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: Dec. 22, 2022
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2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Original Score
CATEGORY COMMENTARY: There were a few surprises with the announced Oscars shortlist for best original score.
The former winners in the running have the upper hand at the moment such as John Williams (“The Fabelmans”), Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Women Talking”) and Alexandre Desplat (“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”).
With 52 Oscar nominations, Williams is already the second most-nominated individual after Walt Disney (and the oldest living person), who had 59 nods. With some of the most notable and recognizable musical movie scores ever, Williams has won five Oscars over his impressive career: “Fiddler on the Roof” (1971), “Jaws” (1976), “Star Wars” (1977), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) and “Schindler’s List” (1993). At 90, should he win, he would become the oldest winner in any competitive Oscar category, surpassing James Ivory, who was 89 when he won adapted screenplay for “Call Me by Your Name” (2017).
In contrast, former nominees like Terence Blanchard (“The Woman King”) and Carter Burwell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) have momentum that could bring either of them to the forefront.
Two women were included in the lineup: Chanda Dancy’s “Devotion,” who could be the first Black woman ever nominated in the category, and Guðnadóttir, who would be the first woman to win the category twice (winner for 2019’s “Joker”). This comes after the latter’s work from “Tár” was disqualified by the Academy.
“All Quiet on the Western Front” asserted itself as Netflix’s leading awards contender with its strong showing across the board, including Volker Bertelmann’s bombastic and tense musical chords. Nathan Johnson, the cousin to writer and director Rian Johnson, was able to make it onto the shortlist with “Glass Onion,” the sequel to “Knives Out.”
The composers also “branched” out (no pun intended) with names we initially suspected they would pass on such as Son Lux’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and Michael Abels’ “Nope.”
And then there are films like “Don’t Worry Darling” with John Powell on the ticket, whose career has produced only a single Oscar nod for “How to Train Your Dragon” (2011), despite worthy endeavors such as “Shrek” (2001) and “United 93” (2006). A second career mention could be possible.
It was disheartening not to see Michael Giacchino’s visceral “The Batman,” Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch’s beautiful “Living” and M.M. Keeravaani’s epic and upbeat “RRR” not be among the composers in the running. Still, other nods will hopefully come their way in the future.
See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:
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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