Final 2020 Oscar Predictions from Experts and Users

  • Publish Date: February 5, 2020
  • Comments: ↓ 4 user comments

Updated Sunday 2/9 at noon with additional expert picks. No predicted winners have changed (though note that the Live Action Short winner did change in our previous update on Saturday).

Help for your Oscar pool

2020 Oscar Preview

Will Parasite do what Roma couldn't a year ago and become the first foreign language film to take home the best picture Oscar? Or will Netflix collect its very first best picture trophy? Or could a movie with a yellow Metascore somehow be named the year's best picture? Or will 1917 simply win everything?

These and absolutely no other questions will be answered on Sunday night when the 92nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony airs live on ABC at 8pm ET (5pm PT), once again utilizing the no-host format introduced in 2019. If predictions hold, 1917 will indeed end the evening ahead of other contenders with six total Oscar wins while Joker (this year's nominations leader with 11), Once Upon a Time, and Parasite could also win multiple trophies. Then again, the experts correctly forecast just 15 of the 24 categories last year, so you may not want to ink in the winners just yet.

Below, we have aggregated predictions from 117 entertainment writers, film critics, and awards experts (find a list of their names at the bottom of the page), and compared them to the votes cast by 4,886 Metacritic visitors who participated in our 11th annual Oscar poll. Also listed are betting odds in each category as published at bet365 (as of February 4th).

Best picture and director

If you have been following the awards races at all in recent weeks, you are probably aware that Sam Mendes' WWI drama 1917 appears to have all the momentum following wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and Producers Guild awards—and thus you shouldn't be surprised to see it as the favorite in the two biggest races.

But the experts don't exactly have a great track record at picking the best picture winner, and this year they appear to be less confident than a year ago (when they incorrectly selected Roma). However, in recent years, the eventual best picture winner has typically been the experts' 2nd-place choice if not their first. In other words, don't bet on any film other than 1917 or Parasite taking home the top prize (with the possible exception of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). And before you start thinking that the top two prizes should go to the same film, remember that the Academy is definitely capable of splitting the director and best picture awards, having done so in three of the last four years.

Best picture, by the way, is one of just six categories where the user consensus and the expert consensus were not in agreement.

Best Picture

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
1917 1:3 1917 68% Parasite 28%
Parasite 4:1 Parasite 23% 1917 26%
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 7:1 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 7% Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 18%
Joker 11:1 (tie) Joker
(tie) Jojo Rabbit
1% Joker 13%

Best Director

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Sam Mendes
1917
1:10 Sam Mendes
1917
80% Sam Mendes
1917
34%
Bong Joon-ho
Parasite
11:2 Bong Joon-ho
Parasite
17% Bong Joon-ho
Parasite
30%
Quentin Tarantino
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
16:1 3 tied with ... 1% Quentin Tarantino
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
15%

Acting

All four of this year's acting races appear to be locks, with the four favorites—SAG winners, all—unchanged for months. That was also true last year, however, and 2019 did see one upset winner (when Olivia Colman took home the best actress trophy instead of the heavily favored Glenn Close). Could there be an upset this year as well? It doesn't seem likely, but one name to look out for may be Scarlett Johansson, simply by virtue of appearing in two separate categories—obviously, Academy voters like her work this year, and she has yet to actually win an Oscar. (Cynthia Erivo is actually a double nominee this year as well, though her second category is best original song.) But if you are entering an Oscar pool, the safest bet is to go with the four favorites as listed.

Lead Actress

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Renée Zellweger
Judy
1:33 Renée Zellweger
Judy
98% Renée Zellweger
Judy
46%
Scarlett Johansson
Marriage Story
11:1 (tie) Cynthia Erivo
(tie) Scarlett Johansson
1% Scarlett Johansson
Marriage Story
36%
Cynthia Erivo
Harriet
25:1     Saoirse Ronan
Little Women
10%

Lead Actor

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Joaquin Phoenix
Joker
1:50 Joaquin Phoenix
Joker
100% Joaquin Phoenix
Joker
82%
Adam Driver
Marriage Story
10:1     Adam Driver
Marriage Story
10%
Leonardo DiCaprio
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
25:1     Leonardo DiCaprio
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
4%

Supporting Actress

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Laura Dern
Marriage Story
1:25 Laura Dern
Marriage Story
96% Laura Dern
Marriage Story
61%
Margo Robbie
Bombshell
10:1 Scarlett Johansson
Jojo Rabbit
3% Scarlett Johansson
Jojo Rabbit
14%
Florence Pugh
Little Women
16:1 (tie) Kathy Bates
(tie) Florence Pugh
1% Florence Pugh
Little Women
12%

