Who Will Win (And Who Should Win) At The 2023 Oscars

It’s the movie industry’s biggest night!

Or it will be this Sunday, when the 95th Academy Awards air on ABC (at the same time as The Last of Us season finale). You can expect slap jokes, a lively performance of “Naatu Naatu,” and tightly-contested races. Last year’s four acting winners (Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Troy Kotsur, and Ariana DeBose, pre-doing the thing) were basically locks — that’s not the case for the 2023 ceremony. It’s going to be an interesting (and potentially historic) Oscars.

You’ve seen the nominees and Best Picture contenders ranked. Let’s get to the predictions, beginning with some quick hitters.

Best Visual Effects: Avatar: The Way of Water
Best Film Editing: Top Gun: Maverick
Best Costume Design: Elvis
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Elvis
Best Cinematography: All Quiet on the Western Front
Best Production Design: Babylon
Best Sound: Top Gun: Maverick
Best Original Song: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR
Best Original Score: All Quiet on the Western Front
Best Animated Short Film: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse
Best Live Action Short Film: An Irish Goodbye
Best Documentary Short Subject: Stranger at the Gate
Best Documentary Feature: Navalny

Now we move on to ten of the biggest categories of the night.

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
The Sea Beast
Turning Red

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Should Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

With the exception of Best Visual Effects and Best Supporting Actor, this is the easiest category of the night to call. Famous last words, but Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio has a lot going for it. For one thing, there’s the name of a Best Director winner in the title (no, not Pinocchio; his directorial debut was dogsh*t). That means something to Academy voters who don’t animation seriously. Also, in a year of bad Pinocchio movies, this is a great Pinocchio movie! It’s funny, weird, creepy, and the stop-motion animation is a wonder. The other four Best Animated Feature Film nominees could win in another year, but in 2023, it’s Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’s race to lose.

Best International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)
Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
Close (Belgium)
EO (Poland)
The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front
Should Win: Close

All Quiet on the Western Front is the 15th foreign-language film to be nominated for Best Picture — only one (Parasite) has won. But while the Netflix anti-war movie will likely be shut out for the night’s biggest prize, it has a solid chance of winning here: four of the last five films nominated in both categories won International Feature (Drive My Car, Parasite, Roma, and Amour). It faces competition from EO, but that’s not even the best donkey movie of 2022 (if you include Jackass Forever, it’s in third). All Quiet will make some noise.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell, All Quiet on the Western Front
Kazuo Ishiguro, Living
Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie (story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks), Top Gun: Maverick
Sarah Polley, Women Talking

Will Win: Women Talking
Should Win: Women Talking

To quote that famous feminist Mark Wahlberg, women ARE talking — but are they winning Best Adapted Screenplay? Sarah Polley’s powerful script and Writers Guild of America Award winner is the most loquacious of the nominees (a.k.a. it done use a lot of words all fancy like), but don’t overlook a push for Top Gun: Maverick. The dialogue is quippy, but a screenplay is more than its one-liners; it has to tell an engaging story, and the thrilling Top Gun sequel resonated for millions of people. There’s also All Quiet on the Western Front, which won Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTAs, and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel.

With all due respect to the truth-teller scene from Glass Onion, I think this category comes down to two films. All Quiet might have won the battle with more nominations overall, but Women Talking will win this war.

Best Original Screenplay

Todd Field, Tár
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness
Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, The Fabelmans

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

Every year, the Hollywood Reporter talks to anonymous Oscar voters, and every year, I’m blown away by numbskull rationalizations like, “With Avatar, I don’t know what’s real and what’s animation,” as if that’s a bad thing, or, “I’m hoping that the Academy stops treating Marvel movies like second-class citizens.” Cue the “that’s what the money is for” GIF.

The oddest anonymous ballot came from an Academy member explaining their Best Original Screenplay vote: “The term is ‘original screenplay,’ and if you can’t call Everything Everywhere All at Once the most original of this group, then nothing means anything.” Huh.

If Original Screenplay went to the most “original” movie, then Crimes of the Future, a movie where a little kid eats plastic, Viggo Mortensen sits in a skeleton chair to help him eat, and Kristen Stewart plays the horniest person alive, would be the winner. Actually, that sounds good. Let Crimes of the Future win Best Original Screenplay. But that’s sadly not what happened, and “most original” is a silly barometer anyway. That being said, while I don’t agree with how the voter got there (and Tár has a sharper screenplay), I do agree that Everything Everywhere All at Once will win. If only for, “In another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.”

