Academy Award Predictions: Round 2

It’s been about a month since I released my initial picks for the Academy Awards. Since then there have been a number of notable milestones that have the race swinging in a slightly different direction. For starters, the Academy recently released their shortlists of nominees for select fields. This will help weed out some of the noise in some of the technical/non-mainstream fields. If you’re unfamiliar, we now know anywhere from 10-15 films that are guaranteed to receive nominations in 10 different categories. I’m not spending too much time thinking about documentaries and shorts so I’m going to pass over those again for this round.

Another development was the beginning of award season. Local, national, and international critics groups have begun announcing their winners and nominees. These people make up a small portion of the Academy but it is telling as to which films to keep an eye on in the race. Not receiving critical acclaim isn’t the kiss of death for any film but it can certainly be a boost. The biggest of these groups is certainly the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, also known as The Golden Globes.

Let’s dive in:

Best Picture


The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans



Top Gun: Maverick

The Woman King

Women Talking

I have a few changes in the field from my first round of nominations. I’ve inserted Elvis, RRR and The Woman King in place of Decision to Leave, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and The Whale. Elvis has performed very well with the critics and the film is getting a second wind with re-release screenings and its debut on HBO Max. Baz Luhrmann even picked up a Best Director nomination at the Globes so if there’s any film right now that’s campaigning harder than Elvis I don’t know what it is. RRR and The Woman King have both surprised with critics groups and The Whale looks like it may have gone from a serious contender to out of the Best Picture race following a series of mixed reviews and underperforming with critics. Again, critics aren’t the biggest portion of the Academy but they get to set the table for awards season.

Who Will Win: The Fabelmans I am far less confident in this pick now than I was a month ago. Tár, The Banshees of Inisherin, and Everything Everywhere All At Once have pretty much cleaned up among the critics. But again, it’s important to remember that the Academy is made up of primarily those within the industry and that industry loves Steven Spielberg. While its gotten generally positive reviews the feeling with this one seems that its too Oscar-baity. We’ll see how it starts to perform with the guilds but at the moment it doesn’t appear to be the front-runner it once was.

Who Should Win: Everything Everywhere All At Once Logic points to me thinking that this should be the favorite right now. It has dominated the critics circuit and when all is said and done it has a legitimate shot at being one of the most nominated film in Oscars history. The record is tied between Titanic, All About Eve, and La La Land who all received 14 nominations. EEAAO is a looking at noms in Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Original Score, Original Song, Costume Design, Production Design and four potential acting nominations. Somehow it didn’t make the shortlist for Best Visual Effects but I wouldn’t read that as any sort of knock against its Best Picture chances.

Last One Out: Avatar: The Way of Water One of the most amusing things about this film is that people seem to be surprised how good it is. Turns out that James Cameron guy might know a thing or two about sequels. Don’t be surprised if this works its way into the field as its popularity grows. We always knew it was going to perform well in technical categories but keep an eye on the guilds, particularly the directors, to see if this can crash the party. It’s performed well, but not great, with critics groups but that could be in part due to the timing of its release.

Others to Watch: All Quiet on the Western Front, Decision to Leave, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, She Said, The Inspection, The Whale, Triangle of Sadness

Best Director

Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin

Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All At Once

Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans

Todd Field – Tár

Sarah Polley – Women Talking

No changes to my official predictions here. Sarah Polley seems to be hanging on to life at this point as Women Talking didn’t necessarily crush it on the critics circuit. That being said, there’s still plenty of voting to do and my guess is that the Academy members will be inclined to include a woman in the field than the critics were. That being said it’s hard to imagine who among Spielberg, The Daniels, Field, and McDonagh would get booted if someone else were to enter the race.

Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans) – I maintain my original argument that Spielberg will win this race but will be carried on legacy votes. It’s an unfortunate but true reality that this happens and I think the Academy wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to honor one of the most influential filmmakers of all time for the first time in 25 years for what realistically could be the last time.

Who Should Win: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All At Once) – Again, this film does EVERYTHING well and to me it’s hard to justify anyone else beside Spielberg winning this award. As much as I loved Banshees and as well as Tár has performed neither of those hold a candle to EEAAO.

Last One Out: James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water) – If there’s a blockbuster to make a run in this race it will certainly be for Cameron. Again, it will contend in almost every technical category and when bigger larger films have managed to gain Oscar attention in recent years it usually bodes well for the director. Look at George Miller and Christopher Nolan, and Todd Phillips.

