95th Academy Awards Predictions

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

5/5 (1)

The 95th Academy Awards Ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, will be taking place on Sunday, March 12. (Watch with your fellow movie lovers at the Tropic.)

As for me, I’ll jump the gun and give you my predictions. It’s kinda expected of film critics. The idea is that we have great insights. But let me warn you, forecasting Oscar winners is like reading tea leaves or consulting the Oracle of Delphi. Oscar winners are based on many factors – being best in their category is only one factor.

Popularity, personality, politics, “it’s her year,” advertising, etc., also influence selections.

So, for better or worse, here are my Front Row at the Movies Oscar predictions:

  • Best Picture – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has the lock on this. A sometimes-confusing sci-fi rush through the metaverse by a Chinese laundress was a surprising hit.
  • Best Director – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” This pair of newcomers won the Directors Guild of America prize, which has gone to eight of the last 10 eventual Best Director winners at the Oscars.
  • Best Actor – A tossup between newbie Austin Butler for his uncanny performance as “Elvis,” and former star Brendan Fraser in “The Whale.” I’ll go with Brendan Fraser because everybody loves a comeback story, although Austin Butler has a spot-on performance and the sympathy for Lisa Marie Presley’s death on his side.
  • Best Actress – Another tossup, this one between Michelle Yeoh for her bravura outing in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and Cate Blanchett for her peerless performance in “TÁR.” We will go with Michelle Yeoh, simply because “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is on an Oscar roll.
  • Best Supporting Actor – This one is a lock, kind of like a comeback story. Ke Huy Quan will get the golden statuette for his role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” You will remember him as the cute kid in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”
  • Best Supporting Actress –A nearly-unrecognizable Jamie Lee Curtis has a shot for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” but we will go with Angela Bassett for her queenly performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” She’s overdue, and there’s still a sympathy vote for the late Chadwick Boseman.
  • Best Original Screenplay – Despite “Everything Everywhere All at Once” being on a roll, this complicated, universe-jumping storyline deserves recognition for going where few movies have gone before.
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – This is a harder category, with lots of interesting entries. I would go with “All Quiet on the Western Front,” but “Women Talking” has the best chance of talking this prize.
  • Best Animated Feature – Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” will likely take this one for its twisty new vision of the classic children’s tale.
  • Best Cinematography – I like the flashy “Elvis,” but the Oscar will probably go to “All Quiet on the Western Front.” But as for pure beauty, unnominated “The Banshees of Inisherin” is hard to ignore.
  • Best Costume Design – An interesting competition here. “Elvis” will probably win, but the back-in-time costumes of “Babylon” or the fashion-focus of “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” are deserving.
  • Best Editing – An easy one, the complex jumping back-in-forth through the metaverse makes “Everything Everywhere All at Once” an easy call.
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Turning Austin Butler into “Elvis” was spot-on.
  • Best Production Design – The smart money is on “Babylon,” but I prefer “Elvis.”
  • Best Sound – The roar of jet engines gives this one to “Top Gun: Maverick,” but “Elvis” gives it a good run for the money.
  • Best Visual Effects – At last, one for the $460-million budgeted “Avatar: The Way of Water.” But “Top Gun: Maverick” offers a close second.
  • Best Original Song – I’m told by everybody that “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” will take the prize, but I like “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Oh well.
  • Best Original Score – Hate to say it, but John Williams’ score on “The Fabelmans” may get nudged aside by Volker Bertelmann’s background on “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
  • Best Documentary Feature – There’s a good chance that “Navalny,” the doc about the Russian dissident, will win this one.
  • Best International Feature – This is an easy one, the prize likely going to Germany’s “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

As for all the shorts, you’re on your own.

Check your own guess against my predictions. After the ceremony, we can compare notes. You may find that you are a great prognosticator when it comes to Academy Award winners.

Email Shirrel: srhoades@aol.com

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