Euronews Culture's Oscars predictions: How right or wrong were we?

Euronews Culture's Oscar predictions
Euronews Culture's Oscar predictions   -  Copyright  JAE C. HONG / AP
By David Mouriquand

The 95th Academy Awards are over and prizes have been given out, but it's still fun to look back into our old crystal ball to see if our predictions in each category deserve praise or punishment. 

Scroll down to find out…

Best Picture

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

What Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Dark Horse: All Quiet On The Western Front

What Should Win: Tár

A24
Everything Everywhere All At OnceA24

This year has been quite the rollercoaster when it comes to Best Picture frontrunners. Categories that seemed dead certs weeks ago are now wide open, and many predicted favourites are looking anxiously over their shoulders.

At first, it seemed like it was a two-way race between The Banshees of Inisherin and The Fabelmans. But the tide seems to have turned in favour of the underdog: Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Daniels’ ingeniously madcap multiverse extravaganza swept up the top gongs at the major precursor ceremonies - PGA, DGA, WGA, and it even broke all records at the SAG Awards - and at this point, no one would be in the least bit surprised to see it go for gold come Sunday.

Granted, there are always shock winners and upsets, but come crunch time, EEAAO will probably walk away with the Best Picture trophy. With 11 nominations, it’s also likely that it will emerge as the most-awarded film of this year’s Oscars – we’re predicting 9 statuettes. It’s the little indie that could, and while it isn’t your average Oscar-bait contender, this could be the year we see a film featuring evil bagels, hotdog hands, Ratatouille references and dildo / buttplug fights win Best Film. There’s something uniquely wonderful about that. It has panache and originality to spare – as well as a real beating heart – and considering the film anchors itself in the ubiquitous multiverse trend populating the superhero genre of late, EEAAO set a precedent as the wackiest and the first superhero-indebted movie to win Best Picture.

Like every year, the best film doesn’t always win Best Film – if that were the case, CODA wouldn’t have beat The Power of the Dog or Drive My Car last year, and 2023’s Best Picture would go to Todd Field’s Tár

But while EEAAO has moved into pole position, it has split opinions of late, with many finding it more smug than exciting. And don’t bet against Netflix’s All Quiet On The Western Front creating a major upset by bagging the streamer its first Best Picture Oscar. It swept the board at the BAFTAs, where it won seven awards – including Best Film – a first for a film not in the English language. 

Then there’s always the safe choice: Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans. On any other year, an ode to filmmaking from one of Hollywood’s most beloved directors (which won the bellwether gong of the People’s Choice Award at Toronto) would have been pure Oscars catnip and had the category on lockdown. It’s a tried and tested rule that movies about moviemaking do well come Oscar night. However, the odds aren’t in its favour and that’s no bad thing, as beyond its beautiful craft, The Fabelmans feels rather hollow on an emotional level and nowhere near as impactful compared to the likes of Tár, Women Talking, and indeed, EEAAO.

So, buttplugs and bagels it is.

For more, check out Euronews Culture's Best Picture Oscar hustings here. 

Best Director

Nominees:

  • Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  • Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
  • Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)
  • Todd Field (Tár)
  • Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness)

Who Will Win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Dark Horse: Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

Who Should Win: Todd Field (Tár)

Rich Fury / Getty Images - A24
The Daniels (left) and their hotdog fingersRich Fury / Getty Images - A24

It’s a strong, depressingly male-heavy line-up this year for Best Director, but it would be very surprising if the Daniels didn’t nab the Golden Baldie in this category. 

Still, while the consensus is with the Daniels, there’s a strong chance that many will throw a passion vote in the direction of Spielberg, for the sake of sentimentality. If he does win, it’ll be his third (after winning Best Director in 1994 and 1999 for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan respectively) – so maybe it’s time to celebrate the new blood with the duo who, let’s not forget, previously made a film about a farting corpse in the shape of Daniel Radcliffe (Swiss Army Man).

Come what may, the Daniels have already made history as only the fifth time that the Best Director category has featured a directing duo. Previous directing pairs are Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for West Side Story, Warren Beatty and Buck Henry for Heaven Can Wait, and the Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men (2007) and True Grit (2010).

