My Final Oscar Predictions of 2023

This is it, it all comes down to this. The Oscars are in mere days and, frankly, this might stand as one of the more unpredictable Oscars in recent memory. In the acting categories, there was no sweeper who won all the major awards (SAG, BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globe). That hasn’t happened since 2002. Surprisingly, the most prestigious prizes seem to be quite predictable. Everything Everywhere All at Once has only continued to cement its frontrunner status as Best Picture since coming out as the leader in Oscar nominations with 11. That, along with wins at the PGA, DGA, SAG and WGA awards, make it a film that is pretty hard to stop. No film has lost with those key victories. Now, the only one stopping them would be All Quiet as the film had a wild upset over Everything at the BAFTA awards winning both Best Film and Best Director. The thing is that All Quiet did not perform as well at the Oscars. In fact, it wasn’t even nominated for Best Director here and lacked a lot of other key nominations like the PGA nomination. Maybe the Academy’s international group will be enough to get All Quiet the win but the Americans clearly favor Everything Everywhere and the Academy is an American Organization.

Best Picture

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (GG*, CC, BAFTA, PGA, AFI)
  2. All Quiet on the Western Front (BAFTA)
  3. Banshees of Inisherin (GG*, CC, BAFTA, SAG, PGA, AFI)
  4. The Fabelmans (GG, CC, BAFTA*, PGA, AFI)
  5. Top Gun Maverick (GG, CC, BAFTA*, PGA, AFI)
  6. Elvis (GG, CC, BAFTA, PGA, AFI)
  7. Tar (GG, CC, BAFTA, PGA, AFI)
  8. Avatar: The Way of Water (GG, CC, PGA, AFI)
  9. Women Talking (CC, SAG, AFI)
  10. Triangle of Sadness (GG*, BAFTA*)

Best Director

It’s the Daniels, almost no question. They’ve swept all the key awards, directed the Best Picture frontrunner and their biggest rival from BAFTA in Edward Berger isn’t even nominated. Spielberg has a chance but its quite slim.

  1. The Daniels for EEAAO (GG, CC, BAFTA, DGA)
  2. Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans (GG, CC, DGA)
  3. Todd Field for Tar (CC, BAFTA, DGA)
  4. Martin McDonough for Banshees of Inisherin (GG, CC, BAFTA, DGA)
  5. Rueben Ostlund for Triangle of Sadness

Best Actor

This here is a toss up. Butler and Fraser have split the wins evenly and have 1 win from an awards show that has members in the Academy. I picked Butler because Elvis was nominated for Best Picture unlike The Whale and BAFTA has tended to be the better predictor of this award. We’ll have to see.

  1. Austin Butler (Elvis) (GG, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  2. Brendan Fraser (The Whale) (GG, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  3. Colin Farrell (Banshees of Inisherin) (GG*, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  4. Bill Nighy (Living) (CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  5. Paul Mescal (Aftersun) (CC, BAFTA)

Best Actress

Like Best Actor, this is also a toss-up. I’m sticking with Blanchett because I do think more Academy members will like her performance better and, while Yeoh is excellent, this might be one where they decide to stick with the BAFTA winner. Everything Everywhere could sweep more than we expect though so we’ll see.

  1. Cate Blanchett (Tar) (GG, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  2. Michelle Yeoh (EEAAO) (GG*, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  3. Andrea Risebourough (To Leslie)
  4. Ana de Armas (Blonde) (GG, BAFTA, SAG)
  5. Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) (GG, CC, BAFTA*)

Best Supporting Actor

This seems like the only predictable acting award, bar a huge upset. Quan has swept except for his loss of the BAFTA but EEAAO has the Academy love and I don’t think they’ll deny him. Keoghan is clearly a British favorite.

  1. Ke Huy Quan (EEAAO) (GG, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  2. Barry Keoghan (Banshees of Inisherin) (GG, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  3. Brendan Gleeson (Banshees of Inisherin) (GG, CC, BAFTA, SAG)
  4. Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans) (CC)
  5. Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway) (CC)

Best Supporting Actress

Speaking of British favorites, I went with Kerry Condon for supporting actress. Jamie Lee Curtis’ win at SAG was unexpected but SAG also has so many voting members that her likeability probably played to the larger pool of voters. Angela Bassett felt set to win that award and, without it, it makes more sense to go with an actor in a Best Picture nominee.

  1. Kerry Condon (Banshees of Inisherin) (GG, CC, SAG, BAFTA)
  2. Angela Bassett (Black Panther: WF) (GG, CC, SAG, BAFTA)
  3. Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once) (GG, CC, SAG BAFTA)
  4. Hong Chau (The Whale) (SAG, BAFTA)
  5. Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once) (CC, SAG)

Best Original Screenplay

Banshees is a strong contender for this award but EEAAO is set to win Picture and Screenplay has gone along with that so many times. It could be a ‘The Father situation’ where the BAFTA winner beats the Best Picture winner but Everything Everywhere has just as many memorable lines and is the definition of an original screenplay. It will have a WGA and CC win under its belt and that’s a very strong combination.

