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everything all at once scene
everything all at once scene
Photo Credit: A24

2023 Oscars Predictions: Here’s Who Will Win (And Who We Think Should Win)

The 2023 Oscars are this weekend. Here is who we think will win (and who should win.)

Sunday, we return to what we can all agree is the last, relevant, standing awards show: the Oscars. And this won’t just be any year for the Oscars — in many senses, 2022 was the first year that played out with a sense of normalcy. Not the fallow COVID-19 period of 2020, or the bizarre glut of COVID-hampered or held-over bad-to-mediocre contenders that typified 2021, but a real honest-to-God movie year that could hold its own against any of the past 10 pre-COVID “glory years” in film. 

And yet, we may never actually recover from COVID and the havoc it wreaked on the theater industry, how it accelerated the streaming model — what was a looming issue for the very few remaining depraved adults such as myself who still live for the ancient ritual of going to the movies. The financials of the business are forever changed and our expectations, how we regard good films across budget and genre, have shifted as well. 

Franchise filmmaking accomplished its ultimate goal of gutting the industry, just in time for the comic book industrial complex to run out of ideas and visual style and revert to the cheap shlock its pointy critics always accused it of being. The studios finally got what they wanted in their generational quest to cut out the “middleman” represented by movie theaters, only to realize the magic and the margins of their business require physical space and physical tickets. 

It all resulted in an Oscar field those of us still invested in the pageant have clamored for since the nominees for Best Picture expanded from five to a maximum of 10 in the wake of the infamous Dark Knight snub. It’s a high/low blend of billion dollar dumbass blockbusters and the fabled, endangered, little-seen but well-regarded highbrow dramas for adults. And yet, with all that diversity in the offing, one film towers above them all, perhaps appropriately, a film that straddles headrush kettle-corn-flicks and slow-release Sour Patch edible cinema. 

Everything Everywhere All At Once breaks nearly every rule on record for what makes an Oscar colossus. It was a spring release from a boutique, fledgling hipster brand. It’s sci-fi and goofy and gooey and fun. Its references are more John Woo and Ant-Man than Bergman and Ozu. It’s an indie crowd-pleaser that did shockingly tidy business at a time the terrain was still tepid and unsure for movies. It’s the headline triumph that should be an unqualified feel-good success for this entire, glorious, dying enterprise. 

And yet, I remain on brand in my mild dissatisfaction with what seems like an inevitable loose-end-tying conclusion. I keep bumping on the basic, both idiotic and obvious question: Is this scrappy, funky, treacly film really deserving of its place in a deified inner circle of films that echo throughout Oscars history? Particularly because, as the reader will soon discover, I feel there is a film worthy of that same dominant greatness being treated as a glorified afterthought? Let’s peruse the odds, get you acquainted with the contenders in each of the major categories, and conduct a therapy session that delves deep into my feelings and reservations in considering what may go down, what may not go down, and actually should go down Sunday night: 

Odds courtesy of, current as of March 8.

Costume Design


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


Everything Everywhere All at Once

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Odds On Favorite: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (+100)

My Pick: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Wakanda forever Photo Credit: Disney

Analysis: I’m leaning towards Ms. Carter for two reasons here: One, she built on the work she did in Black Panther’s first installment, creating a style and signature for the tribe that opposes and threatens the way of life in Wakanda. This was accomplished in a way that draws clear allusions to the South American indigenous cultures they’re modeled on, to tell a complex story about how oppressed societies are pitted against each other by imperialism. 

And on the other hand, I’m guessing 80% of the people reading this saw the film where I did, at the BAM Harvey Theater, and if you did, you saw the little featurette that ran before the film. Coogler is arguably the greatest working writer and director in his prime that we have right now, and I think the wild success of Michael B. Jordan’s Creed III has a lot to do with his not-so-subtle involvement, but I can imagine how insufferable Ruth’s Pinterest board must’ve been as Coogler continued to share and build on his exhaustive research in trying to find the look for Namor’s tribe. It’s a testament to Carter’s talent and professionalism that she smiled and nodded through it and realized their aesthetic. 

Makeup and Hairstyling

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


The Whale

Odds On Favorite: The Whale (-120)

My Pick: Elvis

Elvis Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Analysis: It’s a tough call, but this ultimately comes down to a battle of the fat suits. Both The Whale and Elvis had to contend with them, Brendan Fraser being stuffed into his just as Tom Hanks did in his role as evil German Grimace in Baz Luhrmann’s feature-length montage piece of shit, but they also had to briefly make a second fat suit happen for Austin Butler’s washed Elvis at the very end of his life. So, you know — two fat suits. 

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman


Top Gun: Maverick

Odds On Favorite: Top Gun: Maverick (-400)

My Pick: Top Gun: Maverick

Analysis: Not going to make this terribly complicated. If you, like me, heard and felt the Darkstar first blast Ed Harris and then achieve Mach 10, there’s little to discuss. 

Best Original Score

All Quiet on the Western Front


The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Odds On Favorite: Babylon (-175)

My Pick: The Banshees of Inisherin

Analysis: I get why people like the Babylon score from Justin Hurwitz, but much like the film, it’s a soundtrack that desperately wants you to believe it has fucked when it has never — the Gap commercial equivalent of fucking. All Quiet On The Western Front is doing a Trent Reznor by way of Philip Glass with a dash of Jonny Greenwood thing that is so derivative it’s actually perfect for Netflix. EEAAO is similarly indicative of its vehicle, doing an A24 remix of Karen O, and Williams is on absolute cruise control for Spielberg, pretty sure Marvin Hamlisch gets a cut every time you stream The Fablemans score. That leaves the great Carter Burwell by default, delivering a slightly off, haunted and bewildered score that is perfectly paired with its source material. 

Best Original Song

“Applause” (Tell It Like a Woman)

Hold My Hand” (Top Gun: Maverick)

Lift Me Up” (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)

Naatu Naatu” (RRR)

This Is a Life” (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Odds On Favorite: Naatu Naatu” (RRR) (-430)

My Pick: WRITE IN- “Nobody Like U” (Turning Red)

Analysis: Proof that the Oscars voting body either never want kids, are young creatives waiting till middle age to conceive, or are geriatrics who have forgotten the joy of having your children lose their fucking mind in the backseat to a Disney banger. And this is very much that, every bit as sticky and timeless as any of the '90s revival classics that wracked up Best Original Song statues. 4*TOWN’s steroidal hit is a pitch-perfect neo-boy band encapsulation that would’ve moved millions for N’Sync, The Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, or any number of disposable heartthrob acts from that era.

Best Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick

Odds On Favorite: Avatar: The Way of Water (-1050)

My Pick: Avatar: The Way of Water

Analysis: Waste of time even discussing this. Jim invented cameras for this shit. He made a billion dollars. Give this man his flowers.

Best Documentary Feature Film

All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Fire of Love

A House Made of Splinters


Odds On Favorite: Navalny (-220)

My Pick: Fire of Love

Analysis: This is a category I’m not as equipped to speak on with authority because I haven’t seen a majority of the nominees, including the favorite, but I have watched the trailer, which seems like porn for the “Maddow Aunt” in your life. I’m genuinely shocked my pick isn’t All The Beauty and the Bloodshed, as a huge fan of Nan Goldin’s photography and a person generally aligned with the critics I saw raving about the documentary. But I actually saw it the other day, and I promise — as far as I know — this website isn’t sponsored by the Sackler family, but I found its focus on Goldin’s anti-addiction activism equal parts admirable and not particularly interesting. I wanted a deep dive into her art, and we got some, but not enough for me, respectfully. Fire of Love has drama, personal interest, obsession, and a sort of awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping beauty we rarely get from documentaries. Apologies to All That Breathes and A House Made of Splinters, but I’m going with the volcano love story. 

Best Animated Feature

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

Odds On Favorite: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (-2000)

My Pick: Turning Red

Analysis: On one hand, I’m glad this award isn’t just being handed over to the latest Pixar effort anymore, but on the other, a truly shit year to ignore what has been precedent, more or less. People really don’t appreciate what a miracle Turning Red is: It’s a CGI kids' movie that serves as a horny allegory for puberty and assimilation, coming to grips with disappointment, and understanding and accepting your elders as flawed human beings. New territory, not just for its studio or parent company, but I’d argue for children's films in general. And it’s also as light and fun and poppy as its soundtrack. Just a great movie I truly hope beats del Toro’s masturbatory gonzo-fractured fairytale. 

International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany) 

Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)

Close (Belgium)

EO (Poland)

The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

Odds On Favorite: All Quiet on the Western Front (-4000)

My Pick: Argentina, 1985

Analysis: I enjoyed Argentina, 1985, a great and smart, mature, historical courtroom drama I learned shit from, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t just a vote for one of my all-time guys with one of the great movie faces, Ricardo Darin.

Best Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water



The Fabelmans

Odds On Favorite: Babylon (-225)

My Pick: Avatar: The Way of Water

Analysis: I probably struggled with this award more than any other on the board. I actually looked up the Wikipedia definition of what the distinction means, then I looked up the definition of “art direction,” more reason to take me and my writing on film seriously. I’m going to quote a Wikipedia entry in its entirety here and then I’ll explain why it was difficult trying to come to a decision: 

“It is the charge of a sole art director to supervise and unify the vision of an artistic production. In particular, they are in charge of its overall visual appearance and how it communicates visually, stimulates moods, contrasts features, and psychologically appeals to a target audience. The art director makes decisions about visual elements, what artistic style(s) to use, and when to use motion.

