Zoë’s Oscar Predictions – September 30th

Happy Friday everyone, and buckle in, because we have quite the list of updates to get through after an unexpectedly eventful week – partially fueled by some Oscar discourse online that has swayed me certain ways in certain races, and partially because I’ve been able to see a few of this year’s major contenders for myself finally, and it’s given me a greater grasp of their chances across-the-board. So, no more dilly-dallying – let’s just dive in.

Thoughts on TÁR and Triangle of Sadness

Cate Blanchett in TÁR and Dolly de Leon in Triangle of Sadness

Perhaps I’m still just high on post-TÁR hype, but after finally seeing Todd Field’s chilling character study of a famed – but flawed – conductor and her epic fall from grace, I’ve never been more confident in the film’s Oscar chances, and star Cate Blanchett’s in particular. This is, at times, a cold and challenging film, but never does its “artsiness” make it less accessible (that tantalizing but cryptic teaser trailer does not fully represent the film’s true style and tone). Even as it centers around a complicated and often problematic subject, Field roots the film in reality, taking on a slew of timely topics (abuse of power, elitism in art, “cancel culture,” etc.) and delivers a morally ambiguous analysis of this ferocious figure and all the evil she’s seemingly inflicted on others. And, above all else, even if the 158 minute (!) film loses some audiences here or there (it’s paced almost perfectly in my opinion, though I can see some waver towards the end of the third act), there’s one thing everyone will be unanimous on: that Cate Blanchett is one of the greatest actors who has ever lived.

Watching Cate Blanchett in TÁR is like seeing the face of God. It’s an actor’s showcase through and through, and one that comes along once in a lifetime. It may also very well be the best work of Blanchett’s storied career – only time will tell. At first blush, I must be honest: this feels like an undeniable performance. Despite the darker parts of Lydia Tár’s personality, I can’t see many not being enthralled by Blanchett’s unimpeachable portrayal of this maniacal maestro nevertheless. Not every actor could’ve pulled this off, but thankfully, Blanchett has both the towering talent to deliver the material masterfully and the widespread respect in the industry to convince voters into giving this caustic woman a chance. I’m not sure what former Best Actress winning performance I’d compare it to (in many ways, it reminded me of a female Daniel Plainview, Daniel Day-Lewis’ character in There Will Be Blood – and he won the Oscar for that performance too), but in spite of some people’s very valid apprehension with TÁR’s “coarseness,” as of now, I think Blanchett might be so good that it won’t even matter in the long run.

Cate Blanchett in TÁR

If she’s taken down, it’ll have to be by another actress that is THE face of her film as Blanchett is here – which would boost Michelle Yeoh and Danielle Deadwyler, but put Michelle Williams a disadvantage. But even still, I feel that the industry may see what Blanchett has accomplished here as so above-and-beyond all other contenders in the Best Actress category that she could just sweep the season – it’s that kind of performance. Obviously, it’s only September (almost October), so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But that’s where my head is at right now. What else can TÁR take home at the Academy Awards? I’m not sure its win-competitive for any other Oscars, but I will say that I don’t see the directors’ branch passing up the opportunity to recognize Field’s fierce work here (more populist awards bodies may, but I don’t think the Academy will), and the same can be said for the writers’ branch and his thoroughly researched and richly layered screenplay. And so, when you add up nominations for Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, you’re put in a pretty solid position to nab a Best Picture nod as well, and I think TÁR will at the end of the day. It might have some detractors due to its “darkness,” but Blanchett’s powerhouse performance and appreciation for Field’s “comeback” will elevate the affair, allowing it to squeak in, especially in a field of ten.

