WGTC’s 2023 Oscar nomination predictions

michelle yeoh everything everywhere
via A24

The Oscar nominations are just around the corner and kick off at least two months of speculation, campaigning, and Discourse online. Although we’re in the thick of Awards Season, with the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards behind us, the crown jewel of awards recognition is yet to come. In a year so rich with possibilities, the potential honorees seem endless — but there can only be a handful that make it to the nominee spot. Here are some predictions on who could snag nominations for the biggest night in movies:

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Brendon Gleeson (The Banshees of Inishirin), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabemans), Paul Dano (The Fabelmans)

via A24

This category feels like mostly a lock, with Ke Huy Quan scoring big at both the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, but there are still some interesting nominations that could come along. The Fabelmans feels like the movie most likely to earn two spots on the nominations list: a sweeping, semi-autobiographical picture from a beloved director with two very different (but notable) supporting performances.

Best Actor

Brendon Fraser (The Whale), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inishirin), Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Austin Butler (Elvis), Bill Nighy (Living)

Photo via Warner Bros.

Best Actor is a category that feels like it could be anyone’s game. Brendon Fraser has been on a campaign centering his big comeback and boycotted the Golden Globes due to alleged sexual harassment by a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Although Fraser was nominated at the Globes, Austin Butler took home that prize for his work in Elvis. Fraser, however, won the award for Best Actor at the Critics’ Choice Awards and remains a surefire nominee. Another notable potential nominee here includes Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick — will the Academy reward Cruise with his fourth award on movie star charisma and goodwill alone?

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett (Tár), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Viola Davis (Woman King), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans)

Cate Blanchett's new movie that held a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score is available to watch online this week
Image: Universal

In Best Actress, the Academy has a plethora of great performances to choose from. Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett are definite locks for their work in Everything Everywhere All At Once and Tár, respectively. The remainder of the nominees feels like there could be room for surprises, like nominating Ana de Armas for her work in Blonde. The film hasn’t received any nominations at other awards shows yet, but the Academy loves a movie about the industry and (as I mentioned earlier) a biopic, and might decide to toss this wildcard in. Viola Davis stands a good chance at some recognition, not just because her work in The Woman King is wonderful, but because the Academy likes to reward actors taking a chance outside their comfort zone (think Benedict Cumberbatch’s nomination for last year’s Power of the Dog).

Best Supporting Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Kerry Condon (The Banshees at Inishirin), Dolly de Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)

Angela Bassett as Ramonda in 'Black Panther'
Image via Marvel Studios

The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are a bit trickier to put a pin in. Angela Bassett is a lock since she swept the Globes and Critics Choice Awards for her work in Black Panda: Wakanda Forever. The remaining potential nominees reflect a great year in supporting performances, from EEAAO’s Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu to Banshees’ Kerry Condon. Dolly de Leon is a wild card here for her work in Triangle of Sadness. Although de Leon was nominated for a Globe, she wasn’t in the nominations for Critics Choice — but the Academy has a history of recognizing actors previously unknown to American audiences in this category (think Christoph Waltz winning Best Supporting Actor for Inglourious Basterds). 

Best Director

Daniel Scheinert & Daniel Kwan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Sarah Polley (Women Talking), Todd Field (Tár), James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

Photo via Universal Pictures

Best Director offers a number of paths for the Academy to take this year. Nominations for Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan are certain, as well as Steven Spielberg and Todd Field. It’s less clear if the Academy will nominate Sarah Polley for Women Talking, a movie that’s had some quiet buzz, or James Cameron for his long-awaited Avatar sequel. Whoever the nominees are, it’ll be an interesting race to watch for sure.

Best Picture

Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Fabelmans, Elvis, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, The Banshees of Inisherin, RRR, Avatar: The Way of Water, Women Talking, The Whale

avatar the way of water
via 20th Century Studios

Once again, 2022 has brought up an interesting plethora of options for the Academy to consider for their Best Picture nominations. EEAAO, The Fabelmans, Tar, and The Banshees of Inisherin seem certain to be recognized. If the Academy wanted to bring in more public interest, they could give Avatar: The Way of Water a nod, if they wanted to reward international cinema in a similar way to 2019’s Parasite nomination, they could look to RRR as a nominee. The Whale and Women Talking seem like solid potential as somber dramas, which the Academy also rewards from time to time. For spectacle-laden movies, Elvis and Top Gun seem like good potential nominees, in line with previous noms like Moulin Rouge! In 2001. 

Whoever the nominees end up being, the Oscars always deliver an interesting race, and at least some healthy debate amongst fans and critics alike. 

The Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 24th at 8:30 am. ET/5:30 am PT. You can watch them here.