While the Oscars have lately become the whipping boy for a lot of the public, people still tune in. Some people look at the infamous “Oscar Slap” in which Will Smith walked on stage to slap Chris Rock after he made a joke that upset Jada Pinkett Smith as a staged event to beef up publiticity. But I think it’s because mostly we as a society don’t see the current spate of actors as the legends that we did when we were younger. It’s like when you’re in first grade but you see a high schooler that seems a lot bigger and older. Yet, when you’re in high school, you just see yourself as a kid. This just feels like a Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet even though it should be seen as something more.
Below are my predictions for this year:
- Best Picture – While Everything Everywhere All At Once has won awards else, don’t be surprised if The Banshees of Inisherin is an upset. It’s a critics darling and it’s got nine nominations. Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water will win the technical awards. I don’t see either winning the big prize. The same can be said for Women Talking and Triangle of Sadness which haven’t gotten the same publicity. Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans has a more likely chance because it’s directed by Spielberg and won big at the Golden Globes. Tar is too much of an art movie to win. And All Quiet on the Western Front, while good, is mostly in German. Look for it to win the Best International Feature category.
- Best Director – This one is anyone’s game. Spielberg won Best Director at the Golden Globes so he may just win a third Oscar. The front runners are Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schienert and it’ll be the first time a directing duo has won since Joel and Ethan Coen won for No Country for Old Men. Still Martin McDonagh might win for Banshees. Todd Fields won’t win for Tar. The nomination is the award enough. The same can be said for Ruben Ostlund for Triangle of Sadness.
- Best Actor – This one can be a big upset as Colin Farrell might walk away with the award for Banshees. The real fight is between Austin Butler for Elvis or Brendan Fraser for The Whale. Both movies were disappointments but Hollywood loves a comeback story which might help Fraser. But Butler won at the Golden Globes so he has that going for him. Peter Mescal is nominated for Aftersun and Bill Nighy is nominated for Living. Neither movie has made much noise and probably no one outside Hollywood knew about them prior to the nominees being announced.
- Best Actress – Michelle Yeoh looks to win for Everything because she has won mostly everywhere elsewhere. Except, the Academy may feel that Blanchett’s performance is better. With the controversy over Blonde, Ana de Armas will likely go home empty-handed. But Michelle Williams might be a surprise for The Fabelmans. She has proven to shake herself away from her early days on Dawson’s Creek and become a well-respected actress. The controversy surrounded Andrea Riseborough over To Leslie already has stained the Oscars. Could the little seen movie win as a way for the Oscars to save face? Either way, it doesn’t look good.
- Best Supporting Actor – Normally this is for actors who have made a huge comeback. And while Ke Huy Quan has proven to be the comeback kid of the year with Everything, Judd Hirsch is a close second for his role in The Fabelmans. But Brendan Gleeson, another veteran actor, deserves his moment of glory as well. However, Barry Keoghan’s personal life, like Quan’s, is a comeback story and he might win over his Banshee‘s costar Gleeson. As for Brian Tyree Henry for Causeway, has anyone really seen it?
- Best Supporting Actress – Angela Bassett is the front runner for her role from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. And as actresses goes, she’s rose over the decades and still manages to excel. And her performance is the best thing about the mediocre sequel. Yet, the Academy may decide the Jamie Lee Curtis is due after so many years and award her for Everything. But sometimes, this category awards young and aspiring actresses. And Stephanie Hsu was a joy to see in Everything. But Hong Chau has shown just how good she can be in recent movies. However, I feel her role in The Whale is the dark horse in this category.
- Screenplays – Look for the Oscars to give Sarah Polley the award for Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking since they didn’t nominate her for Best Director. Or Edward Peterson, L. Paterson and Ian Stokell may win for Western Front. It’s anyone guess. They may decide Rian Johnson should win for Glass Onion. As for the Original Screenplay, it’s going to be a toss-up between McDonagh for Banshees or the Daniels for Everything.
What do you think? Please comment.