Oscar Nomination Morning 2023: Preview and Predictions

Let’s start with 2022. I got roughly 80% of my nominations selections correct and had a PERFECT Oscar night. Yes, you read that correctly – I’m a fucking genius. Well, not quite, with all prognosticators having a fairly high hit rate last season, but I still didn’t fuck it up, right?

Now, this season is quite a bit different. I don’t feel particularly good about anything and there’s no film or actor that has taken definitive front runner status. There’s hints that The Daniels are moving towards a sweep (Picture, Director, and Screenplay), but there’s also a chance they miss all three. Nominations totals will either spell doom or exuberance for Everything Everywhere All at Once. A low total and we could be looking at a new frontrunner.

With only hours to go before nominations are announced, let’s get into the predictions.

VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Avatar: The Way of Water
2. Top Gun: Maverick
3. The Batman
4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
5. Jurassic World: Dominion

Runner-up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Keeping these brief, Jurassic World: Dominion landed two VES nominations and it feels as if that branch will favor that technical achievement over a foreign language war film in All Quiet with less showy work. The Dominion bake off performance went well, according to reports, and it feels as if that sneaks in. Other than that, the rest are huge blockbusters that rely heavily on their VFX

COSTUME DESIGN

1. Elvis
2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
3. Babylon
4. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
5. The Woman King

Runner up: Glass Onion

Period pieces, loud artist-driven films, and narratives centered around dresses seem to work here. There are big names in the race with Ruth E. Carter back on Black Panther and Sandy Powell possibly on the outside looking in with Living. Between CDG, Bafta, and Critics, the picks were all over the place, so went with the guild nominees over industry award picks

Makeup and Hairstyling

1. Elvis
2. The Whale
3. The Batman
4. Babylon
5. Blonde

Runner up: All Quiet on the Western Front

I’m not feeling good about the final spot. Blonde feels like a typical nomination with imitation makeup and transforming Ana De Armas, but there’s a good chance the Academy doesn’t go for the film at all. My theory? They like the crafts and performance, but hate the film as a whole. I love All Quiet’s makeup, but don’t see it getting in here. Fully expecting it to underperform after over performing at BAFTA.

Production Design

1. Elvis
2. Babylon
3. Avatar: The Way of Water
4. Black Panther: The Way of Water
5. The Fabelmans

Runner up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Sound

1. Top Gun: Maverick
2. Avatar: The Way of Water
3. Elvis
4. Everything Everywhere All at Once
5. The Batman

Runner up: All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman seems to be on really shaky ground, but a strong precursor and guild showing help it over the obvious choice in the war film. Hard to predict sound with no ACE to compare and contrast, but feel pretty good about the other four.

Best Song

1. RRR
2. Top Gun: Maverick
3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
4. Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
5. Applause

Runner up: Where The Crawdad Sings

What a dumb category. I love that RRR is the frontrunner over pop icons and Dianne Warren is so beloved and good at campaigning that her getting a nomination feels like a guarantee. Nobody has se3n her damn film. It also seems impossible Taylor Swift misses here, but don’t expect to see any love for that film.

Best Documentary

1. All That Breathes
2. Navalny
3. Fire of Love
4. All The Beauty and the Bloodshed
5. The Territory

Runner up: Descendant

I have little to say about the documentary branch, but expecting this to be my worst category.

Best Original Score

1. Babylon
2. Pinocchio
3. The Fabelmans
4. Women Talking
5. The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Carter Burwell making it in for Banshees of Inisherin feels depending solely on if All Quiet over or underperforms in nominations. But I will not bet against the monster, Carter Burwell.

Best Animated Feature

1. Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
2. Marcel The Shell with Shoes On
3. Puss in Boots
4. Turning Red
5. Wendell & Wild

Runner up: Strange World

The fifth slot could be any film. My hope is Cartoon Saloon’s My Father’s Dragon takes it but hasn’t received the same industry attention as Wolfwakers.

Best International Film

1. All Quiet on the Western Front
2. Decision to Leave
3. Argentina, 1985
4. Close
5. EO

Runner up: Bardo, The false Chronicle

International film, aka, the best category at the Oscars. The category, once again, has the most uniquely made and conceived films of the year.

Best Film Editing

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
2. Top Gun: Maverick
3. The Fabelmans
4. Elvis
5. All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Picking against Banshees here hurts my soul. No editing nomination will likely mean its death in Best Picture, but I don’t feel confident in Elvis or All Quiet either. But, hard to pick against a music biopic and a war film in this category – proven winners, time and time again. Avatar and Tar (the two Tar’s) also feel possible. Expecting the unexpected here tomorrow.

