2024 Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win and Should Win?

It’s Oppenheimer. It’s been Oppenheimer since July.

Admittedly, I’ve been a bit dispassionate about this year’s Oscars race compared to others. I felt similarly last year, but even more so this year. That’s for a few reasons – the lack of mystery in the key categories, the length of time between the end of 2023 and the ceremony honoring its movies, my month of travels (during which I didn’t watch a single movie!), and quite frankly, my indifference towards a lot of movies this year.

Five, ten, 30 years from now, as you sit down to watch one of your favorite movies, are you going to fire up Maestro? Or Anatomy of a Fall? Or even Killers of the Flower Moon when Scorcese has so much better in his catalogue? I might be coming off a bit dismissive towards what have been labeled great films, but while I liked many of the movies that The Academy has recognized as the ten best of the year, there are few I can emphatically say I loved.

That said, I’m not one to break a tradition lightly, so for the twelfth year in a row, here are my Oscar predictions.

Best Picture

Predicted Winner: Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer Oppenheimer Movie GIF - Oppenheimer Oppenheimer movie  Oppenheimer meme - Discover & Share GIFs

Navigating from its epic Barbenheimer weekend all the way to Oscar night, Oppenheimer is as clear a frontrunner as last year’s Everything Everywhere All at Once. Beloved across the industry for its depth, ambition, humanity, performances, and technical prowess, this will hardly be the only award it wins on Sunday.

I like Oppenheimer. I’ve seen it twice. I don’t think it’s Nolan’s best, the best picture of 2023, or even the best of this crop of nominees. I struggled with the pacing and narrative structure, and can’t say it left the strongest impression on me when I walked out of the theater.

I did like it better than several of its fellow nominees – namely its Barbenheimer partner-in-crim Barbie, the muddled but funny American Fiction, the “what is he trying to do here exactly” enigma that is Maestro, and Scorcese’s imperfect Killers of the Flower Moon. Of these contenders, the only one I can see pulling a surprise upset is Barbie.

Oppenheimer‘s on par for me with France’s Anatomy of a Fall – a gripping film that was ultimately a tad unsatisfying – as well as the UK’s The Zone of Interest, a…different kind of WWII movie, which should be seen but could turn some people away with its approach. Both of these films are very good, though I expect neither of these non-English films will rally the support from the Academy the way Parasite did at the turn of the decade.

That leaves us with my three favorite of the bunch. The Holdovers was at one point considered to be the CODA-style underdog that would take the win from the darker, slower period piece – but that momentum halted as it went several award ceremonies without a major win. Past Lives is beloved, but doesn’t appear to have Academy-wide appeal, and is the smallest of the bunch. Poor Things fared pretty well across the pond at the BAFTAs, but still came short of the Best Picture prize.

So go ahead and bet your house on Oppenheimer. If I’m wrong, I’ll be pleasantly surprised, and you’ll be out of a house – not me.

AJ’s Rankings (AKA my personal preferences) 

  1. Past Lives
  2. Poor Things
  3. The Holdovers
  4. Oppenheimer
  5. Anatomy of a Fall
  6. The Zone of Interest
  7. Killers of the Flower Moon
  8. Barbie
  9. American Fiction
  10. Maestro

Should Have Been Nominated: Shortcomings; The Color Purple; Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.; Society of the Snow; The Iron Claw

Best Director

Predicted Winner: Nolan, Oppenheimer

bc what's real, is irrepleceable — Christopher Nolan acceptance speech for  his Best...

Let’s keep the train going. Christopher Nolan is going to win his first Oscar on Sunday.

Would I rather have seen him win this for The Dark Knight? Or The Prestige? Or Dunkirk? Or Inception? Yeah, I would have.

Part of me thinks this is an “it’s time” award, but I’ll concede that’s because I’m clearly not as high on this movie as Hollywood is. And as many gripes as I have with Nolan’s approach, there is vast greatness in his work this year. The Trinity Test scene? Kitty’s deposition? Come on – amazing.

