2022 Oscar Predictions: November 20th Edition

Two weeks have passed since my previous Oscar predictions and the biggest news is that there’s a new #1 in Best Picture. For quite some time, I’ve had Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans in first position. It would still make plenty of sense to keep it there. However, I’ve had a nagging feeling that this frontrunner is vulnerable. And my gut (at the moment) tells me that Everything Everywhere All at Once is a major threat for the victory. Stephanie Hsu is back in Supporting Actress for Everything over Carey Mulligan (She Said).

This isn’t the only development in the last 14 days. Damien Chazelle’s eagerly awaited Babylon held screenings. The buzz is wildly mixed, but I still believe it should perform well with nominations.

Another big change in BP is that Avatar: The Way of Water has surfaced in the top 10 (where it’s yet to place before). She Said, which had a very disappointing box office showing this weekend, dips to 11th.

There are changes in Best Actor. For the first time, I’m elevating Tom Cruise to the top five in Best Actor. He does so at the expense of Hugh Jackman in The Son, whose wide release was just delayed to January. That indicates to me that Sony Pictures Classics is losing faith in the pic (which received plenty of negative reviews). They may focus the bulk of their attention on Bill Nighy in Living.

In Supporting Actor, I’ve put Paul Dano back in for The Fabelmans. That means Spielberg’s movie would have the double supporting nominees instead of The Banshees of Inisherin (Barry Keoghan has moved to sixth).

There’s modifications in Animated Feature with Marcel the Shell with Shoes On and My Father’s Dragon entering the quintet and Wendell and Wild and Strange World falling out. Holy Spider is back in International Feature Film to the detriment of Bardo. In Documentary Feature, Fire of Love returns with Last Flight Home out.

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1 . Everything Everywhere All at Once (Previous Ranking: 2) (+1)

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

3. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

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

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tár (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Whale (PR: 8) (E)

9. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (E)

10. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 13) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 10) (-1)

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

13. Decision to Leave (PR: 12) (-1)

14. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Elvis (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. Todd Field, Tár (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (E)

8. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 6) (-2)

9. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tár (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

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

3. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 3) (E)

4. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 8) (E)

9. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Rooney Mara, Women Talking (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 10) (+2)

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

10. Will Smith, Emancipation (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Adam Driver, White Noise

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Nina Hoss, Tár (PR: 8) (-1)

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

Dropped Out:

Jean Smart, Babylon

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. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Mark Rylance, Bones and All (PR: 8) (E)

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

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

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (+1)

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

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tár (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Menu (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Aftersun (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Broker

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. She Said (PR: 3) (E)

4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Bones and All (PR: 7) (E)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. The Son (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

All Quiet on the Western Front

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: 6) (+3)

4. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 8) (+4)

5. The Bad Guys (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wendell and Wild (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Strange World (PR: 4) (-3)

8. The Sea Beast (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Lightyear (PR: 9) (E)

10. Minions: The Rise of Gru (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Close (PR: 3) (E)

4. Saint Omer (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Holy Spider (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Quiet Girl (PR: Not Ranked)

9. EO (PR: 9) (E)

10. Alcarras (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Klondike

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Descendant (PR: 2) (E)

3. Navalny (PR: 3) (E)

4. All That Breathes (PR: 4) (E)

5. Fire of Love (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Moonage Daydream (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Good Night Oppy (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Last Flight Home (PR: 5) (-4)

10. Sr. (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

4. Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Emancipation (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Corsage (PR: 9) (E)

10. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 3) (+1)

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

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

5. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Women Talking (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+1)

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

10. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Decision to Leave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Woman King (PR: 10) (+3)

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

9. Amsterdam (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Corsage (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Three Thousand Years of Longing

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Women Talking (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Empire of Light (PR: 3) (-4)

8. She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

9. White Noise (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Batman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tár

Bardo

All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 10) (+4)

7. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-2)

8. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 8) (E)

9. “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: 7) (-3)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 7) (+1)

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

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

9. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

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: 7) (+4)

