2023 Oscars Preview

Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)

by Jackson Kenny ’26

Well, Saint Ignatius, it’s that time again. The 95th Academy Awards are surprisingly not that far away, and this year’s race is really beginning to heat up. Below you will find my current predictions for each of the top eight categories as well as some extended thoughts and clarifications of those predictions.

Best Picture:

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  2. The Fabelmans
  3. The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. Women Talking
  5. Babylon
  6. TAR
  7. Top Gun: Maverick
  8. The Whale
  9. Elvis
  10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Many prognosticators might claim that Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans – a coming-of-age tribute to the magic of cinema – is the clear favorite to win Best Picture. As we have seen time and time again, though, early favorites such as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman in 2019 and even Damien Chazelle’s La La Land in 2017 often fall to an underdog or a more passionately pushed contender. In this current race, I believe the frontrunner is indie darling Everything Everywhere All At Once: it is an underdog with a tremendous amount of passion behind it, especially from younger voters; it has significant cultural relevance; and when it comes to Oscar night, this is the film that people are going to be pushing for to win.

Best Director:

  1. Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
  2. Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert (a.k.a. Daniels) – Everything Everywhere All At Once
  3. Damien Chazelle – Babylon
  4. Sarah Polley – Women Talking
  5. Todd Field – TAR

Although I am currently predicting that Everything Everywhere All At Once takes home Best Picture, it is not out of the question to predict that Best Director could go to the incredibly well-respected Steven Spielberg, whose direction of a somewhat autobiographical story could bolster a strong-enough narrative for his third win in this category. Other possible nominees include Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin and James Cameron for Avatar: The Way of Water.

Best Actor:

  1. Brendan Fraser – The Whale
  2. Austin Butler – Elvis
  3. Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. Diego Calva – Babylon
  5. Hugh Jackman – The Son

Given his incredibly strong awards narrative and the substantial ‘full-body transformation’ Brendan Fraser achieves in The Whale, he is the clear favorite to win this category.
However, watch out for Austin Butler’s widely acclaimed turn as the titular role in Elvis as a possible come from behind win in this category similar to Rami Malek’s win over Christian Bale in 2019.

Best Actress:

  1. Cate Blanchett – TAR
  2. Margot Robbie – Babylon
  3. Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once
  4. Danielle Deadwyler – Till
  5. Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans

The 2023 Best Actress race is still completely up in the air. I’ve decided to put Cate Blanchett out front for TAR simply because I think her performance could captivate in a similar way as Natalie Portman’s 2010 win for Black Swan since the films are similar in their portrayals of an ‘obsessed artist’. Every contender here has their own narrative for winning, however.

Best Supporting Actor:

  1. Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everything All At Once
  2. Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
  3. Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
  4. Ben Whishaw – Women Talking
  5. Brad Pitt – Babylon

Ke Huy Quan gives such a likable, heart-wrenching performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once with a solid awards season narrative that gives him the edge here.
Other potential nominees include Paul Dano for The Fabelmans and Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin.

Best Supporting Actress:

  1. Jessie Buckley – Women Talking
  2. Hong Chau – The Whale
  3. Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. Claire Foy – Women Talking
  5. Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everything All At Once

With Michelle Williams being campaigned for in the Best Actress category, this category is now completely open for a new frontrunner to emerge. One of the two Women Talking prospects seems likely to win, but coming from the same film may split votes if a frontrunner doesn’t emerge between them. If it’s not one of the Women Talking women, Hong Chau and Kerry Condon both have decent odds for their respective films. Other potential nominees include Nina Hoss for TAR, Carey Mulligan for She Said, and Janelle Monae for Glass Onion.

Best Original Screenplay:

  1. Everything Everything All At Once
  2. The Banshees of Inisherin
  3. The Fabelmans
  4. TAR
  5. Babylon

Everything Everywhere All At Once seems destined to win Best Picture with a package that many films have won in recent years: Best Picture, one of the two Supporting awards, and one of the two Screenplay awards. Moonlight, Green Book, and even last year’s winner CODA have all won with this package. Given the strength of the film’s worldbuilding and well-developed characters, Best Screenplay seems like a likely win for the film, especially if it continues to be a top contender for Best Picture.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  1. Women Talking
  2. The Whale
  3. Glass Onion
  4. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
  5. She Said

Women Talking seems like the most likely film to win as it’s the biggest Best Picture contender eligible in this category, but I would watch out for The Whale becoming a bigger contender at-large and overtaking the current frontrunner. Also watch out for Top Gun: Maverick being nominated in this category. Although it’s not your typical screenplay nominee, the sheer passion for Top Gun mixed with a lack of strong contenders in this category could be enough to get it nominated.

The Oscars will be held at The Dolby Theatre on March 12, 2023.