THE MOVIE GUY — Sean McBride’s picks for 2020 Oscars

Published 12:07 am Friday, February 7, 2020

I must confess that I hate trying to predict the Oscars. It’s difficult to get a true sense of the zeitgeist if you’re not going to Hollywood parties where you can hobnob with the voting members of the Academy. Plus, there’s always the issue of separating my heart from my head with my picks, causing me to champion films that I love even when I know that they probably won’t win the award.

That being said, here is what I think will happen during Sunday’s Academy Awards.

There are some obvious front-runners. Joaquin Phoenix is a clear leader for his Leading Performance in Joker. The same holds true for Rene Zellweger in Judy, as well as Brad Pitt and Laura Dern as Supporting Actors in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Marriage Story respectively. It would be considered an upset if any of these four didn’t win.

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I also think that 1917 has moved into the lead in the Best Picture race, thanks to it’s win at the Golden Globes, Producers Guild and BAFTAs, although Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is still a major threat. I’d prefer to see Parasite take home the top prize, but I think it will have to settle for the International Feature award. On a related note, I’m hoping that the Academy will honor Parasite by awarding Bong Joon Ho its prize for Best Director, although Sam Mendes just took home the prize from the Director’s Guild, so the smart money is probably on him to win.

Other fairly obvious Oscar races include Roger Deakins taking the Cinematography prize for 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood getting the Production Design award, and Little Women getting the nod for Costumes.

The Screenplay categories are a little harder to call. I’m picking Jojo Rabbit to win the Adapted prize over Little Women just because I prefer that film, but I’m far from certain. It’s also a two-picture race in the Original category. I’m picking Parasite, my personal preference, over Once Upon a Time because it also won the Writer’s Guild Award.

I think that Ford v Ferrari will take the Editing award, although Jojo and Parasite took home the ACE Eddie from the Editor’s Guild. I’ll go with Bombshell to take the Makeup and Hair prize.

Visual Effects is one of the tougher categories to call. The Visual Effects Society just gave The Lion King it’s main prize, so I’ll follow their lead, although I suspect the 1917 could easily grab this award as well.

The Sound categories are also tough, as both Editing and Mixing boil down to a coin flip between Ford v Ferrari and 1917. I’ll pick Ford for Sound Editing and 1917 for Sound Mixing.

There isn’t a clear-cut leader in Animation, but I’ll stay with tradition and give the nod to Toy Story 4, although any of the nominees could win in this less than stellar category. The same hold true for the Documentaries. I’m picking American Factory, but barely, over For Sama.

Music-wise, the Joker score seems to have captivated most of my industry friends. “Glasgow,” my pick for Best Song wasn’t even nominated so I will go with “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, but in protest.

Finally, it’s always anybody’s guess with the shorts. I’ll take “Hair Love” in Animation, “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone” for the Doc prize, and “Brotherhood” in Live Action Short because, well, why not?

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at