26 January 2020

92nd Annual Oscar Predictions - the BEST AROUND

Welcome, folks to our rundown for the 92nd Annual Academy Awards predictions, and that's AAA for a reason! Three A's for three assholes, that's what this site does.

We are two weeks out from Hollywood's big night, and as you know, Norwegian Morning Wood rarely fails at predicting categories correctly. After literally a whole afternoon of looking up what Parasite was about, we're ready to make some bold predictions. As usual, here is how we have performed since this site's inception:

2010: 12/24
2011: 14/24
2012: 16/24
2013: 14/24
2014: 20/24
2015: 13/24
2016: 14/24
2017: 13/24
2018: 16/24
2019: 13/24

Long-term Average: 14.5.

That's right. Shoot for that 14 mark! Can we do it this year?! That answer is obviously yes. We are going for 25/24 this year. What the hell are these "short" categories?

Best Picture:

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

Okay, starting right off the bat. I actually haven't gotten this category right since 2014 (thank you, 12 Years a Slave [2013]). To be fair, I did predict La La Land (2016)... So, whatever I predict here you should probably go somewhere else. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Parasite, 1917, and Joker all seem to be frontrunners. Joker really only because it's somehow the highest grosser this year and has the most nominations. Parasite could become the first non-English-language film to win, which would be an incredible feat, but I don't necessarily think it will pull that off. It's fantastic but still not really widely seen enough. It does feel like this is a good opportunity to finally give the award to Tarantino, and Hollywood does like movies about Hollywood. Of course...La La Land.

There isn't a film right now that feels like the timing is breaking better than 1917, though. It just got into wide release, is dominating a lot of conversation, and more importantly, a lot of precursor awards (DGA, PGA, Globes). It doesn't seem to be convincing the powerful acting branch, but the SAG went to Parasite, so who knows now? But that also feels like a slight against OUATIH, so maybe 1917 will pick up the pieces? It does seem like the least divisive film in a year and era otherwise full of them. Maybe it's the bland compromise we need? But it's also still pretty good. I'm going to go with it, but in doing so, strongly think this suddenly becomes Tarantino's year.

Official Prediction: 1917

Lead Actor:

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

It seems like this is between Joaquin and Adam, and I'd prefer the latter, even though the former is one of my favourite actors of all time. This would be the second time an actor won an Oscar for playing the same character (see Brando - de Niro for time-traveling Godfather characters), but is this the same as Heath Ledger's Joker? What is it about this joker who attracts such compelling performances and interest? White male rage? That's probably right. We've had locks like this go awry before, but Joaquin is the safe bet. Jared Leo was robbed, not a single nomination for Suicide Squad (2016).

Official Prediction: Joaquin Phoenix

Lead Actress:

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

I remember seeing previews for Judy and thinking, "Why isn't this movie more of a bigger deal?" It's as if no one cared about what should have been a big biopic, right? But the tide just seems to be swimming in that direction. Bombshell wasn't quite the bombshell it wanted to be, and Little Women was lauded, but Saoirse isn't the breakout star or anything. Julia Roberts got robbed for not being in Harriet, and Scarlett Johansson doesn't seem to have the momentum from Marriage Story, although she probably deserves it. There's actually a chance she could upset here. Her dual nominations are a good sign and she's the current most popular actress from this list. I'm working myself up. The safe bet is Zellweger for some reason. Doesn't that feel off?! Should I take the hit here? We should probably go with the Academy's strong desire to award biopics and traditional stars. Fine.

Official Prediction: Renee Zellweger

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

This is finally Brad Pitt's time to shine! Even though he has Oscars for producing. Who cares, this is it! This category everyone can get behind. Gotta give it to the youngest nominee here (at age 55), and the best part of a film that I otherwise didn't actually like. He's also the only one who doesn't already have a statue for acting. No objections here.

Official Prediction: Brad Pitt

Supporting Actress:

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

This is also a well-deserved pretty much guaranteed win for Laura Dern, who most people remember for Jurassic Park, but has also been in every movie ever made since then. No one has a bad word for Laura Dern and it's the best that Marriage Story is going to get, which is a very 70s movie that came out and people need a way to care about.

