Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Oct. 6, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Cinematography

Paul Dano and Michelle Williams in "The Fabelmans"
Paul Dano and Michelle Williams in “The Fabelmans” Universal Pictures

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: We’ll see if the science fiction and the action genres can get representation in the race with Claudio Miranda for “Top Gun: Maverick,” Russell Carpenter for “Avatar: The Way of Water” or Larkin Seiple for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” When it comes to “Top Gun,” if the studio wants to get into the best picture category, it needs to stay gain at least four tech noms to stay in the discussion, and cinematography could be its ticket as it looks “assured” recognition for best film editing, sound and visual effects (so far).

In terms of the overdue, Darius Khondji, whose impressive career has only managed to be recognized once by the Academy — “Evita” (1996) — has two worthy entries under the guidance of two divisive films, “Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” and “Armageddon Time.” Former Oscar-winning veterans are in the mix and expected to make noise with the Academy. Janusz Kaminski’s creation of the childhood of master filmmaker Steven Spielberg in “The Fabelmans” is another stellar effort from the two-time winner — “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “Saving Private Ryan” (1998). He’s also fresh off another nom for “West Side Story” (2021). His competition could come from the second most-nominated DP Roger Deakins who delivers the beauty to Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light.”

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.

To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.


And The Predicted Nominees Are:
RankFilmDirector of PhotographyDistributor
1“The Fabelmans”Janusz KaminskiUniversal Pictures
A semi-autobiography based on Spielberg’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen.
2“Avatar: The Way of Water”Russell Carpenter20th Century Studios
Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the planet of Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their planet.
3“Empire of Light”Roger DeakinsSearchlight Pictures
“Empire of Light” is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.
4“Top Gun: Maverick”Claudio MirandaParamount Pictures
After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.
5“Emancipation”Robert RichardsonApple Original Films
A runaway slave forges through the swamps of Louisiana on a tortuous journey to escape plantation owners that nearly killed him.
Next in Line
6Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverAutumn Durald ArkapawMarvel Studios
The nation of Wakanda is pitted against intervening world powers as they mourn the loss of their king T’Challa.
7“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”Darius KhondjiNetflix
A renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles, who, after being named the recipient of a prestigious international award, is compelled to return to his native country.
8“Babylon”Linus SandgrenParamount Pictures
Set in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies, focusing on a mixture of historical & fictional characters.
9“TÁR”Florian HoffmeisterFocus Features
Set in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár. widely considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.
10“Everything Everywhere All at Once”Larkin SeipleA24
An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
Other Top-Tier Contenders
11“The Woman King”Polly MorganTriStar Pictures
12“Women Talking”Luc MontpellierMGM/United Artists Releasing
13“Nope”Hoyte van HoytemaUniversal Pictures
14“The Banshees of Inisherin”Ben DavisSearchlight Pictures
15“Thirteen Lives”Sayombhu MukdeepromAmazon Studios/MGM
16“The Wonder”Ari WegnerNetflix
17“Devotion”Erik MesserschmidtSony Pictures
18“White Noise”Lol CrawleyNetflix
19“The Son”Ben SmithardSony Pictures Classics
20“The Batman”Greig FraserWarner Bros.
Also In Contention
21“RRR”K. K. Senthil KumarVariance Films
22“Armageddon Time”Darius KhondjiFocus Features
23“Elvis”Mandy WalkerWarner Bros.
24“The Pale Blue Eye”Masanobu TakayanagiNetflix
25“Blonde”Chayse IrvinNetflix
26“Don’t Worry Darling”Matthew LibatiqueWarner Bros
27“Amsterdam”Emmanuel Lubezki20th Century Studios
28“Three Thousand Years of Longing”John SealeMGM/United Artists Releasing
29“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”Steve YedlinNetflix
30“Decision to Leave”Kim Ji-yongMubi
All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)
“A Man Called Otto”Matthias KoenigswieserSony Pictures
“After Yang”Benjamin LoebA24
“Aftersun”Gregory OkeA24
“All Quiet on the Western Front”James FriendNetflix
“Ambulance”Roberto De AngelisUniversal Pictures
“Amsterdam”Emmanuel Lubezki20th Century Studios
“Argentina, 1985”Javier JuliaAmazon Studios
“Armageddon Time”Darius KhondjiFocus Features
“As They Made Us”David Feeney-MosierQuiver
“Athena”Matias BoucardNetflix
“Avatar: The Way of Water”Russell Carpenter20th Century Studios
“Babylon”Linus SandgrenParamount Pictures
