Here's Who Newsweek's Panelists Say Will Win At The 2020 Oscars

The 2020 awards season has not given many surprises, a trend that is expected to continue as the 92nd Academy Awards commence on Sunday.

Between 1917's cinematography, Joaquin Phoenix's performance in Joker, Martin Scorsese's directing eye in The Irishman, or Parasite's uniqueness, the competition for the Oscars is fairly stacked.

Ahead of the awards, Newsweek's Sheraz Farooqi, Fandango Managing Editor Erik Davis and Unit Still Photographer Clay Enos, who has worked on Academy Award-nominated films like A Star Is Born, offered their predictions on eight categories that will be handed out on February 9.

Best Picture:

1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
Parasite

Sheraz Farooqi: 1917 seems to be the clear favorite to win the Academy Award. With wins at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, the runway is clear for the World War I epic to take the big one. Aside from it, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood has a fair shot as well. The dark horses this year are undoubtedly Bong Joon Ho's Parasite and Jojo Rabbit. Both have gotten love at the award shows and either can sneak to the top spot as an upset. Still, I would pick 1917 to win Best Picture.

Erik Davis: It's really a two-picture race at this point, with both 1917 and Parasite being the pretty clear frontrunners. While both films are terrific and worthy of the night's big award, I think 1917 will ultimately win, with Parasite taking home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film.

Clay Enos: Jojo Rabbit was a delight. I haven't seen a film so complete since Amelie.

Best Director:

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

Sheraz Farooqi: With legendary directors Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese on the ballot, it is surprising that neither are considered favorites to come away with the best director. The award seems to be either Sam Mendes or Bong Joon Ho's to lose. Each of them put out their career's best work with 1917 and Parasite, respectively. I would give the nod to Bong Joon Ho as my pick to win.

Erik Davis: If there's going to be a surprise upset for Parasite among the major awards, it will be for its director, Bong Joon Ho, in this category. 1917 director Sam Mendes won the DGA Award for Best Director, and so that is why I am picking him to win the Oscar. Mendes' last Oscar win came exactly 20 years ago when he won both Best Director and Best Picture for American Beauty. While the growing fandom for Parasite may ultimately snag its director a surprise win here, I think Mendes will ultimately take it. The way he executed in 1917 is pretty incredible, and he is worthy of the Oscar for sure.

Clay Enos: Todd Phillips held firm with his vision, and while it's not my cup of tea, I can imagine it took a real commitment to bring his Joker to the screen. Kudos to him.

Best Actress:

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Sheraz Farooqi: The Best Actress field has been filled with many great performances. If history is any guide, Renée Zellweger has the best chance of coming away with the award after wins at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and SAG Awards. Scarlett Johansson has a chance to upset after a strong bout in Best Picture nominee, Marriage Story. My ultimate pick would be Renée Zellweger.

Erik Davis: When we surveyed over 2,000 moviegoers on Fandango, the top choice was Saorise Ronan to win this category for her role in Little Women. However, as popular as that film was at the box office, it's really Renee Zellweger's award to lose, as she is the heavy favorite and my pick for her turn as Judy Garland in Judy. The Oscars love performances of real-life figures, and that is especially the case when the real-life figure is one of their own.

Clay Enos: Scarlett Johansson is a force every time she plays a role. What a treat for us to behold.

Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
Antonio Banderas, Pain, and Glory
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Sheraz Farooqi: Quite literally Joaquin Pheonix's award to lose, the actor appears to be a lock for Best Actor. Joaquin Phoenix has come away with wins at all previous award shows, with the Academy Award the final nail to sweep the year. While Adam Driver and Leonardo DiCaprio both have the mix of star power and performance to contend in any other year, Joaquin Phoenix's lead role in Joker is unmatched.

