Oscars 2023: Who will win, should win, and who should have got a look in

Will it be an ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ sweep? Or could ‘Tár’ prove to be the one to beat? Adam White has looked over the major categories to try and figure them out

Sunday 12 March 2023 13:44 GMT
Gold rush: Cate Blanchett, Felix Kammerer, Jamie Lee Curtis and Austin Butler
Gold rush: Cate Blanchett, Felix Kammerer, Jamie Lee Curtis and Austin Butler (Universal/Netflix/A24/Warner Bros/iStock)

This late into awards season, we typically tend to know which movies and performances will triumph on Oscars night. But this year has been a bit more erratic than usual. The usual precursors – the Baftas, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards – have been unusually diverse when it comes to winners, with voters choosing to spread around the wealth rather than focus on the same collection of faces each time. It means this weekend’s Oscars might actually be exciting to watch. It also means difficulty in predicting what will happen on the night.

This is partly down to an unusually strong line-up of nominees this year, from populist hits such as Avatar and Elvis to critical darlings such as Tár and The Banshees of Inisherin. Then there are the movies that were both bona fide phenomenons that made a lot of money and drew raves, like the presumed Best Picture victor Everything Everywhere All at Once.

But is an Everything Everywhere sweep as sealed a deal as it might seem? And, if we’re being totally honest, should it be? Ahead of the Oscar ceremony this Sunday 12 March, we’ve cast an eye over the major categories and decided who will win, who should win, and who really should have got a look in.

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

Will win Everything Everywhere All at Once

Should win Top Gun: Maverick

Shoulda got a look in Aftersun

This is, by and large, a strong Best Picture line-up, with (nearly) every title making sense as a winner and unlikely to spark arguments once the ceremony is over. It is frustratingly dominated by male directors, though, particularly when both Aftersun and The Woman King (directed by Charlotte Wells and Gina Prince-Bythewood, respectively) drew some of the best reviews of the year and felt worthy of inclusion.

Best Director

Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Todd Field, Tár

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Will win Daniels

Should win Todd Field

Shoulda got a look in Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King

It feels like this is a battle between makers of fantastical universes, from the Daniels with their multiverse-spanning Everything Everywhere to Todd Field, whose sociopathic musical genius Lydia Tár is practically a universe unto herself. Where is Gina Prince-Bythewood, though? Her Viola Davis action vehicle The Woman King was as tense and moving as it was technically dazzling, and she more than deserved a spot.

Paul Mescal in Charlotte Wells’s ‘Aftersun’
Paul Mescal in Charlotte Wells’s ‘Aftersun’ (A24)

Best Actor

Austin Butler, Elvis

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Bill Nighy, Living

Will win Austin Butler

Should win Colin Farrell

Shoulda got a look in Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Oscars adore an impression of a celebrity, so it feels as if this category has been sewn up by Austin Butler. It’d be an underwhelming win, though, particularly when this line-up is so stacked with (better) acting veterans who’ve long deserved awards kudos and (better) new blood such as Paul Mescal. Missing here, frustratingly, is Gabriel LaBelle, whose prickly, charismatic work as a young Steven Spielberg has been almost entirely overlooked all awards season – what happened there?

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Tár

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Will win Michelle Yeoh

Should win Cate Blanchett

Shoulda got a look in Taylor Russell, Bones and All

This is the night’s biggie, with both Yeoh and Blanchett in with equal shots at taking home the award. Only a monster would complain about a Yeoh victory, but my heart lies with Blanchett – her work in Tár isn’t just the year’s best performance, but one of the best film performances in aeons. Of the snubs here, overlooking Danielle Deadwyler’s heartbreaking work in Till is an embarrassing misstep, but I’d have also loved to see Taylor Russell get awards traction this year for her rich and empathetic performance in Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal love story Bones and All. She more than deserved to be in the same “breakout film performance” chatter as Butler, Mescal and Stephanie Hsu.

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

Will win Ke Huy Quan

Should win Barry Keoghan

Shoulda got a look in Tim Roth, Resurrection

Ke Huy Quan has long been regarded as a shoo-in here, as much as this award should have been Barry Keoghan’s to lose. This is an impressive line-up either way, though. In terms of arguable snubs, it would have been nice to see some love for Tim Roth in the brilliant Rebecca Hall thriller Resurrection (she’d have been a great Best Actress nominee, too, in all honesty). As a terrifyingly sedate sexual predator turned vaguely supernatural stalker, Roth hasn’t been this good in years.

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’
Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ (Searchlight)

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

Will win Jamie Lee Curtis

Should win Kerry Condon

Shoulda got a look in Nina Hoss, Tár

This category bears the whiff of “Monday morning outrage”, with a win for Jamie Lee Curtis looking more and more likely by the day. It’d be confusing for two reasons. Firstly, she’s not especially good in the film. Secondly, Stephanie Hsu is right there! So is Angela Bassett, too, if voters really wanted to honour a beloved industry veteran currently without an Oscar on their mantelpiece. Fingers crossed Condon will take it, though. Missing here are a few of the best scene-stealers of the year, from Nina Hoss’s wounded work as Lydia Tár’s poor, doomed wife, to Judith Ivey’s soulful and compassionate performance as a Menonite grandmother in Women Talking.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in