Sunday will be the 95th time the Academy Awards will be given out. What follows is my best attempt to steal the joy of the unknown from you, as I make my Official Final 2023 Oscar Predictions. The best news is that this year has enough drama in the actual award races that it won't need any physical violence to be noteworthy (although it never hurts). Three of the four acting awards are anyone's guess and even Best Picture, which has certainly seen a frontrunner emerge in recent weeks, is still going to have its fair share of tension. I also am very pleased for a change with the overall turnout of the nominations, which means that I will likely be disappointed by the eventual winners. This is the best group of 10 for Best Picture that the academy has had since it expanded the nominations, and many of the projected winners would be fine choices. But lets find out all together on Sunday, March 12th, at 8:00 on ABC. In the meantime, check out my predictions below and be sure to belittle my opinions in the comment section. Have fun!


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

MIGHT STEAL: Banshees of Inisherin or All Quiet on the Western Front


SNUBBED: I would have loved to see Aftersun and Babylon here, but that's more personal preference than snub. This is a real good 10. 

ANALYSIS:  I'm really impressed with this year's 10. And I'm sure the Academy and its sponsors agree, considering for the first time in who knows how long (I could have looked it up, but the hyperbole is more affective anyway) the top two money making films of the year are nominated in Best Picture. Top Gun even has a dark horse chance to win. Two of the frontrunners are absolutely two of my favorite and best films of the year. It feels like the first time in a long while that there isn't a movie in the winning conversation that I would hate to see come out on top. No CODA or Green Book (both fine films, but come on) here to make me cross my fingers as the envelope opens this year. Banshees and EEAAO would both be worthy winners. I think Banshees is the ever-so slightly better film, but maybe an EEAAO win might be more meaningful to the future of film. All Quiet is the sleeping giant here. It was completely shut out of the guilds and then walloped the BAFTAs. Because of that, it hasn't really gone head to head with any of the other real contenders. Is it just a European thing here or is it a blistering comeback on the final stretch? Tune in Sunday to find out. Top Gun is probably the distant fourth here on the back of its palatability and likability within the preferential balloting system that determines the winner, but I expect to see either Banshees or especially EEAAO take this home. It's increasingly looking more and more like it will be the Daniel's brain-buster that pulls it off. No complaints when it happens, even though Tar is the best film of the year, but you'll be bored of that opinion by the end of this read. 


Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Daniels) - Everything Everywhere All At Once

Todd Field - Tar

Martin McDonagh - The Banshees of Inisherin

Ruben Ostlund - Triangle of Sadness

Steven Spielberg - The Fabelmans

WILL WIN: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

MIGHT STEAL: Steven Spielberg

SHOULD WIN: Todd Field

SNUBBED: Triangle of Sadness isn't all the great of a movie, but it is well directed. That said, I would still rather have Charlotte Wells for Aftersun or Damien Chazelle for Babylon here.

ANALYSIS: The Daniels are going to win this award, and all that stands in their way is a nostalgia play for one of the greatest to ever do it in Steven Spielberg. The Fabelmans is an autobiographical film from one of the industry's greatest icons, but it didn't work for Kenneth Branaugh last year and I don't think it will be enough here either. In fact, I worry that The Fabelmans will walk away empty handed this year. It seems altogether likely. The Daniels directed the hell out of the clear Best Picture front runner and I think that will be enough. As good as Banshees is, its not seen as a director's movie as much as a writer's movie. We'll revisit that later on.


Cate Blanchett - Tar

Ana De Armas - Blonde

Andrea Riseborough - To Leslie

Michelle Williams - The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh - Everything Everywhere All At Once

WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett

MIGHT STEAL: Michelle Yeoh

SHOULD WIN: Blanchett

SNUBBED: Daniel Deadwyler and Margot Robbie feel like huge misses here 

ANALYSIS: First, the bad. How are Deadwyler and Robbie NOT here? I know Robbie missed a lot of nominations this year, but that doesn't make it right. Her performance in Babylon is the most go for broke, physical, and enthusiastic performance of the year. Deadwyler was also heartachingly magnificent in Till. The good is that this will be a legitimate nail-biter on Oscar Sunday, between Yeoh and Blanchett, who do give the two best performances of the year. Period. Blanchett gives maybe the best acting performance since Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood and might be the best working actor we have today. I am not being sensational, I legitimately stand by those opinions. Yeoh is also outstanding here, finding a rare script to perfectly utilize her unique talents. Blanchett already has two Oscars and will surely be back again. This might be Yeoh best shot, so even though I am certain Blanchett SHOULD win, my heart would be happy with Yeoh grabbing the statuette. 


Austin Butler - Elvis

Colin Farrell - The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser - The Whale

Paul Mescal - Aftersun

Bill Nighy - Living

WILL WIN: Brendan Fraser

MIGHT STEAL: Austin Butler

SHOULD WIN: Brendan Fraser or Colin Farrell

SNUBBED: This is a real good 5. Diego Calva could be here, but you'll notice the Academy wasn't as taken by Babylon as I was.

ANALYSIS: Another fantastic race that will be a photo finish. It was once a three horse race, but it feels as though Farrell has recently taken a back seat to Butler and Fraser. Butler's win at BAFTA places him neck and neck with Fraser even after a Fraser took home the SAG. Any outcome outside of those two seems like a stunner at this point. Fraser has the support of the critics, but that matters less with Oscars than one might think. Not for nothing, but the last time a Best Actor winner came from a film that wasn't nominated for Best Picture was Jeff Bridges in Crazyheart in 2010. Still I got Fraser written in pencil here. 


Angela Bassett - Blank Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau - The Whale

Kerry Condon - The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis - EEAAO

Stephanie Hsu - EEAAO

WILL WIN: Angela Bassett

MIGHT STEAL: Jamie Lee Curtis or Kerry Condon

SHOULD WIN: Kerry Condon, maybe, idk.

SNUBBED: Anyone from Woman Talking. Also, Nina Hoss in Tar. 

ANALYSIS: This category feels wide open and also politely underwhelming. Had the Academy not tried to cram Michelle Williams into the Lead category for The Fabelmans, this all could have resolved nicely. Bassett would be the best story and she is more than deserving, and her performance is excellent in her little screen time. It is emotionally resonant and more or less pitch perfect. Kerry Condon is more significant to her film and maybe a little heftier with the performance. She's probably my favorite performance of the nominees. Curtis would be fun too and she has a shot since her surprise SAG win. She is universally beloved in the industry and her peers make up the largest voting block in the Academy. This is anyone's guess, but I think they will swing back and give Bassett an overdue award. If that does come to fruition it will be the MCUs first acting award. And that's as strange as it is likely.


Brendan Gleeson - The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry - Causeway

Judd Hirsch - The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan - The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan - EEAAO

WILL WIN: Ke Huy Quan

MIGHT STEAL: Barry Keoghan


SNUBBED: Mark Rylance for Bones and All and Paul Dano for The Fabelmans

ANALSIS: Gonna be weird for everyone at my watch party when I cry at the first award of the night. But Quan winning is going to be pure jubilation. Its like giving an Oscar to an Asian Mr. Rogers. It just feels right. It likely the best performance in the category and it is certainly the best narrative. The other nominees are comprised of well established legend thespians and two bright futured up-and-comers, but Quan probably gives the most impactful performance of the bunch. He will deserve this win, which is all but assured. Keoghan shocking at BAFTA gives a glimmer of hope for an upset, but I just don't see it. Great recognition for an all out fantastic performance though. Mark Rylance gave the weirdest performance of the year in Bones and All, so that should be worth something.  


The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans


Triangle of Sadness

WILL WIN: The Banshees of Inisherin

MIGHT STEAL: Everything Everywhere All At Once

SHOULD WIN: The Banshees of Inisherin

SNUBBED: I'll take Nope here over Triangle of Sadness 100 times in a row. Triangle might be the least subtle satire I've ever seen while Nope was ingeniously subversive. Evidently too subversive.  

ANALYSIS: Four great screenplays and one that people want to think is, but is actually blunt force trauma in script form. EEAAO absolutely can win this, after having already won with the Writers Guild. In fact, some might even say its the favorite heading into Sunday Night, but I think a lot of voters penciled EEAAO into Best Picture and this is a spot where they can make it up to Banshees. Martin McDonagh had a near miss with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri a few years back, but this time I think he carries to the finish line. And honestly that is fair, because this is one of the finest screenplays in years. 


All Quiet on the Western Front

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

WILL WIN: Women Talking

MIGHT STEAL: All Quiet on the Western Front

SHOULD WIN: Women Talking

SNUBBED: The Whale or Bones and All could have been here, but this is fine. 

ANALYSIS: Adapted is easily the far weaker of the two writing categories this year, which feels alien to say in this age of cinema, but it's true. Of the nominees, Women Talking is clearly the best. Between Glass Onion's win at the Globes and All Quiet decimating at the BAFTAs it has felt like shaky ground for Sarah Polley's excellent script, but the WGA righted the ship and its starting to feel like all is right in world again. She missed out on Director, but she will be on stage at the 95th awards ceremony this year. Book it. 