4. The Batman (PR: 6) (+2)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (-4)

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

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

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

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. Good Night Oppy (PR: 10) (+1)

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

And that equates to these movies garnering these numbers of nominations:

10 Nominations

The Fabelmans

9 Nominations

Babylon, Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Women Talking

6 Nominations

Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, The Whale

4 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Tár

3 Nominations

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

2 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Living, Triangle of Sadness, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, The Bad Guys, Bardo, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Empire of Light, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Holy Spider, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, My Father’s Dragon, Navalny, RRR, Saint Omer, She Said, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, The Woman King

2022 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Best Picture Race

My deep dives into 6 high profile Oscar races reaches the top one with Best Picture. If you missed my posts on Director and the four acting competitions, you can find them here:

At this early November period from 2019-21, here’s how accurate I was with my BP forecast. Three years ago, I correctly called 8 of the 9 eventual nominees. That includes the winner Parasite, 1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The ninth hopeful was Joker and it was listed in Other Possibilities. In the wildly unpredictable 2020, I was right about 5 of 8 with two months left in the calendar – Nomadland (which won), The Father, Mank, Minari, and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Judas and the Black Messiah was named in Other Possibilities while Promising Young Woman and Sound of Metal were not yet in my top 15. In 2021, the Academy went back to a set number of 10 BP nominees. I rightly identified 7 of the 10 with Belfast, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, and West Side Story. The film that emerged victorious – CODA was not yet predicted but in Other Possibilities. So was Don’t Look Up while Drive My Car wasn’t among the 15.

Moving to 2022 – I can’t recall a year where four sequels were viable for inclusion. That’s where we stand at the moment. The top grosser of the year is Top Gun: Maverick and I do believe the Academy will reward it for bringing older audiences back to multiplexes (and of course for its quality). In a few weeks, we’ll have a better idea about Avatar: The Way of Water. I’m not ready to vault into my ten, but that could change soon. Knives Out missed out on BP in 2019 so I’m skeptical for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. And while Black Panther made the lineup in 2018, Wakanda Forever seems like a stretch despite the solid buzz. Nevertheless it’s not crazy to think that 40% of the BP players could be sequels.

On the non-sequel front, we begin with The Fabelmans. Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical coming-of-age tale has been listed at #1 for weeks on the blog. Only one of the filmmaker’s works – 1993’s Schindler’s List – has won BP. Shakespeare in Love was a surprise recipient in 1998 over the favored Saving Private Ryan. Nearly 30 years later, Fabelmans could have the credentials to be the second.

However, the frontrunner at this stage often doesn’t cross the finish line and Spielberg’s latest feels like a soft frontrunner. I could easily envision a scenario where the voters go outside the box with Everything Everywhere All at Once. A24’s multi-genre pic achieved wide acclaim and did great business at the box office. While spring releases rarely make the journey all the way through the awards calendar, Everything could buck that trend.

Other spoilers include The Banshees of Inisherin and Women Talking, which both garnered kudos at film festivals and will have their ardent admirers. I believe that logic also applies to Tár and The Whale though I don’t see either having a shot to win. And we are still waiting to see if Damien Chazelle’s Babylon is as viable as its pedigree suggests (we’ll know in a few days when it screens).

It’s become more common for an international feature film to get in and the two most likely to do so are All Quiet on the Western Front (which might just be Netflix’s most serious hopeful) and Decision to Leave. The reviews for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Bardo should leave it out (it might not even make the separate international race).

While Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is the favorite to be Best Animated Feature, I don’t see it breaking into the big dance. It’s probably the only animated title with any sort of chance.

The festival circuit always lessens the viability of some pics. In 2022, I would put the following on that list: Empire of Light, The Son, and Armageddon Time.

The Academy could choose to honor some moneymakers like Elvis and The Woman King (though putting Maverick in could check that box). Till may only show up in Best Actress for Danielle Deadwyler. And it’s tough to know what to make of the upcoming Emancipation considering it’s led by Will Smith (who has some, um, recent history with the ceremony).