Best Cinematography

1. Top Gun: Maverick
2. Avatar: The Way of Water
3. All Quiet on the Western Front
4. Empire of Light
5. The Batman

Runner up: Elvis

The Batman landing in ASC gave me the push I needed. Roger Deakins, no matter the film, feels untouchable in this category for a nomination. All the big spectacle films will find favor here. Elvis is amazing work, but the production, costume, and makeup design carry much of the aesthetic.

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. The Whale
2. Women Talking
3. All Quiet on the Western Front
4. Living
5. She Said

Runner up: Glass Onion

The Whale and Women Talking, surprisingly, feel safe. I feel crazy for taking She Said over Glass Onion, but She Said is a writerly achievement about the industry and more specifically, Harvey Weinstein. It feels more the moment than Glass Onion despite that film’s popularity. Rian Johnson’s scripts are showier, but Rebecca Lankiewicz’s script is tighter.

Original Screenplay

1. The Banshees of Inisherin
2. Everything Everywhere All at Once
3. Tar
4. The Fabelmans
5. Triangle of Sadness

Runner-up: Aftersun

Side note, if Martin McDonagh doesn’t win for Banshees I will seek revenge on those who wronged him. That’s the best script of the year and the best of the early decade. Now shut your mouth. As for Triangle of Sadness over Aftersun, Triangle’s weird detached sense of humor and lively atmosphere are more Oscar than Aftersun’s minimalist indie film. Both are great and should be nominated (dare I say over The Daniels (don’t hurt me))

Acting Categories

Best Supporting Actress

1. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
2. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
3. Hong Chau, The Whale
4. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
5. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness

Runner up: Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Between Dolly De Leon, Stephanie Hsu, and Carey Mulligan (She Said), picking a fifth felt impossible. Picking against Hsu with weaker precursors despite a SAG nomination plus the idea that Everything Everywhere underperforms and she’s one of the victims. Again, Dolly De Leon feels like the one international pick that Academy goes for in the acting categories. Angela Bassett is winning this, guaranteed.

Best Supporting Actor

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
2. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
3. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
4. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse
5. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

Runner up: Albert Schuch, All Quiet on the Western Front

The one time this category will be interesting in 2023 – nomination morning. Ke Huy Quan has already won this award in our hearts and souls and is soon to be in our reality too. Focusing on the fifth slot, Paul Dano getting a SAG nomination saved his ass. The SAG-five feels like the obvious choice.

Best Actress

1. Cate Blanchett, Tár
2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
3. Ana De Armas, Blonde
4. Viola Davis, The Woman King
5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Runner up: Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Honestly, Williams missing is thanks to her awful PR team and the Netflix campaign staff making a catastrophic miscalculation on category fraud. She deservedly wins in supporting, but now she misses a nomination and hurts The Fabelmans Best Picture chances. Hilariously off the mark. I still don’t feel confident in Deadwyler, with that being the film’s one nomination, but Williams missing SAG screams snub.

Best Actor

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale
2. Austin Butler, Elvis
3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
4. Bill Nighy, Living
5. Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Runner up: Hugh Jackman, The Son

Paul Mescal would be a welcomed nomination, but he feels shaky. He landed at BAFTA and Critics but that’s it. Adam Sandler getting a SAG nomination shook up the whole situation, but Mescal, despite a lesser profile next to Hugh Jackman was the lead in the indie critical darling this year. It’s also an exceptional performance. Fraser winning Critics and giving a heartfelt speech = BIG OSCAR POTENTIAL

Best Director

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
2. The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once
3. Todd Field, Tar
4. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
5. Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick

Runner up: Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front

I’m not going with many longshots, but after Kosinski landed at DGA I felt the surge of power within me. I still see Top Gun as a Best Picture threat. Director along with Editing makes it scary. I don’t see the Academy following suit with BAFTAs obsession with Edward Berger and All Quiet. And notice, Spielberg stays at the top, not moving him until he loses at DGA.

Best Picture

1. The Fabelmans
2. Everything Everywhere All at Once
3. The Banshees of Inisherin
4. Top Gun: Maverick
5. Elvis
6. All Quiet on the Western Front
7. Avatar: The Way of Water
8. Tar
9. The Whale
10. Babylon


Runner up (in order): Women Talking, Triangle of Sadness, The Woman King, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Woman Talking feels like the film the Academy would nominate, but its showing at the Guilds and precursors is worrying. Babylon is a curious case. It will get tech nominations and possibly a win for Score, but nothing above the line, editing, etc and still get a Best Picture nomination. Appears unlikely but I have a hard time justifying Triangle of Sadness or The Woman King over Hollywood’s favorite Damien Chazelle. And shockingly, The Whale, after a turbulent ride, seems safe here after landing at PGA.

That’s my 2023 predictions…see you bright and early for nomination morning!


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