These 4 Oscar races are giving me the heebie-jeebies: Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Animated Feature

With the 2020 Oscars just days away (they’ll air Sunday, February 9 on ABC), it’s time to start locking in your predictions for all 24 categories. Sure, many of the year’s trophies seem to be locked up — just ask acting front-runners Renee Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix, Laura Dern and Brad Pitt. But keep in mind, nobody has ever gone 24-for-24 at Gold Derby since we started allowing users to make their predictions. With so many up-in-the-air categories this year, we should start preparing ourselves for another slew of Oscar upsets. Below are the top four races that are giving me the heebie-jeebies. See my complete Oscar predictions.

Best Original Screenplay — At the start of awards season I was convinced “Marriage Story” would take the Oscar for original screenplay. After all, Noah Baumbach is an academy favorite who has yet to claim a statuette. When Quentin Tarantino‘s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award, I switched my Oscar pick accordingly. But then “Parasite” all of a sudden swept the Writers Guild and BAFTA Awards for Bong Joon Ho and Jin Won Han. What to do, what to do?

Best Costume Design — “Little Women” is going to win something, right? There’s no way Greta Gerwig‘s fan-favorite reboot of the Louisa May Alcott novel is going to be skunked … right?! As of this writing it looks like the costume race is the safest bet for “Little Women” to win an Oscar, especially after Gerwig lost her adapted screenplay prizes at the WGA and BAFTA. But hold on, the Costume Designers Guild completely overlooked “Little Women” — maybe they didn’t see it in time? Instead, the CDG went with “Jojo Rabbit,” yet another movie with a passionate rooting factor. So can the Nazi regalia of “Jojo” really take down the frilly dresses of “Women”?

Best Visual Effects — Thought #1: “The Lion King” will win just like its animalistic Disney predecessor “The Jungle Book” (2016). Thought #2: “1917” or “The Irishman” will win because Best Picture contenders almost always prevail here. Thought #3: “Avengers: Endgame” or “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will win because they have the most visual effects and it’d be a way for Oscar voters to offer the departing franchises a goodbye hug. I can really see this race going five ways, and that’s what’s causing me so much anxiety. The precursors aren’t any help either: “Avengers: Endgame” was the Critics’ Choice, “1917” won at BAFTA, and “The Lion King” and “The Irishman” split the Visual Effects Society.

Best Animated Feature — This is another category where the major precursor awards will give you a splitting headache. To recap: the Golden Globes went with “Missing Link,” the Critics’ Choice was “Toy Story 4,” and the Annies and BAFTA picked “Klaus.” This could be a case of an assumed front-runner like “Toy Story 4” losing in a huge upset, but is “Missing Link” or “Klaus” more likely to benefit? Or might we be overlooking “I Lost My Body” or “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”? I’m sticking with Buzz and Woody for now, but we’ll see if I change my mind before Sunday.

Be sure to make your Oscar winner 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 the ceremony on February 9. And join in the thrilling debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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