2023 Oscar Predictions: Everything Everywhere All at Once not spreading the wealth

We’ve reached the end of the long, arduous Oscar road and thank the sweet lord! Every Oscar season is draining and this one is no different, especially considering we’ve been discussing Everything Everywhere All at Once for a full calender year. Now, before you jump into my predictions, read about my personal award winners from 2022 here. They will look a helluva lot different than the Oscar winners.

Time to jump into predictions…

International Film: All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front won seven BAFTA awards out of 14 nominations. It was shortlisted for virtually every category for the Oscars and BAFTA. A Best Picture nominee has never lost in this category and there’s really no number two to compete Argentina, 1985 won the Globe, but that was such an outlier in this race. Of all the locks of the night, this one is arguably the most secure.

Confidence: 100%

Runner-up: Argentina, 1985

My choice: EO

Documentary: Navalny

Documentary always feels like a crapshoot. The Academy’s taste in documentaries is laughably bad, so I often go with the film that feels important on paper or is cute. Artistry often gets disregarded. With that in mind, Navalny, a film regarding the Kremlin and Putin, fills that need of importance and timeliness. It also won the BAFTA and PGA, two extremely strong precursors for this category. Fire of Love has pockets of support and is a strong number two, but isn’t as timely or nuanced as Navalny.

Confidence: 80%

Runner-up: Fire of Love

My pick: Fire of Love

Animated: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

The only film this season to sweep every industry award. And for a category dominated by films made for children, Guillermo has been a great ambassador for the medium. He constantly points out that it’s not simply a genre but a medium that any artist can use to tell any story they wish. It’s a beautiful sentiment and one I can’t wait to hear again in his acceptance speech. It will be Del Toro’s third Oscar win. There’s no legitimate challenger in second to possibly pull an upset.

Confidence: 100%

Runner-up: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

My pick: Marcel The Shell with Shoes On

VFX: Avatar: The Way of Water

The most obvious VFX achievement of the year. From a familiar film series and filmmaker that are actively trying to push the technology forward. It swept guilds, won the BAFTA, and had a great showing at the bake-off. Most people overlook the emotional story beats in favor of the blue screen and motion capture technology. Avatar is going to win this award A LOT over the next 10 years.

Confidence: 100%

Runner-up: All Quiet on the Western Front

My pick: Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Sound: Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick serves as the CAS and MPSE winner in a film that features a major emphasis on sound design. The BAFTA loss to All Quiet on the Western Front gives me pause, but that feels more like a BAFTA only winner rather than an Oscar contender. The argument that Everything Everywhere All at Once could’ve won here if it was nominated is a legitimate question and in a previous year with both mixing and editing categories, Everything Everywhere feels like it could’ve been a contender in mixing. Now, the more interesting question then becomes: does Top Gun win editing too? More on that later. Loud engine noises win sound awards.

Confidence: 60%

Runner-up: All Quiet on the Western Front

My pick: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Song: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

I get the hesitancy around Naatu Naatu. RRR is a Telugu-cinema production and even with Netflix distributing, it’s not a guarantee that slimy Academy voters watched a three hour machismo action film. Luckily, it’s only the song category and they realistically only need to watch the dancing set piece to understand the appeal. However, facing off against Lady Gaga and Rihanna, two pop icons, doesn’t inspire confidence. Add on Everything Everywhere, a heavy frontrunner in picture, having a song here and it puts a less seen film in jeopardy. But, the combination of winning in the song categories at both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice has a strong track record of leading to wins at the Oscars. It’s also the most exciting song and incorporated into the film flawlessly. The only hang up – no Best Picture nomination.

Confidence: 65%

Runner-up: “Lift me Up” from Black Panther

My Pick: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Best Score: All Quiet on the Western Front

Toughest category to predict? The Globe, CCA, and BAFTA went to different films. There’s clearly no consensus and the perceived front runner, Justin Hurwitz Babylon score, hasn’t won anything substantial since the start of phase one. With no Best Picture nomination and the overwhelming support for All Quiet in the international and British voting block, Babylon is in trouble while All Quiet feels safer than anything else. On top of that, it’s a showy score with the main theme being essential to the filmmaking and emotional storytelling. Everything Everywhere, as a result of ballot checking, could be a legitimate contender for the win and knocks Babylon into third.

