Class…put your books away, and clear your desks. It’s now time for your Oscars test.
We’ve watched all the movies and seen all the precursor ceremonies that have provided all the necessary hints and clues on which films will emerge victorious at the 95th annual Academy Awards on March 12.
A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is forecast to be the evening’s biggest winner, including best picture and two historic acting wins. Among them are Michelle Yeoh (the first Asian and second woman of color to win best actress) and Ke Huy Quan (the second Asian winner in supporting actor).
Don’t let the projections fool you into thinking there’s confidence within those picks, as Quan is the only one that seems locked.
Yeoh, coming off a perfectly timed SAG win, could come up short of two-time winner Cate Blanchett, who is the only way for her film “Tár” to receive recognition.
The same goes for Kerry Condon, a BAFTA winner for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” who could also take advantage of a veteran vote split between Curtis and Golden Globe and Critics Choice winner Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Supporting actress is one of the top five unpredictable races this year, and it’ll be a photo finish.
Writers, directors and producers Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert should pull off the hat trick, winning picture, director and original screenplay. “Everything Everywhere” will be the ninth movie to achieve this feat.
Other potential multiple statuette winners include “Elvis,” which could pick up two technical prizes for costumes and makeup, and its leading man, Austin Butler, in best actor. The 31-year-old is in close competition with Brendan Fraser from “The Whale,” who has been the feel-good comeback story of the year. However, “Banshees” star Colin Farrell was mentioned by multiple voters and could be a surprise victor.
Netflix’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” received a massive boost from BAFTA, where it won best film, but was absent from nearly all the major guilds. Nonetheless, conversations with voters point to it picking up cinematography and international feature. We shouldn’t be surprised if it nabs up to five statuettes (which would include adapted screenplay, production design, makeup and sound). The streamer is also expected to pick up its first win in animated feature with “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”
“It saved the movies” has been the motto echoed on the circuit for Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” with Tom Cruise. While it’s closer to winning the top category than people think, we should still expect some love for it in places like editing and sound. And there’s still a chance for the movie to upset in the Academy’s top category, giving Cruise his first Academy Award.
The final predictions for the 95th Oscars are below.
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.
See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.
Countdown to the Oscars with Variety here.
After winning DGA, PGA, SAG and WGA, “Everything Everywhere” feels like an undeniable winner. If you are predicting an “upset,” you must give a very strong case through your predictions (i.e., “All Quiet on the Western Front” is sweeping, or “The Banshees of Inisherin” is picking up two acting, screenplay and score). While some voters are not in the camp for “Everything Everywhere,” if there is an upset brewing, “Top Gun: Maverick” would be the one to do it. Keep an eye on visual effects (and possibly original song) during the ceremony to indicate this is possible.
Will Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Jonathan Wang
Could Win: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures) – Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, Jerry Bruckheimer
Should Win: “Tár” (Focus Features) – Todd Field, Scott Lambert, Alexandra Milchan
Should have been here: “Close” (A24) — Michiel Dhont, Dirk Impens
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert beat “The Fabelmans” helmer Steven Spielberg on his DGA home turf. At 35 years old each, Kwan and Scheinert are the youngest pair ever to win DGA and could be the seventh-youngest director Oscar winners.
Will Win: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Could Win: Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures)
Should Win: Todd Field, “Tár” (Focus Features)
Should have been here: S.S. Rajamouli, “RRR” (Variance Films)
Actor in a Leading Role
With BAFTA and Golden Globes going with Austin Butler (“Elvis”) and Critics Choice and SAG choosing Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), on the surface, the race has narrowed to one of the two men walking with the statuette. But, interestingly, Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) has also come up in multiple conversations, with members sharing they voted for the Irish veteran.
Even though Butler dominated the early days of the circuit, then cooling off a bit in the middle portion, he came roaring back in phase two. I think the international voting bloc is going for him significantly, and the best picture nom helped tons. Fraser would be the first best actor winner without a picture nod since Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart” (2009). Going with Butler.
Will Win: Austin Butler, “Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
Could Win: Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures)
Should Win: Austin Butler
Should have been here: Mehdi Bajestani, “Holy Spider” (Utopia)
Actress in a Leading Role
Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win a SAG lead actress film award for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Seeing her emotion take hold of her was heartwarming and long overdue for an actress that should have already been nominated for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) and “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018). Then there’s Cate Blanchett, after winning BAFTA, Critics Choice and Globes for “Tár.” Yeoh turned it on at the right time. I also think her co-star James Hong may have brought it home for her during his rousing SAG speech.
Will Win: Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Could Win: Cate Blanchett, “Tár” (Focus Features)
Should Win: Michelle Yeoh
Should have been here: Danielle Deadwyler, “Till” (Orion/United Artists Releasing)
Actor in a Supporting Role
Barry Keoghan’s shocking BAFTA win aside for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” there’s no stopping the comeback story of the year, and perhaps in decades with Ke Huy Quan’s lovable Waymond Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
Quan’s line — “Even though you have broken my heart yet again, I wanted to say, in another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you” — seals the deal.
Will Win: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Could Win: Judd Hirsch, “The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures)
Should Win: Ke Huy Quan
Should have been here: Pedro Pascal, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (Lionsgate)
Actress in a Supporting Role
Jesus take the wheel! This is the hardest category to predict.
It seems so evenly split based on conversations with voters. Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” looked to have this wrapped up with Critics Choice and Golden Globe wins. That is until Kerry Condon’s Siobhan from “The Banshees of Inisherin” took BAFTA, and Jamie Lee Curtis’ Deidre from “Everything Everywhere All at Once” walked away with SAG.
Condon and Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere”) seem to be what I call the “purity” selections of the category.
In this new era of preferential ballots, international and younger Academy members have exercised a “spread the love” mentality, resisting the urge to go down the line for a movie in every category it’s nominated. Only two best picture winners have demonstrated this since 2009 taking home five or more statuettes. A helpful tool I’ve used is “traveling down the ballot” — reviewing the order in which an Academy member votes in the categories. That’s what I’m using to pick Condon.
Will Win: Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures)
Could Win: Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Should Win: Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Should have been here: Dolly De Leon, “Triangle of Sadness” (Neon)
If Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheniert win the Oscars’ trifecta — best picture, directing and screenplay — they would become the ninth filmmaking duo to achieve this feat in a single year. In addition, Kwan would be the third Asian to win original screenplay.
Martin McDonagh won Golden Globe and BAFTA, which are typically a winning combination. Although McDonagh’s last film “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017) also won both and lost the Oscar to “Get Out” by Jordan Peele.
Sticking with the front-runner for best picture.
Will Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Could Win: “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures) – Martin McDonagh
Should Win: “Tár” (Focus Features) – Todd Field
Should have been here: “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” (Searchlight Pictures) – Katy Brand
Another tight race. Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” tacked on two crucial mentions from the WGA and USC Scripter Awards last weekend in adapted screenplay, besting the only Oscar-nominated film, “Living” by Kazuo Ishiguro (“Top Gun: Maverick” withdrew its nomination from Scripter). Did Polley’s film do enough to stay ahead of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which despite cleaning up at the BAFTA Awards, was absent from all the guilds (some due to ineligibility, others due to outright snub)?
Talking with various awards voters, and campaign teams, there seems to be a large groundswell of support from many female members of the Academy that are getting behind “Women Talking,” as it represents the only film directed by a woman to be recognized in best picture.
Nevertheless, it was surprising to hear how many members were checking the box for Sony Pictures Classics’ “Living,” the remake of Akira Kirosawa’s “Ikiru,” penned by Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s also the only nominated movie with an acting nomination (Bill Nighy in best actor).
Pundits have often seen the screenplay prizes as a consolation for a movie that isn’t winning best picture. Look at wins for “Jojo Rabbit” (2019), “BlacKkKlansman” (2018), “Call Me by Your Name” (2017) and “The Imitation Game” (2014). However, films rarely win screenplay without an acting nom unless it’s winning best picture. That was seen with “Gods and Monsters” (1998) winning over “The Thin Red Line” and “Sling Blade” (1996) besting best picture winner “The English Patient,” so there’s precedent for such an upset.
The prediction is…women talk!
Will Win: “Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Sarah Polley
Could Win: “Living” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Kazuo Ishiguro
Should Win: “Women Talking”
Should have been here: “Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – David Kajganich
We don’t need to entertain this any further. Netflix’s “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” has won the big awards for animation on its march to the Oscars, nabbing the Annie and the PGA awards.
Guillermo del Toro will be the first person to have Oscars for best picture, director and animation, along with Netflix becoming the first streamer to win this category.
Will Win: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” (Netflix) – Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley
Could Win: “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (A24) – Dean Fleischer-Camp, Andrew Goldman, Elisabeth Holm, Caroline Kaplan, Paul Mezey
Should Win: “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
Should have been here: “Wendell and Wild” (Netflix) – Henry Selick, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jordan Peele
“Babylon” has swept, but Catherine Martin has never won only one Oscar on a night. She’s typically won both production and costumes and is considered the favorite for “Elvis” in the latter category. Watch out for the triple-nominated woman or even “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which could hint to a possible best picture victory (but highly unlikely).
Will Win: “Babylon” (Paramount Pictures) – Florencia Martin, Anthony Carlino
Could Win: “Elvis” (Warner Bros.) – Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy, Bev Dunn
Should Win: “The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures) – Rick Carter, Karen O’Hara
Should have been here: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (Netflix) — Rick Heinrichs, Elli Griff
D.P. Mandy Walker became the first woman to the top cinematography prize at ASC for “Elvis,” but that happened in the middle of final voting. If it happened one week earlier, she’d likely be a shoo-in to make Oscars history.
I will stick with BAFTA winner James Friend for the war film, “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
Will Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix) – James Friend
Could Win: “Elvis” (Warner Bros.) – Mandy Walker
Should Win: “Empire of Light” (Searchlight Pictures) – Roger Deakins
Should have been here: “Emancipation” (Apple Original Films) – Robert Richardson
Despite being prone to a surprise, Catherine Martin seems to be marching towards her Oscar with her three noms for best picture, production design and costumes.
Ruth E. Carter behind “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” who won the Oscar for the first entry, is a possibility for her stunning thread creations. If she wins, she’ll be the first Black woman to win more than one statuette in any category. This a stunning statistic considering how many artists have multiple Oscars. More than 3,100 Oscar statuettes have been handed out in the past 95 years. Of those, only 18 were awarded to Black women.
It’s unclear if we’ll have any new additions to the small list this year.
Will Win: “Elvis” (Warner Bros.) – Catherine Martin
Could Win: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Marvel Studios) – Ruth E. Carter
Should Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Shirley Kurata
Should have been here: “Don’t Worry Darling” (Warner Bros.) – Arianne Phillips
If you follow the recent statistics for best editing and how it correlates to the best sound category, only two of this year’s nominees are likely to win — Warner Bros’ “Elvis” (Jonathan Redmond, Matt Villa) and Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick” (Eddie Hamilton).
However, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has Critics Choice, BAFTA and ACE Eddie. The last movie to lose after winning those three was “Gladiator” (2001).
I feel the American vote will pop through in a few places, and I think it’ll show itself with “Top Gun: Maverick” getting love.
Will Win: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures) – Eddie Hamilton
Could Win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Paul Rogers
Should Win: “Tár” (Focus Features) – Monika Willi
Should have been here: “Three Minutes: A Lengthening” (Neon/Super) – Katharina Wartena
Makeup and Hairstyling
“Most” is often conflated with “best” and this year is leaning towards the former after Critics Choice and BAFTA wins.
Sticking with “Elvis.”
Will Win: “Elvis” (Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, Aldo Signoretti)
Could Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix) – Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová
Should Win: “The Batman” (Warner Bros.) – Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine
Should have been here: “Blonde” (Netflix) – Tina Roesler Kerwin (makeup department head), Jaime Leigh McIntosh
Starting with “Gravity” (2013) and continuing to last year’s “Dune” (2021), all of the winners for best film editing have also taken home the sound category (NOTE: the sound categories merged in 2020, so prior, the film that won editing, also took home one of the sound categories for either mixing or sound editing). That run also includes some stunning upsets like “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016) over “La La Land.”
However, “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” not nominated in sound, is considered the favorite by many in editing. “All Quiet on the Western Front” won BAFTA and was not nominated in editing, so that split could make the most sense.
The “Top Gun: Maverick” pairing could be the safe choice for traditional, establishment voters.
Will Win: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures) – Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor
Could Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix) – Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel and Stefan Korte
Should Win: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures)
Should have been here: “The Northman” (Focus Features) – James Harrison, Steve Little, Paul Cotterell, Mark Taylor
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is considered a runaway in this race, but pay close attention.
If “Top Gun: Maverick” pulls off an upset, best picture could be within grasp (given that it wins also wins editing and sound).
Will Win: “Avatar: The Way of Water” (20th Century Studios) – Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, Daniel Barrett
Could Win: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures) – Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher
Should Win: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures)
Should have been here: “Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios) — Ivan Busquets, Abishek Nair, Marko Chulev, Steven Nichols
BAFTA chose “All Quiet on the Western Front” while the Golden Globes chose “Babylon.” There are various possibilities with “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” and “Women Talking” out of the lineup.
Based on conversations with voters, it feels like this is down to the two veterans — John Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Carter Burwell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”).
Williams, the oldest nominee of a competitive Oscar in history, is coming to bat with another Spielberg joint, “The Fablemans.” With five Oscar wins, with the last coming over 30 years ago for “Schindler’s List” (1993), he has immense support and could take one more home, becoming the oldest competitive winner in history.
Burwell, the New York-born composer of “The Banshees of Inisherin,” who despite a stunning filmography, has only landed two previous Oscar noms — “Carol” (2015) and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017).
Will Win: “The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures) – John Williams
Could Win: “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures) – Carter Burwell
Should Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix) – Volker Bertelmann
Should have been here: “The Batman” (Warner Bros) – Michael Giacchino
This race is closer than people may be aware of. “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” is still considered the favorite, but Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance helped the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” campaign. Also, I think many ballots with Angela Bassett as supporting actress likely have “Lift Me Up” as well. The same could be said for Lady Gaga with “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” nominated for best picture.
Will Win: “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” (Variance Films) – Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj
Could Win: “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”)
Should Win: “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR”
Should have been here: “Love is Not Love” from “Bros” (Universal Pictures) – Marc Shaiman and Billy Eichner
“Navalny” is timely and riding high after winning BAFTA and PGA. In addition to Dasha Navalnaya, the daughter of jailed Russian dissident Alexey Navalny appearing on CNN at the top of voting, it may have received the needed push to clear the finish line.
Don’t count out “Fire of Love” which won DGA.
Will Win: “Navalny” (CNN/Warner Bros.) – Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris
Could Win: “Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon) – Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman
Should Win: “Fire of Love”
Should have been here: “Retrograde” (National Geographic) – Matthew Heineman, Caitlin McNally
It’s all wrapped up for the movie with nine nominations including best picture.
Eight films have the honor of being nominated for both best picture and international feature: “Z” (1969), “The Emigrants” (1971/72), “Life is Beautiful” (1998), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Amour” (2012), “Roma” (2018), “Parasite” (2019) and “Drive My Car” (2021). “Emigrants” is the only one of the seven to receive nominations in different years and the only one to lose the international feature category. No movie had ever lost best international feature when also nominated for picture.
It would be hard to imagine the first happening now.
Will Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany)
Could Win: “Argentina, 1985” (Argentina)
Should Win: “Close” (Belgium)
Should have been here: “Holy Spider” (Denmark)
This animation category seems pre-ordained for Apple to get its first win here with “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse.” There are lovers of “My Year of Dicks” (helped by Riz Ahmed’s viral nomination announcement) that could surprise.
Will Win: “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” (Apple TV+) – Charlie Mackesy, Matthew Freud
Could Win: “My Year of Dicks” (The Animation Showcase) – Sara Gunnarsdóttir, Pamela Ribon
Should Win: “The Flying Sailor” (National Film Board of Canada) – Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby
Should have been here: “New Moon” (Edith Productions) – Jérémie Balais, Jeffig Le Bars, Raul Domingo, Colman Domingo
Predicting the shorts is always very unpredictable, but this year is in overdrive. Netflix has two movies in the running — “The Elephant Whisperers” and “The Martha Mitchell Effect” — with the former tracking very well with voters.
Malala was on the circuit in a big way for “Stranger at the Gate” which could be the one that pushes it forward. The heartwarming feelings from “How Do You Measure a Year” also struck a few chords.
Flipping a coin in favor of Netflix’s love of animals.
Will Win: “The Elephant Whisperers” (Netflix) – Kartiki Gonsalves, Guneet Monga)
Could Win: “Stranger at the Gate” (The New Yorker) — Joshua Seftel, Conall Jones
Should Win: “How Do You Measure a Year?” (Jay Rosenblatt Films) – Jay Rosenblatt
Should have been here: “38 at the Garden” (HBO Max) – Frank Chi
Live Action Short
“An Irish Goodbye” is the only English-language movie in the lineup, with the BAFTA prize under its belt. However, “The Red Suitcase” seems to be the purity choice from many voters that will give it a run for its money.
Will Win: “An Irish Goodbye” (Floodlight Pictures) – Tom Berkeley, Ross White
Could Win: “The Red Suitcase” (Cynefilms) – Cyrus Neshvad
Should Win: “The Red Suitcase”
Should have been here: “Moshari” (Left Handed Films) — Nuhash Humayun