My Oscar predictions 2023

Each year, as many of you who follow this blog might know, I make my Oscar predictions.

I’m normally pretty good, with a strike rate usually in the mid 90% range.

This year it’s going to be difficult, because I haven’t seen many of the films, and so I’ll be making my predictions on a mix of what I’ve gleaned from the trades since the Venice Film Festival last year, when Tar became a front runner for Cate Blanchett to pick up Best Actress.

Avatar, The Way of the Water and Maverick Top Gun have been huge commercial successes, and many have said they are the two films that have brought audiences back to the cinema. But that’s true to a point.

Having screened my very small film Facing Fear in commercial multiplexes both in Australia late last year, and in the US and Mexico earlier this year, what I witnessed was a paucity of people. The multiplexes I went to were virtually ghost houses. On many occasions my film was the only one that had any significant activity.

I think Todd McCarthy was right when he wrote in The Hollywood Reporter late last year that the cinema going experience, as we’d once known it, was gone and was never coming back. That won’t be the case for the big event movies, like the Avatars and the Top Guns, but for the smaller arthouse or even smaller studio films, everyone now is in the mindset of waiting till it comes out on a streamer. That’s just the thinking now.

Back to the Oscars.
I have two favourite films and one film I dislike with a passion.

My two favourite films are:
All Quiet on the Western Front

The film I dislike with a passion:
Everything Everywhere All at Once.

All Quiet on the Western Front is a superbly made film that says powerful things about the human condition, and it was audacious and bold in its storytelling.

Elvis in my opinion is the best biopic of a musician I’ve yet seen. I think it’s Baz Luhrmann’s best film, without a doubt.

I didn’t rush out to see Elvis. Baz’s films, for me, are often times flash before substance, and I’m the only person I know who fell asleep in Moulin Rouge. And please, let’s not discuss Australia. I saw that film three times, not because I wanted to, but due to social obligations. Hugh Jackman soaping his abs while Nicole Kidman looks on adoringly? Silhouettes of an aboriginal man perched on one leg holding a spear, straight off a tea-towel you could have bought at The Rocks in the 1950s?

Give me a break.

But Elvis is in a whole other league.
And Austin Butler is magnificent.

My dear friends Wayne and Libby Pashley, who have done the sound on all my movies since Kiss or Kill in 1996, did the sound for Elvis and they deservedly are up for a Best Sound Oscar. I sincerely hope they win. Their work was impeccable. But the Academy likes noise with their sound so probably the noisiest film of the year, Maverick Top Gun, will get the gong. I hope the voters have more taste and discernment than that.

The film I dislike with a passion?
I just didn’t get Everything, Everywhere…

I admire the film for its outrageous audacity. And Jamie Lee Curtis deserves an Oscar for her performance, which is a total knockout. But the story? Where did that go in all the showmanship of technique? And where was the emotional connection? I stood outside that film as I watched it. It never invited me inside.

Like I say, I’m in awe of its technical and creative bravura. But for me, story is everything and when I became disengaged with the story, about halfway through, the movie lost me.

Okay, so here are my predictions. As I say, I’m taking a bit of a punt this year, because I haven’t seen many of the films – but this is my list:

Best Picture
All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Director
Steven Spielberg / The Fabelmans

Best Actor
Austin Butler / Elvis

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett / Tar

Best Supporting Actor
Ke Huy Quan / Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Actress
Jamie Lee Curtis / Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Original Screenplay
Triangle of Sadness

Best Adapted Screenplay
All Quiet on the Western Front

Best International Film
All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Cinematography
Mandy Walker / Elvis

Best Film Editing
Maverick Top Gun

Best Sound:
Wayne Pashley / Elvis

Best Production Design

Visual Effects
Avatar, Way of Water

Original Score
All Quiet on the Western Front

Original Song
Maverick Top Gun

Best Costume Design

Best Makeup & Hair
The Whale

Best Documentary

Best Animated Feature

So on Sunday night US time, Monday Australian time, we’ll know the results. We’ll find out whether the film I dislike the most gets the majority of gongs, or the Netflix movie All Quiet on the Western Front, my pick, gets the streamer’s first Best Picture statuette.

Personally, I hope like hell my mates Wayne and Libby Pashley come away with some excess baggage.

4 thoughts on “My Oscar predictions 2023

  1. Hi Bill,  Hope you and the family are well.I’m with you on many of your predictions.All Quiet on the Western Front was brilliant. Shows the horror of war, although unfortunately so does the news these days.Linda and I endured Everything Everywhere etc. Yes cleverly done and Jaimie Lee Curtis was terrific but our reaction at the end was that was two hours of the diminishing life we have left wasted.We did enjoy Top Gun Maverick but we do like loud jets. Unfortunately typical US war hero story but filming of the action was great. Would be nice to swap seats with Tom Cruise, bank accounts would be handy tooCheers  GarySent from my Galaxy


  2. Not even a Music nomination for The Batman sticks in my craw, as that score is just genius.

    Otherwise, Bill, I finally finished my ultra-long Camino !!

    I didn’t manage to get further than Lourdes, it was just impossible to continue, but I did walk a 5,000K total, and 3,000K in 2022 and the start of 2023.

    I did nevertheless walk to Fátima, Santiago de Compostela, and Lourdes in 2022.

    I reached SJPP though, on the Way back, on 1st January — and weather plus lack of reasonable places to sleep indoors meant that I ended up finishing at Lourdes rather than walk all the way home.

    But wow, I’ll never do anything that long again !!!!

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