I also caught Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning Triangle of Sadness this week, and aside from from absolutely adoring every minute of this scorching social satire myself, I also saw a very possible path for it with the Academy, something I’ve been saying since the start of my Oscar predictions this season. It’s been in and out of my Best Picture line-up in the weeks that followed, but now that I’ve gotten a chance to see it, I think it’s on solid footing, not just as NEON’s only major contender in the race and a sure-to-be praised “European pick,” but simply as an absurdly timely commentary about our uneven socioeconomic hierarchy and the dangerous obliviousness of the uber-wealthy. The easiest nom for Triangle to nab will likely be in Best Original Screenplay – a topical script like this is fodder for the writers’ branch, and NEON has proved able to get their international contenders in there against all odds last year with The Worst Person in the World – but I can also see Östlund becoming this year’s “international pick” in the Best Director line-up if it really breaks big (and especially if it breaks into Picture), while I’m additionally keeping an eye on star Dolly de Leon, the film’s Best Supporting Actress contender and really their best acting contender, period. Though she only takes center stage in the film’s third act (as a formerly mistreated maid whose skillset becomes essential to the ship after things go haywire), she absolutely owns every second of her screen time from that point forward, and at the end of the day, it really feels like Triangle is HER movie, and she embodies most of its messaging. NEON will really have to work to make voters familiar with the Filipina actress before the start of the new year, but, thankfully, it appears that they already know what they have on their hands.

The Fabelmans vs. Everything Everywhere All at Once vs. Women Talking

Gabriel LaBelle in The Fabelmans, Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

I think that many would agree that our top three Best Picture frontrunners right now are The FabelmansEverything Everywhere All at Once, and Women TalkingThe Fabelmans is the cliché “checks all the boxes” frontrunner, Everything Everywhere is the unconventional challenger/”underdog”, and Women Talking is sure to be a top tier critics fave all year long. And thus, taking this current ranking into account, I posed a theory on Twitter earlier this week where I stated that I could see these three films following in the footsteps of Nomadland/Promising Young Woman/The Father and The Power of the Dog/Belfast/CODA and splitting the Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay prizes between the three of them, as a way to assure that all three of the earliest frontrunners – which always have more time than other contenders to build up momentum and fortify their narratives – walk away with something. Because of this, I’ve made Steven Spielberg my #1 in Best Director for the first time this year. Many of you are probably reading this like “uh, duh?” but my thinking was that this was too obvious a frontrunner at the start of the season, and after hearing that The Fabelmans didn’t feature his most “daring” or “distinctive” direction, I thought there was a chance that another showier contender (Damien Chazelle, the Daniels) could “upset.”

However, I admit now that there’s almost no way Steven Spielberg walks home with NO Oscars for this passion project. It’s like Alfonso Cuarón with Roma and Kenneth Branagh with the aforementioned Belfast – these sentimental narratives about filmmakers “revisiting their childhoods and converting them into cinema” are too powerful to pass up, and this is Steven freakin’ Spielberg we’re talking about. There’s an incredible desire in the industry to give Spielberg his third Best Director Oscar already – allowing him to join the likes of Frank Capra and William Wyler – and what better film to do it for than The Fabelmans? However, I will say that I don’t think Spielberg wins both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, just as recent Best Director winners Chloé Zhao and Jane Campion didn’t (and just as Cuarón and Branagh only won one over the other as well). The Academy still likes to be democratic and spread the love, and I believe that Everything Everywhere All at Once will get one of its big wins in Best Original Screenplay, not just as a way to honor the Daniels directly, but because it truly is THE definition of an “original screenplay.” There are a lot of solid scripts in contention this year – The Banshees of InisherinTriangle of SadnessTÁR – but none can hold a candle to EEAAO‘s boundless creativity. (It’s alright though, as I think The Fabelmans will get a second win perhaps in Best Original Score, as a way to honor John Williams in his final collaboration with Spielberg).

That leaves Best Adapted Screenplay for Sarah Polley and Women Talking, and it really feels like she’s just going to waltz to a win there, not just because her work is so universally praised, but also because no one can decide who her competition is in such a light field this year. It’s really Polley vs. everyone else playing for the Oscar, and she’ll come out on top. The jury’s still out on how her Best Director bid will fare (the directors’ branch isn’t always kind to single-location dramas, and the qualms some have with the film’s visual style could hurt her here), but in the end, that won’t matter much, because she still has such a solid lead in Best Adapted Screenplay that she’s gunning to go home with something no matter what. And, at the end of the day, this spread of these three awards allows four of the year’s most accomplished auteurs – Steven Spielberg, Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, and Sarah Polley – to all receive their time to shine in the spotlight, and it just makes too much sense for me to not predict it at the moment.