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

Will Win: Jamie Lee Curtis
Should Win: Kerry Condon

A theme of this year’s Oscars is how difficult the acting categories (minus Best Supporting Actor) are to predict. That includes Best Supporting Actress: Hong Chau should have been nominated for a different performance, but the other four nominees all have compelling arguments to win. Kerry Condon is the steady presence at the heart of The Banshees of Inisherin; Stephanie Hsu is every bit an equal to her Everything Everywhere All at Once co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, favorites in their respective categories; and Jamie Lee Curtis and Angela Bassett are Jamie Lee Curtis and Angela Bassett. Everyone loves them! It’s chaos among so-called experts; even the BAFTAs, SAGs, and Globes split the vote between Condon, Lee Curtis, and Bassett.

I will probably change my mind in an hour, but for now, I’m going with the more established Everything Everywhere All at Once supporting actress. Lee Curtis is a long-time Hollywood favorite who has been campaigning hard for the film (even if her younger co-star gave a better, more demanding performance). The same could be said of Bassett, but Lee Curtis won the SAG, and the supporting actress winner there has also won the Academy Award 12 out of the last 13 times. I think Marvel will be just fine without an Oscar.

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

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

“Oscars season,” whatever that cursed phrase means to you, is too long, too out of control, too self-satisfying — but if Ke Huy Quan wins Best Supporting Actor, all that will be forgotten. It’s remarkable that the young actor from The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, who quit acting due to a lack of opportunities (and the roles that were offered were often stereotypical depictions of Asians), is now the frontrunner to win an Oscar. Good for him! It makes the months of prognostication worth it… well, almost worth it.

Best Actress

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

Will Win: Michelle Yeoh
Should Win: Michelle Yeoh (or maybe Cate Blanchett, idk!)

Ana de Armas? Great actress! Michelle Williams? One of the best. Andrea Riseborough? The weirdly controversial Hollywood favorite! But none of them stand a chance. Best Actress is between Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once and Cate Blanchett in Tár. A win for Yeoh would make history, but Lydia Tár should not be underestimated; she’s already won the BAFTA, Critics’ Choice Movie Award, and Golden Globe, and if you get on her wrong side, she’ll sing a song about how you’re going to hell (“Apartment for Sale” was robbed). Both actresses are fantastic in arguably career-best performances… but I’m leaning the slightest bit towards Yeoh. So much physicality is required of her in Everything Everywhere All at Once, but she’s also heartbreaking and hilarious, depending on what the scene requires. And besides, Blanchett already has two Oscars. It’s Yeoh’s time (and has been since she was robbed for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

Best Actor

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

Will Win: Austin Butler
Should Win: Austin Butler

Do I want to know if Austin Butler will end his acceptance speech with “thank you, thank you very much” in the Elvis voice then deep throat the mic? Of course. But would I also like to see internet favorite Brendan Fraser win an Oscar (even if the movie he’s winning for isn’t, um, good)? I do. One of these scenarios come true, unless either of the charming Irish lads stages an upset. That would be preferable, actually, because then I wouldn’t have to pick between Butler and Fraser. I’m generally in favor of actors playing original characters rather than doing an impression of a real-life figure — but what an impression it is. The fact that Butler sells his scenes while Tom Hanks is giving the goofiest performance of his career tips the scale towards The King.

Sorry, Brendan! Maybe you’ll win for Bedazzled 2.

Best Director

Todd Field, Tár
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Will Win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
Should Win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Since 1960, Best Director has gone to a pair of filmmakers only twice: Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise for West Side Story and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country of Old Men. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert will be the third.

The Coen brothers came up when Uproxx‘s Vince Mancini spoke to the Daniels before Everything Everywhere All at Once became A24’s highest-grossing movie of all-time. Kwan once read an interview with the Coens where either Joel or Ethan said, “If you keep the budget low enough, people will let you do whatever you want.” The Daniels are already doing what they want, whether it’s casting Harry Potter as a farting corpse ridden by the Riddler or writing and directing a multiverse mind-bender where a butt plug is a key plot point or making extremely memorable music videos. But a Best Director trophy (trophies?) would be the cherry on top.

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

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

What do It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Silence of the Lambs have in common? They all won the Oscar for Best Picture, yes, but also Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Original/Adapted Screenplay. They’re the only three films to do so. Everything Everywhere All at Once won’t be the latest member of the Big Five club (there’s no Best Actor nominee; sorry, Raccacoonie), but it will get close.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is an absurdist grab-bag of genres grounded by a heartfelt story that became a critically acclaimed, crowd-pleasing box office hit. Those don’t come along every year. The A24 film also has math and history on its side. As noted by Indiewire, “Besides 1995’s Apollo 13, every film that has won the top prize at the DGA, PGA, and SAG Awards has moved on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.” EEAAO recently completed the hat trick.

Everything Everywhere All at Once had its world premiere on March 11, 2022. One year and a day later, it’s going to win Best Picture.