Oscars 2020: Year-In-Advance Predictions with Some Very Long Titles In the Mix

The Oscars are over.  Wasn’t that a season?  In this new land of “unpredictability,” “new members,” and “surprise endings,” we have known entered a new era with the Academy.  The annual “Year-In-Advance Oscar Predictions” have been a staple, and as an award and entertainment analyst, a responsibility is had to get the public excited about a multitude of films of all genres and filmmakers.

As a casual follower of the Academy Awards, someone looks at these predictions and says, “we haven’t even seen a trailer yet, how can you predict this to win?”  Three simple answers: fun, filler, and an opportunity to lay the foundational work of a narrative that can be carried to next year.  At this point, no one can be wrong.  You can write your own story.

Down below, you will see the prediction of the first black female director nominated and winning the Academy Award for Best Director, along with her film winning Best Picture.  You will also see two other women alongside her in the same category. I am predicting a diverse and inclusive lineup of nominees that will include entertainers of all backgrounds.

These will be broken down ad nauseam in our 2019 AWARDS PROFILES that begin on Monday, March 4.  Monday through Friday until Memorial Day weekend, we will analyze one film and their prospects at awards success.  There are dozens of movies on the docket and this coming year; we have an exciting crop of contenders to look forward to.

Every fanboy in the universe is rocking in their chairs awaiting Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie.  A period piece that will have many begging the question, “will QT win his directing Oscar finally?”

Tarantino isn’t the only legend on display as the long-anticipated crime drama “The Irishman” from Martin Scorsese will drop onto Netflix’s services.  Getting the teaser during the Oscar telecast got the buzz started.

Women seem to be in charge this coming year both in front and behind the camera.

At the top of the list is Kasi Lemmons’ anticipated Harriet Tubman biopic titled “Harriet” starring 2018’s breakout star Cynthia Erivo.  Distributed by Focus Features, and with directing credits that include “Eve’s Bayou” and “Talk to Me,” it may be time to bestow an honor on one of Hollywood’s greatest secrets.

Focus Features has more interesting movies in the mix.  After being omitted for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” director Marielle Heller is taking on the life of Fred Rogers with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks, who hopes to finally break the “snub” streak following “Captain Phillips,” “Sully,” and “The Post.”

Reed Morano is directing Blake Lively in the thriller “The Rhythm Section” that may have more grit to it than we may think.  Greta Gerwig is back after her success with “Lady Bird,” and taking on “Little Women” with three-time Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan.

Dee Rees landed on Oscar’s doorstep with “Mudbound” and became the first African-American woman nominated for Adapted Screenplay.  With “The Last Thing He Wanted,” she hopes to garner the same level of acclaim.

The world watched Glenn Close lose her seventh Academy Award but hoping to move to that same number with a different outcome will be Amy Adams in the adaptation of “The Woman in the Window.”

While “Get Out” gave horror fans hope that the genre can be widely accepted by AMPAS, the exclusion of Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” and its central performance Toni Collete last year showed we’re not out of the woods yet.  Aster’s back this year with A24’s “Midsommar” with Florence Pugh and Will Poulter, expected to creep us all out.

Speaking of Jordan Peele, his trippy “doubles thriller” with Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke titled “Us,” seems to be doing all the right things.  Following “The Witch,” director Robert Eggers is back with “The Lighthouse” with Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in tow.

Musicals are hoping to make their marks with the adaptation of “Cats” from Oscar-winner Tom Hooper, the Beatles-less world of “Yesterday” from Danny Boyle, and the life of Elton John with “Rocketman” from uncredited co-director of “Bohemian Rhapsody” Dexter Fletcher.

Traditional biopics are always a safe bet with the Academy as we gear up for “Ford v. Ferrari” from 20th Century Fox and starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon.  We’re also expected to learn about the life of David Copperfield with “The Personal History of David Copperfield” with Dev Patel.  The Sundance Film Festival already started the train with “The Report” from Scott Z. Burns, where critics championed the film and a possible overdue narrative for Annette Bening.

