Article – The 95th Academy Awards Picks

TL;DR – This is a list of not what we think will win in the 2023 Academy Awards but who we would give the awards to if we could.

Article –

It is Oscars time again, and thanks to some well-timed leave, I get to watch them live this year. So here we will be going through all the nominees and picking which ones we would have chosen if we were a voting academy member.

I should preface this with the notice that we have not seen every film nominated, so we will only pick from those we have seen. We will only cover the categories where we have seen at least three nominees. Also, if you want to see our reviews for said films, you can click on the links to be taken to them. So without any further prattling on, here are the nominees.

Visual Effects


    All Quiet on the Western Front – Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank, and Kamil Jafar

    Avatar: The Way of Water – Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, and Daniel Barrett

    The Batman – Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands, and Dominic Tuohy

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White, and Dan Sudick

    Top Gun: Maverick – Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson, and Scott R. Fisher


Avatar: The Way of Water.

Look, there is a lot you could contest about the Avatar films, but the one clear thing is that they are visual masterpieces. The moment we went under the water, I audible gasped at how beautiful it was. You felt that moment with the space whale. You felt the pain. You felt everything because of the artists that showed a fantastic craft to get even the beading of water on rough material picture perfect.   

Swimming with the Tulkun

Costume Design


    Babylon – Mary Zophres

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Ruth Carter

    Elvis – Catherine Martin

    Everything Everywhere All at Once – Shirley Kurata

    Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris – Jenny Beavan


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

What a delight every costume was in this film. To create worlds that feel lived in, you need to believe every part of that world, including what they wear. In an instant, I was taken to every aspect of the world that we visited. From the many districts of Wakanda to the deep, deep floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

A funeral procession

Makeup and Hairstyling


    All Quiet on the Western Front – Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová

    The Batman – Naomi Donne, Mike Marino, and Mike Fontaine

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Camille Friend and Joel Harlow

    Elvis – Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, and Aldo Signoretti

    The Whale – Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Anne Marie Bradley



I forgot I was watching Colin Farrell. The prosthetics were so complete and convincing that I did not once question them. Then there was the bold choice to commit entirely to emo-Batman, which must have been a big call to make. Thus every moment was fascinating to watch because of them. 

Elvis about to perform

Sound Design


    All Quiet on the Western Front – Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel, and Stefan Korte

    Avatar: The Way of Water – Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, and Michael Hedges

    The Batman – Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray, and Andy Nelson

    Elvis – David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson, and Michael Keller

    Top Gun: Maverick – Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon, and Mark Taylor


Top Gun: Maverick

The opening sequence showed that the filmmakers 100% understood the power of sound to create their world. Whether it was the transition from nostalgia to the present or the power that a jet taking off does as it rumbles through your spine. But importantly, no dialogue was ever lost in the shuffle.   

A Jet over the desert.

Music (Original Song)


    “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman – Music and lyrics by Diane Warren

    “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick – Music and lyrics by Lady Gaga and BloodPop

    “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Göransson; Lyrics by Tems and Ryan Coogler

    “Naatu Naatu” from RRR – Music by M. M. Keeravani; Lyrics by Chandrabose

    “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once – Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne, and Mitski; Lyrics by Ryan Lott and David Byrne


“Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Look, this list will have many complex categories where many entries are so close together that you can barely separate them. And then you have this category. I knew who would win from the moment I watched it in the cinema and had my breath was taken away, and my socks knocked off. It is a moment of cinema that I have watched over and over and over again. And in fact, I might go and watch it again now.

RRR. Image Credit: DVV Entertainment.

Film Editing


    The Banshees of Inisherin – Mikkel E. G. Nielsen

    Elvis – Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond

    Everything Everywhere All at Once – Paul Rogers

    Tár – Monika Willi

    Top Gun: Maverick – Eddie Hamilton


Top Gun: Maverick

One of the things that you need to get right when you are editing a film is the tempo of the action. That tempo could be the very thing that nails the vibe you are going for, and no film did that as well this year are Top Gun

A Jet over the desert.

Writing (Original Screenplay)


    The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonagh

    Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

    The Fabelmans – Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner

    Tár – Todd Field

    Triangle of Sadness – Ruben Östlund


Everything Everywhere All at Once

When you see a film that could be described as a rollercoaster that somehow manages to hold onto the tracks through sheer force of will, you must go back to the screenplay. Without that framework, nothing else follows, and in a world full of ruined multiverse attempts, watching one nail it while still being one of the best emotional moments of the year was a delight to watch.   

Everything Everywhere All at Once. Image Credit: A24.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)


    All Quiet on the Western Front – Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell; based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque

    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Rian Johnson; based on characters created by Johnson and the film Knives Out

    Living – Kazuo Ishiguro; based on the original motion picture screenplay Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Hideo Oguni

    Top Gun: Maverick – Screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks; based on the film Top Gun written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.

