2023 Oscars Mid-Year Predictions

Letter from the Editor: It’s never too early to look at Oscar glory. ScreenFish newcomer Daniel Eng gives us his examination of the state of Awards season and offers his best takes on who could take home the statuette in 2023.

By Daniel Eng

What makes a best picture nominee?

Is it the budget of the film, the studio making it or the names behind it? Perhaps its who spends the most on a campaign to get nominated? Is it how much a film made or how much critical acclaim it amalgamates? Really, all of them matter but beyond that there is often something about these films that make them stand out. Perhaps they have a story considered socially relevant to our society today, an issue that needs to be addressed. Sometimes everyone saw the film and liked it. Many films do all of these things and yet never make it to the ceremony.

Often it can depend on the type of movie it is and if it lives up to what it is supposed to be. The Fabelmans is a studio-produced film that contains an all star cast and is directed by the most prolific director of all time. A film like this is expected to be appealing to almost everyone and to have great reviews praising its direction, actors, and story. Unsurprisingly, The Fabelmans was labeled as Oscar bait right out of the gate.

A film like Everything Everywhere All at Once is directed by indie directors and funded by an indie studio A24. They cast talented actors but ones hold no awards prestige so people don?t expect them to compete for an Oscar. Also, its an action, sci fi-adventure, comedy. To be labeled by that many genres and be nominated for Best Picture, it needs to be a beloved and universally acclaimed. No one is looking at the premise of the movie and thinking it will be nominated for Best Picture. The academy has always had a bias towards genre films. However, some movies can break through this prejudice with a little passion and I believe Everything Everywhere All at Once is one of them.

I will be outlining where I think they are heading, and which will be most likely holding a golden statue this coming March. I?ve listed a comparison to each potential nominee and winner in the same way they do draft comparisons for athletes in comparison sports. These comparisons may not be accurate and some of these films are wildly different then the ones I am comparing them to. However, I hope it might help you understand my approach to my predictions. I?ll explain the comparisons more in depth in the future to flesh out what elements I think they share that will be appealing to voters.

Best Picture:
The Fabelmans and Everything Everywhere All at Once stand as the films that are sure to be nominated for Best Picture. The real question though remains what will win? In the past ten years or so often a Best Picture winner has had an underdog story. It?s a film that has a reason to rise above the most prestigious and expensive films of the year. It could have a message, a budget, representation, or crew deemed important to highlight. They had a story both in the film and outside of the film that made people want to push it towards Oscar glory. The 2017 winner Moonlight contains all of these. It contains a beautiful message of love and acceptance. It was made on a tiny 2-million-dollar budget, gave black, gay and lower-class characters the spotlight. It was made by Barry Jenkins, a man who was only making his second feature film and worked exclusively with talented Black actors, many of whom weren?t known to the general public. All these factors helped it win Best Picture over a film that tied for the most nominations ever in La La Land.

Best Picture

  1. The Fabelmans (Win Comparison: Argo)
  2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Win Comparison: The Shape of Water)
  3. Women Talking (Win Comparison: Spotlight)
  4. Babylon (Win Comparison: Birdman/ The Artist)
  5. Banshees of Inisherin (Win Comparison: Amadeus)
  6. Top Gun Maverick (Win Comparison: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King)
  7. She Said (Win Comparison: Spotlight)
  8. Tar (Win Comparison: Birdman/ Amadeus)
  9. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Win Comparison: Lord of the Rings: The Return of theKing/ Braveheart)
  10. All Quiet on the Western Front (Win Comparison: All Quiet on the Western Front/ The Hurt Locker)

This year, I still see The Fabelmans taking home top prize. Personally, I think its simple tale of how our love of stories and movies motivates us through the drama of family. Steven Spielberg is such a prolific director whose films are among the highest rated and grossing of all time. To see a man whose tackled the holocaust, World War II, aliens, sharks and dinosaurs focus on bringing that same kind of significance to his own humble beginnings is a film I think can win best picture. This win would be like Argo where Ben Affleck directed and starred in a true story that was a well-funded studio film. The critical praise and scale is similar to The Fabelmans. They both show the power of movies which the academy loves and they contain a beloved Hollywood figure at the center of it with Ben Affleck and Steven Spielberg, respectively.

Best Director

  1. Steven Spielberg (Win Comparison: Alfonso Cuaron for Roma)
  2. Damien Chazelle (Win Comparison: Michael Hazanavicius for The Artist)
  3. Sarah Polley (Win Comparison: Robert Redford for Ordinary People)
  4. The Daniels (Win Comparison: Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water)
  5. Todd Field (Win Comparison: Alejandro Gonzalez I??rritu for Birdman)

Best Actor

  1. Brendan Fraser (The Whale) (Win Comparison: Anthony Hopkins for The Father)
  2. Austin Butler (Elvis) (Win Comparison: Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody)
  3. Diego Calva (Babylon) (Win Comparison: Jean Dujardin for The Artist)
  4. Collin Farrell (Banshees of Inisherin) (Win Comparison: Casey Affleck for Manchester bythe Sea)
  5. Will Smith (Emancipation) (Win Comparison: Adrien Brody for The Pianist)

Best Actress

  1. Danielle Deadwyler (Till) (Win Comparison: Frances Mcdormand for Three Billboards)
  2. Cate Blanchett (Tar) (Win Comparison: Emma Stone for La La Land)
  3. Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once (Win Comparison:
  4. Margot Robbie (Babylon) (Win Comparison: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver LiningsPlaybook)
  5. Olivia Colman (Empire of Light) (Win Comparison: Julianne Moore for Still Alice)

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere all at Once) (Win Comparison: Alan Arkin for LittleMiss Sunshine)
  2. Ben Whishaw (Women Talking) (Win Comparison: Troy Kotsur for CODA)
  3. Brad Pitt (Babylon) (Win Comparison: Himself in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
  4. Brendan Gleeson (Banshees of Inisherin) (Win Comparison: Mark Rylance for Bridge ofSpies)
  5. Paul Dano (The Fablemans) (Win Comparison: Jim Broadbent for Iris)

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Claire Foy (Women Talking) (Win Comparison: Viola Davis in Fences)
  2. Carey Mulligan (She Said) (Win Comparison: Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton)
  3. Jessie Buckley (Women Talking) (Win Comparison: Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables)
  4. Jean Smart (Babylon) (Win Comparison: Melissa Leo in The Fighter)
  5. Kerry Condon (Banshees of Inisherin) (Win Comparison: Patricia Arquette in Boyhood)

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Winner Comparison: Eternal Sunshine of theSpotless Mind)
  2. The Fabelmans (Winner Comparison: Little Miss Sunshine)
  3. The Banshees of Inisherin (Winner Comparison: Good Will Hunting)
  4. Babylon (Winner Comparison: Almost Famous)
  5. Tar (Winner Comparison: Birdman)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Women Talking (Winner Comparison: Precious)
  2. She Said (Winner Comparison: The Big Short)
  3. Glass Onion (Winner Comparison: In the Heat of Night)
  4. The Whale (Winner Comparison: The Father)
  5. White Noise (Winner Comparison: Jojo Rabbit)

Best Original Score

  1. Babylon (Justin Hurwitz) (Winner Comparison: The Artist)
  2. The Fablemans (John Williams) (Winner Comparison: Atonement)
  3. Pinnochio (Alexandre Desplat) (Winner Comparison: Up)
  4. Avatar: The Way of Water (Simon Franglan) (Winner Comparison: Dune)
  5. Empire of Light (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross) (Winner Comparison: The Shape ofWater)

Best Cinematography
1. Babylon (Linus Sangren) (Winner Comparison: La La Land)

  1. The Fablemans (Janusz Kaminski) (Winner Comparison: Fanny and Alexander)
  2. Avatar The Way of Water (Russell Carpenter) (Winner Comparison: Avatar)
  3. Empire of Light (Roger Deakins) (Winner Comparison: Hugo)
  4. Bardo (Darius Khondji) (Winner Comparison: Birdman

Best Film Editing

  1. Top Gun Maverick (Winner Comparison: Black Hawk Down)
  2. Everything Everywhere All At Once (Winner Comparison: The Matrix)
  3. Babylon (Winner Comparison: The Aviator)
  4. The Fabelmans (Winner Comparison: Slumdog Millionaire)
  5. Women Talking (Winner Comparison: The Social Network)

Best Production Design

  1. Babylon (Winner Comparison: The Great Gatsby)
  2. Avatar the Way of Water (Winner Comparison: Avatar)
  3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Winner Comparison: La La Land)
  4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Winner Comparison: Black Panther)
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front (Winner Comparison: Doctor Zhivago)

Best Costume Design

  1. Babylon (Winner Comparison: The Great Gatsby)
  2. Black Panther Wakanda Forever (Winner Comparison: Black Panther)
  3. The Woman King (Winner Comparison: Gladiator)
  4. Women Talking (Winner Comparison: Little Women)
  5. Elvis (Winner Comparison: Ma Rainey?s Black Bottom)

Best Makeup + Hairstyling

  1. The Whale (Winner Comparison: Darkest Hour)
  2. The Batman (Winer Comparison: Suicide Squad)
  3. Elvis (Winner Comparison: La Vie En Rose)
  4. Babylon (Winner Comparison: Ed Wood)
  5. A Man Called Ove (Winner Comparison: The Nutty Professor)

Best Sound

  1. Top Gun Maverick (Winner Comparison: Black Hawk Down)
  2. Avatar the Way of Water (Winner Comparison: Jurassic Park)
  3. The Batman (Winner Comparison: The Bourne Ultimatum)
  4. Nope (Winner Comparison: Jaws)
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front (Winner Comparison: 1917)

Visual Effects

  1. Avatar the Way of Water (Winner Comparison: Avatar)
  2. The Batman (Winner Comparison: Spiderman 2)
  3. Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (Winner Comparison: Inception)
  4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Winner Comparison: The Jungle Book)
  5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Winner Comparison: The Matrix)

Animated Feature

  1. Pinnochio (Winner Comparison: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit)
  2. Turning Red (Winner Comparison: Soul)
  3. My Father?s Dragon (Winner Comparison: Spirited Away)
  4. Strange World (Winner Comparison: Wall E)
  5. Wendell and Wild (Winner Comparison: Coco)

International Feature

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany) (Winner Comparison: Closely ObservedTrains)
  2. Close (Belgium) (Winner Comparison: In a Better World)
  3. Decision to Leave (Korea) (Winner Comparison: The Secret in their Eyes (2010))
  4. Bardo (Mexico) (Winner Comparison: The Great Beauty (2014))
  5. Argentina 1985 (Argentina) (Winner Comparison: The Sea Inside (2004))

Documentary Feature

  1. All the Beauty and Bloodshed (Winner Comparison: Citizenfour (2015))
  2. Navalany (Winner Comparison: Icarus (2018))
  3. Fire of Love (Winner Comparison: Free Solo (2019))
  4. Moonage Dreamday (Winner Comparison: Amy (2016))
  5. Black Ice (Winner Comparison: Undefeated (2012))

SAG Ensemble

  1. Women Talking (Winner Comparison: Hidden Figures)
  2. Babylon (Winner Comparison: Birdman)
  3. The Fabelmans (Winner Comparison: Little Miss Sunshine)
  4. Glass Onion (Winner Comparison: Gosford Park)
  5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Winner Comparison: CODA

For a complete list of my predictions, click here.

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