Big budget movie studios are going to look to cease on the success of “Black Panther” and mount a “serious edge” to their releases this year surely.  “Captain Marvel” from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck hopes to repeat that success both financially and critically.  “Ad Astra” from James Gray seems to be your high-brow flare while “Aladdin” and “Dumbo” hope to ride on nostalgia.  The DC Universe is praying for a rebound with the comedic-looking “Shazam!” while Marvel will have “Spider-Man: Far from Home” to get it through the rest of the summer.  Oh yeah, and there’s “Avengers: Endgame” but we’ll allow another thread for that.

The traditional adult dramas, mysteries, and comedies are always open for a surprise embrace.  From Hirokazu Koreeda, director of the Oscar-nominated “Shoplifters,” he’s taking Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve, and Ludivine Sagnier, and putting them in the same movie to make our heads explode with “The Truth.”

Rian Johnson is avoiding all the angry fans of “The Last Jedi” and going with an “under wraps” mystery film called “Knives Out” with Daniel Craig and Chris Evans.  Netflix is putting recently snubbed Timothée Chalamet front and center with David Michôd’s “The King” while John Crowley returns after netting the tender “Brooklyn” 3 Oscar nominations, with “The Goldfinch” with Finn Wolfhard and Nicole Kidman.

Following “Hostiles,” director Scott Cooper is returning to the screen with “Antlers” while Ang Lee takes on sci-fi with “Gemini Man” and Will Smith.

The “overdue” narrative is prominent throughout the predictions.  Ian McKellen’s career could be a focal point with “The Good Liar” while Alfre Woodard’s career has been long ignored and could finally get its recognition with the Sundance-winning “Clemency.”

First-time directors and actors-turned-directors are on the horizon.  Rebecca Hall is stepping behind the camera with “Passing” starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga while Melina Matsoukas makes the plunge from HBO’s “Insecure” to the sure-to-be-timely “Queen & Slim” with Daniel Kaluuya, and written by Lena Waithe.

Matsoukas isn’t the only TV translation as “Downton Abbey” comes to the big screen, hoping to emulate its Emmy successes with Oscar while “The Many Saints of Newark,” a prequel to “The Sopranos,” is exciting many.

The animation genre is full of sequels like “Frozen 2” and “Toy Story 4,” original content like “Missing Link” and “Ugly Dolls,” and game adaptations like “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Playmobil.”

There’s plenty more to be excited about and trust, we will cover as many as possible.  That includes “The Dead Don’t Die” from Jim Jarmusch, “The Beach Bum” from Harmony Korine, “Downhill” with Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” from Richard Linklater.

Lastly, you may notice five predicted nominees in Makeup and Hairstyling instead of the traditional three, which the Academy normally nominates.  A source in the makeup branch has confirmed to AwardsCircuit that there are internal talks to expand the nominees to five this year.  An Academy member of the voting branch replied to this news by stating “I do think it’s high time to have five like the other branches.”  Call the prediction listing of five, “giving them a nudge in the right direction.”  DO IT AMPAS!

The full Oscar prediction rankings will publish on Monday, March 4 at 6:00 am Eastern Time.  You’ll find the full rankings, and for all you “Circuit Hubbers,” you can begin making your very own predictions in the CIRCUIT CENTER.  Don’t forget to share it all out on social media with the hashtag #TheCircuitHub.

Check out the category listings below and include your own thoughts in the comments section.

(Updated Feb. 26, 2019)


  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Sony Pictures)
    Youree Henley, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub
  • Ford v. Ferrari” (20th Century Fox)
    Peter Chernin, Lucas Foster, Alex Young, Kevin Halloran, James Mangold
  • Gemini Man” (Paramount Pictures)
    Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, James Lassiter, Will Smith
  • The Goldfinch” (Warner Bros.)
    Nina Jacobsen, Brad Simpson
  • Harriet” (Focus Features)
    Debra Martin Chase, Gregory Allen Howard, Daniela Taplin Lundberg – WINNER
  • The Irishman” (Netflix)
    Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Jane Rosenthal, Gaston Pavlovich, Randall Emmett, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
  • The Last Thing He Wanted” (Netflix)
    Cassian Elwes, Dee Rees
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)
    David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh, Quentin Tarantino
  • The Report” (Amazon Studios)
    Scott Z. Burns, Jennifer Fox, Danny Gabai, Eddy Moretti, Kerry Orent, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar
  • The Rhythm Section” (Paramount Pictures)
    Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson



  • Marielle Heller
    “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Sony Pictures)
  • Kasi Lemmons
    “Harriet” (Focus Features) – WINNER
  • Dee Rees
    “The Last Thing He Wanted” (Netflix)
  • Martin Scorsese
    “The Irishman” (Netflix)
  • Quentin Tarantino
    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)


  • Timothée Chalamet
    “The King” (Netflix)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)
  • Zac Efron
    “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” (Netflix)
  • Ian McKellen
    “The Good Liar” (Warner Bros.) – WINNER
  • Dev Patel
    “The Personal History of David Copperfield” (No U.S. Distribution)


  • Amy Adams
    “The Woman in the Window” (20th Century Fox)
  • Cate Blanchett
    “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” (United Artists)
  • Cynthia Erivo
    “Harriet” (Focus Features) – WINNER
  • Saoirse Ronan
    “Little Women” (Sony Pictures)
  • Alfre Woodard
    “Clemency” (No U.S. Distribution)


  • Willem Dafoe
    “The Last Thing He Wanted” (Netflix) – WINNER
  • Leslie Odom Jr.
    “Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Al Pacino
    “The Irishman” (Netflix)
  • Brad Pitt
    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)
  • Matthew Rhys
    “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Sony Pictures)


  • Annette Bening
    “The Report” (Amazon Studios) – WINNER
  • Catherine Deneuve
    “The Truth” (IFC Films)
  • Nicole Kidman
    “The Goldfinch” (Warner Bros.)
  • Vicky Krieps
    “Bergman Island” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • Margot Robbie
    “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)


  • Lulu Wang
    The Farewell” (A24)
  • Gregory Allen Howard, Kasi Lemmons
    Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Quentin Tarantino
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures) – WINNER
  • Lena Waithe
    Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  • Scott Z. Burns
    The Report” (Amazon Studios)


  • Peter Straughan
    The Goldfinch” (Warner Bros.)
  • Steven Zaillian
    The Irishman” (Netflix) – WINNER
  • Dee Rees, Marco Villalobos
    The Last Thing He Wanted” (Netflix)
  • Greta Gerwig
    Little Women” (Sony Pictures)
  • Tracy Letts
    The Woman in the Window” (20th Century Fox)


  • The Addams Family” (United Artists)
    Gail Berman, Alex Schwartz, Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
  • Frozen 2” (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Peter Del Vecho
  • Missing Link” (United Artists)
    Chris Butler, Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner
  • Sonic the Hedgehog” (Paramount Pictures)
    Jeff Fowler, Neal H. Moritz, Takeshi Ito, Mie Onishi, Toru Nakahara
  • Toy Story 4” (Pixar)
    Josh Cooley, Jonas Rivera, Mark Nielsen – WINNER


  • Jade Healy, Merissa Lombardo
    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Sony Pictures)
  • François Audouy, Peter Lando
    Ford v. Ferrari” (Universal Pictures)
  • Guy Hendrix Dyas, Victor J. Zolfo
    Gemini Man” (Paramount Pictures)
  • Warren Alan Young, Marthe Pineau
    Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures) – WINNER


  • Hoyte van Hoytema
    Ad Astra” (20th Century Fox)
  • Roger Deakins
    The Goldfinch” (Warner Bros.)
  • John Toll
    Harriet” (Focus Features) – WINNER
  • Robert Richardson
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)
  • Bruno Delbonnel
    The Woman in the Window” (20th Century Fox)


  • TBD
    Downton Abbey” (Focus Features)
  • Paul Tazewell
    Harriet” (Focus Features)
  • Christopher Peterson, Sandy Powell
    The Irishman” (Netflix)
  • Arianne Phillips
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures) – WINNER
  • Julian Day
    Rocketman” (Paramount Pictures)


