The strangest thing happened with the 2023 Oscar Squad rankings this week.
Traditionally, the field starts to narrow once we’ve seen most of the films and major critics groups start weighing in (granted, we’ve only had New York Film Critics Circle). Not so this week. While The Fabelmans continues to top the charts, there’s a sense that the Squad, like Oscar watchers across the world, are grasping for what films fill out the ten. Along with The Fabelmans, there seems to be an increasing consensus around Everything, Everywhere All At Once, The Banshees of Inisherin, Women Talking, and TÁR as sure-bet nominations. Duh, right? Aside from that, broader, non-unanimous emerging titles include Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick, the more widely seen Babylon, and the newly seen (and raved about) Avatar: The Way of Water.
After that? Opinions wildly scatter on the wind.
Weirdly enough, all other races seem to be narrowing their focus as things continue to be seen.
A few major changes to point out this week include Colin Farrell taking the lead in the Best Actor race for his brilliant The Banshees of Inisherin performance over The Whale’s Brendan Fraser. That’s the first time Fraser hasn’t led in the pool, likely a result of his shocking no-show at the Indie Spirits. In the Supporting Actor race, Ke Huy Quan’s win at the NYFCC and growing sense that he could march through the whole season pushed him into the lead. Supporting Actress also saw a change as Banshees’ Kerry Condon took the lead over Stephanie Hsu.
We’re headed into the time of the 2023 Oscar season where the Oscar Squad will weigh in roughly every two weeks. Next week brings the 2023 Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations plus various critics’ groups. Will these help narrow the currently expanding Best Picture focus? And how will Avatar’s critical reactions and first weekend of box office change perspectives of its ability to factor in the Best Picture race. We’ll find out when it lands in theaters on December 16.
Until then, enjoy…
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor