February 09, 2020
If Joaquin Phoenix, Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern have any common sense, they are already practicing their acceptance speeches in preparation for the 92nd Annual Academy Awards this Sunday. Thanks to stellar awards season runs, those four actors virtually already have their statuettes in hand.
But several other races still leave plenty of intrigue—chief among them, Best Picture. Here’s where each of the most prominent races stand as we approach the 2020 Oscars.

Best Picture
Heres Who Will Win at the 2020 Oscars
Ford V Ferrari / The Irishman / Jojo Rabbit / Joker / Little Women / Marriage Story / 1917 / Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Parasite
This Best Picture race has been a turbulent one, with many would-be frontrunners burning bright and fading down the stretch. The film that seems to be peaking at the right time is 1917, whose Christmas Day release made it the last entry into the race (along with Little Women), putting it on the forefront of the minds of Academy voters. The (more or less) one-shot war movie possesses the right mix of technical virtuosity, gravitas and inspirational uplift that has typically fared well at the ceremony—and it recently won the top honor at the Producers Guild of America awards, long considered the most accurate Oscars bellwether. (In the last decade, all but two PGA winners also won Best Picture.)
But Parasite looms from close behind. No foreign language film has ever won best picture—but Bong Joon-Ho’s bloody, labyrinthine film just set a similar precedent as the first foreign language film to win the SAG Award for outstanding cast performance. The film received two raucous standing ovations at that ceremony—and the preferential ballot may help a film that was widely respected by a wide array of viewers.

Actor in a Leading Role
Heres Who Will Win at the 2020 Oscars
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory / Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Adam Driver, Marriage Story / Joaquin Phoenix, Joker / Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
While all of these performances, particularly Antonio Banderas’, drew acclaim, Joaquin Phoenix has this one all but locked up. His emaciated physical transformation shocked viewers; his soft-spoken, stuttering approach in the first half of the film inspired empathy; and his seething and grandiose soliloquies towards the film’s end made his Arthur Fleck one of the most compelling villains since Heath Ledger occupied the same role. This is Phoenix’s fourth nomination over two decades. After showing a sometimes frightening level of commitment to his craft, he’s ready to take home a piece of hardware.

Actress in a Leading Role
Heres Who Will Win at the 2020 Oscars
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet / Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story / Saoirse Ronan, Little Women / Charlize Theron, Bombshell / Renée Zellweger, Judy
Zellweger, like Phoenix, has swept the major precursor awards (Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, SAG Awards and BAFTA), putting her in pole position to win her second Oscar. “It’s a wonderful performance, as rich and alluring as a length of golden brocade, but one with appropriately ragged edges,” Stephanie Zacharek wrote of her performance in Time.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Heres Who Will Win at the 2020 Oscars
Kathy Bathes, Richard Jewell / Laura Dern, Marriage Story / Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit / Florence Pugh, Little Women / Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Laura Dern will likely win for her clipped heel turn as a cutthroat lawyer in Marriage Story. But as many on Twitter have argued, it wasn’t even her best role this year. As Marmee in Little Women, Dern anchored the film with her warm compassion and wrenching grief. Perhaps the bulldog lawyer was a type all too familiar and impossible for Hollywood voters to resist. But several of the other nominees—especially Florence Pugh and Dern herself—took on more difficult roles with nuance and grace.

Actor in a Supporting Role
Heres Who Will Win at the 2020 Oscars
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood / Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes / Al Pacino, The Irishman / Joe Pesci, The Irishman / Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
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