2020 Oscar Predictions, Technical Categories

By: Henry J. Fromage –

Kicking off a look at each category of the Oscars, today we’ll take a look at the technical and below the line categories.

Best Cinematography

  1. Roger Deakins, 1917
  2. Phedon Papamichael, Ford v Ferrari
  3. Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
  4. Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  5. Lawrence Sher, Joker

The legendary Roger Deakins’ one-shot tricksmanship is the front-runner, but each of these films landed a Cinematographers Guild nomination, and that’s about as good of a predictor of this category as there is.


Best Production Design

  1. 1917
  2. The Irishman
  3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  4. JoJo Rabbit
  5. Joker

It’s all about those period recreations, and each of these films created a completely immersive and realistic world of yesteryear.  However, don’t sleep on Little Women, or the evocative modern designs of Parasite, either.


Best Sound Editing

  1. 1917
  2. Ford v Ferrari
  3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  5. Avengers: Endgame

Sound Editing means Sound Effects and each of these films are tasked with creating an entire film’s worth of in-your-face explosions, either on the battlefield, in space, or inside an internal combustion engine.


Best Sound Mixing

  1. 1917
  2. Ford v Ferrari
  3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  4. Rocketman
  5. Avengers: Endgame

Sound Mixing is the overall sound, well, mix, and music-focused films tend to do well here, hence Rocketman‘s placing.  You also tend to see a lot of crossover with Sound Editing, and I’m betting on that continuing this year.


Best Visual Effects

  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. The Irishman
  3. The Lion King
  4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  5. 1917

Wouldn’t it be great if Cats got in here?  It made the shortlist, you know- so never say never.  Gemini Man was nearly as dragged, but for my money actually is worthy of that shortlist slot- horrible tacked-on final scene notwithstanding.  Other shortlisted films include the unlikely-feeling Alita: Battle Angel and Terminator: Dark Fate, and the quite possible substitute for nearly any of the above Captain Marvel.  All that being said, I don’t see the biggest blockbuster of all time (adjusted? Nevermind adjusted!) or the truly groundbreaking if at times clunky The Irishman and The Lion King missing the cut.


Best Editing

  1. The Irishman
  2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  3. Parasite
  4. Marriage Story
  5. Ford v Ferrari

Now here’s a technical category that has something to say about Best Picture.  It’s very, very rare for a serious contender for the crown not to also get a nod here, and who wins it on the big night is often a great indicator of what direction the wind’s blowing.  That being said, it’ll be really interesting to see if the very purposefully hidden editing that creates the one-shot experience of 1917 will get recognized or not- if it does, that bumps up its Best Picture chances for sure.


Best Original Song

  1. “Into the Unknown”, Frozen II
  2. “Spirit”, The Lion King
  3. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”, Rocketman
  4. “Letter to My Godfather”, The Black Godfather
  5. “Glasgow”, Wild Rose

I’m going to bet on the Oscar telecast’s dreams coming true and Idina Menzel, Beyonce, Elton John, and even Pharrell getting to perform.  For the last slot, I predict a lot of folks will go for this indie about a Scot with Nashville dreams.


Best Original Score

  1. Thomas Newman, 1917
  2. Hildur Guonadottir, Joker
  3. Randy Newman, Marriage Story
  4. John Williams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  5. Alexandre Desplat, Little Women

Guonadottir sure got a boost at the Golden Globes, and if she won she would become only the third woman to do so.  Her competition is a who’s who of the last several decades of film scoring, but we could see Alan Silvestri for Avengers: Endgame or Michael Abel for Us sneak in there.


Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  1. Rocketman
  2. Joker
  3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  4. Bombshell
  5. Judy

This is no longer a limited list (why just this category was held to 3 nominees up until now is a true mystery).  I’m rooting against Maleficent: Mistress of Evil because I have no interest in watching it, but its predecessor got a nom here, so it could happen.  Otherwise 1917, Little Women, and Dolemite is My Name (which would be great) all have a shot as well.


Best Costume Design

  1. Rocketman
  2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  3. Joker
  4. Little Women
  5. Dolemite is My Name

It’s hard not to lean towards the sumptuous period pieces in this category, but those Elton John costumes have to be a shoo-in, and the 60s and 70s period garb of the rest of the category all have their supporters.  The Irishman or even something like Downton Abbey have a shot as well.

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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