Parasite took the top prize, becoming the first international title to do so in the history of the awards show, while Bong Joon-ho became the first director since Roman Polanski to win the directing Oscar after failing to win the DGA prize. (Parasite is also the first Palme d’Or winner since Marty way back in 1955 to claim best picture.)

In the era of the preferential ballot, one stat or another has been thrown out the window each year, but after last night, it feels like every last one was shattered to bits, and that the triumph of Bong film’s could signal a shift in the industry when it comes to not just what sorts of stories can be told. Indeed, Parasite’s victory is redolent of Moonlight’s no less historic one a few years ago, giving us hope that the very definition of an “Oscar movie” has been forever rewritten. Predicting the Oscars has become a little bit harder now.

Here’s the full list of winners.

Picture
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite (WINNER)

Director
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Todd Phillips, Joker
Sam Mendes, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite (WINNER)

Actor
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (WINNER)
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Actress
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy (WINNER)

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 (WINNER)

Actress in a Supporting Role
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Laura Dern, Marriage Story (WINNER)
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Adapted Screenplay
The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi (WINNER)
Joker, Todd Phillips and Scott Silver
Little Women, Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay
Knives Out, Rian Johnson
Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
Parasite, Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won (WINNER)

International Feature Film
Corpus Christi (Poland)
Honeyland (North Macedonia)
Les Misérables (France)
Pain and Glory (Spain)
Parasite (South Korea) (WINNER)

Documentary Feature
American Factory, Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, and Jeff Reichert
The Cave, Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod, and Sigrid Dyekjær
The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, and Tiago Pavan
For Sama, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts
Honeyland, Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, and Atanas Georgiev

Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis, and Bonnie Arnold
I Lost My Body, Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
Klaus, Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh, and Marisa Román
Missing Link, Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner, and Travis Knight
Toy Story 4, Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen, and Jonas Rivera (WINNER)

Film Editing
Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland (WINNER)
The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles
Joker, Jeff Groth
Parasite, Yang Jinmo

Cinematography
The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto
Joker, Lawrence Sher
The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke
1917, Roger Deakins (WINNER)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Robert Richardson

Production Design
The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopková
1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh (WINNER)
Parasite, Lee Ha-jun and Cho Won-woo

Costume Design
The Irishman, Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
Jojo Rabbit, Mayes C. Rubeo
Joker, Mark Bridges
Little Women, Jacqueline Durran (WINNER)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Arianne Phillip

Visual Effects
Avengers: Endgame, Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken, and Dan Sudick
The Irishman, Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser, and Stephane Grabli
The Lion King, Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Elliot Newman
1917, Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy (WINNER)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, and Dominic Tuohy

Original Score
Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir (WINNER)
Little Women, Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story, Randy Newman
1917, Thomas Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams

Sound Mixing
Ad Astra, Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, and Mark Ulano
Ford v Ferrari, Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Steven A. Morrow
Joker, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, and Tod Maitland
1917, Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson (WINNER)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, and Mark Ulano

Sound Editing
Ford v Ferrari, Donald Sylvester (WINNER)
Joker, Alan Robert Murray
1917, Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood and David Acord

Makeup and Hairstyling
Bombshell, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker (WINNER)
Joker, Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
Judy, Jeremy Woodhead
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten, and David White
1917, Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis, and Rebecca Cole

Original Song
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4, Randy Newman
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman, Elton John and Bernie Taupin
“I’m Standing with You,” Breakthrough, Diane Warren
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“Stand Up,” Harriet, Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

Live-Action Short
Brotherhood, Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
Nefta Footfall Club, Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
The Neighbor’s Window, Marshall Curry (WINNER)
Saria, Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre
A Sister, Delphine Girard

Documentary Short Subject
In the Absence, Yi Seung-jun and Gary Byung-seok Kam
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl), Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
Life Overtakes Me, John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
St. Louis Superman, Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
Walk, Run, Chacha, Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt

Animated Short
Daughter, Daria Kashcheeva
Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver (WINNER)
Kitbull, Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
Memorable, Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre
Sister, Siqi Song

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Picture

How could the essentially non-political 1917 not arrive as sweet solace in our cultural moment?

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1917
Photo: Universal Pictures

We now have roughly a decade’s worth of data to postulate how ranked-choice ballots have altered the outcome of the top Oscar prize, and we’ve come to understand what the notion of a “most broadly liked” contender actually entails. And in the wake of wins for The Artist, Argo, 12 Years a Slave, Spotlight, The Shape of Water, and most especially Green Book last year, we’re left with the impression that the biggest change in what defines a best picture is no change whatsoever. In fact, what appears to have happened is that it’s acted as a bulwark, preserving the AMPAS’s “tradition of quality” in the top prize during a decade in which the concept of a run-the-table Oscar juggernaut has shifted from the postcard pictorials of Out of Africa to immersive epics like Gravity and Mad Max: Fury Road, both of which won two to three times as many awards as the films they lost out to for the top prize.

We’re far from the only ones who’ve noticed that—Moonlight eternally excepted—the contours of best picture winners seem to be drifting in the opposite direction of where Academy representatives have indicated they want to go. Wesley Morris recently concluded that, despite his fondness, if not downright love, for the majority of this year’s top contenders, the slate still just doesn’t jibe with a purportedly forward-thinking, brand-spanking-new academy: “Couldn’t these nine movies just be evidence of taste? Good taste? They certainly could. They are. And yet … the assembly of these movies feels like a body’s allergic reaction to its own efforts at rehabilitation.” Melissa Villaseñor’s jovial refrain of “white male rage” two weeks ago knowingly reduced this awards cycle down to absurdly black-or-white terms, but if the YouTube comments on that SNL bit are any indication, raging white males aren’t in the mood to have a sense of humor about themselves, much less welcome serious introspection.

Neither is that demographic alone in its disgruntlement. What was yesteryear’s “brutally honest Oscar voter” has become today’s “blithely, incuriously sexist, racist, and xenophobic Oscar voter.” As the saying goes, this is what democracy looks like, and given sentiments like “I don’t think foreign films should be nominated with the regular films” and “they should have gotten an American actress to play Harriet,” it looks a lot like the second coming of Hollywood’s Golden Age gorgons of gossip, Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons.

It might be a stretch but we can imagine that, to many voters, the presumptive frontrunner, Sam Mendes’s 1917, comes off a lot less like a first-person video game mission and a lot more representative of what it feels like to navigate our landmine-strewn cultural landscape as your average politically neoliberal, artistically reactionary academy member circa 2020. Especially one forced to make snap decisions in the midst of an accelerated Oscar calendar. And even if that is, rhetorically speaking, a bridge too far, there’s no denying the backdrop of representational fatigue and socio-political retreat liberal America is living through.

How could the stiff-lipped, single-minded, technically flawless, quietly heroic, and, most importantly, essentially non-political 1917 not arrive as sweet solace in this moment? It’s the same reason why we suspect, despite ranked-choice ballots pushing Bong Joon-ho’s insanely and broadly liked Parasite in major contention for the prize, it’s actually Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit we most strongly fear pulling off an upset. After all, how many Oscar voters are still more concerned about Nazis than they are global income inequality? Or, if you’d rather, how many of their homes look more like the Parks’ than like the Kims’?

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: Jojo Rabbit

Might Win: Parasite

Should Win: The Irishman, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, or Parasite

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Director

Given the academy’s long history and resurgent embrace of technical triumphs, we’re not holding our breath for an upset here.

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Sam Mendes
Photo: Universal Pictures

Last week, when Eric brought to my attention the New York Times article that exposed the myth of Hollywood being in the tank for movies about the industry, I used the piece as a jumping-off point for why Quentin Tarantino was vulnerable in the original screenplay category. At the time, I thought I was stepping on Eric’s toes by referencing his intel, believing him to be charged with giving our readers the lowdown in this category. Turns out he was tasked with whipping up our take on the film editing contest, meaning that I had stepped on my own toes. Which is to say, almost everything I already said about why QT was likely to come up short in original screenplay applies here, and then some.

Indeed, just as math tells us that the academy’s adulation for navel-gazing portraitures of Hollywood has been exaggerated by the media, it also tells us that this award is Sam Mendes’s to lose after the 1917 director won the DGA award, the most accurate of all Oscar precursors, having predicted the winner here 64 times in 71 years. A win for the pin-prick precision of Bong Joon-ho’s direction of Parasite would be a welcome jaw-dropper, as it would throw several stats out the window and, in turn, get us a little more excited about predicting the Oscars next year. But given the academy’s long history and resurgent embrace of technical triumphs—trust us, the math checks out—we’re not holding our breath.

