Oscar Expectation vs. Reality: The 2020 Academy Award Winners
The Oscars are almost here, and that means everyone’s placing their bets as to who’s going to win what. We’re no exception, and have been poring over the nominations and other awards show outcomes to predict which entertainers will take home those coveted gold statues. But when it comes to the Academy Awards, we find ourselves vacillating between who want to win and who will actually win. Today, we compare expectations versus reality in the top Oscar categories. Did we guess right? Only time will tell.
Cover Photo: Warner Bros. and DreamWorks
Entertainment evolution: 20 Catchy New Categories We’d Like to See at this Year’s Oscars
Expectation: The Irishman
Sam Mendes' war movie has 10 nominations total this year (bested only by Joker) and took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, so it's the frontrunner at the 2020 Oscars. While we'd like to see The Irishman's excellence recognized, it's been an awards show loser time and time again this year.
Expectation: Joaquin Phoenix in Joker
Reality: Joaquin Phoenix in Joker
Complicated though our feelings may be about Joker, there's no questioning Joaquin Phoenix's unparalleled performance in this "not a comic book movie" comic book movie. From losing a scary amount of weight to his unusual dance moves to his slow descent into insanity, Phoenix sent shivers up our spines as the unhinged Arthur Fleck.
Expectation: Cynthia Erivo in Harriet
Reality: Renée Zellweger in Judy
While Renée Zellweger downright disappeared into her depiction of the troubled but iconic singer Judy Garland, who died from a barbiturate overdose in 1969, there was no more important female role on the big screen this year than that of activist and abolitionist Harriet Tubman, portrayed with aplomb by Cynthia Erivo. But go ahead, give the Oscar to Zellweger; every other awards show seems to have deemed her this year's Best Actress darling.
Best Supporting Actor
Expectation: Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Reality: Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Tom Hanks touched our hearts with his spot-on impression of our childhood hero Mister Rogers, but Brad Pitt is having a moment (make that a year) and already nabbed Golden Globe and SAG awards for his turn as stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino's latest instant classic. The Academy will likely feel more nostalgic toward Pitt's fictional character than Hanks' real-life one.
Best Supporting Actress
Expectation: Laura Dern in Marriage Story
Reality: Kathy Bates in Richard Jewell
Laura Dern dazzles as a take-no-prisoners divorce lawyer in Marriage Story, but Kathy Bates is a longtime Academy favorite, and she'll likely be named Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the mother of a college security guard accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Best Original Screenplay
Expectation: Noah Baumbach for Marriage Story
Reality: Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
If you want to know how brutal divorce can be without putting yourself through hell, Noah Baumbach's intense Netflix film Marriage Story will show you. The tender-tough screenplay likely won't win an Oscar, though. Quentin Tarantino has already won two Oscars for Best Original Screenplay (for Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction) and we suspect his new film will make the third time the charm.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Expectation: Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit
Reality: Steven Zaillian for The Irishman
It took some balls for Taika Waititi to swerve from Marvel movie blockbusters to a comedy about Nazis (which sounds like an oxymoron), but he managed to do it, and compellingly so. The Academy isn't known for their sense of humor, so we expect a more traditional choice, like The Irishman, whose screenplay was adapted from the confessional tome I Heard You Paint Houses, to steal a statue in this category.
Expectation: Martin Scorsese for The Irishman
Reality: Sam Mendes for 1917
Martin Scorsese can't make a bad movie, and some would say The Irishman was one of his best. But try telling that to the Academy, who will likely follow in the Golden Globes' footsteps and dole out the award to Sam Mendes for his battle-heavy drama.