Arts·Oscars Predictions

Who will win at the 2023 Oscars? Here are our final predictions in all 23 categories

From Blanchett vs. Yeoh to Butler vs. Fraser, here are our picks for the wildly competitive 95th Academy Awards.

From Blanchett vs. Yeoh to Butler vs. Fraser, our picks for the wildly competitive 95th Academy Awards

A still frame from the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan looking alarmed at something off camera.
From left: Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Along with their co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, they all have been nominated for Oscars this year. (A24)

The 95th Academy Awards are just a matter of days away, and our resident Oscar nerd (and CBC Arts producer) Peter Knegt has some final thoughts on who is going to win across all 23 categories. 

It's definitely been a wild ride of a season leading up to this (Andrea Riseborough got the nom! "Angela Bassett did the thing!"), and we've been charting it all in regular updates to these predictions and through Knegt's monthly column My Favourite Season. This is our last big update, which we hope will help you win your Oscar party pool come March 12th (but no promises!), when Jimmy Kimmel hosts what seems poised to be a nailbiter of a ceremony.

Read all of our thoughts on the state of each and every race going into the big night, and look out for our predicted winners in bold.

Best Picture

The nominees:

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

What should've been here:

I would have personally subbed out Avatar for Aftersun (or honestly, 25 other films), but overall this is a pretty solid list by Academy standards. (I was most worried about a snub for Women Talking here, but that not happening alone is enough to satisfy me.)

What's gonna win?

All signs point to a massive night for Everything Everywhere All At Once, including winning the top prize. With 11 nominations in total and major wins at pretty much every major ceremony of the past few weeks (including SAG, PGA and DGA, which historically has been a pretty much unbeatable combo when it comes to going on to win best picture at the Oscars), anything beating it would be a huge upset.

And we don't want that: Everything Everywhere All At Once will make an exceptional best picture winner, one of the best of the past 20 years (I'd personally only put Moonlight and Parasite ahead of it). Big award shows like this rarely honour what deserves to win (see: this year's Grammys) — but when it actually does happen, it's cause for celebration.

Best Director

The nominees:

The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh), Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg), TÁR (Todd Field), Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund)

Who should've been here:

Sarah Polley, Charlotte Wells and Gina Price-Blythewood all missed out for their extraordinary work in Women Talking, Afterun and The Woman King, respectively. After two straight years of a female filmmaker winning in this category, it's back to the boys club.

Who's gonna win?

Spielberg seemed like he was going to be very tough to beat. Despite winning two Oscars already in this category, it feels overdue given his GOAT status and the fact that it's been nearly a quarter-century since his last win. But Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert are almost certainly going to spoil, given the momentum for Everything Everywhere All At Once. They'll be only the third directing team to ever do so, following Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins for West Side Story in 1961 and Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men in 2007.

Best Actress

The nominees:

Cate Blanchett (TÁR), Ana deArmas (Blonde), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

Who should've been here:

In one of the most absolutely bonkers twists in Oscars herstory (and truly I'm not exaggerating), Andrea Riseborough's last minute celebrity-fueled campaign … worked. Oscar nerds will be talking about this for years and years, as they should also talk about the fact that it helped result (along with the inclusion of Ana deArmas for a critically reviled film) in the absolutely ridiculous snubbing of both Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler for The Woman King and Till, respectively. They had both been nominated for basically every precursor. 

Who's gonna win?

All eyes are on this category, pretty much inarguably the showdown of the night. And sorry Ana, Andrea and Michelle W., only two queens really stand before us: Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh.

They've seemed neck and neck all season, both winning their fair share of prizes from critics' groups and each winning a Golden Globe (in the separated drama and comedy/musical categories, respectively). But then after Blanchett pulled ahead by winning BAFTA, Yeoh came roaring back by taking SAG — a ceremony that ended up feeling largely dedicated to celebrating her even when she wasn't the one winning

While the Oscars love Blanchett (she already has two!) and her performance in TÁR is pretty undeniable, the narrative surrounding Yeoh sure is too: she's an icon who has never been properly acknowledged, and she would become the first Asian woman to ever win in this category. She's also giving an epic performance in the best picture frontrunner, which doesn't hurt either.

This really still could go either way, but the edge heading into the home stretch seems to belong to Michelle Yeoh.

Best Actor

The nominees:

Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

Who should've been here:

I personally have very little to complain about with this five, though Jeremy Pope's work in The Inspection was definitely worthy of inclusion.

Who's gonna win?

Not a previous winner! This category is all first-time nominees for the first time in 88 years (!). It's also been one of the more competitive best actor races in recent memory, with Butler, Farrell and Fraser all picking up multiple big wins at the many awards leading up to this. But, like the best actress category, it seems to have narrowed to two: Butler (who won BAFTA and the Golden Globe) and Fraser (who won SAG and the Critics Choice). 

