Well, friends, it has all come down to this. There have been tears and laughter. Comfort and abuse. Kindness and cruelty. Charts. Lots and lots of charts. It’s been a year of mean old frontrunners and scrappy scrappy underdogs. The performance of the year and the performer who can’t be denied. Academy members as social media influencers, Film Twitter taking ownership of the Oscar race, blockbusters and box office disappointments, theatrical and streaming, the future and the past — we’ve been there and back.
There are two ways to approach your predictions. One way is to try hard to get the best score. In that case, you should follow the status quo mostly, but be willing to take a risk here or there. The other way is to take wild swings throughout. We have both kinds of predictors on this site.
Since I’ve been doing this a long time, and because there are so many people predicting the Oscars (probably more people predicting than will be watching) I tend to like to take chances where I can but in ways that waste my time and yours. And that is what I will be doing here. If you want a high score, however, I would recommend taking your lead from Joyce Eng at Gold Derby or Mark Johnson here with his Good as Gold predictions. Both of them tend to score fairly high every year.
With that said, and with a HUGE grain of salt, let’s do this.
When you have a movie that wins the PGA / DGA / SAG ensemble, WGA, and ACE, you don’t bet against it. There is no wiggle room here. In years past, this kind of alignment results in Best Picture wins ALWAYS in the era of the expanded ballot, and with only one miss in history (Apollo 13).
I don’t even buy the idea that All Quiet on the Western Front is a potential upset. While it’s true that the BAFTA went all in for it and very nearly shunned the frontrunner, without the support of actors it has no shot. Actors rule the Academy and they’ve nominated the frontrunner with four acting nominations. The same frontrunner that just won a record four awards at SAG (with AFTRA too, of course).
The problem for All Quiet is that there is no reason people would push it to the top of ballots. The problem for Top Gun: Maverick is that it won’t get enough number one votes. If it did, it MIGHT win because one thing I’ve noticed from the ballots is that Maverick is being pushed to the top. It’s not hated. People appreciate it. So if it had enough number ones it could win. But that too is at the mercy of actors.
Prediction: Everything, Everywhere All At Once
Long shots: Top Gun Maverick, All Quiet on the Western Front
Prediction: The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Long shot: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans; Todd Field, TAR
This is one of the harder to predict. On the one hand, we have to follow the SAG in most years. But why did Anthony Hopkins win for The Father and not Chadwick Boseman? Because one had a Best Picture nomination and the other didn’t. Only once since 2009 did the Best Actor winner come from a non-Best Picture nominee (Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart).
Additionally, Elvis looks to be picking up awards in additional categories. It’s hard to see them awarding the film for everything else and not award Butler. But this is unpredictable. It could go to Brendan Fraser.
Prediction: Austin Butler, Elvis
Fun fact: back in 2001, Sissy Spacek was up for Best Actress for the Best Picture nominee In the Bedroom, directed by Todd Field. She won almost everything until the SAG, when Halle Berry became the first (and only) woman of color to win in Lead Actress. Now, here we are, all of these years later and Cate Blanchett, in a Todd Field film, has won lots of awards and she might lose to only the second woman of color in Oscar history.
Given that history with the leaving out of Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler makes me think that voters will want to make up for that by flipping their votes to Michelle Yeoh. The thing that is holding me up is that it doesn’t usually work that way with Best Picture also involved. They usually award the veteran then give Best Picture to something or someone else (like Halle Berry or Helen Mirren, etc).
I was among the few who did predict Halle Berry that year, and Denzel Washington for Training Day. But this year I’m going with Cate for one reason: I don’t think TAR is going to go home empty-handed. It might, but I don’t know. Voters in the expanded era like to “spread the wealth” and I’m just not sure they will be giving ALL of their Oscars to one movie. They might. They probably will.
Prediction: Cate Blanchett, TAR
But very likely it goes to: Michelle Yeoh, EEAAO.
Prediction: Ke Huy Quan, EEAAO
This is a rare year where the Globe, the BAFTA, and the SAG all went to different actors. What you’re looking for is any double winner. The only one of those is Angela Bassett for Black Panther, because she won the Globe and the Critics Choice. The double winner is the only data we have.
That tells me Angela Bassett probably has a really good chance here, particularly after the conversation about race and racism we’ve been having. I’m genuinely torn. But for now, I’ll go this way:
Prediction: Angela Bassett, Black Panther Wakanda Forever
Could be: Kerry Condon, Banshees, Jamie Lee Curtis EEAAO
The reason I’m able to go for Angela Bassett for Supporting is that I will be going for Banshees here. It seems crazy, I know. It does have a lot of love in the Academy and I think it COULD win here. I don’t think it’s going home empty-handed. If I changed this to EEAAO I’d switch to Kerry Condon for Supporting. But for now:
Prediction: The Banshees of Inisherin
But will probably be: Everything Everywhere All at Once
I don’t think that Sarah Polley is going to lose this award but she might. If she does, it will either go to Top Gun: Maverick or All Quiet on the Western Front.
Prediction: Women Talking
And the rest:
Prediction: Top Gun: Maverick
But could be: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Prediction: All Quiet on the Western Front
Could be: Elvis
Best Costume Design
Could be: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Best Production Design
Could be: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon
Prediction: Top Gun: Maverick
Could be: All Quiet on the Western Front
Prediction: Avatar: The Way of Water
Makeup and Hairstyling
Could be: The Whale
Best Original Score
Prediction: The Fabelmans
Could be: Babylon
Prediction: “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
But could be: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR or “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick
Best International Feature
Prediction: All Quiet on the Western Front, Germany
Prediction: Fire of Love
Could be: Navalny
Prediction: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Prediction: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Could be: My Year of Dicks
Live Action Short
Prediction: An Irish Goodbye
Could be: The Red Suitcase
Prediction: Stranger at the Gate
Could be: The Elephant Whisperers
And that was all she wrote, friends. What I’m going to be looking at is whether or not Everything Everywhere All At Once can be the first film in the modern preferential ballot era to really sweep. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But here is how they have looked in the past: