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!

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 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

29th SAG Awards Nominations Reaction

The morning after The Banshees of Inisherin beat Everything Everywhere All at Once for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) at the Golden Globes, the two BP Oscar hopefuls tied for most nominations from the Screen Actors Guild voters. The Globes Drama winner The Fabelmans, meanwhile, had a more disappointing showing including one particular unexpected omission.

We are in the thick of awards season and I’m pretty pleased to report I went 25/30 on my SAG picks! Let’s walk through the six competitions with how I did and some general analysis. Final predictions for this ceremony will come closer to the February 26th airdate.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Women Talking

How I Did: 4/5

I went with The Woman King over the sprawling cast of Babylon. I’ll admit I was feeling a bit bold picking Women Talking after a subpar season, but it managed to make the cut while none of its performers garnered individual noms.

It doesn’t turn out this way in most years at SAG, but this prize may well come down to the three movies mostly likely to take the Oscar BP: Banshees, EEAAO, and Fabelmans.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

How I Did: 4/5

There are two headlines here in my opinion. The first is that Michelle Williams did not get in for The Fabelmans. Most prognosticators, including this one, have her sitting in 3rd for the Academy rankings.

Another is that Ana de Armas has made it for the Globes and SAG. A few weeks ago, her work as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde had fallen out of my top 10 possibilities. Now she is a serious threat for the Oscar quintet. I had Williams over de Armas projected.

As for the winner – this should come down to Blanchett v. Yeoh (both freshly minted Globe recipients).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Bill Nighy (Living), Adam Sandler (Hustle)

How I Did: 4/5

SAG news other the nominees themselves was made today when it was announced that Netflix will livestream the show starting next year. It was also an unexpectedly solid morning for the streamer. In this race, the surprise inclusion was Adam Sandler for Hustle (which premiered on the subscription service). I had Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) forecasted instead.

It’s worth noting that Cruise has now missed Globe and SAG. For the former, it was easy to explain considering he had a highly publicized break with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. No such explanation is found with SAG. His chances for Oscar are shaky.

The dynamics of this derby are intact. Butler, Farrell, Fraser, and Nighy appear to be safe bets for Academy attention. The fifth spot is wide open and Sandler got some exposure this morning. As for a winner at SAG, it’s a three-person fight between Butler, Farrell, and Fraser.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

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

Bassett, Condon, and Curtis are the trio who’ve landed in all major precursors thus far. Jamie Lee’s costar Hsu makes it in over my pick of Jessie Buckley (Women Talking).

The Golden Globes honored Bassett last night and she could absolutely snag this trophy. However, I’m less convinced she sweeps than the chances of a sweep in Supporting Actor (more on that below). Let’s see if Condon or Curtis, especially, make it interesting.

A quick Women Talking comment. Even though Buckley or Claire Foy (who’s received nothing so far) are mostly or totally MIA, I still could see the Academy putting one of them up. We saw that they can throw a curveball in this race (Judi Dench in Belfast last year).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

After viewing Quan’s heartfelt remarks at Globes, it seems like a sweep is in the cards. My one perfect category means Redmayne has landed Globe and SAG love. The Academy could still leave him out and same goes for Dano. We’ll see if alternates like Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), or Globe nominee Brad Pitt (Babylon) can sneak in.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick, The Woman King

How I Did: 4/5

Avatar got in over my call of Everything Everywhere All at Once (YOU try being a stuntman waving those hot dog fingers!). The original Black Panther won in 2018 so perhaps the sequel will follow suit. Another sequel (Maverick) may prevent that.

That works out to the following number of SAG mentions for these pics:

5 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once

2 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Fabelmans, The Whale, The Woman King

1 Nomination

Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Batman, Blonde, Elvis, The Good Nurse, Hustle, Living, Tár, Till, Top Gun: Maverick

29th Screen Actors Guild Awards Nomination Predictions

Another significant piece of the Oscar prognosticating puzzle is put together on Wednesday when nominations for the 29th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards are dropped. The ceremony’s main prize, it’s important to note, is not Best Picture but Best Ensemble. That means a correlation from the Oscar BP and the top race here is not apples to apples. It is worth noting that half of the last 10 SAG Ensemble victors (Argo, Birdman, Spotlight, Parasite, CODA) did go on to win BP from the Academy. On the other hand, three recent BPs (The Shape of Water, Green Book, Nomadland) didn’t make the SAG quintet at all.

