Zoë’s 2023 EE BAFTA Awards Winners Predictions

Notoriously one of the most influential Oscar precursors, the 76th British Academy Film Awards are set to take place this Sunday, and they could shake-up several races in major ways (let’s not forget how the BAFTAs foreshadowed the upsets of numerous acting winners such as Marion Cotillard, Mark Rylance, Olivia Colman, and Anthony Hopkins, for example). At the moment, The Banshees of Inisherin seems to have the edge in most of the key categories – including Best Film, above its closest Best Picture competitor Everything Everywhere All at Once – both because of its “hometown advantage” as a British production and the type of film it is, with BAFTA often awarding the designated “critical darling” of the year even if the Oscars don’t (Boyhood over BirdmanRoma over Green BookThe Power of the Dog over the un-nominated CODA, and so on and so forth). Still, EEAAO got just as many nominations here as Banshees did (10), so it’s not out of the race just yet, and Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front actually led the nominations with 14, which means it could be surprise and take home a fair share of trophies too. And so, without further ado, let’s just jump right in and see what I’m predicting for the winners of the 2023 EE BAFTA Awards.

BEST FILM

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin

Will Win: The Banshees of Inisherin

Could Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Note: I think this is a lot closer than many are making it out to be, but I will err on the side of Banshees for the time being, believing this is another year (like 2014-2019 and 2021) where BAFTA and Oscar split, which means EEAAO isn’t out for the Oscar just yet. Then again, it could win here as well and show a sign of its indomitable strength across-the-board (a la films like The Artist, 12 Years a Slave, and Nomadland), or that could lead some to believe it’s vulnerable with The Academy.

BEST DIRECTOR

The Daniels

Will Win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Todd Field – TÁR

Note: A semi-chaotic category, and though I’m semi-confident the Daniels will get their due here (since I don’t believe they will elsewhere), I see the potential for a Todd Field (or even Edward Berger) upset, given how well TÁR and All Quiet did. I’ll try not to overthink it.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin

Will Win: Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin

Could Win: Austin Butler – Elvis

Note: As with everywhere else this season, I believe this Best Actor trophy is coming down to Colin Farrell and Austin Butler, the two contenders in movies nominated for Best Film who also happen to have their movies nominated for Best Picture as well. I’ll give Farrell the edge because of his “hometown advantage,” Banshees‘ strength here, and my assumption that it’s winning Best Film… but Elvis did really well too, netting nine noms. And sometimes, the “hometown advantage” doesn’t work out when the actor who would benefit from said advantage is up against a showy sweeper (especially if they’re starring in a biopic), like when Rami Malek bested Christian Bale and Will Smith beat Benedict Cumberbatch just last year. Though if Farrell does win, that could set him up for a Colman/Hopkins-esque upset at the Oscars, too.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Cate Blanchett in TÁR

Will Win: Cate Blanchett – TÁR

Could Win: Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Note: You already know this is between Blanchett and Yeoh, and I’m tempted to stick with Blanchett given what I perceive about TÁR‘s – and her – greater pull with the international voters, even though EEAAO did beat it in their overall number of nominations, 10 to 5. Like Best Actor, this could be a category that has major sway over who wins the Oscar, so should Blanchett prevail, that might be tough for Yeoh to overcome. But I also don’t think she’s as unlikely a winner as some do, as there’s always a chance BAFTA’s obvious love for EEAAO could push her through (or she could be an additional consolation prize if it’s not winning Best Film).