Bottom line: there is a lot of uncertainty about BP. I feel fairly confident about The Fabelmans, Everything Everywhere, Women Talking, The Banshees of Inisherin, Top Gun: Maverick, Tár, and The Whale (more than others with that one). We’ll know about Babylon shortly so that leaves two spots. I could definitely see a sequel or a foreign flick jumping up. For now, the 9th and 10th entries go to Triangle of Sadness and She Said. Expect movement as the weeks roll along.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1 . The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

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

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

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

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tár (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Whale (PR: 8) (E)

9. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (E)

10. She Said (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 11) (E)

12. Decision to Leave (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Elvis (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 15) (E)

Stay tuned for estimates on all the races coming up soon!

2022 Oscar Predictions: The State of the Best Actor Race

My detailed look at six of the top Oscar categories – Picture, Director, and the four acting derbies – arrives at Best Actor. If you missed the posts covering the supporting races, you can find them here:

At this late October/early November stage of forecasting in the previous three years, my picks in the lead acting competitions have been more accurate than the supporting ones.

In 2019 at this juncture, I managed to correctly identify four of the five eventual nominees: winner Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes). The fifth was Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory and he was listed in Other Possibilities.

Three of five was the story in 2020 and 2021. Two years ago, I had The Father‘s Anthony Hopkins (who won), Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Gary Oldman (Mank) pegged with Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) and Steven Yeun (Minari) as possibles.

You may remember that Will Smith took gold last year for King Richard. I had him correctly called with two months remaining on the calendar. Same with Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog and Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth. Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!) was mentioned in Other Possibilities. Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos) had yet to enter my top ten.

Had a certain slap heard around the world not occurred, it’s totally possible that Will Smith (Emancipation) might be listed in my top 5. However, with his current ban from attending the ceremony, I question whether he could make a return to the ballot so quickly after the controversy. Therefore he’s not in my top 10. We’ll see if the reviews (coming soon) change the dynamic.

We do have a frontrunner and that’s Brendan Fraser in The Whale. Since its Venice and Toronto fest bows, he’s drawn raves. This is also a comeback narrative that the Academy should fall for. I’ve had Fraser listed in 1st for several weeks and I see no reason to change that.

There are two viable runners-up in Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) and Austin Butler (Elvis). I’ve been switching them in 2nd and 3rd place over the past few posts. Farrell is 2nd because I think Banshees stands a better shot at a BP nod. You have to go back to 2009 and Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) where the Best Actor recipient’s movie didn’t achieve BP inclusion. If Elvis makes the big dance – an argument could be made that Butler is Fraser’s most serious competition to shake the race up.

After those three names, it could be a free for all for the final two slots. The only other performer I had listed in 1st place other than Fraser was Hugh Jackman for The Son. This was before it premiered at the festivals and garnered middling reviews. Now the question is whether Jackman gets in at all.

Someone who has fared well on the fest circuit is Bill Nighy for Living. Sony Pictures will need to mount a spirited campaign, but they’re good at that kinda thing. I’m starting to feel better about Nighy than Jackman.

Diego Calva is the biggest remaining question mark for Babylon. Screenings coming up in two weeks should help answer his viability. There’s a pair of indie performances that could bubble up if critics groups assist – Paul Mescal for Aftersun and Jeremy Pope in The Inspection. One possible hindrance for both of them is their movies are both A24 and that studio could be distracted with crowning Fraser. We could see foreign film leads Song Kang-ho (Broker) and Park Hae-il (Decision to Leave) make a play.

Netflix is apparently going in on a spirited campaign for Adam Sandler in Hustle. I have a hard time seeing that pan out (especially since he couldn’t get in for Uncut Gems). The streamer could also focus on Christian Bale (The Pale Blue Eye) or Adam Driver (White Noise). Bale also has Amsterdam, but it failed with critics and audiences.

Finally… there’s Tom Cruise. A three-time nominee, it’s been 23 years since he was in the mix. And a little pic called Top Gun: Maverick was easily the largest blockbuster of his career and the runaway hit of 2022. I’m not ready to put him in my five. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up there.

Here’s my current state of this race:

1 . Brendan Fraser, The Whale (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

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

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 8) (E)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Song Kang-ho, Broker

Best Actress is up next!