Others to Watch: Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front), Damien Chazelle (Babylon), Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave), Baz Luhrmann (Elvis), Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King), S.S. Rajamouli (RRR)

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett – Tár

Danielle Deadwyler – Till

Margot Robbie – Babylon

Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once

In my opinion this is still the most interesting race of the year. A month ago I thought there four locks for nominees with Blanchett, Deadwyler, Williams, and Yeoh. But Deadwyler was snubbed by the Golden Globes and really hasn’t performed well among the critics groups while Yeoh and Blanchett will be going blow-for-blow likely until we get to the SAG awards and a clear front runner emerges. I’m keeping Robbie in there as well as one of the things everyone can agree about Babylon is that she’s incredible.

Who Will Win: Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) – Unlike the Best Director race I actually think that because Blanchett already has won twice I think this will hurt her and push people towards Yeoh. They’ve basically split between critics groups to this point and are on opposite sides of the Drama/Comedy races so SAG will really be the big indicator as to who the favorite for this will be.

Who Should Win: Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once) – I stand by my original point that Yeoh just did everything so well in her role. Between the fight scenes, her comedic timing, and ability to break hearts she was just too good in this film to not give her the Oscar.

Last One Out: Violet Davis (The Woman King) – I’m actually surprised Davis has done as well as she has among the critics groups. She picked up a Globes nomination and one from the Hollywood Critics Association and its a completely different role from what we’ve seen from Davis previously. That being said, I wish more of the awards attention was on her co-stars.

Others to Watch: Olivia Colman (Empire of Light), Mia Goth (Pearl), Leslie Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris), Rooney Mara (Women Talking)

Best Actor

Austin Butler – Elvis

Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser – The Whale

Bill Nighy – Living

Jeremy Pope – The Inspection

Another category where I’m sticking with my original five nominees. Butler, Farrell, Fraser, and Nighy seem like the consensus nominees at this point with that fifth spot up for grabs. Jeremy Pope, Diego Calva, and Hugh Jackman all picked up Golden Globes noms but it was little known Paul Mescal from Aftersun who picked up a surprise nomination at the Critics Choice Awards. Unknowns like Pope, Calva, and Mescal make for an exciting race and Calva is the one in the high profile project but Pope’s part seems more baity than the others. Regardless, this race is starting to turn in one direction…

Who Will Win: Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) – My first winner change goes deservingly to Farrell from Fraser. He has swept all the major critics groups and has been turning in some great performances in interesting films for a while now so as much as everyone loves Fraser’s comeback story I think its clear that Farrell has all the momentum right now. He feels like someone that is highly respected by his fellow actors so I don’t anticipate the Academy to shy too far away from the critics.

Who Should Win: Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) – I have not seen The Whale but from what I have seen in trailers and whatnot it looks very melodramatic and reliant on Fraser’s transformative performance. What I like about Farrell instead is that fact that he’s so real in his role as a heart-broken dullard in one half of a plutonic break up. He’s equally funny and heart breaking plus after his appearances in The Batman, Thirteen Lives, and After Yang I don’t think its a stretch to say that he’s at least the actor of the year.

Last One Out: Diego Calva (Babylon) – While the film itself has been divisive, Calva has received near universal acclaim for his role and holds his own against Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. Now that the question of whether or not he was being pushed as a lead or a supporting actor seems to be answered I think he could certainly find his way into the field this year.

Others to Watch: Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Ralph Fiennes (The Menu), Hugh Jackman (The Son), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Adam Sandler (Hustle)

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin

Jaime Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All At Once

Claire Foy – Women Talking

Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All At Once

This field is wide fucking open. Condon feels like the only lock at this point to me but oddly enough she hasn’t been winning much despite being the only person that seems to be in every nominee field. Angela Bassett is a near-lock to me but we know how the Academy isn’t a huge fan of Marvel. From there it’s a total toss up. Last month I had Carey Mulligan winning this race but now she’s not even in my top five. Hsu and Curtis are both deserving but could cannibalize each other in case people don’t want to vote for two performances from the same film but Curtis has the legacy points, even if Hsu has the stronger performance and larger role in the film. Women Talking faces a similar issue with Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley though they don’t have the legacy issue. It’s a toss up to see which one of them will make it but its hard to imagine a field where nobody from Women Talking makes it in. After that there’s almost a dozen women that could realistically have a shot at making it in. The field will clear up as award season moves along but the critics groups did little to identify who is and isn’t a contender.

Who Will Win: Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) – How cool would it be to see the four acting winners come from two movies? As I said, Condon isn’t winning much right now but she seems to be the only one that gets nominated for everything. For example, Janelle Monae won from the National Board of Review but missed out on the Globes and Critics Choice. Hsu has missed out on a bunch of critics groups and the Globes but is one of six Critics Choice nominees. I believe that eventually water will find its level and Condon’s constant presence will solidify that she is in fact the favorite.

Who Should Win: Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) – I’m still not super confident in this pick but at the end of the day I believe that she put out the best performance in this field. She steals almost every scene she’s in and I believe this will be a breakthrough performance for her.