My vote would have gone to Yorgos for his world-build efforts in Poor Things that pay off in one of the most insane and enjoyable films of the year. Also, much respect to Justine and Jonathan for their engrossing work in their respective international films.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Lanthimos, Poor Things
  2. Glazer, The Zone of Interest
  3. Nolan, Oppenheimer
  4. Triet, Anatomy of a Fall
  5. Scorcese, Killers of the Flower Moon

Should Have Been Nominated: Lee, Past Lives; Bayona, Society of the Snow; Fennell, Saltburn

Best Actress

Predicted Winner: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon


At least one of these acting awards is up for grabs tonight. Emma has a prior Oscar under her belt for La La Land, alongside a BAFTA for her work in Poor Things – making this race the most competitive of the bunch following Lily’s reclaimed frontrunner status with a SAG win.

What’s working in Lily’s favor? Her performance – albeit shorter – is better than Emma’s, plain and simple. Plus, Lily is a newcomer in the A-list faction of Hollywood, and this is her peers’ chance to welcome her with open arms. Her victory would also mean something to her community, as opposed to another win for Emma Stone which may not carry as much cultural significance.

What’s working in Emma’s favor? She clearly has more international support, and gives a true lead performance – whereas Lily would have run away with the gold had the Academy nominated her as a supporting actress. Poor Things is a showcase for Emma Stone, while Killers keeps Lily writhing on a bed of two-thirds of the runtime.

It comes down to more or better, and this year, I expect quality to trump quantity.

I’ve got no complaints with the other three actresses here. Annette and Carey are long overdue and their work this year continues to showcase why they’re masters of their crafts. Sandra’s fight scene in Anatomy solidified her nomination. I could have feasibly seen a way to get Margot on this list, but her absence here isn’t the snub of the century if we’re being honest.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
  2. Emma Stone, Poor Things
  3. Carey Mulligan, Maestro
  4. Annette Bening, Nyad
  5. Sandra Huller, Anatomy of a Fall

Should Have Been Nominated: Abby Ryder Fortson, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Best Actor

Predicted Winner: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer (2023) : r/CineShots

Here’s a race I thought would be competitive, but believe it or not…the love for Oppenheimer is quite strong. And that’s not to take anything away from Cillian – he’s a great actor whose work has often left him in the shadows. I’m glad he’s had this moment and will win an Oscar on Sunday. The scenes of him grappling with the magnitude of what he’s done are feats of outstanding and understated acting.

But c’mon, man – Paul Giamatti! If there’s an upset, I hope this is the one. I thought this award was his until his SAG loss seems to have (mostly) sunk his chances. I don’t think his claim to gold is dead in the water, but there’s no industry-backed recognition I can latch onto here.

Looking at the other nominees, I’ll always cross my fingers for a Bradley Cooper win, but not as tightly as usual this year. I didn’t care too much for Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction, but I recognize I don’t share the majority opinion on that one. And where the hell is Andrew Scott in this category?

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
  2. Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
  3. Bradley Cooper, Maestro
  4. Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
    Haven’t Seen: Colman Domingo, Rustin

Should Have Been Nominated: Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Winner: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Rich People Davine Joy Randolph GIF by Focus Features

I…just do not understand the Da’Vine love here. Her Oscar “moment” when she cries over her dead son? I almost laughed. Her accent was eye-rolling. I truly mean no disrespect, but I just don’t get what everyone else is seeing here.

Shame, too, because this category is filled with talent. Emily Blunt overcomes limited screen time with a fierce and attention-grabbing performance in Oppenheimer. Danielle Brooks steals the show in The Color Purple and captures the spirited highs and deep lows of her character. Jodie Foster reminds us all how naturally gifted she is in Nyad. And America Ferrera, um, well – I’m sure she’s happy to be nominated.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
  2. Jodie Foster, Nyad
  3. Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
  4. America Ferrera, Barbie
  5. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Should Have Been Nominated: Marin Ireland, Eileen

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Winner: Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer

Where to, Cap? — Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer...

