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My Oscar Predictions

Yeah, I know the Oscars have dramatically fallen off because most of the common folk realize celebs love to pat themselves on the back more than they really give two farts about anyone else. But whether it be on your couch with streaming or in the theater, you probably have consumed a movie or two last year. Or if you’re like me, I think I’ve watched just about every movie that has been nominated this year, so like it or not…movies are here to stay. Maybe I’m too new to this whole evaluating movie thing, but I’ve learned to gain an appreciation to what different directors, writers, cinematographers, actors, etc. bring to each script and picture. So, if you’d like to read my predictions and thoughts, please continue…it’s been a joy and I look forward to what 2023 will bring


Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chou, The Whale

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All At Once


My pick: Angela Bassett. Selfishly I want someone to win from the MCU. I think these movies often get poo-poo’d away because they’re “just comic book movies”, but some wonderful acting/writing happens, and she was truly magnetic in this movie

Most likely: Jamie Lee Curtis. If you haven’t seen EEAAO, try to…the entire film deserves every award it receives this year.


Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of the Water

The Batman

Elvis

Top Gun: Maverick


My pick: Top Gun: Maverick. If you saw this in the theater, you know why it should win. It was a film made to be seen on the big screen and you felt the sound in your bones

Most likely: Not sure on this one, it could go to The Batman as well, which wouldn’t upset me any


Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Elvis

Empire of Light

Tar


My pick: The Batman. Yeah, it wasn’t nominated but it should’ve been so that’s why I’m picking it. But if we’re going with the list…Bardo. Some of the shots are wicked.

Most likely: All Quiet on the Western Front. The Oscars love their war movies, so sweeping shots of landscape, strewn bodies should do it


Documentary Short

The Elephant Whisperers

Haulout

How Do You Measure a Year?

The Martha Mitchell Effect

Stranger At the Gate


My pick: Haulout. It’s impactful with about 10 words spoken. Whatever your views on climate change aside, to see the effect of melting ice on these animals is jarring. It’s a beautiful film I highly recommend.

Most likely: The Elephant Whisperers. It is beautiful, touching, heartwarming so I’m sure some Oscar voters will feel the sway towards this film. Can’t be mad at it winning, it is fun, cute, and a wonderful message.


Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of the Water

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick


My pick: Avatar: The Way of the Water. Whatever your views on this (not so great) film, you can’t deny the CGI is insane. This should be the ONLY award it wins, but it would deserve it.

Most likely: Avatar: The Way of the Water. It just should, the visual effects for this movie exceed the others, but I wouldn’t be shocked at All Quiet sneaking in either.


Animated Feature

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red


My pick: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. It was a GREAT movie. One of my favorite movies of the year, in fact, but I could make a strong case for Marcel as well (ha, rhymes) with the messaging, voice acting and CGI

Most likely: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. The Oscars love weird stuff, especially Nazi weird stuff and this movie delivers. You can’t deny the unique spin on the tale we only have Disney experience.


Animated Short

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

The Flying Sailor

Ice Merchants

My Year of Dicks

An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake & I Think I Believe It


My pick: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. If you haven’t seen it, see it. If you suffer from depression, see it. It’s extraordinary. The voice actors used are amazing. I was bawling by the time it ended.

Most likely: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. I think it’s far and away the best film on that list. I think the voters will take the mental health subject and run with it.


Supporting Actor

Brendon Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once


My pick: Judd Hirsch. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Fabelmans, but Hirsch’s scene can’t be overlooked. He blew in like a tornado and out with the same speed. He was a huge force in that movie.

Most likely: Ke Huy Quan. I think everything is leaning EEAAO direction. He’s a calming force in a whirlwind of a movie. He’s solid and other times heartbreaking to watch. Can’t be mad if he’s the winner.


International Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

Argentina, 1985

Close

EO

The Quiet Girl


My pick: All Quiet on the Western Front. Much like EEAAO, it has the IT factor looked at in most Oscar noms. I don’t think they should sleep on Close, but I feel confident in All Quiet

Most likely: All Quiet on the Western Front. I’m not sure what they’ll go for here. Epic war movie…emotional drama with Close…but Argentina, 1985 could slide in and surprise a few.


Live-Action Short

An Irish Goodbye

Ivalu

Le Pupille

Night Ride

The Red Suitcase


My pick: Night Ride. I’d like to see this underdog win. It’s zany, it’s timely, it’s poignant. I enjoyed it thoroughly even though it was seemingly predictable

Most likely: Le Pupille. It’s a bit larger scale. Would scratch the artsy itch of some Oscar voters.


Costume Design

Babylon

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris


My pick: Everything Everywhere All At Once. If you’ve seen the movie the costumes won’t leave your memory any time soon. Plus, all of this on an indie budget. Even if you forget all the other characters, Jobu’s outfits should win this category alone.

Most likely: Babylon? EEAAO? Elvis? I honestly can’t figure out which one is most likely. A strong case could be made for any of them. The costumes are works of art in each one of these films


Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

Tar

Triangle of Sadness


My pick: The Banshees of Inisherin. Taking the Irish Civil War and using a broken friendship to analogize it is brilliant. The subtly of highlighting a tragic event in Ireland’s history using dark humor as a palatable cover should be rewarded.

Most likely: The Banshees of Inisherin. There’s a reason it’s nominated for several acting, directing awards on this list and that is in huge part due to the script.


Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Living

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking


My pick: Women Talking. Taking a book on a heavy subject and adapting it to the big screen is a tremendous process. Taking a book and making an Oscar nominated film that is captivating on its dialogue and acting is next level.

Most likely: Women Talking. Like I said…it’s a heavy subject and Oscars likes taking social stands. The script is electric between a group of haunted women terrorized in a religious sect.


Score

All Quiet on the Western Front

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans


My pick: The Batman. Yeah yeah, I know, but IT SHOULD’VE BEEN NOMINATED FOR THIS CATEGORY. So, I’ll pick All Quiet on the Western Front. The music is HAUNTING. Certain scores used over and over through the film fill you with impending dread. I could feel the doom in my gut, which is exactly how one should feel when dealing with anything WW1

Most likely: The Fabelmans. John Williams lose a nomination? Unlikely. Sometimes name recognition means too much with the voters, but let’s hope they buck tradition.


Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Tar

Top Gun: Maverick


My pick: Everything Everywhere All At Once. Weaving about 700 stories into one over-arching story was masterful editing. You thought you felt lost until you understood to theme of the story and why it was puzzled together like so.

Most likely: EEAAO. Momentum is behind this movie so at this point any category it is up for; it has a strong chance of winning.


Documentary Feature

All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Fire of Love

A House Made of Splinters

Navalny


My pick: All That Breathes. I’m a sucker for animal rescue type stories. Against the backdrop of unrest in India is a beautiful story of brothers who rescue the helpless animals suffering from the country’s pollution problem

Most likely: Navalny. This was second on my list for picks. It’s engrossing, it’s timely, and it’s heartbreaking. He’s an enigmatic leader who faced insurmountable odds in a country that was bound and determined to break him.


Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of the Water

Babylon

Elvis

The Fabelmans


My pick: Babylon. No matter what I thought about this movie (way too long, poor man’s Casino), you can’t argue against the production design. The opening 20mins of the movie win this category, in my opinion. It had EVERYTHING thought out.

Most likely: Not sure. I’ll stick with Babylon because if not for the opening scene, then the scene where a dozen movies are in production make it a strong contender.


Original Song

Applause-Tell It Like a Woman

Hold My Hand-Top Gun: Maverick

Life Me Up-Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Naatu Naatu-RRR

This Is a Life-EEAAO


My pick: Lift Me Up. This was more than a song for movie. This was Ryan Coogler’s song to honor the passing of Chadwick Boseman. It was a memorial to him as an actor and friend. This song went beyond a movie melody.

Most likely: Naatu, Naatu. It went viral for a reason. You want to get up and master the dance even though you’ll fail…spectacularly, but it’s insanely beautiful.


Directing

The Banshees of Inisherin

EEAAO

The Fabelmans

Tar

Triangle of Sadness


My pick: Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin. Taking that script and directing it into a well-crafted story of the Irish Civil War through the lens of a friendship PLUS making it a comedy perfectly acted…please Academy, do it

Most likely: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans. The Academy vote against Spielberg or Williams? As much as I would love to see it, giving OG’s awards for existing still exists. Blah.


Lead Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living


My pick: Brendan Fraser. He made The Whale. He was gut-wrenching to watch in that movie. Hard to watch, but that’s why I pick him. The movie was so/so, but his role was incredible.

Most likely: Austin Butler. Hasn’t he won just about all the awards leading up to the big event? He really does become Elvis and momentum is a thing come award season. Don’t be too shocked if Colin Farrell sweeps in for an upset though


Makeup and Hairstyling

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

The Whale


My pick: All Quiet on the Western Front. Those boys were fresh faced innocence when the war broke out and by the end looked like haunted ghosts by what they encountered on the battlefield. Subtleties like this make the makeup/hairstyle my favorite choice

Most likely: I could see it going The Whale or even The Batman. Fraser and Farrell make strong arguments for the award.


Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tar

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, EEAAO


My pick: Cate Blanchett. She just melts into any role she takes on. She made her mental break riveting to watch. You hated her and pitied her all at the same time. She’s master class.

Most likely: Michelle Yeoh. Again…momentum is a thing, and this movie has it. Plus, how can you not love her? You want her to fight, you want her to win…and maybe she will.


Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of the Water

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

Tar

Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking


My pick: EEAAO. I know this movie was too chaotic for some, but the true meaning behind this story of a mother concerned with the distance growing between her, her life, and her child hits some of us more profoundly than others. I know my daughter and I cried when we watched it, and I wanted nothing more than to hold on to her and tell everyone I loved them after seeing it. That’s a great movie.

Most likely: EEAAO. The Oscars needs variety, it has the momentum, a wonderful cast and all at an indie budget. I can’t be mad at this movie bringing home the big one.


SIDE NOTE: As good as EEAAO is and should win…I think it should be said that Top Gun deserves it. If you went back to theaters this last year, a good chance rests on that movie being the reason. It was nostalgic, breathtaking, loud (in a good way), pure fun. There is a reason directors like Spielberg said Tom Cruise saved cinema in 2022. He knows how to put on a show. I’m not saying he’s owed an Oscar for that, but…he’s kind of owed an Oscar for this movie. And best movie would be great as a MASSIVE thank you.

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