Last One Out: Carey Mulligan (She Said) – I can’t believe that she went from my winner pick to last one out over the course of a month. She got a Golden Globe nomination and has scattered critics noms but nothing at the moment suggests she’s the favorite. I do have a feeling that she’ll be able to gain more attention from the actors branch of the Academy based on the nature of the film she’s in but at the moment it’s no sure thing.

Others to Watch: Jessie Buckley (Women Talking), Hong Chau (The Whale), Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Kate Hudson (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Lashana Lynch (The Woman King), Thuso Mbedu (The Woman King), Janelle Monae (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story), Zoe Saldana (Avatar: The Way of Water), Sadie Sink (The Whale), Gabrielle Union (The Inspection)

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano – The Fabelmans

Branden Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway

Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All At Once

While the other three categories have a variety of storylines and jockeying at the top this one is as sure as a thing as any category. Quan is the favorite and has swept the critics circuits, Gleeson should be considered a lock for an overdue first nomination and after that the race is more about who is and isn’t getting nominated. Paul Dano and Judd Hirsch may take votes away from each other, Barry Keoghan has done very well early on, Eddie Redmayne and Brad Pitt are Academy favorites with worthy performances, but I still like Brian Tyree Henry in Causeway coming off his Critics Choice nomination. Ben Whishaw felt like a sure thing a few weeks ago but also hasn’t fared well among the critics. With him it would be more of a surprise at this point if he makes into SAG or the Academy races.

Who Will Win: Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once) – The man has simply won everything there is to win. He’s got the comeback narrative and he feels like someone everyone is rooting for this offseason. That and he’s fucking incredible in EEAAO.

Who Should Win: Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once) – See above.

Last One Out: Brad Pitt (Babylon) – I mean, it’s Brad Pitt we’re talking about. While Babylon hasn’t hit theaters yet he’s one of the biggest names in one of the biggest awards contenders of the year. He’s been solid in critics circles, particularly picking up a Golden Globe nomination, but honestly this position is best will just end up losing to Quan so does it really matter?

Others to Watch: Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Anthony Hopkins (Armageddon Time/The Son), Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse), Ben Whishaw (Women Talking), Bokeem Woodbine (The Inspection)

Now let’s dive into some of the behind the scenes fields. Best Sound, Visual Effects, Original Score, Original Song, International Feature, and Hair & Makeup all have been whittled down to 10-15 finalists so we have a better idea of who will and won’t be in contention. The * is who I have as my current winner pick.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

She Said

Top Gun: Maverick

The Whale

Women Talking*

Best Original Screenplay


The Banshees of Inisherin*

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans


Best Animated Feature

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio*

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish

Turning Red

Wendell & Wild

Best Cinematography

Avatar: The Way of Water

Empire of Light

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick*

Best Costume Design


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Woman King

Best Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once*

The Fabelmans

Top Gun: Maverick

Best International Feature

All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)*

Bardo, False Chronicles of a Handful of Truths (Mexico)

Close (Belgium)

Decision to Leave (South Korea)

Holy Spider (Denmark)

Quick note: RRR is not eligible for this as it was not India’s official selection for submission. It’s still eligible for everything else.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

The Batman*

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever



The Whale

Best Original Score


The Banshees of Inisherin


The Fabelmans*

Women Talking

Best Original Song

“Lift Me Up” – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

“Ciao Papa” – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

“Naatu Naatu” – RRR

“Hold my Hand” – Top Gun: Maverick*

“Carolina” – Where The Crawdads Sing

Best Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water*


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Sound

Avatar: The Way of Water


Everything Everywhere All At Once

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Top Gun: Maverick*

Best Visual Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water*

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness


Top Gun: Maverick

Note: Everything Everywhere All At Once and RRR did not make the shortlist for Best Visual Effects, two films I had in my initial predictions and I’m very upset about this.

Final Breakdown

Everything Everywhere All At Once – 3/10

The Banshees of Inisherin – 3/8

The Fabelmans – 3/8

Top Gun: Maverick – 3/7

Elvis – 1/6

Babylon – 0/6

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 0/6

Women Talking – 1/5

Tár – 0/5

Avatar: The Way of Water – 2/4

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – 1/3

The Whale – 0/3

All Quiet on the Western Front – 1/2

RRR – 0/2

The Woman King – 0/2

Aftersun – 0/1

Causeway – 0/1

Devotion – 0/1

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness – 0/1

Emancipation – 0/1

Empire of Light – 0/1

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – 0/1

Living – 0/1

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On – 0/1

Nope – 0/1

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish – 0/1

She Said – 0/1

The Inspection – 0/1

Till – 0/1

Turning Red – 0/1

Wendell & Wild – 0/1

Where The Crawdads Sing – 0/1

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