There are various Oscar-winning movies every year, but the number of films that come out on top are few and far in between. As a film aficionado who watches all the nominations for Oscars Best Picture every year, I’ve once again taken this task upon myself (so that you don’t have to). Here are my humble predictions for the 2023 Oscars.
There are many Oscar-winning movies, ranging from romantic films to LGBTQ+ flicks, to maybe even a few Hong Kong movies. But, few films in history have joined the upper echelons of winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards. With a preferential voting system (only for the Best Picture category), there are always surprises that can occur, with a film perhaps garnering the majority of second-place votes and ending up on top. Although nothing is a done deal until Oscars night (or morning for Hong Kong), here are my predictions for how the Oscars might shake out in 2023 (based on my personal preference and some precursor awards). Wanna bet?
Who might win Best Picture at the 2023 Oscars?
1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
A mind-bending adventure of a Chinese immigrant who must connect with versions of herself to save the multiverse from a harmful foe, Everything Everywhere All At Once has been the surprise hit of the awards season. With positive word-of-mouth and big wins already at the Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, and Directors Guild Awards, this film is one of the strongest predictions for Best Picture in 2023.
Everything Everywhere All at Once has the potential to become one of the most exciting Oscar-winning movies in the past few years. It’s the film I’m personally pulling for to nab Best Picture. With magnificent performances from Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, the movie touches on action, emotion, and comedy. If this ambitious and creative work wins the top prize, it’s a welcoming signal that less conventional films (and ones led by people of colour) can still win top prizes from an age-old awards committee.
Having already accomplished the rare feat of being named “Best Film” by the world’s top critics’ groups, Tár is another strong horse in the race for Best Picture in the 2023 Oscars. A character study of a classical music conductor at the top of her game being suddenly hit with allegations of sexual abuse, Tár is one of the most critically acclaimed films this awards season.
While critics don’t determine the outcome of the Oscars, they have been indicators of how the results may eventually swing. Although Tár is a topical and technical feat, it might not strike many emotional chords with voters, unlike Everything Everywhere All At Once or The Fabelmans. That being said, Tár is a display of outstanding filmmaking, with an incredible performance by Cate Blanchett. If it does end up winning Best Picture, you bet I’ll still be celebrating
3. The Banshees of Inisherin
Taking place on a quiet Irish island, The Banshees of Inisherin emerges as one of the oddest and most interesting films of this awards season. When a lifelong friendship between two men abruptly ends, a series of increasingly shocking events follow. In fact, this feature may join the ranks of Oscar-winning movies even without securing Best Picture. However, the preferential voting system may work in its favour. Although it’s lost out on some precursor awards, it’s consistently garnered many nominations and could be a repeated second or third pick for Best Picture. With strong acting all around and an industry-favourite director, The Banshees of Inisherin shouldn’t be counted out just yet.
4. The Fabelmans
Perhaps the most personal film yet from legendary director Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans is a love letter to filmmaking. A semi-autobiographical story, the movie follows a boy discovering the power of cinema while navigating his dysfunctional family. Picking up top prizes at the Golden Globes, The Fabelmans is what traditional Oscar-winning movies have looked like. A beautifully made film, The Fabelmans may be one of the safer predictions for Best Picture. With such an intimate film from an industry giant, one can never rule out Spielberg in the Oscars winner predictions.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front
Chronicling the journey of a group of German soldiers in World War I, All Quiet on the Western Front has been an international breakout in the 2023 awards season. This feature cleaned up at the British Academy Film Awards this year, winning the most awards on the night. Despite how the film has shot up the rankings for many Oscar predictors, a gritty war epic taking home the top prize at the Oscars may seem like too much of a safe choice – especially in a year filled with more untraditional contenders. Showing the gruesome realities of war, All Quiet on the Western Front is an incredible movie with a strong chance of picking up a few technical Oscars. It remains to be seen if it can take home the top prize.
6. Top Gun: Maverick
One of the biggest movies of 2022, Top Gun: Maverick is a legacy sequel to the Tom Cruise classic. Naval aviator Maverick trains a young group of Top Gun graduates for a mission while confronting his past and future. The film itself is exciting, technically outstanding, and everything a legacy sequel should be. This movie winning Best Picture at the Oscars could be a sign that the Academy Awards voting party is becoming more aligned with mainstream preferences. Since the Oscars is often maligned for being elitist or out-of-touch with the general public, awarding Top Gun: Maverick may be a way to regain public confidence while recognising a great box office hit.
7. Triangle of Sadness; Women Talking; Avatar: The Way of Water; and Elvis
You can never rule out a nominee in a category historically full of surprises. However, these films are personally lower in my rankings. Although all – as Best Picture nominees typically are – are amazing films, they have not won as many precursor awards and did not strike me as much as others. It may be disappointing if your favourite feature fails to join the ranks of Oscar-winning movies. However, one of the best things about Oscars predictions is appreciating the great films and reflecting on what made them individually so unique.