For moviegoers around the world, Sunday is the equivalent of the Champions League final or the Super Bowl: The Oscars, an annual event where celebrities share golden statues and absolutely no one agrees with the decisions they make. Although it is difficult to think of a criterion by which one film is better than another, the awards are an excuse to see more films and to applaud the complicated process of artistic creation.
For this reason, before the ceremony, it is worth reviewing the 6 most important categories, the four for acting, directing and, of course, best film. In addition to trying to predict the winner in each of them, it is worth saying who would be our selected one. It is an exercise that we hope to make a tradition, and in any case this is a strange year in which all the nominees have done an extraordinary job.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Ke Huy Quan by ‘Everything at once everywhere’
Brendan Gleeson by ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’
Brian Tyree Henry by Causeway
Barry Keoghan for ‘Banshees of Inisherin’
Judd Hirsch by ‘The Fabelmans’
The favorite: Ke Huy Quan for ‘Everything at once everywhere’
With the exception of Baftas, the former Indiana Jones sidekick and member of the Goonies has won every award an Oscar can predict. Although some surprise is always possible, there doesn’t seem to be anyone who can stop the return of Key Huy Quan.
Our winner: Ke Huy Quan for ‘Everything at once everywhere’
Fortunately, it is a category where the Oscars are not going to be wrong. Beyond the story behind the actor, a child performer retired from acting for having roles for Asians returning to a more open Hollywood, his role in the film serves as an emotional anchor in a film that shines precisely for allowing itself to be strange. This is always one of the most interesting categories, but this year no one can compete.
The absent: Paul Dano for ‘The Batman’
Dano’s Riddler is the first villain in the franchise who can compete with Heath Ledger’s Joker. It is possible that the reduced time of him showing his face has complicated the nomination, added to being in a superhero movie, but it is rare to see a character that can be creepy and pathetic in equal parts.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Angela Bassett by ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’
Hong Chau for ‘The whale (The Whale)’
Kerry Condom by ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’
Jamie Lee Curtis by ‘Everything at once everywhere’
Stephanie Hsu by ‘Everything at once everywhere’
The favourite: Angela Bassett for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’
Basset is one of two legends nominated in the category who have not won an Oscar. While Jamie Lee Curtis won the Screen Actors Guild Award, usually the highest predictor of the acting categories, the presence of another actress in the same film should work against Curtis. Either way Basset is the best part of the Black Panther sequel so she would be a pretty good winner.
Our winner: Stephanie Hsu for ‘Everything at Once Everywhere’
Competing with various legends, and competing scenes with the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh, it’s surprising that Hsu manages to stand out. His character is the representation of chaos and insecurity at the same time, as if the Joker had anxiety. It is one of the great surprises of the film and of the year, with luck, even if she does not win his job, it will open more doors for her in the future.
The Absent: Kristen Stewart for ‘Crimes of the Future’
Asking in the middle of 2023 for the Oscars to turn their gaze to Cronenberg’s body horror is complicated. At the same time, Stewart gives such a scary and engaging performance that it should be enough to remove the ‘Twilight Girl’ label from her in case anyone kept it.
Brendan Fraser by ‘The Whale’
Austin Butler by ‘Elvis’
Colin Farrell by ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’
Paul Mescal by ‘Aftersun’
Bill Nighy by ‘Living room’
The favorite: Brendan Fraser for ‘The Whale’
The other easy category to guess with the difference that this time the Oscars would not be right. Although Fraser manages to elevate the material, the film around him suffers from an Aronofsky, the director, too melodramatic for the material. Everything indicates that the actor used the role as therapy, and he doesn’t do a bad job with the script, but the truth is that there are at least two nominated performances, and one that was left out, better than this one.
Our winner: Paul Mescal for ‘Aftersun’
If ‘The Whale’ is a screaming movie ‘Aftersun’ is built on whispers and in the middle of all that is Mescal. The actor leaves ‘This is Us’ to give a deep and painful portrait of depression, and the efforts we make to hide it so that it doesn’t affect our loved ones. The truth is that Fraser is louder, and the guy seems to like the whole of Hollywood, plus Paul is young and will have other opportunities, the same as Austin Butler whose ‘Elvis’ also seems more interesting than the Whale.