Another one I’m perplexed by. To me, RDJ came in and said some lines. I don’t see this turn as the defining performance of his career that challenged him to do things on screen he didn’t know he was capable of. The last hour of Oppenheimer is also its most divisive, so frankly, I’m scratching my head at the fact that an Oscar is being awarded to a performance that’s almost exclusively in the least beloved part of the film.

Who did do things I didn’t know they were capable of? Ryan Gosling and Mark Ruffalo. I’d have my pen hovering over both of their names for minutes trying to determine which one deserved my vote more. Right now, I’m leaning Ruffalo because he surprised me the most. De Niro and Brown were both standouts in their respective films, but I didn’t see anything Oscar-worthy.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things
  2. Ryan Gosling, Barbie
  3. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon
  4. Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction
  5. Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer

Should Have Been Nominated: Chris Messina, Air

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Winner: American Fiction

American Fiction GIFs on GIPHY - Be Animated

This is the most up-in-the-air category for Sunday’s ceremony. I see a path to victory for American Fiction, Oppenheimer, and Barbie here.

The Oppenheimer sweep could see a down-the-line victory in most major categories (similar to EEAAO last year), and The Academy might respond to Barbie missing out on a Director nomination with awarding it a Screenplay win (though – to be fair – this was not the case when Gerwig wasn’t nominated for Little Women in Directing).

Fiction was a supposed crowd-pleaser that never lived up to its hype commercially or culturally. However, other industry awards (namely the BAFTA for the same category) have recognized it here. Without a WGA to point us in another direction, I’ll go off of precedent and predict a win for American Fiction. That said, I’d be casting my vote for Poor Things, an insane and wonderful screenplay grounded with a human story.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Poor Things
  2. Oppenheimer
  3. American Fiction
  4. Barbie
  5. The Zone of Interest

Should Have Been Nominated: Shortcomings

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Winner: The Holdovers

Paul Giamatti GIF by Focus Features

This is my against-the-grain bet of the year. Pundits say Anatomy of a Fall will pull it out, citing strong international support, Golden Globe and BAFTA wins for Best Screenplay, and an Academy-wide desire to acknowledge a great film that would otherwise go home empty-handed.

This outcome is very possible, but Anatomy of a Fall‘s final moments leave a bit to be desired. I think the success of that film lies in the acting, editing, and directing. Plus, it’s a tad bleak at points. I look back to the wins of movies like Green Book, EEAAO, and Belfast. Warmer, more heartfelt films carry weight in this category, and I think The Holdovers will benefit from that sentiment.

I’m surprised that Past Lives isn’t putting up more of a fight here, as I think it’s the best of the bunch. I can’t say I was a fan of either Maestro or Past Lives, so if any of the other three nominees wins, I’m cool.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Past Lives
  2. The Holdovers
  3. Anatomy of a Fall
  4. May December
  5. Maestro

Should Have Been Nominated: Air

And now, the rest of my predictions & preferences.

Best Cinematography

Will Win: Oppenheimer
Should Win: Oppenheimer

Best Costume Design

Will Win: Barbie
Should Win: Barbie

Best Film Editing

Will Win: Oppenheimer
Should Win: Anatomy of a Fall

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Will Win: Maestro
Should Win: Society of the Snow

Best Production Design

Will Win: Poor Things
Should Win: Poor Things

Best Sound

Will Win: Oppenheimer
Should Win: Oppenheimer

Best Visual Effects

Will Win: The Creator
Should Win: The Creator

Best Animated Feature

Will Win: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Should Win: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best International Film

Will Win: The Zone of Interest
Should Win: Society of the Snow

Best Score

Will Win: Oppenheimer
Should Win: Oppenheimer

Best Song

Will Win: “What Was I Made For?”, Barbie
Should Win: “I’m Just Ken”, Barbie

Tallied Predictions

Oppenheimer: 8 wins out of 13 nominations
Barbie: 2 wins out of 8 nominations
The Holdovers: 2 wins out of 5 nominations
Poor Things: 1 win out of 11 nominations
Killers of the Flower Moon: 1 win out of 10 nominations
Maestro: 1 win out of 7 nominations
American Fiction: 1 win out of 5 nominations
The Zone of Interest: 1 win out of 5 nominations
The Creator: 1 win out of 2 nominations
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: 1 win out of 1 nomination

2023 Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win and Should Win?

