FINAL Oscar Predictions: 95th Academy Awards

After nearly a year of speculation on the blog and the new podcast (look up Movies at the Speed of Speculation on your favorite pod platform, folks!), the time has come to make my final picks for the winners at the 95th Academy Awards. The ceremony comes our way Sunday night with Jimmy Kimmel hosting and here’s hoping the presenters are given the correct envelopes and that no one gets slapped.

For some context, here’s how I did in the previous four Oscars (note that there were 21 races through 2019 because the sound competitions were divided into Editing and Mixing until their combination).

2018: 14/21

2019: 18/21

2020: 13/20

2021: 17/20

Note that I seem to do better in the odd numbered years. That could repeat for 2022 as three of the four acting derbies are highly tricky to pick and there are other down-the-line competitions that could go in different directions. As for Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Animated Feature, and International Feature Film… not so much.

Let’s go through them one by one and I’ll give you my winner and runner-up projection!

Best Picture

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

The tricky part isn’t picking the victor. It’s picking the runner-up. That’s because Everything has taken, well, nearly everything. PGA. DGA. WGA. SAG Ensemble. Critics Choice.

OK, so All Quiet received the BAFTA and The Fabelmans and The Banshees of Inisherin were your respective Drama and Musical/Comedy recipients at the Golden Globes. Yet the momentum has been with Everything for some time and it is the easy pick for the biggest prize of the night.

Given that a screenplay and acting statue are legitimately in play, Banshees has the strongest argument for a package of trophies that could include BP. It’s a distant runner-up.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Director

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

I suppose the voters could go the Globe route and bestow their honor on the legendary Spielberg. Doubtful. Look for the Academy to match the DGA and Critics Choice selections of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

Predicted Winner: Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Runner-Up: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Best Actress

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

Now it gets tough. Blanchett’s towering work could be undeniable as it was to BAFTA and Critics Choice (similar to how Anthony Hopkins from The Father managed a win over Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom two years ago). The BP momentum and SAG could push Yeoh over the line. This is a coin flip and I’m siding with the momentum.

Predicted Winner: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Best Actor

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

A three-person race dwindled when Farrell lost the BAFTA. It went instead to Butler and he also won the Globe (over Fraser). SAG and Critics Choice went to Fraser. I have gone back and forth on this endlessly. If Fraser won, he would break a precedent of the victorious Actor’s movie being up for Best Picture. You have to go back to 2009 and Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) to find the last one whose film wasn’t in the BP lineup. I cannot stress enough that this is 50.5/49.5.

Predicted Winner: Austin Butler, Elvis

Runner-Up: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

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), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Unlike Actress and Actor, this is between three nominees. Curtis surprisingly nabbed SAG while Bassett took Critics Choice and the Globe. Both are actresses whose wins could double as career achievement honors. I have a suspicion that the Academy may instead look at BAFTA winner Condon as their best opportunity to throw Banshees a bone.

Predicted Winner: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

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

Best Supporting Actor

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)

Keoghan is the #2 since he unexpectedly won BAFTA. That said, this is the simplest acting race to project as Quan has won everything everywhere else.

Predicted Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Adapted Screenplay

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

If All Quiet over performs (and it might), it could emerge here. The smart money is on Sarah Polley and WGA honored script for Talking.

Predicted Winner: Women Talking

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Screenplay

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

Here’s another category where voters could single out Banshees. Still – I’m not going against the strong BP frontrunner.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Animated Feature

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

del Toro’s version of the classic tale has taken all precursors that matter. This is one of the uncomplicated calls.

Predicted Winner: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Best International Feature Film

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

This might even be more automatic than Animated Feature. As your lone BP contestant, All Quiet will make noise here.

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Argentina, 1985

Best Documentary Feature

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

Tough pick. Breathes and Beauty are viable. I’ve picked Fire of Love over Navalny twice in Critics Choice and PGA and missed both times. Not again.

Predicted Winner: Navalny

Runner-Up: Fire of Love

Best Cinematography

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

When perceived favorite Top Gun: Maverick shockingly failed to make this quintet, the race opened up. Elvis could make history and have the first female winner in Mandy Walker. It’s tempting to pick her, but I’ll go with Quiet.

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Elvis

Best Costume Design

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

On the other hand, here’s one where Elvis could take the gold. I wouldn’t count out Panther or even Everything if its sweep branches into upsets.

Predicted Winner: Elvis

Runner-Up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Film Editing

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

Maverick is in the mix, but Everything should extend its haul.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

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

The Whale and Western are possible. I’m giving this one to The King, however.

Predicted Winner: Elvis

Runner-Up: The Whale

Best Original Score

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

This is one of the most open categories. I don’t see Banshees landing this. All 4 others are possible. Babylon or Western might be the smart pick, but this is the one true upset I’m selecting and projecting a Fabelmans/John Williams appreciation victory.

Predicted Winner: The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Babylon

Best Original Song

“Tell It Like a Woman” from Applause, “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

I don’t believe this is cut and dry. The star power of Gaga and Rihanna or an Everything expansion everywhere could make it interesting. “Naatu Naatu” has dominated the precursors and I’m not going with two upsets in the musical competitions.

Predicted Winner: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Runner-Up: “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

Best Production Design

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

This is where Babylon should be Oscar winner Babylon though Elvis lurks.

Predicted Winner: Babylon

Runner-Up: Elvis

Best Sound

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

And this is where Top Gun: Maverick should get its Oscar. Yet I’m going with a minor upset pick with Western. That means I’m projecting Maverick ends up 0 for 6.

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Visual Effects

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

No real Maverick shot in VE because Avatar is one of the automatic category picks.

Predicted Winner: Avatar: The Way of Water

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

That equates to these movies achieving these numbers of wins:

6 Wins

Everything Everywhere All at Once

3 Wins

All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis

1 Win

Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Navalny, RRR, Women Talking

I’ll have a recap up Sunday evening or Monday on the blog and the podcast!

Oscars: The Case of Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg’s direction of The Fabelmans is my final Case Of post for the filmmakers vying for the prize at the Academy Awards.

The Case for Steven Spielberg:

He’s Steven Spielberg. Arguably the most iconic and famous director in the medium’s history, he drew kudos for this most personal of projects that drew from his upbringing. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association honored him with their directorial statue at the Golden Globes. For his ninth nomination in this category (marking 22 total when factoring contending Pictures and his screenplay for this), voters may feel he’s overdue since it’s been nearly a quarter century since the last win. As a reminder, he’s a previous recipient for 1993’s Schindler’s List and 1998’s Saving Private Ryan.

The Case Against Steven Spielberg:

He’s not Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert of Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Daniels have taken the majority of the precursors like Critics Choice and especially the Directors Guild (where the DGA and Oscar match is high). Spielberg wasn’t even nominated for BAFTA. The film itself, while critically acclaimed, was a box office flop.

Previous Nominations (directing only):

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982); Schindler’s List (1993) – WON; Saving Private Ryan (1998) – WON; Munich (2005); Lincoln (2012); West Side Story (2021)

The Verdict:

Due to his legendary status, Spielberg has a sliver of a chance to pull a major upset over the Daniels. Yet it’s grown much smaller due to the Daniels dominance this season.

My Case Of posts will continue with Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once!

For the other directorial hopefuls in my Case Of series, click here:

Oscars: The Case of Ruben Östlund for Triangle of Sadness

Swedish satirist Ruben Östlund’s direction of Triangle of Sadness is next up in my Case Of posts for the directors vying for the Oscar.

The Case for Ruben Östlund:

After garnering acclaim for Force Majeure (2014) and 2017’s The Square (which nabbed a foreign language feature nod), his English-language debut cornered three noms in Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay. It generated buzz early when it took the Palme d’or at Cannes. The admiration for the film led to his surprise inclusion in the filmmaking quintet.

The Case Against Ruben Östlund:

In Best Director, there is usually a surprise nominee. That’s Östlund this time. The downside is that the surprise nominee doesn’t win. He wasn’t up in any of the key precursors like DGA, Golden Globes, or Critics Choice Awards.

Other Nominations:

None for direction

Foreign Language Film (The Square; 2017); Original Screenplay (Triangle of Sadness; 2022)

The Verdict:

Of the five hopefuls in the race, Östlund stands the fifth best (so… worst) chance at nabbing the statue.

My Case Of posts will continue with Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans!

The other entries for the Best Director contenders can be accessed here:

BAFTA & DGA Reaction

The past 24 hours have likely been impactful when it comes to figuring the puzzle that is Oscar prognosticating. The BAFTAs and the DGAs announced their winners. The latter went as expected. The Brits, on the other hand, showed they are still capable of surprises.

Across that pond, Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front made a lot of noise. The German WWI epic won 7 out of its 14 nominations. This includes Best Film and Director. I predicted those categories would go to The Banshees of Inisherin and the Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once). Side note – I went 13 for 22 overall on the BAFTA picks. Quiet also took Adapted Screenplay over my favored Living. The other four were Film Not in the English Language, Cinematography, Original Score, and Sound. I called 3 of those 4, but had Babylon listed in Score instead. Ironically I picked Quiet to take Production Design. That went to Babylon.

