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2020 Oscars Challenge: Best Live Action Short Films

Personally, “Nefta Football Club” was my favorite short of the Oscars, just because it went places that I didn’t expect it to go and it was very humorous for what it was. The front-runner is “The Neighbors’ Window,” which I found to be a little too creepy for my liking.

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2020 Oscars Challenge: Best Documentary Short Films

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)” feels like the clear winner, as it broaches a topic that not only brings to light its topic but also entertains by capturing these dynamic young women. The only short that even has a chance of upsetting it would likely be the US’s “St. Louis Superman,” as its central character is extremely captivating.

2020 Oscars Challenge: Best Animated Short Films

The front-runner for this year’s Best Animated Short is the Sony Animations short, “Hair Love,” which played in front of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” and later “Jumanji: The Next Level” and was also my personal favorite. Pixar has it’s own short in contention with “Kitbull.” The rest of the contenders are foreign entries.

2020 Oscars Challenge: [38] “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker” — Three Nominations

Every time a “Star Wars” film comes out and John Williams does the score, he gets nominated. The man now has 52 Academy Award nominations. Needless to say, he will not be winning his sixth Oscar this year, as the scores for “1917” and “Joker” are the front-runners.

2020 Oscars Challenge: [37] “The Irishman” — Ten Nominations

What a year it is when we’re talking about a Martin Scorsese film being “unlikely” to win Best Picture. Top that off with a film that’s garnering ten nominations, at least as far as my projections, is “unlikely” to win all ten. I expect “The Irishman” to be completely shut out this year and that’s absolutely bonkers when you think of how prestigious Scorsese is. But it just goes to show you what kind of year we’ve had for movies.

2020 Oscars Challenge: [36] “Parasite” — Six Nominations

Let’s just bask in the fact that absolutely no one nominated for this film has ever been nominated for an Academy Award before. Even the country of South Korea had yet to even gain a nomination. Now Bong Joon Ho and the rest of his crew can get their names in the history books. And “Parasite” is actually one of the Big Three, with runner-up status as we speak. The only reason it’s not front and center is because “1917” has been cleaning up the awards, from the PGA to the DGA to the Globes. “Parasite” has done well in its own right, winning the SAG Ensemble award as well as Best International Film at the Globes. It simply depends where the Academy leans.

2020 Oscars Challenge: [35] “Ad Astra” — Best Sound Mixing

“Ad Astra” was one of this year’s outliers, a film that was nominated nothing but one random award. In this case, it was nominated for Best Sound Mixing and kudos to the team for getting that recognition despite the film not landing anywhere in the Oscars. Will it win? Probably not. But it definitely has merits to be here. The entire category is filmed with Best Picture nominated film and right now it comes down to “1917” and “Ford v Ferrari” for the win.

2020 Oscars Challenge: [34] “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” — Ten Nominations

Heading into the awards season this year, it felt like “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” might end up being the film to beat. However, then “1917” and “Parasite” came on the scene and started winning everything. Now, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” is still apart of the Big Three, remaining in the conversation, but being overshadowed by those other two films, which have been sweeping the season thus far.

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Oscars Watch: 92nd Academy Award Predictions

I have seen every film nominated this year, including the shorts, and the below predictions are a meld of what’s been winning, what I want to win, and what I think will win. There’s upsets every year and the pundits never get everything 100% right, so I try to mix up some of my picks with ones I prefer or ones where my gut tells me something different than what the experts are picking. These are my best guesses, so take them for what they’re worth. If you need a disclaimer, just know that I’ve never won my prediction ballot at work.

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Oscars Watch: 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards

Hosted for the second year in a row by Aubrey Plaza, the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards honored the best in independent cinema down at the Santa Monica Beach. The top honor of Best Picture this year went to “The Farewell,” which also took Best Supporting Actress for Zhao Shuzhen. Also winning big was Adam Sandler, who addressed his Oscars snub and offered a very funny acceptance speech.

2020 Oscars Challenge: [33] “Avengers: Endgame” — Best Visual Effects

Even though it’s clearly the film that relies on Visual Effects the most, “Avengers: Endgame” is actually considered the runner-up to “1917.” There will definitely be a lot of love for “1917,” but if you stop and think about the impact of visual effects on both films, “Avengers: Endgame” is definitely the actual front-runner. It just depends where the Academy voters land.

2020 Oscars Challenge: [32] Corpus Christi (Poland) — Best International Feature Film

“Parasite” has this category locked up, so almost anything else is a non-starter. Even if that’s not the case and something does upset, it’ll likely be “Pain and Glory” and not “Corpus Christi.” The experts actually have it placed dead last, so the chances for it are not good.