Oscars 2023: Who will win, should win, and who should have got a look in
This late into awards season, we typically tend to know which movies and performances will triumph on Oscar night. But this year has been a bit more erratic than usual. The usual precursors – the Baftas, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards – have been unusually diverse when it comes to winners, with voters choosing to spread around the wealth rather than focus on the same collection of faces each time. It means this weekend’s Oscars might actually be exciting to watch. It also means difficulty in predicting what will happen on the night.
This is partly down to an unusually strong line-up of nominees this year, from populist hits such as Avatar and Elvis to critical darlings such as Tár and The Banshees of Inisherin. Then there are the movies that were both bona fide phenomenons that made a lot of money and drew raves, like the presumed Best Picture victor Everything Everywhere All at Once.
But is an Everything Everywhere sweep as sealed a deal as it might seem? And, if we’re being totally honest, should it be? Ahead of the Oscar ceremony this Sunday 12 March, we’ve cast an eye over the major categories and decided who will win, who should win, and who really should have got a look in.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Will win Everything Everywhere All at Once
Should win Top Gun: Maverick
Shoulda got a look in Aftersun
This is, by and large, a strong Best Picture line-up, with (nearly) every title making sense as a winner and unlikely to spark arguments once the ceremony is over. It is frustratingly dominated by male directors, though, particularly when both Aftersun and The Woman King (directed by Charlotte Wells and Gina Prince-Bythewood, respectively) drew some of the best reviews of the year and felt worthy of inclusion.
Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Todd Field, Tár
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness
Will win Daniels
Should win Todd Field
Shoulda got a look in Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King
It feels like this is a battle between makers of fantastical universes, from the Daniels with their multiverse-spanning Everything Everywhere, to Todd Field, whose sociopathic musical genius Lydia Tár is practically a universe unto herself. Where is Gina Prince-Bythewood, though? Her Viola Davis action vehicle The Woman King was as tense and moving as it was technically dazzling, and she more than deserved a spot.
Austin Butler, Elvis
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Paul Mescal, Aftersun
Bill Nighy, Living
Will win Austin Butler
Should win Colin Farrell
Shoulda got a look in Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans
Oscars adore an impression of a celebrity, so it feels as if this category has been sewn up by Austin Butler. It’d be an underwhelming win, though, particularly when this line-up is so stacked with (better) acting veterans who’ve long deserved awards kudos and (better) new blood such as Paul Mescal. Missing here, frustratingly, is Gabriel LaBelle, whose prickly, charismatic work as a young Steven Spielberg has been almost entirely overlooked all awards season – what happened there?
Cate Blanchett, Tár
Ana de Armas, Blonde
Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Will win Michelle Yeoh
Should win Cate Blanchett
Shoulda got a look in Taylor Russell, Bones and All
This is the night’s biggie, with both Yeoh and Blanchett in with equal shots at taking home the award. Only a monster would complain about a Yeoh victory, but my heart lies with Blanchett – her work in Tár isn’t just the year’s best performance, but one of the best film performances in aeons. Of the snubs here, overlooking Danielle Deadwyler’s heartbreaking work in Till is an embarrassing misstep, but I’d have also loved to see Taylor Russell get awards traction this year for her rich and empathetic performance in Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal love story Bones and All. She more than deserved to be in the same “breakout film performance” chatter as Butler, Mescal and Stephanie Hsu.
Best Supporting Actor
Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Will win Ke Huy Quan
Should win Barry Keoghan
Shoulda got a look in Tim Roth, Resurrection
Ke Huy Quan has long been regarded as a shoo-in here, as much as this award should have been Barry Keoghan’s to lose. This is an impressive line-up either way, though. In terms of arguable snubs, it would have been nice to see some love for Tim Roth in the brilliant Rebecca Hall thriller Resurrection (she’d have been a great Best Actress nominee, too, in all honesty). As a terrifyingly sedate sexual predator turned vaguely supernatural stalker, Roth hasn’t been this good in years.
Best Supporting Actress
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
Will win Jamie Lee Curtis
Should win Kerry Condon
Shoulda got a look in Nina Hoss, Tár
This category bears the whiff of “Monday morning outrage”, with a win for Jamie Lee Curtis looking more and more likely by the day. It’d be confusing for two reasons. Firstly, she’s not especially good in the film. Secondly, Stephanie Hsu is right there! So is Angela Bassett, too, if voters really wanted to honour a beloved industry veteran currently without an Oscar on their mantelpiece. Fingers crossed Condon will take it, though. Missing here are a few of the best scene-stealers of the year, from Nina Hoss’s wounded work as Lydia Tár’s poor, doomed wife, to Judith Ivey’s soulful and compassionate performance as a Menonite grandmother in Women Talking.