“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”Darius KhondjiNetflix
“Beast”Philippe RousselotUniversal Pictures
“Black Adam”Lawrence SherWarner Bros
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”Autumn DuraldMarvel Studios
“Blonde”Chayse IrvinNetflix
“Bodies Bodies Bodies”Jasper WolfA24
“Bones & All”Arseni KhachaturanMGM/United Artists Releasing
“Both Sides of the Blade”Eric GautierIFC Films
“Broker”Hong Kyung-pyoNeon
“Bros”Brandon TrostUniversal Pictures
“Bullet Train”Jonathan SelaSony Pictures
“Call Jane”Greta ZozulaRoadside Attractions
“Catherine Called Birdy”Laurie RoseAmazon Studios
“Causeway”Diego GarcíaA24/Apple Original Films
“Cha Cha Real Smooth”Cristina DunlapApple Original Films
“Close”Frank van den EedenA24
“Corsage”Judith KaufmannIFC Films
“Crimes of the Future”Douglas KochNeon
“Death on the Nile”Haris Zambarloukos20th Century Studios
“Decision to Leave”Kim Ji-yongMubi
“Devotion”Erik MesserschmidtSony Pictures
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”John MathiesonMarvel Studios
“Don’t Worry Darling”Matthew LibatiqueWarner Bros
“Elvis”Mandy WalkerWarner Bros.
“Emily the Criminal”Jeff BiermanRoadside Attractions
“Empire of Light”Roger DeakinsSearchlight Pictures
“EO”Michał DymekJanus Films and Sideshow
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”Larkin SeipleA24
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”Steve YedlinNetflix
“God’s Country”Andrew WheelerIFC Films
“Good Night Oppy”John Beck-Hofmann, David Paul JacobsonAmazon Studios
“Happening”Laurent TangyIFC Films
“Holy Spider”Nadim CarlsenUtopia
“Hunt”Lee Mo-gaeNo U.S. Distribution
“Hustle”Zak MulliganNetflix
“I Love My Dad”Steven Capitano CalitriMagnolia Pictures
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”Barry AckroydSony Pictures
“In Good Hands”Martin SzecsanovNetflix
“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”Benoît DelhommeNetflix
“Lightyear”Jeremy Lasky, Ian MegibbenPixar
“Living”Jamie D. RamsaySony Pictures Classics
“Lyle, Lyle Crocodile”Javier AguirresarobeSony Pictures
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”Bianca ClineA24
“Master Gardener”Alexander DynanNo U.S. Distribution
“Master”Charlotte HornsbyAmazon Studios
“Men”Rob HardyA24
“Montana Story”Giles NuttgensBleecker Street
“Mr. Malcolm’s List”Tony MillerBleecker Street
“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”Felix WiedemannFocus Features
“My Policeman”Ben DavisAmazon Studios
“Nanny”Rina YangAmazon Studios
“Nitram”Germain McMickingIFC Films
“Nope”Hoyte van HoytemaUniversal Pictures
“Official Competition”Arnau Valls ColomerIFC Films
“One Fine Morning”Denis LenoirSony Pictures Classics
“Pearl”Eliot RockettA24
“Persuasion”Joe AndersonNetflix
“R.M.N.”Tudor Vladimir PanduruIFC Films
“Raymond & Ray”Igor Jadue-LilloApple Original Films
“Return to Seoul”Thomas FavelSony Pictures Classics
“RRR”K. K. Senthil KumarVariance Films
“Saint Omer”Claire MithonNeon/Super
“See How They Run”Jamie D. RamsaySearchlight Pictures
“She Said”Natasha BraierUniversal Pictures
“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”Brian BurgoyneFocus Features
“Stars at Noon”Eric GautierA24
“TÁR”Florian HoffmeisterFocus Features
“The Banshees of Inisherin”Ben DavisSearchlight Pictures
“The Batman”Greig FraserWarner Bros.
“The Eight Mountains”Ruben ImpensM2 Pictures
“The Fabelmans”Janusz KaminskiUniversal Pictures
“The Good Nurse”Jody Lee LipesNetflix
“The Gray Man”Stephen F. WindonNetflix
“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”Sean PorterApple Original Films
“The Inspection”Lachlan MilneA24
“The Lost King”Zac NicholsonWarner Bros.
“The Menu”Peter DemingSearchlight Pictures
“The Northman”Jarin BlaschkeFocus Features
“The Pale Blue Eye”Masanobu TakanyagiNetflix
“The Phantom of the Open”Kit FraserSony Pictures Classics
“The Silent Twins”Jakub KijowskiFocus Features
“The Son”Ben SmithardSony Pictures Classics
“The Swimmers”Christopher RossNetflix
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”Nigel BuckLionsgate
“The Whale”Matthew LibatiqueA24
“The Woman King”Polly MorganTriStar Pictures
“The Wonder”Ari WegnerNetflix
“Thirteen Lives”Sayombhu MukdeepromAmazon Studios/MGM
“Thor: Love and Thunder”Barry IdoineMarvel Studios
“Three Thousand Years of Longing”John SealeMGM/United Artists Releasing
“Ticket to Paradise”Ole Bratt BirkelandUniversal Pictures
“Till”Bobby BukowskiOrion/United Artists Releasing
“Top Gun: Maverick”Claudio MirandaParamount Pictures
“Tori and Lokita”Benoît DervauxJanus Films
“Triangle of Sadness”Fredrik WenzelNeon
“Turn Every Page”Mott Hupfel
Sony Pictures Classics
“Turning Red”Mahyar Abousaeedi, Jonathan PytkoPixar
“Vengeance”Lyn MoncriefFocus Features
“War Pony”David GallegoPicturehouse Entertainment
“White Noise”Lol CrawleyNetflix
“Women Talking”Luc MontpellierMGM/United Artists Releasing

2023 Academy Awards Predictions


The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: "Dune" (Warner Bros.) - Greig Fraser

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Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes -- Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety's leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.