The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win.
On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show to talk about the big night.
We both agree that the acting categories are pretty much locked, with wins going to Renée Zellweger (“Judy”), Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”), Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”) and Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”).
Two categories that aren’t as set are director and the top prize: best picture.
At the moment, it seems like it’s a race between Sam Mendes (“1917”) and Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”). Both men seem to be the top contenders for director, with their films also in a tight race for picture. However, could Quentin Tarantino’s lack of an Oscar for directing sway Academy voters?
Riley and I also discussed Dern’s path to Oscar glory, which seemed even more inevitable after Jennifer Lopez didn’t receive a nomination for “Hustlers.”
And, as you’ve probably heard by now, the Oscars will go hostless for the second consecutive year. Is that a good thing or does the Academy need a funny person (or a certain “Mandalorian” character) to add some laughs to the night as well as attract more viewers? If there’s no host to address this year’s lack of diversity among the nominees, who will say something when they hit the stage?
Oscar voting closes on Feb. 4. The awards will be handed out five days later on Feb. 9 and telecast live from Hollywood on ABC.
You can listen to my entire chat with Riley below. You can also find “The Big Ticket” at iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.