No matter what happens on Oscars nomination morning, history will be made. At least, it should be. At a minimum, Netflix should beat out Sony Pictures for more nominations than any other studio. That will be a landmark moment for the streaming service. “Parasite” will be the first South Korean film nominated for not only International Film, but Best Picture. And the ninth film from Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” will become his fourth Best Picture nominee. Barring some unexpected acts of God, those are a given. It’s what will turn out to be unexpected that will have potential nominees, studios, and their consultants increasingly nervous as the clock ticks to 5 AM PT Monday morning.

There will be surprises. There will be snubs. It’s inherent to the process. What the Academy and ABC are hoping is that those omissions don’t include potential rating drivers such as “Joker,” Jennifer Lopez, and Beyonce. If all three land the nominations many, including this pundit, assume they will, then you will hear a huge sigh of relief from the Academy’s Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills to the ABC Building in Burbank. If not, well, let’s hope those guest presenters can somehow draw in viewers.

As always, what is at stake is the most coveted Oscar of all, Best Picture. In theory, you need support (ie, at least one nomination) from the actors, writers, directors, and editors branch to win Best Picture. Most recently, “Birdman” won it without an editing nod, but as a “one-shot” film it was given something of a pass from Oscar historians. In truth, over the past 12 years only two films, “Argo” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” missed out on a key branch nod and won the top prize. In theory, based on the nominations we’ve predicted below, only “The Irishman,” “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” and “Parasite” can pull that off, but the latter is really going to have to come through in the Best Supporting Actor field. And even we recognize, it may be a more hopeful nomination than a massively realistic one.

Note, none of the short film categories have been predicted at this time. That being said, here are our final Oscar nomination predictions for 2020.


“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

If nine nominees then “The Farewell”
Lowdown: It pains us not to include Lulu Wang‘s marvel (it made our personal top 10 film list of the year), but missing out on a PGA nomination was significant in our eyes. If there are nine nominees – we’re going with just eight – it should be the final one. If not, “Ford v Ferrari” will round out the field.


Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

If not Gerwig then Taika Waititi for “Jojo Rabbit” or Noah Baumbach for “Marriage Story”
Lowdown: We’re not very comfortable with picking Greta Gerwig as the final nominee, but she’s been recognized by her peers in this category before for “Lady Bird” and the trumpets have rightfully been reminding voters not to ignore female filmmakers for weeks. That being said, the Directors branch is much more international now than it even was two years ago when Gerwig was first recognized. If not her, than Taika Waititi may take it. Even Noah Baumbach or “Joker’s” Todd Phillips wouldn’t be a massive surprise here.


Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

If not Banderas then Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes” or Christian Bale for “Ford v Ferrari”
Lowdown: The only locks here are Joaquin Phoenix, Adam Driver, and Leonardo DiCaprio although we feel fairly comfortable with Taron Egerton as well.


Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Rene Zellweger, “Judy”

If not Lupita then Awkwafina for “The Farewell”
Lowdown: Awkwafina could absolutely make the cut here, but we think her fellow SAG nominee Lupita Nyong’o “surprises.” Another contender, Cynthia Erivo, will likely find herself recognized in the Original Song category.


Song Kang Ho, “Parasite”
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

If not Song Kang Ho then Anthony Hopkins for “The Two Popes”
Lowdown: Song Kang Ho may be wishful thinking, but that SAG ensemble nomination for “Parasite” makes it feel more possible than impossible.


Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

If not Florence Pugh then Zhao Shuzhen for “The Farewell”
Lowdown: This should be the five although if Zhao Shuzhen sneaks in it will be one of the greatest achievements in the short but already storied history of A24.


Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
Rian Johnson, “Knives Out”
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, “1917”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

If not “1917” then Lulu Wang for “The Farewell”
Lowdown: “1917” has come on very strong at the end of the year and landed a somewhat unexpected WGA Award nomination. The Writers Branch may properly remember Wang’s work for “The Farewell,” but we think Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns’ script will be the fifth nod instead.


Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
Anthony McCarten, “The Two Popes”
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, “Joker”
Taika Watiti, “Jojo Rabbit”
Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”

Lowdown: Honestly, we’d be flabbergasted if any of these five didn’t make it. The only conceivable party crasher at this point in the game is “Toy Story 4.”


Thelma Schoonmaker, “The Irishman”
Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland, “Ford v Ferrari”
Yang Jin-Mo, “Parasite”
Tom Eagles, “Jojo Rabbit”
Fred Raskin, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

If not “Jojo Rabbit” then Jennifer Lame for “Marriage Story”
Lowdown: “Joker,” “Marriage Story” or “Little Women” could crack the field here, too.


“Honeyland” (North Macedonia)
“Les Miserables” (France)
“Pain and Glory” (Spain)
“Parasite” (South Korea)
“Truth and Justice” (Estonia)

If not “Truth and Justice” then “Corpus Christi” (Poland)
Lowdown: After some surprising films made the shortlist picking the final five here is significantly difficult. We’re convinced “Honeyland” and “Truth and Justice” made it in on the popular vote in phase one (as opposed to assumed committee saves such as “Atlantics” and “The Painted Bird”) and informed our picks. “Corpus Christi” or “Those Who Remained” could easily slot in as the final two nominees.