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Will Win: Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin

Note: I feel pretty confident that Ke Huy Quan is still taking this one, even though Brendan Gleeson (and to a lesser extent, Barry Keoghan) has the “hometown advantage” here and might have some support with the British Academy. No matter – this is Quan’s year, he hasn’t lost anything yet, and it’ll stay that way until the Oscar envelope is opened.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Will Win: Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Could Win: Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin

Note: Maybe my most controversial prediction? I do recognize that Kerry Condon is within spitting distance of this trophy, but I don’t think she’s the “shoo-in” some do. I sorta believe that Angela Bassett is becoming as much of a sweeper as Ke Huy Quan and that will continue here, even if she is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s only nomination. But you know what other Supporting Actress sweeper was her film’s only nomination and still managed to prevail? Fences‘ Viola Davis, in 2016 – another screen legend finally getting her due. Sure, Fences was a Best Picture contender elsewhere, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has done well for itself and even earned more nominations than it at the Oscars (5 to 4), and it’s not like a Marvel movie is hurting for visibility. Condon is close, but I’m holding onto Bassett.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Barry Keoghan and Martin McDonagh in The Banshees of Inisherin

Will Win: The Banshees of Inisherin

Could Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Note: I’ve talked elsewhere about how Banshees vs. EEAAO in Best Original Screenplay is Three Billboards vs. Get Out Part 2, and should that comparison hold, it seems all too clear that Banshees will win here, especially if it’s winning Best Film (and this is also why I suspect Daniels will get their due in Best Director, assuming they lose this award).

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Bill Nighy in Living

Will Win: Living

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Note: Most agree this race is between Living and All Quiet on the Western Front, and though the latter earned more nominations, I think Living is the more obvious achievement of writing and stands out as such, especially since this award would honor The Remain of the Day author (and Nobel Prize winner) Kazuo Ishiguro. All Quiet can definitely win – and assert itself as a threat for the Oscar – but I think Living will get this love.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Gregory Mann in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Could Win: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Note: Pinocchio‘s been winning every industry award under the sun, and I don’t see any reason to stray from that now (especially since it did better here than it did at the Oscars, netting nominations for Best Original Score and Best Production Design too).

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Fire of Love

Will Win: Fire of Love

Could Win: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Note: Yeah, so this is maybe the hardest category to call, with five films that have near-equal chances of winning, IMO. I’m going with Fire of Love, because it’s what I personally believe to have the edge at the Oscars right now, but I think you can make a compelling case for all four of its competitors, and the runner-up in my mind would be All the Beauty in the Bloodshed, even though I think its Critics Choice and PGA snubs are troubling for it when it comes to winning the Oscar.

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

All Quiet on the Western Front

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: The Quiet Girl

Note: All Quiet didn’t do as well as it did across-the-board to lose this award. It’s winning in a walk.

BEST CASTING

Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Triangle of Sadness

Note: EEAAO‘s strength overall – plus its ingenious, diverse casting – should put it ahead here, though Triangle of Sadness has an equally engrossing ensemble that could pull ahead if voters want to spread the love, and there’s a case to be made for Aftersun or Elvis (for Austin Butler alone) as well.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

All Quiet on the Western Front

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Elvis

Note: Following its BSC victory, I think All Quiet is pulling ahead in this category, and given how well the film did here, I think it’s absolutely formidable in all the crafts categories it’s nominated in, especially for work as showy as this consuming cinematography. Watch out for its Oscar competitor Elvis (or even the un-Oscar-nominated Top Gun: Maverick), but I think All Quiet has the heat for now.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Austin Butler in Elvis

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: Babylon

Note: Elvis and Babylon are the only two contenders to hit all the precursors and all the guilds, but I think Elvis has gotten a leg up on the latter thanks to its broader accessibility and Best Picture/Best Film strength (and it doesn’t hurt that the oft-awarded Catherine Martin is behind these ravishing recreations of The King’s iconic costumes).

BEST EDITING

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Note: As with the Oscars, this is a close call between EEAAO and Top Gun, but given how much BAFTA voters preferred EEAAO, I’ll trend towards it for now, unless they throw us a curveball and go with All Quiet or Elvis instead. Still, the unique (and sometimes unprecedented) “showiness” of EEAAO can’t be underestimated.

BEST MAKE UP & HAIR

Austin Butler in Elvis

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: The Whale

Note: Elvis and The Whale remain neck-and-neck to some here – The Whale did win Best Special Make-Up Effects from the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild even while Elvis dominated their awards with two wins for Best Period and/or Character Make-Up and Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling – but again, I believe that the broader love for Elvis and the strength of Austin Butler as a Best Actor contender over Brendan Fraser puts that film ahead (given how often Best Make Up & Hair ties with an acting winner or a competitive contender).

