2023 Oscar Predictions: May 29th Edition

As the month of May closes out, we arrive at my post Cannes forecast for the 96th Academy Awards! There were heavy hitters premiering in the south of France and buzz to discuss for several of them.

One year ago, Triangle of Sadness took the Palme d’Or (the fest’s top prize) and it eventually became a Best Picture contender at the Oscars. Ruben Östlund, Triangle‘s director who served as this year’s jury president, was also nominated for his behind the camera work.. In 2023, Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall won the biggest honor. The French courtroom drama established itself as a major factor in International Feature Film and it is feasible that it could nab a slot in the eventual BP ten.

Other films that solidified their statuses as Academy bait? We start with Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. The three and a half hour epic maintains its #1 position in Picture, Director, Supporting Actress (Lily Gladstone), and Supporting Actor after many raves at Cannes. However, the Supporting Actor in first is Robert De Niro and not Jesse Plemons, who was perched there two weeks ago. Reviews indicate it’s De Niro who should have the better shot.

Let’s be clear. My rankings right now reflect who I believe will be nominated and not necessarily who I think will win (it’s simply too early for that). Killers looks to be in a fantastic position for multiples nods after its unveiling.

Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest is right behind Moon as far as significant chatter out of the festival. The Holocaust drama could contend in Pic and Director. So could lead actress Sandra Hüller. Yet she might have an even stronger chance for her performance in Anatomy of a Fall.

For May December from Todd Haynes, reviews were quite solid. Its best chances at inclusion could be for its trio of actors Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton. We’re still not sure if Portman and Moore will be co-campaigned for lead. For now I’m slotting the former in Actress and the latter in supporting.

Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City drew plaudits though mixed reaction elsewhere. I’m skeptical of its chances (though it could play in down-the-line races like Production Design and Score).

Then there’s the features that dropped out of contention. Pixar’s Elemental won’t be the first studio title to vie for BP since Toy Story 3. It might be lucky to get an Animated Feature mention after some lackluster reaction. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will not be a Top Gun: Maverick style hopeful for Oscars. And the fest’s opener Jeanne du Barry with Johnny Depp might get a Costume Design nod and that’s all.

In 2022, I made predictions for the 95th Academy Awards on this same day. It yielded 3 of the eventual 10 BP nominees with eventual winner Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, and Women Talking. Four others (Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick) were named in Other Possibilities. I wasn’t ready to anoint Triangle of Sadness despite its Cannes hardware. In Director – I correctly named the victorious Daniels for Everything Everywhere and Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans. With Best Actress, I had Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere) who would take the gold. Cate Blanchett (Tár) and Ana de Armas (Blonde) were Other Possibilities. I will note that I had Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) listed in supporting and she was nominated in lead. For Actor, winner Brendan Fraser (The Whale) were correctly called with Austin Butler (Elvis) listed. Both Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun) were Other Possibilities. None of the five contenders in Supporting Actress were rightly placed. I did have winner Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere), her costar Stephanie Hsu, and Hong Chau (The Whale) in Other Possibilities. Finally, Ke Huy Quan (who took the statue) for Everything Everywhere was the only correctly tagged performer in Supporting Actor.

OK… deep breath. With all that context, let’s see where everything and everyone ranks…

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Killers of the Flower Moon (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

2. The Color Purple (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Past Lives (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune: Part Two (PR: 4) (E)

5. Oppenheimer (PR: 5) (E)

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

7. The Zone of Interest (PR: 15) (+8)

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

9. Air (PR: 9) (E)

10. Poor Things (PR: 6) (-4)

Other Possibilities:

11. May December (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Maestro (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Anatomy of a Fall (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Challengers (PR: 14) (E)

15. Blitz (PR: 13) (-2)

16. Barbie (PR: 12) (-4)

17. Napoleon (PR: 18) (+1)

18. Rustin (PR: 20) (+2)

19. Flint Strong (PR: 17) (-2)

20. Bob Marley: One Love (PR: 16) (-4)

21. The Nickel Boys (PR: 21) (E)

22. The Book of Clarence (PR: 22) (E)

23. The Killer (PR: 19) (-4)

24. Asteroid City (PR: 25) (+1)

25. Ferrari (PR: 23) (-2)

Dropped Out:


Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune: Part Two (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Blitz Bazawule, The Color Purple (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Celine Song, Past Lives (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest (PR: 14) (+9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer (PR: 6) (E)

7. Emerald Fennell, Saltburn (PR: 7) (E)

8. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Justine Triet, Anatomy of a Fall (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Alexander Payne, The Holdovers (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Bradley Cooper, Maestro (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Ben Affleck, Air (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Ridley Scott, Napoleon (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Greta Gerwig, Barbie (PR: 10) (-4)

15. Steve McQueen, Blitz (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Todd Haynes, May December

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple (PR: 1) (E)

2. Greta Lee, Past Lives (PR: 2) (E)

3. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 3) (E)

4. Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Natalie Portman, May December (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Carey Mulligan, Maestro (PR: 7) (E)

8. Zendaya, Challengers (PR: 8) (E)

9. Margot Robbie, Barbie (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Saoirse Ronan, Blitz (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Kate Winslet, Lee (PR: 11) (E)

12. Annette Bening, Nyad (PR: 12) (E)

13. Sandra Hüller, The Zone of Interest (PR: 13) (E)

14. Ryan Destiny, Flint Strong (PR: 14) (E)

15. Jane Levy, A Little Prayer (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Regina King, Shirley

Amy Adams, Nightbitch

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 1) (E)

2. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Barry Keoghan, Saltburn (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Kingsley Ben-Adir, Bob Marley: One Love (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bradley Cooper, Maestro (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Teo Yoo, Past Lives (PR: 7) (E)

8. Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Anthony Hopkins, Freud’s Last Session (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Joaquin Phoenix, Napoleon (PR: 10) (E)

11. David Strathairn, A Little Prayer (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Matt Damon, Air (PR: 9) (-3)

13. Ed Harris, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (PR: 13) (E)

14. Mike Faist, Challengers (PR: 12) (-2)

15. John David Washington, The Piano Lesson (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Andrew Scott, Strangers

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple (PR: 2) (E)

3. Taraji P. Henson, The Color Purple (PR: 3) (E)

4. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers (PR: 4) (E)

5. Julianne Moore, May December (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Air (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Rosamund Pike, Saltburn (PR: 7) (E)

8. Lashana Lynch, Bob Marley: One Love (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Halle Bailey, The Color Purple (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Aunjanue Ellis, The Nickel Boys (PR: 11) (E)

12. Tilda Swinton, The Killer (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Danielle Deadwyler, The Piano Lesson (PR: 13) (E)

14. Jodie Foster, Nyad (PR: 14) (E)

15. Vanessa Kirby, Napoleon (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Claire Foy, Strangers

Rebecca Ferguson, Dune: Part Two

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 4) (+3)

2. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 2) (E)

3. Colman Domingo, The Color Purple (PR: 10) (+7)

4. Charles Melton, May December (PR: 8) (+4)

5. John Magaro, Past Lives (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilties:

6. Samuel L. Jackson, The Piano Lesson (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Ryan Gosling, Barbie (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Richard E. Grant, Saltburn (PR: 11) (+3)

9. Ben Affleck, Air (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (-9)

11. Brian Tyree Henry, Flint Strong (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 9) (-3)

13. Corey Hawkins, The Color Purple (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Ben Foster, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Jeremy Strong, Maestro

Oscar Predictions: The New Boy

If not for Michelle Yeoh and the Oscar juggernaut that was Everything Everywhere All at Once, Cate Blanchett likely would’ve taken home her third statue in lead Actress for Tár. That original home is Australia and Blanchett produces and stars in The New Boy, a 1940s set drama that takes place on the continent.

