Oscars – The Case of Avatar: The Way of Water

My Case Of posts where I serve as the defense for and prosecution against the Best Picture, Director, and four acting competition hopefuls arrives at our second contender in the biggest race of all. That’s Avatar: The Way of Water, James Cameron’s long-in-development sequel to 2009’s 3D game changer.

The Case for Avatar: The Way of Water:

If the Academy wants to honor the highest grossing worldwide pic of the bunch, this is your movie. Cameron’s follow-up just surpassed $2 billion at the global box office and has ruled the domestic box office for seven weeks running.

The Case Against Avatar: The Way of Water:

If the Academy wants to honor the highest grossing domestic pic of the bunch, Top Gun: Maverick is their movie. It’s the sequel that had the best nominations haul on Oscar noms morning. Water‘s four overall mentions are less than half of the nine achieved by the original 13 years ago. It won three – Art Direction (now Production Design), Cinematography, and Visual Effects. This one seems destined for a sole victory. Cameron couldn’t make the final five for his direction (he did get a Globes nod) and editing is another significant omission.

Other Nominations:

Production Design, Sound, Visual Effects

The Verdict:

That likely win is in Visual Effects. With the aforementioned whiffs in direction and editing and the less than impressive haul (compared to part 1), Water was pretty fortunate to make the cut at all.

My Case Of posts will continue with The Banshees of Inisherin!

If you missed my post covering All Quiet on the Western Front, click here:

Knock at the Cabin Box Office Prediction

Universal Pictures is counting on audiences to take a Knock at the Cabin when it debuts February 3rd. The latest film from M. Night Shyamalan, it’s based on the 2018 novel by Paul G. Tremblay. A thriller blending horror elements, Dave Bautista is a believer in the imminent apocalypse holding a family hostage. Costars include Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, and Rupert Grint.

This looks to be the picture to knock Avatar: The Way of Water off its lengthy perch at #1 and should do so with room to spare. Shyamalan, after a career resurgence that kicked into high gear with Split, is one of the few filmmakers whose name can sell tickets (especially in this genre). This is his first R rated title since 2008’s The Happening. His predecessor Old (2021) opened in the summer of 2021 with just under $17 million.

Cabin, with less competition than Old had, should exceed that starting gross. A take of over $20 million is doable.

Knock at the Cabin opening weekend prediction: $22.6 million

For my 80 for Brady prediction, click here:

95th Academy Awards Nominations Reaction

It was a glorious performance for Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Banshees of Inisherin with this morning’s Oscar nominations. Both pics were up everywhere they needed to be for everything to potentially win the big prize on March 12th.

There were also strong showings for All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, The Fabelmans, and Top Gun: Maverick. However, it’s fair to say that each missed a key race or two that would’ve helped for their Best Picture viability.

As far as my own showing, I went 79 for 105 in my projections. I’ll take it though it’s slightly under my 82/105 performance from the previous year. One bright spot: no 2 for 5’s as I’d experienced a couple of times in preceding years.

Let’s walk through each race one by one with initial thoughts, shall we?

Best Picture

The Nominees: 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

How I Did: 8/10

No real shockers. The movies that I had listed 11th and 12th (Avatar and Women Talking) made it over my selections of Babylon and The Whale. I went a little bold omitting Water in the first place.

As hinted at, I’m seeing this as between Everything and Banshees with Fabelmans as a potential spoiler (and maybe Maverick if I’m feeling bold).

Best Director

The Nominees: Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Todd Field (Tár), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ruben Ostlund (Triangle of Sadness), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

How I Did: 4/5

The Daniels v. Spielberg is where this may come down to. All Quiet had a solid morning, but Edward Berger missing (I predicted him) likely eliminates it as a BP winner. Ostlund gets in instead.

Best Actress

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

How I Did: 3/5

In just the last few days, there was an organic (?) campaign launched for Riseborough by plenty of famous faces. She was nowhere near the radar for the bulk of the season. Her inclusion might alter how campaigns look in the future. Williams (who was looking shaky) and Riseborough make it over my predictions of Viola Davis (The Woman King) and Danielle Deadwyler (Till). Both of their pics were shutout completely. As for who makes the podium trip, it’s either Blanchett or Yeoh.