Although Best Picture is the biggest lock I’ve seen in a decade, this weekend’s Oscars are toss-ups in several key categories – from Best Actor and Actress, to Best Editing and Cinematography.

Last year, I got nearly all of my predictions correct (save for an admittedly pot-stirring prediction of a Kristen Stewart win). This year, I expect my ballot to fare much worse. That’s for a couple of reasons.

First, the wins have been all over the place this year — and aside from EEAAO and The Daniels, no one has built any unopposed momentum in their respective categories. I expect many of these races to come down to the wire.

Second, this was one of the worst years I’ve seen for movies in a while. I feel like the debates over who should and will win are much less passionate for this year’s races compared to the past as, frankly, this is not the best that Hollywood’s had to offer in recent memory.

So, I’m heading into Sunday’s ceremony with a strange mix of excitement about what could happen and indifference over what will.

Here’s hoping 2023 will deliver a better slate of movies.

Oh well. On with the predictions!

Side Note: I recorded some Oscar predictions for my podcast, The Old Kids Movies on February 27th, and some of my predictions have changed since then. The predictions in this article reflect my most accurate predictions.

Side Side Note: This is my 11th prediction write-up! I thought it would be fun to see how I did in the last decade, so I included my win rate for each of these eight major categories in the last ten years. Collectively, I incorrectly predicted the winner 21 out of 80 times, giving my predictions an overall accuracy rate of 73.75%. Take that as you will!

Best Picture

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

AJ’s Best Picture Winner Prediction Success Rate: 40%

The movie with butt plugs, dildos, and hot dog fingers is going to win Best Picture – and it’s not even close.

I wish Banshees had won the BAFTA or Top Gun won the PGA so I could offer a hot take and say one of them would win Best Picture. They didn’t.

Everything Everywhere has been an unstoppable force in this race. Seemingly, its only challenger is All Quiet on the Western Front – a technical jaw-dropper that won the BAFTA for Best Picture, but no other industry top prizes.

Those all went to Everything Everywhere. The DGA. The WGA. The PGA. The SAG.

It’s over.

I’ll just come out and say it. I liked Everything Everywhere, but it wasn’t in my Top 10 of the year, and it’s not my favorite of the nominees. I think it gets lost in its ambition, and while it’s an understatement to say this movie is an achievement, I didn’t find it to be as funny or coherent as many others seem did. If it wins for Editing and Directing, I’ll understand, but as a whole, I don’t think this was the best movie of these nominees – much less the year.

To me, this award belongs to Banshees, with Top Gun close behind.

Funnily enough, I didn’t love the last Martin McDonagh movie, nor the first Top Gun. But these movies are the two nominees I’ve seen more than once and loved both times. Banshees is a timeless tale that I know I’ll revisit throughout my life and appreciate with a new perspective based on when I watch. Top Gun saved theaters and was a thrill-ride of a spectacle. Keep making movies, Tom.

Now, let’s dive into the other nominees. Tár, All Quiet, and once-frontrunner The Fabelmans weren’t entirely for me, though I know they have their lovers. I think each could have benefitted from a more focused and tighter approach, but still have plenty to appreciate. Elvis was a trip, but despite its love in the craft categories, I don’t see it pulling out a win, as its only above-the-line awards potential is going solely to Austin Butler.

