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Final Oscars Predictions: Original Score – Voter Feedback Suggests Race Down to Veterans Carter Burwell and John Williams

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: March 9, 2023

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2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Original Score

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, from left: Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell, 2022. ph: Aidan Monaghan /© Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, from left: Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell, 2022. ph: Aidan Monaghan /© Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

CATEGORY COMMENTARY:

Not joking, any of the five nominated composers can win.

BAFTA chose “All Quiet on the Western Front” while the Golden Globes chose “Babylon.” There are various possibilities with “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” and “Women Talking” out of the lineup.

Based on conversations with voters, it feels like this is down to the two veterans — John Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Carter Burwell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”).

Williams, the oldest nominee of a competitive Oscar in history, is coming to bat with another Spielberg joint, “The Fablemans.” With five Oscar wins, with the last coming over 30 years ago for “Schindler’s List” (1993), he has immense support for the composer to take one more home, becoming the oldest competitive winner in history.

Burwell, the New York-born composer of “The Banshees of Inisherin,” despite a stunning filmography, has only landed two previous Oscar noms — “Carol” (2015) and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017).

Will Win: “The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures) – John Williams
Could Win: “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures) – Carter Burwell
Should Win: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix) – Volker Bertelmann
Should have been here: “The Batman” (Warner Bros) – Michael Giacchino

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective. To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.

See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.

Countdown to the Oscars with Variety here.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

And The Nominees Are:

Rank

Film

Composer(s)

Distributor

1

“The Fabelmans”

John Williams

Universal Pictures

A semi-autobiography based on Spielberg’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen.

2

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Carter Burwell

Searchlight Pictures

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.

3

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

Volker Bertelmann

Netflix

A young German soldier’s terrifying experiences and distress on the western front during World War I.

4

“Babylon”

Justin Hurwitz

Paramount Pictures

Set in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies, focusing on a mixture of historical & fictional characters.

5

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Son Lux

A24

An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on ABC on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

2022 category winner: "Dune" (Warner Bros.) - Hans Zimmer

About Variety Awards Circuit:

Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online and provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes -- Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety's leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.

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