Zoë’s Final 2023 Academy Awards Predictions

Well, we made it. The moment of truth has finally arrived. After following these films since August (or longer, in our Best Picture frontrunner’s case), we’re now only two days away from seeing which ones will actually walk away with Oscars at the end of this awards season, and which will be sent home empty-handed. I could go further in depth about the ups and downs of this awards cycle, but let’s be honest – if you’re reading this piece, you’ve likely been keeping track of these twists and turns already (either with me week-to-week or elsewhere on Film Twitter), and there’s no need to go back-and-forth about it all all over again. And truthfully, there’s so little else to be said at this point, especially ever since the star contender of the season has become an awards juggernaut and pretty much swept all the honors from the guilds. So, let’s stop beating around the bush and just get right into it. And by “it,” I mean my official final 2023 Academy Awards predictions.


Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

I know it’s “cool” to consider an All Quiet Best Picture upset these days, but be real – Everything Everywhere All at Once has this in the bag. What was the last movie to win SAG, PGA, DGA, WGA, and ACE? Oh, it was 2012’s Argo, which ended up winning Best Picture! All season long, detractors have tried to say that EEAAO was “too much” for voters, and that The Academy – especially the older members – “hated it.” And yet, these awards don’t lie. No matter what “divisiveness” some have heard, it hasn’t slowed this thing down yet, and it won’t at the Dolby Theatre either (and no, this isn’t Brokeback Mountain and Crash all over again, because Brokeback Mountain lost SAG to Crash, missed a Best Film Editing nomination, and was hit with homophobic backlash by conservative Academy members – all issues EEAAO does not have).

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Should Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should’ve Been Here: Babylon


The Daniels

With the DGA Award under their belt, that essentially assured the Daniels’ Oscar victory as, all but eight times in that ceremony’s 75 years of existence, the winners have gone on to earn Academy Awards as well. This was once thought to be a walk for Steven Spielberg, but after losing ground in the critics awards to the Daniels and only receiving a Golden Globe from the televised awards, he fell off pretty fast, and no one else has been able to challenge these two ever since (BAFTA winner Edward Berger wasn’t even nominated at the Oscars). This is the Daniels’ to lose.

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

Could Win: Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans

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

Should’ve Been Here: Sarah Polley – Women Talking


Austin Butler in Elvis

I’ve already talked about this year’s Best Actor race in detail earlier this week, but I’ll briefly summarize again why I’m sticking with Austin Butler over Brendan Fraser: 1) since 2010, the second year of an expanded Best Picture line-up, every single Best Actor winner has starred in a Best Picture nominee, which Butler has and Fraser does not (with the latter’s film missing out on a widely expected Best Adapted Screenplay nomination as well), 2) historically, The Academy has never fallen for “comeback narratives” like Fraser’s (Lauren Bacall, Burt Reynolds, Eddie Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Micheal Keaton, Sylvester Stallone, etc.), and 3) Elvis is the frontrunner to win the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar over The Whale, and that category often has an iron-clad correlation with an acting winner (Marion Cotillard, Meryl Streep, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, etc.). Fraser could still pull this out, as he does have a Critics Choice Award and a SAG Award, but I’m going to bank on Butler’s Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, and all the advantages discussed above.

Will Win: Austin Butler – Elvis

Could Win: Brendan Fraser – The Whale

Should Win: Austin Butler – Elvis

Should’ve Been Here: Diego Calva – Babylon


Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actress is another category we’ve spent so much time talking about already that it’s a struggle to come up with anything new to say, but here are the facts again nonetheless. Cate Blanchett came on strong at the start of the season, winning a slew of critics awards (including the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and the NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC trifecta) as well as the Golden Globe Award, Critics Choice Award, and BAFTA Award, but as Everything Everywhere All at Once has continued to exceed everyone’s wildest expectations for it this awards season, Michelle Yeoh has been swept up in the love as well. When it broke the all-time record for the most SAG wins with four, Yeoh was the face of that moment with her victory over Blanchett in their Best Actress category (her second televised award after the Comedy/Musical Golden Globe just a month prior), and she’s continued to be centered in the EEAAO campaign in the days and weeks since, giving another emotionally affecting speech at last weekend’s Indie Spirit Awards – which happened right in the middle of voting. It’s undoubtedly still a close race, and Cate Blanchett is no slouch, but if EEAAO fever is as potent as many of us pundits believe it to be, I have a hard time seeing that love not extend to Yeoh here as well, who would make history as only the second woman of color to win Best Actress and the first Asian woman to do so.