  • Michael McCusker
    Ford v. Ferrari” (20th Century Fox) – WINNER
  • Kelley Dixon
    The Goldfinch” (Warner Bros.)
  • Thelma Schoonmaker
    The Irishman” (Netflix)
  • Mako Kamitsuna
    The Last Thing He Wanted” (Netflix)
  • Greg O’Bryant
    The Report” (Amazon Studios)


  • Claire Matthews, Christine Blundell
    Aladdin” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • TBD
    Cats” (Universal Pictures)
  • Belinda Anderson, Angie Wells
    Harriet” (Focus Features) – WINNER
  • Janine Rath, Heba Thorisdottir
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)
  • TBD
    Rocketman” (Paramount Pictures)


  • TBD
    Ad Astra” (20th Century Fox)
  • Richard Bullock Jr., Paul Massey
    Ford v. Ferrari” (20th Century Fox) – WINNER
  • TBD
    Gemini Man” (Paramount Pictures)
  • Michael Minkler
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony Pictures)
  • TBD
    Rocketman” (Paramount Pictures)


  • Grant Elder
    Ad Astra” (20th Century Fox)
  • TBD
    Antlers” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • TBD
    Ford v. Ferrari” (20th Century Fox) – WINNER
  • TBD
    Gemini Man” (Paramount Pictures)
  • Patrick Cicero, Wyatt Sprague
    The Goldfinch” (Warner Bros.)


  • Christopher Downs, Jiwoong Kim, Bradley Parker
    Ad Astra” (20th Century Fox)
  • Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Kelly Port, Daniel Sudick
    Avengers: Endgame” (Marvel Studios)
  • Christopher Townsend, Daniel Sudick
    Captain Marvel” (Marvel Studios)
  • Pablo Helman, Jiwoong Kim, Taylor Schulte
    The Irishman” (Netflix)
  • Roger Guyett, Dominic Tuohy
    Untitled Star Wars Episode IX” (Walt Disney Pictures) – WINNER


  • Max Richter
    Ad Astra” (20th Century Fox)
  • Nate Heller
    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Sony Pictures)
  • Trevor Gureckis
    The Goldfinch” (Warner Bros.)
  • Terence Blanchard
    Harriet” (Focus Features) – WINNER
  • Tamar-kali
    The Last Thing He Wanted” (Netflix)


  • Unknown Possible Song from
    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Sony Pictures)
  • Unknown Possible Song from
    Cats” (Universal Pictures)
  • Unknown Possible Song from
    The Last Thing He Wanted” (Netflix)
  • Unknown Possible Song from
    Rocketman” (Paramount Pictures)
  • Unknown Possible Song from
    Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures) – WINNER


  • Apollo 11” (NEON) – WINNER
    Todd Douglas Miller
  • Aquarela” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Victor Kossakovsky
  • David Crosby: Remember My Name” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    A.J. Eaton
  • Knock Down the House” (Netflix)
    Rachel Lears
  • Maiden” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Alex Holmes


  • Benedetta” (Netherlands)
    Paul Verhoeven
  • Dolor Y Gloria” (Spain)
    Pedro Almodóvar
  • Ema” (Chile) – WINNER
    Pablo Larraín
  • Parasite” (South Korea)
    Bong Joon-ho
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (France)
    Céline Sciamma


  • Acid Rain” – WINNER
    Tomek Popakul
  • animistica
    Nikki Schuster
    David Nessl
  • Muteum
    Aggie Pak Yee Lee
  • Sister
    Siqi Song


  • Black 14
    Darius Clark Monroe
  • The Dispossessed
    Musa Syeed
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Sudden Birth* (*but were afraid to ask)” – WINNER
    Scott Calonico
  • Ghosts of Sugar Land
    Bassam Tariq
  • Throat Singing in Kangirsuk
    Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland


  • As Told to G-d Thyself” – WINNER
    The Ummah Chroma
  • Crude Oil
    Christopher Good, Andreina Byrne
  • Lavender
    Matthew Puccini
  • Old Haunt
    Andre Hyland
  • One Cambodian Family Please for My Pleasure
    A.M. Lukas

CORRECTION (Feb. 26 @ 6:43 pm): The original posting said Robert Eggers directed “It Comes at Night” and was corrected to “The Witch.”

What will you be predicting this year? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below! 


What do you think?


Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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