Rex’s Academy Award Predictions

Rex Okpodu, LemonWade’s longtime Oscarologist, has issued his forecast for this Sunday’s Academy Awards:

This has turned out be one of the most nail-biting seasons of the past few years. The industry and the stats point to a big night for the indie “Everything Everywhere.” But there’s a persistent feeling that many people, though expressing admiration for it, just do not get it. Thus it might be too divisive to win Best Picture. But there’s no clear alternative. If you factor in BAFTA giving best picture elsewhere then we are still not sure on the final outcome. Notwithstanding, the safe money is on the following predictions.

Best Picture

“Everything Everywhere All At Once (Globe/DGA/SAG/Indie Spirit) — predicted winner

“All Quite on the Western Front (BAFTA) — alternate winner

Other nominees:

“Top Gun: Maverick”

“The Fabelmans”

“The Banshees of Inisherin”



“Women Talking”

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

“Triangle of Sadness”

Best Director

Over its 75-year history, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) award has been the most reliable barometer for the Oscars’ best director prize. Only eight DGA winners have failed to walk away with the Academy Award for directing. There have only been two sets of duo directors to win the Academy directing prize — Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise (“West Side Story,” 1961) and Ethan & Joel Coen (“No Country for Old Men,” 2007). The Daniels look set to join this exclusive club on Oscar night: they won DGA last month.

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (DGA) — predicted winner

Todd Field — “Tar” — alternate winner

Steven Spielberg — “The Fabelmans” (Globe winner) — outside chance

Other nominees:

Martin McDonagh — “Banshees of Inisherin”

Ruben Ostlund — “Triangle of Sadness”

Best Actor

This season has brought plenty of twists and turns in this category. Brendan Fraser started out winning critics’ groups then didn’t get a Globe (for obvious reasons) and stalled. Austin Butler (“Elvis”) took BAFTA over a heavily touted Colin Farrell (“Banshees”). Fraser rebounded with the SAG, which is the most reliable precursor for predicting the Oscar winner in this category. Fraser’s film, “The Whale,” is not a best picture nominee. After much soul searching, I believe his inspiring backstory and personal comeback cannot transcend the fact that, in the past 20 years, the best-actor winner has mostly gone to someone portraying a real-life character. Butler is not only playing a real-life icon, he is in a best picture nominee and thus our predicted winner. Farrell is also a contender — he played a heartbroken best friend in the Irish countryside — but his previous bad-boy image haunts him: think Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole. Hollywood has a thing about not rewarding reformed bad boys with an Oscar!

Austin Butler (Globe/BAFTA) — predicted winner

Brendan Fraser (SAG) — alternate winner

Colin Farrell (Globe) — “The Banshees of Inisherin” — outside chance

Other nominees:

Paul Mescal — “Aftersun”

Bill Nighy — “Living”

Best Actress

As usual, this is the most exciting and glamorous category. Will Oscar history be made and Yeoh selected as only the second non-white lead actress winner in 95 years of Oscar? Or will the memsahib theory hold sway yet again and Cate Blanchett bag her third statuette? And what about the Angela Riseborough effect?

Michelle Yeoh (Globe, SAG) — “Everything Everywhere All At Once” — predicted winner

Cate Blanchett (Globe, BAFTA) — “Tar” — alternate winner

Other nominees:

Andrea RIseborough — “To Leslie” — outside chance

Ana de Armas — “Blonde”

Michelle Williams — “The Fabelmans”

Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan was expected to sweep the circuit after he won the Globe, Critics Choice, and got a BAFTA nom. But BAFTA did not play ball — Barry Keoghan won. We suspect Quan’s campaign is back on track after having won the SAG.

Ke Huy Quan (Globe, SAG) — “Everything Everywhere All At Once” — predicted winner

Barry Keoghan (BAFTA) — “The Banshees of Inisherin” — alternate winner

Other nominees:

Brendan Gleeson — “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Brian Tyree Henry — “Causeway”

Judd Hirsch — “The Fabelmans”

Best Supporting Actress

I am taking a stand here: Angela Bassett should get the Oscar not just for this role but for her body of work, including the shameless robbery in 1993, when she lost as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got To Do with It.” While Bassett this year won the Globe, and Condon won BAFTA, they seem the main contenders. However, Jamie Lee Curtis won at SAG and gave an amazing speech which reminded everyone how long she has been in show biz as part of Hollywood royalty: great Oscar campaigning.

Kerry Condon (BAFTA) — “The Banshees of Inisherin” — predicted winner

Angela Bassett (Globe) — “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” — alternate winner

Jamie Lee Curtis (SAG) — “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — outside chance

Other nominees:

Stephanie Hsu — “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Hong Chau — “The Whale”

Adapted Screenplay

“Women Talking” — predicted winner

“All Quiet on the Western Front” — alternate winner

Original Screenplay

“The Banshees of Inisherin” — predicted winner

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” — alternate winner

Predicted Winners in Other Categories

Best Editing — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Best Cinematography — “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Best Costume Design — “Elvis”

Best Production Design — “Elvis”

Best Sound — “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Best Visual Effects — “Avatar: The Way of Water”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — “The Whale”

Best Original Score — “The Fabelmans”

Best Song — “Naatu Naatu” — “RRR”

Best International Feature: “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Best Documentary — “Nalvany”

Best Animated Feature: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

Best Animated Short — “My Year of Dicks”

Best Live Action Short — “An Irish Goodbye”

Best Documentary Short — “Strangers at the Gate”

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