ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
JOKER - Hildur Guonadottir
LITTLE WOMEN - Alexandre Desplat
MARRIAGE STORY - Randy Newman
1917 - Thomas Newman
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER - John Williams
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
"I CAN'T LET YOU THROW YOURSELF AWAY" - Toy Story 4 - Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"(I'M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAIN" - Rocketman - Music by Elton John, Lyric by Bernie Taupin
"I'M STANDING WITH YOU" - Breakthrough - Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
"INTO THE UNKNOWN" - Frozen II - Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"STAND UP" - Harriet - Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo
The scores were a predictable group. Literally. I've been predicting Oscar nominations since 1985, and I think this is the first time I got all five correct in this category. Except for rising newcomer Guonadottir, all are double digit nominees. I'd thought this might finally be Thomas Newman's year, but I suspect the Icelandic cellist may have the edge.
Of the songs, "Into the Unknown" has a good shot, unless people find themselves saying "Well, it's no 'Let It Go.'" Since I make the effort to see every film in every category, in a theater no less, I now have to see Breakthrough. Damn.
BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
FORD V FERRARI - Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, James Mangold
THE IRISHMAN - Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
JOJO RABBIT - Carthew Neal, Taika Waititi
JOKER - Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
LITTLE WOMEN - Amy Pascal
MARRIAGE STORY - Noah Baumbach, David Heyman
1917 - Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren, Callum McDougall
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh, Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE - Kwak Sin Ae, Bong Joon Ho
No surprises (and few in any category). 1917 may have the current edge since it's proving to be an unexpected box-office hit. Of my four favorite films this year (Knives Out, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time... and Parasite), three are Best Picture nominees and all four are up for Original Screenplay, so I'm pretty happy.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
ANTONIO BANDERAS - Pain and Glory
LEONARDO DI CAPRIO - Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
ADAM DRIVER - Marriage Story
JOAQUIN PHOENIX - Joker
JONATHAN PRYCE - The Two Popes
Phoenix seems a shoo-in, especially since DiCaprio won so recently. Pryce is a pleasant surprise, and like Banderas a first-time nominee (though it was distracting how Pryce's Spanish-language scenes were clearly dubbed by another actor).
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
CYNTHIA ERIVO - Harriet
SCARLETT JOHANSSON - Marriage Story
SAOIRSE RONAN - Little Women
CHARLIZE THERON - Bombshell
RENEE ZELLWEGER - Judy
I also got all five of these right. I think Zellweger has the edge. (Erivo is also nominated for Harriet's terrific song)
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
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
Something needs to be done about the supporting categories, which are increasingly becoming filled with stars in co-leads (like Hopkins and Pitt) at the expense of actual supporting actors (like Alan Alda, wonderful in Marriage Story).
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
KATHY BATES - Richard Jewell
LAURA DERN - Marriage Story
SCARLETT JOHANSSON - Jojo Rabbit
FLORENCE PUGH - Little Women
MARGOT ROBBIE - Bombshell
Kathy Bates is a major but welcome surprise. Dern seems the likely winner, especially given the contrast between her cheerfully ruthless divorce lawyer and Little Women's "Marmee."
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
THE IRISHMAN - Martin Scorsese
JOKER - Todd Phillips
1917 - Sam Mendes
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE - Bong Joon Ho
I wish it would be Bong, but I'd still much rather it be Mendes than the guy who made the Hangover movies.
KNIVES OUT - Rian Johnson
MARRIAGE STORY - Noah Baumbach
1917 - Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE - Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won
I hope it's my favorite filmmaker, Baumbach, who actually has a good shot, though both Knives and Parasite would be delightful choices.
THE IRISHMAN - Steven Zaillian
JOJO RABBIT - Taika Waititi
JOKER - Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
LITTLE WOMEN - Greta Gerwig
THE TWO POPES - Anthony McCarten
This could easily be a win for Waititi. Mostly I hope it's not The Two Popes, which is at least better written than it is directed (I feel like Mereilles went to the Sean Penn Directing School Of Put The Camera Everywhere But The Right Place) but it's those two actors who make it watchable.
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
THE IRISHMAN - Rodrigo Prieto
JOKER - Lawrence Sher
THE LIGHTHOUSE - Jarin Blaschke
1917 - Roger Deakins
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Robert Richardson
Blaschke and Sher are first-time nominees, with The Lighthouse a welcome surprise. Sher always made the Hangover movies look better than you'd expect them to, and also directed the recent comedy Father Figures. This will amost certainly be a second win for Deakins -- even without the one-take gimmick the film looks spectacular.
ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
THE IRISHMAN - Bob Shaw; Regina Graves
JOJO RABBIT - Ra Vincent; Nora Sopkova
1917 - Dennis Gassner; Lee Sandales
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Barbara Ling; Nancy Haigh
PARASITE - Lee Ha Jun; Cho Won Woo
I hope this is a second win for the brilliant Gassner (Barton Fink, Skyfall, Blade Runner 2049). Parasite is a surprise -- it's rare that contemporary (not period, fantasy or futuristic) design gets nominated.
