The Reel Dad predicts the Oscar night victors
Who will win the Oscars?
Around the world, movie fans are choosing their favorites among the nominees. As much as I might wish, I don’t have a vote. Only Academy members. So here’s who I pick to win.
Best Picture: Parasite
In the most competitive - and difficult to predict - Oscar race in years, “Parasite” should become the first foreign-language film to be named Best Picture. “Roma” came close last year but ultimately lost to “Green Book.” This year, “1917” is a strong (and deserving) contender. But “Parasite” is so imaginative in its approach, and so touching in its humanity, that it reminds us why we love to go to the movies.
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix in Joker
In a strong year for actors, it’s impossible to deny what this actor achieves on screen. Phoenix makes an iconic role - for which Heath Ledger won an Oscar - his own in an interpretation as bizarre as it is unforgettable. And many believe he is overdue for an Oscar, too, which can influence voters. While Adam Driver delivers my favorite performance of the year, he will likely have to wait.
Best Actress: Renée Zellweger in Judy
From the moment this film opened, Oscar watchers predicted Zellweger would seal her comeback to the big time by capturing a Best Actress award that eluded the legendary Judy Garland. Zellweger beautifully channels her personality into a rich interpretation of the performer — and even dares to sing Judy’s classic songs — without relying on prosthetics or makeup to create the illusion.
Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood
How has it taken so long for the Academy to honor this actor? He could have nabbed an early supporting Oscar for “Thelma and Louise” if he had been nominated. Or for his first star turn in” A River Runs Through It.” Or for “Moneyball” or “Benjamin Button.” This year, Pitt can’t be denied for his rich performance that reminds us how good the actor is and how he makes being so good look so easy.
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern in Marriage Story
If Hollywood has royalty, Dern may be a crown princess. Born to Oscar nominees Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, she was raised on movie sets before building a career filled with distinguished performances. This year, Dern benefits from two strong portrayals. In “Marriage Story,” she steals every scene as a legal barracuda with sharp teeth; in “Little Women,” she watches her daughters with pride.
Best Director: Sam Mendes, 1917
This is, again, a tight race between “Parasite” and “1917.” And, as brilliant as Bong Joon-ho’s work on “Parasite,” Sam Mendes deserves to win his second Oscar for creating the ultimate film about bravery during war. While most of the talk is about the “continuous take” approach he seamlessly conveys, the director’s sensitivity with the actors makes the characters in this piece come to life.
Best Original Screenplay: Parasite
As much as I’d love to see Quentin Tarantino win his third Oscar, “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood,” the outrageously inventive “Parasite” should be recognized for telling its exaggerated story in such an accessible way. Co-writers Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won make the film so welcoming, and the characters so compelling, that we simply can’t wait to see what happens next.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jojo Rabbit
As if begging the audience to challenge, Taika Waititi reimagines our impressions of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis into a captivating look at motherhood, families, children, devotion, tragedy and change. Waititi makes sure his screenplay does not get too preachy, instead letting us come to our own conclusions. And he never forgets he is making a movie instead of delivering a lecture.