Oscar Predictions: Will Win/Should Win

Our Oscar predictions forecast an unpredictable night. This year’s shortened award season has us all over the place. Our team assembled to give its picks for who will win and who should win at the Oscars on Sunday night. There are few consensuses in our results, aside from unanimous support for Parasite in the Best International Feature race and an all-around agreement that anyone but Todd Phillips deserves Best Director.


We’re also all over the map in terms of our enthusiasm. One member says they’ve never been less excited about the Oscars, while another has all his favourites in the race. But we also agree that 2019 has yet another set of very white, very male, and very straight bunch of unadventurous nominees. Even someone like myself who’s defended the Academy in years of previous controversy has to agree that something is remiss here.


Oscars So White – and Unadventurous


The nominations generally don’t jive with the picks of critics and audiences who saw no dearth of options from voices outside the establishment. Just look at how the flamboyantly gay Rocketman, which was pretty ground-breaking for a major studio movie, was virtually shut out after the straight-washed Bohemian Rhapsody won four Oscars last year. Or critical favourite Lupita N’yongo got the shaft for Us after sweeping the critics’ prizes. As much as I dislike that performance personally, her omission indicates the Academy’s unwillingness to look beyond the traditional Oscar-fodder of biopics and period films. And then there’s Lulu Wang’s summer sleeper hit The Farewell, which seemed like a shoo-in for a screenplay nomination (at least) and won a Golden Globe for Awkwafina’s performance, but got shut out. Perhaps they’ll make up for those gaffes by giving the top prize to Parasite, but last year’s Oscar ceremony showed a battle between the old guard and the newbies with Green Book besting fan favourites like Roma, BlacKkKlansman, or Black Panther.


Joining for the Oscar predictions party are Akash Singh, Bil Antoniou, Courtney Small, Daniel Grant, Jason Gorber, Joe Lipsett, Kevin Lee, Pat Mullen, Rachel West, Victor Stiff, and Will Perkins. Participants had three “this for that” options to swap out a nominee with a preferred choice (but I took four since I’m petty) and had the opportunity to abstain from voting any category.



Herewith are our fearless Oscar predictions and picks to help (or destroy) your ballot!


Best Picture


The nominees: Ford V. Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Parasite


Surprisingly few people are taking note of the historic throwdown in this year’s Best Picture race. For the first time ever, we have the Cannes Palme d’Or winner (Parasite), Venice Golden Lion winner (Joker), and the TIFF People’s Choice winner (Jojo Rabbit) all competing for Best Picture. One of the world’s three top festivals could increase its bragging rights as an Oscar Launchpad. Despite our grievances with some of the nominees, this year’s Best Picture race generally features films that dominated the conversation in 2019, outside all that Disney crap that clogged the box office or movies that opened before July.


It’s a bit weird, then, that the presumed Best Picture winner for 2019 will be a film that wasn’t seen by many people in 2019 unless they work in the industry or were in New York/LA/Toronto from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve. Our group generally agrees that 1917 will break the streak of “festival films.” No film since 2006’s The Departed won the Oscar without a festival launch. The festival hype could ultimately help Parasite in the end. Unlike 1917, it screened everywhere in 2019 and was the talk of the town at every festival it played.


The Ballot

It ultimately comes down to the preferential ballot, though. It doesn’t matter which of these nine films has the most passionate group of supporters. A movie needs 50% of the overall vote (plus one) to win as voters’ rank their choices, votes are re-shuffled, and films are knocked off round-by-round. So, a film like Joker, which is loved and hated in equal measures, has less of a chance than films like Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood  and Parasite, which are widely admired and should pick up votes round-by-round. With the Golden Globe, Directors Guild, and Producers Guild, and BAFTA under its belt, 1917 is an assured frontrunner. But Brokeback Mountain and La La Land had all those awards, too….


Will win:

1917: Bil, Courtney, Daniel, Jason, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Victor Will

Parasite: Akash



Should win:

1917: Bil, Kevin

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Jason

Parasite: Akash, Courtney, Daniel, Joe, Pat, Rachel, Victor, Will



This for that:

Pat says: Swap out Joker for The Two Popes, and assign 50 rosaries to any clown who voted for Todd Phillips.