While this is a great BAFTA performance for Quiet, I don’t believe it dramatically changes its dynamic at the Oscars. I still don’t view it as a threat to emerge victorious in Best Picture. It’s important to remember that just 3 out of the past 10 BAFTA winners ended up nabbing the biggest race at the Academy Awards. Nomadland (from 2020) is the only match of the previous 8 ceremonies. And, of course, Berger isn’t even nominated in Director for the Oscars.

In the lead acting derbies, I correctly called the victors with Cate Blanchett (Tár) and Austin Butler (Elvis). This solidifies each as the frontrunners and it especially hurts Colin Farrell for Banshees. I would say he needed this to have any real shot at Best Actor on March 12th (unless he somehow manages an upset at SAG next weekend).

Banshees made up for the Best Film and Actor losses in the supporting fields. Kerry Condon is Supporting Actress which I projected. She has emerged as the alternative to Oscar favorite Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. One of the massive upsets is Barry Keoghan winning Supporting Actor over the heavily favored Ke Huy Quan for Everything Everywhere All at Once (who was sweeping until today). I still believe Quan is looking good for Oscar.

Further races I got right: Banshees in Original Screenplay; Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio as Animated Film (continuing its sweep); Elvis in Costume Design; Everything Everywhere for Editing; Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Visual Effects; Banshees for Outstanding British Film; and Aftersun for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer.

Where I went wrong: Navalny is Best Documentary over Fire of Love and Elvis took Casting instead of Everything Everywhere and won Make-Up & Hair over The Whale. That means Banshees and Elvis each earned 4 statues. Nothing else won more than one.

As I relayed in my DGA prediction, the directorial recipient there has matched the Oscar winning director 19 of 22 times in the 21st century. The Daniels were honorees for Everything Everywhere. Even though Everything won only Editing at BAFTA, I still think it’s the frontrunner for BP at the Oscars (as are the Daniels).

Bottom line: Quiet was loud at BAFTA. Yet the most significant storyline with Academy impact could be Butler and Blanchett firming up their standings.

2022 DGA Winner Prediction

How reliable is the Director Guild of America (DGA) recipient as it pertains to the eventual Oscar winner for Best Director? In the 21st century, the match has been 19 of 22 times. In 2000, Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) took DGA and the Academy Award went to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic. Ben Affleck was the DGA recipient in 2012 for Argo though he didn’t get an Oscar nod. Ang Lee, for Life of Pi, took the gold instead. Sam Mendes (1917) was DGA in 2019, but Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) was the Academy’s choice. All others years corresponded in the century corresponded.

The DGA Award is revealed tomorrow night and here’s your nominees:

Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Todd Field, Tár

Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

There’s a 4/5 correlation with the Oscar nominees (par for the course). Kosinski is not in the Academy’s quintet while Ruben Ostlund (Triangle of Sadness) is. Therefore it’s safe to rule the Maverick maker out.

Neither Field nor McDonagh have taken any major precursors. The Daniels and Spielberg have. For the Daniels, they were the Critics Choice victors. At the Golden Globes, it was Spielberg. To call this is a two-person (or three technically) race seems accurate. Anyone else winning would be a considerable upset.

A little less than a month before the Oscar ceremony, I do believe Everything stands as your soft Oscar frontrunner. Spielberg saw a surprising omission at the BAFTAs where he didn’t even make their shortlist. Due to his legendary status, it would be foolish to discount him. However, I believe the momentum lies with Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert so…

Predicted DGA Winner(s):

The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

I’ll make my DGA commentary part of my recap post for the BAFTAs on Sunday evening. Stay tuned!

Oscars: The Case of Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin

Martin McDonagh’s direction of The Banshees of Inisherin is next up for the quintet in that category in my Case Of posts.

The Case for Martin McDonagh:

When a movie has a legit shot at winning Best Picture and the filmmaker is nominated, he’s got a chance. That’s the case here. For the tragicomedy, the acclaimed director/playwright has been nominated in the key precursors DGA, Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Critics Choice.

The Case Against Martin McDonagh:

At Critics Choice, the Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once) won. At the Globes, it was Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans). McDonagh’s victory at the Globes came in screenplay and that could occur with the Academy (where he’s been nominated twice before for written works In Bruges and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

Previous Nominations:

None for direction

Six other nominations for Live-Action Short Film (Six Shooter, 2005, WON); Original Screenplay (In Bruges, 2008); Picture and Original Screenplay (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Picture and Original Screenplay (The Banshees of Inisherin)

The Verdict:

A sweeping Banshees night still could leave McDonagh out in director in favor of the Daniels or Spielberg. He could take screenplay instead under that scenario.

My Case Of posts will continue with Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie!

If you missed my other Director write-ups, they can accessed here:

Oscars: The Case of Todd Field for Tár

Actor turned lauded filmmaker Todd Field is the second director on deck for My Case Of posts covering that competition at the 95th Academy Awards.

