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2023 Oscars Predictions

LightsCameraJackson LightsCameraJackson Critic Here are my predictions in all 23 categories for this Sunday's 95th Academy Awards:

Best CinematographyWill Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front”The Upset Pick: “Elvis”

I don’t see “TAR” taking this one. This category has the only nominations for “Bardo” (I don’t understand why it’s not also in Best Picture, Director, International Feature and Original Screenplay) and “Empire of Light”. And with “Top Gun: Maverick” shockingly not on this list, “All Quiet” seems to be the right choice.

Best Costume DesignWill Win: “Elvis”The Upset Pick: Most of the Others

“Elvis” seems to have the momentum here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if The Academy is swayed by the flashy “Babylon” costumes or the sophisticated superhero looks in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”. If “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has quite the run (like at SAG), maybe it even wins here. “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” has lovely costumes, but it would be a stunning upset.

Best Production DesignWill Win: “Babylon”The Upset Pick: “Elvis”… I guess

“Babylon” only has three nominations — all in technical categories. It may walk away with wins in all three cases, or at least two of them. (More to come…)

Best Makeup and HairstylingWill Win: “Elvis”The Upset Pick: “The Whale”

Like others in the past, including “The Iron Lady” and last year’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”, I think the winner in this category will match the winner in an acting category (hint hint…), but I’m not 100% sure yet. Picking “Elvis” here feels right, but I won’t be shocked if it’s “The Whale”. “All Quiet” is a wild card. “The Batman” and “Black Panther” will not be victorious here.

Best Film EditingWill Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”The Upset Pick: It doesn’t feel like any other movie has a chance.

“Top Gun: Maverick” and “TAR” had some great editing. “Elvis”… not so much. I’ve been back and forth this entire awards season with what I like and dislike about “The Banshees of Inisherin”. “EEAAO” won the BAFTA and Critics Choice Award in this category. Close to a lock.

Best SoundWill Win: “Top Gun: Maverick”The Upset Pick: “All Quiet on the Western Front”

“TGM” has to win SOMETHING no matter what. I mean, it doesn’t HAVE to… but it should. This is where it will get some love, unless The Academy goes gaga for “All Quiet” instead.

Best Visual EffectsWill Win: “Avatar: The Way of Water”The Upset Pick: This is also a lock.

It’s “Avatar” — of course it’s going to win.

Best Original ScoreWill Win: “Babylon”The Upset Pick: “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Justin Hurwitz won two Oscars for “La La Land”. Even though he won the Globe and Critics Choice Awards for the “First Man” score, he wasn’t even Oscar nominated. The Academy will make up for that mistake and reward him for his music here.

Best Original SongWill Win: “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR”The Upset Pick: “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman”

“RRR” has an overwhelming amount of love this awards season. But so does Diane Warren, fresh-off her honorary Oscar win with another competitive nomination. This could legitimately go either way. I don’t anticipate the “EEAAO” song team, Lady Gaga or Rihanna accepting a trophy this time.

Best International FeatureWill Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front”The Upset Pick: “Argentina, 1985” — but “All Quiet” is close to a lock.

Best Documentary FeatureWill Win: “Navalny”The Upset Pick: “Fire of Love”

This is one I’ve gone back and forth on. “Navalny” has been picking-up wins lately, but “Fire of Love” has Disney/NatGeo behind it and was honored at the Critics Choice Documentary Awards. NEON’s “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” is a wild card. “All That Breathes” and “A House Made of Splinters” are farther back in the pack.

Best Documentary Short FilmWill Win: “The Elephant Whisperers”The Upset Pick: “The Martha Mitchell Effect”

Best Live-Action Short FilmWill Win: “An Irish Goodbye”The Upset Pick: “Le Pupille”

Best Animated Short FilmWill Win: “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse”The Upset Pick: Seriously, any of the other four.

All five excellent shorts have a legitimate chance of winning — the powerful “The Flying Sailor”, the visually stunning Annie winner “Ice Merchants”, the effective “My Year of Dicks” and the hilarious, Student Academy Award winner “An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It”.