As much as I would love to see Avatar or Triangle of Sadness get the win here (both of which were in my top 10 of the year), they seem to be darlings of specific sects of the Academy (visual effects and the international cohort, respectively). There isn’t enough universal appeal in The Academy for these projects to get them high enough on enough voters’ preferential ballots.

Oh, and Women Talking was boring. They nominated the wrong female-driven ensemble this year.

AJ’s Rankings (AKA my personal preferences) 

  1. The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. Top Gun: Maverick
  3. Avatar: The Way of Water
  4. Triangle of Sadness
  5. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  6. Elvis
  7. The Fabelmans
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front
  9. Tár
  10. Women Talking

Should Have Been Nominated

RRR, The Northman, She Said

Best Director

Predicted Winner: The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

AJ’s Best Director Winner Prediction Success Rate: 70%

This is not the last time I’ll be predicting Everything Everywhere, and while I’m confident the Daniels will win, it’s one of my least secure EEAAO predictions of the night. Sentimentality for Spielberg might get him on the stage, but the Daniels’ work is so impressively bizarre that it’s hard to ignore the opportunity to reward the duo.

While EEAAO didn’t entirely do it for me, I fully acknowledge how easily this movie could have turned into a total mess – and the baseline fact that this movie wasn’t a total mess should be enough to give them the trophy.

My vote would go to Martin McDonagh, for sort of the opposite reason of why people seem to love Everything Everywhere. Both that and Banshees are utterly unbelievable premises, and while EEAAO embraces its absurdity, McDonagh effectively rejects it and makes Banshees so impeccably grounded that it never gets close to absurd in my eyes — although in theory, it should. To me, that’s more of an accomplishment.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  3. Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness
  4. Spielberg, The Fabelmans
  5. Fields, Tár

Should Have Been Nominated

Rajamouli, RRR; Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick; Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Actress 

Predicted Winner: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

AJ’s Best Actress Winner Prediction Success Rate: 70%

Ya know? If Cate Blanchett hadn’t used her acceptance speech time to tell people not to vote for her, she’d win handily. That — in conjunction with Michelle Yeoh racking up key wins and building a growing base of cheerleaders for her — should result in yet another win for EEAAO.

But let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment — and not to take away anything from Michelle, but Cate Blanchett is literally in her own universe in this category. Her performance is arguably her best work, and if any objectivity existed in the Academy, she would win.

And she still might!

Speaking of objectivity, Andrea Riseborough also belongs on this list for To Leslie. Even though very few actually saw her movie, those who did — myself included — recognize how moving and effective her performance was.

As a Michelle Williams fan, I can’t say I was vibing with what she was doing in The Fabelmans, and I would have loved to have seen someone like Mia Goth sneak in here for Pearl — or even the young, scene-stealing Frankie Corrio from Aftersun.

As for Ana de Armas…I’m just stunned that Blonde is an Oscar nominee. Good performance, though.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Cate Blanchett, Tár
  2. Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
  3. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  4. Ana de Armas, Blonde
  5. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Should Have Been Nominated

Frankie Corrio, Aftersun; Mia Goth, Pearl; Margot Robbie, Babylon

Best Actor

Predicted Winner: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

AJ’s Best Actor Winner Prediction Success Rate: 80%

One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s race is just how up-in-the-air 3/4 of the acting races are — including Best Actor. Austin, Brendan, and Colin have all won major televised awards and have legitimate claims to the gold.

Many consider Austin to be the frontrunner, but I have my doubts as to his ability to rally the votes for a genuine breakout performance. Aside from a small role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Butler was most known for his 10-episode stint on “Zoey 101.” Unlike Best Actress, there seems to be a connotation of having to “earn” Best Actor. Even when Eddie Redmayne beat Michael Keaton in 2015, Eddie was an established actor, having appeared prominently in Oscar-nominated movies like My Week with Marilyn and Les Mis.

Austin doesn’t really have that cred — and Brendan has a career and personal comeback story propelling him to potential victory.