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Will Win: Babylon

Could Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Note: Babylon should have the edge here on merit alone – many would agree its score is the most notable and distinctive in this category, or maybe even of the entire year – but its weakness as a contender due to the division that surrounds the film may hold it back. If that’s the case, I can see the more adored EEAAO (or even All Quiet) pull off an upset.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Austin Butler and Luke Bracey in Elvis

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: Babylon

Note: As with Best Costume Design, this has come down to Elvis and Babylon, and for now, I’ll stick with the same logic I’ve used elsewhere – Elvis‘ love (and its love in comparison to Babylon‘s) cannot be underestimated, and it should be noted that when Catherine Martin is winning a new Best Costume Design award, a trophy for Best Production Design usually comes along too. Some may say Babylon is “showier,” but sometimes, it’s just about the film people like more.

BEST SOUND

All Quiet on the Western Front

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Note: I still have Top Gun winning this award at the Oscars, but given how much BAFTA voters vastly preferred All Quiet (and its craftwork) to Top Gun – 14 nominations to 4 – I think there’s a solid chance it wins some craft awards here that may not always transfer over with The Academy. Maybe I’m overthinking, but it’s gotta pick up some big prizes to account for that hefty nom haul, and this seems like a perfect place to give it one.

BEST SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

Sam Worthington as Jake Sully in Avatar: The Way of Water

Will Win: Avatar: The Way of Water

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Note: Avatar, despite its lack of love at the BAFTAs across-the-board, will win this handily. Don’t fret. Just go watch a ten-second clip of this unprecedented triumph of visual effects one more time and re-convince yourself.

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

Kerry Condon in The Banshees of Inisherin

Will Win: The Banshees of Inisherin

Could Win: Aftersun

Note: Even if The Banshees of Inisherin doesn’t ultimately win Best Film, it should easily sail to a victory here (Aftersun, its closest competitor IMO, will get its due in the next category). It’s the only Best Picture and Best Film nominee in this group, and that’s enough of an edge to make me feel comfortable.

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR, OR PRODUCER

Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal in Aftersun

Will Win: Aftersun

Could Win: Blue Jean

Note: And there’s Aftersun‘s award – as well as the millionth “first feature” or “debut” award that Charlotte Wells has won this year. It’s no contest.

EE RISING STAR AWARD

Emma Mackey in Emily

Will Win: Emma Mackey

Could Win: Daryl McCormack

Note: Sex Education breakout star Emma Mackey – who recently made a major impression in Frances O’Connor’s Emily – seems to be the favorite here, though she’s up against ANOTHER Sex Education breakout star (Living‘s Aimee Lou Wood) as well as Best Actor nominee Daryl McCormack, so this isn’t over yet. Rising Star is also known to throw us a curveball every now and then, so this is a toughie, but I’ll stick with Mackey.

BEST BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse

Will Win: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Could Win: Middle Watch

BEST BRITISH SHORT FILM

An Irish Goodbye

Will Win: An Irish Goodbye

Could Win: Bazigaga

Written by
Though Zoë Rose Bryant has only worked in film criticism for a little under three years - turning a collegiate passion into a full-time career by writing for outlets such as Next Best Picture and Awards Watch - her captivation with cinema has been a lifelong fascination, appreciating film in all its varying forms, from horror movies to heartfelt romantic comedies and everything in between. Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, she made the move to Los Angeles in 2021 after graduating college and now spends her days keeping tabs on all things pop culture and attempting to attend every screening under the sun. As a trans critic, she also seeks to champion underrepresented voices in the LGBTQ+ community in film criticism and offer original insight on how gender and sexuality are explored in modern entertainment. You can find Zoë on Twitter, Instagram, and Letterboxd at @ZoeRoseBryant.

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