Erik Davis: No one expected Joker to be in this position come Oscar time, leading all other films with 11 nominations. That is just wild, but it goes to show just how much it's influenced the cultural zeitgeist this year. That being said, in terms of major awards, it looks like the film will have to settle for Best Actor only, with Joaquin Phoenix the heavy favorite to take home the Oscar, in addition to being my pick for that category, too.

Clay Enos: Jonathan Pryce gave me a visceral glimpse into the Vatican. I hadn't imagined being so emotionally attached to anyone in that world, but he lured me in.

Oscar Predictions 2020
Oscar statue at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on February 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Best Supporting Actress

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

Sheraz Farooqi: My choice for Best Supporting Actress is Laura Dern for Marriage Story. Probably one of the closer races this year, Dern, Johansson, Robbie, and Pugh all with a fair shot at the award. Ultimately, Laura Dern looks to be the safest pick, while a Johansson upset is possible. I would stick with Laura Dern to take this one.

Erik Davis: Marriage Story features one of the best ensembles of the year, and it's no surprise most of them are nominated for Oscars. Laura Dern has been the stand-out all of awards season for the tough, ruthless divorce attorney she plays in Noah Baumbach's drama. She's never won an Oscar, and definitely deserves the honor here. If there's an upset, though, look for it to come from Florence Pugh, whose performance in Little Women is the one moviegoers want to see honored, according to a Fandango survey.

Clay Enos: Scarlett Johansson just too damn good. She simply stole the show.

Best Supporting Actor

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

Sheraz Farooqi: Much like Best Supporting Actress, the field for Best Supporting Actor is stacked. Between icons like Al Pacino and Tom Hanks pulling out magic late in their careers, Joe Pesci and Anthony Hopkins surprising audiences or Brad Pitt performing on par with his usual quality, the overall winner can go either way. My personal choice is Tom Hanks, but I predict Brad Pitt will continue his winning streak this year with this award.

Erik Davis: This was very much the year of Brad Pitt, the actor. Pitt turned out two terrific award-worthy performances in Ad Astra and Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, but it's his role as "Best Dude" to Leo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton that will finally earn him an Oscar for his acting. The performance isn't outwardly showy, save for a brief but memorable shirtless moment, but it's the character's coolness, toughness and charming dude-next-door demeanor that really feels perfectly suited for Pitt and worthy of an Oscar.

Clay Enos: Hanks is the perfect person to play such a gentle and life-affirming man. He did Pittsburgh proud.

Best Cinematography

1917
The Irishman
Joker
The Lighthouse
Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood

Sheraz Farooqi: Best Cinematography is a two-horse race with one clear frontrunner. While The Lighthouse put up an incredible fight, Roger Deakins did something truly one of a kind with 1917. The magic of making the film truly feel like a single-shot creates one of the most breathtaking war films of all time.

Erik Davis: Roger Deakins scored 14 Oscar nods before finally winning for his work on Blade Runner 2049, and only two years later he looks poised to win another Oscar for his work in 1917. He and Mendes really are the biggest stars of 1917, seamlessly making it appear as the entire film was executed in one single take. That's incredibly hard to do, and the main reason why both Deakins and Mendes are my picks to win come Oscar night.

Clay Enos: The Lighthouse. At the risk of dating myself, I am a sucker for big, bold black and white imagery. It's pure bias and I'm sticking with it.

Best Original Score

1917
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Sheraz Farooqi: Like cinematography, the best original score looks to be a two-horse race as well. Hildur Guðnadóttir has found much success so far this year with a haunting score for Joker. Likewise, Thomas Newman, composer for 1917 created a breathtaking score that perfectly paired with Roger Deakins' single-shot style cinematography. Ultimately, Hildur Guðnadóttir is the best pick and would make her only the fourth woman to ever win best original score.

Erik Davis: Hilda's score is haunting and poetic, and it truly elevates Joker in such intense ways by fueling the film's dark tone. She has been honored all awards season, and is the clear frontrunner for Oscar.

Clay Enos: John Williams is a legend. Star Wars is his domain and I'm along for the ride. Every. Time.