Official Prediction: Laura Dern


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

Lately this category has moved away from being synonymous with Best Picture and instead served as a way to split up the wealth, especially as these ceremonies have been pretty close calls. This year is no different, so I might think that this goes to whoever is not winning Best Picture. I thought that might be 1917, so this ought to go to Joon Ho or Tarantino. People seem to want Joon Ho, and he has a career that deserves to be anointed, but are Americans really paying attention to it? Tarantino has somehow only ever won awards for writing. Do we go with trends or what's deserved? I think he breaks the mold here.

Official Prediction: Tarantino

Animated Feature:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dean DeBlois
I Lost My Body, Jeremy Clapin
Klaus, Sergio Pablos
Missing Link, Chris Butler
Toy Story 4,  Josh Cooley

Folks seem to think Toy Story 4, but it didn't do great at either the globes nor the Annies, and just seems like a Pixar default. They seem to stumble with this, especially after Toy Story 3 (2010) was such a natural end point. I'm just bitter. I Lost My Body actually sounds awesome, but I'm going with the Globes Winner, Missing Link. Klaus is just too-holiday specific.

Official Prediction: Missing Link

Animated Short:

“Dcera”, Daria Kashcheeva
“Hair Love”, Matthew A. Cherry
“Kitbull”, Rosana Sullivan
“Memorable”, Bruno Collet
“Sister”, Siqi Song

Ugh, who the hell knows. After reading some synopses it seems like "Hair Love" or "Sister" by what I keep reading as Sisqo Song are in the running. Let's go with "Hair Love" because it seems a little cuter, more accessible, and more American. Good enough. I think this is the first time I've ever tried doing five minutes of research instead of just picking the funniest title.

Official Prediction: "Hair Love"

Adapted Screenplay:

The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi
Joker, Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
Little Women, Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

This could go many ways. Little Women seems like it has some momentum, but is it weird to say that I literally don't trust the Academy to give this to a woman? It would be nice to honor Greta Gerwig after snubbing her from Best Director. Zaillian would be my first choice with his Oscar history and because otherwise a pretty widely liked film goes home empty handed. It's easy to rationalize anything here. I'm leaning towards the Irish.

Official Prediction: The Irishman

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
Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han

This should probably go to Rian Johnson, but it seems like it's Tarantino's third screenplay Oscar to lose. The Academy is so weird with him. They keep throwing him writing awards and tons of Supporting Actor awards, they must like him, but tend not to give him the big Best Picture nod. I might be convincing myself that he's going to win it all. Maybe he wins BP and this goes to Parasite. Using our best logic, though, QT wins here on his way to a pretty good night.

Official Prediction: OUATIH


The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto
Joker, Lawrence Sher
The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke
1917, Roger Deakins
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Robert Richardson

If there were justice at all, this would go to The Lighthouse, which is the most beautiful, horrific, simple, and natural of any film this year. I keep forgetting that Roger Deakins doesn't have like 15 Oscars because he keeps being nominated and never wins. UNTIL Blade Runner 2049 (2017) in 2018. That makes him 1/14. And I thought my Oscar Predictions were bad! He's for sure the biggest name here, and without cushy acting nods, if 1917 is going to do it all, it seems like it'll do it in the technical categories. That starts here.

Official Prediction: 1917

Best Documentary Feature:

American Factory, Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar
The Cave, Feras Fayyad
The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa
For Sama, Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov

Each of these definitely have an appeal. American Factory looked like the most interesting synopsis to me, and it seems like that's where other folks are landing in their predictions as well. You know that's good enough. It's on Netflix. It might be one that I actually watch, it legit sounded fascinating and timely and political. That's how these wins happen.

Official Prediction: American Factory

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“In the Absence,” Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone,” Carol Dysinger
“Life Overtakes Me,” Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas
“St. Louis Superman,” Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
“Walk Run Cha-Cha,” Laura Nix

Haha, oh, whatever. “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone" is about Afghani skateboard girls, which is all kinds of awesome. "St. Louis Superman" is about a Black State Representative from St. Louis standing up for his community. Those two stand out to me, the former a little more for its novelty and intriguing perspective.

Official Prediction: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone"

Best Live Action Short Film:

“Brotherhood,” Meryam Joobeur
“Nefta Football Club,” Yves Piat
“The Neighbors’ Window,” Marshall Curry
“Saria,” Bryan Buckley
“A Sister,” Delphine Girard

Damn you, shorts. I actually just spent some time watching these because they're relatively accessible. "Brotherhood" seems to be leading? But it's totally boring. Same with "A Sister." Brothers, sisters, they are not it. "The Neighbors' Window" is definitely trying the hardest and has a nice little message, but feels cliche. "Saria" probably looks the best, but lost me pretty soon after the initial tracking shot. I really dug "Nefta Football Club," which is funny, clever, and ironic without ever being really deep. Let's do it.

Official Prediction: "Nefta Football Club"

Best International Feature Film:

Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa
Honeyland, Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
Les Miserables, Ladj Ly
Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodovar
Parasite, Bong Joon Ho

This is a no brainer, right? Although nice mix of other films up for Best Documentary (Honeyland), and a notable film that gave us a nomination for Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory).

Official Prediction: Parasite

Film Editing:

Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland
The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles
Joker, Jeff Groth
Parasite, Jinmo Yang

So, take out the first three, which don't really have momentum and we're left with Joker and Parasite, which the latter is a little buzzier and will probably lose out on some other juicy categories. Done.

Official PredictionParasite

Sound Editing:

Ford v Ferrari, Don Sylvester
Joker, Alan Robert Murray
1917, Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood, David Acord

It seems like we're leaning towards 1917 in this. It definitely fits into that American Sniper (2014), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Dunkirk (2017) mode of things.

Official Prediction: 1917

Sound Mixing:

Ad Astra
Ford v Ferrari
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

The only time in the past ten years when a movie didn't win both sound categories where a film was nominated for both categories was Hacksaw Ridge (2016). It seems like to have the same result here.

Official Prediction1917

Production Design:

The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova
1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh
Parasite, Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee

This just seems like it's OUATIH's to lose. The production design here was so subtle - a world meticulous crafted to not only look immaculately like the 1960s, but actually a version just so slightly different. There are so many backgrounds, posters, accentuated details, that it actually really earns this. We are going for a big night for Tarantino, so here's another.

Official Prediction: OUATIH

Original Score:

Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir
Little Women, Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story, Randy Newman
1917, Thomas Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams

There is some thought that John Williams could be honored again, after all, how many more chances might he have?! He does have five wins. Hildur may be the most buzzy, but there are some big names here that are more deserving with long careers and many nominations despite few wins, such as Tom Newman and Alex Desplat. Desplat just won for Shape of Water (2017) and Newman has been here four times in the past decade, always empty-handed. I'm putting a lot of eggs in the 1917 basket, but here we go. Everything will probably go to Joker.

Official Prediciton: 1917

Original Song:

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman
“I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2
“Stand Up,” Harriet

None of these are crazy frontrunners (can you imagine that when "Let It Go" was out?!) but it seems like the song invented for Rocketman is going to do it. That was a relatively well-liked film that hasn't seen much here, and certainly the biggest stars behind it. If we count Elton John, that is.

Official Prediction: Rocketman

Makeup and Hair:

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Charlize Theron was uncannily Megyn Kelly. It also has the edge here. Maybe Joker for its distinctive, iconic look, but didn't we get that with The Dark Knight (2008)? NO! We actually got it with Suicide Squad! The last few years have gone towards recreating real-life people, and that makes sense here. More folks were attracted to Bombshell for its real person make-up achievements than Judy.

Official Prediction: Bombshell

Costume Design:

The Irishman, Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson
Jojo Rabbit, Mayes C. Rubeo
Joker, Mark Bridges
Little Women, Jacqueline Durran
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Arianne Phillips

At one point I might have thought this a lock for Little Women, but there have been some outlier wins like Black Panther (2018) and Mad Max: Fury Road lately. This seems to be between Little Women and OUATIH, and considering that the latter seems a lock for production design, maybe Little Women does win here? Seems to fit the bill of period costuming. But the looks of OUATIH were so distinctive and popped! I'm going with it, because like production design, that was actually something I really noted watching that film.