Brendan Fraser vs. Austin Butler

Brendan Fraser in The Whale and Austin Butler in Elvis

Brendan Fraser remains our Best Actor frontrunner for the time being, but we can’t deny that Elvis‘ Austin Butler is right on his tail. The thing he has working against him is his age and unfamiliarity in the industry – while Fraser is a known name making a highly publicized comeback, which many are sympathetic too – but Butler turns in an equally tremendous transformation in this bombastic Baz Luhrmann biopic, which also became one of the highest grossing non-franchise films of the year, with $150 million domestic and $285 million worldwide, to say nothing of its sterling audience scores from CinemaScore, Rotten Tomatoes, and IMDb. Could Butler be a populist pick that cuts off Fraser’s path to the podium, a la Rami Malek to Bradley Cooper in 2018? I think it’s too early to say for sure. In my opinion, I want to wait on two things. Number one, what film is winning Best Makeup and Hairstyling between The Whale and Elvis? At the moment, I have The Whale, and with the more intense and elaborate transformation between the two films, I don’t see myself changing any time soon. And if I don’t change that, it’ll be hard to convince me of the acting win/makup win stat that has benefitted actors like Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and just recently, Jessica Chastain with their Oscar bids.

Number two, which film gets into Best Picture? Just one, or both? This is a bit trickier, because Elvis actually has the higher nomination ceiling (Actor, Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound), but there’s something that’s telling me that it lacks the “Best Picture passion” that The Whale has – and I know you’ve all read the same reports I have about everyone’s emotionally overwhelming responses to the film’s finale. The Whale isn’t completely critically acclaimed, sure (which could indeed hurt its Best Picture bid), but there’s a case to be made that the passion for Fraser’s performance and narrative – and the emotional response generated by its cathartic conclusion – will push it through in the end nevertheless. With the “Best Picture/Best Actor stat” proving to be iron clad for over a decade, even when we thought it would break (Anthony Hopkins and Chadwick Boseman, anyone?), I’ll feel compelled to go with whichever one of these two gets their film into the Best Picture line-up, but if both do, that’s going to make matters even more complicated.

Avatar is Back, Baby

Jake Sully and Neytiri in Avatar

Wait a minute, I thought nobody cared about Avatar anymore? (Sarcasm alert.) In case anyone needed more convincing that Avatar: The Way of Water is going to be a big freakin’ deal come December, look no further than the box office for the Avatar re-release, which surpassed all expectations and reminded audiences of their adoration of Pandora in a MAJOR way. I’ve had all the faith in the world that the Avatar sequel will surpass all our expectations – commercially and critically – and find its way back into the Best Picture line-up for a few months now, but this just confirms my suspicions: people are ready to return to this planet. In anticipation of what The Way of Water has to offer, I’ve moved James Cameron up ever-so-slightly in my Best Director predictions (he could easily hit some major precursors, like the Golden Globes and/or DGA), and I’ve given it a second win outside of Visual Effects in the Best Cinematography category. The more I read about the film’s state-of-the-art underwater technology and cinematography, the more I’m convinced that Cameron and co have captured visuals here that we’ve never seen before in cinema, and I think this work could simply be too revolutionary to ignore – and The Way of Water could conjure up enough support to cause voters to want to give it two wins for its groundbreaking technological advancements instead of just one.

Populist Picks in Best Picture

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick, Lupita Nyong'o in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Sam Worthington in Avatar: The Way of Water

I’ll be going into this topic more in-depth in a piece in the coming week, but I’m increasingly intrigued by the number of populist pictures seriously contending for Best Picture nominations this year. Will they all get in? Or will they cancel each other out? I think most agree that Top Gun: Maverick has already made a case for itself as the highest grossing film of the year so far, a truly all-too-rare feat of technically audacious action filmmaking, and a film that simply everyone from almost all walks of life adores, but what can join it? Right now, I’ve picked Avatar, though there are so many compelling contenders to join Top Gun – or these two – that I’m a little overwhelmed. Elvis was a massive non-franchise hit this summer (especially with adult audiences), Glass Onion could perhaps do what Knives Out couldn’t and nab some noms outside of the screenplay categories after Rian Johnson has seemingly “done it again,” Black Panther: Wakanda Forever could follow in its predecessor’s footsteps with an equally emotionally resonant storyline that this time honors the late Chadwick Boseman, and this fall’s The Woman King has proven to be a critical and commercial sensation too, elevated by its revolutionary representation in the historical action epic genre. I’m genuinely not sure if there’s room for any others aside from Top Gun and Avatar – especially with all of the critical darlings in contention as well – but if the Academy makes a concerted effort to pick some more populist pictures in an attempt to boost the ratings for the Oscars, they sure have a lot to choose from.

