My Oscar Predictions 2023

It's Oscar Sunday!

via giphy

This is my Super Bowl, my Olympics, my M*A*S*H* series finale, my everything all rolled into one. Thankfully this year I got to return to movie theatres, though not on as full of a scale as I was hoping: I only saw Elvis, The Whale, and Avatar: The Way of Water in theatres, but it's more than the past couple of years! Progress!

I feel like, with this crop of nominees, I don't have particularly strong feelings on most things, just that Michelle Yeoh needs to win Best Actress. I think I could be satisfied with most other results, I just need Michelle to win. So, with that in mind, here are my Oscar predictions!

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking

Let's run through them. I'm generally just sick of war movies, prestige and non-prestige. It's been a bleak couple of years with the pandemic. So because of that, All Quiet on the Western Front was a chore to watch. I'd never seen the original Top Gun, so I was mad that a nomination for Top Gun: Maverick meant I'd need to watch them both. It was fine, and maybe I would've enjoyed it more as a theatre experience (it would've made Tom Cruise happy, anyways), but aside from getting to see Glen Powell in an Air Force uniform, enh. 

Triangle of Sadness might be the most singularly fucked movie I've seen in a while. If Titanic hadn't already put me off of ever partaking in a cruise, trust me, I'm convinced now. Women Talking was powerful, and Sarah Polley is a master. I wish this would've gotten more love in the acting categories. The Fablemans felt like an old-school Oscar movie. If this were 20 years ago, I think The Fabelmans would have probably won everything it's nominated for. 

Similar to Top Gun: Maverick forcing me to see the original, I'd never seen Avatar and would've gone my whole life without seeing it or Avatar: The Way of Water until it got a nomination (I only started going to see all the movies nominated for the Big Five awards in 2012, so Avatar missed the cut). That being said, I did finally see it last weekend and adored it. Mostly for the water-specific story and for Kate Winslet. 

Tár was so interesting, it was easy to forget you were watching a 'fictional biopic'. Todd Fields did a phenomenal job of weaving the character into the modern musical landscape. And Cate Blanchett never misses. Elvis... enh. I liked it and I love the excess of Baz Luhrmann movies, but Austin Butler is pure camp with that accent he refuses to lose. I loved the originality of The Banshees of Inisherin and Colin Farrell is always interesting to watch. My single favourite part is (spoiler alert) near the end where he's going to tell Colm that he's going to burn his house down and the old banshee tells him not to hurt Colm's dog. He replies "don’t be putting things in me head that weren’t there in the first fecking place."

That leaves Everything Everywhere All at Once, which, in my opinion, was the single most interesting and best-acted movie out of all the nominees. I think the originality of the story, the acting by Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu and (to some extent) Jamie Lee Curtis, and the representation should be rewarded. 

Should Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett – Tár 
Ana de Armas – Blonde
Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans 
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Normally I'm all over the Hollywood biopics, but Blonde was sexist and uncomfortable and God, I don't even like Marilyn Monroe (from an acting perspective, anyways; I don't know much about her personal life, but what I do know is that I think she should be left to rest in peace and the vultures should leave her alone for a while before attempting another film about her life) but she deserved a better treatment and a better actress than Ana de Armas. Her portrayal just felt flimsy and performative towards the type of movie the director thought he was making. 

I know Andrea Riseborough's grassroots nomination campaign was controversial and came at the expense of Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler receiving nominations, but after watching To Leslie I'm trying to figure out what all the hype was about. Guess it's just what happens when you have powerful allies in the business? 

I love Michelle Williams, and I'll be cheering loudest when she finally wins an Oscar, but it shouldn't be for The Fabelmans, even though she put out another career best performance. This really felt like a supporting role (and that would have been an interesting conversation to have if she'd campaigned in that category) even though it was meaty and central to the story. What I'm saying is, summed up, that this ain't it. 

I will stan Cate Blanchett til the sun burns out and hope she wins her third Oscar someday, but for what my opinion's worth, Michelle Yeoh needs and deserves to win Best Actress for her singular, stunning, instantly classic performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once. She does the most with the most, she does the least with the least. You can't take your eyes off of her in this movie. And Michelle Yeoh, throughout her career, never misses. It's time to reward her for a lifetime of stellar work, with this film as the cherry on top. 

Should Win: Michelle Yeoh
Will Win: Michelle Yeoh (or Cate Blanchett, who also won some important pre-cursors)

Best Actor

Austin Butler – Elvis
Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Paul Mescal – Aftersun
Bill Nighy – Living 

Bill Nighy broke my heart in Living and I want to give him a special Oscar just for the epic hunt I had to go on to find this movie (the answer: rental on Prime a week ago, because this was only in a theatre near me for like, a week and then disappeared and never showed up on any of my usual streaming/rental platforms). 

Paul Mescal is fascinating, this movie was understated yet emotional, and I want to see more of him in the future. Colin Farrell was fecking hilarious in The Banshees of Inisherin (see above about the dog) when he wasn't pitiful. Austin Butler, just no. Too many actors get rewarded for putting on fat suits or taking on accent work, but you know what? They all drop the pretention after filming wraps. The fact that he's still walking around with his Elvis accent does not deserve to be rewarded. 

That leaves Brendan Fraser. I know there are valid criticism of The Whale but he's exceptional. And he deserves it, not just for his skill in this movie, but just as a person. He deserves it. Give it to him.

Should Win: Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Will Win: Brendan Fraser, The Whale (although Austin Butler has won a few pre-cursors that make me nervous...)

Best Supporting Actress

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

I'm a little baffled by all the nominations that Jamie Lee Curtis has gotten this season, considering how miniscule and not-flashy her role is in Everything Everywhere All at Once. I think it's because she's Jamie Lee Curtis and this might be her last shot? She gave a great speech at the SAG Awards, so if she does sneak in a win by virtue of her career and who her parents were (Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh), she better have another great speech prepared. 

For my money, Stephanie Hsu gave the better performance in that film and she would win if I were in charge. Kerry Condon was great as the only person on Inisherin who seemed to truly realize how screwed up all the locals were and how dumb the fight between Padric and Colm was. Hong Chau was great in The Whale as the voice of reason, and Angela Bassett was powerful and commanding every second she was on screen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Should Win: Angela Bassett or Stephanie Hsu
Will Win: Angela Bassett or Jamie Lee Curtis

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan 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

Judd Hirsch over Paul Dano? In what world? Crazy world? Brian Tyree Henry is great in everything, and he's so wonderful in Causeway. Would love for him to win and to get increasing opportunities. Brendan Gleeson is great in The Banshees of Inisherin but his dumb reason for starting and escalating a fight with Padric lost all sympathy from me. Barry Keoghan was so vulnerable and fun to watch in the same film, but it's not a meaty enough performance to win. 

There's only one real person who's seriously in contention, and it's Key Huy Quan, who is the heart of Everything Everywhere All at Once and deserves it. He's so charming and heartbreaking, both in the movie and in real life. 

Should Win: Ke Huy Quan
Will Win: Ke Huy Quan