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Written by: Lee Watson

This coming weekend, Hollywood’s annual ceremony of self-congratulation, the Academy Awards, AKA The Oscars, is taking place. The 95th Academy awards are being held at the Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theatre), which has been its home for the last couple of decades.

We’re going to go over some of the nominations for the biggest categories including Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Director, Best Original/Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best International Film, and Best Picture.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler – Elvis

Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser – The Whale

Paul Mescal – Aftersun

Bill Nighy – Living

Definitely a strong category, with arguments to be made for most of the candidates. Paul Mescal, after rising to prominence through his appearance in the BBC’s adaptation of the book Normal People, has, by all accounts, put in a fantastic performance, but, as a relative newcomer, there are stronger arguments for the rest of the field. Austin Butler has already won a plethora of awards for his role as Elvis Presley, including the Golden Globe and BAFTA, but success doesn’t always carry over. Bill Nighy certainly deserves all the plaudits he’s getting for his moving performance in Living, an adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 Japanese language film, but there may be more momentum behind other nominees. Brendan Fraser’s return to acting in The Whale certainly has a good chance, partly down to the story of his comeback and partly down to all the prosthetics he’s donned for the role, something which always seems to garner the attention of Academy voters. However, Colin Farrell was superb in The Banshee’s of Inisherin, and it’s likely that the Academy may feel that his time is due.

Predicted Winner – Collin Farrell

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett – Tár

Ana de Armas – Blonde

Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie

Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actress, whilst featuring some fantastic performances, is, perhaps a little easier to predict. Cate Blanchette is a perennial award favourite and, over the years, she’s more than proven her chops, but Tar has received a bit of a mixed reaction from audiences, even though critics have generally been very positive. Blonde has also had a bit of a mixed reception which could harm Ana De Armas’s chances.

Andrea Risborough’s hope of taking home the Oscar, could have been hampered by her campaign to get nominated, which involved her getting famous friends to vocalise their support.

Perhaps, then, the two most likely candidates are the two Michelles, Williams and Yeoh. The Fabelmans has a fine pedigree and is sure to pick up a few awards at this year’s Oscars. Michelle Yeoh, has, by all accounts put in a stellar performance in Stephen Spielberg’s semi-biographical film and, in any other year, would almost certainly be a shoo-in, especially since this is now her 5th nomination. Michelle Yeoh, on the other hand, has already won awards from SAG and the Golden Globes for her lead performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once and she has a good chance of carrying that momentum on to the Oscars.

Predicted Winner – Michelle Yeoh

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

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

Best Supporting Actor will most probably be a showdown between “Banshees…” castmates Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan and Ke Huy Quan from “Everything Everywhere…” For my money, Keoghan’s portrayal of the abused and damaged island boy in “Banshees…” probably should come out on top, but my expectation is that Ke Huy Quan will take the Oscar.

Predicted Winner – Ke Huy Quan

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

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

And the award goes to… Angela Bassett. She’s up against some fine competition, but every time Angela Basset appeared on screen in Wakanda Forever, she raised the otherwise mediocre Marvel movie to another level. Kerry Condon is certainly deserving of an Oscar for her portrayal of Colin Farrell’s long-suffering sister, and the pairing of Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu, certainly did some great work in “Everything everywhere…”, but this is Angela Bassett’s year.

Predicted Winner – Angela Bassett

Best Director

Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans

Todd Field – Tár

Ruben Östlund Triangle of Sadness

Most probably, Best Director will be a three-way fight between, Martin McDonagh, The Daniels (as Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert are collectively known), and Stephen Spielberg

I can’t help feeling that McDonagh will win another award altogether., so this will probably come down to a clash between The Daniels and veteran director Stephen Spielberg. Will the Academy go for the inventive multiversal madness of “Everything everywhere…” or be touched by the semi-autobiographical story from Spielberg, a film he’s seemingly been on course to make for his whole career.

This is a tough one and it really could go either way, so it’s a bit of a coin toss.