Best Actor

The Nominees: Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

For most prognosticators, this came down to Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick vs. Mescal for the fifth slot. It wasn’t to be for a fourth Cruise nod. For Mescal and Nighy, it’s an honor to be in the quintet. The race is between Butler and Farrell and Fraser (who have all nabbed key precursors). FYI – this entire lineup is first-time nominees and 16 of the acting nominees are newbies (which is very high).

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees: 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)

How I Did: 4/5

Hsu, who was my alternate, is in over Triangle‘s Dolly De Leon. If you’d told me De Leon’s movie would get Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay – I would’ve been even more confident she’d make it. With victories already at the Globes and Critics Choice, Bassett is the frontrunner.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: 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)

How I Did: 4/5

Henry gets the unanticipated nod over my pick of Paul Dano in The Fabelmans (many had Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse projected here). This is, frankly, the simplest acting derby to call and it is Quan.

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Triangle of Sadness

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

The expected five as the Banshees v Everything showdown could be a clue during the night as to what wins BP at the end of it.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Living, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking

How I Did: 3/5

Maverick and All Quiet over She Said (which was shut out) and The Whale. Considering Women Talking made it in the BP ten, it could get the gold in this race and this one only since it received the least amount of nods (2) for the BP hopefuls. As an aside, there’s always a screenplay contender that gets no other noms anywhere else. This year it was Glass Onion.

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Sea Beast, Turning Red

How I Did: 4/5

Pinocchio should take this, but this marks its only nod (it was expected to contend for Song and some techs). I had gone with Netflix’s Wendell and Wild for the fifth spot over Netflix’s The Sea Beast.

Best International Feature Film

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Close, EO, The Quiet Girl

How I Did: 3/5

Here’s where there was a total surprise with Decision to Leave getting snubbed. I would’ve had it as the runner-up possibility to win over All Quiet (easily the favorite). I didn’t have Close or EO (though neither is unexpected). In addition to Decision, I also had Joyland.

Best Documentary Feature

The Nominees: All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Fire of Love, A House Made of Splinters, Navalny

How I Did: 4/5

Had Descendant instead of Splinters. There’s a path to victory for everything but Splinters in my view.

Best Cinematography

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Bardo, Elvis, Empire of Light, Tár

How I Did: 3/5

Top Gun: Maverick missing is baffling considering it was a major threat to win. It misses along with The Batman in favor of Bardo and Tár. I wouldn’t discount Empire for the victory though Quiet could make noise in this one.

Best Costume Design

The Nominees: Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

How I Did: 4/5

Everything‘s over performance is evident. I had The Woman King instead. The first three alphabetically are your possible winners.

Best Film Editing

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

How I Did: 3/5

In years past, getting an editing nod is often needed if you want to take BP. So it’s bad news for All Quiet and The Fabelmans. Banshees and Tár join the lineup in their place. Elvis, Everything, and Maverick all possibilities.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, The Whale

How I Did: 4/5

Had Amsterdam and not Quiet. Elvis or The Whale are most likely.

Best Original Score

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans

How I Did: 3/5

Considering it made BP, I didn’t think Women Talking would miss. I also had Pinocchio but it’s All Quiet and Everything. This could be the sole Oscar for Babylon.

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

How I Did: 4/5

Had Pinocchio‘s “Ciao Papa” and not the Everything tune. Despite big names like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and producer Diane Warren in the mix, “Naatu Naatu” has taken the precursors.

Best Production Design

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Elvis, The Fabelmans

How I Did: 4/5

A rare occurrence as I had Everything projected and it didn’t make it. All Quiet materializes instead. This could be Elvis or maybe a second shot for Babylon.

Best Sound

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick

How I Did: 4/5

The sound you hear when the envelope opens might be Maverick‘s only victory (now that Cinematography is impossible). I had EEAAO and not The Batman.

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick

How I Did: 3/5

Had the wrong MCU pic with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and not Panther. All Quiet is also in and I had Thirteen Lives. This should be the Avatar trophy.

That means these movies ended up garnering these numbers in terms of nominations:

11 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

9 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin

8 Nominations

Elvis

7 Nominations

The Fabelmans

6 Nominations

Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

4 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water

3 Nominations

Babylon, The Batman, Triangle of Sadness, The Whale

2 Nominations

Living, Women Talking

1 Nomination

Aftersun, All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Bardo, Blonde, Causeway, Close, Empire of Light, EO, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, A House Made of Splinters, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Quiet Girl, RRR, The Sea Beast, Tell It Like a Woman, To Leslie, Turning Red

So what’s next? Followers of the blog may recall that I will soon begin my “Case Of” posts. That’s 35 separate write-ups making the case for and against all contenders in Picture, Director, and the four acting competitions. Stay tuned!

