Confession: Even as a pop culture journalist, I can’t bring myself to care about any movie awards shows outside the Oscars.

There’s a seemingly endless string of them every year. The Golden Globes are the king of the non-Oscars awards shows while also simultaneously being the most meaningless. Then there are the Gotham Awards (independent films), Annie Awards (animation), SAG Awards (actors), PGAs (producers), DGAs (directors), WGAs (writers) and a litany of others that some study vigorously as prognostication for the Academy Awards.

Frankly, none of those particularly interest me. I save my energy for the Oscars, which the Associated Press recently dubbed (without a hint of irony) “the Super Bowl of movies.” This year’s Academy Awards are taking place March 12, with a telecast set to start at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Luckily for me, a lot of the movies that made my top 10 of 2022 list are in the thick of various Oscars races that will be settled a week from today. Without further ado, here are my official 2023 Oscars predictions — as well as my personal selections in each category.

Best picture

Who will win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Who should win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

All signs are pointing toward the 2023 best picture Oscar going to the zany sci-fi romp featuring hot-dog fingers and butt-plug fights that manages to bolster its wilder elements with a sweet ultra-relatable core story of a family desperately trying to resolve their many issues. It would be a more than deserving best picture winner.

But if it doesn’t win, there are other films in this field that would also be reasonable selections. I wouldn’t be mad if “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Women Talking” or “Tár” pulled off the upset. Heck, it would be extremely fun if the Academy went full maximalist and rewarded “Top Gun: Maverick”for its death-defying thrills and surprisingly effective narrative.

Let’s just all agree now not to get too bent out of shape if “Everything Everywhere All at Once” doesn’t win. Cool? Cool.

Actress in a leading role

Who will win: Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Who should win: Cate Blanchett, “Tár.”

If this was any other year, I would be riding hard for Michelle Yeoh. The sheer amount of physical and emotional range she covered across multiple different personas was incredibly impressive, and a Yeoh win would be an awesome grace note on a long, fruitful career. The tea leaves are also pointing in her direction, particularly the betting odds on awards prediction site GoldDerby.

All that said, I still can’t get over Blanchett’s acting master class as the larger-than-life and deeply problematic Lydia Tár. It’s the kind of towering performance that practically demands to be rewarded with a golden statue. Hers was the performance of the year, hands down. She doesn’t need a third Oscar, but no one’s allowed to be mad if she gets it.

Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár in “Tár.” (Focus Features)

Actor in a leading role

Who will win: Austin Butler, “Elvis.”

Who should win: Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Best actor seems to be a two-horse race between Butler’s fully formed embodiment of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Brendan Fraser for his stunning physical transformation and the emotional depth he displayed in “The Whale.” While what Fraser pulled off is traditionally Academy catnip, Butler could ride a similar wave to victory as the one Rami Malek caught in 2019 with his “Bohemian Rhapsody” win. Plus, based on the number of nominations each film got, the Academy seems to have generally liked “Elvis” more than “The Whale.”

Personally, I think this award should go to Farrell for his excellent work as the endearingly dopey Pádraic Súilleabháin in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” It’s arguably the best performance of Farrell’s career, and it definitely has a case for best eyebrow acting of 2023. His chance of getting the Oscar here is a long shot, but it would be a welcome surprise.

Actress in a supporting role

Who will win: Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Who should win: Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Consider this prediction me trying to will a Bassett win into existence. The supporting actress race is fierce, with Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and the two “Everything Everywhere All at Once” nominees all strong contenders for this prize. Still, I came out of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hoping Bassett’s commanding turn as Queen Ramonda would net her an Oscar, and that feeling has never wavered.

Actor in a supporting role

Who will win: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Who should win: Ke Huy Quan, “Everywhere Everywhere All at Once.”

This is most likely the easiest acting award to predict. Quan is practically a lock to pick up a supporting actor Oscar for making his Waymond Wang a more tender (and ultimately serious) presence than the meek father and husband he was initially presented as. It would be a genuine shock if anyone else comes away with this one.


Who will win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Who should win: Steven Spieleberg, “The Fabelmans.”

The rightful winner of this category — “Top Gun: Maverick” helmer Joseph Kosinski — wasn’t even nominated. If “Everything Everywhere All at Once” enjoys the big night it’s poised have, the Daniels will almost certainly be crowned best directors.

This is now the second year in a row, though, that I would argue a Steven Spielberg-directed movie is being overlooked. “The Fabelmans” is just so elegantly shot from start to finish. Spielberg’s next Oscars win will probably be for something more bold than something this visually low-key, but, hey, dare to dream.

Writing (original screenplay)

Who will win: “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Who should win: “Tár.”

If “Banshees” strikes out in the other fields it has a reasonable shot in, an original screenplay win would make sense as a way to reward a film that clearly has a lot of Academy support — and deservedly so! In my ideal world, “Tár” would nab this one for the multiple spellbinding soliloquies that gave Blanchett so much to chew on. If she ends up losing best actress to Yeoh, the same logic for why “Inisherin” could pull off the win here would apply to “Tár.”

Writing (adapted screenplay)

Who will win: “Women Talking.”

Who should win: “Women Talking.”

This is a strange crop of movies to judge based on their screenplays. “Women Talking” makes the most sense on numerous levels, mainly because it wouldn’t even be in Oscar consideration if it wasn’t for Sarah Polley’s ability to make a film that is essentially just a series of conversations in a hayloft feel compelling and meaningful. Give her the gold, Oscars.

From left: Michelle McLeod as Mejal, Sheila McCarthy as Greta, Liv McNeil as Neitje, Jessie Buckley as Mariche, Claire Foy as Salome, Kate Hallett as Autje, Rooney Mara as Ona and Judith Ivey as Agata in “Women Talking.” (Michael Gibson/Orion Pictures)

Animated feature film

Who will win: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”

Who should win: “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.”

It’s tough to see the Academy not giving this one to del Toro after all the love they showed him a few years ago with “The Shape of Water.” I didn’t love his take on “Pinocchio,” though it was definitely an achievement on a technical level. “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” was more my jam when it came to last year’s slate of animated films. That little guy and his many adventures managed to melt my heart, and hopefully the Academy felt the same way.

International film

Who will win: “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Who should win: “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

It’s usually safe to assume that the widely acclaimed non-American film also nominated for best picture will take home a best international film Oscar. No need to overthink this category.

Documentary feature film

Who will win: “Navalny.”

Who should win: “Fire of Love.”

There would be nothing wrong with the Academy opting to honor a documentary about a Russian opposition leader and his fight against an authoritarian regime. But it would be a fun deviation from the norm if this Oscar ended up going to the film about two married volcanologists and their wild life together.

Short film (live action), short film (animated) and documentary (short subject)

This is the part where I admit that life is short and I haven’t gotten around to checking out a single one of these films yet. For what it’s worth, GoldDerby has the favorites in these categories listed as “Le Pupille” (live action), “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” (animated) and “Elephant Whisperers” (documentary).


Who will win: “Elvis.”

Who should win: “Tár.”

If nothing else, there was A LOT of cinematography in “Elvis,” and that level of in-your-face camerawork may have stuck with Academy voters since the film’s release last summer. I would argue, though, that capturing the dramatic and thematic intricacies in every frame of “Tár” — especially during the classroom scene that has served as the film’s Rorschach test for its most ardent supporters and detractors — was an even more praiseworthy accomplishment.

Visual Effects

Who will win: “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

Who should win: “Top Gun: Maverick.”

I’m on the record as thinking there’s something weirdly off about the visuals in “The Way of Water.” It’s aesthetically gorgeous, but in the same way the most awe-inducing video-game cut scenes are. It’s a no-brainer winner here, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

What did ignite my need for speed, though, was how every aerial scene in “Top Gun: Maverick” felt like the most spectacular thing I had ever seen in a movie theater. The way so many practical effects were blended seamlessly with computer-generated wizardry is what earned “Maverick” my vote.

Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Paramount Pictures)


Who will win: “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Who should win: “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Can’t you just hear those jet engines roaring as Tom Cruise attempts yet another insane stunt that ultimately ends with him doing something insanely cool? Give the sound engineers on “Maverick” all the credit for keeping viewers fully immersed no matter how ridiculous the action got.

Production design

Who will win: “Babylon.”

Who will win: “Babylon.”

Most of “Babylon” didn’t work for me, but, holy heck, do the production designers earn their paychecks. Just the opening party scene alone features some hilariously over-the-top depravity taking place in the most sumptuously decorated mansion in 1920s Los Angeles. Its re-creation of classic movie sets and other Hollywood accoutrements looked pain-staking and, luckily for the efforts of everyone involved, awards-worthy.

Makeup and hairstyling

Who will win: “The Whale.”

Who should win: “The Batman.”

“The Whale” probably has this one in the bag purely for how the film’s makeup and hairstyling team was able to turn Brendan Fraser into a severely obese recluse. If the Academy was in the mood for mischief, though, it would rally around Robert Pattinson’s emo mascara-hair swirl combo and Zoe Kravitz’s constantly shifting look in “The Batman.”

Music (original score)

Who will win: “Babylon.”

Who should win: “Babylon.”

Again, I don’t think “Babylon” is a particularly good movie. But in addition to production design, it excelled at cramming its rollicking main theme into audiences’ brains for quite a bit of its three-hour runtime. Justin Hurwitz’s score did a great job capturing the bombastic (and self-destructive) nature of what it was like to live, work and party in early Hollywood.

I can’t even recall the score for any of the other films in this field, so “Babylon” wins by default.

Music (original song)

Who will win: “Naatu Naatu.”

Who should win: “Naatu Naatu.”

If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and look up the “Naatu Naatu” sequence in “RRR.”It’s one of the most infectious song-and-dance sequences ever committed to film, and that’s not even an exaggeration. With all due respect to Rihanna, Lady Gaga, David Byrne and Diane Warren, good luck going up against “Naatu Naatu” next week.

Stephanie Hsu as Joy Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” (A24)

Costume design

Who will win: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Who should win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Ruth E. Carter picked up this Oscar for the first “Black Panther,” and her costuming prowess was also on full display in “Wakanda Forever.” She would be a fine double winner in best costume for her stellar work. That said, the looks Shirley Kurata picked out for Stephanie Hsu alone in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” are a marvel to behold. The Academy may not to give that movie every award, but if it does, this is a category in which it could pull off an upset.

Film editing

Who will win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Who should win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a true testament to the importance of film editing. Its many multiverse-spanning sequences fit together perfectly only through Paul Rogers’ sheer force of will and editing-bay expertise. One could argue for the visual cohesion of the set pieces in “Top Gun: Maverick,” but for a ceremony where “Everything Everywhere All at Once”is liable to clean up anyway, this is the one below-the-line award it’s a shoo-in to pick up.

Joshua covers pop culture, media and more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Contact him at

Joshua Axelrod

Joshua covers pop culture, media and more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Contact him at