Early this morning THR‘s Scott Feinberg posted his first comprehensive spitball assessment of the leading Oscar contenders. He breaks up the Best Picture wannabes into five categories — frontrunners (some of which aren’t), major threats (not a chance), possibilities (cat’s in the bag, bag’s in the river), long shots (buried 50 feet under rock, soil and shale) and still to see. Here’s a quick HE assessment of Feinberg’s assessments. Boldface italic = likely finalists.

For the record, HE’s current Best Picture preferences (in this order): The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 1917, Joker, The Lighthouse, Little Women, Just Mercy, Jojo Rabbit.


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony) — definitely.
The Two Popes (Netflix) — enjoyably mild tea.
Marriage Story (Netflix) — definitely.
Parasite (Neon) — It’s a foreign language film…why do handicappers persist in suggesting Best Picture contention?
The Farewell (A24) — excellent film, Spirit Awards.
Joker (Warner Bros.) — Joaquin Phoenix is the headliner. The film itself might qualify, might not.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony) — Tom Hanks is the headliner, not the film itself.
Ford v. Ferrari (Fox) — Golden Globes.
Just Mercy (Warner Bros.) — Nobody did handstands in Toronto, but the Academy will probably want to factor in identity politics.
Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) — HE is woke again…haven’t seen the film but I’ve seen the light!…a woke masterpiece!…best movie of the first two decades of the 21st Century!…down with hate!
Richard Jewell (Warner Bros.) — Not mentioned by Feinberg! Never dismiss a Clint Eastwood film.


Booksmart (Annapurna) — didn’t make enough money.
Waves (A24) — excellent film, Spirit Awards
Rocketman (Paramount) — nope.
Hustlers (STX) — JLo has the heat.
Honey Boy (Amazon) — haven’t seen it.
Uncut Gems (A24) — Adam Sandler has the heat, not the film


The Lion King (Disney) — Sure thing!
Avengers: Endgame (Disney) — HE competely approves of this very well-made film, seriously, but c’mon…
Toy Story 4 (Disney) — Get outta here!
Judy (Roadside Attractions) — Renee Zellweger has the heat.


Pain and Glory (Sony Classics) — Foreign language category
The Aeronauts (Amazon) — Not a chance
The Report (Amazon) — Stop it
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24) — Spirit Awards


1917 (Universal)
Ad Astra (Fox) — Not a chance in hell
The Banker (Apple) — Who?
Bombshell (Lionsgate)
Cats (Universal) — Scat!
Dark Waters (Focus Features)
Gemini Man (Paramount) — HFR paradise!
The Good Liar (Warner Bros.)
A Hidden Life (Fox Searchlight) — Terrence Wackadoodle time travels back to WWII
The Irishman (Netflix)
Knives Out (Lionsgate)
The Lighthouse (A24) — Brilliant! Masterful!
Little Women (Sony) — Streep gas said it’s :ike” a masterpiece
Queen & Slim (Universal) — nope
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) — Not likely