Let’s go through all six categories one by one with my picks and a runner-up call, shall we?

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

There are plenty of possibilities including box office hits like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, and Top Gun: Maverick. For Panther, the original won Ensemble in 2018 so the sequel materializing is feasible. I wouldn’t discount the sprawling cast of Babylon though middling reviews could hurt it. It’s tempting to pick Glass Onion but I’m hesitant since Knives Out was snubbed in 2019.

Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Fabelmans seem safe. Despite the small call sheet for The Banshees of Inisherin (with just four significant roles), I could see the SAG branch honoring it. I’m also liking The Woman King‘s chances. Women Talking is perhaps the biggest question mark. It has underperformed with precursors. A couple of months ago, I’d have considered it a potential frontrunner to win. Now I wonder if it makes it at all. Nevertheless – here’s my take:

Predicted Nominees:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

The Woman King

Women Talking

Runner-Up: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

In the previous decade, SAG in Actress has matched the Academy 4/5 on six occasions and 3/5 on four. There are no perfect correlations. SAG has shown they will throw in a shocker – Jennifer Aniston in Cake, Sarah Silverman for I Smile Back or Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train are recent examples. If there’s one here, look out for Naomi Ackie (Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody).

Margot Robbie (Babylon) is currently the one I’ve got in the Academy five (for the moment) that I don’t have here. Ana de Armas (Blonde) is a real threat. If she makes this quintet, look for her Oscar stock to soar. With those possibilities mentioned, my choices are…

Predicted Nominees:

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Ana de Armas, Blonde

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Brendan Fraser (The Whale) should all be safe. Bill Nighy (Living) is fourth though I suspect there’s a better chance at SAG leaving him off than the Academy. Then there’s that five spot. It could be Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Tom Hanks (A Man Called Otto), Hugh Jackman (The Son), or Paul Mescal (Aftersun). Take your pick. I’m leaning toward the star of the year’s biggest hit. On a side note, there’s been a SAG/Oscar match of 5/5 for the previous two cycles.

Predicted Nominees:

Austin Butler, Elvis

Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Bill Nighy, Living

Runner-Up: Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Last year was an anomaly when just 2 of the SAG nominees (Ariana DeBose for West Side Story and The Power of the Dog‘s Kirsten Dunst) scored Oscar nods. The magic number is usually 3 or 4. The wide open nature of this race has been discussed a lot on the blog. Beyond my picks and runner-up, don’t discount Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Claire Foy (Women Talking), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Janelle Monae (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery), and Carey Mulligan (She Said).

Predicted Nominees:

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Jessie Buckley, Women Talking

Hong Chau, The Whale

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Like Supporting Actress last year, there was only a 2 for 5 match with Troy Kotsur in CODA and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog. Usually it’s 4. For 2022, I believe only Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Gleeson are safe assumptions. The remaining three slots should be some combo of Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Tom Hanks (Elvis), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Brad Pitt (Babylon), and Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse) sorting it out.

Predicted Nominees:

Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse

Runner-Up: Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble

Don’t discount The Batman or Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but my quintet is as follows…

Predicted Nominees:

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Top Gun: Maverick

The Woman King

Runner-Up: RRR

That equates to these movies generating these numbers:

5 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once

3 Nominations

The Fabelmans, The Woman King

2 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale, Women Talking

1 Nomination

The Batman, Elvis, The Good Nurse, Living, Tár, Till

On Wednesday evening you can expect a recap of what happens after noms are revealed!

A Feather in the Tár Awards Cap

The National Society of Film Critics, composed of approximately 60 reviewers, is considered one of the higher profile groups to bestow yearly best of honors. They did so today and it was a good day for Todd Field’s Tár.