Best Actress

Nominees:

  • Cate Blanchett (Tár)
  • Ana de Armas (Blonde)
  • Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie)
  • Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans)
  • Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Who Will Win: Cate Blanchett (Tár)

Dark Horse: Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Who Should Win: Cate Blanchett (Tár)

Getty
Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett at the Independent Spirit AwardsGetty

This may be the most fascinating category this year. 

While it is neck-and-neck between Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett, no disrespect to the wonderful Yeoh, this year’s Best Actress Oscar should go to Blanchett. She truly is one of the greatest performers of our time, and she delivered what is arguably the best turn of her career as the disgraced composer Lydia Tár - a role that should earn the Aussie actress her third statuette (after The Aviator and Blue Jasmine).

Still, it’s hard not to feel a slight pang, as Michelle Yeoh has never won one and would make Oscar history if she did, becoming the first woman who identifies as Asian to ever win the Best Actress Oscar. The Asian community has felt unseen for so long and a win for Yeoh could signal a delayed but vital sea change.

The category still remains a tough one to call - Blanchett has Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics Choice wins to her name, but Yeoh just recently picked up the SAG award. It could go either way, but we would give it to Blanchett. Tár may not be as popular as Everything Everywhere All At Once, but it’s a thorny and fascinating film that deserves not to go home emptyhanded. Blanchett is the film’s best shot.

Best Actor

Nominees:

  • Austin Butler (Elvis)
  • Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  • Brendan Fraser (The Whale)
  • Paul Mescal (Aftersun)
  • Bill Nighy (Living)

Who Will Win: Brendan Fraser (The Whale)

Dark Horse: Austin Butler (Elvis)

Who Should Win: Paul Mescal (Aftersun)

Getty Images
Brendan Fraser collecting his SAG awardGetty Images

Once upon a time, this was Colin Farrell’s award to lose. After having won the Best Actor Volpe Cup at Venice last year for his fantastic performance as an Irish farmer losing his best friend in The Banshees of Inisherin, nothing seemed to stop his momentum.

However, Hollywood loves a comeback story, and regardless of your opinion on Darren Aronofsky’s deeply frustrating film The Whale (fat suits should really be a thing of the past and not an acting prop tailored for awards), Brendan Fraser gives a once-in-a-lifetime performance that surprised everybody. After having been in the wilderness for so long, his Brenaissance is irresistible and seeing him collect an Oscar would be quite something.

That said, while Fraser nabbed the Critic’s Choice and SAG awards, Austin Butler won both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for his performance as Elvis, and the Academy love awarding biopic performances, especially when it comes to music biopics. After all, we all remember where we were on the fateful evening Rami Malek beat Bradley Cooper to win Best Actor for his caricatural and just plain awful turn as Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. We have forgiven, but we cannot forget.

So, as challenging a category as it is to predict this year, Fraser has the comeback narrative working for him. When push comes to shove, he’s the safe bet.

Best Supporting Actress

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)

Who Will Win: Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Dark Horse: Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)

Who Should Win: Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin)

YouTube
Jamie Lee Curtis kissing Michelle Yeoh before picking up her SAG awardYouTube

The Best Supporting Actress category is another tight two-way race. It’s either going to be Jamie Lee Curtis or Angela Bassett.

An Oscar feels long overdue for Lee Curtis, and her recent SAG win means that industry support is behind her. Bassett or Condon could take it – and Condon would be the ideal winner for her nuanced performance – and if Bassett gets to go onstage, she’ll be the first person to win an acting award for a Marvel movie. However, since losing the BAFTA to Condon and missing out on the all-important SAG award to Curtis, it seems that she’s losing momentum.

That said, double nominations are frequently the kiss of death in acting categories, as they frequently cancel each other out. Everything Everywhere All At Once ’s Jamie Lee Curtis and the brilliant Stephanie Hsu could see the award slip from their grasps in favour of Bassett and her turn as the grieving Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. What remains to be seen is if the Marvel connection could hold her back.

