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  • by Jeff Beck

Predicting the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, Part 1: The Minor Categories


With the 92nd Annual Academy Awards happening this Sunday, it's time to lay down my predictions as to what I think has the best chance of winning in all 24 categories on the big night. As before, they'll be split into two sections: The Minor Categories (The Shorts-Film Editing) and The Major Categories (Screenplay-Picture), so let's get right to it.

Best Live Action Short Brotherhood Nefta Football Club The Neighbors' Window Saria A Sister Best Documentary Short In the Absence Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl) Life Overtakes Me St. Louis Superman Walk Run Cha-Cha Best Animated Short Dcera Hair Love Kitbull Memorable Sister As usual, there is nothing really to base predictions on, though "Learnng to Skateboard in a Warzone" did win a BAFTA award, so it's clearly liked. Meanwhile, "Brotherhood" and "Hair Love" are very popular choices for the other two categories, so these appear to be the favorite choices going into the big night. Best Sound Editing Ford v Ferrari Joker 1917 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Best Sound Mixing Ad Astra Ford v Ferrari Joker 1917 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood It's true that "Ford v Ferrari" took major awards from the Cinema Audio Society and the Motion Picture Sound Editors, but it was "1917" that won the BAFTA award for Best Sound, and historically their winner tends to win at least one of the sound Oscars. In this case, there's no reason as to why The Academy wouldn't go ahead and give both to Sam Mendes' extraordinary war epic, following in the footsteps of Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk," which did the same just two years ago. Best Visual Effects Avengers: Endgame The Irishman The Lion King 1917 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Visual Effects has been a fascinating category to watch throughout the awards race, mainly because it's been all over the place: The Critics' Choice chose "Avengers: Endgame," The Visual Effects Society chose "The Lion King" and "The Irishman," and BAFTA chose "1917." So who will they go with? Historically speaking, they tend to go with a Best Picture nominee when they're included, and given the choice of the two, "1917" definitely seems like the more obvious pick, especially with it being (spoiler) a possible Best Picture favorite. It's a tough call, but Mendes' war epic does once again appear to be the favorite, especially because of its big BAFTA win. Best International Film Corpus Christi Honeyland Les Miserables Pain and Glory Parasite Here we have the first solid lock of the night. Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite" has dominated this category throughout the entire season, and will definitely be adding the Best International Film Oscar onto its list of accolades. Best Documentary Feature American Factory The Cave The Edge of Democracy For Sama Honeyland After the inexplicable exclusion of the magnificent "Apollo 11" from the category, which dominated throughout awards season, we're left with trying to find its successor. With "For Sama" winning the BAFTA award last Sunday, we can only assume that it's going to be victorious here as well. With the frontrunner thrown out, unfortunately everything here is just pure speculation, but this tactic worked last year to predict "Free Solo" after the shameful exclusion of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", so perhaps it will work again this year. Best Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World I Lost My Body Klaus Missing Link Toy Story 4 While "Toy Story 4" seemed to dominate the award season for a while, "Klaus" has enjoyed a surprising surge in the late stages, winning both the top Annie Award and the BAFTA. "Toy Story 4" could certainly still win here after having won the Producers Guild of America Award, but "Klaus" just seems too popular to ignore as we come to the final stop of awards season. Best Original Song "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away," Toy Story 4 "I'm Gonna Love Me Again," Rocketman I'm Standing with You," Breakthrough "Into the Unknown," Frozen 2 "Stand Up," Harriet Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot to base a prediction on here, but the song from "Rocketman" did win the Golden Globe for the category, so it is somewhat popular. That's on top of it being an Elton John song, whom they haven't given an Oscar to in 25 years, so it definetely seems like it would be the most popular pick. Best Original Score Joker Little Women Marriage Story 1917 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker It's rather unfortunate to have to say that it looks like "Joker" will be taking this category. This rather bland score has somehow won the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, beating out Thomas Newman's grand work on "1917," likely sending him home with his 15th Oscar loss. There is a possible chance of an upset occurring at the last minute, but I wouldn't count on it. Best Makeup & Hair Bombshell Joker Judy Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 1917 Not much to say here except that "Bombshell" won big at the Makeup and Hair Stylists Guild Awards, which was followed up by a big win from BAFTA, so it seems to be the clear frontrunner for the category. Best Costume Design The Irishman Jojo Rabbit Joker Little Women Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood While "Little Women" was strangely ignored by the Costume Designers Guild in the Period category, the film still managed a big win at the BAFTA awards this past Sunday, so it would appear to be the favorite, though with "Jojo Rabbit" pulling off a surprise win with the CDG, it could pose a threat. Best Production Design The Irishman Jojo Rabbit 1917 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood Parasite Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" has been dominating this category throughout the season, topping it off win a big win at the Art Directors Guild awards for Period design, so it seems hard to bet against it. However, with "1917" winning the BAFTA award last week, Mendes' epic could very well pull a second upset on Oscar night. Almost feels like it could go either way, but Tarantino's flick still feels like the safer bet. Best Cinematography The Irishman Joker The Lighthouse 1917 Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood Here we have another really solid lock. Roger Deakins' brilliant work on "1917" has been winning him nearly every accolade in this category throughout the season, including top honors from the American Society of Cinematographers and the BAFTA. It appears that he will certainly be adding another Oscar to his mantle after having finally won just two years ago for "Blade Runner 2049." Best Film Editing Ford v Ferrari The Irishman Jojo Rabbit Joker Parasite Here we have one of the most interesting categories of the night. For the few critics groups that have a Film Editing category, "Ford v Ferrari" was a particular favorite. However, when it came to the American Cinema Editors, they opted to give their Drama Editing award to "Parasite," but here's where things get interesting. BAFTA didn't even nominate "Parasite" for their Editing award, which could show quite a bit of weakness. After all, the last time BAFTA failed to nominate the Oscar winner for this category was when the remake of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" randomly won the award (ACE nominated it for Drama, but chose "The Descendants"). Before that, you have to go all the way back to the 92-93 season where BAFTA didn't nominate Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven." That is to say, they have a really good track record of at least nominating the Oscar winner, so if "Parasite" couldn't even make the top five, it doesn't seem particularly strong. This is on top of "Ford v Ferrari" being the far-flashier film, which is likely to catch the eye of your average Academy member. Of course, "Parasite" could indeed win here, and it would just be a big strike for BAFTA in terms of Oscar predictability. After all, even "Bohemian Rhapsody" (now commonly ridiculed as the worst choice ever for the Film Editing Oscar) managed to win after being victorious at the ACE awards. Either way, it's definitely going to be a tight race.

Do you agree with these picks? Who do you think will win in each category and why?

Part 2: The Major Categories can be found here.

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