We’re just days away from the 95th annual Academy Awards, and as we get closer to the ceremony Sunday night, some of the races for the individual awards have long been decided, while others are will be hotly debated up until the last second.
Below, I’ve selected 10 of the more important of the 23 total awards. I gave my take on who I’d choose if I was making the call, along with my actual prediction of who I think will be taking home the gold statuette Sunday night. And finally, I gave my prediction for the other 13 awards so you can rightfully fade my questionable picks in your home Oscar pools.
I did my best to see everything nominated, but because of my own busy schedule (we are about to be knee deep in March Madness, after all), a handful of films and some shorts slipped through the cracks. However, I did see all 10 Best Picture nominees and all but just a few of the films nominated in the other nine categories below.
Best Documentary Feature
Who Tim thinks should win: “Navalny”
Who Tim thinks will win: “Navalny”
Sometimes timeliness pays off in this category and “Navalny” is documentary that’s as timely as they come. The film follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as he unravels the conspiracy around his attempted assassination by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2020. Navalny currently sits in a Russian prision, but the documentary lays bear the bold and shameless corruption of Putin’s autocratic regime.
As war in Ukraine continues to rage, Oscar voters will definitely have “Navalny” on the brain.
Best Animated Feature
Who should win: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”
Who will win: “Turning Red”
I nearly picked Pinocchio for both of these categories. It’s incredibly well made, heartfelt and has the money and influence of Netflix running point. Plus, it has someone like Guillermo del Toro behind it who has already been recognized by the the Academy. However, Pixar is tough to beat, and even though “Turning Red” was only released to Disney+, it feels dumb to bet against them. While I liked Pinocchio better, it’s tough to count out the animation giant that’s won more than half of the Best Animated Feature awards since they started giving it out in 2001.
Best Original Screenplay
Who should win: “Tár” — Todd Field
Who will win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
This will be the first in a trend. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is poised to have a big night after cleaning up at the smaller award shows leading up to Sunday. The screenplay for “EEAAO” is certainly unique and heartfelt, but upon rewatch recently, I found it kind of muddled and disjointed at times. For me, “Tár” was written with such specificity and depth, and it has a kind of sharpness that stays with you long after its over. But if I’m putting money down, it’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” 100%.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Who should win: “Women Talking” — Sarah Polley; based on the novel by Miriam Toews
Who will win: “Women Talking” — Sarah Polley; based on the novel by Miriam Toews
“Women Talking” was just recently released to streaming around the country and did not make to many theaters outside of larger cities, so its buzz has been subdued, but after winning the Writer’s Guild of America award last week, it has momentum. It was one of the last movies I watched before writing this and it was really powerful. The story of a colony of Mennonite women debating leaving their home to stop the rash of physical and sexual abuse being suffered by themselves and their children by the men in their community was incredibly engaging and emotionally powerful, despite the fact that much of the movie is what the title suggests, women sitting in a barn and talking.
Best Supporting Actress
Who should win: Kerry Condon — “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Who will win: Jamie Lee Curtis — “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
This is perhaps the most wide-open race of the year. While the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” duo of Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu has the edge, Angela Bassett is right behind them for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” But Lee Curtis won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award two weeks ago, and I think that gives her the momentum, even though there’s a real possibility that Curtis and Hsu could split the “EEAAO” vote.
Kerry Condon, meanwhile, won the British Academy of Film and Television Award (BAFTA) and was my favorite performance of the available nominees. This one will be an absolute mystery until a name is announced Sunday night.
Best Supporting Actor
Who should win: Ke Huy Quan — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
Who will win: Ke Huy Quan — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
In my opinion, maybe the best story in this year’s Oscar race is Ke Huy Quan. He went from forgotten child star of the 1980’s to the clear front runner for Best Supporting Actor in just a year’s time. There may have been performances this year that I liked better, but Huy Quan’s is a story so special that it only comes around every so often. Plus, he legitimately gives the best performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, so not only is it the best narrative, it’s also well deserved.
Who should win: Steven Spielberg — “The Fabelmans”
Who will win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
With all of the awards “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is winning, it would almost be disingenuous if you didn’t give the Best Director Oscar to Kwan and Scheinert. While I was tempted to say Todd Field should win for directing “Tár”, for the sake of variety, Steven Spielberg (who won the Golden Globe) released a very personable and engaging film in “The Fabelmans” that really was a masterful bit of storytelling. While Spielberg most likely won’t be walking away with the third Best Director Oscar on Sunday, he’s certainly more than deserving of it.
Who should win: Cate Blanchett — “Tár”
Who will win: Michelle Yeoh — “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Cate Blanchett seemed to be the clear front-runner just a couple months ago, but the momentum behind the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” train has rocketed Michelle Yeoh to the front. I think Blanchett’s portrayal of conductor Lydia Tár is good enough to stand with some of the best performances in film history. While Yeoh is good, in my opinion, it doesn’t match up. But I’m not picking them, and I think the Academy is locked in on Yeoh.
Who should win: Colin Farrell — “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Who will win: Brendan Fraser — “The Whale”
I didn’t like “The Whale.” In fact, quite a few people didn’t like “The Whale”. But almost everybody, including me, liked Brendan Fraser in “The Whale” and is glad the former heartthrob is back making movies after some time away. Having said that, I’d rather give an award to someone who was in a movie I enjoyed, and Colin Farrell was magical in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” NOTE: Despite the fact that Fraser won the SAG award, Austin Butler (“Elvis”) is still right on his heels and could easily walk away with the Oscar.
Who should win: “Tár”
Who will win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
For me, it’s pretty simple. I think “Tár” has this year’s best performance, the best writing and some of the best filmmaking of any movie released. For me, it’d be an easy pick for Oscar gold. However, the winds of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” continue to blow like a hurricane. Any other win aside from “EEAAO” would be a massive and unprecedented upset.
The other 13: Best International Feature: “All Quiet on the Western Front”; Best Documentary Short Subject: “Haulout”; Best Live Action Short Film: “Le pupille”; Best Animated Short Film: “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”; Best Original Score: “Babylon”; Best Original Song: “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR”; Best Production Design: “Babylon”; Best Cinematography: “All Quiet on the Western Front”; Best Make-up and Hairstyling: “The Whale”; Best Costume Design: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”; Best Sound: “Top Gun: Maverick”; Best Visual Effects: “Avatar: The Way of Water”; Best Film Editing: “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
The Academy Awards will be televised Sunday at 7 p.m. on ABC.