Experts’ Oscar predictions: Martin Scorsese leaps ahead in Best Director race (71/20 odds), Bong Joon Ho threatens (9/2)

Will Martin Scorsese join the two-timers club and claim a second Oscar for directing his crowning achievement of a crime epic “The Irishman”? According to Gold Derby’s savvy team of prediction Experts, the 76-year-old legend, who already has one statuette for helming 2006’s “The Departed,” has jumped ahead this week in the odds. Previously, as October came to a close, Hollywood’s mob-movie kingpin was slightly ahead of Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) — 18/5 vs. 19/5 odds.

But that has all changed this week as Scorsese is rising at 71/20 while Tarantino slipping with 4/1 odds. However, Marty fans might want to keep an eye on South Korean director Bong Joon Ho, who is currently in third place with 9/2 odds. His darkly comical home-invasion thriller “Parasite” won the Palme d’Or — the first Korean film to do so — at this year’s Cannes film festival. The basics: Members of a lower-class family insinuate themselves into the lives of a wealthy clan by posing as unrelated domestic employees. But what starts as a timely class-conscious conflict becomes increasingly twisted and terrifying as its plot hurdles into surprising places.

“Parasite” is also South Korea’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards — a situation that might compromise its chances to also win Best Picture. Last year’s “Roma” from Mexico and “Cold War” from Poland became the 10th and 11th non-English language films to compete for Oscar’s most coveted prize. Many predicted that “Roma” might make history as the first to win Best Picture, but it ended up losing to “Green Book” while taking the foreign film title. Also complicating matters: “Roma,” a Netflix-backed movie, was the first ever streaming production to make the Best Picture lineup.

However, it just so happens that Bong’s best chance at a little gold man might be as a director. Why? One of the strongest Oscar trends this decade is the academy’s preference for rewarding foreign-born filmmakers. England’s Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), France’s Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Taiwan’s Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”) and Mexico’s Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity,” “Roma”), Alejandro G. Inarritu (“Birdman,” “The Revenant”) and Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”).  The lone American is Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”).

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

Curious about what Experts are backing which auteur as victorious Oscar bait? Team Scorsese is 15 strong out of 28: Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Susan King (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (NewNowNext),  Brian Truitt (USA Today), Nikki Novak (Fandango), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Wilson Morales (BlackFilm), Tariq Khan (Fox TV), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Perri Nemiroff (Collider), Eric Deggans (NPR), Erik Davis (Fandango), Jen Chaney (Vulture).

Tarantino loyalists consist of nine supporters foreseeing a win: Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Jazz Tangcay (Variety), Claudia Puig (KPCC), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Keith Simanton (IMDb)  and myself. My reason? QT has yet to grab a Best Director trophy although he was nominated for 1994’s “Pulp Fiction” and 2009’s “Inglourious Basterds.”

There is also a trio of Bong backers: Gold Derby’s jockey in chief Tom O’Neil, Christopher Rosen ( and Tim Gray (Variety). Meanwhile, Scott Manz (Collider) is going out on a perhaps shaky limb for Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”).

Tell us which filmmaker you think will be hoisting the Best Director statuette on the Dolby Theatre stage on February 9 next year. And check out the Experts’ Oscar prediction odds below — current as of November 6 — in the top categories. Changes in rankings noted below.


1. “The Irishman” – 7/1
2. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” – 15/2
3. “Marriage Story” – 8/1
4. “Parasite” – 10/1
5. “Jojo Rabbit” – 23/2
6. “Little Women” – 14/1
7. “1917” – 14/1
8. “Ford v Ferrari” – 18/1
9. “Joker” – 18/1
10. “The Farewell” – 25/1


1. Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”) – 71/20
2. Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) – 4/1
3. Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”) – 9/2
4. Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story) -13/2
5. Sam Mendes (“1917”) – 13/1

Change: Scorsese secures his position as the one to beat while increasing his odds from 18/5 last week while Tarantino drops from 19/5.


1. Renee Zellweger (“Judy”) – 82/25
2. Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”) – 4/1
3. Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”) – 11/2
4. Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) – 11/2
5. Awkwafina (“The Farewell”) – 21/2

Changes: Theron jumps into third place while Ronan drops to No. 4.


1. Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) – 39/10
2. Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) – 4/1
3. Robert De Niro (“The Irishman”) – 7/1
4. Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”) – 15/2
5. Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) – 8/1

Changes: De Niro slips back into third place as Banderas sinks to No. 4.


1. Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”) – 71/20
2. Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) – 6/1
3. Annette Bening (“The Report”) – 13/2
4. Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”) – 8/1
5. Shuzhen Zhou (“The Farewell”) – 17/2

Changes: Dern increases her odds chances while Robbie bumps Shuzhen from her perch and takes fourth place.


1. Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) – 7/2
2. Al Pacino (“The Irishman”) – 9/2
3. Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) -11/2
4. Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”) – 17/2
5. Willem Dafoe (“The Lighthouse”) -23/2

Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

More News from GoldDerby