Official Prediction: OUATIH

Visual Effects:

Avengers Endgame
The Irishman
The Lion King
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Some consolation for the biggest movie of all time, right?

Official Prediction: Endgame.

I have a lot of 1917, OUATIH, and Parasite. These seem to be the big films right now that people are rallying behind. In an odd turn of events, Joker and Little Women might square off against each other, though! Could we get more polar opposites in production and fan base? I have a sneaking feeling that Mendes will get Best Director and Tarantino will get Best Picture. Probably.

You heard it here first, folks! This will all come true on Oscar night in a fortnight's time! Stay tuned, true believers!

19 January 2020

Movies in 2020! The New Golden Dream!

2019 ended up being a decent year for movies. Not particularly amazing, but it was okay. In addition to superhero films both weird and big we got farting lighthouse operators, high stuntmen, and underground rabbit eaters. It was a fun time. 2020 will assuredly be way better, though. Right?! It's an intriguing year we have coming up. There isn't really a huge monolithic film to look towards. No Avengers, no Star Wars. No Pirates of the Caribbean or Tron movie to keep us on the edge of our seat. But it will be a year dominated by female superhero films (which is amazing that this is notable, since we didn't really extol the previous twenty years of male superhero movies...) and not a ton else. This is great for everyone. Let's get into what looks good:

Wonder Woman 1984

The superhero film to beat in 2020. DCEU seems to be on track without Zack Synder and it's nice to know that yes, these films actually can be good. They have actually had a pretty decent post-Justice League (2017) track record and Wonder Woman (2017) was sublime. There are a lot of questions here, like why is it in the 80s? Why is Steve Trevor back? Did they mean to reveal that in the first trailer? Why are they chasing Thor: Ragnarok (2017) in production design and poster choices... What is Kristen Wiig's Cheetah going to look like? Full Cheetah? I hope she's full Cheetah. There are a lot of other possible superhero films that might be good coming out, but I'm not fully on board with Bird of Prey or The Eternals quite yet. I am with this one.


I read the cast, which includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki in some kind of time travel movie and was hooked before I even realized it was a Chris Nolan joint. He's got to try really hard to whiff, and his movies are always an event, especially with this kind of cerebral subject matter. Hopefully he can just tone down the dead wife motivation.


I don't know a ton about this, but Jean Dujardin plays some weirdo who really likes his deerskin jacket. It's creepy, maybe comedic, foreign, and totally under the radar. My kind of flick. The trailer wasn't actually that impressive, but I'm on board for now. Dujardin really hasn't done much of anything since The Artist (2011) and it would be cool to see him in a wacky role like this.

Bad Trip

I am a big Eric Andre fan and this is his own Bad Grandpa (2013) in a way. It seems like it's a loose narrative strung together with pranks, which honestly feels very 2000s. Andre has a fearless persona, though (despite admitting he actually gets nervous before stunts) and truly cares not for his own reputation. It's a special kind of insanity. Tiffany Haddish and Lil Rey Howery are along for the ride.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

At this point I will still eat up anything Armando Iannucci cranks out, and although I am not too familiar with the source material (my first thought is still the magician) this looks winding and whimsical and damned entertaining. It's the kind of film that used to be made. And that's fun. It's a book that has been made or attempted to be made into film many times over the years and Iannucci's wit should prove to be a good match in this attempt.

Untitled Judd Apatow / Pete Davidson Comedy

There really isn't much more information than this, but do you need it? I'm sold. Pete Davidson needs to be out of SNL and break into movies already. He kind of already has, right? He's hardly on air anymore. They just need the right vehicle. It's still a little weird to me that Amy Schumer's star seemed to decline, not accelerate after Trainwreck (2015), and Apatow seems a little more self-serving and self-reflective than what might be best for Pete Davidson. But shit, just a starring role, let's watch this disaster.

Godzilla vs. Kong

I work in a vacuum in many ways. I love TRON: Legacy (2010), The Lone Ranger (2013), and most importantly, Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). Hopefully Legendary realizes that the writing is on the wall with this shared cinematic monsterverse - it's totally dead. However, this means they need to go absolutely cuckoo bananas with this one and deliver something that King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) never could: a good movie. KONG: Skull Island (2017) is also crazy underrated. Just make it nuts and have no shame. It'll be good. I swear. I hope. I'll watch it alone in theaters.


For reasons that escape me, after Blade Runner 2049 (2017), the powers that be decided to hand Denis Villeneuve the keys to an even BIGGER unfilmable flop, Dune! The book is a classic and this will assuredly be an extremely long meditative look at the nature of our role and existence in the universe. It will be great. No one will watch it. Why does this keep happening? I'm not complaining, very much looking forward to this, but mainstream audiences don't give a crap about Dune! What high studio exec keeps giving Villeneuve money for these things?

The Tomorrow War

We have almost a full calendar year for this, but this looks promising. Chris McKay, perhaps best known for directing The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) fashions this one with Chris Pratt in the lead role about a future war against aliens where humanity starts drafting soldiers from the past to fight. Cool idea, may result in some creative mash-ups or could be a huge dud. Either way, we're in.

Other Crap:

New Bond, New Top Gun, New Ghostbusters, New Bill & Ted, New Coming to America. These all have potential, and I might like them, but whatever, folks. It's an 80s obsession that's getting a little ridiculous, and frankly, I'm just not getting my hopes up too high for anything. I have a sincere cocked eyebrow at all of you.

Black Widow could be cool, but feels infinitely smaller than a normal Avengers film. It could be a cool spy thriller but feels like it's in a very weird spot in the overall MCU, which of course it does. It's an afterthought film celebrating a character who was never really popular until she became the token woman in the Avengers. Looks cool but I'm not completely sold.

Free Guy, maybe. I've decided that Ryan Reynolds actually really falls apart in non-Deadpool movies. Last Night in Soho and Trial of the Chicago 7, Antebellum, Mank, I'm Thinking of Ending Things are probably good locks to not suck.

What are you watching next year?!

17 January 2020

2019 TV Watching in Review

We here at Norwegian Morning Wood keep track of everything. EVERYTHING WE WATCH! You can check our our movie tally right here. But here is the TV zone. And we watched quite a bit of TV in 2019:

Total Episodes: 646
Distinct Shows: 51

Compared to last year our shows are down but episodes are up by nearly 200. We're definitely just binging a few specific ones now.

Show NameNumber of EpisodesPercentage of Total
Brooklyn Nine-Nine12719.66%
The Simpsons599.13%
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia253.87%
Big Mouth233.56%
South Park213.25%
The Good Place203.10%
Saturday Night Live172.63%
One Punch Man172.63%
Future Man132.01%
Last Week Tonite111.70%
Arrested Development111.70%
The Umbrella Academy101.55%
Rick and Morty101.55%
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee91.39%
The Detour91.39%
BoJack Horseman91.39%
The Mandalorian91.39%
The Terror81.24%
Stranger Things81.24%
Living with Yourself81.24%
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt60.93%
I Think You Should Leave60.93%
Parks and Recreation60.93%
Venture Bros50.77%
Norm MacDonald Has a Show50.77%
True Detective30.46%
Invader Zim20.31%
Card Sharks20.31%
8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown20.31%
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch10.15%
Comedy Central Presents10.15%
Broad City10.15%
Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy10.15%
The Runaways10.15%
The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience10.15%
Hammer House of Horror10.15%
Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein10.15%
Historical Roasts10.15%
Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones10.15%
Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling10.15%
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 201910.15%
John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch10.15%

A lot of these are 1-off Netflix specials that I wish I hadn't watched. Simpsons was way up, Seinfeld steady. These are our constants. Brooklyn 99 is definitely a strong percentage, one of the biggest in recent years! What did you watch in 2019?
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