Strap in, folks: it’s Oscar season. The 95th Academy Awards will air on ABC on March 12. The show, beginning at 8:00 p.m., will honor the best films, performers, and technical work of the year. With so many films nominated, it can be hard to keep up, but the RamPage has you covered with our definitive guide to the 2023 Oscars.
Top Gun: Maverick – Unlikely to take home gold this year. One of the best films about jet pilots playing sports on beaches and not wearing shirts, Maverick was a box office hit – but doesn’t have much of a chance at winning too many awards.
Women Talking – The film depicting a community of Mennonite women amidst a sexual assault scandal is also a long shot. Despite positive reviews and raves about its screenplay, about ten people worldwide have seen this, and giving the award to a lesser known surprise nomination seems like a questionable choice.
Everything Everywhere All at Once – This sci-fi dramedy is undoubtedly the people’s favorite, and it’s hard not to admire the creativity and fun. It’s a serious contender and has a great shot at winning, but in my opinion, it isn’t the strongest film up for the award.
The Banshees of Inisherin – Director Martin McDonagh has long deserved a Best Picture win, and his dark comedy set in 1920s Ireland is undoubtedly a frontrunner this year.
Triangle of Sadness – Nope. Ruben Östlund’s heavy-handed satire lacks anything to set it apart from the competition, and unjustly stole a nomination from some other, better, picture.
The Fabelmans – Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical dramedy is a reverent ode to the power of cinema, and despite playing into familiar tropes, has a shot at winning sheerly due to its subject matter.
All Quiet on the Western Front – I would expect the German war film to sweep the technical awards, but the story is lacking and the film is overlong. It almost feels as if since Parasite’s Best Picture win in 2019 the Academy feels obligated to nominate at least one foreign language film.
Avatar: The Way of Water – Yes, it’s gorgeous, and yes, a lot of people saw it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good film. I saw the film in 3D, but after witnessing the character’s lack of depth I could’ve sworn it was 2D.
Elvis – Absolutely not. Shame on the Academy.
Tár – The music drama has received critical acclaim, and it’s undoubtedly one of the frontrunners this year. I haven’t seen this one, but legendary director Martin Scorsese seemed to like it, saying, “The clouds lifted when I experienced Todd’s film, ‘Tár.”
Who Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Who Should Win: The Banshees of Inisherin
Biggest Snub: Aftersun
Brendan Fraser, The Whale – Despite the controversy of the film, Fraser is a popular choice to take home Oscar gold this year.
Austin Butler, Elvis – Eww. No. Uh-uh. Stop it. Gross. Yucky. Disgusting. The Academy has to stop thinking that just because someone is in a biopic that their performance is good. Hard pass for me.
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin – The favorite this year. He gives a very un-Farrell-esque performance as the pitiful Padraic, and lends an excellent source of humanity and woe to the film.
Bill Nighy, Living – Despite being in perhaps the most Oscar bait-y movie of all time, Nighy is a doubt to win it, but it’s nice for him to get a nomination.
Paul Mescal, Aftersun – Although I’m extremely biased towards Charlotte Wells’ drama film, I think it’s safe to say that Mescal gives the best performance of the year in any category as the depressed young father Calum, desperately trying to mature and raise his daughter Sophie. That being said, they’ll never give it to him. The world is a cruel place.
Who Will Win: Colin Farrell
Who Should Win: Paul Mescal
Biggest Snub: Felix Kammerer, All Quiet on the Western Front
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once – Probably the frontrunner here. Personally, I don’t know if EEAAO deserves acting awards, as it shines more in its screenplay and editing, but everybody everywhere wants all the awards to go to the film, so Yeoh has more than a decent shot at it.
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans – She gives a solid performance, but nothing too special. Unlikely to win.
Cate Blanchett, Tár – It’s really a two-horse race between her and Yeoh. Two powerhouses, juggernauts, titans of acting going head to head. It’s anyone’s guess who’ll win.
Ana De Armas, Blonde – I’m sorry, what? The most controversial film of the year, a film that was critically panned, gets the nod for Best Actress instead of Frankie Corio in Aftersun. What is the Academy thinking?
Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie – A film that no one has heard of. Two weeks before the Oscars celebrities start going crazy about Riseborough in this film. A massive push. A shock nomination. An investigation into the campaigning? It’s been a crazy ride for Riseborough…just crazy enough to win?
Who Will Win: Michelle Yeoh
Who Should Win: Andrea Riseborough, because I think it would be funny.
Biggest Snub: Frankie Corio, Aftersun
Best Supporting Actor
Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin – It’s shocking that an actor of Gleeson’s talent has never won an Academy Award, and he has arguably never deserved it more than this role. However, he’ll face some tough opposition.
Ke Quy Han, Everything Everywhere All At Once – He’s going to win it. No doubt. He gives a good enough performance, but the main factor in his success is that he’s just a likable, nice guy. Does he definitely deserve it? I don’t think so. Would it put a smile on my face if he won? Absolutely. The frontrunner.
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway – A weird choice, seeing as no one knows what this movie is. I think it has something to do with army veterans, but don’t quote me on that. If Henry won, it would quite possibly be the biggest Oscar controversy since…the last Oscars.
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin – Although he does nice work to round out the ensemble, Gleeson has a much better case for the award than Keoghan.
Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans – He comes in for one scene, is incredible, and then leaves. He probably won’t win it, but it’s nice to give him the nomination.
Who Will Win: Ke Quy Han
Who Should Win: Brendan Gleeson
Biggest Snub: Zlatko Burić, Triangle of Sadness
Best Supporting Actress
Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – This category isn’t the strongest so if Bassett were to win, it wouldn’t be too far fetched. That being said, I hope that Marvel movies don’t become a benchmark for good acting.
Hong Chau, The Whale – Very unlikely.
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once – She does a good job, but they may award it to someone else due to sheer experience and seniority. If she continues to act this well she’ll likely have more nominations down the road.
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once – It would be nice, but the Academy likely won’t give it to her if they give plenty of others to the film.
Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin – She does an excellent job, but the film is really Farrell and Gleeson’s show.
Who Will Win: Angela Bassett
Who Should Win: Stephanie Hsu
Biggest Snub: Keke Palmer, Nope
The Best of the Rest
Best International Feature Film: Close
Best Original Song: Naatu Naatu, RRR
Best Animated Feature: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Best Documentary Feature: Fire of Love
Best Visual Effects: Avatar: The Way of Water
Best Original Score: Babylon
Best Director: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Best Original Screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin
Best Adapted Screenplay: Women Talking
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Best Cinematography: Elvis
Best Film Editing: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Best Costume Design: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Best Production Design: Babylon
Best Sound: Top Gun: Maverick