From top left to bottom right: Elvis, All Quiet on the Western Front, Everything Everywhere All At Once, and The Whale
With the Oscars set to take place on March 12th, and nominations set to be announced on January 24th, I thought it would be interesting to detail my personal predictions for the 2023 Oscar nominees and winners for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress. While I haven’t managed to see all the major films that have been released this year, I’ve caught enough to make some predictions as to who will win the awards. 2023 has been an interesting year for film, with many pictures that had to halt production during the pandemic, finally being released. With Baz Luhrmann's spotlight stealing Elvis and Brendan Fraser’s comeback in The Whale, 2023 has been a monumental year in Hollywood, and has set quite the interesting stage for the upcoming Academy Awards.
To start with the category everyone cares most about: Best Picture. To be granted the award for the best film released all year is something that directors and actors across the globe dream of! My top three predictions include:
Everything Everywhere All at Once (Director Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert)
Elvis (Director Baz Luhrmann)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Director Edward Berger)
Everything Everywhere All at Once became a social media phenomenon following its release in March of 2022. The film has already obtained many accolades for its barrier breaking screenplay and direction, as well as its overall uniqueness. It’s become a favorite not only for film buffs, but the general public as well, an arguably difficult feat. This wide acceptance of the film is why I believe it will not only be nominated, but will ultimately win the title of Best Picture at the 2023 Oscars.
Elvis contained not only outstanding talent including Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, but it also received outstanding direction from Baz Luhrmann that quickly shot it up to an Oscar worthy film. The popularity collected by the film following its release, particularly the quick rise to A-list seen in Austin Butler, is what makes me believe the Academy will not hesitate to nominate the film.
All Quiet on the Western Front, despite its late release, has also made significant strides that make me want to go out on a limb and predict its nomination. Some argue that a film funded by a streaming platform is unlikely to receive a nomination, but naysayers were quickly silenced following the Apple Original, CODA, receiving the award for Best Picture in 2022. All Quiet on the Western Front features outstanding cinematography via James Friend and heart wrenching performances.
Best Actor is proving to be one of the most controversial categories this year, with many actors appearing in outstanding roles and giving stellar performances all throughout the past twelve months. My predictions are, admittedly, a bit far fetched, but justifiable nonetheless. They include:
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis
Brendan Fraser as Charlie in The Whale
Harris Dickinson as Carl in Triangle of Sadness
Going viral for his tedious method acting, Austin Butler has captured everyone’s attention this year. His performance as the titular role in Elvis has solidified him as one of the most promising young talents in the industry at the moment, and I am confident in his nomination. Butler has admitted that he’s struggled to lose the accent he had to use for the film, as he purposefully spoke like Elvis for an extended period of time in order to immerse himself in the role. This has been admired by many and is sure to capture the Academy’s attention.
While this next prediction may be a bit more controversial, I would be elated to see Brendan Fraser receive a nomination for his performance in The Whale. The actor’s return to Hollywood has been dubbed “the Brenaissance” and he has captured everyone’s attention with his hopeful and tear jerking performance as Charlie, a dying recluse attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter. I can attest that his performance had everyone in the theater crying when I saw the film. I don’t doubt he will receive a nomination, and he is absolutely the underdog I'm rooting for to win the award.
Triangle of Sadness has been a phenomenon, particularly in Europe, which is why I would be surprised to see Harris Dickinson nominated. Despite the unlikeliness, I believe the young actor deserved to be a nominee. The film itself was outstanding and his performance was humorous and intriguing, which is what leads me to believe that he may receive a nomination on January 24th.
As with Best Actor, the category of best actress consists of major competition and all the women receiving nominations are guaranteed to be outstanding talents. Without further ado, my final predictions for Best Actress are:
Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tar in Tar
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde
As mentioned earlier, Everything Everywhere All At Once has become quite the hot topic in the film world, and Michelle Yeoh’s performance is undoubtedly a part of that. It takes an impressive amount of talent to take on such a, for lack of a better term, weird film. Despite the twists and turns, she managed to give an entertaining and show stopping performance, giving her what I believe to be a clear win in the best actress category!
Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Quan Wang in Everything Everywhere All At Once. (Photo credit to Daily Trojan Digital Newspaper)
Cate Blanchett’s performance as the title character in Tar lived up to everyone’s expectations. In the film, Blanchett plays the role of a famous composer and musician struggling with the upcoming symphony of her career. The film itself was outstanding and Blanchett clearly gave her all to this role. I must admit, I’m a bit biased, as I’m a lover of “tortured artist” films such as Black Swan, Whiplash, and The Perfection. These films set up their leading actors and actresses for two routes: a disappointing performance or the role of a lifetime. I am confident that Blanchett will at least receive a nomination for what I believe is her role of a lifetime.
This last prediction is admittedly, a bit unlikely. Many critics were let down by the film, Blonde, which was one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. However, I do believe that Ana de Armas put on an impressive performance, and I would love to see the young actress receive a nomination for her depiction of Marilyn Monroe. Playing such a loved celebrity is a difficulty in itself, and I believe she took on the role with the same grace and poise Monroe would have.
The 2023 Oscars are going to be one of the most interesting Oscars yet, with this year being an outstanding year in film. The talent displayed in the past 12 months has proven to result in one of the most competitive nomination seasons so far. I hope you are as excited as I am to finally learn of the nominees (which will be released on January 24th) and to watch the Oscars ceremony on March 12th!