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (GG, CC, BAFTA, WGA)
  2. The Banshees of Inisherin (GG,CC, BAFTA)
  3. The Fabelmans (GG, CC, BAFTA, WGA)
  4. Tar (GG, CC, BAFTA, WGA)
  5. Triangle of Sadness (BAFTA)

Best Adapted Screenplay

I really have to pick Women Talking to win this. Sarah Polly is respected by many Academy members and its nomination in Best Picture on this nomination alone makes it a strong contender. All Quiet‘s BAFTA win makes it a strong contender but I think its focus on war rather than dialogue will give Women Talking the edge unless All Quiet turns out to be this year’s winner.

  1. Women Talking (GG, CC, BAFTA*, USC, WGA)
  2. All Quiet on the Western Front (BAFTA)
  3. Living (CC, BAFTA, USC)
  4. Glass Onion (CC, BAFTA*, WGA)
  5. Top Gun Maverick (BAFTA*, USC*, WGA)

Best Original Score

This is another category where the All Quiet win spells trouble but I’m going to stick with Babylon. The score is more memorable overall and there is some passion for Babylon in the Academy. Justin Hurwitz is a much more loved figure in the academy but All Quiet has a memorable theme and could easily upset as the Best Picture nominee in this category. Also, not impossible to see them name check John Williams.

  1. Babylon (Justin Hurwitz) (GG, CC, BAFTA)
  2. All Quiet on Western Front (BAFTA)
  3. The Fablemans (John Williams) (GG, CC)
  4. Banshees of Inisherin (GG, SCL, BAFTA)
  5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (BAFTA, SCL*)

Best Original Song

Naatu Naatu has won the most important precursors and I think there was enough passion for RRR to give it this win. Plus, the song is actually used in the movie, unlike its Black Panther and Top Gun competitors. Its not clear who really has the edge between those two, maybe Top Gun with its Best Picture nominee status but that doesn’t matter as much in Best Original Song.

  1. Naatu Naatu (RRR) (GG, CC, SCL)
  2. Lift me Up (Black Panther: WF) (GG, CC, SCL)
  3. Hold my Hand (Top Gun: Maverick) (GG, CC, SCL)
  4. Applause (Tell it like a Woman) (SCL)
  5. This is a Life (EEAAO)

Best Cinematography

Top Gun was supposed to win but then it was wildly snubbed. All Quiet remains the top contender with its love from across the Atlantic but we’ll see if the ASC winner is one of its fellow nominees. If its Elvis, that would be quite interesting. (Update: It was)

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front (James Friend) (BAFTA, BSC)
  2. Elvis (Mandy Walker) (ASC, BAFTA, BSC)
  3. Bardo (Darius Khondji) (ASC)
  4. Empire of Light (Roger Deakins) (CC, BAFTA, ASC)
  5. Tar (Florian Hoffmiester) (CC, BAFTA*, BSC)

Best Film Editing

BAFTA loves engines. They give editing to films like Rush, Baby Driver, No Time to Die and even a racing documentary called Senna but they still gave it to Everything Everywhere All at Once. Top Gun will take Drama ACE and Everything Everywhere will take Comedy ACE so really Everything Everywhere with its front runner status seems set to take this. An upset is possible though.

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once (CC, BAFTA, ACE*)
  2. Top Gun Maverick (CC, BAFTA, ACE)
  3. Elvis (CC, BAFTA, ACE)
  4. Banshees of Insherin (BAFTA, ACE*)
  5. Tar (ACE) ?

Best Production Design

It’s gotta be Babylon. Avatar maybe has a chance to upset but Babylon has swept thus far. The academy does prefer “real sets” and period pieces so Cameron’s VR world is unlikely to win out.

  1. Babylon (CC, BAFTA, ADG)
  2. Avatar: the Way of Water (CC, BAFTA*, ADG)
  3. Elvis (CC, BAFTA, ADG)
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front (BAFTA, ADG)
  5. The Fabelmans (CC, BAFTA*, ADG)

Best Costume Design

This should be a race between Elvis and Black Panther but even Everything Everywhere managed to upset Ruth Carter at the Costume Guild. Elvis will be celebrated for its replication of Elvis’ look and the period dressing so along with its Best Picture nominee status it seems the more likely film to win. Baz Lurhman films also have a habit of winning this award but Ruth Carter is still beloved and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her take it anyway.

  1. Elvis (CC, CDG, BAFTA)
  2. Black Panther Wakanda Forever (CC, CDG*, BAFTA*)
  3. Everything Everywhere all at Once (CC, CDG*)
  4. Babylon (CC, CDG, BAFTA)
  5. Mrs Harris Goes to Paris (CDG, BAFTA)

Best Makeup + Hairstyling

You should probably predict whoever you have winning Best Actor, and I have Butler, so Elvis it is. While Fraser’s makeup is very distinct and precise, there has been some controversy around it. Plus, Elvis has the one-two punch of making Butler into Elvis and Hanks into Colonel Tom Parker with those heavy prosthetics. A Batman upset isn’t impossible as well.

  1. Elvis (CC, BAFTA, MUHS)
  2. The Whale (CC, BAFTA, MUHS*)
  3. The Batman (CC, BAFTA, MUHS)
  4. Black Panther: WF (CC, BAFTA*, MUHS)
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front (BAFTA)

Best Sound

Even with all the awards that All Quiet collected at the BAFTA’s, it still lost this one. Top Gun also picked up big wins at the Sound Editors Branch and Cinema Audio Society so the loud planes will probably win the day.

  1. Top Gun Maverick (BAFTA, CAS, MPSE)
  2. All Quiet on the Western Front (BAFTA, CAS, MPSE*)
  3. Avatar: the Way of Water (BAFTA, CAS, MPSE)
  4. Elvis (BAFTA, CAS, MPSE*)
  5. The Batman (BAFTA*, CAS, MPSE)

Best Visual Effects

I mean, they made Avatar in a computer so there’s no way it loses. It won like every award that it could at the Visual Effects Society. Literally, everything!

  1. Avatar: the Way of Water (CC, BAFTA,VES)
  2. Top Gun Maverick (CC, BAFTA, VES)
  3. The Batman (CC, BAFTA, VES)
  4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (CC, BAFTA*)
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front (BAFTA)

Best Animated Feature

Puss in Boots has done great critically and commercially but the love for Del Toro is undeniable. The film has swept thus far and I don’t see it stopping by the end of Oscar voting.

  1. GDT?s Pinocchio (GG, CC, BAFTA, PGA, ANNIE)
  2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (GG, CC, BAFTA, PGA, ANNIE)
  3. Turning Red (GG, CC, BAFTA, PGA, ANNIE)
  4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (GG, CC, BAFTA, PGA, ANNIE*)
  5. The Sea Beast (ANNIE)

Best International Feature

Every time an international film gets into Best Picture, it wins this award. It’s a bit too obvious.

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany) (CC, GG, BAFTA)
  2. Argentina 1985 (Argentina) (CC, GG, BAFTA)  
  3. Close (Belgium) (CC, GG)
  4. The Quiet Girl (BAFTA) (Ireland)
  5. EO (Poland)

Best Documentary Feature

Navalny has the most important wins that actually involve voting academy members. It’s entertaining and simple format makes it a easy choice to vote for, especially when it covers the corruption of Russia. Fire of Love is respected by a lot of people and could surprise. Frankly, this category is never locked but Navalny remains a good bet.

  1. Navalny (IDA, CC, PGA, BAFTA, DGA, ACE)
  2. Fire of Love (IDA, CC, PGA, BAFTA, DGA, ACE)
  3. All the Beauty and Bloodshed (IDA, BAFTA, DGA, ACE)
  4. All that Breathes (IDA, CC, PGA, BAFTA, DGA, ASC)
  5. A House Made of Splinters

Best Animated Short

The shorts are always tough to predict but The Boy is from Apple TV, won an Annie and a BAFTA so its pretty well loved. Could easily go to Ice Merchants which is really sweet or My Years of Dicks which is very stylized and acclaimed.

  1. The Boy, The Fox and the Mole (ANNIE, BAFTA)
  2. My Year of Dicks
  3. Ice Merchants (ANNIE*)
  4. Flying Sailor (ANNIE)
  5. An Ostrich Told Me the is World Fake and I think I believe it

Best Live-Action Short Film

An Irish Goodbye won the BAFTA but the power of having Alfonso Cuaron as your producer cannot be understated. Still pretty much a coin toss.

  1. Le Pupille (Alfonso Cuaron)
  2. An Irish Goodbye (BAFTA)
  3. The Red Suitcase
  4. Ivalu
  5. Night Ride

Best Documentary Short

Stranger at the Gate has the most political and manipulative content about a veteran planning a Mosque shooting and then he actually befriends them. Elephant Whisperers and How do you measure are both touching and loving docs that could win but they love their simply politically charged content in the short categories.

  1. Stranger at the Gate
  2. Elephant Whisperers
  3. How do you measure a year?
  4. The Martha Mitchell Effect
  5. Haulout 

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