Best Director


The nominees: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite; Sam Mendes, 1917; Todd Phillips, Joker; Martin Scorsese, The Irishman; Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood


Once again, we’re looking at 1917 versus Parasite. Anyone else winning would be a major surprise. Both films are major technical and artistic accomplishments. While the buzz from the Bonghive is strong and Bong Joon-ho is the runaway critical darling, Mendes has the prerequisite wins (DGA, Globe, BAFTA) that point in his direction.



Will win:

Bong Joon-ho: Will

Sam Mendes: Akash, Bill, Courtney, Daniel, Jason, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Victor


Should win:

Bong Joon-ho: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Daniel, Jason, Joe, Pat, Victor, Will

Sam Mendes: Kevin, Rachel


This for that – we have opinions about this one!


Daniel says: Swap our Todd Phillips (Joker) for Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) but only because my hands are tied by what was nominated for Best Picture. I feel strongly that Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) and Melina Matsukas (Queen & Slim) were robbed of directing recognition as were their films overall.


Joe, Kevin, and Victor say: Swap out Todd Phillips for Greta Gerwig (Little Women)


Rachel says: Swap out Todd Phillips for literally anyone…take your pick: Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman).

Judy Renee Zellweger

Best Actress


The nominees: Cynthia Erivo, Harriet; Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story; Saoirse Ronan, Little Woman; Charlize Theron, Bombshell; Renée Zellweger, Judy


It looks to be a runaway for Best Actress. All but one of us agrees that Renée Zellweger will win for her devastating comeback turn as Judy Garland. The four acting winners are among the few consensus sure-things of the night, but one member of the team thinks that ScarJo will take it. Everybody called Glenn Close one of the sure things of the night last year, so maybe Renée will stay in character and end Oscar night where Garland often did: at the bar.


Will win:

Scarlett Johansson: Will

Renée Zellweger: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Daniel, Jason, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Victor


Should win:

Scarlett Johansson: Courtney, Jason, Kevin, Rachel

Saoirse Ronan: Akash, Victor, Will

Charlize Theron: Bil, Daniel, Joe

Renée Zellweger: Pat


This for that:

Akash says: Swap out Scarlett Johansson for Awkwafina (The Farewell)

Daniel says: Swap out Scarlett Johansson for Lupita N’yongo (Us)

Pat says: Swap out Cynthia Erivo for Alfre Woodard (Clemency)


Best Actor


The nominees: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory; Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood; Adam Driver, Marriage Story; Joaquin Phoenix, Joker; Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes


I can’t even deal with this category.


Will win:

Joaquin Phoenix: everyone


Should win:

Antonio Banderas: Akash, Bil, Joe, Pat, Will

Adam Driver: Jason, Kevin, Rachel

Joaquin Phoenix: Courtney, Daniel, Victor


This for that:

Pat says: Swap out Joaquin Phoenix for Taron Egerton (Rocketman)

Rachel and Courtney say: Swap out Leonardo DiCaprio for Taron Egerton (Rocketman)

Will says: Swap out Jonathan Pryce for Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)

Laura Dern mariage story

Best Supporting Actress


The nominees: Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell; Laura Dern, Marriage Story; Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit; Florence Pugh, Little Women; Margot Robbie, Bombshell


Laura Dern gonna be walking into the Dolby Theatre like royalty. It’s her night. Her performance as the pit-bull of a divorce lawyer in Marriage Story was a runaway favourite throughout the season. Dern’s only realistic contender seemed to be Jennifer Lopez, whose surprise snub clinched the award for her. Besides the great performance, one can’t overlook Dern’s huge popularity, likability, and presence in the Academy. As a chair of the Actors’ branch and invaluable player with the Academy’s upcoming museum and public-facing events, she’s everywhere and working with everyone in addition to giving a performance that makes for an easy win.


