Congratulations to those men

In which I swear my allegiance to Florence Pugh.

I’m not going to yell about the Oscar nominations, in part because we did that yesterday, and in part because I don’t think my white cis male voice should be centered in a discussion of how the Academy continues to resist not centering white cis men. But because a sick, sad part of me misses being an entertainment journalist who is obligated to comment on these things, I decided I would at least inflict my category-by-category picks on you.

This is who I think should win, not who I think will win, although I may throw in the latter if I feel informed enough to say. And I’m only including the major categories, because life is short and I value your time. There will probably be some yelling, if I’m being honest — apologies in advance.

Best Picture:

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit


Little Women

Marriage Story


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

MY PICK: Parasite

I haven’t seen Jojo Rabbit or the car movie yet, but my feelings on the others range from intense affection (Little Women) to begrudging admiration (1917) to why-is-this-happening-to-me-personally (Joker). Parasite is the movie of the year, period. And I think it has a very good shot at winning, but what do I know.

Best Director:

MY PICK: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

We’re all talking about the Greta Gerwig snub, as we should, because it’s bullshit. But you know who also deserved a nomination? Marielle Heller for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Easily one of the best directors working today, and infuriatingly underappreciated. That having been said, I’m thrilled to support the equally deserving Bong Joon-ho.

Best Actor:

MY PICK: 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

OK, fine, I’ll watch the pope movie. There’s no way it’s going to sway me from my top pick, though. Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodóvar has long been a match made in heaven, but they’re both at their best here. (I wish Almodóvar had also been nominated for Best Director, but, well, I wish a lot of things.)

Best Actress:

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

MY PICK: Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renée Zellweger, Judy

I said I wasn’t going to yell about snubs, and then I started writing this and got angry all over again. Awkwafina delivered maybe my favorite performance of 2019 in The Farewell, which deserved so much more love than it got overall. With all due respect to JLo, this is probably the snub I’m most upset about. Happy to throw my support behind Saoirse, who has to win eventually, damn it. (She won’t this year, but nevertheless.)

Best Supporting Actor:

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

MY PICK: Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Bet you didn’t see that coming. See, I contain multitudes. And Joe Pesci was really fucking great in The Irishman.

Best Supporting Actress:

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

MY PICK: Florence Pugh, Little Women

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

I love Florence Pugh. I love Florence Pugh so much that her nomination almost distracted me from the bullshit of JLo not getting a nod. In a perfect world, Florence Pugh would also be nominated for her starring role in Midsommar, which was my other favorite performance of the year next to Awkwafina’s. But that was never going to happen, so I can at least be excited about this one.

Also, while I think Laura Dern is wonderful and am fine with her winning, I thought her performance in Marriage Story was… not good (please don’t be mad), and wish she had been nominated for Little Women instead. She’s great in that! And like, pretty much everything else! Are we fighting?

Best 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

MY PICK: Parasite, Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won

I’m so, so glad Knives Out got a nomination. But also, Parasite deserves this (and the world).

Best Adapted Screenplay:

The Irishman, Steven Zaillian

Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi

Joker, Todd Phillips and Scott Silver

MY PICK: Little Women, Greta Gerwig

The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

What Greta Gerwig did with Little Women is pretty remarkable: I remain so impressed with how she remixed the story without sacrificing any of its emotional weight and resonance, and delivered snappy dialogue without making it feel jarringly anachronistic. A lot of this has to do with her exceptional direction — cough, fucking cough — but at the very least, she deserves recognition for her screenplay.

Photo via Sony Pictures Releasing.