Oscars 2023 Predictions

The time has come! It is Oscar time. The awards season has all been coming down to this weekend, and with splits surprises and sweeps at all of the major awards ceremonies this year, the races are open as they have ever been.

With Jamie Lee Curtis‘ surprise SAG (Screen Actors Guild) win for Everything Everywhere All at Once and Barry Keoghan‘s shock taking at the BAFTAs have certainly spiced the game up quite a bit. Considering that however, predictions (based on precursor awards, stats and a bit of gut feeling) are fun and are a great way to excited for the top award in cinema.

If you need a little reminder of who is up for wins or don’t yet know, here’s the nominations in full, courtesy of the Oscars website. As well as top honours, a runners-up or alternate spot will be provided, that being said, let’s get into the predictions.

Acting Awards

Best Actor

Brenden Fraser and Austin Butler
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This is tricky. Until a few weeks ago this was a wide open race, with Brendan Fraser, Austin Butler and Colin Farrell all in contention. Then, Butler took a very surprising BAFTA win and bolstered his chances for taking the Oscar.

Then the race narrowed into a two horse race, with Fraser taking a SAG win, coupled with a compassionate speech that brought him a standing ovation in front of his fellow actors is only going to boost him back into first place.

Momentum will side with Fraser here, his popularity and humility should get him over the line, but Butler does have the stronger over all movie for awards in Elvis, which is up for best picture, and that tends to be a strong combo. This will be a tight race, but Fraser’s comeback story might not be over just yet.

WINNER: Brendan Fraser

Alternate: Austin Butler

Best Actress

This too is an interesting race indeed. The two frontrunners are Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett, both with strong precursor awards with Blanchett taking the edge at the BAFTAs. Some of that is due to BAFTA not biting on Everything Everything All at Once, but with the film taking the most nominations of all, this should be an increase for Yeoh.

Michelle Yeoh also delivered a fantastic speech at the SAG awards, which can only help. This would also be her first win, and with the stellar career she has had thus far without one, the Academy may take this into account.

Blanchett’s case is strong too but for the opposite reasons. Blanchett has two previous Oscars from eight nominations over four decades, and has been recognised for Tár with Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and BAFTA wins this time round. Considering that, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that she may beat Yeoh to the top spot.

WINNER: Michelle Yeoh

Alternate: Cate Blanchett

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan and Barry Keoghan
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It seems impossible at this stage that anyone could beat Ke Huy Quan to the Oscar win this year. Quan, took wins at Golden Globes and SAG awards with emotional and popular speeches at both propelling him straight to first place for the win.

His campaign on US chat shows and comeback story has showcased his gratitude and humility that the academy will struggle to ignore. The Oscar is almost secured here, partly due to the fact there is no obvious alternate to take his place.

The BAFTAs love for Banshees of Inisherin wasn’t surprising but their choice to gift the award to Barry Keoghan over his co-star Brendan Gleeson was an absolute shock, no one saw it coming and this twist may provide Keoghan with the momentum for second place but no further.

WINNER: KE HUY QUAN

Alternate: Barry Keoghan

Best Supporting Actress

Kerry Condon, Angela Bassett and Jamie Lee Curtis
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This race is wide open and is bar far the most competitive of the acting categories. The top three here are Angela Bassett, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kerry Condon. The three have split the vote with them all taking wins in the precursor awards.

Angela Bassett, in theory, in front in this category. Chucking in one hell of a performance, taking home Critics Choice and Golden Globe wins, she is also has a back catalogue of well liked performances that may come into play. However, her other nominees have since caught up on other award wins, and with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever not up for a best picture nod, it might be such an easy cruise to victory.

Jamie Lee Curtis‘ win at SAG was the least predictable and may give her a jump in the race, as well as being well liked and well established in the academy, this has given her the edge over BAFTA winner Kerry Condon. Will this be enough to conquer the category? Potentially.

WINNER: Angela Bassett

Alternate: Jamie Lee Curtis

Direction/Screenplay Awards

Best Director

The Daniels
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With Martin McDonagh not winning BAFTA, and Banshees of Inisherin not winning at PGA (Producers Guild of America) awards, this now seems like a two horse battle here between first time nominees The Daniels and veteran Steven Spielberg.