One of the biggest challenges art directors face is translating desired moods, messages, concepts, and underdeveloped ideas into imagery. In the brainstorming process, art directors, colleagues and clients explore ways the finished piece or scene could look. At times, the art director is responsible for solidifying the vision of the collective imagination while resolving conflicting agendas and inconsistencies between contributors' ideas.”

So when you’re trying to attribute that concept, it has to be Avatar right? You could argue because it was a sequel, the world was already formed, but the water element wasn’t. You’re not just decorating Brad Pitt’s 1920s villa, you’re creating an entire island terrain, a society, an alien underwater landscape. But then it’s almost entirely computer animated, is that a strike against or points for?  

And then, you know, all due respect to accredited Avatar 2 art directors Aashrita Kamath, Ben Milsom, and Simon Bright, but on a James Cameron production, what the hell is anyone actually doing? I assume he’s blowing out sunsets on an IMAX screen and inspecting individual pixels of blue with a thousand-swath ring, on the horizon where sea melts into sky, with a magnifying glass. What are these people actually bringing to the table and how do you quantify that versus any other film? The answer I came to is you can’t, you have to go with what’s on the screen and believe the art directors did the job we are told they did. So I’ve seen many movies, many 21st century movies even, that capture the old Hollywood glamor of Babylon. I, and no one on Earth, has ever seen anything like Avatar 2, except presumably James Cameron every night when he closes his eyes, so that film wins it for me on the grounds of pure invention. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Odds On Favorite: Women Talking (-240)

My Pick: Top Gun: Maverick

Analysis: Once again, took me a minute to figure out how Knives Out and Top Gun could qualify for this until I realized anything based on IP is adapted. Women Talking is certainly the most cerebral and “important” screenplay on the board here, but the accomplishment of Maverick is spectacular and so easy to lose in the lights. It’s such a smart and savvy mining of IP, when recent history is littered with these cynical money grabs that either function as limp retreads or wild swings that betray the heart of the source material. Top Gun: Maverick earns the distinction of threading the needle, reminding us of a world we love, while adding new layers that build on its mythology in meaningful ways. It actually improves on the original. If they don’t already have screenwriting classes for how to work with IP, they will soon, and they’ll teach this screenplay.

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans


Triangle of Sadness

Odds On Favorite: Everything Everywhere All at Once (-150)

My Pick: Tàr

Analysis: Now is probably the part of this piece where you can log off if you’re part of the “Tàr was bad/dumb/offensive” hive. I’ll show my whole hand and confess that I don’t just think it was the best film of the year, and not just one of the best films of this young decade, but one of the best films of this young century. I fully believe it will go down as a Social Network level snub we’ll be talking about decades from now. This is far from the last award I’ll be handing it, so I’m going to have other aspects of it to discuss in depth, but I would say of all the things about the film I love and find incredible and award-worthy, its greatest strength is its script. It has a fluency with the world of classical music that is nuanced, credible, and in its conversation with classical compositions, contains larger themes that reveal its characters and its story. It’s bold and confident in its ambiguity on an impossible topic literally every work of art before it has fucked up. It’s one of the great screenplays of recent history, and in time I think you’ll probably be able to lose the “recent."

Best Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All at Once


Top Gun: Maverick

Odds On Favorite: Everything Everywhere All at Once (-195)

My Pick: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Analysis: EEAAO is a film made in the editing suite, and when you watch it, all that effort is on screen, in its kinetic, ADHD-addled glory, tailor-made for the TikTok set (And it’s very good!). In my opinion, it's less directed than it is stitched together, which may or may not be foreshadowing a coming award, so let’s give them this for making hot dog fingers emotionally devastating.

Best Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths


Empire of Light


Odds On Favorite: All Quiet on the Western Front (-410)

My Pick: All Quiet on the Western Front

Analysis: I don’t know, it’s a kickass war film. I’m honestly doing this so it’s not so shamelessly and uniformly Tár, but of course I love the escapist affluent fantasy camp of Earth tones and cashmere scarves and cavernous empty concert halls that the film makes so alternately alluring and cursed. 

Best Supporting Actress

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

Odds On Favorite: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (+130)

My Pick: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

22angela bassett1 videosixteenbynine3000 Photo Credit: Disney

Analysis: Occam’s Razor pick here, time to finally fix the sin committed in 1993 that I covered in the Black Oscar snubs piece I wrote. I also think she legitimately earns it with this single knock-out speech over a relatively weak field. But if she had been nominated, I also would’ve begrudgingly been OK with a write-in vote for Lashana Lynch in The Woman King (also wouldn’t be mad at Hong Chau).