2022 Oscar Predictions: October 23rd Edition

Elvis has left the top ten predicted nominees in my Best Picture rankings and it’s Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave back in the mix. The good news continues for Leave as it returns to #1 in International Feature Film over its close competitor All Quiet on the Western Front.

While the directing and lead acting derbies remain the same, there are changes in both supporting races. Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once) is back in Supporting Actress over Dolly de Leon (Triangle of Sadness). Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans) falls out of the Supporting Actor quintet with Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin) moving up.

Another picture increasing its nomination count is Living. I already had Bill Nighy in the Best Actor five and I’m now putting it in Adapted Screenplay while removing White Noise. Living also makes its debut in Costume Design for a total of three nods.

Later this week, I’ll have State of the Race detailed posts on the six major competitions (Picture, Director, the 4 acting contests).

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

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

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

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

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

7. Tár (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Whale (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. Decision to Leave (PR: 14) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

11. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 11) (E)

12. She Said (PR: 12) (E)

13. Elvis (PR: 9) (-3)

14. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 15) (E)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Todd Field, Tár (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (+2)

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

8. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (+1)

10. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tár (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 3) (E)

4. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (E)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Rooney Mara, Women Talking (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

4. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Nina Hoss, Tár (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King

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. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 8) (E)

9. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (+1)

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

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

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tár (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (E)

8. Armageddon Time (PR: 8) (E)

9. Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

Empire of Light

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. She Said (PR: 3) (E)

4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Bones and All (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 9) (+1)

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

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

Dropped Out:

Till

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Wendell and Wild (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Strange World (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Sea Beast (PR: 7) (+1)

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

8. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Minions: The Rise of Gru (PR: 9) (E)

10. Lightyear (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Close (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. Saint Omer (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Holy Spider (PR: 7) (E)

8. Alcarras (PR: 8) (E)

9. Klondike (PR: 6) (-3)

10. EO (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Corsage

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Descendant (PR: 2) (E)

3. Navalny (PR: 3) (E)

4. All That Breathes (PR: 4) (E)

5. Fire of Love (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Last Flight Home (PR: 9) (+3)

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

8. Moonage Daydream (PR: 8) (E)

9. Good Night Oppy (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Aftershock (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Empire of Light (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Bardo (PR: 4) (E)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

9. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Emancipation

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Woman King (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Corsage (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Blonde

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Tár (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Women Talking (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (+1)

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

10. Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bardo

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: 10) (+2)

9. The Woman King (PR: 7) (-2)

10. X (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Blonde

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Empire of Light (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tár (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (-2)

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

9. The Batman (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

Bardo

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. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red (PR: 2) (-1)

4. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+1)

7. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: 5) (-2)

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

9. “On My Way” from Marry Me (PR: 9) (E)

10. “At the Automat” from The Automat (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Love Is Not Love” from Bros

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

3. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 3) (E)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Empire of Light (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bardo (PR: 5) (-5)

Dropped Out:

The Batman

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. The Batman (PR: 6) (+2)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

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

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

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

9. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Nope (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Fabelmans

Bardo

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. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 6) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. RRR (PR: 8) (E)

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

10. Good Night Oppy (PR: 9) (-1)

And that equates to these pictures garnering these numbers of nominations:

10 Nominations

Babylon

9 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans

7 Nominations

Women Talking

6 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin

5 Nominations

Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale

4 Nominations

Tár

3 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living

2 Nominations

Bardo, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Decision to Leave, Empire of Light, Triangle of Sadness, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Close, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, RRR, Saint Omer, She Said, The Son, Strange World, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Wendell and Wild, Where the Crawdads Sing

2022 Oscar Predictions: October 16th Edition

On the bright side for Netflix, I have Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio at #1 in Animated Feature where it’s been perched all along. That would mean the streamer could nab its first victory ever in that race.

