As we enter December, we’re officially in the heat of the Oscar season. Over the next few weeks, critics groups and industry insiders will make their voices heard. The National Board of Review will announce their Top 10 films of the year, as well as their Best Film of 2019. The winner of this group has gone on to pick up a Best Picture nomination for all but two years since 2000 (Quills and A Most Violent Year representing the two misses). The group has become the official start to the Oscar season, with dozens of groups announcing their rewards immediately after. With the start coming on Monday (don’t worry, we’ll post the results), let’s take a quick look at the state of the race today.

Despite the year feeling weak on the whole, a few standout films exist. Some career-best work from Bong Joon-ho, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarrantino, and Sam Mendes. Each puts an extremely unique touch on their film and doing so gives us an extremely deep field to choose from. Noah Baumbach, Taika Waititi, Todd Phillips and James Mangold are close to career-bests as well (depending on who you talk to). You can never count out Clint Eastwood. However, there are plenty of women directors with films contending for Oscar hype. Greta Gerwig, Lorene Scafaria, and Lulu Wang are all potential screenplay nominees. If there is enough support, director nominations could be on the table.

Let’s check out the Picture, Directors, and Screenplay races to see what awaits. We threw in Animated Feature for good measure.

Best Picture

Predicted Ten

1917 (Universal)

Ford V Ferrari (20th Century Fox)

The Irishman (Netflix)* PREDICTED WINNER

Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) — TIFF Audience Award

Joker (Warner Bros.) — Venice Golden Lion

Little Women (Sony Pictures)

Marriage Story (Netflix) — Robert Altman Award, Indie Spirit (Nomination), TIFF Runner-Up,

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Columbia/Sony Pictures)

Parasite (Neon) — Palme d’Or, TIFF 2nd Runner-Up

Richard Jewell (Warner Brothers)

Also in the Hunt

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony Pictures)

Bombshell (Lionsgate)

The Farewell (A24) — Indie Spirit (nomination)

Harriet (Focus Features)

A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight)

Judy (Roadside Attractions)

Just Mercy (Warner Brothers)

Rocketman (Paramount)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney/LucasFilm)

Waves (A24)

Best Director

Predicted Five

Noah Baumbach — Marriage Story

Bong Joon-ho — Parasite

Sam Mendes — 1917

Martin Scorsese — The Irishman *PREDICTED WINNER

Quentin Tarantino — Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Next Five

Clint Eastwood — Richard Jewell

Greta Gerwig — Little Women

Terrance Malik — A Hidden Life

James Mangold — Ford v Ferrari

Jay Roach — Bombshell

Best Animated Feature

The Predicted Five

Frozen II (Walt Disney Animation)

I Lost My Body (Netflix)

Missing Link (Laika)

Toy Story 4 (Pixar Animation)* PREDICTED WINNER

Weathering With You (GKIDS)

The Next Five

Abominable (Dreamworks Animation)

Klaus (Netflix)

Funan (GKIDS)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Dreamworks Animation)

Okko’s Inn (GKIDS)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Five

Greta Gerwig — Little Women

Anthony McCarten — The Two Popes

Lorene Scafaria — Hustlers

Taika Waititi — Jojo Rabbit* PREDICTED WINNER

Steve Zaillian — The Irishman

The Next Five

J. J. Abrams, Chris Terrio — Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham — Just Mercy

Julian Fellowes — Downton Abbey

Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster — A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Todd Phillips & Scott Silver — Joker

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Five

Noah Baumbach — Marriage Story (Gotham, Indie Spirit)*

Bong Joon-ho & Han Jin Wan — Parasite

Trey Edward Shults — Waves

Quentin Tarantino — Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Lulu Wang — The Farewell

The Next Five

Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski — Dolemite is My Name

Pedro Almodóvar — Pain & Glory

Scott Z. Burns — The Report

Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth & Jason Keller — Ford v Ferrari

Rian Johnson — Knives Out

Who are we leaving out of the top of each category? Let us hear in the comments below!

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