Roger Deakins - Empire of Light

James Friend - All Quiet on the Western Front

Florian Hoffmeister - Tar

Darius Khondji - Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Elvis - Mandy Walker

WILL WIN: James Friend - All Quiet

MIGHT STEAL: Mandy Walker - Elvis

SHOULD WIN: James Friend

SNUBBED: I don't even know where to begin with this one

ANALYSIS: This category is an affront to the industry this year. Certainly the cinematographers branch were all sick at nomination time like in that baseball episode of The Simpsons. The biggest issue with how this award has gone off the rails in recent years, culminating in these headscratchers is that even bad movies look great these days. As many as 15 movies could have conceivably been nominated this year and felt reasonable, including the 5 that did garner nominations. But so much was left off the table, from legitimately gorgeous frontrunners like EEAAO, Banshees, and The Fabelmans, to awe inducing spectacles that also were nominated for the big prize in Avatar and Top Gun. The Batman could and maybe should be here, and Nope or The Northman might actually have the best cinematography of the entire year. Those are just American films. Decision to Leave was top notch too. In the end, there was no way to make this category work and alas it didn't. James Friend winning for All Quiet on the Western Front would be fitting, and a Mandy Walker win could be fun and also groundbreaking as the first female cinematographer to win. Best not to think too much about this one. Spare yourself the headache.


The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once


Top Gun: Maverick

WILL WIN: Everything Everywhere All At Once

MIGHT STEAL: Top Gun: Maverick


SNUBBED: This is real good. No notes. 

ANALYSIS: This probably should be the 5 and I love that it represents the old guard vs. the new guard in how this award is decided. Up until ten years ago, this award was one of the great predictors for Best Picture, and the merit rested mostly on how seamless the movie flowed and how shrewdly the scenes benefitted the story. In recent years this has become the award given to music or engines. Every year since 2014 this award has gone to a movie with lots of machines or lots of instruments. It has also been strongly tied to the sound category. Which brings us to this year, which should serve as an exception. EEAAO should win this award as the editing IS the film. The movie completely hinges on the edit. There are innumerable cuts of that movie that could have been compiled and none would have been as impactful as the one we got. It should be a lock. And yet there is lots of vroom vroom in Top Gun: Maverick so it could easily steal. I'd like to think EEAAO can hold on here though. 


Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

WILL WIN: Pinocchio

MIGHT STEAL: Marcel the Shell

SHOULD WIN: Pinocchio I suppose

SNUBBED: Sounds good to me

ANALYSIS: This will be consecutive years that Pixar doesn't win this award and the third time in the last five years. Not so much a changing of the guard in my opinion but it seems The Lamp has been caught by the rest of the field a bit. This is only a good thing because Turning Red is good enough to win in a given year, but here it seems like the third or even fourth pick. Puss In Boots has a lot of passion around it and a huge box office to back it up, but I think it was a little late to the party. Pinocchio seems like a no brainer here. If I were to say anything else could really win, my nose would be growing a bit. 


All Quiet on the Western Front

Argentina, 1985



The Quiet Girl

WILL WIN: All Quiet on the Western Front

MIGHT STEAL: Argentina, 1985 

SHOULD WIN: All Quiet on the Western Front

SNUBBED: Yikes. Not that any of these movies aren't good, but how is Decision to Leave not here?

ANALYSIS: As far as the winner goes, I guess you could make a case that even though All Quiet on the Western Front is the only film on this list that got a nomination in any other category, it could still be caught. You could say that that even though it has a Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay nomination, it might not win, if you wanted to. And its not illegal to suggest that even though its going to win multiple technical awards that something else might just sneak up on it and win instead. You would be dumb to predict any of those things, but this is America and you have that right. All Quiet is going to win. What's more shocking is that Decision to Leave and RRR would have been the only nominees to make it interesting and neither are here. Decision to Leave is an outright snub, while RRR isn't the Academy's fault because India didn't even bother to make it their official submission. So blame Bollywood not Hollywood for that one. But without those two there, they might as well not even read the other nominated films and try to cut down on like 90 seconds of the run time. Give some speech time back to art directors, maybe.


All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Blooshed

Fire of Love

A House Made of Splinters


WILL WIN: Navalny

MIGHT STEAL: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

SHOULD WIN: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

SNUBBED: Moonage Daydream could be here, but I might just be a Bowie stan. 