Other Odds and Ends

Klondike Movie

  • Controversially, I’ve not only taken Olivia Colman out of my Best Actress predictions, but I’ve dropped her to seven. Why? Because Empire of Light has kind of fallen flat on its face critically, and I suspect Searchlight will switch to prioritizing The Banshees of Inisherin over it this season (if they haven’t already), and if you’re film isn’t safe – no matter who you are – YOU’RE not safe, either. She’s obviously still heavily in contention – she is Olivia Colman, after all – but she’s not invincible, especially with so many strong contenders in Best Actress this year. I’ll be prioritizing bigger/buzzier performances over hers (Danielle Deadwyler, Naomi Ackie) and those in films that are better positioned to contend for Best Picture at the moment (Viola Davis).
  • I’ve also dropped Ben Whishaw from Best Supporting Actor in favor of Paul Dano, for The Fabelmans. This means I’ll have two Fabelmans boys in Best Supporting Actor at the moment (and double nominees in both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, which I don’t love to predict), but it makes more sense to me. I can see the Women Talking acting attention center around the titular women, while Ben Whishaw isn’t near as big a name in the industry as Paul Dano, and this role has been hyped up as his “Oscar breakthrough” for quite some time, and after coming so close with There Will Be Blood and even Love and Mercy, I think there will be a lot of voters who want to give him “his due.”
  • Keep Klondike on your radar in the Best International Feature Film category. As Ukraine’s submission, it tells the story of a Ukrainian family living on the border of Russia and Ukraine during the start of the war and the struggles they face from that point forward, and it could be a particularly timely parable that voters want to recognize given what’s going on in the world. It may not be able to challenge the likes of All Quiet on the Western FrontDecision to Leave, or Close for the win, but it could have very strong prospects for a nomination (especially with strong critical scores).

BEST PICTURE

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

2. The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures) (+1)

3. Babylon (Paramount Pictures) (-1)

4. Women Talking (UAR/Orion)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures) (+1)

6. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures) (+1)

7. TÁR (Focus Features) (-2)

8. Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios) (+1)

9. Triangle of Sadness (NEON) (+2)

10. The Whale (A24) (-2)

ALTERNATES:

11. Elvis (Warner Bros.) (+1)

12. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix) (+1)

13. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios) (+1)

14. The Woman King (Sony Pictures Releasing) (+2)

15. All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix) (-5)

16. She Said (Universal Pictures) (-2)

17. Decision to Leave (MUBI) (+1)

18. Till (UAR/Orion) (-1)

19. Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)

20. Armageddon Time (Focus Features)


BEST DIRECTOR

Steven Spielberg at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival

1. Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures) (+2)

2. Damien Chazelle – Babylon (Paramount Pictures) (-1)

3. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) (-1)

4. Todd Field – TÁR (Focus Features)

5. Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness (NEON) (+2)

ALTERNATES:

6. Sarah Polley – Women Talking (UAR/Orion)

7. James Cameron – Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios) (+2)

8. Park Chan-wook – Decision to Leave (MUBI)

9. Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures) (+1)

10. Edward Berger – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix) (-5)


BEST ACTOR

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

1. Brendan Fraser – The Whale (A24)

2. Austin Butler – Elvis (Warner Bros.)

3. Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

4. Hugh Jackman – The Son (Sony Pictures Classics)

5. Diego Calva – Babylon (Paramount Pictures)

ALTERNATES:

6. Bill Nighy – Living (Sony Pictures Classics)

7. Tom Cruise – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

8. Jeremy Pope – The Inspection (A24)

9. Adam Driver – White Noise (Netflix)

10. Adam Sandler – Hustle (Netflix) (NEW)


BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett in TÁR

1. Cate Blanchett – TÁR (Focus Features) (+2)

2. Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) (-1)

3. Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures) (-1)

