The 2020 Oscars: Some Picks And Thoughts From Team Ruthless

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Yes, I know, it is hard to imagine that it is Academy Award season again. Due to plummeting ratings, I don’t know what the Academy has in store for us this year. 2019 started out slow, but ended with some pretty awesome movies. Things are changing, with Netflix becoming a major movie player + a foreign film with subtitles actually being considered for Academy Awards not relegated to international categories.


As with previous Oscar articles, we at Ruthless will render our opinions and predictions. We have our movies that we love, and think should win the gold. We are also realistic and will grudgingly give our predictions as to movies, directors and actors that are most likely to win. Thanks to all the members of Team Ruthless for their feedback.


We will not be making picks and comments on all the categories, just the main ones. We will also be commenting on probable winners (in bold and italics)v. Ruthless picks, with a * for movies or actors that should win, but probably won’t. Or, we just may say nothing. Or our probable winners may just be outrageously sarcastic picks that we know won’t win. You figure it out. Without further ado, here are some picks and thoughts.

Also, check out Kevin’s excellent My Year In The Movies-2019 Edition for a more comprehensive look the good and bad movies of 2019

Performance by an actor in a leading role nominees:


Antonio Banderas in PAIN AND GLORY
Leonardo DiCaprio in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Adam Driver in MARRIAGE STORY
Joaquin Phoenix in JOKER* :WINNER
Jonathan Pryce in THE TWO POPES


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This pick is probably the closest to a sure thing as we will get this year. It’s not my pick, but I cannot deny the overwhelming consensus. Matt, Kevin, John Welsh and Ezra all picking Phoenix. Joaquin Phoenix is a slam-dunk. I don’t agree, I like DiCaprio, but can’t go against this flow.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role nominees:


Tom Hanks in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Anthony Hopkins in THE TWO POPES
Al Pacino in THE IRISHMAN
Joe Pesci in THE IRISHMAN
Brad Pitt in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLL
YWOOD * :WINNER

Both of our picks for Supporting Actor and Actress are pretty solid, but anything can happen in The Oscars. Matt makes a case for Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story, and Kevin and I would like to see Margot Robbie get the nod for Bombshell. Brad Pitt is pretty much a lock for Best Supporting Actor, with Pesci and Pacino a distant second.

Performance by an actress in a leading role nominees:


Cynthia Erivo in HARRIET
Scarlett Johansson in MARRIAGE STORY*
Saoirse Ronan in LITTLE WOMEN
Charlize Theron in BOMBSHELL
Renee Zellweger in JUDY :WINNER

Renee Zellweger is the heavy favorite for Best Actress. I don’t think anyone at Ruthless saw this film except for Matt, so we will just have to go with the herd and hope for the best. The same goes for Laura Dern, also the front runner. Bombshell was a great movie, but will most likely get shut out of any major Award. Theron and Robbie were magnificent in this movie about sexual harassment at Fox.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role nominees:


Kathy Bates in RICHARD JEWELL
Laura Dern in MARRIAGE STORY: WINNER
Scarlett Johansson in JOJO RABBIT
Florence Pugh in LITTLE WOMEN
Margot Robbie in BOMBSHELL*

Best animated feature film of the year nominees:


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold
I LOST MY BODY
Jeremy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
KLAUS* :WINNER
Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Roman
MISSING LINK
Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight
TOY STORY 4
Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera

This is one category that I actually care about. It will be a travesty if Klaus does not win Best Animated Feature Film. Kevin and I pick Klaus, and Ezra is going with Toy Story 4. I don’t think anyone else cares, and I usually don’t, but fortunately I watched this great film for my Christmas Reviews.

Achievement in cinematography nominees:


THE IRISHMAN: Rodrigo Prieto
JOKER: Lawrence Sher
THE LIGHTHOUSE: Jarin Blaschke*
1917: Roger Deakins*:
WINNER
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: Robert Richardson

I put a star on The Lighthouse just because. This film was outrageously good and it is a shame that it will win no awards. Willem DaFoe and Robert Pattison both delivered stunning performances. I guess the movie was just too weird, and in Black & White. Of course, Deakins deserves to win this one. John Welsh loved 1917 for its technical excellence, and rightfully so.

Achievement in directing nominees:


THE IRISHMAN: Martin Scorsese
JOKER: Todd Phillips
1917: Sam Mendes: WINNER
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE: Bong Joon Ho*

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Best Director is a category where anything can happen. Any one of these nominees could win. Most of us like Parasite, but Kevin and John Welsh are going with 1917. There is no wrong answer here, and I certainly would not put any money on this one. Well, I have to make a pick, so I’m going with 1917, but would be thrilled if Parasite or Hollwood took Director. We shall see soon, and the elephant in the room is Scorsese. I can’t imagine him getting shut out on The Irishman, so an Oscar is coming from somewhere.

Achievement in film editing nominees:


FORD V FERRARI: Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland: WINNER
THE IRISHMAN: Thelma Schoonmaker
JOJO RABBIT: Tom Eagles
JOKER: Jeff Groth
PARASITE: Yang Jinmo*

Let’s be realistic. What should happen, rarely does, especially with The Oscars. What should happen is for Parasite to win Best Director, Best Picture, in addition to its lock on Best International Film. This won’t happen. I can only hope that it wins either Best Picture or Director. It certainly deserves it.

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Best motion picture of the year nominees:

Like I said, I would be thrilled if Parasite took down all 3 awards, but it won’t happen. 1917 is the front-runner, but nothing will surprise me here, especially considering what The Academy has done recently. There are many snubs, most notably Midsommar, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire [EDITOR’S NOTE: Not only the Best Film of the year, but one of the best of the decade], Uncut Gems and Dolomite Is My Name. I didn’t have much problem with Green Book last year, but the picks of the last 5 years have been generally horrible. Enough bitching, here is the Ruthless pick for Best Picture. Some things you just can’t fight. I can only dream about Jojo Rabbit winning as that would probably kill Matt Cale on the spot. 1917 will win, but don’t be surprised if The Irishman takes the gold. The last dark-horse pick would be Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.


FORD V FERRARI: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold, Producers
THE IRISHMAN: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
JOJO RABBIT: Carthew Neal, Taika Waititi and Chelsea Winstanley, Producers
JOKER: Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
LITTLE WOMEN: Amy Pascal, Producer
MARRIAGE STORY: Noah Baumbach and David Heyman, Producers
1917: Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDoug
all, Producers: WINNER
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino, Producers
PARASITE: Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho, Producers*

About Goat

Goat is Retired. He does come out occasionally to help Erich and to write Christmas Reviews.