Amanda’s Picks: Oscars 2020

Happy Oscar Sunday to my fellow cinephiles and casual moviegoers! Tonight is the night we’ve all been waiting for. The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are being televised, without a host this year for the second time. There are plenty of presenters that will be taking the stage and awarding their colleagues for their accomplishments this year.

It has been such a long journey for me, since I attended The Toronto International Film Festival in September and I made my early picks for Oscar Season. Fortunately for me, I made the right choices and majority of them are now nominated this year. Also, fun fact before I make my predictions… for the past couple of years the Grolsch People’s Choice Award winner at TIFF has won an Oscar, in this case Jojo Rabbit has a shot.

So here are my predictions…

BEST PICTURE

SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: 1917

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
SHOULD WIN: Florence Pugh, Little Women 
WILL WIN: Laura Dern, Marriage Story 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
SHOULD WIN: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 
WILL WIN: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

South Korea, “Parasite”
Spain, “Pain and Glory”
France, “Les Misérables”
North Macedonia, “Honeyland”
Poland, “Corpus Christi”
SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: Parasite 

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”
SHOULD WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
WILL WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“American Factory”
“The Edge of Democracy”
“Honeyland”
“For Sama”
“The Cave”
SHOULD WIN: For Sama
WILL WIN: American Factory 

ORIGINAL SONG

“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen II”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”
SHOULD WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
WILL WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body”
“Klaus”
“Missing Link”
“Toy Story 4”
SHOULD WIN: Klaus/Missing Link
WILL WIN: Toy Story 4 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

SHOULD WIN: Little Women 
WILL WIN: Jojo Rabbit 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: Parasite 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
SHOULD WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 
WILL WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
SHOULD WIN: Saiorse Ronan, Little Women 
WILL WIN: Renée Zellweger, Judy 

DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
SHOULD WIN: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite 
WILL WIN: Sam Mendes, 1917 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

SHOULD WIN: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 
WILL WIN: Parasite 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

SHOULD WIN: The Lighthouse 
WILL WIN: 1917

COSTUME DESIGN

SHOULD WIN: Little Women 
WILL WIN: Jojo Rabbit 

SOUND EDITING

SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 

SOUND MIXING

SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“Kitbull”
“Memorable”
“Sister”
SHOULD WIN: Hair Love 
WILL WIN: Hair Love 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Brotherhood”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbours’ Window”
“Saria”
“A Sister”
SHOULD WIN: Saria 
WILL WIN: Saria 

ORIGINAL SCORE

“1917,” Thomas Newman
“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir
“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
SHOULD WIN: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker 
WILL WIN: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker 

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Lion King”
SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: 1917

FILM EDITING

SHOULD WIN: The Irishman 
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

SHOULD WIN: Bombshell 
WILL WIN: Bombshell 

As you can see there is only one pick for The Irishman. Does The Irishman deserve more than it’s getting this year? You bet! So I’m not voting based on preference, instead I’m voting with how award season went.
Would I want The Irishman, Joker and Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood to over perform and surprise all of us? Yes. Those were the films that stood out to me in 2019.
Would Parasite winning Best Picture be a historic moment that SHOULD happen in 2020? ABSOLUTELY.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Oscars won’t be filled with surprises tonight! The red carpet starts at 6pm and the telecast starts at 8pm. Feel free to follow along on Twitter @amxndareviews.

2020 Golden Globe Nominations

Bright and early this morning, the 77th Annual Golden Globe Nominations were announced. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 5th, where we will find out the winners.

The nominations are as follows and the early predictions will be added as well.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
“1917″
The Irishman
Joker
Marriage Story
The Two Popes

Early Prediction: If the HFPA goes the Netflix route, The Irishman will win edging out Marriage Story and The Two Popes. If they decide not to go that route, then I would like Joker to win, but 1917 would be the surprise.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Dolemite Is My Name
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Rocketman

Early Prediction: Rocketman would be the ideal winner because it’s the “Musical or Comedy” category BUT one of two outcomes could possibly happen… if Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is going to go all the way to the Oscars, then it could definitely take it OR Knives Out will likely be the winner.

BEST DIRECTOR
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

Early Predictions: Martin Scorsese for The Irishman would be the safe bet but again, it’s a Netflix picture and that could harm the chances. I’ve been saying that Quentin Tarantino is owed and he could only go all the way with Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, considering the content. A very nice surprise would be Bong Joon Ho for Parasite because the film is very well done.

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA
Christian Bale, “Ford v. Ferrari
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes

Early Predictions: It’s nice to see Christian Bale and Antonio Banderas nominated! I also would have given the spot to Jonathan Pryce for The Two Popes over Robert De Niro in The Irishman because he was very good and it’s such an interesting role. The race is definitely between Joaquin Phoenix for Joker and Adam Driver for Marriage Story. Both performances were fantastic in their own way, so we’ll see how this plays out.

BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA
Cynthio Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story
Saorise Ronan, “Little Women”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy

Early Predictions: It’s going to Renee Zellweger for Judy and we all know this.

