Oscars: Year-End Picks and Podcasts Boost Awards Contenders

9:00 AM 1/8/2020

by Scott Feinberg

'Little Women' earns big praise and Guillermo del Toro's approval helps 'Midsommar's' chances, while real-world horrors make Nazi  dramedy 'Jojo Rabbit' a tougher bet.

'Marriage Story,' 'Midsommar' and 'Jojo Rabbit'
'Marriage Story,' 'Midsommar' and 'Jojo Rabbit'
Courtesy of Netflix; A24; Twentieth Century Fox Film

  • Best Director

    Greta Gerwig, 'Little Women'

    Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

    Many, including Rian Johnson and Ryan Reynolds on social media, are hailing Greta Gerwig's film and her direction, which she discussed with Johnson on a great episode of the DGA's podcast, The Director's Cut.

  • Best Actress

    Charlize Theron, 'Bombshell'

    Hilary Bronwyn Gayle SMPSP

    The Oscar winner joined Terry Gross on Dec. 16's edition of NPR's Fresh Air for a powerful conversation about sexual misconduct at Fox News (Theron plays former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly in Jay Roach's film) and in Hollywood.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay

    'Just Mercy'

    JAKE GILES NETTER

    Bryan Stevenson, whose memoir inspired the film — and who is played by Michael B. Jordan in it — gave a fascinating interview about his life and work on the Dec. 26 episode of former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's popular podcast, Stay Tuned.

  • Best Picture

    Courtesy of Netflix; A24; Twentieth Century Fox Film

    Marriage Story

    Noah Baumbach's Netflix dramedy, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as an estranged couple sparring over custody of their child, has been approved for theatrical release in China, where access to the streaming service itself is blocked.

    Midsommar

    On a surprising number of top 10 lists of filmmakers polled by IndieWire — including Guillermo del Toro, who also tweeted year-end praise for it — Ari Aster's unsettling horror film could be the rare genre picture to earn awards recognition.

    Jojo Rabbit

    As anti-Semitic acts surge in the U.S., including the Monsey, New York, Hanukkah stabbings and others over the final weeks of 2019, it's harder for many to laugh about Adolf Hitler, despite Taika Waititi's description of his film as "an anti-hate satire."

    This story first appeared in a January stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.