The nostalgia and general love for Steven Spielberg seems to be the biggest driving point behind him being up here, with his semi-autobiographical picture, The Fabelmans highly rated amongst critics, yet it lost DGAs (Director Guild of Americas) to the probable winner, Everything Everywhere All at Once, directed by The Daniels.

There seems no slowing of the train here, setting the record for awards taken at SAG, winning at DGAs, PGAs, Critics’ Choice, Everything Everywhere is by far the run away favourite. DGAs are the best metric to judge and predict the best director award, with only 8 out of 75 not going on to win the Oscar, it seems inevitable at this point.

WINNER: The Daniels

Alternate: Steven Spielberg

Best Adapted Screenplay

German copies of All Quiet on the Western Front
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All Quiet could take victory with it’s adaptation of the 1929 novel, following on from it’s win at BAFTA. The film wasn’t eligible for WGAs (Writers’ Guild of America) and that may have hurt it’s chances here, having run out of steam in the lead up to the big day. There could be a reward win for missing out on best picture, but it seems more likely that they will take home best international film instead.

The run away favourite by far though is Women Talking. Female members of the academy are said to be loving the movie, and it won big at Critics’ Choice and WGAs. This general love of the film is certain to make up for probably missing out on a best picture win and no nominations for acting categories.

WINNER: Women Talking

Alternate: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Screenplay

Colin Ferrell, Brenden Gleeson and Martin Mcdonagh
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The Daniels’ could sweep to take the three big ones, director, best picture and screenplay for Everything Everywhere which would be an impressive feat considering it’s comparatively low budget and immense support. The film also stormed into pole position by taking the WGA as well, putting front and centre.

It could face competition from Banshees of Inisherin, which could take a prize home after wins at BAFTA and Golden Globes. With Everything Everywhere almost certain to take best picture, this could be a way to honour the film as it seems unlikely to go away with no awards to it’s name.

This award will go down to preference of the voters, that may sound obvious but it isn’t usually that simple, but in this case it is.

WINNER: Everything Everywhere all at Once

Alternate: Banshees of Inisherin

Film Awards

Best Picture

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Again, this award seems pretty cut and dry, with the overwhelming argument going in the favour of Everything Everywhere. As said with our best director prediction, it seems unlikely that anything else could gather enough momentum to knock it off it’s pedestal.

However, It’s hard to believe that Banshees could go empty handed at the Oscars. It’s been loved by critics and took home wins for screenplay and British film at Golden Globes and BAFTA respectively. Yet, it doesn’t look likely to take any other big honours.

A potential threat to Everything Everywhere, could be All Quiet on the Western Front with it’s BAFTA win, but with no best director nod and nothing else since then, the steam may have run out.

WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Alternate: Banshees of Inisherin

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo Del Toro
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Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio has swept to victory across various different awards including BAFTA, Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice and PGAs and definitely seems likely to take the win and would be Netflix’s and Del Toro’s first win in this category.

In his BAFTA winning speech, Del Toro praised animation and stop motion as a magnificent tool for capturing the imagination. His version of the classic story has been in the works since 2008, and he considers the almost 15 year long ordeal as his passion project, and it has paid dividends here.

There seems no other genuine contender, but the academy could turn to the masters of animation, Pixar and their submission for the year, the gloriously charming Turning Red.

WINNER: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

Alternate: Turning Red

Best International Feature Film

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All Quiet on the Western Front has taken the lead for the race here, following on from it’s annihilation of the competition at the BAFTAs. It also has the strength of being nominated for a win in the best picture category and other including production design and cinematography.

On it’s heels though, is the Argentine legal film, Argentina, 1985. The film took top honours at Golden Globes and was nominated at BAFTA too. Considering BAFTA’s love for All Quiet, it is no surprise that it took nothing home from there.

The film also was highly popular on Prime Video in it’s home country, but the cards are with All Quiet here, especially factoring in that every film that has been nominated here and for best picture, has gone on to win.

WINNER: All Quiet on the Western Front

Alternate: Argentina, 1985

Best Documentary

Alexei Navalny
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This race has many potential outcomes. A win for the feel-good love story Fire of Love, isn’t the worst of shouts. Nor is the reflective and eerily time appropriate Navalny.

Fire of Love showcases a timeless love story of two volcanic scientists, with the warming narrative propelling the picture to victory at Critics’ Choice and also the DGAs.