NSFC was enthralled by the psychological profile as it won Best Film in addition to Fields for his screenplay and Cate Blanchett in the title role. In its previous 56 years, the Film recipient here has only matched the Oscar BP nine times. It is worth noting that it’s occurred 4 out of the last 7 years with 2015’s Spotlight, 2016’s Moonlight, 2019’s Parasite, and 2020’s Nomadland. 7 of the past 10 NSFC victors were at least nominated for BP from the Academy. That bodes well for Tár. At this point, it would be pretty shocking if it was left off the list of 10 on Oscar nom morning.

This group also names runners-up. For Best Film, it was Aftersun. Director Charlotte Wells came in first in her race with Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave) in second. I’ve yet to seriously consider Aftersun as a top 10 finisher at the big dance. It’s possible, but perhaps a stretch. Only two of the NSFC winners in the previous decade took Oscar with Alfonso Cuaròn (Roma) and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland).

Blanchett’s trophy is no surprise. The other strong hopeful for Best Actress is Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once. She came in second. It’s worth mentioning that Blanchett won NSFC nine years ago for Blue Jasmine before translating that to her second Oscar. A third could be in the cards.

The lead Actor award went to Colin Farrell for both After Yang and The Banshees of Inisherin. Paul Mescal (Aftersun) was runner-up. Farrell looks assured a spot in the Academy quintet (for Banshees) while Mescal is gunning for a wide open fifth spot. You have to go back to 2016 (Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea) to find the previous NSFC/Oscar match.

Our Supporting Actress derby (also pretty wide open) went to the soft frontrunner with Kerry Condon in Banshees. Nina Hoss (Tár) nabbed the second most votes. If there’s an unexpected performer to pop up on nomination morning, it could be Hoss (especially given the uncertainty of her category).

It was smooth sailing for Ke Huy Quan in Supporting Actor as he continued his expected coronation as the season rolls along. The Everything Everywhere All at Once standout beat Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), who’s a bubble possibility for Oscar.

Polish pic EO is your Best Film Not in the English Language with No Bears (out of Iran) second. The latter was not submitted for the Academy’s consideration. EO also took home an unanticipated win for its Cinematography with Nope as the runner-up.

Finally, Best Nonfiction Film was All the Beauty and the Bloodshed with Descendant second. Both are expected to contend for the Documentary cut at the Oscars.

We are in the heart of awards season, folks! My final prediction for the Golden Globes are coming your way next…

2022 Oscar Predictions: January 2nd Edition

My first Oscar predictions for this new year (coming 22 days prior to nomination morning) comes with a change in Best Picture and other major races.

While I still believe that Babylon could make the BP ten despite mixed reviews and poor word-of-mouth, I have dropped it in favor of Triangle of Sadness.

In Best Director, James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water) is in the five to the detriment of Women Talking‘s Sarah Polley.

While Best Actress remains intact, Brendan Fraser is back at #1 for The Whale over Austin Butler as Elvis. This is really semantics. I believe Fraser, Butler, and Colin Farrell are basically 1a, 1b, and 1c at this juncture. It may take upcoming precursors to make it clearer. There’s another shift as Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) gets the five spot over Hugh Jackman for The Son. I almost went with Aftersun‘s Paul Mescal.

In Supporting Actress, Claire Foy returns over her Women Talking costar Jessie Buckley. This category is still the trickiest acting derby to peg.

We also have 4 new number ones elsewhere. In Documentary Feature, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed vaults again to first. Elvis shimmies to the top in Costume Design while dropping to second in Makeup and Hairstyling with The Whale back at 1. The Fabelmans tops Original Score.

You can read all the movement below!