The Case for Todd Field:

Tár, Field’s third behind the camera feature, is perhaps the critics darling of awards season and voters may wish to honor it somewhere. It helps that there’s no slam dunk pick in this quintet for the victory. He has shown up in precursors including Critics Choice, DGA, and BAFTA. The Academy has nominated him multiple times as a producer and writer (though this is his first directing nod).

The Case Against Todd Field:

Critics Choice went for the Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once) while the Globes didn’t nominate him at all. The best chance for a win probably lies with its lead Cate Blanchett. With Everything as a soft frontrunner for Picture and the possibility of Globe recipient Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans) taking the prize, that puts the rest of the hopefuls at a competitive disadvantage.

Previous Nominations:

None in Director (he has been nominated as a producer and writer for In the Bedroom and Little Children). He also picked up an original screenplay mention for this.

The Verdict:

The uncertainty of this contest could pave the way for a surprise winner. However, Best Director is not usually a race where that occurs. Field would need to take BAFTA or DGA for me to think he has a legit shot.

My Case Of posts will continue with Ana de Armas in Blonde!

If you missed my other posts on the nominees for Director, you can access them here:

Oscars – The Case of Top Gun: Maverick

Will Academy voters feel the need? The need for recognizing the year’s biggest domestic grosser in the Best Picture race at the 95th Academy Awards? It’s the eighth film up for consideration in my Case Of posts.

The Case for Top Gun: Maverick:

This would represent the People’s Choice. Tom Cruise’s summer sequel rode a wave of sizzling buzz to towering business ($718 million stateside) while critics raved (96% on Rotten Tomatoes). It nabbed six nominations including some key ones for a BP victory like Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing.

The Case Against Top Gun: Maverick:

It also missed in some important precursors. Despite a DGA spot, director Joseph Kosinski was omitted from the Oscar five. Maverick was considered a threat to take Cinematography gold (as it did at the Globes), but was snubbed. Mega-blockbusters don’t usually take the grand prize (it’s been almost 20 years since Lord of the Rings: Return of the King rose above its competitors).

Other Nominations:

Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Original Song, Sound, Visual Effects

The Verdict:

The sound of a Maverick win may be likeliest in Sound. The preferential ballot could lend itself to an upset in BP. It has a better shot than the other sequel in contention Avatar: The Way of Water. However, the odds are slightly against it.

My Case Of posts will continue with Triangle of Sadness!

If you didn’t catch my previous write-ups on BP contenders, click here:

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

34th PGA Awards Nominations Reaction

One day after the Screen Actors Guild and the Director Guild announced their nominees for best in show for 2022, the Producers Guild were up to bat today. The PGA picks 10 nominees for Best Picture and 5 contenders for Animated Film (just like the Academy).

Over the past couple of decades, the PGA’s match rate with the Oscar BP has been impressive. You can probably expect no less than 7 of the PGA players to make it into the Academy’s race. 8 or 9 is even likelier based on history.

The nominees are:

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

The Whale

That means I went 8/10 in my forecast. To me, the biggest surprise is the inclusion of The Whale and not Wakanda.

I didn’t have either of them in my list. Instead I had The Woman King and Women Talking. PGA has shown a willingness to include popcorn fare that the Academy ignores (they nominated Wonder Woman five years back). For those thinking Wakanda is now getting a BP nod, it’s possible. Yet I’d proceed with caution.

The reason The Whale is more of a shock is that its fortunes had seemingly dwindled in recent weeks. It didn’t make Critics Choice or the Globes or AFI or NBR. Darren Aronofsky’s latest is divisive (it’s loved and loathed depending on who you’re reading). While Brendan Fraser’s nomination in Actor is a given, its status in BP seemed unlikely. The chances improved today.

You may notice that PGA’s list is 40% sequels. I don’t believe that will occur on Oscar nom morning. In addition to Panther, Onion is a question mark that has missed other key precursors. Its chances are greater, in my view, than Panther by a slim margin.

As mentioned yesterday in my prediction post, I do feel there’s a “safe 7” for Oscar BP (Avatar, Banshees, Elvis, EEAAO, Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun). They were all nominated at PGA.

The Woman King and Women Talking both took hits. I’ve had the latter clinging to the top 10. That may change when I update my Oscar picks on Monday. All Quiet on the Western Front, meanwhile, seems like the kind of pic PGA would ignore and the Academy might not. That was mentioned in my forecast and held true. This was also not a good day for Babylon, RRR, or Triangle of Sadness

In the animated competition, I went for 4 for 5 (picking The Bad Guys instead of Minions: The Rise of Gru). The correctly called 4 are Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (the frontrunner), Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and Turning Red.

I’ll have thoughts on who wins up on the blog shortly before the February 25th ceremony!