Supporting Actor

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Brad Pitt
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
1:50 Brad Pitt
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
100% Brad Pitt
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
66%
Joe Pesci
The Irishman
11:1     Joe Pesci
The Irishman
12%
Al Pacino
The Irishman
25:1     Al Pacino
The Irishman
11%

Writing

The two screenplay races are much tighter than they usually are at this stage, with two films still in the running in each category. If it's any help, the experts usually get these two picks correct—but they didn't last year, and they usually come to more of a consensus than they did this year. But favorites Parasite and Jojo Rabbit did just take home WGA awards, so you certainly would be making a safe pick by penciling them in.

Original Screenplay

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
Parasite
4:9 Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
Parasite
71% Quentin Tarantino
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
42%
Quentin Tarantino
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
13:8 Quentin Tarantino
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
28% Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won
Parasite
32%
Noah Baumbach
Marriage Story
11:1 Rian Johnson
Knives Out
1% Noah Baumbach
Marriage Story
14%

Adapted Screenplay

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Taika Waititi
Jojo Rabbit
4:11 Taika Waititi
Jojo Rabbit
72% Steven Zaillian
The Irishman
32%
Greta Gerwig
Little Women
2:1 Greta Gerwig
Little Women
26% Greta Gerwig
Little Women
30%
Steven Zaillian
The Irishman
7:1 (tie) The Irishman
(tie) Joker
1% Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
Joker
25%

Other films and shorts

The safest pick you can make in your Oscar pool is selecting Parasite as winner of the newly retitled International Feature category—if that doesn't win here after receiving five additional nominations in other categories, it'll be the story of the night. Picks in the short film categories—always a bit of a crapshoot, regardless of what the experts say—appear to be more settled than normal, with only the live-action category remaining anything close to a toss-up. Surprisingly, the animated feature category is not quite as certain as you might expect; normally, if a Pixar film is in there, it would be something much closer to a lock, while Toy Story 4's near-70% support among experts suggests a tiny bit of doubt. The predicted winner of the live-action short category changed on Saturday from Brotherhood to The Neighbor's Widow, though the race remains the hardest one to predict this year.

Animated Feature

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
(tie) Toy Story 4
(tie) Klaus
5:6 Toy Story 4 71% Toy Story 4 60%
Missing Link 11:1 Klaus 20% Klaus 14%
    Missing Link 5% Missing Link 10%

Documentary Feature

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
American Factory 4:6 American Factory 70% American Factory 30%
For Sama 11:10 (tie) For Sama
(tie) Honeyland
14% Honeyland 24%
Honeyland 9:1     The Edge of Democracy 18%

International Feature (fka Foreign Language Feature)

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Parasite 1:100 Parasite 100% Parasite 92%
Honeyland 16:1     Pain and Glory 4%
Pain and Glory 20:1     Les Miserables 3%

Animated Short

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Hair Love 8:15 Hair Love 82% Hair Love 26%
Kitbull 13:8 Kitbull 10% Kitbull 22%
(tie) Sister
(tie) Memorable
12:1 Memorable 5% Sister 21%

Documentary Short

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl) 1:10 Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl) 89% Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl) 34%
In the Absence 8:1 3 tied with ... 4% Life Overtakes Me 18%
St. Louis Superman 10:1     St. Louis Superman 18%

Live Action Short

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Brotherhood 4:9 The Neighbors' Window 49% Brotherhood 33%
The Neighbors' Window 2:1 Brotherhood 41% The Neighbors' Window 19%
(tie) Saria
(tie) A Sister
11:1 (tie) Nefta Football Club
(tie) A Sister
4% A Sister 19%

Music

Both music categories appear to be locks, but note that close to 90% support from the experts does not always guarantee an Oscar win. (At least, it didn't in 2016.)