Best Supporting Actor

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

Odds On Favorite: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (-2000)

My Pick: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Analysis: I probably prefer both Banshees performances, and like Brian Tyree Henry the most as an actor, but Gleeson and Keoghan split the vote on a stacked squad, and through no fault of his own, this isn’t the performance from Henry we’re all waiting for. So that leaves Quan, the heart of the film and the tender performance that is the most important and difficult to pull off. It could be a dopey, syrupy performance that would’ve sunk the film, but the former Goonie is so vulnerable and open-hearted, so capably conveys his genuine and essential goodness, when you inevitably cry towards the end of the film, it’s for him.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Odds On Favorite: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (-125)

My Pick: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Tar 2022 Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Analysis: I mean, a no-brainer. If you buy the movie’s greatness, you have to buy Blanchett’s centrality to said greatness, and I don’t think it’s a particularly hard argument to make. In nearly every other year this century she runs away with the award, and based on the comparatively meager odds, I don’t think it’s by any means a sure thing Yeoh takes this.

And let’s discuss Yeoh for a moment. I love her performance. We all have a history with her and an appreciation for her greatness. But something my Oscar Snubs piece hit on, and attempted to refute, is how often injustices are committed in the name of the lifetime achievement Oscar. This wouldn’t quite be that, as the winner would be a statuesque white woman who already has won two Oscars (and arguably should’ve won one or two more), but the idea was replacing institutional thinking with merit (admittedly as assigned by me). Yeoh is fantastic in this film, it’s a once in a lifetime role that mines our history with her as an action star and somehow this fucking superhero is also convincingly a relatable, dissatisfied loser, and a castrating first gen mom simultaneously. It’s tremendous. It’s just not what Blanchett is doing, which is something a handful of people have probably ever accomplished on film.

And I also just want to briefly address the Andrea Riseborough thing because I think it’s important. I understand in this specific instance it was a case of a well-connected white women juicing her Rolodex to take a nomination over many people, some of whom were women of color, but there’s something equally broken in a system that doesn’t allow you to compete unless you have several million dollars of a major studio’s campaign budget behind you. The future should be full of actors utilizing grassroots and unconventional methods to earn love and attention for their largely ignored and unseen films. It makes for something closer to a holistic consideration of the year’s field, and conversely, a more meritocratic selection of performances. 

Best Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Odds On Favorite: Brendan Fraser, The Whale(-180)

My Pick: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Banshees Photo Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Analysis: The Oscars suffer from a long-time deficit in the types of performances that win these awards. Enough with the body transformations and the historical reenactments. It’s a small miracle Farrell was nominated, but it shouldn’t be. His Pádraic wouldn’t be out of place in an early Adam McKay comedy, attempting to hide his vulnerability with a transparent layer of bullheaded arrogance but with depth and definition. He knows that we know. It’s a legitimately hilarious, wounded, and tender comedic performance, let’s celebrate it.

Best Director

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Todd Field, Tár

Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness

Odds On Favorite: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once (-1800)

My Pick: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Analysis: Given how much praise we’ve heaped on Tàr, I’m a bit surprised by this myself, but I think the idea that Spielberg will be back, so it doesn’t have to be for this smaller movie, is taking a lot for granted — too much. What Spielberg deserves a lot of credit for isn’t just making his most personal movie ever, but making the weirdest, horniest, most fucked up movie of his career (or at least since Temple of Doom.) It’s an Oedipal Bildungsroman about trying to tame the unpredictability of life, love and sex with art — a pretty incredible pivot from a guy who you may have confused with an old master comfortably cruising through his late period.

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Odds On Favorite: Everything Everywhere All At Once (-700)

My Pick: Tár

Maxresdefault 59 Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Analysis: I want to re-emphasize that I really love EEAAO, it’s truly a great movie I expect to come back to multiple times over the years that will shatter our understanding of what an Oscar movie is and what it can be for the better. But Tàr is something else. It’s a *deep breath* Kubrickian all-timer. It’s dark and powerful and fucked up and explains something that both speaks to this exact moment in history and the entire history of power and its terrible effect on people. 

But what is it saying exactly? It’s a unique story executed beneath a shroud of mystery that made it more than just a smooth and perfect object (It’s far from a perfect film, to its credit) but something sinewy and gritty that gets caught in your teeth for days and weeks and months after, that lends itself to multiple viewings and conversations and fan theories, and conspiracy and begs for revisiting. It will almost certainly, tragically, and — taking the long view of great and challenging films in Oscar history — appropriately be shut out of the proceedings on Sunday. 


Flatbush local, culture writer, former mayor of New York City.