From Pitt to ‘1917,’ What to Anticipate at Sunday’s Oscars

Oscar statues stand off of Hollywood Boulevard in preparation for Sunday's 92nd Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Oscar statues stand off of Hollywood Boulevard in preparation for Sunday's 92nd Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

By JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Oscars are here, already.

After the shortest awards season in decades, the 92nd annual Academy Awards will get underway Sunday evening at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The red carpet is being rolled out two to three weeks earlier than usual in a bid to freshen up a ceremony and potentially boost ratings.

The truncated time table has put the normally bloated Oscars season on a diet (Sunday’s show will also, for the second straight year, be hostless) and sent film academy members scrambling to finish their movie-watching — no small task in a year featuring a few three-hour epics like “The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”

Fittingly for a fast race, a movie about a mad dash has risen to the top of the heap. After winning nearly every major precursor award, Sam Mendes’ “1917,” about a pair of British soldiers sent with an urgent message to deliver through recently-held enemy territory, is the favorite for best picture. Thanks to its technical dazzle, the seemingly one-continuous-shot “1917” is also likely to come away with the most awards Sunday, even without any acting nominations.

Although Joaquin Phoenix, Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern all appear to be all-but-certain locks in the acting categories, there’s still the potential for a history-making upset. Momentum has swung behind Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller “Parasite,” and some believe it has a chance to become the first non-English language film to win best picture.

Such a win would be a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has long been content to relegate international films to their own category. But in an effort to diversify its largely white and male membership, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has inducted more overseas members in recent years. And just about no one has a bad word to say about t he widely praised class satire “Parasite,” the Palme d’Or winner at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and the first foreign language film to win top honors from the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The official pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST on ABC. Among the presenters the academy will lean on in the absence of a host are Tom Hanks, Maya Rudolph, Spike Lee, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Rock, Timothée Chalamet, Will Ferrell, Diane Keaton and Kelly Marie Tran.

The ceremony will come just days after the death of Kirk Douglas, one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s golden age. Kobe Bryant, a 2018 Oscar winner for the short “Dear Basketball,” is expected to be included in the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment.

ABC and the academy will be hoping a widely watched field of nominees — including the $1 billion-grossing “Joker,” up for a leading 11 awards — will help viewership. Last year’s show garnered 29.6 million viewers, a 12% uptick.

This year’s Oscars comes amid a streaming overhaul throughout Hollywood. Hurrying to catch up to Netflix and Amazon, most of the major studios are prepping or have already launched their own streaming services, as have new entrants like Apple. Netflix comes into the Oscars with a leading 24 nominations thanks to “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story,” “The Two Popes” and the likely best documentary winner, “American Factory.”

But despite spending heavily through awards season, Netflix may go home with only a few awards. The streamer is still seeking its first best picture win after Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” came up just shy last year.

Instead, this year’s Oscar favorites are largely movies released widely in theaters. They also predominantly feature male characters and come from male directors.

After a year in which women made significant gains behind the camera, no female directors were nominated for best director. The acting categories are also the least diverse since the fallout of #OscarsSoWhite pushed the academy to remake its membership. Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) is the only actor of color nominated. Those results, which have been a topic in speeches through awards season, stand in contrast to research that suggests the most popular movies star more people of color than ever before.

Ticket sales slumped about 4% last year despite the Walt Disney Co.’s record $13 billion in worldwide box office. Disney, which acquired 20th Century Fox last spring, accounted for an overwhelming 38% of domestic ticket sales. And yet Disney, aside from owning the network the Oscars are broadcast on, will likely play a minor role at the Academy Awards. The studio may win best animated feature with “Toy Story 4” and possibly best editing for the Fox film “Ford v Ferrari.”

And while Democratic candidates are vying for the presidency and votes are still being counted in Iowa, former President Barack Obama may well notch another win. The first film from his and Michelle Obama’s production company, “American Factory,” is favored to win best documentary.