ANALYSIS: Navalny and All the Beauty and Bloodshed are locked in a virtual dead heat while most people who saw the films are quietly whispering that Fire of Love is the best of group. But the Academy likes to swing big with documentaries that FEEL important. Navalny deals with the tragic poisoning of a Putin-opposing Russian Politician in the wake of his election campaign. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed deals with the Sackler family and their involvement with the opioid crisis as viewed through the lens of Nan Goldin's keen photography. Both are riveting and topical subjects. Navalny won at BAFTA but that is a little closer to home for the Brits than the more isolated Americans who might view the opioid crisis more pertinent. But I think the recent surge from Navalny is enough to push it onto the stage. Yes, it feels weird predicting who will win a little statue after mentioning the much more significant subject material of these documentaries. I'm not here to rank the world's problems, only to provide insight to what about 9,000 voters might think on Oscar Sunday. 




Blank Panther: Wakanda Forever


Everything Everywhere All at Once

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris


ANALYSIS: A lot of the "below the line awards" are tough to predict this year. The elephant in the room (you get it) is Babylon. The movie is littered all over the technical awards, but without anything more meaty and going up against Best Picture contenders in every award, can we really predict that it takes any of these home, even though it could win as many as 4? I think Elvis should be safe here, but Black Panther won this award for the original and the costumes are again the most inventive of the year.


All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


The Whale

WILL WIN: The Whale

ANALYSIS: It all comes down to Elvis and The Whale and there are many parallels of the two. Both feature heavy prosthetics on their film's lead actor. Both actors are the front runners for the Best Actor category. That said, Elvis is a Best Picture player and the whale has only this and Actors. It even missed on screenplay in the weaker category. Also, Butler is transformed into an actual widely recognized person while Fraser's is a character. All of this points to a narrow win for Elvis, but I can just feel it that The Whale is going to pull this off. I think the make up is the high point of the movie, even with a possible Best Actor winner wearing it. 


All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman


Top Gun: Maverick

WILL WIN: Maverick

ANALYSIS: "The jet engines make noise mother*ucker", or whatever Andy Samberg said.


All Quiet on the Western Front


Banshees of Inesherin

Everything Everywhere All At Once

WILL WIN: Babylon

ANALYSIS: We are going to find out just how little the Academy liked Babylon if it can't even pull off a score win here. All Quiet took the BAFTA but it won everything the BAFTA could legally let it win. I think people come to their senses here and realize Babylon's score is a full on banger. 


Applause (Tell it Like a Woman)

Hold My Hand (Top Gun Maverick)

Lift Me Up (Black Panther)

Naatu Naatu (RRR)

This is a Life (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

WILL WIN: Naatu Naatu (RRR)

ANALYSIS: Here is the place for all the RRR fans to get the movie a win and I think there's enough of those to get it done. Even going up against a staple like Lady Gaga, this song is just too much fun. 


All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick

WILL WIN: Avatar 

ANALYSIS: Moving right along.


All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water



The Fabelmans

WILL WIN: Babylon

ANALYSIS: Babylon might be even stronger here than it is in Score, and it is still far from a safe bet. In fact, I might be inclined to at least take the field in this category. Elvis is the sure runner up right now but we also don't know just how strong All Quiet will play in the tech categories. It feels like shaky ground and if on Monday morning we are talking about how Babylon didn't win anything, it wouldn't be all that shocking. It would feel stranger to say it won 3 awards and missed a Best Picture nomination in a year of 10. Still, I'm sticking to my guns here.


An Irish Goodbye


Le Pupille

Night Ride

The Red Suitcase

WILL WIN: Le Pupille

ANALYSIS: When in doubt take the movie that has the biggest name attached to it. Alphonso Cuaron is producing Le Pupille and it played well through the European festivals


The Boy, The Mule, The Fox and the Horse

The Flying Sailor

Ice Merchants

My Year of Dicks

An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe it

WILL WIN: My Year of Dicks

ANALYSIS: "The Boy" one is actually probably going to win because this category usually goes sweater, and it has the most visibility, but I didn't want to have to type it again and this way I got to type "Dicks" again which is always fun. Try it. Dicks. See?


The Elephant Whisperers


How Do You Measure a Year?

The Martha Mitchell Effect

Stranger at the Gate

WILL WIN: The Elephant Whisperers

ANALYSIS: Dicks. Somebody stop me, please! Is anyone still reading? This is as open as it comes but I'll take animals for my documentary short more often than not. Any of these could win though. 

Ryan Garasich 3/9/23


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