Daniel Rester’s Very Early Nominee Predictions for the 96th Oscars

Bradley Cooper in Maestro

It has only been a couple of weeks since the conclusion of awards season for 2022 movies, with Everything Everywhere All at Once taking home the big prize of Best Picture at the 95th Academy Awards. But a film buff never sleeps, and many movie journalists are already looking forward to some releases this year that could be gunning for awards. That includes myself and We Live Entertainment’s awards expert Zoë Rose Bryant, who has already taken a guess with her early predictions for next year’s Oscars. 

There are a lot of films coming up this fall with Oscar-grabbing ingredients, from true story biopics to lavish productions based on books. But not all Oscar films come at the end of the year. Everything Everywhere All at Once had a March release in 2022, for example. This year, films like Past Lives and Air have already received rave reviews at festivals and are being discussed for awards potential. 

Then there are films that may or may not even come out this year, including Blitz, a Bob Marley biopic, Freud’s Last Session, and The Piano Lesson. I have excluded those and some other projects from my current predictions since they do not have firm 2023 release dates. 

So at this point in the season, who knows? But it is fun to guess. Will Christopher Nolan finally get a big prize for Oppenheimer? Will Bradley Cooper make a big splash with his Leonard Berstein biopic Maestro?

Here’s my super early, sight unseen predictions for the nominees for the main eight categories for the 96th Academy Awards.   

Best Picture

The Color Purple – Warner Bros.

Dune: Part Two – Warner Bros.

Ferrari – not determined yet

The Holdovers – Focus Features

Killers of the Flower Moon – Apple TV+/Paramount

Maestro – Netflix

Oppenheimer – Universal — WINNER PREDICTION

Past Lives – A24

Poor Things – Searchlight

Saltburn – Amazon

Other Possibilities:

The Killer



Best Director

Blitz Bazawule – The Color Purple

Bradley Cooper – Maestro

Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer — WINNER PREDICTION

Denis Villeneuve – Dune: Part Two

Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon

Other Possibilities:

Celine Song – Past Lives 

Michael Mann – Ferrari

Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things 

Best Actress

Carey Mulligan – Maestro

Fantasia Barrino – The Color Purple — WINNER PREDICTION

Greta Lee – Past Lives 

Kate Winslet – Lee

Julianne Moore – May December

Other Possibilities: 

Annette Bening – Nyad

Emma Stone – Poor Things

Regina King – Shirley

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper – Maestro — WINNER PREDICTION

Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer

Colman Domingo – Rustin

Jonathan Majors – Magazine Dreams 

Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers

Other Possibilities: 

Adam Driver – Ferrari 

Barry Keoghan – Saltburn

Michael Fassbender – The Killer

Best Supporting Actress

Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers

Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon — WINNER PREDICTION

Natalie Portman – May December

Penelope Cruz – Ferrari 

Taraji P. Henson – The Color Purple

Other Possibilities: 

Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple

Elisabeth Moss – Next Goal Wins

Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer

Best Supporting Actor

Matt Bomer – Maestro

Louis Gossett Jr. – The Color Purple

Richard E. Grant – Saltburn

Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon

Willem Dafoe – Poor Things — WINNER PREDICTION

Other Possibilities: 

Colman Domingo – The Color Purple

Jesse Plemons – Killers of the Flower Moon

Tom Hardy – The Bikeriders

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Color Purple

Dune: Part Two

Killers of the Flower Moon — WINNER PREDICTION


Poor Things

Other Possibilities: 

The Bikeriders


The Killer

Best Original Screenplay

Asteroid City

The Holdovers




Other Possibilities: 

Magazine Dreams

May December


Written by
Daniel Rester is a writer for the We Live Film portion of We Live Entertainment. He is a Southern Oregon University alumnus and has a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Communication (Film, Television, and Convergent Media) and Emerging Media and Digital Arts. He has been involved with writing and directing short films for years. Rester also won 2nd place in the Feature Screenplay Competition in the 2015 Oregon Film Awards for his screenplay "Emma Was Here," which is currently in post-production and will be Rester's feature directorial debut.

Your Vote

2 0

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.