Predicting the 2023 Oscars

With the 95th Oscars coming up on Sunday, it’s time to make my final predictions on some of the night’s biggest categories. Everything Everywhere All at Once is on a roll right now and looks poised to take home a number of statues, but the only constant of the Oscars is chaos, so who’s to say what will actually win on Hollywood’s biggest night.

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking

Should Win: This is honestly a great set of Best Picture nominees. All but two of these are in my personal Top 20 of the year (Triangle of Sadness barely missed the cut at 22, and Elvis was a bit too messy for me, so it landed quite a bit lower). I would honestly be totally happy with five of these movies if they were to take home the top prize. The Fabelmans and Everything Everywhere All at Once are my two favorite movies of the year, so my heart goes with both of them.

Will Win: Given the trajectory it’s been on so far in awards season, this is Everything Everywhere All at Once’s to lose.

Best Director

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Todd Field, Tár
Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Should Win: Again, my heart is split between The Fabelmans and Everything Everywhere All at Once. I would love for Steven Spielberg to take this simply for the power of directing his own story. And there’s one shot from The Fabelmans that I have yet to stop thinking about.

Will Win: I think the Daniels will come out on top here (and what a great win it will be for Birmingham native Daniel Scheinert!).

Best Lead Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Paul Mescal, Aftersun
Bill Nighy, Living

Should Win: The Best Actor race has been a three-way tie between Austin Butler, Colin Farrell and Brendan Fraser. But Paul Mescal’s performance in Aftersun is so understated yet haunting that he should be as much in the conversation, if not win.

Will Win: Brendan Fraser has the heart of Hollywood right now, but the Oscars love a transformation, so I think Austin Butler will win for his complete dedication to becoming Elvis Presley.

Best Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tár
Ana de Armas, Blonde
Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should Win: Undoubtedly the most talked-about category of the year, with the inclusion of Andrea Riseborough and Ana de Armas (and the exclusion of Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler), Best Actress has really been a two-horse race between Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh. Blanchett is sensational as Lydia Tar, so much so that nearly everyone thought she was based on a real person at first. This award should almost be guaranteed to be hers.

Will Win: Michelle Yeoh is everything and expertly carries the audience through the weird and chaotic understanding of the multiverse as she transforms from an unassuming laundromat owner to a hero to her family. She deserves this award and I fully expect her to win.

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should Win: This is probably the most locked-down category of the ceremony already. Ke Huy Quan should, will and deserves to win this award. I do want to shout out Barry Keoghan, who is equally hilarious and heartbreaking in Banshees.

Will Win: No one has had more fun on the awards show circuit this year than Ke Huy Quan. His comeback story is so heartwarming and he has such a winning personality you literally can’t root against him. From Short Round and Data to Oscar winner, here he comes.

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Hong Chau, The Whale
Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should Win: The way Stephanie Hsu has been mostly overlooked this awards season is truly baffling. In a movie starring Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu still finds a way to stand out and nearly steal the whole show. For her to win an Oscar would be extraordinary and I would be thrilled. Another Banshees shoutout to Kerry Condon, because she is wonderful in her role as well.

Will Win: Angela Bassett seems poised to win the first acting award for an MCU movie, and it would be well deserved. She has to grieve onscreen as a character and an actor and delivers some powerhouse scenes. (And I’m sure the MCU would love some positive recognition after a year of struggling to maintain momentum.)

Best Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Top Gun: Maverick
Women Talking

Should Win: I’ve adored both of Rian Johnson’s Benoit Blanc mysteries – Knives Out is one of my favorite movies of all time and Glass Onion was another unique story with plenty of twists and turns. In my heart I would love for Rian Johnson to be recognized. And everything about Top Gun: Maverick is astonishing, especially how they continued the story from the original while introducing compelling new characters and building a thrilling conclusion.

Will Win: I’m going with Women Talking for this category. Based on a novel, it manages to present complex and contrasting perspectives in a way that’s easy to follow and mix in a number of difficult topics. It also does an excellent job of balancing that fine line between feeling like a stage play and a more cinematic experience.

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Triangle of Sadness

Should Win: Not to sound like a broken record, but the way Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner were able to tell the story of Spielberg’s own childhood – the good and the bad – was outstanding. I’ll also give a shout out to Tar for tackling some complex issues like power and cancel culture in its script and doing so in a way that made it stick in your head long after the movie ended.

Will Win: As outlandish and complicated a concept like the multiverse can be, Everything Everywhere All at Once is surprisingly easy and engaging to follow. And in the center of all the wackiness, the movie is really a story about parents and children, relationships and learning to understand and respect each other.

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
The Sea Beast
Turning Red

Should Win: This is an incredible lineup for Best Animated Film. Marcel the Shell is an icon and one of the most gentle, charming and heartfelt movies of the year. Puss in Boots shocked us all and breathed new life and energy into a franchise thought to be long dead. My pick for this though is Turning Red, an absolute joy of a film that creatively and delicately tackles puberty, the strain and growth in parent-child relationships, and early 2000s boy band mania.

Will Win: The Pixar brand still has a strong hold in this category, so Turning Red has a good shot, but I think the love for Guillermo del Toro will put his adaptation of Pinocchio – a beautiful, fascinating take on the well-known story – on top.

Best Original Score

All Quiet on the Western Front, Volker Bertelmann
Babylon, Justin Hurwitz
The Banshees of Inisherin, Carter Burwell
Everything Everywhere All at Once, Son Lux
The Fabelmans, John Williams

Should Win: Personally I think John Williams should always win when he’s nominated, and I do really love the quiet, longing nature of The Fabelmans score.

Will Win: Babylon is not the same movie without Justin Hurwitz’s loud, bombastic, pulse-raising score. It gives the movie life and amplifies the chaotic nature of the early days of cinema. Hurwitz is quickly becoming one of my favorite current film composers and I can’t wait to hear what he does next.

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