Bethlehem Press

Monday, April 6, 2020
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO COURTESY WARNER BROS.Joaquin Phoenix, lead actor Oscar nominee (Arthur Fleck, aka Joker), “Joker,” which tops 2020 Oscar contenders with 11 nominations. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO COURTESY WARNER BROS.Joaquin Phoenix, lead actor Oscar nominee (Arthur Fleck, aka Joker), “Joker,” which tops 2020 Oscar contenders with 11 nominations.

Picking Oscar nominees a successful challenge

Sunday, January 26, 2020 by Paul Willistein in Focus

“Joker,” the first R-rated theatrical motion picture to garner more than $1-billion-plus at the box office, leads the Oscar race with 11 nominations, with “The Irishman,” a partly-Pennsylvania-set mob opus; “Once Upon A Time In ... Hollywood,” an LA story rewritten large, and “1917,” the World War I “one-shot” wonder, receiving 10 nominations each.

“Parasite,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Marriage Story” and “Little Women” each received six nominations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the 92nd Academy Awards ceremonies honoring 2019 theatrical motion picture releases, 8 p.m. (EST) Feb. 9, Dolby Theatre, Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, and televised live on ABC-TV.

My Oscar predictions for the seven Focus contest categories for the 2020 Oscar nominations were published in the Jan. 8 and 9 Lehigh Valley Press Focus print and Jan. 9 web editions. The 2020 Oscar nominations were announced Jan. 13,

I limited my 2020 Oscar nominee predictions to the seven categories in the annual Lehigh Valley Press Focus section “Readers Pick the Oscar Winners” contest. Deadline for entries by email, U.S. Postal Service or entry form drop-off at The Press offices is 5 p.m. Feb. 7.

Here’s how I did with my 2020 Oscar nominatons picks:

Lead Actor: Two of five

Lead Actress: Three of five

Supporting Actor: Three of five

Supporting Actress: One of five

Director: Five of five

Best Picture: Eight of nine

Animated Feature: Three of five

Lead Actor

I correctly picked two of five lead actor Oscar nominees: Adam Driver, “Marriage Story,” and Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker.”

I didn’t pick Antonio Banderas, “Pain And Glory”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon A Time In ... Hollywood,” and Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes.”

I incorrectly picked Christian Bale, “Ford v Ferrari”; Paul Walter Hauser, “Richard Jewell,” and Al Pacino, “The Irishman.”

Lead Actress

I correctly picked three of five lead actress Oscar nominees: Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”; Charlize Theron, “Bombshell,” and Renee Zellweger, “Judy.”

I didn’t pick Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet,” and Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women.”

I incorrectly picked Awkwafina, “The Farewell,” and Lupita Nyong’o, “Us.”

Supporting Actor

I correctly picked three of five supporting actor Oscar nominees: Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”; Joe Pesci, “The Irishman,” and Brad Pitt, “Once Upon A Time In ... Hollywood.”

I didn’t pick Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes,” and Al Pacino, “The Irishman.”

I incorrectly picked Sam Rockwell, “Richard Jewell,” and Kang-ho Song, “Parasite.”

Supporting Actress

I correctly picked one of five supporting actress Oscar nominees: Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell.”

I didn’t pick Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”; Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”; Florence Pugh, “Little Women,” and Margo Robbie, “Bombshell.”

I incorrectly picked Laura Dern, “Little Women”; Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”; Margo Robbie, “Once Upon A Time In ... Hollywood,” and Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey.”


I correctly picked five of five director Oscar nominees: Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”; Todd Phillips, “Joker”; Sam Mendes, “1917”; Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time In ... Hollywood,” and Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite.”

Best Picture

I correctly picked eight of nine best picture Oscar nominees: “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “1917,” “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” and “Parasite.”

I didn’t pick “Ford v Ferrari.”

I incorrectly picked “Bombshell” and “Richard Jewell” for 10 nominees when there are nine nominees of a possible 10 nominees in the 2020 Best Picture Oscar category.

Animated Feature

I correctly picked three of five animated feature Oscar nominees: “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”; “Missing Link,” and “Toy Story 4.”

I didn’t pick “I Lost My Body” and “Klaus.”

I incorrectly picked “Frozen II” and “The Lion King.”