Confidence: 50%

Runner-up: Everything Everywhere All at Once

My Pick: Carter Burwell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Production Design: Babylon

It’s weird to make the argument against Babylon in score, but feel rather confident about its chances here. It’s won ADG, CCA, and BAFTA. A sweeper in the category and even without support for the film overall, for whatever reason, voters have singled out the production design work (i.e. recreating early Hollywood sets, with production design a main function of the storytelling). In terms of contenders, All Quiet feels close but with it losing the BAFTA on a day where it landed seven wins, doesn’t speak to strength in the category. Elvis, however, is work done by Catherine Martin and her hit rate for wins at the Oscars is impeccable. Coupled with the fact that Elvis recreates historical sets (a quality Oscar voters love) and looks like a likely winner in costume design, it feels like a spoiler candidate on Oscar night.

Confidence: 50%

Runner-up: Elvis

My pick: Elvis

Best Makeup and Hair: Elvis

Elvis won for period film at the MUAH guild and took the BAFTA over The Whale and All Quiet on the Western Front. Elvis is recreation makeup with stylized hair that screams Oscar bait. On top of changing Austin Butler into Elvis, Tom Hanks got a makeover and Priscilla Presley’s famous hairstyles were captured in the film. The Whale, a film that missed Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture, is weak in this category as well as lead actor. Expecting the makeup winner also to win actor too. Although, All Quiet looms as a potential spoiler if the Academy goes for that film.

Confidence: 55%

Runner-up: The Whale

My pick: The Batman

Editing: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Does the sound stat get beaten for the first time in nine years? Truthfully, I’m terrified to pick against Maverick and the stat, but there’s no denying that Everything Everywhere is driven by its editing choices. It’s that keyword – “showy editing” – that often wins Oscars. Moreover, fast cutting, where Everything Everywhere has plenty of that. No, Everything doesn’t have the sound nomination, so if it loses it won’t be surprising, but winning the BAFTA and the ACE Eddie in comedy speaks to its strength over Maverick that has largely underperformed this award season. For a film expected to have a huge day, editing is an easy spot to see it get a win to add to its total.

Confidence: 40%

Runner-up: Top Gun: Maverick

My Pick: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Costumes: Elvis

Catherine Martin could walk out of that theater having another great Oscar night. Elvis could easily snatch up both costuming and production design, giving her a third straight two-for-two (Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge did the same). And, of all Elvis’s potential wins on the night, costuming feels the safest. Elvis was known for his jumpsuits and Martin’s recreations are phenomenal. Add on the way Mandy Moore shoots these costumes and it’s a done deal. Elvis won the Costume guild, the BAFTA, and is the only film outside Babylon with a production design nomination to go along with it. Everything Everywhere is a sneaky option in this category and a CDG winner in sci-fi, but doesn’t have the typical Oscar winning look.

Confidence: 85%

Runner-up: Everything Everywhere All at Once

My Pick: Elvis

Best Cinematography: All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front won the BAFTA, Elvis took ASC. Elvis is the bigger player in production design with All Quiet missing the nomination giving it a stats edge. However, the BAFTA love has to translate somewhere for All Quiet and cinematography feels like the right spot to reward it. On the flip side, Mandy Walker winning ASC made her the first female cinematographer to ever win that award. The Oscars could follow suit and finally buck that ridiculous stat. Nonetheless, Elvis is beloved but not to the point of it winning four Oscars. Three wins feels right. And All Quiet wasn’t nominated at ASC.

Confidence: 30%

Runner-up: Elvis

My Pick: Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Best Original Screenplay: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh losing the Oscar for Original Screenplay is going to crush my fragile heart. In his illustrious career, The Banshees of Inisherin is the culmination of all his work that channels his chaotic, self-deprecating energy. It’s a beautiful fucking script. Writerly with excellently bleak dialogue. I’ll refrain from mentioning my opinion on the Daniels Everything script so as to not offend, but suffice it to say, Banshees losing here would hurt. Nevertheless, the Daniels are winning three Oscars, with the screenplay coming along. Everything Everywhere hasn’t beaten Banshees at any award shows in this category, but the momentum is firmly in its favor. Winning WGA after taking SAG a week earlier, right in the middle of voting, is more important than the lasting effect of McDonagh’s Banshees script. Everything Everywhere also has the CCA and WGA combo, which has never lost at the Oscars.

