It’s the most wonderful time of the year — awards season!
We’ve seen the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, the BAFTAs, and the various Guild Awards, but the showstopper is yet to come — the Academy Awards. I’m sure some of us are wondering what exciting (or controversial) incidents will take place at the Oscars this year, but the cinephiles out there are probably more excited about which films will take home the prestigious golden statuette. Whether you’re just interested in getting a sense of how awards season has been going so far, or you want some tips on how to fill out your ballot at your friend’s Oscar party, we’ve got you covered.
With just four days to go, here are Imprint’s predictions for the 95th Academy Awards.
Best Picture: Everything Everywhere All At Once
Everything Everywhere All At Once has led the Oscar nominations this year with 11 categories and has also dominated the guild awards this year. While it lost at European award shows like the BAFTAs and Golden Globes, it has been a favourite at the American awards like the Critics’ Choice and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) award. It is likely to continue that streak at the Oscars and take home the Academy Award for Best Picture. The PGA is the only award other than the Oscar that uses a preferential ballot voting system, which makes it a strong indicator for this prediction.
Best Director: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once
The filmmaking duo of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert took home the Critics’ Choice and the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award this year. The Oscar for directing is not as locked in this year as it has been for the past two years, with Kwan and Scheinert losing at the BAFTAs and Golden Globes — awards that both Jane Campion and Chloe Zhao took home in the previous two years respectively. While unlikely, a Steven Spielberg or Martin McDonagh upset in this category would not be surprising.
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Brendan Fraser in The Whale
In my opinion this race comes down to Brendan Fraser and Austin Butler. Butler won the BAFTA in this category but Fraser took home both the Critics’ Choice and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award. Both have had strong campaigns this year but Fraser probably has the advantage at the Academy Awards.
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Consistently one of the hardest categories to predict, this year was no different with Andrea Riseborough’s surprise nomination — thanks to some genius campaigning on her part — making this more confusing than usual. It is worth considering whether her campaigning would help her win this award in the same way it got her the nomination, but it’s a long shot. Cate Blanchett took home the BAFTA and the Critics’ Choice in this category, while Michelle Yeoh won at the Golden Globes and SAG. Neither of them winning the Oscar would be a surprise but Yeoh has maintained her edge by being a fan favourite with her fantastic performance and by dominating the conversation.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Ke Huy Quan has dominated the entire award season in this category and there is no reason why that streak would not continue going into the Oscars.
Best Actress in Supporting Role: Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Angela Bassett took home the Golden Globe and the Critics’ Choice for her role in the Marvel movie, but lost the SAG award in this category to Jamie Lee Curtis. Historically, the SAG has been a fairly strong indicator of the Oscar, but Bassett has managed to maintain the buzz surrounding her role and is likely to remain at the forefront of Oscar voters’ minds.
Best Original Screenplay: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once
Kwan and Scheinert won this category at both the Critics’ Choice and the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) awards. While they lost at both the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes to Martin McDonagh, McDonagh was not nominated at the WGAs. A McDonagh upset in this category would not be a surprise but Kwan and Scheinert have the overall edge.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Sarah Polley for Women Talking
Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley took home the Critics’ Choice and the WGA award in this category for her film adaptation of Canadian novelist Miriam Towes’ book, Women Talking. While Polley did not do as well at the BAFTAs or Golden Globes, she has remained a favourite closer to home, and is likely to take home the Oscar. A Polley victory in this category would be a huge win for Canadian cinephiles, some of whom are ready to take to the streets and celebrate if she takes home the Oscar.
Best Animated Feature Film: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio was a masterstroke in retelling a classic tale. Del Toro is all but certain to take home the Oscar in this category, just as he has the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and the Critics’ Choice.
Best Live Action Short Film: An Irish Goodbye / Best Animated Short Film: An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It
Given that the Oscar precursors aren’t very helpful at indicating the short film frontrunners, this prediction is largely based on personal opinion as well as observations regarding which short films have been able to remain in the conversation leading up to Oscars weekend.