It’s Oscar Season!

Another year is upon us, and with that new year comes a new awards season. This is shaping up to be an exciting year for the Oscars because it has one very distinct feature that sets it apart from most years–a lack of a frontrunner. Most years, there is a film thought to be the winner before the Oscar nominations themselves are even announced, setting up a sort of “This Film v. The Rest” narrative for the entire season. And while that film does not always win (The Power of The Dog was all but named Best Picture upon release last year, only to lose out to Coda at the last second), it usually makes the Oscar race fairly predictable.

But this year, all bets are off. There is no clear film set to be the “big winner”; in fact, there is a chance nearly any of the films nominated this year could wind up taking home the most coveted award of the night. And yet, there are still speculations to be made, and I have speculated quite a while to make this list. So, I will spare you all any more of my ramblings and get on with it: here are my picks for the winners in each of the main Oscar categories (as well as my thoughts on who should win).



All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fablemans


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

What will win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

What should win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Possible surprise win: The Banshees of Inisherin

While it cannot be called a frontrunner by any means, Everything Everywhere All at Once has my pick to be the (well-deserved) Best Picture winner on Oscar night. It has the most nominations, a devoted fanbase, and a twisty, science-fiction story that sets it apart from every other nominee. That being said, there is a solid chance Banshees takes the award, as its small-scale drama probably has more mass appeal than the more eccentric Everything.



Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinhert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg, The Fablemans

Todd Fields, Tár

Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Who will win: Steven Spielberg

Who should win: Steven Spielberg

Possible surprise win: The Daniels

While it was initially the frontrunner for Best Picture, The Fablemans has recently taken a backseat to Everything and Banshees, falling comfortably at third-to-fourth best pick for the top prize. Yet, the campaign for Spielberg to take home Best Director has only grown stronger with time. The Academy loves veteran directors, and Spielberg is no exception; if a nod is going to be thrown to his film this year, it will be in this category.



Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Who will win: Brendan Fraser

Who should win: Paul Mescal

Possible surprise win: Colin Farrell

The Academy loves a good underdog story, and Brendan Fraser’s recent renaissance is a story they probably will not want to miss out on. Yet, Fraser’s Oscar is not too secure; The Whale’s mixed reception certainly hurts the actor’s chances, and Colin Farrell could very easily take the award. Paul Mescal has no shot, unfortunately. Sorry, Aftersun fans.



Cate Blanchett, Tár

Ana De Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fablemans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Who will win: Cate Blanchett or Michelle Yeoh

Who should win: Cate Blanchett

Possible surprise win: Andrea Riseborough

Best Lead Actress is perhaps the most exciting category this year, with veteran actresses Blanchett and Yeoh going head-to-head as frontrunners. This category is perhaps a little too close to call, as both actresses have received glowing reviews and numerous awards for their performances. If I had to choose who had the better shot, I would probably give the edge to Blanchett–but do not rule out Andrea Riseborough, whose meteoric rise to Oscar nominee is the kind of success story Academy voters love.



Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Judd Hirsch, The Fablemans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Who will win: Ke Huy Quan, no questions

Who should win: Barry Keoghan

There are really not too many questions surrounding this category. Ke Huy Quan stepped out of retirement for his role in Everything, and his celebratory return to Hollywood is the kind of story Academy voters love. Plus, he has already won a Golden Globe and numerous other well-deserved awards for his performance. He is the definition of a shoe-in. If I had to choose my favorite out of the five, I would have to go with Keoghan, whose twitchy, uncomfortable performance in Banshees managed to stand out in a film stacked with acting talent, but Quan would be a close second.



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

Who will win: Angela Bassett

Who should win: Jamie Lee Curtis or Stephanie Hsu

Possible surprise win: Stephanie Hsu

Another more straightforward category. The odds are certainly with Angela Bassett here, as she has already claimed a Golden Globe for this performance, but there is still a small shot of Stephanie Hsu winning (and an even smaller shot that Jamie Lee Curtis could take it, as well).



Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell, All Quiet on the Western Front

Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Kazuo Ishiguro, Living

Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer & Christopher McQuarrie, Top Gun: Maverick

Sarah Polley, Women Talking

What will win: All Quiet on the Western Front

What should win: Women Talking

Possible surprise win: Women Talking

The “screenplay” categories are always the most difficult categories to predict, but I am going with the German war film All Quiet with this one, as it received a ton of nominations, and the Academy will probably want to throw it at least one “big” award. Women Talking also has a solid shot, though, as the entire movie is pretty much just women talking. There is a lot of dialogue.



Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinhert, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner, The Fablemans

Todd Field, Tár

Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

What will win: The Banshees of Inisherin

What should win: Tár

Possible surprise win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Like many of the categories this year, this one comes down to The Banshees of Inisherin vs. Everything Everywhere All at Once. I would give the edge to Banshees, as its quick and witty banter will certainly win over voters, but the sheer creativity of Everything’s story might help it win. Maybe Tár has a shot. Maybe it is just wishful thinking.