Here is a complete list of nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards, which will be presented Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre:

Best Picture
— “Ford v Ferrari,” Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold
— “The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
— “Jojo Rabbit,” Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi
— “Joker,” Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
— “Little Women,” Amy Pascal
— “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach and David Heyman
— “1917,” Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall
— “Once upon a Time in Hollywood,” David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino
— “Parasite,” Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho

Actor
— 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”

Actress
— Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
— Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
— Soairse Ronan, “Little Women”
— Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
— Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Supporting Actor
— Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
— Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
— Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
— Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
— Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”

Supporting Actress
— Laura Dern, “Marriage Story,”
— Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
— Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
— Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
— Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Director
— Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
— Sam Mendes, “1917”
— Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”
— Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
— Todd Phillips, “Joker”

Animated Feature
— “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold
— “I Lost My Body,” Jeremy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
— “Klaus,” Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Roman
— “Missing Link,” Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight
— “Toy Story 4,” Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera

Cinematography
— “The Irishman,” Rodrigo Prieto
— “Joker,” Lawrence Sher
— “The Lighthouse,” Jarin Blaschke
— “1917,” Roger Deakins
— “Once upon a Time in Hollywood,” Robert Richardson

Costume Design
— “The Irishman,” Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
— “Jojo Rabbit,” Mayes C. Rubeo
— “Joker,” Mark Bridges
— “Little Women,” Jacqueline Durran
— “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Arianne Phillips

Documentary Feature
— “American Factory,” Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert
— “The Cave,” Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjaer
— “The Edge of Democracy,” Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan
— “For Sama,” Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts
— “Honeyland,” Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska and Atanas Georgiev

Documentary Short Subject
— “In the Absence,” Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
— “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl),” Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
— “Life Overtakes Me,” John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
— “St. Louis Superman,” Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
— “Walk Run Cha-Cha,” Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt

Film Editing
— “Ford v Ferrari,” Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
— “The Irishman,” “Thelma Schoonmaker
— “Jojo Rabbit,” Tom Eagles
— “Joker,” Jeff Groth
— “Parasite,” Yang Jinmo

International Feature
— “Corpus Christi,” Poland
— “Honeyland,” North Macedonia
— “Les Miserables,” France
— “Pain and Glory,” Spain
— “Parasite,” South Korea

Makeup/Hairstyling
— “Bombshell,” Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker
— “Joker,” Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
— “Judy,” Jeremy Woodhead
— “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White
— “1917,” Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole

Original Score
— “Joker,” Hildur Guonadottir
— “Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
— “Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
— “1917,” Thomas Newman
— “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams

Original Song
— “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4,” Randy Newman
— “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman,” music by Elton John, lyric by Bernie Taupin
— “I’m Standing with You” from “Breakthrough,” Diane Warren
— “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
— “Stand Up” from “Harriet,” Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

Production Design
— “The Irishman,” Production Design: Bob Shaw; Set Decoration: Regina Graves
— “Jojo Rabbit,” Production Design: Ra Vincent; Set Decoration: Nora Sopkova
— “1917,” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
— “Once upon a Time in Hollywood,” Production Design: Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
— “Parasite,” Production Design: Lee Ha Jun; Set Decoration: Cho Won Woo

Animated Short Film
— “Dcera (Daughter),” Daria Kashcheeva
— “Hair Love,” Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
— “Kitbull,” Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
— “Memorable,” Bruno Collet and Jean-Francois Le Corre
— “Sister,” Siqi Song

Live Action Short Film
— “Brotherhood,” Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
— “Nefta Football Club,” Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
— “The Neighbors’ Window,” Marshall Curry
— “Saria,” Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre”
— “A Sister,” Delphine Girard

Sound Editing
— “Ford v Ferrari,” Donald Sylvester
— “Joker,” Alan Robert Murray
— “1917,” Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
— “Once upon a Time in Hollywood,” Wylie Stateman
— “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Matthew Wood and David Acord

Sound Mixing
— “Ad Astra,” Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
— “Ford v Ferrari,” Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow
— “Joker,” Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
— “1917,” Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
— “Once upon a Time in Hollywood,” Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano

Visual Effects
— “Avengers: Endgame,” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick
— “The Irishman,” Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephane Grabli
— “The Lion King,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman
— “1917,” Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
— “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominic Tuohy

Adapted Screenplay
— “The Irishman,” Steven Zaillian
— “Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi
— “Joker,” Todd Phillips and Scott Silver
— “Little Women,” Greta Gerwig
— “The Two Popes,” Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay
— “Knives Out,” Rian Johnson
— “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach
— “1917,” Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
— “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino
— “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won