Will Win: Sam Mendes, 1917

Could Win: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite

Should Win: Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Film Editing

The only thing louder than the vroom-vroom of James Mangold’s dad epic is the deafening chorus of “Best. Movie. Ever.”

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Parasite
Photo: Neon

This past Monday, while the nation waited hour after embarrassing hour for the Iowa caucus results to start rolling in, Film Twitter puzzled over an AMPAS tweet that seemed to leak this year’s Oscar winners—before the voting window had even closed. It didn’t help matters that the slate of “predictions” tweeted by the academy seemed plausible enough to be real, right down to Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite for best picture.

As it turned out, the academy’s problems weren’t so unlike the DNC app gumming up the works in, as the New York Post shadily dubbed it, “Duh Moines.” And sure enough, AMPAS fessed up to a quality-control gremlin (sorry, “issue”) that resulted in someone’s personal predictions going out on the main account. As Iowa’s snafu reaffirmed that Occam’s razor isn’t just something you need to keep out of Arthur Fleck’s hands, we’re 100% certain that the intern who posted that ballot on the academy’s account meant to post it on their personal one.

Speaking of Joker, if you would’ve asked us even just a few days ago whether we thought Ford v Ferrari was any more likely than Todd Phillips’s dank meme to take the Oscar in the category that has frequently been characterized as the strongest bellwether for a film’s overall best picture chances, we’d have probably collapsed in a fit of incontrollable giggles. And yet, with a BAFTA film editing win in Ford v Ferrari’s favor, we’re not the only ones wondering if the least-nominated best picture nominee actually has more in its tank than meets the eye.

The only thing louder than the vroom-vroom of James Mangold’s dad epic, however, is the deafening chorus of “Best. Movie. Ever.” being sung on Parasite’s behalf, and indeed, it was selected as the academy’s unofficial, accidental prediction in this category. As Ed noted yesterday, momentum is in its favor like no other film this year. Well, maybe one other, and it was mere providence that the one-shot gestalt kept Sam Mendes’s 1917 off the ballot here, or else one of the tougher calls of the night could’ve been that much tougher.

Will Win: Parasite

Could Win: Ford v Ferrari

Should Win: Parasite

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

One of the realities of the Oscar race is that you never want to peak too early.

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Parasite
Photo: Neon

So much has happened across the home stretch of this perversely shortened awards season that it’s almost difficult to process it all. Believe it or not, at the start of our rolling Oscar prediction coverage, just after the Golden Globes and a few days before the Producers Guild of America Awards announced its top prize, I was still confident in my belief that we were heading toward another picture/director split, with Jojo Rabbit taking the former and Quentin Tarantino the latter. But flash forward two weeks and we’re now looking at an Oscar ceremony that will be in lockstep with the final wave of guilds and awards groups, leaving frontrunners in various categories up to this point in the dust.

Case in point: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood in original screenplay. Even after a recent New York Times article used old-fashioned math to expose the myth being propagated by awards pundits—even us!—that Hollywood is in love with seeing its image reflected back at itself, we figured that the film, even if it isn’t our stealth best picture frontrunner, and even if it isn’t Tarantino’s swan song, couldn’t lose here. After all, the category is practically synonymous with QT, who only needs one more win to tie Woody Allen for most Oscars here.

And then—tell us if you’ve heard this one before—Parasite happened. Here’s a category in which Oscar voters aren’t reluctant to award genre fare, or re-imaginations of that fare. That’s Tarantino’s stock in trade…as well as Bong Joon-hoo’s. Parasite’s screenplay, co-written by Bong and Han Jin-won, found favor with the WGA last weekend, and while we weren’t ready to call this race for the film at that time—Tarantino isn’t a WGA member, and as such can’t be nominated for the guild’s awards—we’re doing so in the wake of the South Korean satire winning the BAFTA against Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. That victory proves, among other things, that one of the realities of the Oscar race is that you never want to peak too early.

Will Win: Parasite

Could Win: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Should Win: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

Oscar has a long-standing history of using the screenplay awards for token gestures, especially toward writer-directors.

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Jojo Rabbit

As soon as the Oscar nominations were announced and the headlines were dominated by the academy’s cold shoulder toward female directors, it sure felt like the balance of this race was tipped in Greta Gerwig’s favor. After all, Oscar has a long-standing history of using the screenplay awards for token gestures, especially toward writer-directors; they’re where filmmakers like Spike Lee, Sofia Coppola, Pedro Almodóvar, Jordan Peele, Spike Jonze, and, to date, Quentin Tarantino have won their only Oscars.

Gerwig’s status as the most conspicuous best director castaway in this category might not in itself have been enough to push her through, but virtually all the press on her exceptionally good Little Women has focused specifically on how successfully she remixed the novel vis-a-vis jaunting back and forth between different periods in the chronology. Her framing device allows the novel and its modern fans to have their cake and eat it too, to be told a story overly familiar to them in a way that makes the emotional arcs feel fresh and new, to be enraptured by the period details that have always fascinated them but then also come away from it feeling fully reconciled with Jo’s “marriage” to Professor Bhaer. Within the world of pop filmmaking, if that doesn’t constitute excellence in screenwriting adaption, what indeed does?

Alas, as was confirmed at this weekend’s BAFTA and WGA awards, the token gesture this year looks to be spent not on Gerwig, but the category’s other writer-director who missed out in the latter category. We’re no fans of Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, and we aren’t alone, as it boasts the lowest score of any best picture nominee this year on Metacritic. Still, we admit that it must touch a nerve somewhere in the average academy voter who not only finds the Holocaust so irresistible a subject that they’re willing to back a film that this year’s crop of “honest Oscar posters” memorably dubbed Lolocaust, but who also, while continuing to feel increasingly persecuted about the online catcalls over their questionable taste, would right about now love to drop kick Film Twitter out a window like Jojo does Waititi’s positively puckish Hitler.

Will Win: Jojo Rabbit

Could Win: Little Women

Should Win: Little Women

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Oscar voters are suckers for scale, throwbacks, ostentation, and, above all, a sense of prestige.

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Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Oscar voters are suckers for scale, throwbacks, ostentation, and, above all, a sense of prestige. No film nominated in this category checks off all those boxes, but two come close: The Irishman and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. While the former never caught fire the way it needed to in order to vie for even the major prizes, the latter has been cruising toward more than just a win in this category from the second people laid eyes on it out of Cannes last year. Regardless of what you think of Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, it’s difficult to imagine the scope of Quentin Tarantino’s sense of regard for a bygone Hollywood being possible without Barbara Ling’s production design and Nancy Haigh’s set decoration.

Still, this one is going to be a squeaker. First, there’s the matter of 1917’s late-in-the-game surge and whether or not the film can run the table in the technical categories, even in this particular one where war films almost never prevail. And then there’s Parasite. Near the start of our rolling Oscar coverage, I mentioned how almost every day is bringing us some article praising the perfectly lit and designed architectural purgatory that is that film’s main setting. Now there’s a black-and-white version of the film making the rounds that will certainly allow people to think anew on the dimensions of the film’s thematic and aesthetic surfaces. Because winning in most of Oscar’s tech categories isn’t about restraint, but “more is more,” Parasite’s concentrated sense of texture is more likely the spoiler to the vividly haunted past-ness that clings to every surface across Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood’s plethora of settings.

Will Win: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Could Win: Parasite

Should Win: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

The tea leaves are reading that it will be another win for middlebrow respectability.

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1917
Photo: Universal Pictures

Typically, it’s the short film categories that are most likely to trip up Oscar pool participants hoping to run the table, and not just among those who haven’t bothered to watch the nominees. A check on our own record reveals a number of years in which we failed to correctly guess at least one of them. It’s far more rare for the visual effects category to be one of any given year’s toughest calls. A quick glance at recent category history shows that Oscar voters clearly prefer what the industry refers to as “supporting” effects in a respectable movie for adults, like Life of Pi, Inception, and last year’s winner, First Man. Heck, voters are so counterintuitively serious-minded about this category that they eschewed the rollickingly impolite Mad Max: Fury Road—a juggernaut in the technical races back in 2015—instead opting for the not-just-comparatively minimalist Ex Machina.