January 27-29 Box Office Predictions

2023 has gotten off to a pleasing start at the box office, but the last weekend of January should be rather quiet. Horror pic Fear is slated to be a wide release. I haven’t done an individual prediction post on it because I’ve yet to see a theater count. It would be surprising to see it in the top five. At the moment, I’m thinking it’ll be lucky to reach $2 million.

That means the chart should look very similar to this past frame with Avatar: The Way of Water spending a seventh weekend in first (very likely for the final time with Knock at the Cabin and 80 for Brady on deck). It might be the only feature to make over $10 million as I have dropping in the low to mid 30s for a low teens gross.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (after a great hold in its 5th life) should stay in second during its sixth. Holdovers A Man Called Otto, M3GAN, and Missing (after a slightly better than anticipated debut) appear poised to populate slots 3-5.

Here’s how I see it playing out:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $9.2 million

3. A Man Called Otto

Predicted Gross: $6 million

4. M3GAN

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

5. Missing

Predicted Gross: $5.1 million

Box Office Results (January 20-22)

A six-peat greeted Avatar: The Way of Water with a take of $20.1 million, a bit under my $23.9 million forecast. James Cameron’s sequel crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide and neared $600 million domestically at $598 million.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is showing its multiple lives as it impressed in second with a mere 18% drop. Earning $11.8 million in its fifth outing (I was lower with $8.7 million), the animated follow-up has amassed $126 million.

M3GAN was third in weekend 3 with $9.7 million, on pace with my $9.5 million projection. The campy horror effort hit $73 million.

Missing, the stand-alone sequel to thriller Searching, found some fans in fourth with $9.1 million, surpassing my $6.8 million prediction. Considering the reported $7 million price tag, this should turn a tidy profit.

A Man Called Otto rounded out the top five at $8.8 million (I said $9.3 million). In its second weekend of wide release, it dipped a commendable 31%.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

95th Academy Awards FINAL Oscar Nomination Predictions

After months of endless speculation, the nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be revealed on Tuesday morning. These are my final predictions.

***FYI – I just started a brand new podcast and you can listen to yours truly discuss these final picks at the link here:

https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/my-podcasts/show/movies-at-the-speed-of-speculation/741037cf-8875-406a-8aaa-df66028bfe3e/episodes

I have penned dozens and dozens of posts setting the stage. The time for chatter is over. Below you will find my forecast in all 20 feature film categories with an alternate picked in each.

I will have a recap up Tuesday evening recounting how I did with some initial thoughts on frontrunners to win.

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

The Whale

Alternate: Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Director

Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front

Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Todd Field, Tár

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Alternate: Baz Luhrmann, Elvis

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Alternate: Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Alternate: Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick

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

Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness

Alternate: Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Alternate: Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Tár

Triangle of Sadness

Alternate: Aftersun

Best Adapted Screenplay

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Living

She Said

The Whale

Women Talking

Alternate: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Animated Feature

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Turning Red

Wendell and Wild

Alternate: My Father’s Dragon

Best International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

Argentina, 1985

Decision to Leave

Joyland

The Quiet Girl

Alternate: Close

Best Documentary Feature

All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Descendant

Fire of Love

Navalny

Alternate: Moonage Daydream

Best Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman

Elvis

Empire of Light

Top Gun: Maverick

Alternate: The Fabelmans

Best Costume Design

Babylon

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

The Woman King

Alternate: The Fabelmans

Best Film Editing

All Quiet on the Western Front

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Top Gun: Maverick

Alternate: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Amsterdam

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

The Whale

Alternate: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Score

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Fabelmans

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Women Talking

Alternate: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Original Song

“Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman

“Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

“Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Alternate: “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Production Design

Avatar: The Way of Water

Babylon

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Alternate: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Top Gun: Maverick

Alternate: The Batman

Best Visusal Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Thirteen Lives

Top Gun: Maverick

Alternate: All Quiet on the Western Front

And that means a final tally for these movies generating these numbers in terms of nominations:

9 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

8 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, The Fabelmans

6 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

The Whale

4 Nominations

Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Tár

3 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Triangle of Sadness

2 Nominations

Living, The Woman King, Women Talking

1 Nomination

Aftersun, All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Amsterdam, Argentina, 1985, Blonde, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Empire of Light, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Joyland, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Quiet Girl, RRR, She Said, Till, Tell It Like a Woman, Thirteen Lives, Turning Red, Wendell and Wild

Top Gun:

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of January 20-22, 2023

After a solid MLK long weekend at the box office, tech thriller Missing (a stand-alone sequel to 2018’s Searching) hopes to keep the 2023 momentum going in multiplexes. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

As the only new wide release, I’ve got Missing making the top five. However, it may fall under four holdovers. Avatar: The Way of Water should have no trouble staying in first for the sixth frame. The battle for #2 should be far more interesting. If Missing over performs, it could get there.

I’ve got the earnings of M3GAN, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and A Man Called Otto separated by under a million. All three did well over the holiday. M3GAN is likely to suffer the biggest drop, but I’ve still got it clinging to #2 with Otto right behind and Boots in fourth.

Here’s how I see it looking for your high five:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $23.9 million

2. M3GAN

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million

3. A Man Called Otto

Predicted Gross: $9.3 million

4. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $8.7 million

5. Missing

Predicted Gross: $6.8 million

Box Office Results (January 13-16)

Friday the 13th and the rest of the weekend was not unlucky as Avatar: The Way of Water 5-peated wtih $39.8 million. That’s just below my take of $41.2 million as James Cameron’s massive sequel sits at $571 million.

M3GAN held up well in its sophomore frame in second with $21.6 million from Friday to Monday. Ahead of my $18.7 million projection, the campy horror hit is grooving to $60 million thus far.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish actually increased from the previous weekend in third at $18.9 million (slashing past my $13 million estimate). The animated sequel is now in nine figures with a lively $111 million.

Tom Hanks helped bring in adult moviegoers as A Man Called Otto expanded nationwide with a fourth place gross of $15.4 million (on target with my $15.9 million prediction). With an A Cinemascore grade, look for this to hold up well in the coming weeks. The tally is $21 million and growing.

Gerard Butler’s Plane took off in fifth with a decent $11.8 million (flying higher than my $7.2 million forecast). I suspect a drop at or close to 50% is where this lands next weekend.

Finally, comedic remake House Party did OK considering its lowly 1400 screen count. It was sixth with $4.6 million and that’s more RSVPs than my $3 million guesstimate.

That does it for now, folks! Until next time…

76th BAFTA Nominee Predictions

Arriving five days before Oscar nominations are the British Academy Film Awards – commonly known as the BAFTAs. On January 6th, the long lists in each category were revealed. There were major surprises like Avatar: The Way of Water not being in the list of 10 for Best Film consideration (same goes for its maker James Cameron in Director). Perhaps the biggest shock was Steven Spielberg being omitted from the Directing race. That’s partly why I have The Fabelmans generating a grand total of 1 nomination.

This is a show that isn’t afraid to go their own way. In 2021, while all 5 Best Film contenders were also BP contenders with the Academy, none of the six Best Actress hopefuls scored an Oscar nod (I doubt that happens again). Only two of the six Actor nominees got the Academy’s consideration.

You know the drill. For each competition, I’m giving you my picks (nominees can be between 4 and 10 and mostly 5 and 6 depending on the race) and a runner-up. Let’s go!

Best Film

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Triangle of Sadness

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Director

Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front), Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Alice Diop (Saint Omer), Todd Field (Tár), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Charlotte Wells (Aftersun)

Runner-Up: Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave

Actress

Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Lesley Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris), Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Runner-Up: Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Actor

Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Felix Kammerer (All Quiet on the Western Front), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

Runner-Up: Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick

Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Lashana Lynch (The Woman King), Janelle Monáe (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery)

Runner-Up: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Woody Harrelson (Triangle of Sadness), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brad Pitt (Babylon), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Micheal Ward (Empire of Light)

Runner-Up: Ben Whishaw, Women Talking

Original Screenplay

Aftersun, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Triangle of Sadness

Runner-Up: The Fabelmans

Adapted Screenplay

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living, She Said, Women Talking

Runner-Up: The Whale

Outstanding British Film

Aftersun, The Banshees of Inisherin, Blue Jean, Brian and Charles, Empire of Light, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Living, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, The Wonder

