A&C Column: Oscar predictions

Pruett Norris, Multimedia Editor

Nominations for the 95th Academy Awards were announced January 24 in all 23 categories. Though the ceremony itself is still a few months away, reviewing the nominees ahead of time is a great way to get up to speed with the most prestigious movies of 2022. Here is a list of the nominations in eight major categories, with one nominee most likely to take home Oscar gold come March and another that this reviewer thinks is most deserving.

Best Supporting Actor

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

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

Who should win: Ke Huy Quan, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Ke Huy Quan has swept many of the Oscar precursor awards for his performance as Waymond in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” winning trophies at major ceremonies like the Critics Choice Awards and high-profile shows like the Golden Globes. The deep empathy of his performance is at the heart of “Everything Everywhere.” In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said that while he loves “the entire movie,” his favorite scene of the film is a speech he gives about kindness. 

“That’s one of the reasons why our movie resonated with people,” Quan said. “It’s about being kind, having empathy for one another and showing each other love.” 

That’s a message that should carry Quan over the Oscar finish line, and a performance that may move many to tears.


Best Supporting Actress

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

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

Who should win: Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Angela Bassett just became the first Marvel Studios actor to be nominated for an Oscar, as well as the first woman and person of color to be acknowledged in a comic book adaptation, according to CNN. Bassett turned in a regal and refined performance as Queen Ramonda in “Wakanda Forever,” and brought gravitas to a blockbuster that needed an anchor in the wake of the late Chadwick Boseman. 

Should Bassett win an Academy Award it would be a great accomplishment not only for her, but for the comic book genre. However, the Best Supporting Actress voters could just as easily turn toward Stephanie Hsu for her performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Hsu, as her character Joy, captures the hurt, anguish and rebellion of being misunderstood by your parents in a universally affecting way, even across the multiverse of “Everything Everywhere.”


Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson and Ian Stokell
  2. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” by Rian Johnson
  3. “Living” by Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. “Top Gun: Maverick” by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks
  5. “Women Talking” by Sarah Polley

What will win: “Women Talking” by Sarah Polley

What should win: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” by Rian Johnson

Sarah Polley’s Mennonite assault drama “Women Talking” was once considered a powerhouse in early Oscar predictions, but after it was shut out of the British Academy Film Awards, it disappeared from many predictor’s lists. While it did wind up in the Best Picture lineup, without a director nomination for Polley or acting nods for any of the cast, it’s likely that the only place it will be rewarded is for the script that gets its women talking in the first place. 

Another deserving film ignored in most other categories is “Glass Onion,” Rian Johnson’s standalone follow-up to “Knives Out.” “Glass Onion” tackles relevant themes with clever twists, and its whip-smart sense of humor makes it a gem set against its more serious rivals. As Johnson says in an interview with the Atlantic, “this is a whodunit set in America right now,” and its script reads as fresh as that sounds.


Best Original Screenplay

  1. “The Banshees of Inisherin,” by Martin McDonagh
  2. “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
  3. “The Fabelmans,” by Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner
  4. “Tár,” by Todd Field
  5. “Triangle of Sadness,” by Ruben Östlund

What will win: “The Banshees of Inisherin,” by Martin McDonagh

What should win: “The Banshees of Inisherin,” by Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh is a two-time Best Original Screenplay nominee for his films “In Bruges” and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” “The Banshees of Inisherin” might confirm that three is a magic number. “Banshees” is a dark comedy about two friends having a falling out in 1920s Ireland, and its wit and thematic resonance are heightened by a hearty dose of Irish slang. If “Banshees” doesn’t win any of its acting categories or for McDonagh’s direction, its screenplay seems like the most likely place the film will be recognized.


Best Director

  1. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
  2. Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  3. Ruben Östlund, “Triangle of Sadness”
  4. Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”
  5. Todd Field, “Tár”

Who will win: Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”

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

This will be Steven Spielberg’s ninth time batting for a Best Director Oscar, and potentially his third win. Years after his recognition for “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan,” the time may have come to grant the director his third Oscar in as many decades. “The Fabelmans” is based on Spielberg’s own life, and the growth Sam Fabelman, Spielberg’s stand-in, experiences in his filmmaking journey is reflected in amazing ways behind the camera. Just as young Sam learns new tricks making his movies, his older counterpart employed them making this one.

But the Academy may decide to reward two directors newer to the red carpet. A more interesting Best Director outcome would be for the Daniels, the collaborative name of the directing team behind “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The young directors received their first Oscar nominations for their work on “Everything Everywhere,” and an Academy Award win would be a much-deserved addition to the career blast-off they’ve had since the release of their film.


Best Actor

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

Who will win: Austin Butler, “Elvis”

Who should win: Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”

Austin Butler was so committed to his performance of Elvis Presley that, according to his vocal coach, he’s had trouble losing the voice. The California native accepted his Golden Globe award with the King’s signature Southern drawl, and put himself up a rung in the running for Best Actor. However, whether Butler’s real voice will return isn’t the only comeback story in the race this year. 

In a 2018 interview with GQ, Brendan Fraser described his retreat from the Hollywood limelight by citing instances of abuse and his body breaking down from years of stunts as well as the roles he was offered diminishing in quality. Five years later, Fraser is the most acclaimed part of “The Whale,” an otherwise critically divisive film. An Oscar win for Fraser would all but confirm his successful return to the silver screen.


Best Actress

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

Who will win: Cate Blanchett, “Tár”

Who should win: Cate Blanchett, “Tár”

Cate Blanchett dominates “Tár,” giving a performance so authentic and imposing that many thought Lydia Tár was a real person, according to The Cut. Blanchett has already been awarded Best Actress across several big awards, and a victory at the Oscars feels as inevitable as it does deserved. Blanchett is the driving force behind Todd Field’s classical music drama, conducting as many scenes with tics of her face or subtle gestures in her hands as she does her orchestra. An Oscar win for her would be the culminating crescendo in this awards season.


Best Picture

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

What will win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

What should win: “Tár”

The defining mission of the Academy of Arts and Sciences is to “recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures.” In that spirit, it’s worth a reminder that at the end of the night, whatever wins Best Picture is ultimately a matter of taste. There are 10 fantastic films nominated for the 95th Academy Awards. Every reader out there who loves great storytelling, performances and visuals should see every one of the movies up for Best Picture consideration this year, no matter the winner.


The Oscars will be broadcast by ABC March 12.