2020 Oscars Predictions

Story posted February 9, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Staff.

With the 92nd Academy Awards set to air on Feb. 9, 2020, the CommRadio Arts & Entertainment staff has made its predictions for the winners of each of the top categories.


Best Picture

Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

2019 truly showed that movies can still be unified with intelligence, beauty, social commentary and merit after 2018’s horrific attempt at doing so. All films nominated for Best Picture would be ideal to win the golden statue, but after seeing “1917” take home similar awards for previous events, it seems clear that “1917” is going to be the one to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Sam Mendes’ epic war drama tells the heart-wrenching tale of two World War I soldiers on a mission to stop an attack on the Germans, hopefully saving the lives of 1,600 men, including the brother of one of the soldiers. The film is absolutely magnificent in all categories: acting, screenplay, cinematography, direction and more, so it seems only right that it would take home Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.

While some films may feel more deserving of Best Picture, such as “Parasite,” the Academy is known for its prudent choices of which film to honor making, “1917” a safe choice as this year’s pick.  —Lilly Adams

Best Director

Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Todd Philips (“Joker”)
Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”)

While the Best Picture and Best Director awards usually go hand-in-hand, there is nobody else who deserves the Best Director award more than Bong Joon-ho. His latest film “Parasite” is a completely original masterpiece that separates itself from any other film nominated.

Joon-ho’s direction in his films is something completely unseen before, having his characters, their motivations and their acting abilities reach a level that only he is on. His films create a magical, separate reality from the one that audiences find themselves in. But when watching his films, viewers are constantly captivated by his true genius.

While it may be wishful thinking that the Academy will send Bong Joon-ho home with the award this coming Sunday, fans and viewers can only hope that his talent will be recognized by awarding him with the title of Best Director.  —Lilly Adams

Best Actor

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”)

There’s no question that Joaquin Phoenix will come away from the Oscar for the Best Actor award. After sweeping the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, it would be shocking to see Phoenix lose to any of the other nominees.

“Joker” is a very well-done film, though Phoenix is half of the reason why the movie is so captivating. As many actors do for this specific character, Phoenix made sure to put himself in the element of the Joker in order to fundamentally understand who he was playing. Certainly this level of commitment was not unprecedented, though it was a true standout amongst the other list of nominees.

The only actor who has the possibility of taking this away from Phoenix is DiCaprio. However, knowing his history with the Oscars, that seems unlikely.  —Jade Campos

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”)

The Best Actress category is a little muddled this year, as some incredibly deserving women (such as Lupita Nyong’o) were snubbed out of the category. Therefore, this year’s Best Actress nominees list is not nearly as memorable as years past or the current list of actor nominees.

Throughout this awards season, this category has been pretty much a tossup as well. Scarlett Johansson has received two nominations from the Academy this year, those being for Best Actress in “Marriage Story” and Best Supporting Actress in “Jojo Rabbit.” Laura Dern’s role in “Marriage Story” seems pretty much settled for the Best Supporting Actress category, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for the Academy to award Johansson with Best Actress as her odds are statistically the greatest out of any female on the list. The Academy seems to have really enjoyed Johansson’s performances, so who’s to say she can’t take it?  —Jade Campos

Best Original Screenplay

“Knives Out”
“Marriage Story”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Originality in filmmaking after over 100 years of the craft can seem lost at times. Too often, films leave the audience unsatisfied with predictable plotlines, characters and outcomes in the script. 2019 founded a completely fresh, unique and original new screenplay with Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite.”

The film tells the story of a lower-class Korean family slowly infiltrating and leeching off of the riches of a wealthier one by gaining work positions within the family, such as tutors, maids, drivers and more.

The screenplay encapsulates social commentary, humor, intelligence, character depth and more in its 141 pages. Joon-ho’s writing capabilities seem to come once in a generation. The genius and rarity stemming from “Parasite” can safely secure the film as one of the best of the decade, with its screenplay reigning prominent as one of the reasons that it finds itself in this category.  —Lilly Adams

Best Cinematography

“The Irishman”
“The Lighthouse”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

There is no other film in recent years more deserving than the Academy Award for Best Cinematography than “1917.” This enthralling, epic war drama was carefully executed to look as if it were all taken in one continuous shot via the genius mind of cinematographers Roger Deakins and Sam Mendes.

Following the film’s two soldiers and weaving through the trenches of World War I, the camera finds itself in a magnitude of different places, never visiting the same location twice. The smooth and graceful motions of the camera never seem lost in the story, dialogue or characters, and it stays completely within itself.

The cinematography crew planned every motion of every character, building dioramas and taking months of preparation and organization to execute the film to near perfection. Even without the mere dedication and devotion, the cinematography of “1917” is breathtakingly beautiful and is no doubt going to find itself taking home the Oscar for said award this coming Sunday.  —Lilly Adams

Best Original Song

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (“Toy Story 4”)
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (“Rocketman”)
“I’m Standing With You” (“Breakthrough”)
“Into the Unknown” (“Frozen II”)
“Stand Up” (“Harriet”)

Unfortunately, there is no original song this awards season that matches last year’s victor “Shallow,” a moving piece that earned an incredible amount of critical and commercial popularity. But “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” was an incredible touch by Elton John for the “Rocketman” biopic, as it really provided an extra piece of context to the musician’s life.

While other nominees in this category are definitely well done, John’s track is a stand out. “Rocketman” follows a musical formula, so it should be no surprise that the music is the strongest part of the entire film (as it should be in an Elton John biopic).

While the film may not receive any other awards throughout the night, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” is worthy of a trophy. If the whole movie can’t win an Oscar, why not recognize a song that encapsulates the entire film? As per any Elton John song, it’s full of life and carefully constructed lyrics, and it deserves to be awarded with the title of Best Original Song.  — Jade Campos


Lilly Adams is a junior majoring in film/video. To contact her, email lillyadams11@gmail.com.

Jade Campos is a sophomore majoring in print/digital journalism. To contact her, email jmc7727@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Lillian Adams's photo

Lillian Adams

Junior / Film/Video Studies

Lillian Adams is a writer and contributor for the Nittany Record Club, a department in CommRadio dedicated specifically to the analysis and reviews of current albums of the year, and the former albums of the past. as well as current films released. In addition to this, she hosts her own talk show on Commradio called “Reel Talk.” She is currently a member of the Student Film Organization as well as Commradio. She also is a regular PA on multiple student films on campus, and works as a Videographer for Commagency. She is always looking to expand her knowledge in the fields of cinema and music, and is excited to see what opportunities Penn State will bring her. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jade Campos's photo

Jade Campos

Junior / Print/Digital Journalism

Jade Campos is a junior from Caroline, Virginia. She is a director of the arts and entertainment department of CommRadio and a co-host on the talk show The Nittany Record Club alongside Colton Pleslusky and David Fortunato. Along with CommRadio, Jade is currently the assistant lifestyle editor for the Daily Collegian. In the past, she has interned with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).