Feinberg Forecast: Scott's First Read of the Race to the 92nd Oscars

5:00 AM 9/16/2019

by Scott Feinberg

With the Toronto Film Festival now in the rearview mirror, The Hollywood Reporter's awards columnist offers his initial assessment of the Big Eight categories.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD - Quentin Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt -EMBED 2019
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Tarantino (far right) lined up ?a shot on the set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

These projections, which will be updated regularly, reflect Scott Feinberg's latest impressions (from screenings), publicly available information (release dates, genres, talent rosters and teasers/trailers often offer valuable clues), historical considerations (how other films with similar pedigrees have resonated), precursor awards (some awards groups have historically correlated with the Academy more than others) and consultations with industry insiders (including fellow members of the press, awards strategists, filmmakers and awards voters). Note: The Academy is free to classify performers as lead or supporting, regardless of how they are campaigned. These charts reflect Scott's best guess of what they will do in that regard.

  • Best Picture

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony)
    The Two Popes (Netflix)
    Marriage Story (Netflix)
    Parasite (Neon)
    The Farewell (A24)
    Joker (Warner Bros.)
    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony)
    Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
    Just Mercy (Warner Bros.)
    Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Booksmart (Annapurna)
    Waves (A24)
    Rocketman (Paramount)
    Hustlers (STX)
    Honey Boy (Amazon)
    Uncut Gems (A24)

    POSSIBILITIES

    The Lion King (Disney)
    Avengers: Endgame (Disney)
    Toy Story 4 (Disney)
    Judy (Roadside Attractions)

    LONG SHOTS

    Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)
    The Aeronauts (Amazon)
    The Report (Amazon)
    The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)

    STILL TO SEE

    1917 (Universal)
    Ad Astra (Fox)
    The Banker (Apple)
    Bombshell (Lionsgate)
    Cats (Universal)
    Dark Waters (Focus Features)
    Gemini Man (Paramount)
    The Good Liar (Warner Bros.)
    A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight)
    The Irishman (Netflix)
    Knives Out (Lionsgate)
    The Lighthouse (A24)
    Little Women (Sony)
    Queen & Slim (Universal)
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)

  • Best Director

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
    Fernando Meirelles (The Two Popes)
    Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story)
    Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
    Lulu Wang (The Farewell)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Todd Phillips (Joker)
    Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
    James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari)
    Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy)
    Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit)
    Olivia Wilde (Booksmart)

    POSSIBILITIES

    Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers)
    Jon Favreau (The Lion King)
    Anthony Russo & Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame)
    Trey Edward Shults (Waves)
    Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems)
    Alma Har'el (Honey Boy)

    LONG SHOTS

    Pedro Almodovar (Pain and Glory)
    Joe Talbot (The Last Black Man in San Francisco)
    Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman)
    Rupert Goold (Judy)
    Tom Harper (The Aeronauts)
    Josh Cooley (Toy Story 4)
    Steven Soderbergh (The Laundromat)

    STILL TO SEE

    J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)
    Dan Bradley & James Gray (Ad Astra)
    Bill Condon (The Good Liar)
    Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse)
    Greta Gerwig (Little Women)
    Todd Haynes (Dark Waters)
    Tom Hooper (Cats)
    Rian Johnson (Knives Out)
    Ang Lee (Gemini Man)
    Terrence Malick (A Hidden Life)
    Sam Mendes (1917)
    Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim)
    George Nolfi (The Banker)
    Jay Roach (Bombshell)
    Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)

  • Best Actor

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
    Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
    Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
    Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)
    Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Michael B. Jordan (Just Mercy)
    Matt Damon (Ford v Ferrari)
    Taron Egerton (Rocketman)
    Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name)

    POSSIBILITIES

    Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)
    Matthew Rhys (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
    Adam Driver (The Report)
    Jimmie Fails (The Last Black Man in San Francisco)

    LONG SHOTS

    Edward Norton (Motherless Brooklyn)
    Jamie Bell (Skin)
    Himesh Patel (Yesterday)

    STILL TO SEE

    Timothee Chalamet (The King)
    Brian Cox (The Etruscan Smile)
    Robert De Niro (The Irishman)
    Samuel L. Jackson (The Banker)
    Daniel Kaluuya (Queen & Slim)
    Anthony Mackie (The Banker)
    Ian McKellen (The Good Liar)
    Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse)
    Brad Pitt (Ad Astra)
    Mark Ruffalo (Dark Waters)
    Will Smith (Gemini Man)

  • Best Actress

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Renee Zellweger (Judy)
    Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
    Awkwafina (The Farewell)
    Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
    Lupita Nyong'o (Us)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Felicity Jones (The Aeronauts)
    Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart)
    Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart)

    POSSIBILITIES

    Noémie Merlant (Portrait of a Lady on Fire)
    Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell)
    Julianne Moore (Gloria Bell)
    Meryl Streep (The Laundromat)

    LONG SHOTS

    Natalie Portman (Lucy in the Sky)
    Emma Thompson (Late Night)
    Michelle Williams (After the Wedding)
    Florence Pugh (Midsommar)
    Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family)

    STILL TO SEE

    Isabelle Huppert (Frankie)
    Helen Mirren (The Good Liar)
    Camila Morrone (Mickey and the Bear)
    Valerie Pachner (A Hidden Life)
    Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)
    Kristen Stewart (Seberg)
    Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
    Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim)
    Alfre Woodard (Clemency)