The absent: Tom Cruise for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’
It’s not that he got on a real jet, it’s not that he filled movie theaters giving them oxygen in a summer lacking in premieres and it’s not that we like to see him run, it’s just that he radiates pure charisma. Cruise’s work is the kind of work that the Academy used to reward and that is that he is one of the few great “Movie Stars” that we have left. In addition, the scenes with Val Kilmer are as emotional as any of the small films of the year.
cate blanchett by ‘tar’
Ana de Armas by ‘blonde’
Andrea Riseborough by ‘To Leslie’
Michelle Williams by ‘The Fabelmans’
Michelle Yeoh by ‘Everything at once everywhere’
The favourite: Michelle Yeoh for ‘Everything at Once Everywhere’
The Daniels’ multiverse sci-fi comedy-drama is one of the weirdest films to crack the Oscar nominations, and that it’s the awards frontrunner comes as quite a surprise. The actress is the center of the film, and she is capable of laughing, crying and fighting at the same time. It is possible that she will lose, she is in the most disputed category of the night, but after the award of the actors union she is the favorite.
Our winner: cate blanchett by ‘Tár’
At this point Blanchett’s resume is only comparable to that of Meryl Streep. With two Oscars already under her belt, it is normal for voters to bet on Yeoh, who has not yet won her first prize. But it is that what Blanchett does in ‘Tár’ is masterful, a character that we must love and hate in equal parts, because we must feel contempt, pity and admiration and that at times she is too intelligent to listen to her. She is one of the best performances so far this century, and her defeat will have more to do with political motives.
The absent: Margot Robbie for ‘Babylon’
After its critical and commercial flop it makes sense that ‘Babylon’ doesn’t get many nominations, but Robbie’s absence from the list is still disappointing. The tragedy of ‘Babylon’ is seen as his character’s smile is destroyed during the film’s three hours of excess. It’s an extraordinary performance, if anything but subtle, in a film that will clearly be a cult classic.
Martin McDonagh by ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for ‘Everything at once everywhere’
Todd Field by ‘TÁR’
Steven Spielberg by ‘The Fabelmans’
Ruben Östlund by ‘The triangle of sadness’
Favorite: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for ‘Everything at once everywhere’
The Daniels’ play is one of the big surprises of last year. Chaotic, explosive, sentimental and funny in equal measure, an indie movie that looks as good as any Marvel movie, if not better, and works even in its wildest moments. It’s a classic since it came to the big screen and their triumphs in the directors’ and writers’ union draw them as winners, although there is a name that could take the statuettes out of their hands.
Our winner: Steven Spielberg for ‘The Fabelmans’
Saying that Steven Spielberg is a good director is perhaps the most boring position that can be taken in cinema, but Steven Spielberg is a good director, he may even be the best of all time. The fact that he has been in charge of bringing his own (little) camouflaged biopic to the big screen is a blessing and that he manages to get us into his family chaos almost like intruders and he confesses to us that his relationship with the cinema is both in love and obsession. Spielberg doesn’t need another award to secure his legacy, but the truth is that this movie works because he’s behind the camera.
The absent: Damien Chazelle for ‘Babylon’
While other films about Hollywood portray the city as the cradle of art, ‘Babylon’ reminds how complicated it can be. The truth is that Chazelle’s work shows us both the seductive and the dark of cinema, and it is impossible to look away even if it lasts three hours.
‘No news at the front’
‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’
‘Everything at once everywhere’
‘Top Gun Maverick’
‘The triangle of sadness’
The favourite: ‘Everything at once everywhere’
Given its stint in awards season, it would be strange if the Daniels’ film didn’t win an Oscar. This does not erase that it is one of the strangest nominees in history, an action-drama about the multiverse and the need to love each other. After last year’s ‘Coda’ victory debacle it seems like a minor miracle with an insane maximalist film being able to win, but it starts the night as heavy favourite.
Our winner: ‘Everything at once everywhere’
Fortunately, the big favorite is a great movie and although ‘The Fabelmans’ may surprise, it doesn’t seem too likely. The truth is that it is good news for the cinema that can help some young directors dare to give life to their strangest ideas. In a year full of tributes to cinema, the best thing to do is to study its possibilities and nobody did it better than the film produced by A24.
The absent one: ‘Babylon’
Speaking of maximalist cinema: It seems that the mirror that Damien Chazelle held up to the industry was somewhat uncomfortable to watch, but time indicates that his film will be one of those cult classics that gains some popularity every year. In the worst case, several film classes will surely use the silent film recording sequence and that of the first audio tape in class.