Runner-Up: Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Outstanding Debut a British Writer, Director, or Producer

Aftersun, Blue Jean, Emily, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Wayfinder

Runner-Up: Donna

Film Not in the English Language

All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Decision to Leave, EO, The Quiet Girl

Runner-Up: RRR

Animated Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Turning Red

Documentary

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, The Ghost of Richard Harris, Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song, Moonage Daydream

Runner-Up: Navalny

Casting

Aftersun, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Triangle of Sadness

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front, Athena, Empire of Light, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Costume Design

Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

Runner-Up: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Editing

All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Moonage Daydream, Top Gun: Maverick

Runner-Up: Aftersun

Make Up and Hair

Amsterdam, Babylon, The Batman, Elvis, The Whale

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Original Score

Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Empire of Light, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Women Talking

Runner-Up: The Batman

Production Design

Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Empire of Light

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick

Runner-Up: Thirteen Lives

Special Visual Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Top Gun: Maverick

Runner-Up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

That equates to these movies garnering these numbers in nominations:

11 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin

8 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front

6 Nominations

Aftersun, Elvis

5 Nominations

Babylon, Empire of Light, Tár, Triangle of Sadness

4 Nominations

Top Gun: Maverick

3 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, The Whale

2 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Blue Jean, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Moonage Daydream, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, The Woman King, Women Talking

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Amsterdam, Argentina, 1985, Athena, Blonde, Brian and Charles, Decision to Leave, Emily, EO, The Fabelmans (!), Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, The Ghost of Richard Harris, Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Quiet Girl, Saint Omer, She Said, Turning Red, Wayfinder, The Wonder

I’ll have a recap up Thursday!

95th Academy Awards Predictions: January 16th Edition

It has been two weeks since my last Oscar predictions and a lot has transpired since. The Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards aired. SAG nominations came out. So did the BAFTA shortlists and PGA and DGA contenders.

All of this has made the puzzle a little clearer. Yet the fact remains – Oscar will Oscar when noms are released in a week. This is my penultimate forecast. Final predictions will arrive this weekend. Tonight’s estimates are your last look at rankings. It will simply be the listed picks a few days from now with commentary and a runner-up projection in each feature film category.

Here’s the latest developments as we are almost at the end of the line:

The Whale rises as it is back in my top 10 BP nominees. Women Talking falls out. A similar scenario in Supporting Actress as The Whale‘s Hong Chau is in over Women Talking‘s Claire Foy. After victories at the Globes and Critics Choice, Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) vaults over Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) for the #1 slot in Supporting Actress.

On the other hand, I’m putting Austin Butler (Elvis) back in first over Brendan Fraser (The Whale). This is essentially a coin flip with Colin Farrell from Banshees as a legit spoiler.

Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front) returns to the directorial quintet and James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water) is out.

In Actress, Viola Davis (The Woman King) at last makes the cut with Margot Robbie (Babylon) dropping. That’s not the only news in this derby. I almost went with Ana de Armas (Blonde) instead of Davis. And there’s the recent development of Andrea Riseborough’s online campaign for the micro budget indie drama To Leslie. Numerous performers, including Cate Blanchett, have boarded the Riseborough bandwagon. Two weeks ago – she was on no one’s radar screen. Now the buzz is enough to put her in 8th.

You can read all the movement below and look for those FINAL predictions this weekend!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tár (PR: 5) (E)

6. Elvis (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (-1)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 10) (+2)

9. The Whale (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Babylon (PR: 11) (E)

12. RRR (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Women Talking (PR: 8) (-5)

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 14) (E)

15. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Todd Field, Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (+3)

8. S.S. Rajamouli, RRR (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Sarah Polley, Women Talking

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tár (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 4) (E)

5. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Naomi Ackie, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway

Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 6) (E)

7. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Adam Sandler, Hustle (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Tom Hanks, A Man Called Otto (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (+3)

2. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 9) (+5)

5. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Janelle Monáe, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 5) (-4)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 10) (E)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Aftersun (PR: 6) (E)

7. Babylon (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Menu (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bardo

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 2) (-1)

4. She Said (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. White Noise (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bones and All (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 1) (E)

2. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 2) (E)

3. Turning Red (PR: 3) (E)

4. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (PR: 4) (E)

5. Wendell and Wild (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Bad Guys (PR: 6) (E)

7. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Strange World (PR: 8) (E)