Will Win: Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Cate Blanchett – TÁR

Should Win: Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should’ve Been Here: Danielle Deadwyler – Till


Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Even though Ke Huy Quan was shockingly passed over at BAFTA (in favor of The Banshees of Inisherin‘s Barry Keoghan) after he was assumed to be the one potential acting “sweeper” we’d have all season, he still has this award locked up. His Waymond is often the heart of Everything Everywhere All at Once, receiving so many of the best lines (laundry, taxes, etc.), and his narrative – returning to Hollywood after leaving 20 years ago when realizing how few good roles were available to Asian actors – is absolutely undeniable. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s consistently given some of the best speeches of the season, always bursting at the seams with authentic sentiment. He’s as good as (Oscar) gold.

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

Could Win: Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin

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

Should’ve Been Here: Mark Rylance – Bones and All


Kerry Condon in The Banshees of Inisherin

For many, this will be the most complicated acting category to call, but I actually feel pretty secure in my prediction. For starters, I figure that Banshees love has to manifest somewhere (it did earn nine nominations and four BAFTA Awards, after all), and given that Best Supporting Actress has gone to an actress who serves as her film’s sole Oscar representation every year since 2014, I think it’s wise to assume that’s a trend that could continue. Additionally, Kerry Condon won the BAFTA, which has often been a sign of which way a close acting race is headed (Tilda Swinton, Mark Rylance, Frances McDormand, etc.). Angela Bassett was the early frontrunner after winning the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award, but since she failed to win either industry award (losing the SAG to EEAAO‘s Jamie Lee Curtis), that doesn’t bode well for her. Curtis could also take this, especially after EEAAO has started to become a “rising tide that lifts all ships” (and after her stupendous acceptance speech at SAG), but I’m wary of predicting that film to become the first to win three acting awards since 1976’s Network, and I still believe Condon’s performance has more passion than Curtis’.

Will Win: Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin

Could Win: Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should Win: Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should’ve Been Here: Dolly de Leon – Triangle of Sadness


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

This is Three Billboards vs. Get Out all over again. 3BB and Banshees took the Golden Globe and BAFTA, but EEAAO took the Critics Choice Award and WGA Award (though Banshees was ineligible at the latter ceremony, to be fair). Some may say voters could spread the love here since the Daniels are likely winning Best Director, but that didn’t stop Alejandro González Iñárritu or Bong Joon-ho from taking home both trophies when their films Birdman and Parasite (respectively) were winning Best Picture as well. Also, many voters look to this category as “awarding the most original screenplay,” as its title indicates. And what can challenge EEAAO for that honor?

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: The Banshees of Inisherin

Should Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should’ve Been Here: Bodies Bodies Bodies


The cast of Women Talking

Only one film has ever won the Critics Choice Award, the USC Scripter, and the WGA Award and lost the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, and that was 2009’s Up in the Air, which bodes well for this year’s winner of that trifecta, Women Talking. Now, some will say this is an unfair comparison, since WT‘s greatest competition – BAFTA winner All Quiet on the Western Front – was ineligible at the WGA Awards, but WT wasn’t nominated at the BAFTAs, so the Oscars will actually be the first ceremony where they go head-to-head. I’ll concede that this could be a very close race, but I’m relying on two things: that aforementioned trifecta stat, and the fact that, personally, Women Talking just feels more like a screenplay winner to me, as its the film where the words matter most (in spite of All Quiet being the stronger film overall).

Will Win: Women Talking

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Should Win: Women Talking

Should’ve Been Here: She Said


All Quiet on the Western Front

Mandy Walker made history at the ASC Awards last weekend as the first woman to ever win their Best Cinematography award, and she could do the same at the Oscars this Sunday. But one thing is preventing me from going all-in on her, and that’s the fact that All Quiet on the Western Front‘s James Friend bested her when they went head-to-head at both the BAFTA Awards and the BSC Awards (All Quiet was ineligible at ASC). It’s true that Elvis is a ferociously flashy film and has undoubtedly done better with American guilds than All Quiet (a film that has relied on international support to get ahead in the Oscar race), but I still think All Quiet has pulled ahead as the bigger “achievement in cinematography” to many, especially since this is a category that has been kind to many war films in the past (1917, Saving Private Ryan, The English Patient, Braveheart, etc.).