Best Animated FeatureWill Win: “Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio”The Upset Pick: “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

“Pinocchio” has been dominating this category this awards season. Animation admirers want to honor one of the most respected guys in the biz, GDT (even though he just won the Best Director Oscar five years ago for “The Shape of Water”). “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” won several Annie Awards (along with “Pinocchio”), but “Puss in Boots” also picked-up a couple — and with its impressive theatrical box office performance for the past three months, combined with glowing reviews from critics and praise from the animation community, it could pull off one of the biggest Oscar surprises in a long time. But it probably won’t.

Best Original ScreenplayWill Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”The Upset Pick: “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Martin McDonagh won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for “Banshees”. He didn’t win the Oscar five years ago, losing to “Get Out”’s Jordan Peele (who also won at Critics Choice). I think CCA, Independent Spirit and WGA Awards winners The Daniels will also receive the Oscar.

Best Adapted ScreenplayWill Win: “Women Talking”The Upset Pick: “All Quiet on the Western Front”

It’s been a similar split this awards season, with Sarah Polley earning the Critics Choice and WGA Awards and Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell receiving the BAFTA. Polley seems to have the momentum right now.

Best Supporting ActorWill Win: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”The Upset Pick: Barry Keoghan, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

With the exception of the BAFTA, which went to Keoghan, Quan has pretty much swept this category all season. I don’t see how he loses, but there’s a slight chance it’s Keoghan.

Best Supporting ActressWill Win: Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”The Upset Pick: Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Until the surprise SAG victory for Curtis, my “Upset Pick” choice would’ve been BAFTA winner Kerry Condon (“Banshees”). And if “Career Achievement”-esque votes split for Bassett and Curtis, then maybe Condon does pull off the upset. But I still believe Globe and CCA winner Angela Bassett earns the Academy Award for her powerful work in “BP: WF”, 29 years after her other nomination for “What’s Love Got to Do With It”. If it’s Curtis… it’s a pure Career Achievement honor.

Best ActorWill Win: Austin Butler, “Elvis”The Upset Pick: Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”
The REAL Upset Pick: Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Butler won the Drama Globe and the BAFTA. Fraser won the Critics Choice and the SAG. It’s truly a coin flip, but I think many Academy voters (especially older ones) will find it irresistible to avoid selecting the guy who played Elvis Presley. And just look at past acting Oscar wins for singers and musicians, from Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn and Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles to Reese Witherspoon as June Carter and Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf — to Jeff Bridges as (fictional) Bad Blake, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland. But I could easily see Fraser up on stage instead of Butler. AND if the Best Actor votes split between the heavy favorites, like they did 20 years ago, with Jack Nicholson (“About Schmidt”) and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Gangs of New York”) losing to Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”)… then Globe Comedy winner Farrell (“Banshees”) will pull-off a MAJOR upset. Or maybe it’s even Bill Nighy (“Living”) or Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)!

Best ActressWill Win: Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”The Upset Pick: Cate Blanchett, “TAR”

Until the SAG Awards, it was the other way around. Yeoh won the Comedy Globe, with Blanchett earning the Drama Globe, Critics Choice Award and BAFTA. Yeoh’s SAG and Independent Spirit Awards victories over Blanchett give Yeoh the momentum to prevent Blanchett from receiving her third career Oscar (and second consecutive after a nine-year span).

Best DirectorWill Win: The Daniels, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”The Upset Pick: Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”

Spielberg did win the Globe, but The Daniels are so beloved by the industry for their movie that they seem pretty close to locks.

Best PictureWill Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”The Upset Picks: “All Quiet on the Western Front”, “The Banshees of Inisherin” or “Top Gun: Maverick”

The six other nominees don’t have a legitimate chance at winning, including early in the season favorite “The Fabelmans”. “EEAAO” looks to be the true darling of the year and will likely be No. 1 choices for most younger Academy voters. As for the older voters, they could lean towards “All Quiet” or “Banshees”, with “Top Gun” as a wild card. It depends on if the preferential ballot really shakes things up, or if “EEAAO” can solidify itself as the victor no matter what. And I think it will.

Posted in 2023 Oscar Predictions,

LightsCameraJackson LightsCameraJackson Critic

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