Will win:

Laura Dern: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Daniel, Jason, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Victor

Florence Pugh: Will


Should win:

Laura Dern: Bil, Jason, Joe, Pat, Victor

Scarlett Johansson: Daniel, Rachel

Florence Pugh: Akash, Courtney, Kevin, Will


This for that

Pat says: Swap out Kathy Bates and her Tupperware in Richard Jewell for Cho-Yeo Jeong and her deadpan sense of humour in Parasite

Bill says: Swap out Kathy Bates and Scarlett Johansson for Annette Bening (The Report) and Zhao Shuzhen (The Farewell)

Brad Pitt

Best Supporting Actor


The nominees: Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes; Al Pacino, The Irishman; Joe Pesci, The Irishman; Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood


Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci all have their Oscars. Brad Pitt has yet to win for acting. That oversight only adds to his case for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. His turn as the rascally stunt man enjoying a bromance with Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best casting coups in recent memory. Additionally, he’s likely to bring the one sure statuette for Quentin Tarantino’s film, much like Christoph Waltz did with 2009’s Inglourious Basterds.


Will win:

Brad Pitt: everyone


Should win:

Al Pacino: Daniel, Kevin, Pat, Will

Joe Pesci: Courtney, Joe, Victor

Brad Pitt: Bil, Jason, Rachel


That for that:

Daniel says: Swap out Anthony Hopkins for Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy)


Best International Feature


The nominees: Corpus Christi (Poland), Honeyland (North Macedonia), Les Misérables (France), Pain and Glory (Spain), Parasite (South Korea).


If anyone at your Oscar party says Corpus Christi, they’re a cop.


Will win:

Parasite: everyone


Should win:

Parasite: everyone


This for that:

Courtney says: Swap out Les Misérables for Portrait of a Lady on Fire

American Factory

Best Documentary Feature


The nominees: American Factory, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland


It’s a great year for documentaries, but a tough call with presumed frontrunner Apollo 11 out of the race. American Factory scored most of the prizes on the circuit that Apollo 11 did not and looks to be the default favourite. The strength of the field, moreover, is evident in fact that the doc race drew the widest spread of support across That Shelf’s team.


Will win:

American Factory: Bil, Courtney, Jason, Pat, Victor

The Cave: Joe, Will

For Sama: Akash, Kevin, Rachel


Should win:

American Factory: Jason, Pat, Victor

The Cave: Joe

The Edge of Democracy: Bil

For Sama: Akash, Courtney, Kevin, Rachel

Honeyland: Will

Toy Story 4

Best Animated Feature


The nominees: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link, Toy Story 4.


The creatively titled Toy Story 4 might bring yet another win for the franchise. However, many pundits peg the snub for Frozen 2 to Disney backlash following its merger with Fox and box office dominance. The other contenders are admittedly much smaller fish than Buzz and Woody, though. Best Animated Feature is a rare field at the Oscars in which the studios consistently dominate. However, i’s hard to predict Toy Story with confidence, especially after Klaus randomly swept the Annies and won the BAFTA after landing an Oscar nomination that many pundits considered a surprise. Read more in Courtney Small’s breakdown of the animated category!


Will win:

Klaus: Courtney, Rachel

Missing Link: Akash, Jason

Toy Story 4: Bil, Daniel, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Victor, Will


Should win:

How to Train Your Dragon: Victor

I Lost My Body: Akash, Courtney, Joe, Pat

Missing Link: Bil, Rachel, Will

Toy Story 4: Daniel, Kevin

Parasite Mrs PArk

Best Original Screenplay


The nominees: Knives Out, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Parasite


Here’s one of the battleground categories to watch among Oscar predictions. Even if 1917 seems assured a Best Picture win, it’s unlikely to win for its screenplay. (Who left it raving about the writing?) If Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Marriage Story, and Parasite have any chance of winning, they probably need to win here. Quentin seemed to have his third Oscar in the bag when the season began, but Bong’s picked up steam at the tail end, winning both the Writers’ Guild and BAFTA last weekend.