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Elvis

Should Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Should’ve Been Here: Avatar: The Way of Water


Austin Butler in Elvis

Elvis enters the Oscars with the CDG Award and BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design under its belt, and its hard to bet against that hardware, especially when its a film sporting such ravishing recreations of a rock legend’s most iconic attire, crafted by two-time Best Costume Design winner Catherine Martin (Moulin Rouge!The Great Gatsby). I’ve toyed with an upset from Everything Everywhere All at Once (which bested fellow nominee Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the CDG Awards and could continue to overperform in categories we never thought it would), but I feel solid sticking with Elvis for now.

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should Win: Babylon

Should’ve Been Here: The Woman King


Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once would be the first Best Film Editing winner since 2006’s The Departed to not have a Best Sound nomination, but when a film has swept the precursors as this one has (the Critics Choice Award, the BAFTA, and the ACE Award for Comedy), it’s tough to say that trend won’t continue, especially since editor Paul Rogers is doing such state-of-the-art work here, as a film this frenetic would’ve fallen apart in an instant without his guidance. Top Gun is waiting in the wings thanks to its Best Sound nomination (and potential win) and its ACE Award for Drama, but the heat feels firmly with EEAAO at the moment.

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Should Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should’ve Been Here: Moonage Daydream


Austin Butler in Elvis

Though The Whale might seem like the most transformative makeup of this bunch, it’s actually performed quite poorly with precursors, losing out to Elvis at the Critics Choice Awards and the BAFTA Awards (and only winning one award at the MUAHS Awards to Elvis‘ two). And, as I stated earlier, since I’m sticking with Austin Butler in Best Actor, it doesn’t make sense to not give Elvis the win here, given how often this winner correlates with an acting victor. The Whale could upset – especially ahead of a Fraser triumph in Best Actor – but I’m not betting on it.

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: The Whale

Should Win: The Batman

Should’ve Been Here: X


A chaotic category, and I don’t feel certain in my predicted victor whatsoever, but I’m erring on the side of the BAFTA winner All Quiet on the Western Front (the only industry award winner of this bunch) over Golden Globe winner BabylonBabylon‘s score feels like it’s so far ahead of all the other nominees here as the “objective best” (even the Oscars are using it in their commercials!) that it could win on sheer quality alone – divisiveness for the film be damned – but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. And then there’s Everything Everywhere All at Once, which could pull ahead if All Quiet and Babylon split the vote and EEAAO gets some residual love as the Best Picture frontrunner. All these possibilities are making my head hurt, so I’ll stick with All Quiet and call it a day.

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Babylon

Should Win: Babylon

Should’ve Been Here: Women Talking


The two major precursors for this award – the Golden Globe Award and the Critics Choice Award – both went to RRR‘s “Naatu Naatu,” and given that this is the only place to recognize the film (an international phenomenon, mind you), I have a hard time seeing voters pass that opportunity up. Sorry to the stars like Top Gun: Maverick‘s Lady Gaga and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s Rihanna, but RRR has run the tables in this race (and I think Everything Everywhere could be closer to an upset than either of them).

Will Win: “Naatu Naatu” – RRR

Could Win: “This Is A Life” – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should Win: “Naatu Naatu” – RRR

Should’ve Been Here: “(You Made It Feel Like) Home” – Bones and All


Margot Robbie and the cast of Babylon in Babylon

Based on the precursors (Critics Choice, ADG, and BAFTA), Babylon should at least have this one in the bag no matter where else its divisiveness might hurt it, but there is always the potential for an upset from a Best Picture contender such as Elvis (Catherine Martin does tend to win Costume Design and Production Design Oscars together…) or Avatar: The Way of Water. Since Babylon has been able to push ahead here despite the film alienating certain Academy voters due to its graphic content, I feel comfortable sticking with it, but this has been one of the toughest calls to make.

Will Win: Babylon

Could Win: Elvis

Should Win: Babylon

Should’ve Been Here: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio


Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick is coming in with the CAS and MPSE Awards, while All Quiet arrives with the BAFTA (a ceremony where it overperformed dramatically, and may not have all that love translate to the Oscars with the expanded – and less international – votership). This has become a tighter race than many ever anticipated, and the category’s love for war films does make one wonder if Top Gun is at risk of going home empty handed. Personally, I still think they’ll throw one of the biggest blockbusters of the year a bone here, especially since it is the best place to honor it, while All Quiet has other categories to conquer.