  • Best Supporting Actor

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
    Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes)
    Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
    Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy)
    Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Alan Alda (Marriage Story)
    Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari)
    Sterling K. Brown (Waves)
    Robert Downey, Jr. (Avengers: Endgame)
    Lucas Hedges (Honey Boy)
    Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit)

    POSSIBILITIES

    Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (Waves)
    Lucas Hedges (Waves)
    Rob Morgan (Just Mercy)
    Chris Cooper (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)
    Jamie Bell (Rocketman)
    Eddie Redmayne (The Aeronauts)

    LONG SHOTS

    Leslie Odom, Jr. (Harriet)
    Ray Liotta (Marriage Story)
    Tracy Letts (Ford v Ferrari)
    Sam Rockwell (Jojo Rabbit)
    Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco)
    Rob Morgan (The Last Black Man in San Francisco)

    STILL TO SEE

    Timothee Chalamet (Little Women)
    Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse)
    Aldis Hodge (Clemency)
    John Lithgow (Bombshell)
    Malcolm McDowell (Bombshell)
    Ian McKellen (Cats)
    Al Pacino (The Irishman)
    Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
    Tim Robbins (Dark Waters)

  • Best Supporting Actress

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers)
    Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
    Margot Robbie (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
    Annette Bening (The Report)
    Shuzhen Zhou (The Farewell)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Penelope Cruz (Pain and Glory)
    Julia Butters (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
    Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
    Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
    Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit)

    POSSIBILITIES

    Taylor Russell (Waves)
    Julie Hagerty (Marriage Story)
    Janelle Monae (Harriet)

    LONG SHOTS

    Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Motherless Brooklyn)
    Adèle Haenel (Portrait of a Lady on Fire)
    Frances Conroy (Joker)
    Julianne Moore (After the Wedding)

    STILL TO SEE

    Ana de Armas (Knives Out)
    Judi Dench (Cats)
    Laura Dern (Little Women)
    Anne Hathaway (Dark Waters)
    Jennifer Hudson (Cats)
    Nicole Kidman (Bombshell)
    Elisabeth Moss (Us)
    Anna Paquin (The Irishman)
    Florence Pugh (Little Women)
    Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
    Chloe Sevigny (Queen & Slim)
    Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
    Meryl Streep (Little Women)
    Marisa Tomei (Frankie)

  • Best Adapted Screenplay

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Joker (Todd Phillips & Scott Silver)
    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster)
    Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham)
    Hustlers (Lorene Scafaria)
    Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Judy (Tom Edge)
    The Laundromat (Scott Z. Burns)
    Toy Story 4 (Stephany Folsom & Andrew Stanton)

    POSSIBILITIES

    Avengers: Endgame (Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely)
    The Lion King (Brenda Chapman & Jeff Nathanson)

    LONG SHOTS

    Motherless Brooklyn (Edward Norton)
    Gloria Bell (Alice Johnson Boher, Sebastian Lelio & Gonzala Maza)
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dean DeBlois)

    STILL TO SEE

    Cats (Lee Hall & Tom Hooper)
    Dark Waters (Mario Correa & Nathaniel Rich)
    Downton Abbey (Julian Fellowes)
    The Good Liar (Jeffrey Hatcher)
    The Irishman (Steven Zaillian)
    Little Women (Greta Gerwig & Sarah Polley)
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (J.J. Abrams & Chris Terrio)

  • Best Original Screenplay

    FRONTRUNNERS

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
    The Two Popes (Anthony McCarten)
    Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)
    Parasite (Bong Joon-ho & Jin Won Han)
    The Farewell (Lulu Wang)

    MAJOR THREATS

    Booksmart (Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Susan Haskins & Katie Silberman)
    Honey Boy (Shia LaBeouf)
    Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodovar)
    Waves (Trey Edward Shults)
    Us (Jordan Peele)
    The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Jimmie Fails, Rob Richert & Joe Talbot)

    POSSIBILITIES

    Ford v Ferrari (Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth & Jason Keller)
    The Report (Scott Z. Burns)
    Uncut Gems (Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie)
    Midsommar (Ari Aster)
    Dolemite Is My Name (Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski)
    Rocketman (Lee Hall)

    LONG SHOTS

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Celine Sciamma)
    The Aeronauts (Tom Harper & Jack Thorne)
    Yesterday (Jack Barth & Richard Curtis)
    Harriet (Gregory Allen Howard & Kasi Lemmons)
    Fighting with My Family (Stephen Merchant)

    STILL TO SEE

    1917 (Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns)
    Ad Astra (James Gray & Ethan Gross)
    The Banker (David Lewis Smith, George Nolfi & Stan Younger)
    Bombshell (Charles Randolph)
    Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu)
    Fast Color (Julia Hart & Jordan Horowitz)
    Frankie (Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias)
    Gemini Man (David Benioff, Darren Lemke & Billy Ray)
    Her Smell (Alex Ross Perry)
    High Life (Claire Denis & Jean-Pol Fargeau)
    A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick)
    Knives Out (Rian Johnson)
    The Lighthouse (Max Eggers & Robert Eggers)
    Queen & Slim (James Frey & Lena Waithe)
    Seberg (Joe Shrapnel & Anna Waterhouse)