BEST ACTOR – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Daniel Craig, “Knives Out
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman
Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit
Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name

Early Predictions: Incredibly happy to see Eddie Murphy back on the slate and newcomer Roman Griffin Davis as well! My heart definitely wants Taron Egerton to get the recognition for Rocketman but I have a feeling it will go to Daniel Craig for Knives Out. His role of Detective Benoit Blanc was fantastic.

BEST ACTRESS – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Ana de Armas, “Knives Out
Cate Blanchett, “Where’d You Go Bernadette”
Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart
Emma Thompson, “Late Night

Early Predictions: Awkwafina for The Farewell is most likely the front runner in this case and I’m torn because Ana de Armas did a fantastic job in Knives Out. I’m beyond happy for Beanie Feldstein because she was lovely in Booksmart.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes
Al Pacino, “The Irishman
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Early Predictions: THIS… this is the toughest category. I want Brad Pitt to go all the way because he deserves it for this role in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. This whole category is stacked and they all deliver such wonderful performances. If I had to choose between Pacino and Pesci… it would be Joe Pesci all the way. It’s what it is.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Annette Bening, “The Report
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Early Predictions: Laura Dern. Marriage Story. Would I like to see Margot Robbie for Bombshell come out of nowhere? Yes. Literally anyone else in that category can win instead of Jennifer Lopez for Hustlers.

BEST SCREENPLAY
The Irishman
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
​“Parasite
The Two Popes

Early Predictions: This is also a tough category… I would give it to Parasite because the concept of the story is very well written and the pacing for the con job is great. Safe bet would definitely be Marriage Story because everyone loves a good divorce drama.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“1917”
Joker
“Little Women”
Marriage Story
“Motherless Brooklyn”

Early Predictions: Hildur Guðnadóttir for Joker. Go listen to that score right now.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Beautiful Ghosts” – CATS
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again” – Rocketman
“Into the Unknown” – Frozen 2
“Spirit” – The Lion King
“Stand Up” – Harriet

Early Predictions: I would love if “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman wins, it’s such a beautiful song and it’s so meaningful to Elton John.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Frozen 2”
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
The Lion King
“Missing Link”
Toy Story 4

Early Predictions: First off…. The Lion King (2019) has been classified as a live action film, so I have no idea why it’s nominated for Best Animated Feature. I would like if Missing Link takes it because there are three sequels in the running. No Abominable? What’s that about?

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“The Farewell”
“Les Misérables”
“Pain and Glory”
Parasite
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” 

Early Predictions: Parasite, hands down.

Side Note: Extremely sad that Honey Boy and Uncut Gems didn’t receive any nominations. I would have loved to see the Safdies and Adam Sandler get the recognition for their incredible work and of course Shia LaBeouf for that Screenplay nomination, even Alma Har’el for Director. Truly hoping that things shift with the other awards.

The following predictions for Television will be in BOLD.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
“Big Little Lies”
“The Crown”
“Killing Eve”
“The Morning Show”
Succession

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY
“Barry”
Fleabag
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“The Politician”

MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
“Catch-22”
Chernobyl
“Fosse/Verdon”
“The Loudest Voice”
“Unbelievable” 

BEST ACTOR TV SERIES – DRAMA
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Billy Porter, “Pose”

BEST ACTRESS TV SERIES – DRAMA
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Jodi Comer, “Killing Eve”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”

BEST ACTOR TV SERIES – COMEDY
Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Paul Rudd, “Living With Yourself”
Rami Yousef, “Rami”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”

BEST ACTRESS TV SERIES – COMEDY
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
Rachel Brosnahan, “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

BEST ACTOR – MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Chris Abbott, “Catch 22”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Spy”
Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”

BEST ACTRESS – MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Helen Mirren, “Catherine the Great”
Merritt Wever, “Unbelievable”
Kaitlyn Dever, “Unbelievable”
Joey King, “The Act”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – SERIES, MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Alan Arkin, “Kominsky Method”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Stellan Skarsgård, “Chernobyl”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – SERIES, MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”
Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”

All You Need To Know About #TIFF19

It’s that time of year again, where the city of Toronto is buzzing with excitement because of the Toronto International Film Festival! TIFF has programmed such a wonderful set up this year and as usual, there are too many films to choose from!

I was fortunate enough to purchase a package of 30 tickets, which I divided with my closest friends and we picked some good ones! I always advise newcomers to watch films that they normally wouldn’t go see in theatres or they wouldn’t get the chance to see on the big screen, due to distribution and access to limited releases! TIFF has been getting bigger and there are plenty of mainstream films that highlight the festival! However, I like watching the underdogs, the smaller, independent films, that might surprise audiences and end up winning Oscar gold!

So, here are my #TIFF19 picks and these are films that I highly recommend based on the simple fact that each of them are very different.