However, reading some Oscar voters’ thoughts (and noticing that The Whale missed out on key Picture and Screenplay nominations), it seems like there’s some notable disdain for The Whale. This could hurt Brendan’s chances, but I still think he’ll get it. I’m also seeing some last-minute surge potential for Colin, but I don’t know if it’ll be enough — especially with Brendan’s SAG win and speech being fresh on voters’ minds.

In short, it’s a three-way tossup, and I’m slightly leaning Fraser.

Looking at the other nods, Living was a small film, and I see Bill’s nomination as more of a career tribute for a fine performance. Mescal was magnetic in Aftersun, but with no other nominations to the film’s name, this is likely The Academy’s way of acknowledging that this is only the beginning for the rising star.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale
  2. Austin Butler, Elvis
  3. Paul Mescal, Aftersun
  4. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
  5. Bill Nighy, Living

Should Have Been Nominated

Eden Dambrine, Close; Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick

Best Supporting Actress 

Predicted Winner: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

AJ’s Best Supporting Actress Winner Prediction Success Rate: 80%

Well, that was a nice break from predicting an Everything Everywhere All at Once win. Anyways, back to it.

I walked out of this movie a year ago with conflicted feelings about everything except Jamie Lee Curtis. I’ve been stumping for her Oscar win for 12 months and I refuse to stop this close to the finish line – especially with that SAG win in the bag.

This year’s race reminds me a lot of the 2015 Best Supporting Actor race, with wins all over the place but an expected win for Sylvester Stallone in Creed. The reason why? Stallone had won the Critics’ Choice and the Golden Globe. However, he ultimately lost to Mark Rylance, and the big indicator of that result was the fact that Stallone missed out on wins at the BAFTAs and the SAG.

This year, Angela Basset — unlike Sly — at least was nominated at those two industry awards, but she didn’t win. Prognosticators still list her as the frontrunner, but without those key wins from her peers (only critics’ circles), I fail to believe Basset will win an Oscar for a Marvel movie and limited screen time.

Stephanie Hsu is a welcomed addition to this list, and I commend Kerry’s grounded performance in Banshees for helping make the work more believable. I quite liked Hong Chau’s work in The Whale, but I don’t necessarily see it as one of the five best supporting female works of the year.

Ultimately, this win will come down to Angela, Jamie Lee, or Kerry. I lean Jamie Lee as a result of getting swept up in the the EEAAO love, but it’s anyone’s guess.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  2. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  3. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. Hong Chau, The Whale
  5. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Should Have Been Nominated

Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness; Carey Mulligan, She Said

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

AJ’s Best Supporting Actor Winner Prediction Success Rate: 90%

The BAFTA loss is the only hiccup on Ke Huy’s road to redemption. I’m elated for this man and can’t wait to see what’s next in his career. His seamless transitions from one universe’s version of his character to the next with nothing but a snap of the neck and change of facial expression is essential to EEAAO’s success, and everything from his martial arts to his endearing tone in the film are wholly Oscar-worthy.

That said…I was ecstatic to see Barry Keoghan on the list of nominees, and was so proud of him for his victory at the BAFTAs. Any other year, he’d be my number one. For now, the nomination is his win.

Looking at who’s left on the list, Gleeson was overshadowed by his colleague in this same category, Hirsch shouldn’t be here, and while I’m glad his nomination resulted in me watching the under-seen Causeway, I don’t think Brian Tyree Henry needed to be here, either.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  2. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
  3. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
  5. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Should Have Been Nominated

Mark Rylance, Bones and All

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Winer: All Quiet on the Western Front

AJ’s Best Adapted Screenplay Winner Prediction Success Rate: 70%

This is a last-minute switch from my initial prediction of Women Talking.

Again, I don’t like Women Talking, and for a movie that’s so dialogue-driven, the screenplay needs to be awesome. I just don’t think it is. It’s still a strong contender to win, but the fizzling Women Talking support is causing me to doubt its chances.

Conversely, All Quiet has been picking up steam. It’s unlikely to win Best Picture, so this is its only chance to win an above-the-line award. I don’t think this screenplay is that strong, but then again, I think that about every screenplay in this category.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. Glass Onion
  2. Top Gun: Maverick
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front
  4. Living
  5. Women Talking

Should Have Been Nominated

The Whale, She Said, The Northman

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Winner: The Banshees of Inisherin

AJ’s Best Original Screenplay Winner Prediction Success Rate: 90%

This is a close one, and my prediction is partially based on me trying to will this win into existence.

I don’t think The Academy will let Banshees go home empty-handed, and this win is its best bet. It all comes down to whether voters will put more emphasis on “Original” or “Screenplay.” If it’s “Screenplay,” it’s Banshees for its humor, dialogue, tone, and consistency.

If voters lean into the “Original” aspect of the award, it’s tough to argue with EEAAO here. If the wave of love for Everything is strong enough, a win here could still happen.

Triangle of Sadness‘s nomination in this category brings me great joy, as its use of dialogue and characters is genius even if the themes of the movie aren’t entirely unique. I think The Fabelmans and Tár are the least likely to win this category, and that’s fine by me.

AJ’s Rankings

  1. The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. Triangle of Sadness
  3. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  4. The Fabelmans
  5. Tár

Should Have Been Nominated

Barbarian, RRR

And now, the rest of my predictions & preferences.

Best Cinematography

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front
Should Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Costume Design

Will Win: Elvis
Should Win: Elvis

Best Film Editing

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Should Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Makeup

Will Win: The Whale
Should Win: The Batman

Best Production Design

Wil Win: Babylon 
Should Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Song

Will Win: Naatu Naatu, RRR
Should Win: Hold My Hand, Top Gun: Maverick

Best Score

Will Win: Babylon
Should Win: Babylon

Best Sound

Will Win: Top Gun: Maverick
Should Win: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Visual Effects

Will Win: Avatar: The Way of Water
Should Win: Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Animated Feature

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Should Win: Turning Red

Best International Film

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front
Should Win: Close

Tallied Predictions

Everything Everywhere All At Once: 6 Wins out of 11 Nominations
All Quiet on the Western Front: 3 Wins out of 9 Nominations
Babylon: 2 Wins out of 3 Nominations
The Whale: 2 Wins out of 3 Nominations
The Banshees of Inisherin: 1 Win out of 9 Nominations
Elvis: 1 Win out of 8 Nominations 
Avatar: The Way of Water: 1 Win out of 4 Nominations
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: 1 Win out of 1 Nomination
RRR: 1 Win out of 1 Nomination

AJ’s Top 10 Movies of 2022

The odd/even cycle of movie year quality continues.

Candidly, I don’t think 2016, 2018, or 2020 (the latter for understandable reasons) offered peak cinema, and 2022 is following that trend. My Top 10 this year is unfortunately one of my weaker ones in recent memory. The good news, I hope, is that if this cycle continues, we’re in for a treat for 2023.

Still, like the even years preceding 2022, I came into the new year with a list of movies I truly enjoyed, and I’m excited to share this list of my top 10 movies of 2022 with you.

10. Violent Night

Christmas movies are so rarely praised for their filmmaking quality. Granted, that’s because many of them aren’t worthy of such praise, but some are. Violent Night is one of them.

A love letter to Die Hard and Home Alone, Violent Night featured a perfectly-cast David Harbour as a disgruntled Santa who finds himself in a man-against-an-army showdown on Christmas Eve protecting a family that mirrors the original Knives Out clan.

This movie is joyous, features grin-induing fight choreography, and will certainly be on my watchlist this coming December.

9. Bullet Train

I didn’t have too much fun at the movies this summer, so by the time Bullet Train hit theaters in August, I was ready for something exactly like it. Unlike Violent Night, I’m not sure when or if I’ll watch this one again — but I had a genuinely fun time watching it. In my opinion, that’s worth something.

With his Oscar-winning charisma and physicality, Brad Pitt charms as he anchors this ensemble-supported movie. Even if it’s not necessarily a rewatchable, it certainly is more than watchable.

8. The Batman

I had to do this movie justice (sorry – my roommate and I quoted that ad nauseam for months).

The Batman breathed new life into an IP that was tired and lacking originality. Most importantly, they nailed the tone here. The darkness of Gotham and Wayne himself worked, helping to create a dreadful and gripping tale of The Caped Crusader. And that end sequence? Terrifying and masterfully done.

7. She Said

Here we have the best journalism movie since 2015’s Spotlight. I’m disappointed that She Said didn’t get the love it deserved at the Oscars (Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, and – yes – Best Picture nominations), but I’m also bummed it didn’t resonate commercially. Hopefully it’ll attract a deserved wider audience when it hits streaming. Its two-hour runtime flew by and I was hooked throughout.

6. Triangle of Sadness

I went into this one with very little knowledge of its premise (except that that scene was eventually coming). Although Triangle of Sadness isn’t exactly saying anything that hasn’t already been said, I appreciated how it said what it was saying.

The writing and these performances — particularly those of Woody and Dolly — are top notch. Dolly’s third-act emergence was my favorite character arc of the year, and although they left her out of Best Supporting Actress, I’m eternally grateful to the Academy for recognizing this masterpiece in three of its above-the-line categories, ensuring it will be seen by more viewers.

5. Avatar: The Way of Water

He’s back!

I missed you, James Cameron. This man is a visual moviemaking master, and to see him essentially remake both Avatar and Titanic in the last act of this film had me on the edge of my seat for a full hour. It takes some time to get to where it’s going, but once we emerge from the whale communication and Neyteri absence in the first stretch, we’re treated to this long-awaited return to what we love about Pandora, movies, and of course, James Cameron.

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Admittedly, I’m strongly indifferent towards the first Top Gun, so my expectations weren’t exactly through the roof for this decades-later sequel.

Boy was I blown away.

I’ve revisited this movie a couple times since seeing it in theaters, and each time, I remain just as moved and entertained as my first outing. My heart races in the first moments as Mav strives to hit Mach 10, and I find myself holding back tears of joy during the landing scene at the end.

The music, sound, cinematography, and acting make Top Gun a true feat. Tom Cruise is equal parts mad man and genius, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

3. The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) - Photo Gallery - IMDb

The worst title, best movie combo award goes to this one. I was skeptical about a movie with a silly title from the man behind Three Billboards – a film I did not like – but Banshees knocked my socks off.

Banshees is just as much a drama as it is a comedy — and one of my friends (Hi Trevor!) aptly noted it could just as easily be classified as a horror movie with its themes of abandonment, isolation, and futility. I’ve watched this one twice, and know it’ll be in semi-regular rotation in my life for some time for its impending stakes, laugh-out-loud comedy, and captivating performances.

2. The Northman

The Northman (2022) - IMDb

Eggers is slowly becoming one of my favorite up-and-coming filmmakers with three completely unique wins under his belt. Honestly — the man just makes good movies.

The Northman gets points for its dedicated production, use of setting, visceral fight sequences, themes, tone, and acting — all of which surface up into one kick-ass epic.

1. RRR

RRR' Poster: Moving At Rapid Pace & A Massive Feast For The Fans ! | Tupaki  English

Another shoutout to my dear friend Trevor, not only for telling me to see this movie, but to see it in theaters.

I feel like if I call this movie bonkers, insane, or outlandish, you may take it the wrong way, so suffice it to say I mean all of those words in the absolute most flattering ways imaginable. RRR left me gobsmacked — kicking myself for thinking I wouldn’t find a single thing enjoyable about a three-hour-long, non-English, Netflix-distributed Indian film.

RRR is simply one of the finest epics I’ve had the joy of viewing. It has everything one loves about escapism, and although its over-the-top nature leaves a bit to be desired, this is far-and-away the best movie from 2022 that I saw.