4. Danielle Deadwyler – Till (UAR/Orion) (+1)

5. Naomi Ackie – I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Sony Pictures Releasing) (+1)

ALTERNATES:

6. Viola Davis – The Woman King (Sony Pictures Releasing) (+1)

7. Olivia Colman – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures) (-3)

8. Emma Thompson – Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (Searchlight Pictures)

9. Carey Mulligan – She Said (Universal Pictures)

10. Jennifer Lawrence – Causeway (Apple TV+)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All at Once

1. Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

2. Brad Pitt – Babylon (Paramount Pictures)

3. Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

4. Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

5. Paul Dano – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures) (+1)

ALTERNATES:

6. Ben Whishaw – Women Talking (UAR/Orion) (-1)

7. Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

8. Micheal Ward – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)

9. Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway (Apple TV+)

10. Jeremy Strong – Armageddon Time (Focus Features) (NEW)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Margot Robbie in Babylon

1. Margot Robbie* – Babylon (Paramount Pictures)

2. Claire Foy – Women Talking (UAR/Orion)

3. Jessie Buckley – Women Talking (UAR/Orion)

4. Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin (A24)

5. Hong Chau – The Whale (A24)

ALTERNATES:

6. Dolly de Leon – Triangle of Sadness (NEON) (NEW)

7. Janelle Monáe – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix) (-1)

8. Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) (-1)

9. Thuso Mbedu – The Woman King (Sony Pictures Releasing)

10. Lashana Lynch – The Woman King (Sony Pictures Releasing)


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

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

1. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

2. Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

3. Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

4. Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness (NEON) (+2)

5. Todd Field – TÁR (Focus Features)

ALTERNATES:

6. Damien Chazelle – Babylon (Paramount Pictures) (-2)

7. Jeong Seo-kyeong and Park Chan-wook – Decision to Leave (MUBI)

8. Sam Mendes – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)

9. James Gray – Armageddon Time (Focus Features)

10. Cooper Raiff – Cha Cha Real Smooth (Apple TV+)


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The cast of Women Talking

1. Sarah Polley – Women Talking (UAR/Orion)

2. Rian Johnson – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix) (+1)

3. Samuel D. Hunter – The Whale (A24) (-1)

4. Ehren Kruger, Christopher McQuarrie, and Eric Warren Singer – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures) (+3)

5. Noah Baumbach – White Noise (Netflix)

ALTERNATES:

6. Rebecca Lenkiewicz – She Said (Universal Pictures)

7. Keith Beauchamp, Chinonye Chukwu, and Michael Reilly – Till (UAR/Orion) (+1)

8. Dana Stevens – The Woman King (Sony Pictures Classics) (+1)

9. Edward Berger, Lesley Patterson, and Ian Stokell – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix) (-5)

10. Kazuo Ishiguro – Living (Sony Pictures Classics)


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Avatar: The Way of Water

1. Russell Carpenter – Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios) (+1)

2. Linus Sandgren – Babylon (Paramount Pictures) (-1)

3. Roger Deakins – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)

4. Janusz Kamiński – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

5. James Friend – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)

ALTERNATES:

6. Darius Khondji – BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (Netflix)

7. Greig Fraser – The Batman (Warner Bros.)

8. Autumn Durald Arkapaw – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

9. Claudio Miranda – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

10. Ben Davis – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)

TBD.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Diego Calva and Jean Smart in Babylon

1. Mary Zophres – Babylon (Paramount Pictures)

2. Catherine Martin – Elvis (Warner Bros.)

3. Ruth E. Carter – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

4. Mark Bridges – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

5. Gersha Phillips – The Woman King (Sony Pictures Releasing)

ALTERNATES:

6. Jenny Beavan – Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (Focus Features)

7. Shirley Kurata – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

8. Arianne Phillips – Don’t Worry Darling (Warner Bros.)

9. Albert Wolsky – Amsterdam (20th Century Studios)

10. Alexandra Byrne – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)

TBD.


BEST FILM EDITING

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

1. Paul Rogers – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

2. Eddie Hamilton – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

3. Tom Cross – Babylon (Paramount Pictures)

4. Sarah Broshar – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

5. Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond – Elvis (Warner Bros.) (+3)

ALTERNATES:

6. Sven Budelmann – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix) (-1)

7. David Brenner, James Cameron, John Refoua, and Stephen E. Rivkin – Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)

8. Roslyn Kalloo – Women Talking (UAR/Orion) (-2)

9. Bob Ducsay – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)

10. Monika Willi – TÁR (Focus Features)

TBD.


