In less than a week’s time, the Oscars 2023 edition will be done and dusted (morning of March 13, Manila time), and we’ll know who will be taking home statuettes to affix to their mantelpieces. Sure, the heightened interest for this year’s edition waned a bit when Dolly de Leon missed out on an Actress in a Supporting Role nomination; but in what has been a very interesting year for the film industry, the allure and magic of Oscar night still shines bright. So here are my fearless predictions; and as in years past, will provide a Who Will Win, with a Who Should Win column.
Actor In A Leading Role: The betting money is on Brendan Fraser and Austin Butler; but if it’s a Hollywood fairy tale you’re after, will see this going to Fraser, as in George of the Jungle and The Mummy return in Oscar glory.
Colin Farrell in Banshees of Inisherin impressed me the most with his nuanced take of a relative simpleton trying to process the loss of a friendship he felt was a constant. And I liked Paul Mescal in Aftersun, but it’s too minor a film.
Who Will Win - Brendan Fraser for The Whale
Who Should Win - Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin.
Actor In a Supporting Role: It’s unfortunate that in all likelihood, the Banshees duo of Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan will cancel out each other, and leave the door open for another Tinseltown fairy dust win for Ke Huy Quan of Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Who Will Win - Ke Huy Quan for EEAAO.
Who Should Win - Barry Keoghan for TBOI.
Actress in a Leading Role: This one is a toss-up between Cate Blanchett for Tär, and Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere, and the smart money says Blanchett takes the prize. Nice to see Andrea Riseborough get recognition in this category for To Leslie, even if such a controversial nomination.
Who Will Win - Cate Blanchett for Tär.
Who Should Win - Cate
Actress In A Supporting Role: Here’s a difficult category to pick out. While Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu for EEAAO are great picks, they may cancel each other out. Kerry Condon in Banshees was great, but so was Hong Chau in The Whale. And if the pressure of having African-American representation among the winners is a factor, can see Angela Bassett of Wakanda Forever providing that via a win here.
Who Will Win - Angela Bassett for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Who Should Win - either Kerry Condon for TBOI, or Hong Chau for The Whale.
Animated Feature Film: Strong selection here, and my personal favorites are Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, and Turning Red, but I doubt they’ll make it.
Who Will Win - Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.
Who Should Win - Marcel, for the sheer creativity.
Cinematography: I’d call this for Roger Deakins and Empire of Light, but it’s a film that’s been largely ignored, so I’ll predict this is one of the awards that All Quiet on the Western Front will garner for James Friend. Netflix has put out a great campaign making this film get noticed.
Who Will Win: James Friend for All Quiet On the Western Front.
Who Should Win: Roger Deakins, Empire of Light.
Costume Design: Elvis, Wakanda, Babylon, Everything Everywhere, and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. Each one is deserving here.
Who Will Win: Ruth Carter for Wakanda Forever.
Who Should Win: Jenny Beavan for Mrs. Harris, love the underdog!
Directing: While Steven Speilberg will be the sentimental favorite, I’ll put it on the line that it shouldn’t be for this film. Martin McDonagh (Banshees) has always been a favorite, but hard to ignore Todd Field for Tär or the Daniels for EEAAO.
Who Will Win: The Daniels for EEAAO.
Who Should Win: the Daniels as well.
Documentary Feature Film: Fire of Love (volcanologist couple who perished decares ago)is the one I like here, but it’s so quirky and a long shot.
Who Will Win: Navalny
Who Should Win: Fire of Love.
Documentary Short Film: Have not had a chance to watch these so can’t make an educated prediction.
Film Editing: I believe this is where the film that revived Hollywood post-pandemic takes home an Award.
Who Will Win: Eddie Hamilton for Top Gun: Maverick.
Who Should Win: Paul Rogers for EEAAO.
International Feature Film: Why South Korea’s Decision to Leave didn’t get a nomination nod is one crazy omission.
Who Will Win - All Quiet On the Western Front (Germany).
Who Should Win - Close (Belgium).
Make up and Hairstyling: I know most may see Elvis as the winner here, but I’ll pick The Whale for what the team did with Brendan Fraser.
Who Will Win - Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Annemarie Bradley for The Whale.
Who Should Win - The Whale.
Music (Original Score): John Williams for The Fabelmans will be the Hollywood choice, but I think this is another category that EEAAO can pick up, with Son Lux taking home the statuette.
Who Will Win - Son Lux for EEAAO
Who Should Win - Justin Hurwitz for Babylon.
Music (Original Song): Rihanna for Black Panther or Lady Gaga for Top Gun? Who will Oscar favor?
Who Will Win - Lady Gaga and Hold My Hand.
Who Should Win - Naatu Naatu from RRR!
Best Picture: Can we Please (!) give this to Everything Everywhere for being both successful and different. For making the Multiverse be both intriguing and entertaining.
Who Will and Should Win - Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Production Design: For true world-building, and upping the effects and tech aspect.
Who Will and Should Win - Avatar: The Way of Water.
Short Film (Animated):
Who Will Win - The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charles Mackesy and Matthew Freud.
Short Film (Live):
Who Will Win - Le Pupille, by Alice Rohrwacher and Alfonso Cuarón.
Who Will Win - Top Gun: Maverick.
Who Will Win - Avatar: The Way of Water.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
Who Will Win: Women Talking for Sarah Polley.
Who Should Win: Living by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Writing (Original Screenplay):
Who Will Win - the Daniels for Everything Everywhere.
Who Should Win - McDonagh for Banshees.