Arts·Oscars Predictions

Here are all of our 2023 Oscars predictions

Each month, we'll be checking in with our latest favourites for the 95th Academy Awards, from The Fabelmans to Women Talking to Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Each month, we'll be checking in with our latest favourites for the 95th Academy Awards

Olivia Colman accepts the award for Best Actress during the 91st Annual Academy Awards in 2019. Colman is a strong contender for the same category this year for her performance in Empire of Light. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

Awards season is officially upon us, and our resident Oscar nerd (and CBC Arts producer) Peter Knegt will be regularly updating his predictions for the main event: the 95th Academy Awards, which will go down on March 12, 2023.

Each month, we'll bring you an updated round of predictions right here, based on the latest buzz from the awards circuit as viewed through the lens of Knegt's decades-long Oscar fanaticism. You can also check out his new monthly column My Favourite Season for all things award season as we count down to the big day.

Obviously things are a bit early yet heading into our first predictions, so take these with some grains of salt... for now. 

Best Picture

Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans has been declared the (very) early favourite here after world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and winning the festival's Oscar lucky charm of a People's Choice Award, which has led to a best picture nomination for the past 10 years straight. But being the first frontrunner out of the gate doesn't always end well: last year it was The Power of the Dog, which ended up losing to CODA, a film few people were predicting would even get nominated at this point last season.

Current predictions:
BabylonThe Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Fabelmans, Glass Onion: A Knives Out StoryTÁR, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, The Woman King, Women Talking

But don't count out:
She Said, Empire of Light, The Whale, Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis

Best Director

Spielberg has already won this category twice (for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan), and a third win would tie him with Frank Capra and William Wyler for the second-most wins in Oscar history (Spielberg's hero John Ford has the most with four). But there are many extremely worthy folks in line to stop him, particularly Women Talking's Sarah Polley,  The Banshees of Inisherin's Martin McDonagh and Everything Everywhere All At Once duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, none of whom have ever been nominated in this category (Polley and McDonagh have been nominated for screenwriting).

Waiting in the wings is the director of the film most likely to shake up the entire Oscar race once it's screened: Babylon's Damien Chazelle, who became the youngest winner ever in this category when he won for La La Land in 2017.

Current predictions:
Babylon (Damien Chazelle), The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh), Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg), Women Talking (Sarah Polley)

But don't count out:
TÁR (Todd Field), Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund), The Woman King (Gina Prince-Bythewood)

Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh had been holding steady as the favourite here ever since Everything Everywhere All At Once became something of a phenomenon (and rightfully so) this past spring. It would be her first nomination, and the first nomination or win for an East Asian person in this category.

She has competition, though: previous winners Cate Blanchett, Olivia Colman and Viola Davis all won raves coming out of their film's recent festival debuts, and Margot Robbie is waiting in the wings with the as-yet-unseen Babylon (though she certainly seems to be going all out in the trailer).

But then we were dealt a major twist: Michelle Williams, who everyone had basically assumed would be walking away with the supporting actress trophy, was confirmed to be campaigning in lead. Which sets this up to be a best actress battle for the ages...

Current predictions:
Cate Blanchett (TÁR), Olivia Colman (Empire of Light), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

But don't count out:
Margot Robbie (Babylon), Danielle Deadwyler (Til), Carey Mulligan (She Said)

Best Actor

Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser and Bill Nighy have somehow all never been nominated for an Oscar, which seems very likely to change this year in a race that could also feature relative newcomer Austin Butler's well-received performance as Elvis Presley and... Tom Cruise for Top Gun: Maverick? That may sound like way too wild a call, but this category is not nearly as competitive as its female counterpart, and Top Gun: Maverick was genuinely a once-in-a-decade monster success story that singlehandedly saved the summer box office (and received very good reviews). Cruise has never won, and hasn't even been nominated since Magnolia in 1999 (which, frankly, he should have won for).

Current predictions:
Austin Butler (Elvis), Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Bill Nighy (Living)

But don't count out:
Hugh Jackman (The Son), Diego Calva (Babylon), Gabriel LaBelle (The Fabelmans)

Best Supporting Actress

What happens now that Michelle Williams is no longer campaigning in this category? By far the most uncertain acting category in the wake of the switch, there's really no clear frontrunner or even a certain nominee. 

Current predictions:
Jessie Buckley (Women Talking), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Claire Foy (Women Talking), Janelle Monáe (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery)

But don't count out:
Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Jean Smart (Babylon), Zoe Kazan (She Said)

Best Supporting Actor

Oh, how much there already is to love about this category. Picture it: greats like Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw finally get their first Oscar nominations; Judd Hirsch gets his first in over 40 years (which would be a record between noms) for a 10-minute performance in The Fabelmans that brings down the house; Ke Huy Quan so very deservedly gets in for Everything Everywhere All At Once, his first performance since quitting acting for 20 years because of the lack of roles for Asian actors. And there might be Brad Pitt in there to round things out, which is never a bad thing!

Current predictions:
Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Brad Pitt (Babylon), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Ben Whishaw (Women Talking)

But don't count out:
Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Anthony Hopkins (Armageddon Time)

Best Original Screenplay

This category is currently looking like best director all over again, except with no Sarah Polley (or, sadly, many women at all) and the addition of Tony Kushner (who co-wrote The Fabelmans with his longtime collaborator Spielberg and has also never won an Oscar). No one knows anything yet, but from where things stand, this sure seems like a great place to reward the genius of Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Current predictions:
Babylon (Damien Chazelle), The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh), Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), The Fabelmans (Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg), TÁR (Todd Field)

But don't count out:
Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund), Empire of Light (Sam Mendes), Decision To Leave (Park Chan-wook, Seo-kyeong Jeong)

Best Adapted Screenplay

I don't want to jinx this, but it sure looks like Sarah Polley is winning this category for Women Talking, which would make her the first Canadian woman to ever win a screenwriting Oscar. The only current competition seems like Glass Onion and the very similarly titled (and themed, in a sense) She Said, though there's plenty of time for a surprise.

Current predictions:
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Rian Johnson), Living (Kazuo Ishiguro), She Said (Rebecca Lenkiewicz), The Whale (Samuel D. Hunter), Women Talking (Sarah Polley)

But don't count out:
Bones & All (David Kajganich), White Noise (Noah Baumbach), The Son (Christopher Hampton)

Check back for updates to these predictions as we slowly but surely make our way to the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023. Additional categories will be added as the season continues. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Knegt (he/him) has worked for CBC Arts since 2016, writing the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the 2019 Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada and nominated again this year) and spearheading the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag, variety special Queer Pride Inside, and interactive projects Superqueeroes and The 2010s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Knegt four Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films, the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights and the host of the monthly film series Queer Cinema Club at Toronto's Paradise Theatre. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.

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