Granger on Film: 92nd Academy Awards winner predictions

For movie-lovers, here’s the bad news and the good news. Last year, movie ticket sales in the United States and Canada were about $11.4 million, a 4 percent decrease from 2018. The good news is that the international box office will exceed $30 billion for the first time ever.

What’s fascinating to me is that more films from streaming services are in the awards race than ever, recognizing quality, no matter how it’s delivered. And I predict, in the not too distant future, we’ll see the simultaneous release of movies at home and in theaters.

This year is unusual in that the 92nd Oscars are on Feb. 9; last year’s was on Feb. 24 and next year’s will be on Feb. 28. That means campaigners have two fewer weeks to get their movies seen.

Of the nine films that the 8,469 Academy voters chose as Best Picture — with the exception of “Marriage Story” and “Parasite” — seven recall the past.

Winner of the Screen Actors’ Guild Ensemble Award, South Korea’s surreal fantasy “Parasite,” about a poor family insinuating themselves into the lives of a wealthy family, is the sixth to be nominated for both Best Picture and Best International film in the same year. Each of the previous five, including last year’s “Roma,” won for Best Foreign Language, not Best Picture. Problem is the conclusion is far too violent and grim.

In 1938, Jean Renoir’s World War I drama “The Grand Illusion” became the first foreign language film ever nominated for Best Picture, losing to “The Life of Emile Zola.” But now that fully 20% of Academy voters are international, it’s all about momentum and timing.

Set in 1969, Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” depicts TinselTown’s heyday, rewriting history in an alternative reality. Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated as a past-his-prime Western star with Brad Pitt is his laconic stuntman.

“1917,” “Ford vs Ferrari,” “Joker” and “The Irishman” revolve around men, relegating women to supportive, symbolic but superficial wife-mother-daughter-girlfriend roles.

With two acting nominations, along with screenplay and director, Martin Scorsese’s mob drama “The Irishman” has size and scope — perhaps too much size and scope since its three-and-a-half hour running time tries even the most avid moviegoer’s patience.

Probing into divorce and how hard it is for a man and a woman to share centerstage, “Marriage Story” also has three acting nominations but none for director Noah Baumbach.

As for other nominees, I don’t think the auto racing drama “Ford v Ferrari” has the gravitas to win Best Picture, nor do “Little Woman,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “Joker.”

Since “1917” won the Producers Guild Award and Sam Mendes won the Directors Guild, it’s not only a front-runner but also top-listed for its screenplay, cinematography, visual effects, music, makeup and hairstyling, along with sound mixing and editing.

War movies often do well at the Oscars. At the very first Academy Awards in 1928, the Best Picture was the silent wartime romance “Wings.” Then came “All’s Quiet on the Western Front.” But after that, no World War I picture has taken top honors. Will that change in 2020?


For Best Director, nominees are Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”), Todd Phillips (“Joker”), Sam Mendes (“1917”), Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”). It’s a brutally competitive category.

There are no women on this list which disappoints me because I think Marielle Heller did a superb job with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” as did Lulu Wang with “The Farewell.”


For Best Actor, nominees are Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”), Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) and Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”).

MY PREDICTION: Joaquin Phoenix

For Best Actress, nominees are Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”), Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”), Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”), Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) and Renee Zellweger (“Judy”).

MY PREDICTION: Renee Zellweger

For Best Supporting Actor, nominees are Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”), Al Pacino (“The Irishman”), Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”) and Brad Pitt (“Once upon a Time in Hollywood”).


For Best Supporting Actress, nominees are Kathy Bates (“Richard Jewell”), Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”), Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”), Florence Pugh (“Little Women”) and Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”).


For Best Adapted Screenplay, nominees are “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women” and “The Two Popes.”

While I felt that Greta Gerwig turned “Little Women” into a structural disaster, many others disagree. The Academy likes to spread the awards around, since they were originally designed as a marketing tool for the movies. And since no woman was nominated as Best Director, this category could well go to a woman.

MY PREDICTION: “Little Women”

For Best Original Screenplay, nominees are “Knives Out,” “Marriage Story,” “1917,” “Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood,” and “Parasite.”

MY PREDICTION: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

For Best Cinematography, nominees are “The Irishman,” “Joker,” “The Lighthouse,” “1917” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”


For Best Editing, nominees are “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker” and “Parasite.” Favorites are “Jojo Rabbit” and “Parasite” since they won the ACE (Editors) Awards.

MY PREDICTION: “Ford v Ferrari”

For Best Production Design, nominees are “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “1917,” “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” and “Parasite.”

MY PREDICTION: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

For Best Costume Design, nominees are “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Littler Women,” and “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.”

MY PREDICTION: “Jojo Rabbit,” making Mayes C. Rubeo the first Latina ever so honored.

For Best Makeup and Hairstyling, nominees are “Bombshell,’ “Joker,” “Judy,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” and “1917.”

MY PREDICTION: “Bombshell”

For Best Visual Effects, nominees are “Avengers: Endgame,” “The Irishman,” “The Lion King,” “1917,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

MY PREDICTION: “The Lion King,” the live-action remake, filled with astonishing effects

For Best International (Foreign) Feature, nominees are “Corpus Christi” (Poland), “Honeyland” (North Macedonia), “Les Miserables” (France), “Pain and Glory” (Spain), and “Parasite” (South Korea).


For Best Animated Feature, nominees are “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “I Lost My Body,” “Klaus,” “Missing Link” and “Toy Story 4.”


For Best Documentary, nominees are “American Factory,” “The Cave,” The Edge of Democracy,” “For Sama,” and “Honeyland.”

MY PREDICTION: “American Factory”

For Best Music, nominees for “Joker” (Hildur Guonadottir), “Little Women” (Alexandre Desplat), “Marriage Story” (Randy Newman) “1917” (Thomas Newman) and “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” (John Williams).


For Best Original Song, nominees are “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” by Randy Newman (“Toy Story 4”), “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” by Elton John & Bernie Taupin (“Rocketman”), “I’m Standing With You” by Diane Warren (“Breakthrough”), “Into the Unknown” by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robrt Lopez (“Frozen II”), and “Stand Up” by Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”).

MY PREDICTION: Elton John & Bernie Taupin

For Best Sound Editing, nominees are “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “1917,” “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

MY PREDICTION: “Ford v Ferrari”

For Best Sound Mixing, nominees are “Ad Astra,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “1917,” and “Once Upon a Tine…in Hollywood.”

MY PREDICTION: “Ford v Ferrari”

For Best Documentary Short Subject, nominees are “In the Absence,” “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl),” “Life Overtakes Me,” “St. Louis Superman,” and “Walk Run Cha-Cha.”

MY PREDICTION: “Learning to Skateboard…”

For Best Animated Short Film, nominees are “Dcera (Daughter),” “Hair Love,” “Kitbull,” “Memorable,” and “Sister.”


For Best Action Short Film, nominees are “Brotherhood,” “Nefta Football Club,” “The Neighbors’ Window,” “Saria,” and “A Sister.”

MY PREDICTION: “Brotherhood”