Original Score

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Hildur Guðnadóttir
Joker
1:8 Hildur Guðnadóttir
Joker
90% Hildur Guðnadóttir
Joker
59%
Thomas Newman
1917
9:2 Thomas Newman
1917
9% Thomas Newman
1917
19%
Alexandre Desplat
Little Women
14:1 Alexandre Desplat
Little Women
1% John Williams
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
10%

Original Song

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
from Rocketman
1:10 “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
from Rocketman
88% “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
from Rocketman
62%
"Stand Up"
from Harriet
6:1 "Stand Up"
from Harriet
6% "Into the Unkown"
from Frozen II
17%
"Into the Unkown"
from Frozen II
12:1 "I'm Standing With You"
from Breakthrough
3% "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away"
from Toy Story 4
14%

Technical categories

Do yourself a favor and write down the name "Roger Deakins" in your Oscar pool—he's also one of this year's sure things. His film, best picture favorite 1917, looks likely to take home a handful of additional trophies in the technical categories—at least, for sound and visuals—and the only race where there isn't a dominant favorite is film editing, where Ford v Ferrari has a slight edge at the moment. Keep in mind that the experts always get at least one of these categories wrong (often visual effects, for some reason—so, good news for Avengers: Endgame?), and occasionally, like last year, they get most of them wrong.

Cinematography

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Roger Deakins
1917
1:50 Roger Deakins
1917
100% Roger Deakins
1917
62%
Robert Richardson
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
16:1     Jarin Blaschke
The Lighthouse
13%
(tie) Joker
(tie) The Lighthouse
22:1     Lawrence Sher
Joker
12%

Costume Design

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Little Women 1:3 Little Women 83% Little Women 37%
Jojo Rabbit 11:4 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 10% Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 29%
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 6:1 Jojo Rabbit 5% Joker 16%

Film Editing

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
(tie) Ford v Ferrari
(tie)
Parasite
1:1 Michael McCusker & Andrew Buckland
Ford v Ferrari
57% Yang Jin-mo
Parasite
30%
Thelma Schoonmaker
The Irishman
11:2 Yang Jin-mo
Parasite
34% Michael McCusker & Andrew Buckland
Ford v Ferrari
27%
    Jeff Groth
Joker
4% Thelma Schoonmaker
The Irishman
23%

Makeup & Hairstyling

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Bombshell 1:10 Bombshell 91% Joker 39%
Joker 11:2 Joker
6% Bombshell 31%

Production Design

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 8:11 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 79% Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 41%
1917 13:8 1917 18% 1917 31%
Parasite 7:2 Parasite 2% Parasite 13%

Sound Editing

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
1917 3:10 1917 83% 1917 48%
Ford v Ferrari 12:5 Ford v Ferrari 16% Ford v Ferrari 21%
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 25:1     Joker 13%

Sound Mixing

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
1917 1:3 1917 84% 1917 45%
Ford v Ferrari 9:4 Ford v Ferrari 15% Ford v Ferrari 19%
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 20:1     Joker 13%

Visual Effects

Betting Odds Experts Users
Image Image
Image
1917 4:6 1917 61% Avengers: Endgame 42%
Avengers: Endgame 3:1 Avengers: Endgame 26% 1917 22%
The Irishman 4:1 The Lion King 11% The Irishman 15%

List of experts

The expert predictions compiled above come from the following sources (note that not every expert made picks in every category):


* As reported all or in part at Gold Derby (reflecting any updates through February 9, 2020).

Check our site late Sunday night after the ceremony for the final results as we reveal which users and experts had the most accurate predictions. We'll also collect reviews of the broadcast from TV critics.


Comments (4)

  • mccoygenfan  

    My thoughts:

    What happened to The Irishman?
    It appeared such a shoe-in as of 2019, but after the Globes it dropped so quickly, and now it looks like it could come home empty handed. Weird; I have Parasite for best picture, but I hope I'm wrong and Irishman upsets all over.

    I think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood should only take costume and supporting actor.

    Regardless of best picture I can't definitively predict which film will compete the strongest, yet it looks like Joker could be an annoying robbery, not nearly as deserving as Black Panther in 2018. All I praise from Joker is score.

    Bombshell not winning makeup seems laughable to me.

    Unfortunately it seems Adam Driver will be overlooked by Phoenix, who glamorized the Joker performance too much (or rather the media did it for him).
    Marriage Story was great and should be highlighted by Driver, not Dern.

  • blenky  

    @and_espinozam. The user score is not based on the general user score but as the introduction says is taken from "votes cast by 4,886 Metacritic visitors who participated in our 11th annual Oscar poll."

  • and_espinozam  

    So, for Best Picture the users favorite is Parasite? Guys, can you even take your own database and make a proper list?
    Parasite 8.9 (722 votes)
    1917 8.5 (422 votes)
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 7.5 (1,384 votes)
    Joker 9.1 (6,207 votes)

    Jokers has a far better user score and even more people interested in voting. This invalidates the whole thing for me, just biased stuff as usual.

  • MarcDoyle  

    Looks like virtually none of the big contests are close. All Boat Races! dang... I had no idea that 1917 was such a heavy favorite.

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