Will Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Should Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Should’ve Been Here: Nope


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

Let’s not waste any precious time. It’s Avatar, and thanks to the other contenders for competing.

Will Win: Avatar: The Way of Water

Could Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Should Win: Avatar: The Way of Water

Should’ve Been Here: Everything Everywhere All at Once


Gregory Mann in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Let’s not waste any precious time. It’s Pinocchio, and thanks to the other contenders for competing (there might have been a world where Puss in Boots pulled this off as a result of its staggering – and surprising – critical and commercial strength, but Pinocchio picked up the Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, PGA Award, and BAFTA, so it’s a done deal).

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Could Win: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Should Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Should’ve Been Here: The Bad Guys



We’ve got an interesting split here since Navalny won the PGA Award and the BAFTA, but Fire of Love bested it at DGA and ACE. Still, since PGA and BAFTA are voted on by much broader voting bodies, I’m gonna say consensus – and timeliness – will be on the side of Navalny, allowing it to pull ahead.

Will Win: Navalny

Could Win: Fire of Love

Should Win: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Should’ve Been Here: Moonage Daydream


All Quiet on the Western Front

A good rule of thumb: when predicting the International Feature Film winner, go with the one that’s also nominated for Best Picture, as that means it’s the one everyone is almost guaranteed to watch (and then subsequently vote for). All Quiet it is!

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Argentina, 1985

Should Win: Close

Should’ve Been Here: Joyland


My Year of Dicks

The shorts ruin everyone’s Oscar prediction scores every year, and I’m taking a risk by going with My Year of Dicks since the “frontrunner” is technically The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, which won the BAFTA Award (against none of these other nominees) and an Annie Award. Still, it reminds me a lot of last year’s Robin Robin, as it’s a half-hour-long child-centric special that many assume will be the winner since it’s the “most accessible,” only to (potentially) fall to a more inspired/creative title. My Year of Dicks isn’t the only one that could fit that bill – there’s some love for An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It too – but I think it’s the most “interesting” contender of this crop that elicits the most engaged and passionate reactions, so sure, I’ll throw it a bone.

Will Win: My Year of Dicks

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


Stranger at the Gate

Stranger at the Gate is this year’s “morally misguided short film nominee that treats timely subject matter with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer only for Oscar voters to not care whatsoever” a la Skin and Two Distant Strangers (it follows a “U.S. Marine [who] plots a terrorist attack on a small-town American mosque [only for] his plan [to take] an unexpected turn when he comes face-to-face with the people he sets out to kill”). The Elephant Whisperers is the “cute” nominee that simultaneously has the significant backing of Netflix, but I think Stranger‘s strong social messaging might put it ahead.

Will Win: Stranger at the Gate

Could Win: The Elephant Whisperers


An Irish Goodbye

Another two-horse race, where An Irish Goodbye has the benefit of being the BAFTA winner in this category, but Le Pupille enjoyed wider accessibility thanks to the fact that it’s been streaming on Disney+ and has a quainter, cuter concept centered around the hijinks of some rebellious young Catholic girls. Still, An Irish Goodbye feels a bit weightier and perhaps more emotionally affecting in the end, which I think will give it the edge.

Will Win: An Irish Goodbye

Could Win: Le Pupille

Win Tallies

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once – 6
    • Best Picture
    • Best Director
    • Best Actress
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Original Screenplay
    • Best Film Editing
  • Elvis – 3
    • Best Actor
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • All Quiet on the Western Front – 3
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best International Feature Film
    • Best Original Score
  • Avatar: The Way of Water – 1
    • Best Visual Effects
  • Babylon – 1
    • Best Production Design
  • The Banshees of Inisherin – 1
    • Best Supporting Actress
  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – 1
    • Best Animated Feature
  • An Irish Goodbye – 1
    • Best Live Action Short Film
  • My Year of Dicks – 1
    • Best Animated Short Film
  • Navalny – 1
    • Best Documentary Feature
  • RRR – 1
    • Best Original Song
  • Stranger at the Gate – 1
    • Best Documentary Short Film
  • Top Gun: Maverick – 1
    • Best Sound
  • Women Talking – 1
    • Best Adapted Screenplay
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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