BEST MAKEUP/HAIRSTYLING

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

1. TBD – The Whale (A24)

2. TBD – Elvis (Warner Bros.)

3. TBD – The Batman (Warner Bros.)

4. TBD – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

5. TBD – Babylon (Paramount Pictures)

ALTERNATES:

6. TBD – Blonde (Netflix)

7. TBD – The Woman King (Sony Pictures Releasing)

8. TBD – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)

9. TBD – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

10. TBD – Thor: Love and Thunder (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios) (NEW)

TBD.


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

John Williams with his Oscar

1. John Williams – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures) (+1)

2. Justin Hurwitz – Babylon (Paramount Pictures) (-1)

3. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures)

4. Hildur Guðnadóttir – Women Talking (UAR/Orion)

5. Alexandre Desplat – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)

ALTERNATES:

6. Simon Franglen – Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios) (+1)

7. Michael Giacchino – The Batman (Warner Bros.) (+1)

8. Rob Simonsen – The Whale (A24) (+1)

9. Carter Burwell – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures) (NEW)

10. Volker Bertelmann – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)

TBD.


BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Lady Gaga singing "Hold My Hand"

1. “Hold My Hand” – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

2. “TBD” – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

3. “Nobody Like U” – Turning Red (Walt Disney/Pixar Animation) (+1)

4. “Naatu Naatu” – RRR (Sarigama Cinemas) (-1)

5. “Applause” – Tell It Like a Woman (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

ALTERNATES:

6. “Heartbeat” – Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (Sony Pictures Releasing)

7. “New Body Rhumba” – White Noise (Netflix)

8. “This Is A Life” – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

9. “On My Way” – Marry Me (Universal Pictures)

10. “Sunny Side Up Summer” – The Bob’s Burgers Movie (20th Century Studios)

TBD.


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Margot Robbie and the cast of Babylon in Babylon

1. Florencia Martin (Production Design) and Anthony Carlino (Set Decoration) – Babylon (Paramount Pictures)

2. Rick Carter (Production Design) and Karen O’Hara (Set Decoration) – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

3. Hannah Beachler (Production Design) and Lisa K. Sessions (Set Decoration) – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

4. Catherine Martin (Production Design) and Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration) – Elvis (Warner Bros.)

5. Dylan Cole and Ben Procter (Production Design) and Vanessa Cole (Set Decoration) – Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)

ALTERNATES:

6. Christian M. Goldbeck (Production Design) and Ernestine Hipper (Set Decoration) – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)

7. Akin McKenzie (Production Design) and TBD (Set Decoration) – The Woman King (Sony Pictures Releasing) (+1)

8. Mark Tildesley (Production Design) and Patricia Cuccia (Set Decoration) – Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures) (-1)

9. Rick Heinrichs (Production Design) and Elli Griff (Set Decoration) – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix) (NEW)

10. Jason Kisvarday (Production Design) and Kelsi Ephraim (Set Decoration) – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

TBD.


BEST SOUND

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

1. TBD – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

2. TBD – All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)

3. TBD – Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)

4. TBD – The Batman (Warner Bros.) (+1)

5. TBD – Babylon (Paramount Pictures) (-1)

ALTERNATES:

6. TBD – Elvis (Warner Bros.)

7. TBD – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

8. TBD – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

9. TBD – Thirteen Lives (Amazon Studios/MGM)

10. TBD – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)

TBD.


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

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

1. TBD – Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)

2. TBD – Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

3. TBD – Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

4. TBD – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

5. TBD – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix) (+2)

ALTERNATES:

6. TBD – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios) (-1)

7. TBD – The Batman (Warner Bros.) (-1)

8. TBD – Nope (Universal Pictures)

9. TBD – Thor: Love and Thunder (Walt Disney/Marvel Studios)

10. TBD – Three Thousand Years of Longing (MGM/UAR)

TBD.


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)

2. Strange World (Walt Disney/Walt Disney Animation)

3. Turning Red (Walt Disney/Pixar Animation)

4. My Father’s Dragon (Netflix) (NEW)

5. The Bad Guys (Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation)

ALTERNATES:

6. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (A24)

7. The Sea Beast (Netflix)

8. Wendell & Wild (Netflix) (-4)

9. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation) (-1)

10. Lightyear (Walt Disney/Pixar Animation)

TBD.


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Navalny

1. Navalny (Warner Bros.)

2. Fire of Love (National Geographic Documentary Films/NEON)

3. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (NEON)

4. Descendant (Netflix)

5. Moonage Daydream (NEON)

ALTERNATES:

6. Good Night Oppy (Amazon Studios)

7. Sr. (Netflix) (NEW)

8. Sidney (Apple TV+) (-1)

9. The Territory (National Geographic Documentary Films) (-1)

10. Black Ice (Elevation Pictures) (NEW)

TBD.


BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

All Quiet on the Western Front

1. All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix) – Germany

2. Decision to Leave (MUBI) – South Korea

3. Close (A24) – Belgium

4. BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (Netflix) – Mexico

5. Saint Omer (TBD) – France

ALTERNATES:

6. Klondike (TBD) – Ukraine (+1)

7. Holy Spider (Utopia) – Denmark (-1)

8. Argentina, 1985 (TBD) – Argentina

9. EO (TBD) – Poland

10. Boy from Heaven (TBD) – Sweden

TBD.


WIN/NOMINATION TALLIES

Taking into account all of my present predictions, this is what I’m seeing for the prospective wins and nominations for this awards season’s hottest titles:

  • Babylon (3 wins/12 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Director
    • Best Actor
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Supporting Actress
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Film Editing
    • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
    • Best Original Score
    • Best Production Design
    • Best Sound
  • The Fabelmans (2 wins/11 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Director
    • Best Actress
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Original Screenplay
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Film Editing
    • Best Original Score
    • Best Production Design
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once (4 wins/7 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Director
    • Best Actress
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Original Screenplay
    • Best Film Editing
    • Best Visual Effects
  • Top Gun: Maverick (2 wins/6 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Adapted Screenplay
    • Best Film Editing
    • Best Original Song
    • Best Sound
    • Best Visual Effects
  • The Whale (2 wins/5 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Actor
    • Best Supporting Actress
    • Best Adapted Screenplay
    • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Women Talking (1 win/5 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Supporting Actress
    • Best Supporting Actress
    • Best Adapted Screenplay
    • Best Original Score
  • Avatar: The Way of Water (2 wins/5 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Production Design
    • Best Sound
    • Best Visual Effects
  • Elvis (0 wins/5 nominations)
    • Best Actor
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Film Editing
    • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
    • Best Production Design
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (0 wins/5 nominations)
    • Best Costume Design
    • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
    • Best Original Song
    • Best Production Design
    • Best Visual Effects
  • TÁR (1 win/4 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Director
    • Best Actress
    • Best Original Screenplay
  • Triangle of Sadness (0 wins/3 nominations)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Director
    • Best Original Screenplay
  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (1 win/3 nominations)
    • Best Animated Feature
    • Best Original Score
    • Best Visual Effects
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (1 win/3 nominations)
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best International Feature Film
    • Best Sound
  • Empire of Light (0 wins/2 nominations)
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Original Score
  • The Batman (0 wins/2 nominations)
    • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
    • Best Sound
  • Turning Red (0 wins/2 nominations)
    • Best Animated Feature
    • Best Original Song
  • The Son (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Actor
  • Till (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Actress
  • I Wanna Dance with Somebody (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Actress
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • White Noise (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • The Woman King (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Costume Design
  • RRR (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Original Song
  • Tell It Like a Woman (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Original Song
  • Strange World (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Animated Feature
  • My Father’s Dragon (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Animated Feature
  • The Bad Guys (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Animated Feature
  • Navalny (1 win/1 nomination)
    • Best Documentary Feature
  • Fire of Love (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Documentary Feature
  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Documentary Feature
  • Descendant (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Documentary Feature
  • Moonage Daydream (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best Documentary Feature
  • Decision to Leave (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best International Feature Film
  • Close (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best International Feature Film
  • BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best International Feature Film
  • Saint Omer (0 wins/1 nomination)
    • Best International Feature Film
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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