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
THE IRISHMAN - Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson
JOJO RABBIT - Mayes C. Rubeo
JOKER - Mark Bridges
LITTLE WOMEN - Jacqueline Durran
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Arianne Phillips
No queens-in-gowns this year, so the field is wide open.
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
FORD V FERRARI - Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland
THE IRISHMAN - Thelma Schoonmaker
JOJO RABBIT - Tom Eagles
JOKER - Jeff Groth
PARASITE - Yang Jinmo
No obvious winner, though this might be the category where Ford v Ferrari gets noticed.
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
FORD V FERRARI - Donald Sylvester
JOKER - Alan Robert Murray
1917 - Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Wiley Stateman
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER - Matthew Wood, David Acord
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
AD ASTRA - Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Mark Ulano
FORD V FERRARI - Paul Massey, David Gianmarco, Steven A. Morrow
JOKER - Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Tod Maitland
1917 - Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, Mark Ulano
1917 seems a likely double winner. I'm just happy the craft of Ad Astra got noticed somewhere.
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
BOMBSHELL - Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, Vivian Baker
JOKER - Nicki Ledermann, Kay Georgiou
JUDY - Jeremy Woodhead
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL - Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten, David White
1917 - Naomi Donne, Trisvan Versluis, Rebecca Cole
The brilliant work that Kazu Hiro (formerly known as Kazuhiro Tsuji, and recent winner for Darkest Hour) did on Charlize Theron and John Lithgow makes Bombshell the likely winner.
ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
AVENGERS: ENDGAME - Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken, Dan Sudick
THE IRISHMAN - Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fraser, Stephane Grabli
THE LION KING - Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, Elliot Newman
1917 - Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, Dominic Tuohy
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER - Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubabch, Dominic Tuohy
The Lion King had remarkable photorealistic animation, but after Jungle Book people might think it's familiar stuff, so it could go to the amazing, invisible effects of 1917.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD - Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis, Bonnie Arnold
I LOST MY BODY - Jeremy Clapin, Marc du Pontavice
KLAUS - Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh, Marisa Roman
MISSING LINK - Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner, Travis Knight
TOY STORY 4 - Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen, Jonas River
I Lost My Body is wonderful. I haven't seen Klaus, whose inclusion is a particular susprise given the exclusion of Frozen II. Missing Link is the fifth of five LAIKA films to be nominated; I'm still hoping to forget that Travis Knight also directed Bumblebee.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
DCERA (DAUGHTER) - Daria Kascheeva
HAIR LOVE - Matthew A. Cherry, Karen Rupert Toliver
KITBULL - Rosana Sullivan, Kathryn Henderson
MEMORABLE - Bruno Collet, Jean-Francois Le Corre
SISTER - Siqi Song
The only one of these I've seen is Hair Love, which people seem to love but didn't make much of an impression on me.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
BROTHERHOOD (TRAVELLING, LES FILMS QUI VOYAGENT) - Meryam Joobeur, Maria Gracia Turgeon
NEFTA FOOTBALL CLUB - Yves Piat, Damien Megherbi
THE NEIGHBORS' WINDOW - Marshall Curry
SARIA - Bryan Buckley, Matt Lefebvre
A SISTER - Delphine Girard
I haven't seen any of these. Last year, if memory serves, four of the shorts had a child being killed, a child killing someone, or both. Not my favorite category any year. Marshall Curry is a three-time documentary nominee, including the excellent If a Tree Falls.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
IN THE ABSENCE - Yi Seung-Jun, Gary Bying-Seok Kam
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU'RE A GIRL) - Carol Dysinger, Elene Andreicheva
LIFE OVERTAKES ME - John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson
ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN - Smitri Mundhra, Sami Khan
WALK RUN CHA-CHA - Laura Nix, Colette Sandstedt
As usual, I haven't seen any of these, and know nothing about them, so I hope to be pleasantly surprised, though it's rarely a pleasant category.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
AMERICAN FACTORY - Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert
THE CAVE - Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod, Sigrid Dyejjaer
THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY - Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, Tiago Pavan
FOR SAMA - Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
HONEYLAND - Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Atanas Goergiev
I've only seen American Factory, which is excellent and I hope it wins. I did see six others of the 15 shortlisted docs, including some very good ones like Apollo 11, Maiden and One Child Nation.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
CORPUS CHRISTI - Poland
HONEYLAND - North Macedonia
LES MISERABLES - France
PAIN AND GLORY - Spain
PARASITE - South Korea
I saw seven of the ten-movie shortlist, but haven't seen Corpus Christi or Honeyland. I will be unpleasantly surprised if Parasite doesn't win, given its many other nominations including Picture and Directing.