Now the bad news as my current Best Picture nominees leaves Netflix on the cutting room floor. In 2018, Roma was the first hopeful in the big dance. It was expected to win, but lost to Green Book. 2019 brought double nominees with The Irishman and Marriage Story. Same in 2020 with Mank and The Trial of the Chicago 7. And there were two contenders again last year in Don’t Look Up and The Power of the Dog (a frontrunner until CODA fever emerged).

I had All Quiet on the Western Front in the mix 11 days ago. Yet I’ve had a nagging feeling that another blockbuster not named Top Gun: Maverick will get in. So for the first time, Elvis is in the top ten. That moneymaker spot could also be filled with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (from Netflix), Avatar: The Way of Water, or Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Think could also be called the “Second Sequel” slot, I suppose.

Don’t be surprised if Netflix eventually gets back in. Quiet, the aforementioned Onion, Bardo, and Pinocchio are all viable (maybe even White Noise). For now, my BP hopefuls would mean a disappointing nomination morning for the streamer.

She Said received mostly positive notices when it was unveiled Thursday at the New York Film Festival. It could absolutely be a BP contender, but I’m got it just on the outside and feel more comfortable forecasting it as a lone screenplay nominee (I don’t love the current 76% RT meter for it). You’ll note I don’t have any of the cast in my top tens. Perhaps the eventual announcement of category placements could change that.

In other developments:

    • I’ve decided to move Babylon‘s Margot Robbie back in Best Actress instead of supporting (can we please get that placement announcement??). It means she’s back in and Olivia Colman (Empire of Light) is out.
    • Bill Nighy’s work in Living returns to Actor five with Diego Calva (Babylon) sliding into sixth position.
    • With Robbie returning to lead, Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness) is elevated to fifth in Supporting Actress.
    • My Supporting Actor dual nominee projections of Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin shifts to Paul Dano and Judd Hirsch for The Fabelmans. That means Hirsch rises while Keoghan falls.

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Rank: 1) (E)

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

3. Babylon (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Women Talking (PR: 3) (-1)

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

6. Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Whale (PR: 8) (E)

9. Elvis (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities: 

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

12. She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Decision to Leave (PR: 11) (-3)

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

Dropped Out:

Till

The Woman King 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (+2)

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

8. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (-1)

9. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (E)

10. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: Not Ranked) – moved from Supporting

Other Possibilities:

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

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

8. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 8) (E)

9. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 7) (-2)

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

Dropped Out:

Carey Mulligan, She Said

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Will Smith, Emancipation 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities: 

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

7. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Margot Robbie, Babylon (moved to Best Actress)

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. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time

Micheal Ward, Empire of Light 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (+1)

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

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

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tar (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (E)

8. Armageddon Time (PR: 8) (E)

9. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Menu (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Broker 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. She Said (PR: 5) (+2)

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

5. White Noise (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Living (PR: 6) (E)

7. Till (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Bones and All (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Son (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. Strange World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Wendell and Wild (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. The Bad Guys (PR: 8) (+2)

7. The Sea Beast (PR: 6) (-1)

8. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Minions: The Rise of Gru (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: 3) (E)

4. Bardo (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klondike (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Holy Spider (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Alcarras (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Corsage (PR: 10) (E)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Descendant (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Navalny (PR: 3) (E)

4. All That Breathes (PR: 4) (E)

5. Fire of Love (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Good Night Oppy (PR: 7) (E)

8. Moonage Daydream (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Last Flight Home (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Aftershock (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sr. 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Empire of Light (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bardo (PR: 5) (+1)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities: 

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

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

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

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

10. Emancipation (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. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Corsage (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Woman King (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Living (PR: 9) (+1)

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

10. Blonde (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Amsterdam

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: 4) (+1)

4. Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Women Talking (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Elvis (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tar (PR: 9) (+2)

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

9. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Decision to Leave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The Batman (PR: 5) (+1)

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

Other Possibilities:

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

7. The Woman King (PR: 10) (+3)

8. (PR: 8) (E)

9. Blonde (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Amsterdam

Corsage

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Empire of Light (PR: 3) (E)

4. Tar (PR: 6) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities: 

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

7. Women Talking (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Bardo (PR: 10) (+2)

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

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

Dropped Out:

Top Gun: Maverick 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 4) (+1)

4. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 3) (-1)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “This is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. “On My Way” from Marry Me (PR: 6) (-3)

10. “Love Is Not Love” from Bros (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“I Ain’t Worried” from Top Gun: Maverick

“Heartbeat” from Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 4) (+2)

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

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

5. Bardo (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (-2)

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

10. The Batman (PR: 10) (E)

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: 3) (E)

4. Babylon (PR: 4) (E)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Batman (PR: 6) (E)

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

8. Nope (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Fabelmans (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Thirteen Lives

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

5. The Batman (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (-2)

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

8. RRR (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Good Night Oppy (PR: 9) (E)

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

Dropped Out:

Nope 

That equates to these movies getting these numbers of nominations:

10 Nominations

Babylon

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

Women Talking

6 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis

5 Nominations

Tar, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale

3 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Bardo, Triangle of Sadness 

2 Nominations

The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Empire of Light, Till, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Close, Corsage, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, RRR, Saint Omer, She Said, The Son, Strange World, Tell It Like a Woman, Wendell and Wild, White Noise

2022 Oscar Predictions: October 5th Edition

In the past week, the biggest Oscar news was the announcement that Emancipation with Will Smith will debut in December and therefore be eligible for consideration. You can read my thoughts on that here:

Emancipation Enters the Oscar Race

As you’ll see below, Emancipation doesn’t make much of an impact anywhere in my estimates. However, I am putting Will Smith in at 10th for Best Actor. Part of that is the fairly weak field for lead actor (especially compared to Actress). Do I think Smith will get a nod? No, but it’s not entirely out of the question if his performance is critically hailed.

My BP lineup has one change with Triangle of Sadness back in the top ten over Decision to Leave. 

In other developments:

    • Todd Field (Tar) returns to the directorial quintet and that removes Edward Berger for All Quiet on the Western Front.
    • While the Best Actress field remains the same, Danielle Deadwyler’s work in Till rises to 2nd place after rave notices at the New York Film Festival.
    • Brad Pitt (Babylon), who’s been subject to some bad press this week, falls out of my Supporting Actor five in favor of Ben Whishaw for Women Talking. 
    • Babylon has also been taken out of my Original Screenplay selections with Tar being elevated.
    • There’s a new #1 in Documentary Feature with Descendant nabbing the slot over All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

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

3. Women Talking (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

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

6. Tar (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Whale (PR: 8) (E)

9. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 11) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

11. Decision to Leave (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Elvis (PR: 13) (E)

14. Till (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Woman King (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Empire of Light

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (E)

8. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (E)

9. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 1) (E)

2. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (+3)

3. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 7) (-1)

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

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

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

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

4. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Will Smith, Emancipation (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Paul Mescal, Aftersun 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (E)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everything All at Once (PR: 6) (E)

7. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: Not Ranked)

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

10. Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Zoe Kazan, She Said

Sadie Sink, The Whale

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. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 7) (E)

8. Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time (PR: 8) (E)

9. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (+1)

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

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (+1)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (-1)

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

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tar (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (E)

8. Armageddon Time (PR: 8) (E)

9. Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Broker (PR: 10 (E)

Dropped Out:

Bros

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. White Noise (PR: 5) (+1)

5. She Said (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Living (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Bones and All (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (-1)

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

10. Till (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Son 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. Strange World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes on (PR: 4) (E)

5. Wendell and Wild (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Sea Beast (PR: 7) (+1)

7. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Bad Guys (PR: 8) (E)

9. Minions: The Rise of Gru (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: 3) (E)

4. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bardo (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Holy Spider (PR: 6) (E)

7. Argetina, 1985 (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Klondike (PR: 8) (E)

9. Alcarras (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Corsage (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

EO

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Descendant (PR: 3) (+2)

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

3. Navalny (PR: 2) (-1)

4. All That Breathes (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Territory (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Fire of Love (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Good Night Oppy (PR: 7) (E)

8. Last Flight Home (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Moonage Daydream (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Sr. (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Empire of Light (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-1)