But Navalny seems the safer bet though. It’s BAFTA and PGA awards are good enough reasons to promote it to Oscar winner territory anyway, but factor in the recent anniversary of the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine War and high anti-Putin sentiment, it looks increasingly likely that it will win.

WINNER: Navalny

Alternate: Fire of Love

Best Short Documentary

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Stranger at the Gate could take the golden statue home here. It’s provoking, thrilling and intriguing as it delves into the inner thoughts of a seriously troubled man and him coming face to face with people whom he whishes to hurt. With various festival wins and a nomination for Golden Globes, it certainly has a case.

Truthfully though, an award is deserved by all nominees, with most of them picking up regional awards and wins at film festivals across the world, but it seems as if Stranger may have the slight edge.

WINNER: Stranger at the Gate

Alternate: Martha Mitchell Effect, Haulout, How do you measure a year?, The Elephant Whisperers

(Yes having all of the nominees as alternates is a slight cop out, but it is honestly that close)

Best Live Action Short Film

Alfonso Cuarón
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Pole position here belongs to the only non-English nominee, the black comedy An Irish Goodbye. The tale won at the BAFTAs and seemingly has what it takes to go the distance, but could be under fire from some other good choices.

The Red Suitcase is proving popular among critics and branch members but Le Pupille has the chance to win over more voting members, given it’s publisher (Disney) and it’s director, the hugely popular, Alfonso Cuarón.

WINNER: An Irish Goodbye

Alternate: Red Suitcase

Best Animated Short Film

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Two choices have marched ahead of the pack in this category. The beautifully adapted The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, which turns a fantastic book into a fantastic film and the comically named My Year of Dicks, which understandably is drawing traction from the name alone.

My Year, is a coming-of-age story, sort of. It’s a story about of growing up at least. It boasts a respectable amount of festival wins and coupled with it’s intrigue it could have charmed many voters to it’s side.

The Boy looks the strongest though, winning big at the Annie awards and winning in this category at the BAFTAs. Coupled with Apple’s marketing, this is the film to beat.

Winner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

Alternate: My Year of Dicks

Music Awards

Best Original Score

John Williams
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Tough one to call here. Three nominees stand above the others in this category. Golden Globe Winner Babylon, BAFTA winner All Quiet and industry legend, John Williams for The Fabelmans. Williams would make history if he won, becoming the oldest winner to secure a competitive Oscar.

But on his heels are Volker Bertelmann for All Quiet and Justin Hurwitz for Babylon. With precursor wins for both and nothing for Fabelmans, Williams is on the back foot, relying primarily on his reputation to get him over the line. With five previous wins, the last one coming 30 years ago, the academy may decide that the time has come for number six.

All Quiet seems to have an edge though, building on momentum from BAFTA and could represent strong approval from the academy for a film which seems unlikely to win best picture. If you don’t buy into the John Williams case for award, then Babylon is a good substitute.

WINNER: All Quiet on the Western Front

Alternate: The Fabelmans

Best Original Song

Naatu Naatu Music Video
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There seems only one logical choice here. Naatu Naatu, the Oscar offering from Indian revolutionary film RRR, has swept across nearly all awards it was nominated for, including emphatic wins at Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice.

Waiting in the wings could be Rihanna, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Lift me up. Rihanna’s incredible performance at the Super Bowl this year strangely did not include the track in the line up, which could have given her a bit more of a chance against Naatu Naatu.

Both are performing their songs live at the awards ceremony alongside This is a life by David Byrne, Son Lux and Stephanie Hsu, which is one of the few awards Everything Everywhere probably won’t win.

WINNER: Naatu Naatu

Alternate: Lift me up

Best Sound

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On the surface of this race, it seems very likely to go to Top Gun: Maverick. The legacy sequel has seen a love amongst voters and while it was snubbed for production design and cinematography, it could certainly right those wrongs with a win here.

At the other end of a the scale is a much more grounded film, in the sense it swaps out jet planes for rock and roll. Elvis has a very good shot at the top spot here, it seems obvious for a film about a musician to want to focus on the sound, but it’s one of the films great assets.

All Quiet on the Western Front could sneak past both though and claim the Oscar, it would be a stunning and surprising victory, but it isn’t entirely unfeasible.