Best Supporting Actor

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)

Who Will Win: Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Dark Horse: Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin)

Who Should Win: Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

AP Photo
Ke Huy Quan winning his Golden GlobeAP Photo

Brendan Fraser is not the only one with an irresistible comeback narrative this year, and how wonderful it is to see Ke Huy Quan back on the big screen after almost four decades away. The actor broke into Hollywood as a child and famously played Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Richard “Data” Wang in The Goonies (1985).

Oscar narratives aside, Quan’s performance as Waymond in EEAAO is both hilarious and deeply affecting. And then there’s that scene, in which an alternative version of his character confesses to his alternative wife (Michelle Yeoh): “Even though you have broken my heart again, I wanted to say… In another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.”

Not a dry eye in the house.

He has rightly dominated the awards season and his energy and genuine humility throughout the awards season has been nothing short of infectious. He made history as the first Asian male to win a SAG Best Supporting award, and his career is on the up again with future roles in Marvel’s Loki, the upcoming Disney+ series American Born Chinese (also starring Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu) and a role in Anthony and Joe Russo’s sci-fi epic The Electric State. It's safe to say that his is the only category that’s completely locked. You can also expect the loudest amount of applause for his sure win, and most probably a very moving speech to boot. We can’t wait.

A quick shout out to Judd Hirsch and his 8-minute cameo: he has broken the record for the longest gap between acting nominations this year. The Fabelmans star was nominated for Best Supporting Actor nearly 43 years after his nod for 1980's Ordinary People.

A second shout out to the brilliant cast of The Banshees of Inisherin. Once again, a double nomination likely means a voting split, but both Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan will be the clear losers here. It’s a shame, as Irish talent has made a big impression in Hollywood this year, with 14 Oscar nominations including a first-ever nomination for a movie in the Irish Language: The Quiet Girl (more on that one in a bit). Banshees is up for nine awards, while the amazing Aftersun earned Kildare-born actor Paul Mescal his first Best Actor nomination. But by the look of things, Ireland may lose out on most of the awards it is nominated for.

Best International Feature

Nominees:

  • All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)
  • Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
  • Close (Belgium)
  • EO (Poland)
  • The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

What Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)

Dark Horse: EO (Poland)

What Should Win: The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

Netflix
All Quiet on the Western FrontNetflix

Alongside Ke Huy Quan’s win, this one is the Oscars’ other sure thing this year.

Indeed, all signs point to Edward Berger's Netflix production All Quiet on the Western Front winning Best International Feature.

Any of these five films would be worthy (even if Park Chan-wook’s Decision To Leave really should have made the final five), but All Quiet on the Western Front has emerged as a late but major awards player over the last few weeks.

It’s a shame, as while it has its plus points, it feels like more of the same from a First World War movie, and panders to voters who can’t get enough of war dramas. The moving Belgian entry Close and EO with its six different donkeys who starred as the titular animal in 84-year-old Polish film veteran Jerzy Skolimowski’s film could have won on any other year.

And then there’s Ireland’s first-ever nomination with the breathtaking The Quiet Girl, the first film in the Irish language to ever be nominated. Sadly, it’s not as high-profile (or a remake of a classic) as All Quiet on the Western Front and that means there’s just no way this doesn’t win the award.

Here are our predictions for which films will win in the remaining categories:

Paramount Pictures - Pen Studios - Netflix
From left to right: Top Gun: Maverick - RRR - All Quiet on the Western FrontParamount Pictures - Pen Studios - Netflix

Best Original Screenplay: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Adapted Screenplay: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Film Editing: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Cinematography: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Production Design: Babylon

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Elvis

Best Costume Design: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Sound: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Score: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Song: "Naatu Naatu" (RRR)

Best Visual Effects: Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Animated Feature: Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Best Documentary Feature Film: Navalny

Best Documentary Short Film: The Elephant Whisperers

Best Short Film (Live Action): An Irish Goodbye

Best Short Film (Animated): The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Check out the video above for everything you need to know about this year’s Oscars.