Oscars 2023 predictions: Who's in line to win best film, acting and director awards?

From Elvis Presley to Marilyn Monroe, and from the green grass of Ireland to the skyscrapers of Wakanda, here’s who's nominated and who might win

Ke Huy Quan and Angela Bassett are all tipped to win at the 95th Academy Awards. Photos: AP, Reuters
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With the 95th Academy Awards just days away, speculation about who will be the big winners on the night is at fever pitch.

While Everything Everywhere All at Once is expected to clean up, there are still plenty of categories in which there's everything to play for.

Will Bollywood breakthrough with a Best Original Song win? Can Ke Huy Quan secure an Oscar, crowning his Hollywood comeback story? And will Austin Butler’s years-long dedication to embodying Elvis Presley finally pay off?

Here are The National's predictions in the seven main categories.

Best Picture

Everything Everywhere All at Once has emerged as an Oscars frontrunner. Photo: A24

Nominees:

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Despite a handful of Hollywood blockbuster movies up for contention — Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis — it’s the quieter films that have been making the most noise in this category. None more so than Everything Everywhere All at Once, which has racked up 11 nominations across all categories.

While fans would love to see Tom Cruise win his first Oscar for his role in Top Gun: Maverick, there’s an overriding feeling that it’s a little too populist to win. Early frontrunners Tár and The Banshees of Inisherin have lost campaign steam in the final stretch.

With Everything Everywhere All at Once named one of the Top 10 Films of 2022 at the American Film Institute Awards, as well as Best Picture at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards and Hollywood Critics Association Award, it's the clear favourite.

Prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Director

Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan accept the Best Screenplay award for Everything Everywhere All at Once at the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards. AFP

Nominees:

Todd Field, Tár

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Martin McDonagh’s loving paean to small-town Ireland in The Banshees of Inisherin won a lot of fans among the academy's voting members, framing the rolling green landscape as a third main character alongside Colin Farrell’s Padraic and Brendan Gleeson’s Colm.

Triangle of Sadness is thoughtful and sharp, in the vein of Parasite, and looks set to be a serious contender in the Best Original Screenplay category.

Having racked up an array of accolades in the run-up to the Oscars, including Best Director at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards and Outstanding Directing — Feature Film at the Directors Guild of America Awards, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — known collectively as the Daniels — are the clear favourites.

Prediction: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actor

Austin Butler has won a Golden Globe and Bafta award for his portrayal of Elvis Presley. Reuters

Nominees:

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Sadly for Bill Nighy and Paul Mescal, this is a three-horse race which, no offence to Brendan Fraser and Colin Farrell either, is actually a one-horse race.

Racking up 17 best actor accolades this awards season for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Elvis, including a Bafta, Golden Globe and a People's Choice Award, Austin Butler is the clear favourite in this category, having immersed himself in a role so much it changed his accent.

Prediction: Austin Butler, Elvis

Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh wins the Best Lead Performance award for Everything Everywhere All at Once at the 38th Film Independent Spirit Awards. Reuters

Nominees:

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Cate Blanchett’s controversial Lydia Tár, Ana de Armas’s headline-making turn as Marilyn Monroe and Andrea Riseborough’s alcoholic Leslie Rowland, not to mention the controversy over her inclusion on the list, make this one of the most interesting Best Actress categories in recent years. It also puts depictions of troubled women firmly in the cinematic conversation.

In any other year, Blanchett would have walked away with this, but Michelle Yeoh’s multi-universe-traversing Evelyn Wang is the favourite. She has swept the best actress category board this season, with wins at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Independent Spirit Awards.

Prediction: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan's Hollywood journey has been one of the most talked about this awards season. AP

Nominees:

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Both Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan’s appearance in this category for The Banshees of Inisherin will have split the vote for fans of the film, and the brevity of Judd Hirsch’s time onscreen in The Fabelmans will probably work against him.

If Ke Huy Quan’s name isn’t read out on the night, there’ll be a lot of hats being eaten in Hollywood.

Having dominated in this category at more than 60 film events this season, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Saturn Awards, Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Award, comeback king Quan, who returned to acting aged 48 three years ago after a long hiatus, is almost certainly about to be awarded the biggest honour in the industry, and deservedly so.

Prediction: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. AP

Nominees:

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau, The Whale

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

While this year’s Oscars looks set to be almost a board sweep for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Best Supporting Actress remains a hotly contested category, largely thanks to the interesting life and career stories behind the nominees.

There’s child star-turned-Hollywood royalty Jamie Lee Curtis earning her first Oscar nomination in her 45-year career, Stephanie Hsu in what’s undoubtedly her breakout role, and Angela Bassett, whose portrayal of Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won her the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

Prediction: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Music (Original Song)

Nominees:

Applause by Diane Warren, Tell It Like a Woman

Hold My Hand by Lada Gaga and Bloodpop, Top Gun: Maverick

Lift Me Up by Rihanna, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Naatu Naatu by Kala Bhairava, M M Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj, RRR

This is a Life by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski, Everything Everywhere All at Once

With some big power ballads in the group, Rihanna’s Lift Me Up and Lady Gaga’s Hold My Hand, there’s scope for an upset as Hollywood has a history of loving a belter — see Common and John Legend's Glory from Selma in 2015 and Lady Gaga's Shallow from A Star is Born in 2019 for recent examples.

Ultimately, the night surely belongs to Naatu Naatu, from M M Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. With recent wins at the Hollywood Critics Association and Golden Globes, it's a clear favourite.

Prediction: Naatu Naatu from RRR

Updated: March 11, 2023, 6:38 AM
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