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: 7) (+2)

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Women Talking (PR: 8) (E)

9. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 13) (+4)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. Babylon (PR: 10) (-1)

12. The Whale (PR: 11) (-1)

13. RRR (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 12) (-2)

15. The Woman King (PR: 15) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Damien Chazelle, Babylon

S.S. Rajamouli, RRR

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. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 9) (E)

10. Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Naomi Ackie, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Austin Butler, Elvis (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: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 5) (-2)

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

9. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Diego Calva, Babylon

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (+2)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (-2)

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

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

9. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 7) (-2)

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. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 9) (+1)

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

10. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse (PR: 8) (-2)

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. The Menu (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Bardo (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. The Whale (PR: 4) (+1)

4. She Said (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 8) (+1)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (-1)

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: 5) (+1)

5. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Wendell and Wild (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Inu-Oh (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Lightyear (PR: 9) (-1)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Bardo (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. EO (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Joyland (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Quiet Girl (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 3) (+2)

2. Navalny (PR: 1) (-1)

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

4. Fire of Love (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Territory (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Bad Axe (PR: 10) (+2)

9. The Janes (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Retrograde (PR: 9) (-1)

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. Babylon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (E)

8. Bardo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tár (PR: 10) (E)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Babylon (PR: 1) (-1)

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

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

5. The Fabelmans (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 6) (-1)

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

9. Corsage (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Women Talking

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

5. Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Women Talking (PR: 7) (+1)

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

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (E)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Elvis (PR: 1) (-1)

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

4. Babylon (PR: 4) (E)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Emancipation (PR: 7) (E)

8. Amsterdam (PR: 8) (E)

9. Blonde (PR: 9) (E)

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

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Women Talking (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (E)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

She Said

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 2) (E)

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. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 6) (-1)

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

9. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: 7) (-2)

10. “Nothing is Lost (You Give My Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (E)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 5) (-2)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. The Batman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

10. Moonage Daydream (PR: 10) (E)

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. Nope (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 5) (-1)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 6) (-1)

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 films achieving these numbers in terms of nominations:

11 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick

6 Nominations

Babylon

5 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

4 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Tár, Women Talking

3 Nominations

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

2 Nominations

Living

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Bardo, Decision to Leave, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, My Father’s Dragon, Navalny, Nope, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, RRR, Saint Omer, She Said, The Territory, Till, Turning Red, The Woman King

2022 Oscar Predictions: December 26th Edition

My last Oscar Predictions for this calendar year comes with no changes in Director, Actress, Actor, Supporting Actor, or the screenplay competitions. Yet not all is quiet. I’m finally giving Netflix a BP entrant, but it’s not Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (though I considered it). All Quiet on the Western Front is in the 10 and that knocks out Triangle of Sadness.

Let’s talk Babylon. I came very close to dropping it from my BP list after its dismal box office performance and a C+ Cinemascore grade. It’s clinging to the race in 10th. I almost replaced it with The Whale (which has also received plenty of mixed reaction). I have a gut feeling that one of them still makes the cut and I’m leaning toward the former at the moment.

In Supporting Actress, Claire Foy’s work in Women Talking is out in favor of costar Jessie Buckley. That would mark her second nomination in as many years.

There’s new #1s in International Feature Film with All Quiet displacing Decision to Leave and Documentary Feature with Navalny leaping over All That Breathes.

And, of course, the shortlists released Wednesday are reflected in various categories below. I’ll have my first estimates in calendar year 2023 up next weekend as we inch closer to nomination morning!

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. Elvis (PR: 6) (+1)

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Tár (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Women Talking (PR: 7) (-1)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Babylon (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Whale (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 12) (E)

13. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (-3)

14. RRR (PR: 11) (-3)

15. The Woman King (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

She Said

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. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (E)

7. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: ) (-2)

10. S.S. Rajamouli, RRR (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness

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. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 6) (E)

7. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Naomi Ackie, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Tom Hanks, A Man Called Otto (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 9) (-1)

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. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 10) (E)

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

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

9. The Menu (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Elvis

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. She Said (PR: 2) (E)

3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. Bones and All (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Son

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Turning Red (PR: 2) (-1)

4. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Bad Guys (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Wendell and Wild (PR: 6) (-1)

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

9. Lightyear (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Inu-Oh (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Sea Beast

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1 . All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Decision to Leave (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Close (PR: 3) (E)

4. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (E)

5. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

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

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

9. The Quiet Girl (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Holy Spider (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Klondike

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Navalny (PR: 2) (+1)

2. All That Breathes (PR: 1) (-1)

3. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 4) (+1)

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

5. Descendant (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Moonage Daydream (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Janes (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Retrograde (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Bad Axe (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Good Night Oppy

Sr.

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Babylon (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Bardo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nope

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

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

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

5. Living (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Fabelmans (PR: 7) (E)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Corsage (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Women Talking (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. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Women Talking (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

Tár

Decision to Leave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. The Batman (PR: 5) (+2)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Emancipation (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Amsterdam (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Blonde (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Crimes of the Future (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Woman King

X

Corsage

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: Not Ranked)

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

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Empire of Light

The Batman

White Noise

Tár

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 2) (E)

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: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise (PR: 7) (-1)

9. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

“Nobody Like U” from Turning Red

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (E)

5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

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

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King

Empire of Light

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+3)

5. The Batman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Moonage Daydream (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nope

RRR

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: 6) (+3)

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Nope (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Thirteen Lives (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jurassic World: Dominion (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once

RRR

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Good Night Oppy

That equates to these movies garnering these numbers of nods:

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin

7 Nominations

Babylon, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

6 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Women Talking

4 Nominations

Tár

3 Nominations

The Batman, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living, The Whale

2 Nominations

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Triangle of Sadness

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Navalny, She Said, My Father’s Dragon, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, RRR, Saint Omer, The Son, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Turning Red, The Woman King

2022 Oscar Predictions: December 18th Edition

It has been two weeks since I updated my Oscar predictions and a lot has transpired in those 14 days. We’ve had the National Board of Review and American Film Institute release their best of lists while the Golden Globes and Critics Choice voters unveiled their nominees.

There is a change in BP in the 10th spot. Triangle of Sadness is back in as I’ve taken out The Whale. The bad news for that pic continues as I’ve demoted Brendan Fraser from 1st to 3rd in Actor. Make no mistake – I do believe he can still win. However, the last Best Actor victor whose movie wasn’t nominated was 13 years ago with Jeff Bridges from Crazy Heart. That stat puts Austin Butler and Colin Farrell in the 1-2 spots as I do have their flicks in BP.

The various precursors have caused major movement in the wildly unpredictable Supporting Actress field. Claire Foy (Women Talking) missed the Globes and Critics Choice. She drops from 1st to 4th while Kerry Condon (who made both precursors) is now in 1st. Dolly de Leon (Triangle of Sadness) and Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) are in the quintet with Jessie Buckley (Women Talking) and Hong Chau (The Whale again) falling out.

While Director and Actress have the same five, there’s a shift in Supporting Actor as Judd Hirsch joins his Fabelmans costar Paul Dano with Women Talking‘s Ben Whishaw on the outside looking in.

I would also note that RRR has gone from unranked status to 11th (knocking right on the door for BP).

We also have new #1’s in Documentary, Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Score. Scroll below to track all the movement!

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: 4) (+1)

4. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Tár (PR: 6) (+1)

6. Elvis (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Women Talking (PR: 3) (-4)

8. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (+2)

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

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 11) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

11. RRR (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 13) (+1)

13. The Whale (PR: 8) (-5)

14. She Said (PR: 12) (-2)

15. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Decision to Leave

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: 5) (+2)

4. Todd Field, Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. S.S. Rajamouli, RRR (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave

Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front

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: 4) (+1)

4. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 8) (E)

9. Naomi Ackie, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (E)

10. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rooney Mara, Women Talking

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (+2)

2. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

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

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

5. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 9) (E)

10. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (+3)

3. Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 8) (+5)

4. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 1) (-3)

5. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (E)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (-6)

Dropped Out:

Nina Hoss, Tár

Keke Palmer, Nope

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: 5) (+2)

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

5. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 3) (-4)

8. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse (PR: 10) (+1)

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: 7) (E)

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

9. The Menu (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bardo

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. She Said (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 4) (+1)

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

5. Living (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. White Noise (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 8) (-1)

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

Dropped Out:

Bones and All

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 3) (E)

4. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (PR: 6) (+2)

5. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wendell and Wild (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The Bad Guys (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Strange World (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Sea Beast (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Lightyear (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Decision to Leave (PR: 1) (E)

2. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Saint Omer (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Holy Spider (PR: 4) (-3)

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

9. Joyland (PR: 9) (E)

10. Klondike (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Alcarras

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Fire of Love (PR: 5) (+2)

4. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 1) (-3)

5. Descendant (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Good Night Oppy (PR: 8) (+2)

7. The Territory (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Moonage Daydream (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Retrograde (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 3) (+1)

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

4. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Empire of Light (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nope (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Batman

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. The Woman King (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Corsage (PR: Not Ranked)

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

10. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Women Talking

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. Elvis (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Women Talking (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Tár (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The Batman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. X (PR: -1)

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

10. Corsage (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Amsterdam

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 3) (+2)

2. Babylon (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Batman (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. White Noise (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Living

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 3) (+1)

3. “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 2) (-1)

4. “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 7) (+3)

5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 9) (+3)

7. “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise (PR: 8) (+1)

8. “This Is A Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-3)

9. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red (PR: 6) (-3)

10. “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (E)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (E)

8. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 5) (-3)

9. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. The Batman (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

9. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 10) (+1)

10. RRR (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Fabelmans

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (E)

4. RRR (PR: 8) (+4)

5. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Batman (PR: 6) (E)

7. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 7) (E)

8. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (-4)

9. Good Night Oppy (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nope (PR: 10) (E)

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

10 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin

7 Nominations

Elvis

6 Nominations

Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Women Talking

4 Nominations

Tár

3 Nominations

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

2 Nominations

The Batman, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Living, RRR

1 Nomination

All Quiet on the Western Front, All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Empire of Light, Fire of Love, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, My Father’s Dragon, Navalny, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Saint Omer, She Said, The Son, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Turning Red, The Woman King

Causeway Review

Like the Snow Cone flavor that Brian Tyree Henry’s character prefers, the understated nature of Causeway can occasionally come off as vanilla and a little cold. The debut work from theater director Lila Neugebauer is also accentuated by solid performances all around (Henry’s is a particular standout) and the toned down vibe can also work in its favor.

Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers member recovering from a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan after an IED explosion. We meet her as she is staying with a warmhearted nurse (Jayne Houdyshell). This first act is handled with a deft touch showing more detail than we typically witness for one’s rough road to recovery.

After significant strides are made, Lynsey returns to her native New Orleans. Her family life is far from ideal as mother Gloria (Linda Emond) forgets which day her daughter is coming back. A brother with a drug problem is talked about but not seen. Feeling restless and anxious at home, Lynsey gets a job cleaning pools that are far nicer than the inflatable one that Mom drinks her cocktails in.

As her nurse learned and her conflicted doctor (Stephen McKinley Henderson) is told, Lynsey’s goal is a return overseas. Her physical recuperation may warrant a waiver being signed. Whether she’s mentally fit to serve is a question her medical advisors and the audience grapples with.

Our eager to redeploy patient meets a kindred spirit in James (Tyree Henry). He’s an auto mechanic introduced to Lynsey after she brings an overheated truck to his repair shop. Like his customer, he’s dealing with his own emotional damage due to a family tragedy. Connecting through shared trauma, Causeway becomes a simple story about a complex friendship. It’s on that level that it succeeds. It does so because of their performances. Those who discovered Lawrence through her first Oscar nod in 2010’s Winter’s Bone will welcome the return to indie drama.

The dramatic stakes don’t feel inflated here. If you feel that not a whole lot happens in the movie, you wouldn’t be mistaken. There are stretches where Lynsey and James are content to just hang (sometimes in a vacationing customer’s pool). Their dynamic is compelling enough that I valued lounging with them.

*** (out of four)