Fraser is the sentimental favourite, though remember the Oscars don't always go for that (see: Glenn Close losing a few years ago). They also didn't love The Whale (3 nominations total, no best picture) nearly as much as they loved Elvis (8 nominations, including best picture), which matters. So I'd hedge that bet on Austin Butler, who will finally become the first cast member of Zoey 101 to win an Oscar (sorry, Jamie Lynn!).

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees: 

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

Who should've been here:

Love this lineup, but would have loved to see Dolly De Leon make it in, especially given voters seemed to love Triangle of Sadness overall. Also was rooting for Nina Hoss (TÁR), Janelle Monáe (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) and all of the actresses from Women Talking.

Who's gonna win?

What's this? Another huge toss-up in an acting category? After winning the Golden Globe, Bassett seemed poised to ... do the thing. But then BAFTA went with Condon and SAG went with Curtis, making this a genuine three-way race that could make or break your Oscar pool.

All three women have a lot going for them, but I think ultimately a lot of voters are going to want to reward the cast of The Banshees of Inisherin somewhere, which will propel Kerry Condon to the win. This is probably the tightest race of the entire night though, so truly anything could happen (even a tie, which hasn't happened in an acting category in 55 years!)

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees:

Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

Who should've been here:

Ben Whishaw (Women Talking) or Mark Rylance (Bones and All) would have been worthy nominees, but this is a pretty stellar lineup as is.

Who's gonna win?

The only acting winner that feels like a true lock for Oscar night is Ke Huy Quan, who has seemingly unbeatable momentum. It would be one of the most shocking acting upsets in recent memory if he loses.

Best Original Screenplay

The nominees:

The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh), Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), The Fabelmans (Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg), TÁR (Todd Field), Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund)

Who should've been here:

I was really hoping Park Chan-wook and Seo-kyeong Jeong (Decision To Leave) or Charlotte Wells (Aftersun) could sneak in.

Who's gonna win?

This seems like a great place (and maybe the only place, if Condon doesn't win best supporting actress) to reward The Banshees of Inisherin, but that Everything Everywhere All At Once momentum seems to be running wild enough to push the Daniels to a win here too (potentially their third overall of the night). It's a much closer race than picture or director, though, and really could go either way (or even go to TÁR, which has a passionate fanbase in the voting membership).

Best Adapted Screenplay

The nominees:

All Quiet on the Western Front (Ian Stokell, Lesley Paterson, Edward Berger), Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Rian Johnson), Living (Kazuo Ishiguro), Top Gun: Maverick (Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie),Women Talking (Sarah Polley)

Who should've been here:

Samuel D. Hunter's script for The Whale was one of the morning's more surprising snubs, but it was a welcome one for me, so no notes!

Who's gonna win? 

There's nothing I want more from Oscar night than for Sarah Polley to become the first Canadian woman to ever win a screenwriting Oscar. But this late surge from All Quiet On The Western Front has me really nervous that might not happen (it won this category at BAFTA, where Polley wasn't even nominated). I'm sticking with Women Talking as my prediction, but be warned: this could be my hope talking.

Best International Feature

The nominees:

All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany), Argentina, 1985 (Argentina),Close (Belgium), EO (Poland), The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

What should've been here:

South Korea's entry Decision To Leave absolutely should have been here, and also should have won. Also sad for Pakistan's wonderful Joyland and France's stunning Saint Omer.

Who's gonna win?

There have been a string of high-profile winners in this category that also did very well elsewhere (2019's Parasite, 2020's Another Round and 2021's Drive My Car), and Germany's All Quiet On The Western Front is clearly this year's version of that. One of the biggest locks of the night. (Interestingly, it's based on the same 1929 novel that was adapted into a 1930 American film that won best picture at the 3rd Academy Awards.)

Best Animated Feature

The nominees:

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio (Netflix), Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (A24), Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Dreamworks), The Sea Beast (Netflix), Turning Red (Pixar/Disney)

What should've been here:

This is a pretty incredible quintet of movies, though Henry Selick's Wendell & Wild was very worthy as well.

Who's gonna win?

Disney and Pixar have mostly dominated this category throughout its two decades of existence (though they notably did not win the first two years, with Dreamworks' Shrek taking the first award in 2002 and Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away following it). Of the past 10 winners, only 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was not a Disney or Pixar property.

This year looks to be another exception to the rule: Guillermo Del Toro's re-imagining of a beloved Disney property (except for Netflix this time), Pinocchio, is almost certainly winning this.

Best Documentary Feature

The nominees:

All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), All The Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras), A House Made of Splinters (Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström), Fire of Love (Sara Dosa), Navalny (Daniel Roher)

What should've been here:

Margaret Brown's Descendant, Brett Morgen's Moonage Daydream and David Siev's Bad Axe all would have been great nominees. But this is an incredible group of films as is.

Who's gonna win?

All The Beauty and the Bloodshed (an astounding portrait of Nan Goldin's work as an artist and activist) has the most support from critics (and won the Venice Film Festival's top prize, only the second time a documentary has ever done that). But given the state of the war in Ukraine, Nalvany (which documents the heroic efforts of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to stop Vladimir Putin) would obviously make for a very powerful moment if it wins, which I think it will. (It's also an excellent film, for what it's worth — as is, really, every film nominated here.)

Best Cinematography

The nominees:

All Quiet On The Western Front (James Friend), Bardo (Darius Khondji), Empire of Light (Roger Deakins), Elvis (Mandy Walker), TÁR (Florian Hoffmeister)

Who should've been here:

Claudio Miranda was far and away a favourite not only to be nominated here for his work in Top Gun: Maverick, but to win (and deservedly so).

Who's gonna win?

With Miranda's snub, this category now has no clear favourite — though given their overall love for it, it seems likely that James Friend ends up taking this for All Quiet On The Western Front.

Best Film Editing

The nominees:

The Banshees of Inisherin (Mikkel EG Nielsen), Elvis (Jonathan Redmond and Matt Villa), Everything Everywhere All at Once (Paul Rogers), TÁR (Monika Willi), Top Gun: Maverick (Chris Lebenzon and Eddie Hamilton)

Who should've been here:

It was a long shot, but Blair McClendon's editing work on Aftersun was incredible.

Who's gonna win?

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a pretty astounding achievement in editing, seamlessly weaving together countless narratives and multiverses to extraordinary emotional effect. I'm fairly certain Oscar voters will feel the same.

Best Original Score

The nominees:

All Quiet on the Western Front (Volker Bertelmann), Babylon (Justin Hurwitz), The Banshees of Inisherin (Carter Burwell), Everything Everywhere All At Once (Son Lux),The Fabelmans (John Williams)

Who should've been here:

Hildur Guðnadóttir's score for Women Talking was my favourite of the year, and it's very disappointing it was not rewarded here.

Who's gonna win?

This is 90-year-old John Williams' 53rd nomination (take that, Meryl!), making him the second-most-nominated person in history after Walt Disney. He has announced he is retiring from film scoring after next year, so this would be quite the sendoff.

However, he does already have five wins, and his Fabelmans score isn't ... especially memorable (especially when you know this is the man who also scored Star Wars, Jaws and Jurassic Park, the latter of which he somehow didn't even get nominated for). So I'm wagering that this is Golden Globe winner Justin Hurwitz's to lose for Babylon. Once again, though, an upset seems to be brewing care of the surges of All Quiet (it beat Babylon here at the BAFTAs) or even Everything Everywhere, so watch out for those.

Best Original Song

The nominees:

"Applause" (Tell It Like a Woman), "Hold My Hand" (Top Gun: Maverick), "Lift Me Up" (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), "Naatu Naatu" (RRR), "This is a Life" (Everything Everywhere All At Once)

Who should've been here:

I am not a fan of White Noise, but LCD Soundsystem's "new body rhumba" playing over its finale sequence was by far the best thing about it. And while it didn't even make the shortlist, Billie Eilish and Finneas's "Nobody Like U" from Turning Red should have been here (over Diane Warren, frankly).

Who's gonna win?

One of the most fascinating races this year, best original song includes giant pop stars Rihanna and Lady Gaga, the legendary David Byrne and 14-time nominee Diane Warren (who has lost every time, although she was given an honourary Oscar at the Academy's Governor Awards). And they are all likely going to lose to the wildly deserving "Naatu Naatu" from Indian action epic RRR.

Best Production Design

The nominees:

All Quiet on the Western Front (Christian M. Goldbeck and Milena Koubkova), Avatar: The Way of Water (Dylan Cole, Ben Procter and Vanessa Cole), Babylon (Florencia Martin), Elvis (Catherine Martin), The Fabelmans (Rick Carter and Karen O'Hara)

Who should've been here:

Rick Heinrichs' work on Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Jason Kisvarday's on Everything Everywhere All At Once were both extraordinary.

Who's gonna win?

Babylon and Elvis are duking it out here for their exceptional period work, though the original Avatar won in this category, so watch out for its sequel. I'll predict without much confidence that Elvis follows in the footsteps of Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby and gives another Oscar to Martin (who is the most-awarded Australian in Oscar history, winning four awards for previous collaborations with Luhrmann, who also just so happens to be her husband). A very tight race, though.

Best Costume Design

The nominees:

Babylon (Mary Zophres), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Ruth E. Carter), Elvis (Catherine Martin), Everything Everywhere All At Once (Shirley Kurata), Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris (Jenny Beavan)

Who should've been here:

Monika Buttinger's costumes for Austrian import Corsage were stunning.

Who's gonna win?

Babylon has a shot here too, but this feels like a race between two legends: The aforementioned (and seriously multi-talented — she also has a nomination for producing the film) Martin, and Ruth E. Carter (who won for designing the original Black Panther, making her the first Black designer to ever do so). I'll give the slight edge to Elvis, which won the BAFTA.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

The nominees:

All Quiet on the Western Front (Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová), The Batman (Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Camille Friend and Joel Harlow), Elvis (Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signoretti), The Whale (Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley)

Who should've been here:

The makeup in David Cronenberg's Crimes of the Future was worthy of winning here.

Who's gonna win?

Both Elvis and The Whale have a lot of makeup and hairstyling, and often "the most" is considered "the best" in this category. But it also often aligns with whatever film wins another big prize, so whoever wins best actor might also suggest the winner here. Since I've already noted that I think that person will be Austin Butler: Elvis it is.

Best Sound

The nominees:

All Quiet On The Western Front (Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel and Stefan Korte), Avatar: The Way of Water (Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers and Michael Hedges), The Batman (Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray and Andy Nelson), Elvis (David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson and Michael Keller),Top Gun: Maverick (Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor)

Who should've been here:

This should have been Everything Everywhere All At Once's 12th nomination, as far as I'm concerned.

Who's gonna win?

This is definitely the Top Gun: Maverick team's to lose (potentially giving the film its only win), with All Quiet being the spoiler.

Best Visual Effects

The nominees:

All Quiet On The Western Front (Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank and Kamil Jafar), Avatar: The Way of Water (Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett), The Batman (Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick), Top Gun: Maverick (Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher)

Who should've been here:

Nope would have been an inspired and deserved nomination here (and several other places, for that matter).

Who's gonna win?

Films directed by James Cameron have won in this category five times (Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Titanic and Avatar), more than any other filmmaker. Expect that streak to be extended with Avatar: The Way of Water.

Best Documentary Short Subject

The nominees:

The Elephant Whisperers, Haulout, How Do You Measure a Year?, The Martha Mitchell Effect, Stranger at the Gate 

What should've been here:

I'm abstaining from doing this for the short categories, having simply not seen that many short films last year.

Who's gonna win?

Filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves's 39-minute The Elephant Whisperers (which you can watch on Netflix right now) is an incredibly moving look at the bond that develops between a human couple and an orphaned baby elephant. It has a great shot at the win, as Oscar voters do love them a moving animal doc (see The Octopus Teacher winning a few years ago). That said, I think the win will ultimately go to Joshua Seftel's Stranger at the Gate. The short follows Afghan refugee Bibi Bahrami and the members of her mosque as they come face to face with Richard "Mac" McKinney, the U.S. Marine who has secret plans to bomb their community center. It's extraordinarily powerful, and if voters actually watch all the films, it seems like the winner.

Best Animated Short

The nominees:

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, The Flying Sailor, Ice Merchants, My Year of Dicks, An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It

Who's gonna win?

Well, if the Oscar went to the best title Riz Ahmed had to say aloud on a live broadcast, it would certainly be Icelandic filmmaker Sara Gunnarsdóttir's My Year of Dicks, which is a wonderful comedic short about a teenage woman's search for the right boy to lose her virginity to. However, I fear this will not be the year for Dicks, with Peter Baynton and Charlie Mackesy's The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse probably much more the style for Oscar voters. Produced by J.J. Abrams and Woody Harrelson and featuring voice work by Idris Elba and Gabriel Byrne, the short has a lot of star power (and Apple money behind it), which should probably propel it to the win. (But for what it's worth, if I had a vote, it would be for Dicks.)

Best Live Action Short

The nominees:

An Irish Goodbye, Ivalu, Le Pupile, Night Ride, The Red Suitcase

Who's gonna win?

It doesn't quite seem fair, but star power often propels the winners of this short category in particular — and the film with the most going for it is undeniably Le Pupille. Written and directed by Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher (who has won multiple awards at the Cannes Film Festival for her features), who stars in the short alongside Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (the older sister of former French first lady Carla Bruni), the film was produced by none other than 5-time Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón. As both producers and directors take home awards for shorts, Cuarón will add a 6th trophy to that haul if it wins.

Watch the 95th Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on CTV in Canada and ABC in the United States.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Knegt (he/him) is a writer, producer and host for CBC Arts. He writes the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada) and hosts and produces the talk series Here & Queer. He's also spearheaded the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag, variety special Queer Pride Inside, and interactive projects Superqueeroes and The 2010s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Knegt four Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films, the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights and the host of the monthly film series Queer Cinema Club at Toronto's Paradise Theatre. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.

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