The time has finally come for me to perfectly predict all 24 categories of the Oscars, without any margin for error whatsoever. So, if you’re serious about winning your Oscar pool, look no further than my final picks below for the 93rd Academy Awards:
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
From her Screen Actors Guild award to her Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice wins, look for Laura Dern to take home the top prize for her performance as Nora, a divorce lawyer in director Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. Dern is always a commanding presence on screen, but the introduction of her character in this heart-wrenching film marks a key turning point in the narrative. If Dern takes it — and, at this point, there’s no reason to think she won’t — it will mark the first time a performer on a Netflix production has one an Oscar for acting.
Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
One could argue that Pitt is just as much of a lead as Leonardo DiCaprio in the film, but he’ll have to settle for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar instead. Pitt has racked up nominations left and right from several major awards shows — sweeping them all. He imbues ample charm and charisma into his performance as Cliff Booth in Tarantino’s period dramedy makes him highly deserving of the award.
Best Actress: Renée Zellweger (Judy)
Zellweger ticks all the awards season boxes for her portrayal of Hollywood icon Judy Garland. She’s won the SAG, Golden Globe, and Critics’ Choice among others, not to mention the Academy loves a biopic about one of their own. If anyone pulls ahead of Zellweger, it would likely be Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, who’s also nominated in the supporting actress category for Jojo Rabbit. However, Zellweger has far greater momentum heading into Oscar Sunday.
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Like my other predicted winners in the acting category, Phoenix has been gearing up for this Oscar win since Joker came out in October of 2019. Though I don’t care for the film itself, Phoenix gives a committed, physical performance as Arthur Fleck, a man who transforms into the iconic Batman villain. There’s always a chance that Adam Driver or Antonio Banderas could pull an upset, but look for Phoenix to become the second actor recognized by the Academy for playing the Joker.
Best Director: Sam Mendes (1917)
Throughout awards season, it’s been a two-way race between Mendes and Bong Joon-ho, the latter of whom directed Parasite. I’m giving the edge to Mendes due to his Directors Guild Award win, and the fact that Mendes is no stranger to the academy with his Best Director win for American Beauty. That being said, it’s entirely possible that the Academy favors Bong instead, but I still expect Mendes will have the advantage.
Best Picture: 1917
As with the Best Director race, 1917 and Parasite are the top two contenders for the top prize, and I would guess Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would take third behind them. Between Mendes’ DGA win and 1917’s Producers Guild Award win — often a key prerequisite for winning Best Picture — 1917 pulls ahead for me here. Not to mention, 1917 is an impressive technical achievement, made to look like one continuous long-take, which the Academy may be inclined to reward on pure filmmaking skill alone. I won’t lose any sleep if Parasite pulls the upset, but 1917 is the best bet.
Best Original Screenplay: Parasite
Best Adapted Screenplay: Little Women
Best Cinematography: 1917
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 4
Best Short Film (Animated): Hair Love
Best Documentary (Feature): American Factory
Best Documentary (Short): Learning to Skate in a War Zone (If You’re a Girl)
Best Short Film (Live-Action): Brotherhood
Best Foreign Language Film: Parasite
Best Editing: Parasite
Best Sound Editing: 1917
Best Sound Mixing: 1917
Best Visual Effects: The Irishman
Best Production Design: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Best Costume Design: Little Women
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Bombshell
Best Original Score: Joker
Best Original Song: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Rocketman)