9. Inu-Oh (PR: 9) (E)

10. Lightyear (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 1) (E)

2. Decision to Leave (PR: 2) (E)

3. Close (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 4) (E)

5. EO (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saint Omer (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Bardo (PR: 5) (-2)

8. The Quiet Girl (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Joyland (PR: 9) (E)

10. Holy Spider (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 1) (E)

2. All That Breathes (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Fire of Love (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Navalny (PR: 2) (-2)

5. The Territory (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Descendant (PR: 6) (E)

7. Moonage Daydream (PR: 7) (E)

8. Retrograde (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Bad Axe (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Flight Home (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Janes

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 4) (E)

5. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Batman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Nope (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bardo

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Tár

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

2. Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Woman King (PR: 4) (E)

5. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Living (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (E)

9. Corsage (PR: 9) (E)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (+3)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tár (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Women Talking

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Elvis (PR: 2 (+1)

2. The Whale (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Batman (PR: 3) (E)

4. Babylon (PR: 4) (E)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 6) (E)

7. Amsterdam (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Blonde (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Emancipation (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Crimes of the Future (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nomnees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Babylon (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Women Talking (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Woman King (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (-3)

10. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 2) (+1)

2. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (-1)

3. “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 7) (E)

8. “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise (PR: 8) (E)

9. “Good Afternoon” from Spirited (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

“Nothing is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (-2)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Batman (PR: 10) (E)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Elvis (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Batman (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (E)

7. Babylon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 8) (E)

9. Moonage Daydream (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Batman (PR: 3) (E)

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 4) (E)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (E)

7. Nope (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Thirteen Lives (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jurassic World: Dominion (PR: 9) (E)

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (PR: 10) (E)

That equates to these movies garnering these numbers in terms of nominations:

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick

6 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water

5 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Whale

4 Nominations

Babylon, Tár

3 Nominations

The Batman, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Triangle of Sadness

2 Nominations

Living, The Woman King, Women Talking

1 Nominations

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Close, Decision to Leave, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Empire of Light, EO, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, RRR, She Said, Tell It Like a Woman, The Territory, Till, Turning Red, Wendell and Wild

28th Annual Critics Choice Awards Reaction

This prognosticator said that Everything Everywhere All at Once would win five races at the Critics Choice Awards last night and indeed it did. However, it was 3 for 5 in categories where I said it would emerge victorious. It had a better night than I figured considering where it was successful. I went 13 for 21 in my collective picks.

The acclaimed genre mash-up was unquestionably the the belle of the critical ball – taking Best Picture, Directors (s), Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), Original Screenplay, and Editing. I correctly had it for Picture, Supporting Actor (where Quan is probably on his way to a seasonal sweep), and Editing. For Director, I forecasted Globes winner Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans). Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert have established themselves as major competitors for the Academy’s filmmaking award. I’m doing my updated Oscar projections later today and I still haven’t decided whether the Daniels or Spielberg will sit in first position.

Everything also pulled an Original Screenplay trophy over The Banshees of Inisherin (which also was the Globe honoree). Martin McDonagh’s black comedy was surprisingly goose egged at CCA. I thought Colin Farrell may take Actor considering the critics groups prizes he’s compiled. Yet it was Brendan Fraser (The Whale) surfacing. His victory solidifies the Actor race as a three-way showdown between him, Austin Butler (Elvis), and Farrell. At this moment, Farrell might be third.

I also had Kerry Condon’s work in Banshees as the Supporting Actress recipient. CCA instead chose Globes taker Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). Like Quan, Bassett could be teeing up a sweep. I’m less confident about her running the field chances than Quan, but it’s absolutely possible.

The Everything love did not extend to Michelle Yeoh as I correctly named Cate Blanchett for Tár. I’ve had Blanchett in 1st for seemingly ever and last night confirmed my ranking (though Yeoh is still a threat). The biggest shocker of the evening was a second win for Tár in Score (I said Babylon). It’s not even eligible at Oscar due to its minimal music that’s barely in the film.

Women Talking (as I projected) took Adapted Screenplay. Here are other correct calls (all ones where the Academy could follow suit) – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio for Animated Feature, Top Gun: Maverick in Cinematography, the Hair and Makeup of Elvis, Babylon‘s Production Design, RRR‘s “Naatu Naatu” as Original Song, and the Visual Effects of Avatar: The Way of Water.