Will win:

Marriage Story: Daniel, Rachel

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Bil, Courtney, Jason, Joe, Kevin, Victor, Will

Parasite: Akash, Pat


Should win:

Knives Out: Courtney, Daniel, Will

Marriage Story: Rachel

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Jason

Parasite: Akash, Bil, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Victor

Jojo Rabbit

Best Adapted Screenplay


The nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, The Two Popes


Unlike the Original Screenplay category, Best Adapted Screenplay is unlikely to be tied to Best Picture this year. The push for Greta Gerwig to win is strong, while Taika Waititi’s comedic coup with Jojo Rabbit could be recognized for its originality and audacity. On the other hand, The Irishman is unlikely to win elsewhere, but with ten nominations, it presumably has to win something, right? This field is similar to its original equivalent in that The Irishman started strong, but lost heat throughout the season. Like Parasite, Jojo scored both the WGA and the BAFTA last weekend.


Will win:

The Irishman: Bil

Jojo Rabbit: Akash, Daniel, Jason, Joe, Kevin, Pat

Joker: Will

Little Women: Courtney, Rachel, Victor


Should win:

The Irishman: Will

Jojo Rabbit: Daniel, Jason, Pat, Rachel, Victor

Little Women: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Joe, Kevin


Best Cinematography


The nominees: The Lighthouse, The Irishman, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood


This category is the Roger Deakins show. The masterfully composed “long take” of 1917 is a visual coup – and exactly the kind of work likely to win the prize after Gravity, Birdman, and Roma won previously.


Will win:

1917: everyone


Should win:

The Lighthouse: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Joe

1917: Daniel, Jason, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Victor, Will

Best Film Editing


The nominees: Ford V. Ferrari; The Irishman; Jojo Rabbit, Joker; Parasite


Here’s another battleground category in the Oscar predictions. Neither 1917 nor Once Upon a Time are nominated here. Film Editing, traditionally, is a key ingredient for a Best Picture win. Only one film since 1981 scored Best Picture without it. That was 1917’s fellow one-take wonder Birdman, so Sam shouldn’t sweat it. However, if Parasite scores this prize over Ford V. Ferrari, which is more in line with traditional Oscar winners in the category, then it might have some serious heat to go the distance. However, recent years have tied film editing with one or two of the sound categories. Recent ceremonies saw Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing all going to Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Dunkirk (2017), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and Gravity (2013), while Hacksaw Ridge (2016) and Whiplash (2014) won for film editing and sound mixing. This trend suggests that voters tie the technical accomplishments of a film together.


Will win:

Ford V. Ferrari: Akash, Courtney, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Victor

The Irishman: Jason, Will

Parasite: Bil, Joe


Should win:

Ford V. Ferrari: Bil, Rachel

The Irishman: Jason, Will

Parasite: Akash, Courtney, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Victor

Little Women

Best Costume Design


The nominees: Jojo Rabbit, Joker, The Irishman, Little Women, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood


What a lame crowd! For all our complaints about the acting nominations, the costume designers totally phoned it in this year. Where are the dazzling duds from Rocketman? The stylish threads of Dolemite Is My Name? The chic flapper garb of Downton Abbey? The comfy sweaters of Knives Out? It’s hard to deny the role that costumes play in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, though, as they perfectly help recreate the period, while the homely dresses of Little Women have an understated charm. Generally, the frilliest dresses win here.


Will win:

Jojo Rabbit: Kevin

Little Women: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Joe, Pat, Rachel, Victor, Will

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Jason


Should win:

Little Women: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Joe, Kevin

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Jason, Pat, Rachel, Victor, Will


This for that:

Rachel: Swap out Little Women for Julian Day’s Rocketman designs

Courtney says: Swap out Joker for Rocketman

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Production Design


The nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, 1917, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Parasite


Here’s the third category that will be key to watch in Oscar predictions and on Oscar night. Production design is central to the dramatic thrust of 1917, Once Upon a Time, and Parasite. Perhaps more than any category, production design could indicate where the night is going. Will voters be in awe of the spectacular trenches that facilitate the bravura choreography of 1917? Or will they swoon for the note-perfect elements of nostalgia and vintage character that transport them back to 1969 in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood? Then there’s the doozy of Parasite’s contrasting homes, including the Park family’s elaborately constructed set, which had moving walls and re-arranged elements to facilitate its complex shoots. If Parasite wins, it means voters a) really love it and b) did some research. OUaTiH and Parasite won the guild prizes, while 1917 scored the BAFTA, so go with your gut.