Confidence: 55%

Runner-up: The Banshees of Inisherin

My Pick: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Adapted Screenplay: Women Talking

Sarah Polley’s Women Talking script enters the Oscars with momentum. Sweeping WGA, USC Scripter and Critics Choice has never lost and that’s the Women Talking precursor haul. But, once again, All Quiet with its support from the British block at BAFTA poses a serious threat. Luckily for Polley, All Quiet is far more of a visual achievement rather than a writerly one. Whereas, Women Taking is shot in one room and driven wholly by the dialogue and themes. War films rarely win the award on top of all those stats.

Confidence: 55%

Runner-up: All Quiet on the Western Front

My Pick: Women Talking

Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

It’s a done deal. Barry Keoghan won BAFTA, but Quan has won every other award. He dazzles with his speeches and I’m assuming his Oscar moment will be heartfelt and special. Happy Keoghan got one win during the season, but Quan’s essentially a sweeper and this has been over for months.

Confidence: 100%

Runner-up: Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

My Pick: Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Supporting Actress: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Of all Banshee’s nine nominations, Kerry Condon could be the lone win for the film. She’s the emotional heart of the narrative and does an excellent job across Farrell and Gleeson. McDonagh losing in screenplay would be disappointing, but Banshees going home empty handed would kill me dead. Please, Everything Everywhere could win every other award, but leave at least a couple for Banshees and maybe one for RRR? Jamie Lee Curtis is terrifying after the SAG win with lots of friends in the industry. Kerry Condon winning BAFTA made her the defecto favorite as Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu are likely to vote split, but in terms of connection and passion, JLC seems to have grabbed the momentum at the last minute. It feels closer to 50-50 no matter how you slice it. As for Angela Bassett, losing SAG was it for her – she’s done. The Condon win will also continue the pattern of supporting actress as the film’s Lone win on the night (a bizarre stat dating back to Boyhood).

Confidence: 30%

Runner-up: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

My Pick: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Actor: Austin Butler, Elvis

When it comes down to a BAFTA/SAG split, having a Best Picture nomination seems to be what puts actors over the top. The Whale missing Adapted and picture is a big sign of weakness overall. Elvis is likely going to win hair and makeup based on guild performance and that in combination with a split field of voters should make the difference The Fraser narrative is undoubtedly strong, but Academy voters aren’t as sentimental as SAG voters Last one, Academy voters love Elvis. There’s a chance it’s not far behind All Quiet or Banshees for second in Picture

Confidence: 60%

Runner-up: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

My Pick: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Actress: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

It’s hard to fathom a night where Everything Everywhere All at Once wins Best Picture, Director and Screenplay and Michelle Yeoh isn’t a part of the win package. She’s the center of the bagel and has the narrative advantage over Cate Blanchett. And yet, the idea of TÁR going home empty handed seems unlikely too and Blanchett has the stats advantage, winning at every stop save for SAG. BAFTA has a strong track record in this category, but Yeoh’s rise coincides with the apoplectic SAG night for Everything Everywhere. Anyone saying they’re completely confident in their pick for this category is lying to themselves.

Confidence: 20%

Runner-up: Cate Blanchett, TÁR

My Pick: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Director: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Once the Daniels took the DGA, this race was over. Steven Spielberg needed to win somewhere outside the Golden Globes and failed. The Fabelmans, unfortunately, never garnered the same level of passion for Spielberg’s third Oscar as the Daniels did for their indie film. Category might have been interesting if Edward Berger were nominated, but with Ruben Ostlund as the stand-in international director nomination, the Daniels secured the win

Confidence: 90%

Runner-up: TÁR

My Pick: The Fabelmans

Best Picture: Everything Everywhere All at Once

I was among the doubters early on in the year for Everything Everywhere All at Once, but the surge of passion is too strong. This film hit the awards circuit like a tidal wave. Sweeping guilds (ADG, VES, CDG, ACE, PGA, DGA, SAG, and WGA sweep) and breaking all-time records like the most awarded SAG film (4) or winning the most Spirit Awards (7). More than the stats, is seeing how the industry responds to the film at award shows. All I needed to see was how it performs on the preferential ballot at PGA and once that came through, it was done. There’s no number two films. One of the biggest locks of the night.

Confidence: 100%

Runner-up: Elvis

My Pick: The Banshees of Inisherin


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