CCA has some prizes that the Oscars doesn’t feature. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was named Best Acting Ensemble and Best Comedy. Those are two competitions where I thought Everything Everywhere would win and did not. That’s a nice double consolation situation for Onion. The Young Performer award marked the only victory for The Fabelmans with Gabriel LaBelle (who I predicted). For those keeping score, that means Banshees and Fabelmans didn’t win a single CCA that the Oscars have. In Foreign Language Feature, RRR rose up as I assumed. India is looking more foolish by the day by not making it their submission for International Feature Film at the Oscars.

My remaining miss – I had Elvis in Costume Design and it was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Bottom line: this was a very good night for Everything and not for Banshees and Fabelmans. I’ve had Everything at #1 for quite some time in BP for the Oscars. It might not happen, but it’s looking more realistic as we get closer to nominations morning and the actual ceremony.

28th Annual Critics Choice Awards Winner Predictions

Airing only five days after the Golden Globes solidified some potential paths to Oscar glory, the Critics Choice Awards come our way on the CW tomorrow evening with Chelsea Handler hosting.

We have a number of feature film categories to pick and I’ll do so by forecasting a winner and a runner-up. I’m not going into details for these (frankly because I’m on a vacation this weekend), but a few quick questions to ponder:

Is this where Brendan Fraser (The Whale) gets a needed victory over Globe recipients Austin Butler (Elvis) or Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) to keep himself in the winner conversation? The same narratives apply to Everything Everywhere All at Once being named BP instead of Banshees and The Fabelmans. If Everything is going to make a stand, it should begin here and I’m projecting that it will. Will Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) begin a streak of trophies that the Globes started or will there be a mix of Supporting Actress honorees as we head toward Oscar?

I’ll have a recap up (probably Monday morning) with my thoughts, but here’s how I see this particular show shaking out!

Best Picture

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, RRR, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Director

The Nominees: James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water), Damien Chazelle (Babylon), Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Todd Field (Tár), Baz Luhrmann (Elvis), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Sarah Polley (Women Talking), Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King), S.S. Rajamouli (RRR), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

PREDICTED WINNER: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actress

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Margot Robbie (Babylon), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

PREDICTED WINNER: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Runner-Up: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actor

The Nominees: Austin Butler (Elvis), Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

PREDICTED WINNER: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees: Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Jessie Buckley (Women Talking), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Janelle Monáe (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery)

PREDICTED WINNER: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), 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)

PREDICTED WINNER: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees: Aftersun, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár

PREDICTED WINNER: The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Living, She Said, The Whale, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Women Talking

Runner-Up: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Best Acting Ensemble

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Woman King, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Women Talking

Best Young Actor/Actress

The Nominees: Frankie Corio (Aftersun), Jalyn Hall (Till), Gabriel LaBelle (The Fabelmans), Bella Ramsey (Catherine Called Birdy), Banks Repeta (Armageddon Time), Sadie Sink (The Whale)

PREDICTED WINNER: Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Frankie Corio, Aftersun

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Turning Red, Wendell and Wild

PREDICTED WINNER: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Best Comedy

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Bros, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Triangle of Sadness, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Foreign Language Film

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Bardo, Close, Decision to Leave, RRR

PREDICTED WINNER: RRR

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Cinematography

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Empire of Light, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTED WINNER: Top Gun: Maverick

Runner-Up: Babylon

Best Costume Design

The Nominees: Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Woman King

PREDICTED WINNER: Elvis

Runner-Up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Film Editing

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Hair and Makeup

The Nominees: Babylon, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Whale

PREDICTED WINNER: Elvis

Runner-Up: The Whale

Best Production Design

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans

PREDICTED WINNER: Babylon

Runner-Up: Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Score

The Nominees: Babylon, The Batman, The Fabelmans, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Tár, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Babylon

Runner-Up: Women Talking

Best Song

“Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing, “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise

PREDICTED WINNER: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Runner-Up: “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Everything Everywhere All at Once, RRR, Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTED WINNER: Avatar: The Way of Water

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

That works out to the following movies garnering these numbers of wins:

5 Wins

Everything Everywhere All at Once

3 Wins

The Banshees of Inisherin

2 Wins

Babylon, Elvis, The Fabelmans, RRR

1 Win

Avatar: The Way of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking