The Oscars 2020: Who should win?

Todd Phillips’ Joker leads all other films for this year’s awards with 11 nominations. (Design by Alex Dascalu/AQ)

With award season well underway, the Oscars are one of the most prestigious ceremonies. In advance of the Academy dishing out those familiar statues, fourth-year St. Thomas University student and movie fan Meah Peers has some predictions for this year’s top honours. The award show will take place Feb. 9.

Best Director – Sam Mendes

The directing category is stacked with some incredibly talented Hollywood legends. While there were no women nominated, each of the five men did produce mesmerizing films. Although he is up against legends Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes’s work on 1917 is a cinematic masterpiece. The film is visually stunning and Mendes is probably the front-runner to take home the win. However, he’ll likely be battling it out with the director of Joker, Todd Phillips.

Actress in a Leading Role – Renée Zellweger

The nominated actresses this year all have quite the career behind them. While Charlize Theron gave a stunning performance portraying the real-life Megyn Kelly, Saoirse Ronan also brought the iconic character of Jo March to life in a refreshing way. However, the real decision will likely come down to Scarlett Johansson and Renée Zellweger. Johansson gave arguably the best performance of her career in Marriage Story, but Zellweger made a stunning comeback by playing the legend, Judy Garland, in Judy. With tough competition, Zellweger might snag the win for her mesmerizing portrayal of this icon.

Actor in a Leading Role – Joaquin Phoenix

This category is full of talented men who brought some incredible and dynamic characters to life. Even though Phoenix is up against the iconic Leonardo DiCaprio, Phoenix has been dominating this award season for his role as Arthur Fleck in Joker. There is no disputing his talent and he deserves to be the front-runner for the category. He brought this legendary character to life in a wicked, tragic and hypnotic manner.

Actress in a Supporting Role – Laura Dern

While Scarlett Johansson snagged yet another acting nomination, her role in Jojo Rabbit probably won’t steal the win. Florence Pugh, a young and upcoming actress, stunningly portrayed Amy March in Little Women. While it would be well-deserved for this new talent to take home the win, the Oscar will likely end up in Laura Dern’s hands. She actually co-starred with Pugh in Little Women, but her nomination is for her sassy and bold role as Johansson’s divorce lawyer in Marriage Story. These three women are pretty intertwined this year, but only one can take home the Academy Award.

Actor in a Supporting Role – Brad Pitt

This category is actually stacked with more Hollywood legends than most years. While the competition consists of veteran actors with stellar performances, this award will likely be a toss-up between Al Pacino and Brad Pitt. Pitt has dominated the award season so far with his role in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood and Pacino starred in Martin Scorsese’s Netflix Original The Irishman. While Pacino brought the infamous Jimmy Hoffa to life in a brilliant and enthralling manner, Pitt dove back into his roots and blew his role as a free-spirited stuntman out of the water. With all deserving, Brad Pitt might tip the scales in his favor.

Best Picture – 1917

The most prestigious of the categories is also the toughest to predict the winner. With incredible flicks in the running, it’s almost anyone’s to win. Each of the nine films would entertain anyone who watched them, but only one can reign victorious. While it would be refreshing and deserved for Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite to take home the win, it’s likely to be a toss-up between 1917 and The Irishman. In fact, Tarantino’s unique masterpiece, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood also stands a fighting chance. However, Sam Mendes’ war movie has dominated a wide-spread of categories, and might have been the best with all components considered. While it will likely be a nail-biter, the envelope might just read 1917 in golden letters.