The 92nd Academy Awards are set to air this Sunday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT) on ABC, celebrating the best in cinema for the year. For the second year in a row, the event will not have a host, but there will still be “musical numbers, comedy, and star power,” according to ABC President Karey Burke.
The controversial Todd Phillips film Joker led the nominations with a total of 11, followed by Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood with 10 each. Other films that got massive recognition across multiple categories include Little Women, Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit, 1917, and Parasite.
So who will be the winners of cinema’s biggest night? Here are our predictions.
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)
Prediction: It would be the biggest upset of the night if Joaquin Phoenix didn’t take home this award for Joker. He’s a frontrunner and fan-favorite to win thanks to his emotionally charged performance as the deeply troubled Arthur Fleck, the man who became one of DC’s most vicious villains. Phoenix fully morphed into the warped psyche of the character in such a persuasive way that made you both loathe and sympathize with him. You felt, not just saw the performance, which included many off-the-cuff improvised moments, like that memorable bathroom dancing scene. This would mark Phoenix’s first win of four career nominations if it happens.
Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)
Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
Renee Zellweger (Judy)
Prediction: We’re going to give this one to Renee Zellweger, who beautifully portrayed Judy Garland in the biographical drama, following Garland’s chaotic moments in the final year of her life. Her performance has turned heads, which is especially impressive since this has been Zellweger’s first major dramatic role in some time. This would mark her second win of four total career nominations; she previously won for Best Supporting Actress in Cold Mountain.
Best Supporting Actor
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)
Prediction: While there has been a lot of buzz around Tom Hanks’ portrayal of the late children’s television icon Fred Rogers, we have a feeling that Pitt will finally pick up his long overdue, very first acting Academy Award despite his lengthy and successful career. His one win was for producing the Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave. His captivating portrayal of a Hollywood stunt double trying to revive his career might just be what finally gets the veteran actor the golden statue.
Best Supporting Actress
Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell)
Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
Florence Pugh (Little Women)
Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
Prediction: We think the ceremonies might follow in the footsteps of the Golden Globes and hand the award over to Laura Dern. She played a fierce and talented divorce lawyer in the touching and emotionally raw Netflix film Marriage Story. This would be her first win and third nomination. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Margot Robbie take home the win for Bombshell either.
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)
Todd Phillips (Joker)
Sam Mendes (1917)
Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood)
Bong Joon-ho (Parasite)
Prediction: If the Director’s Guild of America is any indication, which it has been every year since 2012, this category is a shoo-in for Sam Mendes for the jarring and visually stunning World War I film 1917. But it would also be great to see Boon Joon-ho take home the award after receiving the first Academy Award nomination for South Korea ever, in any category. That said, Parasite was also nominated in the Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film categories. So even if Joon-ho doesn’t get the directing kudos that are likely to go to Mendes, the film will probably grab awards in other categories.
Prediction: We spotlighted these five nominees for their visual elements in a special series that included interviews with the visual effects artists. But when it comes down to it, our money is on 1917, which employed a single-shot style that was truly revolutionary and presented an eerily realistic look into a compelling World War I battle story. It’s really a three-horse race among 1917, The Lion King, and Avengers: Endgame, each of which employed their own unique and impactful visual strategy, and all of which are deserving of recognition. This one could be anyone’s game.
Ford v Ferrari
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Prediction: This year’s selection of nominees is totally diverse, with films about everything from gangster life to a young Hitler Youth member, a marriage in shambles, the friendship between an actor and his stunt double, and British soldiers in World War I. And while Joker or Parasite taking home the big win would be a wonderful surprise, we think 1917 is going to be the big winner of the night. It checks all the boxes the Academy loves, including history, emotion, technical focus, stunning visuals, and great acting. It’s the safe choice and we don’t expect this year’s ceremonies to provide any big surprises.