Predicted Winner – Stephen Spielberg The Fabelmans

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert Everything Everywhere All At Once

Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner – The Fabelmans

Todd Field – Tár

Ruben Östlund Triangle of Sadness

Stephen Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s screenplay for The Fabelmans is certainly a strong contender for Best Original Screenplay, but I suspect they won’t be on stage to collect the Oscar on the night. This one feels like it will go to Martin McDonagh, unless “Everything Everywhere…” doesn’t take best director. That being the case, The Daniel’s script could well take the gong.

Predicted Winner – Martin Mcdonagh – The Banshee’s of Inisherin

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Edward Berger, Ian Stokell, Lesley Paterson All Quiet on the Western Front

Rian JohnsonGlass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Kazuo Ishiguro – Living

Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie – Top Gun: Maverick

Sarah Polley Women Talking

What’s the difference between an adapted screenplay and an original one? After all Glass Onion isn’t based on a pre-existing story from any other medium, so why isn’t it an original screenplay? As far as the Oscars are concerned, any sequel is, by definition, an adaptation as the characters originated elsewhere. Anyway, Glass Onion certainly has a strong screenplay, that’s perhaps a little more quirky and comedic than its predecessor, but it’s likely Rian Johnson won’t be going home with an award this time round.

Top Gun Maverick, another sequel, is certainly a spectacular event movie, a true blockbuster in the traditional sense, but how much of its impact is down to the screenplay is debatable.

Kazuo Isiguro’s script for Living, based on Akira Kurosawa’s for Ikiru, certainly has a shot. The poignant tale of a dying civil servant certainly ticks a lot of the boxes on Academy voters checklists.

Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, based on the novel by Miriam Toews has already won the WGA’s award and could do well at the Oscars too, due to its important subject matter, but I suspect it won’t win this year, though, for, Polley it’s certainly only a matter of time before the actor/writer/director garbs an Oscar.

All Quiet on the Western Front is an affecting and heart-breaking German language adaptation of the book. It’s the second time the novel has been adapted, but this interpretation from Netflix is certainly something special and worthy of awards, though it perhaps won’t grasp this one.

Predicted winnerKazuo Ishiguro – Living

Best Music (Original Score)

All Quiet on the Western Front – Volker Bertelmann

Babylon – Justin Hurwitz

The Banshees of Inisherin – Carter Burwell

Everything Everywhere all at Once – Son Lux

The Fabelmans – John Williams

It’s a fair bet that the Oscar for Best Original Score Music will go to John Williams for The Fabelmans. The soon-to-retire film composer (the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be his final film score, though he will still work on other music). The 53-time nominee seems sure to walk away with his 6th Oscar and, with classic themes for films like Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones and Jaws that have embedded themselves in the public’s consciousness, one could hardly begrudge him one final award for his film work.

There’s still a possibility that Volker Bertelmann and his three-note refrain from All Quiet on the Western Front could clinch it, but my money is on Williams.

Predicted Winner – John Williams

Best International Feature Film

 All Quiet on the Western Front

Argentina 1985

Close

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The Quiet Girl

It would be a shock if this didn’t go to All Quiet on the Western Front. Never mind being Best International Feature Film, it’s a strong contender for Best Picture too. The harrowing tale of life in the trenches from the perspective of the German soldiers who have to endure the harshest of conditions really brings home the futility and madness of war, whilst, quite fairly, damning the diktat imposed upon the losing side by the victorious allies.

Predicted Winner – All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Picture

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

Another tough choice with plenty of deserving candidates. Are Avatar; The Way of Water and Top Gun Maverick too commercial to get the Oscar? Perhaps. Most probably this will come down to a choice between All Quiet on the Western Front, Everything Everywhere All at Once and the Fabelmans. It’s hard to see the way the academy will go on this one, so I’m just going to go with my favourite.

Predicted Winner – All Quiet on the Western Front

So that’s it for our Oscar Winner predictions. Find out if we were right when the 95th Academy Awards take place on Sunday the 12th of March. The ceremony is being broadcast in the UK on Sky Cinema from, due to the time zone difference to LA, 1am on the 13th of March.

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