Oscars 2023: Final Nominations Predictions in 23 Categories

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” should dominate the nominations, but will it also win Best Picture?

One of the great advantages for an Oscar movie is to be fresh and original. Once upon a time, “Avatar” was that movie: It blew Oscar voters’ socks off in the 2010 Oscar race, winning three out of nine nominations and almost making it to Best Picture. “Titanic” winner James Cameron was thrilled for his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, who won for “Hurt Locker.”

This year, four PGA-nominated sequels are vying for one of 10 Best Picture slots, including “Avatar: The Way of Water,” but it’s unlikely that anyone will win the top prize. The new new thing in 2023 is the Daniels’ “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” from maverick indie A24, which is also backing “The Whale.” Both won big at the often Oscar-predictive Critics Choice Awards, and many expect those wins (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, and Editing for “Everything”) and Best Actor for “The Whale” star Brendan Fraser to repeat at the Oscars.

Not so fast. In recent years you could feel the surge of support for “Parasite” and “CODA” after their SAG Ensemble wins. And you feel it on the awards circuit for “Everything” as well, which will likely win SAG Ensemble. But that does not change the nature of this chaotic hit comedy ($100 million worldwide), which plays better to a younger audience than the older and more conservative members of the Academy, who may not respond to brain-frying multiverses and floppy hot dog fingers . The actors (five SAG nominations), producers (PGA top 10), directors (DGA top five), writers and the international voters (10 BAFTA nominations) support it, along with the crafts. So passion, originality, and the moving immigrant family storyline carried by Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu may push “Everything” to a Best Picture trophy in the end.

On Oscar nominations morning I’m predicting “Everything” will land nine nominations, the most of any contender this year. Martin McDonagh’s “Banshees of Inisherin” should follow with eight, and while it did not score any wins at the CCAs, will likely get a major boost from the BAFTAs (10 nominations); it’s also backed by actors (SAG Ensemble), directors (DGA), producers (PGA), writers, and the international bloc.

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Searchlight

It’s all about figuring out where the support lies. Clearly, the international faction isn’t responding to Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” which just landed a writing nomination for Tony Kushner at the BAFTAs. “The Fabelmans” got a big lift from the Golden Globes, though, taking home Best Drama and Director, but only won Best Young Actor (Gabriel LaBelle) at the CCAs. Spielberg’s coming-of-age origin myth landed PGA list and SAG Ensemble slots but missed a Best Actress nomination for Michelle Williams. SAG and the Oscars don’t always line up. In all likelihood, she’ll turn up on Oscars nomination morning along with SAG nominee Paul Dano.

Nominations: seven. Why not more? The small-scale family drama may not impress the crafts as much as your average Spielberg event movie.

The year’s most financially successful original film, Baz Luhrmann’s music biopic “Elvis” ($282 million worldwide), is positioned to score eight nominations with support from just about every sector except writers and directors. (Could he score a surprise director slot?) Sure to land in Best Director is Todd Field for the music world drama “TÁR,” which is jammed with unexpected surprises and could land Globe and CCA winner Cate Blanchett her third Oscar. Nominations: five.

Among the sequels, “Top Gun: Maverick” should notch seven nods with support from the crafts. While Joseph Kosinski garnered love from the DGA, James Cameron could replace him on Oscar nominations morning for his stunning work on “Avatar: The Way of Water.” That VFX favorite should score seven nods as well. It’s possible that the enormous box office success of both films— currently vying for the top 2022 domestic gross crown — weighs against them in the Best Picture race. They don’t cry out as “art,” somehow, even though both demanded a great deal of artistry to turn out so well.

That’s also true of two PGA-nominated sequels that could squeak into Best Picture: Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” Nominations: five and one (Adapted Screenplay), respectively.

One new candidate for the Best Picture top 10: Edward Berger’s German Oscar entry, the World War I remake “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which nabbed 14 BAFTA nominations and five Oscar shortlist slots. What this means is that more voters will watch the movie, which is the frontrunner in the International Feature race, but also a factor in several crafts categories. Nominations: five.

Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” is a quandary, because clearly the crafts respect it, but so does SAG, which gave it a precious Ensemble slot, presumably before it bombed at the box office. Nominations: four, including Best Picture.

Which brings us to the question of the hour: Sarah Polley’s feminist drama “Women Talking” (SAG Ensemble, CCAs) vs. Darren Aronofsky’s heart-tugger “The Whale” (PGA, CCAs, BAFTAs). Does “The Whale” grab an Adapted Screenplay spot? (The predictive Scripter Awards went with “Women Talking,” while BAFTA chose “The Whale.”) If so, that could tip the scales into a Best Picture slot. Both films are in the running for Best Score, while “The Whale” leads the Makeup & Hairstyling category. Finally, “Women Talking,” which summoned critical support but opened in theaters too late, could be less viewed (especially by men) than box-office performer “The Whale” ($10.7 million domestic). Nominations: three each.

The Fabelmans

“The Fabelmans”

Universal Pictures

Below are my final nominations predictions, ranked in order of likelihood to win.

Best Picture

“The Fabelmans”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Top Gun: Maverick”
“TÁR”
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“Elvis”
“Babylon”
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
“Women Talking”

Best Director

Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”)
Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Todd Field (“TÁR”)
James Cameron (“Avatar: The Way of Water”)

Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Cate Blanchett (“TÁR”)
Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”)
Viola Davis (“The Woman King”)
Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”)

Best Actor

Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Austin Butler (“Elvis”)
Bill Nighy (“Living”)
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”)
Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)
Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Brendan Gleeson (“The Banshees of Inisherin”
Paul Dano (“The Fabelmans”)
Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”)

Adapted Screenplay

Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)
Kazuo Ishiguro (“Living”)
Peter Craig, Ehren Kruger, Justin Marks, Christopher McQuarrie, and Eric Warren (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
Rian Johnson (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”)
Edward Berger & Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell (“All Quiet on the Western Front”)

Original Screenplay

“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“The Fabelmans”
“TÁR”
“Triangle of Sadness”

Cinematography

“Top Gun: Maverick”
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“The Batman”
“Elvis”
“Empire of Light”

Costumes

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
“Elvis”
“Babylon”
“The Woman King”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Editing

“Top Gun: Maverick”
“TÁR”
“Elvis”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Avatar: The Way of Water”

Makeup & Hairstyling

“The Whale”
“The Batman”
“Elvis”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
“All Quiet on the Western Front”

Production Design

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
“Babylon”
“Elvis”
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“All Quiet on the Western Front”

Original Score

“The Fabelmans”
“Babylon”
“Pinocchio”
“Women Talking”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Original Song

“RRR” (“Naatu Naatu”)
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (“Lift Me Up”)
“Top Gun: Maverick” (“Hold My Hand”)
“Pinocchio” (“Hello Papa”)
“A Man Called Otto” (“Til You’re Home”)

Sound
“Top Gun: Maverick”
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“Elvis”
“The Batman”
“All Quiet on the Western Front”

VFX

“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“Top Gun: Maverick”
“The Batman”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
“Jurassic World: Dominion”

Animated Feature

“Pinocchio”
“Turning Red”
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
“My Father’s Dragon”
“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

Documentary Feature

“Navalny”
“Fire of Love”
“All That Breathes”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“A House Made of Splinters”

International Feature
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
“Argentina, 1985”
“Decision to Leave”
“Close”
“YOU”

Animated Short

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”
“My Year of Dicks”
“The Flying Sailor”
“Ice Merchants”
“Black Slide”

Documentary Short

“The Flagmakers”
“38 at the Garden”
“As Far as They Can Run”
“The Martha Mitchell Effect”
“Haulout”

Live Action Short

“The Pupil”
“Warsaw”
“Eight”
“Night Ride”
“Tula”

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