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My 2023 Oscar Scorecard

So how did I do? I came close on my top six picks, calling five of them correctly and missing out on one (even if I didn’t completely agree with the results of the victors that I predicted correctly). Here are the details:

Best Picture

The Field:  “All Quiet on the Western Front”, “Avatar: The Way of Water”, “The Banshees of Inisherin”, “Elvis”, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, “The Fabelmans”, “Tár”, “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Triangle of Sadness”, “Women Talking”

Projected Winner:  “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Actual Winner:  “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Result:  Correct call

This result was very much a no-brainer. The film had a strong start at the beginning of awards season, and its position solidified as it wore on (except, of course, at the BAFTA Awards with their strangely anomalous list of winners). If almost anything else had won in this category, it would have been a huge surprise. As I predicted, “EEAAO” dominated the evening, taking home seven awards (on 11 total nominations) and significantly contributing to the awards shut-outs of four other major contenders – “The Banshees of Inisherin”, “Elvis”, “The Fabelmans” and “Tár”. While I enjoyed this film, I still think there were better choices for best picture (“The Fabelmans”, “Triangle of Sadness”), though this offering was certainly far better than a number of the other nominees in this category, some of which never should have been nominated.

Best Actor

The Field:  Austin Butler, “Elvis”; Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”; Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”; Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”; Bill Nighy, “Living”

Projected Winner:  Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”

Actual Winner:  Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”

Result:  Correct call

It’s so gratifying to see the Oscars get something right, as they did in this category. Fraser was the class of the field and definitely deserved to win. And, even though nearly all of the other actor nominees delivered excellent performances, Fraser was still the best of the bunch, turning in a superb portrayal and living up to every inch of the personal comeback story that this was, something Hollywood loves to recognize. I’m honestly somewhat surprised that Fraser didn’t collect more statues than he did throughout awards season (having missed out on three major prizes), but I’m nevertheless pleased to see that he nabbed the ones that mattered most, including this very deserving honor.

Best Actress

The Field:   Cate Blanchett, “Tár”; Ana de Armas, “Blonde”; Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”; Michelle Williams, “The Fabelmans”; Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Projected Winner:  Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Actual Winner:  Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Result:  Correct call

Although Yeoh was not the favorite at the start of awards season, she successfully built up momentum as the months passed, eclipsing initial frontrunner Cate Blanchett. Over the past few weeks, it was easy to see her moving ahead, claiming an award that was well deserved and a fan favorite. While I still believe that Andrea Riseborough delivered the superior performance, her chances of winning were likely significantly diminished by the trumped-up, overblown controversy surrounding the awarding of her nomination (see my review of “To Leslie” for more about this), though, thankfully, she still received this recognition and was absolved of any improprieties. Let’s hope this (and all other categories) aren’t tinged by any needless controversies like this in the future.

Best Supporting Actor

The Field:  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”

Projected Winner:  Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Actual Winner:  Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Result:  Correct call

This was another no-brainer. Quan won virtually everything leading up to the Oscars except for the National Board of Review Award and yet another of the anomalous BAFTA Awards. This victory was widely expected and, like Fraser’s award, represented another personal comeback story. My preference in this category was Judd Hirsch, though at least he earned a nomination for his performance (all too brief though it may have been).

Best Supporting Actress

The Field: 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”

Projected Winner:  Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Actual Winner:  Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Result:  Missed call

I’ll admit that this was the most difficult call for me to make this year. At the start of awards season, Angela Bassett seemed like a shoo-in, taking virtually all of the early prizes. However, as the season wore on, her momentum seemed to have stalled, opening the door for Curtis. Both actresses gave truly outstanding performances, and picking between them was a hard choice, both personally and as a prognosticator. As the only nominee who wasn’t a first-timer in this category and given the residual clout of her early season wins, I truly believed Bassett had the requirements to put her over the top, as well as enough gas left in the tank to pull off a win. However, given the rising groundswell of support that Curtis mustered in recent weeks, it proved to be enough to surpass the early frontrunner at the wire, which many analysts were calling a dead heat going into awards night. Congratulations to Curtis on her win and to Bassett on her previous victories, as well a well-deserved nomination in a movie from a genre that rarely gets recognized. It’s unfortunate that they both couldn’t have come up winners, allowing each of them to walk away as the champs they truly are. That really would have been the best of both worlds.

Best Director

The Field:  Todd Field, “Tár”; Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”; Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin”; Ruben Östlund, “Triangle of Sadness”; Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”

Projected Winner:  Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Actual Winner:  Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Result:  Correct call

This was yet another slam dunk. As “the Daniels” collected a growing number of accolades as awards season played out, they left everyone else in the dust. Their win on awards night was no surprise at all, earning them their third statue of the evening (also including best picture and best original screenplay). My personal choice would have been Steven Spielberg for having created a better and more tightly focused work, but the veteran filmmaker apparently didn’t have enough support to overtake these new rising stars.

For more on how I arrived at my predictions for the winners, please see my previous blog, “Who Will Win the 2023 Oscars?”

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Copyright © 2023, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.

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