WINNER: Top Gun: Maverick

Alternate: All Quiet on the Western Front

Tech Awards

Best Production Design

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Babylon has been clearing up production wise, taking home wins in production design at the BAFTAs and Critic’s Choice. The film is elegant and incredibly produced and also nominated for Costume Design, which in the past has proved helpful in a film’s quest for a top prize.

Using the same logic, Elvis is the smart choice for an alternate here, having nominations in both categories as well and best picture too. Production head, Catherine Martin is also the most nominated woman across the board this year.

All Quiet on the Western Front could take it, considering it’s sweep of 7 awards at the BAFTAs, and the film’s incredible look but it is lacking a costume nomination though and the last film to win here without even a nomination in costumes was Avatar (2009).

WINNER: Babylon

Alternate: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Cinematography

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Truthfully, the winner should Top Gun: Maverick but it was shockingly snubbed, despite winning other cinematography wins at the Golden Globes, allowing long regarded back markers to take a shot at the award.

All Quiet on the Western Front seems to be the front runner then, and for good reason, the film is absolutely stunning and took home the BAFTA as well. The film has 9 nominations across all categories with cinematography seemingly in the bag and importantly, the previously mentioned production design and visual effects, which gives its an advantage here as the three awards tend up line up quite well.

Up to dethrone All Quiet here is Elvis. Mandy Walker who would be the first woman to win in this category has a real shot, as Elvis is more likely to win best picture. There is no visual effects nod here which may prove to be it’s undoing.

WINNER: All Quiet on the Western Front

Alternate: Elvis

Best Makeup + Hairstyling

Press Conference for The Whale
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A few weeks ago this would have been in the bag for Elvis, it won big at BAFTA, Critics Choice and Golden Globes and that seems like an unlosable combination. BAFTA wins often translate to Oscar statues too, but it has some competition.

The Whale won at the Make-up artists and Hair Stylists Guild though for it’s impressive transformation of Brendan Fraser and it could get the win wrapped up if he takes home best actor. However, the films make up and styling are all focused on Fraser, where as Elvis has a wide ensemble of extras all with notable make up and hair.

All Quiet is certainly in the conversation too, although it didn’t win precursors for this category, the academy may want to recognise the achievements in creating the World War One epic.

WINNER: Elvis

Alternate: The Whale

Best Costume Design

Image Source: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Catherine Martin, the years most nominated woman could take her fifth Oscar here. She is well liked amongst voters and has the potential to be given the award if Elvis falls short in other categories.

Her path to victory isn’t assured however. Waiting in the wings is the production head of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ruth Carter. Carter could become the first black woman to win a second statue, winning her first in the original Black Panther film. It’s quite shocking that only 18 black women have every been awarded an Oscar and history certainly can and should be made this weekend.

Her chance is hurt by the lack of best picture nomination for the film though. This being a sequel may also prove to be unfortunate. Carter practically invented and designed a culture with her first outing, and whilst a similar feat was accomplished, the majesty may have worn off.

WINNER: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Alternate: Elvis

Best Editing

Top Gun Maverick Premier
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This is where stats come in to the mix. For the past 10 years, the winners here have also won in the sound category and from the outside that seems like insurmountable odds. That puts Elvis and Top Gun: Maverick straight into the running as they are the only two films with nominations in both categories, however statics must come to an end at some point.

The best third place option then is likely to be Everything Everywhere, with 11 nominations across the board it is hard deny that the academy loves the film and it could sweep to most of those, but this does some like it’s shakiest case for victory, even with editing wins at BAFTA and Critics’ Choice.

WINNER: Top Gun: Maverick

Alternate: Elvis

Best Visual Effects

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We end with arguably the most obvious choice for any Oscar this year. Avatar: The Way of Water is an incredible achievement in visual effects and has dominated the box office and that simply cannot be ignored. Helping it’s case is wins at BAFTA and Critics’ Choice.

As well as that, there is no immediate alternate that springs to mind, maybe Top Gun or Black Panther could put up a fight, but nothing can hold a candle to Avatar, and to be honest it’s not even close.

WINNER: Avatar: The Way of Water

Alternate: Top Gun: Maverick

And that’s it! All 23 categories done and dusted. The awards show is this Sunday, 12/03/23. There are bound to be some upsets, shocks and tears and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top, a round up will come next week where we can see how far off these predictions are.

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