Early Favs for the Award Season

Yes, it’s very early to predict the big winners of the January-February award season. I haven’t yet seen many of the big names, but I can already see them falling into place. Sure, some of the names listed here might be missing from Best Picture nominations. But I’m pretty sure I have at least a few of them figured out and, the winner will very likely be one of these.

The Irishman

A gangster movie by Scorsese, in the line of Goodfellas and The Departed. What could go so wrong for it? Not much – crime dramas tend to win once every couple of years, and it’s been a few years since last time it happened. I’d say this one is the likeliest winner.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

If a Tarantino film will eventually win the biggest award, there isn’t much time left. His newest creation has split many fans with a lack of story and Tarantino-ish moments (until the very end, that is), but remains a big candidate for Best Picture.

Marriage Story

Family dramas sometimes get their fair share of success – except at the Oscars. The Academy missed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to award Boyhood a couple of years ago, which is why I don’t fancy a Best Picture win for Marriage Story. Will it be in the nominee list, though? Surely.

Jojo Rabbit

Again, I don’t find Jojo Rabbit very likely to win the big prize, mostly because of its thematic and use of a certain historical figure. I haven’t watched it yet, so I can’t tell whether or not it deserves such an honour, but it’s a surprisingly fresh take, for sure.

The Lighthouse

In case the juries will once again feel generous with indie productions, this would be the obvious choice. It’s a dark, distinct psychological thriller with a lot to offer in terms of visuals, acting and ideas. I would be delighted if it could lift Best Picture – although I doubt it.


Joker would be a very interesting, if slightly controversial choice. Considering the mixed press it received, I’m not sure whether or not the judges will hold it in the highest regard, but I said the same about Bohemian Rhapsody, and the Queen biopic ended up doing very well.


Ah, and this one is the almost yearly war-centric nominee. It deals with WWI, which was much less explored than the obvious two: WWII and Vietnam. That could be a plus, or a minus. Guess we’ll know in a couple of months.

My verdict: The Irishman to pick up the Oscar. Marriage Story or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to get at least one of BAFTA and Golden Globe. The Lighthouse as the dark horse.

Article written by Julian Leu for The Monthly Film Festival



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