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Saturday, September 30, 2023 — Houston, TX

Predicting the 2023 Academy Awards

Amber Wang / Thresher

By Arman Saxena     3/7/23 10:43pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Oscar season. The 95th Academy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the third time and broadcasted on ABC on Sunday, March 12 at 7 p.m. CST. This was a year of fantastic blockbusters, indie word-of-mouth hits and passion projects from Hollywood legends. Without further ado, here’s what you can expect from this year’s Academy Awards. 

Best Picture

Should Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Will Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Least Expected Nomination: “Triangle of Sadness”

Biggest Snub: “Aftersun”

This was the year of “Everything Everywhere All at Once”. Since its premiere at the South by Southwest film festival on March 11 last year, the Daniels-directed (Daniel Kwan and Scheinert) film has been building steam, racking up award after award. However, it's not the only phenomenal film nominated in Best Picture this year. “The Banshees of Inisherin” and “Tar” are also contenders for the Academy’s biggest prize and are two of the best-acted and best-written films of the last couple years. However, this year’s slate was not without its snubs — “Aftersun,” a poignant and incredibly affecting father-daughter story, was ignored.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Should Win: Michelle Yeoh, ”Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Will Win: Cate Blanchett, “Tar”

Least Expected Nomination: Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”

Biggest Snub: Danielle Deadwyler, “Till”

This may be the most competitive race of the night. Both Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett’s performances have received massive amounts of critical acclaim, popular recognition and industry support. Yeoh is in one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of the year, but it's one that will triumph in other categories as well, so voters may instead side with Blanchett here as it's their best opportunity to recognize “Tar.” 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Should Win: Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”

Will Win: Austin Butler, “Elvis”

Least Expected Nomination: Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”

Biggest Snub: Jeremy Pope, “The Inspection”

Paul Mescal’s vulnerable, emotionally complex work in Aftersun was one of the best performances of last year’s films. That said, Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser are the two biggest contenders here, having each already received two major awards. While Fraser could win, the adoration that he has accrued in the United States isn’t as prevalent outside of the country, and the Academy has expanded more globally in the last few years. As a result, Austin Butler is the most probable contender for the award, especially since his performance fits the trend of past young biopic winners such as Eddie Redmayne and Rami Malek.

Best Director

Should Win: Todd Field, “Tar”

Will Win: The Daniels, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Least Expected Nomination: Ruben Ostlund, “Triangle of Sadness”

Biggest Snub: Park Chan-wook, “Decision to Leave” or Charlotte Wells, “Aftersun”

While the tagline “Steven Spielberg makes a film about his burgeoning childhood interest in filmmaking” sounds like prime bait for a category like Best Director, the Daniels have already won the Directors Guild Award, one of the best barometers of who will win the Best Director award. Park Chan-Wook or Charlotte Wells would have also been deserving picks, yet were snubbed here. Wells’ exclusion is especially notable because it meant that no female-identifying filmmaker was nominated for Best Director.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Should Win: Kazuo Ishiguro, “Living”

Will Win: Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, Ian Stokell, “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Least Expected Nomination: Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, Ian Stokell, “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Biggest Snub: Felix van Groenigen, Charlotte Vandermeersch, “The Eight Mountains”

While “Women Talking” has won the most critics’ prizes, “All Quiet on the Western Front” may still win. No Screenplay winner in the 21st century so far has had an IMDb score less than 7.2 (“Gosford Park” in 2002), and “Women Talking” has a score of 7.0 while “All Quiet on The Western Front” boasts a score of 7.8. Yes, the only major win “All Quiet on the Western Front” has is a BAFTA win, but “The Father” was able to win Adapted Screenplay in 2021 with just one BAFTA under its belt. Sarah Polley’s film is the safe pick, but “All Quiet on the Western Front” seems likely to become the first non-English film to win Adapted Screenplay.

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