Directed by Warwick Thornton, it casts Aswan Reid as an Aboriginal orphan at a monastery run by Blanchett’s nun. Costars include Deborah Mailman and Wayne Blair. Slated to hit Australia in July with a domestic release TBD, Boy has premiered at Cannes to mostly decent reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 80% based on the handful of reactions.

Yet I don’t see a real path for this to receive awards attention. While the small number of critics so far are positive, the write-ups aren’t exactly raves. Judging from the lead performer’s track record, she probably won’t have to wait too long until her next nomination. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

2023 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Picture)

As April closes out, I’m giving you my initial ranked projections for the Best Picture race at the 96th Academy Awards. Over the past few days, I’ve done the same for Director and the four acting derbies. If you missed them, they are linked at the bottom of the post.

I will note that I made my first rankings for the 95th Oscars around the same time last year. Of those 10 movies predicted, it yielded three eventual nominees: Everything Everywhere All at Once (which won), The Fabelmans, and Women Talking. Four additional contenders were mentioned in Other Possibilities: Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, and Tár.

Three films in my top 25 from 2022 can be found here since they were delayed: Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Things, and Rustin. Let’s dispense with the caveats you’re used to seeing if you read my other write-ups. Some titles here are bound to be pushed back. Some will simply not match pre-release hype and fall by the wayside. Surprises will emerge throughout the season and at upcoming festivals.

Here’s the premiere outlook on BP’ 23!


1. Killers of the Flower Moon

2. Past Lives

3. The Color Purple

4. Dune: Part Two

5. Oppenheimer

6. Poor Things

7. Saltburn

8. Challengers

9. Air

10. May December

Other Possibilities:

11. Maestro

12. The Holdovers

13. Blitz

14. Barbie

15. Bob Marley: One Love

16. Napoleon

17. The Book of Clarence

18. Strangers

19. Flint Strong

20. Rustin

21. The Killer

22. Asteroid City

23. Ferrari

24. The Nickel Boys

25. The Bikeriders

And now you can expect updates to these rankings every couple of weeks (they’ll soon become weekly). Keep an eye on the blog and on my podcast (search Movies at the Speed of Speculation) for all of it!

2023 Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Best Actress)

Best Actress is up next in my first ranked projections for the 96th Academy Awards. If you missed my posts on the other three acting derbies, they are linked at the bottom.

Per usual, let’s dispense with the usual caveats. Some of these actresses might end up being supporting players (category placement is a mystery for some pictures this early in the calendar). Some of these movies could get pushed to 2024. Both Emma Stone (Poor Things) and Regina King (Shirley) were initially supposed to contend in 2022.

And, of course, some of these performances will fall by the wayside due to poor reaction while surprises will inevitably pop up. When I made my inaugural rankings for the previous ceremony, I had eventual winner Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) listed in third position with Cate Blanchett (Tár) in Other Possibilities.

Here we go!


1. Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple

2. Greta Lee, Past Lives

3. Zendaya, Challengers

4. Emma Stone, Poor Things

5. Natalie Portman, May December

Other Possibilities:

6. Margot Robbie, Barbie

7. Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

8. Saoirse Ronan, Blitz

9. Carey Mulligan, Maestro

10. Amy Adams, Nightbitch

11. Regina King, Shirley

12. Annette Bening, Nyad

13. Aunjanue Ellis, The Nickel Boys

14. Ryan Destiny, Flint Strong

15. Kate Winslet, Lee

2023 Oscar Predictions: March 2023 Edition (Best Picture)

For the past week, I’ve given you my impossibly premature projections for the 96th Academy Awards. After all, most of these predicted features have yet to hold a screening.

Yet it’s worth pointing out that my initial forecast for the previous BP nominees in April of 2022 yielded seven of the ten eventual nominees. Three were included in my top 10: the winner Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, and Women Talking. Four were placed in Other Possibilities – Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, and Tár.

Let’s see how this ratio for 2023 works out a few months down the road, shall we? If you missed my look at Director and the four acting competitions, they can accessed at the end of this post.

Here we go!




The Color Purple

Dune: Part Two

Killers of the Flower Moon


May December


Past Lives

Poor Things

Other Possibilities:

Asteroid City


The Bikeriders


The Book of Clarence


Flint Strong


The Holdvoers

The Killer


Next Goal Wins



Untitled Bob Marley Movie

2023 Oscar Predictions: March Edition (Best Actress)

My initial projections for the 96th Academy Awards arrives at Best Actress. If you missed my takes on the other three acting derbies, they can be accessed at the bottom of the post.

As I’ve mentioned in the other write-ups, this is simply a super early snapshot of the possibilities. A year ago in my first forecast for the 95th Oscars, none of the five actresses I had pegged in this race ended up being nominated. However, the pictures for two of them (Emma Stone for Poor Things and Regina King in Shirley) were pushed back to this year and you can find their names below yet again. Three of the eventual nominees for 2022 were listed in Other Possibilities: eventual winner Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Cate Blanchett (Tár), and Ana de Armas (Blonde).

I’ll have Director and the big prize Picture posted tomorrow!


Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple

Greta Lee, Past Lives

Natalie Portman, May December

Margot Robbie, Barbie

Emma Stone, Poor Things

Other Possibilities:

Marisa Abela, Back to Black

Amy Adams, Nightbitch

Annette Bening, Nyad

Regina King, Shirley

Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Carey Mulligan, Maestro

Saoirse Ronan, Blitz

Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla

Kate Winslet, Lee

Zendaya, Challengers

95th Academy Awards Reaction

It was indeed a slap free almost four hours of TV at the Oscars Sunday night. However, half of the Best Picture nominees were smacked down with zero victories: The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, The Fabelmans, Tár, and Triangle of Sadness.

There’s no doubt that Everything Everywhere All at Once was the massive winner of the proceedings, emerging victorious in seven of its 11 nods. It was also a loudly pleasing reception for All Quiet on the Western Front with a better than anticipated four trophies.

As for my numbers, I went 13 for 20. Over the past half decade, I’ve had far stronger showings in the odd numbered years than even numbered ones and my 2022 results were again on the lower end of the spectrum.

Everything took home the most above the line awards (6) of any picture in Academy history: Picture, Director (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), Actress (Michelle Yeoh), Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis), Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), and Original Screenplay (also the Daniels). It also won Film Editing. I correctly called all of those except for Supporting Actress where I went with Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin). This is the first pic in (get this!) 46 years to nab three of the four acting races. That’s since Network in 1976.

When Elvis lost to The Whale for Makeup and Hairstyling (which I got wrong), prognosticators across the Twitterverse and beyond knew that it could be a sign Brendan Fraser may take the gold over Austin Butler. And indeed that’s what happened – meaning I missed two of the four acting derbies. Let it be noted, by the way, that the Academy exactly matched SAG in those four competitions.

All Quiet grabbed International Feature Film and Cinematography as predicted. It additionally took Production Design (over my Babylon call) and Original Score (over my pick of The Fabelmans). I projected Quiet for Sound, but instead it marked the only victory for Top Gun: Maverick.

Animated Feature and Documentary Feature went, as anticipated, to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Navalny. Song was “Naatu Naatu” from RRR and Avatar: The Way of Water in Visual Effects (correct picks) with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Costume Design over my Elvis pick.

And it was Sarah Polley in Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking. As far as the 95th Academy Awards, we’ll be talking about a historic night for one film in particular. It didn’t win everything, but it did so everywhere it was expected to and beyond. And it was also an evening filled with some genuinely heartfelt speeches and touching wins capped off by Indiana Jones embracing Short Round nearly 40 years later!

95th Academy Awards: Ranking the Best Picture Nominees

The 95th Academy Awards air tomorrow and, just in the nick of time, I have seen all ten Best Picture nominees courtesy of my Netflix viewing of All Quiet on the Western Front today.

If you missed my predictions for who and what I believe will win at the ceremony, you can access that here:

Now that I’ve seen the group of pics vying for BP, I will rank them according to personal preference. Just as in 2019 with Parasite, my #1 happens to match the movie that I’m projecting to take the biggest prize.