    Women Talking – Sarah Polley; based on the novel by Miriam Toews

Winner: Women Talking

Putting aside the question of whether a sequel should be an adapted screenplay, Women Talking was a film with the unenviable task of exploring a profoundly emotional subject material, with the constraint of happening almost in one location. There is a humanity to every character that speaks to their complexity. Where you are captivated by every word and move building to the end.   

A mother comforts her daughter.



    The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonagh

    Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

    The Fabelmans – Steven Spielberg

    Tár – Todd Field

    Triangle of Sadness – Ruben Östlund


    Everything Everywhere All at Once

As many … many … films in recent years have shown, you can’t just slap a multiverse paint job on your movie and call it a day. You need to work to ensure every part of your film works. Everything Everywhere All at Once fractures across the multiverse but always feels like part of a whole. The action, comedy, and drama all flow from the same place, making it so interesting to watch.  

Everything Everywhere All at Once. Image Credit: A24.

Actor in a Supporting Role


    Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin as Colm Doherty

    Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway as James Aucoin

    Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans as Boris Schildkraut

    Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin as Dominic Kearney

    Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once as Waymond Wang


Ke Huy Quan

Any other year, any year, this would have been The Banshees of Inisherin locked down. There were so many strong supporting for that film alone that you almost could have filled this category. However, one performance stood out from everything else I watched this year: the stunning Ke Huy Quan.    

Actress in a Supporting Role


    Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as Queen Ramonda

    Hong Chau – The Whale as Liz [going to pretend this was for The Menu]

    Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin as Siobhán Súilleabháin

    Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once as Deirdre Beaubeirdre

    Stephanie HsuEverything Everywhere All at Once as Joy Wang / Jobu Tupaki

Winner: Stephanie Hsu

This might be the most challenging category of the night. Separating to just one winner is so tricky that if the winner said in their acceptance speech that this award goes out to each of the nominees, I would not even roll my eyes. I think Stephanie Hsu just popped into the front because of the extremes that she has to reach for the role.   

Actor in a Leading Role


    Austin Butler – Elvis as Elvis Presley

    Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin as Pádraic Súilleabháin

    Brendan Fraser – The Whale as Charlie

    Paul Mescal – Aftersun as Calum Paterson

    Bill Nighy – Living as Mr. Rodney Williams


Paul Mescal

If this was a prediction list, I think this would have been the hardest to nail down. Each actor here has crafted a different narrative around their films and campaigns, and I am not sure where The Academy would land. However, for me, there is only one choice Paul Mescal emotionally broke me in the quiet role. It is a performance that works on many different levels, and I have returned to it many times since I first watched it.   

Actress in a Leading Role


    Cate Blanchett – Tár as Lydia Tár

    Ana de Armas – Blonde as Norma Jeane Mortensen / Marilyn Monroe

    Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie as Leslie Rowlands

    Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans as Mitzi Schildkraut-Fabelman

    Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once as Evelyn Quan Wang

Winner: Michelle Yeoh

I don’t think it will surprise anyone that this category is coming down to two entries [unless a significant spoiler is on the cards for this year]. Cate and Michelle both give phenomenal performances, and either would be worthy of the award. But when I think about the film as a whole and their place in it, I have no other choice other than Michelle Yeoh.  

Everything Everywhere All at Once. Image Credit: A24.

Animated Feature Film


    Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar, and Alex Bulkley

    Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, and Paul Mezey

    Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – Joel Crawford and Mark Swift

    The Sea Beast – Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger

    Turning Red – Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Every film on this list does something different and fascinating with the genre. However, only one movie here ripped my heart open and then stomped on it with its beauty. Pinocchio might be the most-Guillermo film I have ever seen, but he and the team bring every moment of the movie to life, every single frame.  

Pinocchio but just a puppet.

Best Picture


    All Quiet on the Western Front – Malte Grunert, producer

    Avatar: The Way of Water – James Cameron and Jon Landau, producers

    The Banshees of Inisherin – Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, and Martin McDonagh, producers

    Elvis – Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick, and Schuyler Weiss, producers

    Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, and Jonathan Wang, producers

    The Fabelmans – Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, and Tony Kushner, producers

    Tár – Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan, and Scott Lambert, producers

    Top Gun: Maverick – Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, and Jerry Bruckheimer, producers

    Triangle of Sadness – Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, producers

    Women Talking – Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Frances McDormand, producers

Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

I think it is telling just how good a year of cinema it was last year that we have such wildly different films nominated for best picture. This list is so solid that I am not even mad that some of my favourites didn’t. But if we go back to my Best Films of 2022 list, I think you already know which would be my pick here. Only one film swung from potty humour to true emotional catharsis in such a way that it left me stunned. 

So that was my selection for this year’s Oscars. Which films would you have picked? Let me know in the comments below.

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

What are your picks?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us
Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.

Credits: All Images are owned by the production companies that created them.


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