And the Oscar goes to . . .

The 95th Academy Awards takes place Sunday, March 12. It is Hollywood’s biggest night and a true celebration of cinema. Jimmy Kimmel returns to hosting duties for a third time, and the night should be very entertaining. Here are my predictions.

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Women Talking

This is an impressive list. Some films got people into the theatre (Avatar, Top Gun), and some movies got people talking (Elvis, Tar). In contrast, other films were nominated despite not having a lot of promotion behind them (Women Talking).

For years, a movie won Best Picture if it had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Five of the film nominated did. Last year when CODA won, it was the first time in a long time that a Best Picture award winner hadn’t first gone through Toronto. Instead, CODA debuted at Sundance, where Apple picked it up immediately.

This will mark the second year in a row that has happened.

Who will win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Who should win: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett – Tar
Ana De Armas – Blonde
Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once

This comes down to Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh has gotten some hardware this Oscar season as her career, like many others, has been rejuvenated this past year. However, I don’t know if she will get the Academy love. Blanchett seems the closest thing to the heir apparent, Meryl Streep.

Who will win: Cate Blanchett

Who should win: Ana De Armas (Don’t get me wrong, the movie was terrible, but her performance was anything but!)

Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler – Elvis
Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Paul Mescal – After Sun
Bill Nighy – Living

They say it’s an honour to be nominated, and Nighy and Mescal can take solace in that—Nighy for his strong career and Mescal for a breakout performance in an independent film. Farrell, who took home the Golden Globe Award, was very strong, but this category comes down to two people. I didn’t grow up in the Elvis era but know of his fame and popularity. Butler did an excellent job in this movie but I have been singing the praises of Brendan Fraser in The Whale since I saw it, and I’m not about to stop. It was the best performance in 2022, and Jessica Chastain will be reading out his name Sunday night.

Who will win: Brendan Fraser

Who should win: Brendan Fraser

Actress in a Supporting Role

Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Hong Chau – The Whale
Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once

This is another category where it comes down to two people. Hsu was strong in EEAAO. Condon gave a lot of heart in The Banshees of Inisherin, and I adored Chau in The Whale. But Ms. Bassett and Ms. Curtis will decide this one—I am going with the queen.

Who will win: Angela Bassett

Who should win: Hong Chau. Chau’s performance in The Whale matched that of Brendan Fraser. We all need a friend like ‘Liz.’

Actor in a Supporting Role

Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
Judd Hirsh – The Fabelmans
Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin
Key Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once

I loved Brendan Gleeson in Banshees. Henry’s nomination was a pleasant but deserved surprise, while Hirsh, the elder statesman of this category, delivered a dignified performance. Keoghan is so under the radar but shouldn’t be. These four actors are all very good, but nothing is stopping the momentum of Key Huy Quan. His comeback to Hollywood is well documented, but the level of gratitude and appreciation for the moment makes him so likable. It isn’t a secret that a lot of campaigning occurs during Oscar season; well, Key Huy Quan is about to sweep the popular vote and the Oscar electoral college.

Who will win: Key Huy Quan

Who should win: Key Huy Quan

Best Director

The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonagh
Everything Everywhere All At Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
The Fabelmans – Steven Spielberg
Tar – Todd Field
Triangle of Sadness – Ruben Ostlund

For two years, the best director has gone to a female director (Chloe Zhao, Nomadland, Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog). Unfortunately, there is no female representation this year, so there won’t be a 'three-peat.' This category is easier to choose. ‘The Daniels’ as they have become affectionately known, did something so incredibly innovative with their film. There is nothing ‘cookie cutter’ about it. All five of these films are very good but one took its direction to another level.

Who will win: Everything Everywhere All At Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Who should win: Everything Everywhere All At Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

The other awards

Animated Feature Film – Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Cinematography – Elvis
Costume Design – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Documentary Feature Film – Navalny
Documentary Short Film – The Elephant Whisperers
Film Editing – Everything Everywhere All at Once
International Feature Film – All Quiet on the Western Front
Make Up and Hairstyling – Elvis
Music (Original Score) – Babylon
Music (Original Song) – RRR
Production Design – Babylon
Short Film (Animated) – The Boy, The Mole, The Fox. And the Horse
Short Film (Live Action) – Le Pupille
Sound – Top Gun Maverick
Visual Effects – Avatar: The Way of Water
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) – Women Talking
Writing (Original Screenplay) – The Banshees of Inisherin