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

5. Bardo (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (-1)

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

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

10. The Batman (PR: 10) (E)

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. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (E)

7. Corsage (PR: 8) (+1)

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

9. Living (PR: 9) (E)

10. Amsterdam (PR: 10) (E)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Elvis (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Women Talking (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tar (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Babylon (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Elvis (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Batman (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Amsterdam (PR: Not Ranked)

8. (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Corsage (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Woman King (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

All Quiet on the Western Front

Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Babylon (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Empire of Light (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Women Talking (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tar (PR: 5) (-1)

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

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

9. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Batman

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 9) (+5)

5. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “On My Way” from Marry Me (PR: 4) (-2)

7. “New Body Rhuma” from White Noise (PR: 10) (+3)

8. “This is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (-2)

9. “I Ain’t Worried” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Heartbeat” from Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Vegas” from Elvis 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

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

4. Elvis (PR: 2) (-2)

5. The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (E)

7. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

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

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

10. The Batman (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Amsterdam

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

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. Babylon (PR: 4) (E)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Batman (PR: 6) (E)

7. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 9) (+2)

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

9. Nope (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Thirteen Lives (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. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 6) (+2)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. The Batman (PR: 4) (-2)

7. RRR (PR: 10) (+3)

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

9. Good Night Oppy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Nope (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

All Quiet on the Western Front 

And that equates to these movies nabbing these numbers of nominations:

11 Nominations

Babylon

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans 

8 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Women Talking 

5 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale 

4 Nominations

Tar

3 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Empire of Light

2 Nominations

Bardo, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Triangle of Sadness, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, The Batman, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, RRR, Saint Omer, She Said, The Son, Till, Strange World, Tell It Like a Woman, The Territory, Wendell and Wild, Where the Crawdads Sing, White Noise, The Woman King

Emancipation Enters the Oscar Race

In an alternative universe, Emancipation might be in my top 10 predicted Best Picture nominees. I could potentially be discussing Will Smith’s chances of being the first back to back acting winner since Tom Hanks in 1993 and 1994.

I didn’t think this alternative universe could be a potential reality in the 2022 awards season. In 2021, Apple TV beat Netflix and others to the punch as CODA was the inaugural streaming Best Picture winner. For a while, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon appeared to be Apple’s best shot at making it two years in a row. That’s until it got pushed to 2023. In recent weeks, there was speculation that Ridley Scott’s Napoleon starring Joaquin Phoenix could make a jump to 2022. It wasn’t to be.

This has left Apple without a legit across the board Oscar player… until maybe today. Why? The streamer announced that Antoine Fuqua’s historical drama Emancipation will hit theaters for an awards qualifying run on December 2nd and then be available for home viewing on December 9th. The trailer was unveiled this morning.

And in case you’re still wondering why I’m skeptical… two words: The Slap. Yes, the slap heard around the globe when Chris Rock presented Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards and cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. And, of course, slap provider Will Smith giving his acceptance speech a few minutes later when he was victorious in Best Actor for King Richard.

Since then, many of Smith’s planned projects have entered turnaround status. Emancipation, in which he plays a slave who joins the Union Army, was already filmed. And Apple made the surprising decision in early October to get it out two months later. This surely means Smith will be subject to interviews where he’ll address The Slap sooner than later.

So… the obvious question: can Smith get nominated? Can the film itself do so in other categories? Even though the star resigned from the Academy in the aftermath of the incident, he can still be nominated (and he can attend if invited by other members). So while the short answer is yes… the real answer is more complicated.

My gut is that Smith’s work in Emancipation would have to be undeniably awards worthy to make the final five. Even that could be a stretch. Time heals controversies and not much time has passed. As for the film itself, it could surely garner nods from Best Picture on down (I’m curious if Ben Foster gets any chatter for Supporting Actor). Yet it starts off at a unique disadvantage.

We won’t know until reviews start surfacing and that could be a few weeks. I can only assume Apple will give this a major push for consideration. It’s a campaign that is an uphill battle for reasons unfathomable just a few months ago.