Oscar Awards Predictions: Major Categories

Jacob Glass (He/Him), Staff Writer

This Sunday is the 95th Academy Awards. Let’s be clear, this is MY Superbowl. A night to celebrate film, celebrities, and pop culture in general. It’s looking up to be an exciting award show this year with multiple close races.

I’ll be making my predictions and talking about my general thoughts on these nominations. 


Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All at Once 

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking


After a historic string of top-prize wins at the major guild awards (DGA, PGA, SAG, and WGA), a best picture win at Critics Choice and the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and 11 nominations at the Oscars, it’s getting harder and harder to pick any movie other than Everything Everywhere All at Once to win best picture. I’m absolutely ecstatic about this! EEAAO is the most deserving movie on this list and I am so happy to see such a unique and special movie finally get its place in the film industry. 

There are definitely some possible upsets. Nothing is certain until the card is read, and sometimes after it’s read too (I’m looking at you La La Land / Moonlight best picture debacle). All Quiet on the Western Front won best film at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) but I don’t see that repeating on Oscars night. It’s an intense and moving movie, but the BAFTAs usually favor European films, so it’s not too big of a surprise that All Quiet on the Western Front won.

The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, and The Fabelmans are the other movies that stand a slim chance, but I really can’t see it going to any movie other than EEAAO.


Best Director 

Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once

Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans

Todd Field (Tár

Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness)


When Steven Spielberg won the Golden Globe this year for best director, I thought he was going to be the frontrunner for the Oscar. But here we are, countless award shows later, and I am predicting that Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (better known as the Daniels) of EEAAO are going to win best director. Again, it makes me so happy to say that! I can’t think of a movie or director(s) more deserving of this honor.

The two possible upsets for me are Spielberg and Martin McDonagh. Spielberg specifically since he is an icon in directing and is greatly loved by the Academy. With this being his most personal movie, it’s still possible that they will want to honor him in that way. One apparent issue with this category is the complete lack of female nominees, which you can read more about in my article here.


Best Lead Actor

Austin Butler (Elvis

Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser (The Whale

Paul Mescal (Aftersun

Bill Nighy (Living


This is where we get into the more difficult sections. Three out of the four acting categories are tight races that could really go almost any way. With lead actor, we have two frontrunners and a possible upset. Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser are neck-in-neck in this race. Butler won the BAFTA and Fraser won the SAG award. Both are awards with voters who are members of the Academy. With Colin Farrell as a possible upset, I’m at a loss for who will win.

On one hand, we have Fraser (and kind of Farrell) who are long-time actors who have performed a variety of roles. For Fraser, this has been his most intense role and a major shift into drama. In The Whale he plays a morbidly obese teacher who is trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter. There has been some controversy around the movie regarding its portrayal of plus-size people. But, despite that, Fraser’s performance has been consistently praised. Farrell’s movie is less controversial and this would also be a career win for him. He did win at the Golden Globes in best actor – musical or comedy, but the chance of him winning on Sunday is low.

On the other end of the spectrum from Fraser is Butler, who is a young actor who had his breakout role in the performance he is nominated for. I didn’t love Elvis, but Butler’s performance was probably the best part of it. In the end, I see Butler winning this award as a way for the Academy to highlight a younger actor. While I would prefer to see Paul Mescal or Farell win this award, I won’t be mad with a Butler win.


Best Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett (Tár

Ana de Armas (Blonde

Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie)

Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)


Cate Blanchett vs. Michelle Yeoh. That is what this category is. No one else stands a chance. This is an incredibly hard category to predict. Currently, I am so happy to say that I am predicting Yeoh.

Cate Blanchett had the head start for this category, winning at Critics Choice, BAFTAs, and Golden Globes. But, Yeoh, who also won at the Globes, took home the SAG and the Spirit Award.

Both SAG & BAFTA are made up of Academy voters. That leads me to believe that this race is incredibly close. But, with Yeoh winning more of the recent awards and the general hype around EEAAO (which Tár does not have), this is her win. And it would be the right decision in my opinion.


Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin

Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway

Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans)

Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once


I don’t have a lot to say here because Ke Huy Quan is winning. With the exception of the BAFTA (which went to Barry Keoghan), Quan has been consistently winning the major awards and the general consensus in the film community is that he will be taking the award. 


Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau (The Whale

Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once)


This is the most exciting category this year because we basically have three or four actresses in play to win. It could be anyone…besides Hong Chau.

Bassett was the early favorite, winning the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice. But, Jamie Lee Curtis (rather unexpectedly) took the SAG award which many expected to go to Bassett. This brought Curtis into the race and possibly improved the chances for Kerry Condon, who won the BAFTA.

The possible upset, at least I’m convincing myself it is a possibility, is Stephanie Hsu. She’s a fan favorite and truly an essential part of EEAAO where she proved herself as a skillful actor. I’m holding out hope, though the chances are SLIM especially with Hsu and Curtis being from the same movie.

This will be an exciting one to watch Sunday night!


Best Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front, Screenplay by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Written by Rian Johnson

Living, Written by Kazuo Ishiguro

Top Gun: Maverick, Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks

Women Talking, Screenplay by Sarah Polley


This category is a bit of a toss-up, but less dramatic than the previous one. While this might be a good category for All Quiet on the Western Front to get in a win, the movie did not have much dialogue and was definitely a visual-forward work.

I see Women Talking winning this category. It’s dialogue-heavy (literally women talking the whole time) which makes the writing super important. With Sarah Polley being snubbed from the best director category (once again, read more about that here), this may be where the Academy feels they can reward Polley and the entire Women Talking team.


Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin, Written by Martin McDonagh

Everything Everywhere All at Once, Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert

The Fabelmans, Written by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner

Tár, Written by Todd Field

Triangle of Sadness, Written by Ruben Östlund


This is EEAAO’s award to lose. After winning the WGA, the Critics Choice, and the Spirit Award for this category, it seems highly unlikely for anyone else to win. 

The rest are incredibly well-written films that, if it was a different year, could totally be up for the award. The Banshees was a great and beloved screenplay that won the Golden Globe so that’s probably the one with the highest chance of being the upset.


You can watch the Oscars on Sunday, March 12 at 5 pm on ABC. It will possibly be the best one in recent memory and hopefully a history-making night!