Will win:

1917: Akash, Courtney, Joe, Pat, Rachel

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Kevin, Victor, Will

Parasite: Jason


Should win:

1917: Courtney, Kevin

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Bil, Joe, Victor

Parasite: Akash, Jason, Pat, Rachel, Will

Joker stairs

Best Music – Original Score


The nominees: Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Star Wars: The Last One


Thomas Newman seemed destined for a win on his 15th nomination, but Joker’s Hildur Guðnadóttir has won all the major prizes in races where 1917 prevailed in the hunt for Best Film. Joker’s dark and moody music will make her the second woman to win Best Original Score after Rachel Portman, who won for 1996’s Emma.


Will win:

Joker: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Jason, Kevin, Pat, Will

1917: Joe

Marriage Story: Victor

Star Wars: Daniel, Rachel


Should win:

Joker: Akash, Daniel, Jason

Little Women: Bil, Courtney, Victor

Marriage Story: Will

1917: Joe, Kevin, Pat

Star Wars: Rachel


Best Music – Original Song


The nominees: I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4; “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman; “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough; “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2; “Stand Up” from Harriet


Randy Newman’s won two Oscars and been nominated for many songs, and every one of them sounds exactly the same. His work for Toy Story 4 is no different. Breakthrough songwriter Diane Warren is long overdue, but “I’m Standing with You” is arguably the weakest of her 11 nominated songs. “Into the Unknown” is hardly “Let It Go,” while “Stand Up” is much better than Harriet itself and could make Cynthia Erivo an EGOT. However, this one seems like an easy call for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” to win Elton John and Bernie Taupin one of the only awards in their 50-year collaboration.


Will win:

“I’m Gonna Love Me Again”: everyone


Should win:

“I’m Gonna Love Me Again”: Rachel, Courtney, Joe, Pat, Will, Victor

“Into the Unknown”: Bil, Jason, Kevin


This for that:

Kevin says: Swap out “Into the Unknown” for “Show Yourself” from Frozen 2

1917 effects

Best Visual Effects


The nominees: Avengers: Endgame, The Irishman, The Lion King, 1917, Star Wars


Recent years have tied this prize to Best Cinematography (see: Inception, Hugo, Life of Pi, Gravity, Blade Runner 2049), so 1917 might have the edge. However, Disney campaigned relentlessly to ensure that voters did not see The Lion King as an animated film and instead wanted it perceived as a VFX extravaganza. (Oscar gave The Jungle Book the prize a few years ago for less showy work.) Endgame has VFX a-plenty, but voters haven’t jumped for Marvel movies outside of Black Panther. The Irishman is the wild card for its “de-aging” process, which some see as groundbreaking and others consider the film’s fatal flaw.


Will win:

Avengers: Endgame: Bil, Joe, Victor

The Irishman: Rachel

The Lion King: Will

1917: Courtney, Jason, Kevin, Pat


Should win:

Avengers: Endgame: Joe, Victor

The Irishman: Joe, Rachel

1917: Bil, Courtney, Kevin, Pat

Star Wars: Will


Charlize Theron Bombshell

Best Make-up and Hairstyling


The nominees: Bombshell, Joker, Judy, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, 1917


It’s eerie how much Charlize Theron resembles Megyn Kelly in Bombshell. Kazu Hiro, who won for making Gary Oldman look like Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, seems poised to take the stage again. Bombshell only has to worry if voters equate “Best Make-up” with “Most Make-up” since the film features a handful of stars disguised as famous right-wingers.