  1. And We Go Green

The reason I chose to watch And We Go Green is because I’m interested to see how major corporations are trying to save the environment by becoming environmentally friendly. I’m excited to see how a man who has been apart of the racing industry his whole life, came up with Formula E and how the rest of the racing community adapts to that change. It’s also co-directed by Fisher Stevens and Malcolm Venville! I watched another Fisher Stevens documentary Before the Flood a couple of years ago at TIFF and it was well done and very informative. It is also produced by Appian Way Productions, which is Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, he also makes an appearance in the documentary, so here’s to hoping that Leo shows up as well! The best part about purchasing a ticket for the premiere of a documentary, is that the filmmakers will most definitely be there and discuss the making of their film.

2. Seberg

Kristen Stewart stars in SEBERG

The reason I chose Seberg is because in film school I studied French New Wave Cinema and Jean Seberg was in a film called Breathless, this was her defining role, which encapsulated the whole genre. Jean Seberg was a fantastic actress, but it was her life off screen that held the most intriguing and powerful story. I am beyond excited to see Kristen Stewart give a brilliant performance as Jean Seberg and it’s about time that Stewart gets some sort of recognition for how talented she is!

3. Endings, Beginnings

Shailene Woodley in Endings, Beginnings

My friends have raved about Drake Doremus and his ability to really expose emotions from his main characters. He creates these human stories that are so raw on screen, that he will make you feel many things at once. I’m very excited to see this one because of the aspect of a love triangle between Jamie Dornan, Shailene Woodley and Sebastian Stan. Three great actors tackling a film with Drake Doremus is definitely going to be something wonderful to see!

4. The Two Popes

As a Catholic, I always enjoy watching films that involve the Church because filmmakers can always have a different perspective about the private lives of priests, cardinals or in this case popes. The Two Popes is labelled a dark comedy and Fernando Meirelles is a gifted filmmaker who will be able to create a balance between the true story and the humour that comes with it. Also to have legends, such as Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce play Pope Benedict and Pope Francis is beyond perfect casting! Netflix definitely has a great one being added to their library!

5. Honey Boy

My most anticipated film of the festival this year is Honey Boy. The reason is because I’ve been a massive fan of Shia LaBeouf’s for years and have always supported him throughout his career. LaBeouf has had a very hard life and has always been misunderstood. This film is a huge piece of LaBeouf and I’m very proud in the way he wanted to present his story. Alma Har’el is a beautiful director and it looks like she has approached this project with a gentle heart but at the same time allowing the brutal honesty of the situation to shine through. I’m looking forward to seeing Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges embody two very different versions of Otis (Shia LaBeouf) and I’m even more excited to see what Labeouf does as he portrays his own father.

6. Lucy in the Sky

The main reason I chose this film was because I love space! More importantly I love films about space that do something different with the narrative. Lucy in the Sky looks absolutely twisted and I know for a fact Natalie Portman will give another jaw dropping performance! I’m also very happy that I’m supporting Noah Hawley in his feature film directorial debut! New filmmakers coming up with original content and making a trailer that looks this interesting is something I would definitely love!

7. Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems

The dynamic duo of the Safdie Brothers have returned with Uncut Gems. Considering I had a real GOOD TIME watching Good Time because of how different their style was is the main reason I’m watching this one. They’re minds are unlike anything I’ve seen and to be able to create such obscure films is something I will most definitely support. Also having Adam Sandler in a serious role is always a great thing because his dramatic pieces are very underrated!

8. Waves

(from left) Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown & Renee Elise Goldsberry
in Waves

Trey Edward Shults is debuting his junior film at TIFF and it has already been getting rave reviews at other festivals! I’m mostly excited to see the family dynamics after dealing with a loss. It seems to be a very humanistic journey and Shults has taken another direction for his filmography with this one! Kelvin Harrison Jr has been labelled as the Breakout Star this year and I’m happy I’m ending the festival with this piece right here!

I’ve heard so many different things from Telluride and Venice that I’m really looking forward to the Oscar race this year. My EARLY predictions are as follows:

  • Meryl Streep will get nominated for Lead Actress for The Laundromat AND Supporting Actress for Little Women
  • Renee Zellweger will return in the Best Actress category for Judy
  • Tom Hanks will most definitely return to the Best Actor category for A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
  • Cynthia Ervio could also have a nomination in the bag for Harriet.
  • I would love to see Antonio Banderas get some kind of recognition for either The Laundromat or Pain and Glory
  • A stretch would be Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson getting nominated for The Lighthouse, depending on the traction it gets
  • I would LOVE to see Parasite get some recognition as well!
  • Kristen Stewart deserves to get nominated for Seberg because she’s overdue for a nomination
  • Shia LaBeouf should DEFINITELY get some recognition for his cathartic screenplay for Honey Boy
  • Joaquin Phoenix is winning the Best Actor Oscar this year, there is literally no competition, it is his for the Joker

Those are my early predictions for what could generate some buzz at the festival this year!

For the next 2 weeks I will be documenting my #TIFF19 experience on my Twitter (@amxndasantino) and my Instagram (amxndasantinox)! Happy #TIFF19 everyone and let the Oscar season begin!