Unfortunately, this year’s slate is almost ominously balanced between highbrow supporting effects, photorealistic animated animals in a kiddie epic, and template-oriented maximalism in support of action franchises. The result is the only slate where a bet on any given nominee would pay out more than double your investment, according to the latest Vegas oddsmakers. Still, the Visual Effects Society just handed the better chunk of their honors to The Lion King. It’s tempting to take stock of that, to consider The Jungle Book’s win three years ago, and to admit that the Disney remake is largely in a lane of its own here, and then take that as our cue to “hakuna matata” our way out of any further deliberation.

And yet, we’re not troubled by the VES awards’ preference for The Irishman over 1917 in their “serious movies” category. For one, the effects industry’s own affinity for character-oriented work is well-documented. Out in the wild, the uncanny valley of Scorsese’s age-reversing trickery has been as widely ridiculed as it has been embraced, especially that moment when Robert De Niro’s hitman roughs someone up in flashback, bearing a waxy youthful face but a very much seventysomething body. Given 1917’s 11th-hour surge, its Gravity-ish use of effects to blur cinematography, editing, and postproduction, and the fact that its grandest fabricated images never get in the way of the story, cue another win for middlebrow respectability.

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: The Lion King

Should Win: 1917

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actress

One of the great mysteries of this year’s awards season is the ultimate fate of Jojo Rabbit.

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Laura Dern
Photo: Netflix

One of the great mysteries of this year’s awards season that won’t be answered until the end of next week’s Oscar telecast is whether or not Jojo Rabbit will go home empty-handed. Taika Waititi’s film seemed destined for the top prize as soon as it won last year’s audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and then, well, lots of things happened since then, but nothing quite so damaging to the film’s awards ambitions than 1917, with which it likely shares more of a fan overlap than any other film in the best picture race. We don’t believe that there are enough academy members who cast votes with the intention of “spreading the wealth” to sway races in unexpected directions, but we do believe that Jojo Rabbit remains a major player in any category where it isn’t nominated against 1917.

That’s us saying that a win for Scarlett Johansson in the supporting actress race wouldn’t surprise us. And the only reason that we’re not going to call it for her is because there are other narratives that we believe in when it comes to securing an academy member’s vote, such as a nominee’s devotion to the campaign trail. The stars have lined up perfectly across the last few months for three-time Oscar nominee Laura Dern, a celebrated veteran of the industry who, for us, sealed the deal with her gracious SAG speech, which she prefaced with a touching pit stop at the Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood table in order to give her father, Bruce Dern, a hug. Also, given that Johansson is the likeliest spoiler in the best actress race, for a performance that would be difficult to imagine without her Marriage Story co-star’s collaboration, we’re also of the belief that if enough voters consider a vote for Johansson here an act of redundancy, if not betrayal, Dern’s victory is all but guaranteed.

Will Win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Could Win: Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Should Win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

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Oscar 2020 Winner Predictions: Costume Design

The path of least resistance and most chronological distance almost always wins here.

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Little Women
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When we shared Odie Henderson’s un-improvable joke, “Who wins the Costume Design Oscar for Joker? The Goodwill?,” we admit we hadn’t yet bothered to look up the person responsible for its downtrodden anti-chic shabbery. And seeing it was none other than Phantom Thread’s Oscar-winning Mark Bridges chastened us only long enough for us to remember that he was left off the ballot at the BAFTAs in favor of Jany Temime’s work on Judy, which, no matter what you think of the film itself, makes a lot more sense as a nominee in a category that, as Bridges well knows, often defaults to frock fervor. So while we could easily get more bent out of shape that the Costume Designers Guild this week gave its award for excellence in period film costuming to Mayes C. Rubeo for Jojo Rabbit, and while we could also ponder how this year’s slate skews not only surprisingly modern, but also far more male-centric than usual (from Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson’s baggy midcentury suits in The Irishman to Arianne Phillips’s groovy Cali duds in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood), the path of least resistance and most chronological distance almost always wins here. Jacqueline Durran’s win is both deserved and assured.

Will Win: Little Women

Could Win: Jojo Rabbit

Should Win: Little Women

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