Will win:

Bombshell: Akash, Courtney, Joe, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Will

Joker: Bil, Victor

1917: Jason


Should win:

Bombshell: Akash, Bil, Courtney, Joe, Pat, Rachel, Victor

Judy: Will

1917: Jason, Kevin

Ford V Ferrari

Best Sound Editing


The nominees: Ford V. Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Star Wars


Will Oscar go Vroom! Vroom! or Pew! Pew!?


Will win:

Ford V. Ferrari: Pat, Rachel, Victor

1917: Bil, Courtney, Jason, Joe

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Will


Should win:

Ford V. Ferrari: Pat, Rachel

1917: Bil, Courtney, Joe

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Jason, Victor, Will


Best Sound Mixing


The nominees: Ad Astra, Ford V. Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood


The argument above concerning the link between Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing might come into play here. If Ford V. Ferrari doesn’t sweep the technical prizes, then 1917 could add to its haul en route to Best Picture.


Will win:

Ad Astra: Joe

Ford V. Ferrari: Pat, Rachel

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Victor, Will

1917: Bil, Courtney, Jason, Kevin


Should win:

Ad Astra: Pat, Joe, Will

Ford V. Ferrari: Rachel

1917: Bil, Courtney, Kevin

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: Jason, Victor


Best Animated Short


The nominees: Daughter, Hair, Love, Kitbull, Mémorable, Sister


The shorts will make or break any Oscar pool! There’s lots of love for Hair Love, but admittedly, the drop-off rate for that film generally corresponds with the number of nominees people actually saw. They’re all great films and each is worthy of the prize. This might be the richest category of the night.


Will win:

Hair Love: Bil, Courtney, Jason, Kevin, Pat, Rachel, Victor

Kitbull: Akash

Mémorable: Will


Should win:

Hair Love: Akash, Courtney, Jason, Kevin

Kitbull: Rachel

Mémorable: Bil, Pat, Will


Best Live Action Short


The nominees: Brotherhood, NEFTA Football Club, The Neighbors’ Window, Saria, A Sister


Brotherhood could bring a win for Canadian film with Montreal-based filmmaker Meryam Joobeur in a tight race with the comedy NEFTA Football Club and the devastating four-time nominee Marshall Curry’s The Neighbors’ Window. Don’t count out Saria, though, which has an aggressive campaigner in commercial director Bryan Buckley, who seems desperate to add “Academy Award winner” to his reputation as “King of the Super Bowl.”


Will win:

Brotherhood: Kevin, Pat

The Neighbors’ Window: Bil

Saria: Jason


Should win:

Brotherhood: Bil, Kevin

The Neighbors’ Window: Pat


Best Documentary (Short Subject)


The nominees: In the Absence, Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl), Life Overtakes Me, St. Louis Superman, Walk Run Cha-Cha


Another tough call in the Oscar predictions with another great category. As with the animated shorts, everyone’s a winner here. The category also presents one of the few opportunities to bring diverse voices to the stage with frontrunners Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) falling in line with recent wins for women’s rights docs The Girl in the River and Period. End of Sentence. Alternatively, there’s a great choice in St. Louis Superman and its portrait of Ferguson activist turned politician Bruce Franks, Jr. Directed by Smriti Mundhra and Toronto’s Sami Khan, it’s one for the home team to root for on Oscar night.


Will win:

Learning to Skateboard: Jason, Kevin, Pat

St. Louis Superman: Bil, Rachel


Should win:

Learning to Skateboard: Bil, Kevin, Rachel

St. Louis Superman: Pat

What we’re rooting for


Finally, we asked members of the Shelf team to note the nominee for whom they are rooting hardest on Oscar night. Naturally, the force of the #Bonghive is strong.


Akash: Parasite #Bonghive

Courtney: Parasite for Best Picture

Joe: Parasite for Best Picture

Rachel: Bong Joon-ho for everything!

Pat: Meryl Streep to present something. Otherwise, what’s the point of watching? (Also, Parasite)

Victor: Bong Joon-ho

Will: Antonio Banderas