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Brendan Fraser Michelle Yeoh Getty.jpg

The Obligatory 2023 Oscars Predictions Post

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | March 10, 2023 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | March 10, 2023 |


Brendan Fraser Michelle Yeoh Getty.jpg

Yup, it’s that time of the year, yet again. The 95th Academy Awards will take place this Sunday and, for once, hopes are high that it won’t be a total sh*tshow. Yeah, we’re going to have to put up with way too many jokes about The Slap and nothing is set in stone, but this Oscar season has been relatively nice, dare I say it? Seriously, there aren’t any egregiously awful nominations, which feels like a minor miracle given the Academy’s penchant for nonsense. There’s been a bit of drama but nothing comparable to the days of the Weinstein campaigning. I can’t say there are a lot of potential winners that would annoy me.

A couple of things aside, every potential victor is one where I can see the benefits and would be reasonably satisfied. Would I prefer some wins over others? Sure, but there isn’t a single Green Book or Crash in sight and that’s worth at least a brief sigh of relief. Could the Academy still cock it up on Sunday night? They are the kings of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory so who knows? For now, here are our predictions of who will win, who should win, and who wasn’t even nominated for some of the major categories. None of this is legally binding and we don’t take any responsibility for losses at your local Oscars pool.

BEST PICTURE


It’s a solid slate of ten nominees, covering everything from record-breaking blockbusters to festival darlings and genre-bending indies. If you’d asked anyone this time last year if a multiverse family dramedy sci-fi with jokes about butt plugs and hot dog fingers would be the Best Picture frontrunner, you’d have been laughed out of the room. Yet here we are, with Everything Everywhere All at Once leading the pack. It’s a deserving choice too, an impeccably crafted film whose spaghetti-at-the-wall approach never overloads its emotional center. Just having a film like this potentially win Best Picture feels like a big effing deal. Of course, the Academy is never one for going outside of its staid pool of safe choices, but even then, I think Everything Everywhere All at Once will win the top prize. All Quiet on the Western Front seems possible, as a technically sharp war film with an ever-relevant message and big word-of-mouth support. Don’t write off To; Gun: Maverick either, if the Academy wants to bet big on the whole ‘celebrating the movie that saved Hollywood’ narrative that’s been going round.

WHO WILL WIN: Everything Everywhere All at Once
WHO SHOULD WIN: Everything Everywhere All at Once
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: The Northman, Till, Nope, After Yang, Aftersun, Decision to Leave.


BEST DIRECTOR



It’s not been unusual for the director and picture awards to be split between two films over the past few years as a way to spread the wealth. That’s why I thought this could have been Steven Spielberg’s chance to win his third Oscar in this category for The Fabelmans. Yet it was the Daniels who took home the top prize at the Directors Guild of America Awards recently, and that’s a strong precursor for this category. The Oscars love to celebrate the most directing more often than the best directing, but you can’t get mad at the Daniels for what they pulled off in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and it’s only their second feature!

WHO WILL WIN: Daniels
WHO SHOULD WIN: Daniels
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Sarah Polley, Chinonye Chukwu, Kogonada, Park Chan-wook.

BEST ACTOR



The race is tight here, between Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser. Butler won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA but Fraser took home the Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards. You’ve got two compelling narratives: The Disney star who transformed himself into a musical icon, or the comeback king in another transformative role. When a race is tight, I think it comes down to one simple thing: what film did the voters enjoy more? And frankly, Elvis, whatever you think of it, is WAY easier to embrace than the truly execrable The Whale, even if you love Fraser’s performance. Personally, I’d go with Colin Farrell, but I think his nomination is the win for him in many ways, a long-awaited moment of recognition for a sinfully underrated actor who does consistently excellent work.

WHO WILL WIN: Austin Butler
WHO SHOULD WIN: Colin Farrell
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Daniel Kaluuya, Gabriel LaBelle, Daryl McCormack, Franz Rogowski.

BEST ACTRESS



This is another tough race, although the split between Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh has widened in recent weeks thanks to a streak of victories for the latter. Blanchett is undeniably brilliant in Tár, a powerhouse performance that saw her win big at the Venice Film Festival. Don’t be surprised if she wins her third Oscar. But come on, surely this is Michelle Yeoh’s time? She’s got the Independent Spirit Award, the SAG Award, and more critics’ awards than you can shake a butt plug award at. She’s campaigned hard for this, and there’s been a lot of focus on the historical relevance of her nomination. Not that the Academy seems to care about history, but given the immense love for Everything Everywhere All at Once, a sweep would obviously benefit her.

WHO WILL WIN: Michelle Yeoh
WHO SHOULD WIN: Michelle Yeoh
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Danielle Deadwyler, Viola Davis, Tang Wei, Rooney Mara, Rebecca Hall, Emma Thompson.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR



It’s Ke Huy Quan. Do we need to say anything more? He’s swept almost every award this season, he’s campaigned hard for it, everyone loves him, he’s got a great story, and the performance is stellar. If anyone else wins Best Supporting Actor, it’ll be the biggest surprise of the night.

WHO WILL WIN: Ke Huy Quan
WHO SHOULD WIN: Ke Huy Quan
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Steven Yeun, Peter Capaldi, Paul Dano.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS



Of all the acting categories, this is the one that seems like it could go one of several ways. Angela Bassett started the season strong, then Kerry Condon was the surprise BAFTA winner, then Jamie Lee Curtis won the SAG Award. Ultimately, I’ve decided to predict Curtis, in part because of the EEAAO sweep potential, but also because she’s a long-time industry legend who has been presented with her moment and the industry loves to celebrate that. That’s wonderful for her, but it does seem notable that she’s getting all the Supporting Actress credit for the film when her co-star and fellow nominee, Stephanie Hsu, gets almost nothing for her stellar work.

WHO WILL WIN: Jamie Lee Curtis
WHO SHOULD WIN: Kerry Condon or Angela Bassett
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Janelle Monae, Keke Palmer, Dolly de Leon, Lashana Lynch.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY



The impeccable Sarah Polley has been quietly building up momentum for her screenplay for Women Talking, which is also nominated for Best Picture. It’s a stunning adaptation of a tricky novel, and there seems to be a solid groundswell among her colleagues in her favor, so I’m going to predict her here. Her toughest competition is probably All Quiet on the Western Front.

WHO WILL WIN: Women Talking
WHO SHOULD WIN: Women Talking
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: After Yang, The Wonder, Fire Island.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY



When it comes to this category, originality is what is prized by most voters, and there really is no film more original in 2023 than Everything Everywhere All at Once. But it’s not a guarantee, not when its competition is The Banshees of Inisherin. If Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy is to win anything, it will be this one. Then again, McDonagh won a ton of crucial precursors for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri but lost the Oscar to Get Out. It could happen again, although it helps that Banshees is far more universally appreciated than Three Billboards. If push comes to shove, I think that sweep’s coming, so let’s go with the raccoon one.

WHO WILL WIN: Everything Everywhere All at Once
WHO SHOULD WIN: Everything Everywhere All at Once
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Crimes of the Future, Nope, Aftersun.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY



They do love flashy cinematography, and there’s a ton of it in this category. Mandy Walker could become the first woman to win Best Cinematography with Elvis, and I think she’s the deserving victor in this very busy category. Still, they do love war films with flashy camera work and All Quiet on the Western Front is full of it.

WHO WILL WIN: All Quiet on the Western Front
WHO SHOULD WIN: Elvis
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: After Yang, Nope, Decision to Leave.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE



It’s rare to see a stop-motion film be the front-runner for Best Animated Feature, a category where voters tend to look at the choices, shrug, then vote for Disney regardless of its merits. But it certainly helps when your gorgeous adaptation of Pinocchio is directed by Guillermo del Toro, and his name is right there in the title. It was a great year for the medium, and every nominee would be deserving, but I’m personally delighted to see something that isn’t a 3D animation win.

WHO WILL WIN: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
WHO SHOULD WIN: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Wendell and Wild, My Father’s Dragon.

BEST SCORE



Have you heard of this John Williams guy? He’s apparently a pretty big deal. The legendary composer has more than a few Oscars on his shelf, and has 53 nominations to his name. That makes him the second most-nominated person of all time, behind Walt Disney. If he wins for The Fabelmans, he will become the oldest Oscar winner ever, at the age of 91. Don’t discount a legend, although Carter Burwell is also an industry legend and his work on The Banshees of Inisherin would certainly be deserving.

WHO WILL WIN: The Fabelmans
WHO SHOULD WIN: The Fabelmans
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Nope, Decision to Leave, After Yang, Living, Women Talking.

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE



This category feels more notable for what’s not there than what actually made the final cut. Some of us will never get over the Academy’s seeming allergy to the work of Park Chan-wook. This year, the winner feels pretty obvious. When you have a film not in the English language in the Best Picture category, the chances are strong it’ll take home the prize for Best International Feature. So it seems like a safe bet for All Quiet on the Western Front.

WHO WILL WIN: All Quiet on the Western Front
WHO SHOULD WIN: EO
WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Decision to Leave, Holy Spider, Corsage, Saint Omer, Joyland.



Header Image Source: Michael Kovac via Getty Images for Champagne Collet & OBC Wines