In 2022, I was ecstatic to attend the Toronto Film Festival for the first time. It is there that I saw future nominees The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, and Women Talking. At the theater in my home state of Ohio, I took in Avatar: The Way of Water, Tár, and Top Gun: Maverick. Home sweet home is where I viewed All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, and Triangle of Sadness.

This is how I’d rank them!

10. Triangle of Sadness

9. Avatar: The Way of Water

8. Elvis

7. All Quiet on the Western Front

6. The Banshees of Inisherin

5. Tár

4. Women Talking

3. The Fabelmans

2. Top Gun: Maverick

1 . Everything Everywhere All at Once

Oscars: The Case of Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Playing a version of Steven Spielberg’s real mother, Michelle Williams is nominated for her fifth Oscar in The Fabelmans.

The Case for Michelle Williams:

From the moment this personal project of Spielberg’s was announced, Williams was correctly assumed to have an awards bait role. Precursor noms have materialized at Critics Choice and the Golden Globes. There could also be a feeling that she is overdue given that her track record is 0 for 4 on previous mentions.

The Case Against Michelle Williams:

Universal Pictures surprised everyone when they announced they were campaigning Williams in lead instead of supporting. I maintain that she would stand a considerably better shot at winning in the latter. Some wondered if the Academy might choose to put her up in supporting anyway. SAG and BAFTA left her off their ballots and there’s no significant victories to speak of. The general consensus and one I agree with is this is a two-person race between Cate Blanchett (Tár) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once).

Previous Nominations:

Brokeback Mountain (Supporting Actress, 2005); Blue Valentine (Actress, 2010); My Week with Marilyn (Actress; 2011); Manchester by the Sea (Supporting Actress; 2016)

The Verdict:

I believe the choice to slot Williams will universally be regarded as an unforced error. She seemed headed for 0 for 5.

My Case Of posts will continue with Paul Mescal in Aftersun!

If you didn’t catch my other write-ups on the contending Actresses, click here:

34th PGA Awards Winner Predictions

Ahead of Sunday evening’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, it’s the producers turn on Saturday night. The 34th PGA Awards winner for their best in show has matched the Oscar Picture victor 70% of the time in the previous decade. The times they diverged were 2015 with PGA naming The Big Short instead of Spotlight, 2016 with La La Land over Moonlight, and 2019 when 1917 took the producer prize as opposed to Parasite. PGA also has animated and documentary competitions. I’m walking through them one by one with a winner and runner-up projection.

Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures


Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


Top Gun: Maverick

The Whale

There’s a 7 for 10 correlation with the PGA contenders and the BP hopefuls from the Academy. The former has Black Panther, Glass Onion, and The Whale up while the Oscars went with All Quiet on the Western Front, Triangle of Sadness, and Women Talking. The PGA is known for favoring blockbusters over some smaller pics from time to time. Previous examples that didn’t make the Academy’s cut include Bridesmaids, Skyfall, Gone Girl, Straight Outta Compton, Deadpool, Wonder Woman, and Crazy Rich Asians.

This helps explain why some prognosticators are favoring Maverick to take PGA’s highest award. Another explanation is that pundits are attempting to make the race more exciting than it actually is. I do believe Everything Everywhere All at Once is still most likely to emerge. Maverick does warrant runner-up status.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Turning Red

Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix rendering of the classic tale has cleaned up with precursors and there’s no reason to believe it won’t with PGA.

Predicted Winner: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures


All That Breathes


Fire of Love


Nothing Compares


The Territory

I wrongly picked Fire of Love to win the BAFTA instead of Navalny. Have I learned my lesson? Nope! I’m doubling down and saying a Fire PGA victory will make the Oscar quintet more competitive.

Predicted Winner: Fire of Love

Runner-Up: Navalny

I’ll have a recap up Saturday evening or Sunday ahead of the SAG show. If you missed my SAG predictions, they can be accessed here: