Hello faithful very patient readers! Time to put our cards down on the table or a protective cloth over our crystal ball and other such metaphors. FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS MUST NOW BE UTTERED…
Father Time (why it gotta be patriarchal?) is a trickster in 2023 and we’re already out of days to futz around which came as such a surprise. While it is *always* better to post personal preferences (i.e. the film bitch awards) before the Oscar nominations — in the traditional categories that is — so as not to be seen as contrarian or reactionary, the clock aint cooperating! And with Oscar nominations coming Tuesday there’s not even time to update every Oscar chart before they have to be removed and replaced with the actuals so we’ve just removed them for now. Everything is right here in this post until Tuesday.
This isn’t all that’s going on this weekend and across next week of course. There is also one last poll of the team predictions to post. And Sundance screenings have begun and we still have to share top ten lists. It’s chaos at TFE HQ. It’s such a pity always that some months of each year are wastelands and other months you couldn’t possibly fit everything in even if the days were each 48-72 hours long.
OSCAR NOM PREDICTIONS
Important note: The followings ranking have nothing to do with “who will win”… it is entirely about order of confidence in the actual nomination. We have always mantained (though the modern social tempat and web discourse don’t agree/won’t cooperate) that those are two totally different things and “who will win?” would be a more exciting conversation if we could reserve it until we’re in the reality of the official competitive set.
BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Top Gun Maverick
Avatar The Way of Water
All Quiet on the Western Front
Why? It’s really only the last two spots that feel difficult to pin down. The Whale, while undeserving, has the distinct advantage of containing the frontrunning Best Actor performance and the Oscars have historically been very kind to Best Actor-focused picture. As for Women Talking. It could easily be left out but it has recency bias over Triangle of Sadness, important messaging over the popcorn silliness of Glass Onion, and is better reviewed than Babylon. All three of those films are possible as BP nominees, though.
Todd Field, TÁR
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Charlotte Wells, Aftersun
Why? I wanted to go way out on a limb for spot #5 for bragging rights just in case something crazy happens. Other possibilities in approximate crystal ball descending order: James Cameron (Avatar The Way of Water), Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front), Joseph Kosinki (Top Gun Maverick), or Baz Lurhmann (Elvis).
Why Charlotte Wells? Listen I could just have easily have said SS Rajamouli (RRR), Park Chan Wook (Decision to Leave), Ruben Ostlund (Triangle of Sadness) or Jerzy Skolimowski (EO) for the ‘shock’ nomination but I’d like to think her constant flow of “debut” prizes and that DGA nomination for first timers means something within the director’s branch.
Cate Blanchett, TÁR
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Danielle Deadwyler, Till
Ana de Armas, Blonde
Margot Robbie, Babylon
Why? We didn’t believe the de Armas buzz until the Globes but she’s much better than Michelle Williams was at playing Marilyn Monroe and the Academy (and everyone really) nominated Williams for it! Oscar voters have always worshipped biopics, whether or not they’re any good.
Why not Viola? For what it’s worth, I’ve never placed Davis in the top five all year for The Woman King. It was always just a hunch that she’d be left out. You cant be nominated every time unless you’re Streep and The Woman King is arguably an action film. Only two women in history have landed in this category for that: Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Plus a good chunk of the narrative arc in that particular film belongs to Viola’s younger co-star Thuso Mbedu. This hunch became harder to stick with as the precursors lined up with ease for the Emmy, Tony, and Oscar winner. So perhaps my hunch is way off base? We’ll see on Tuesday!
Possible spoilers in order: Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) who I’m predicting falls to Margot but just barely given that some people consider her supporting and is likely to have boths in both categories. Plus maybe Viola Davis (The Woman King), and yes even chameleonic Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie) given the surge in peer support.