Oscars 2023 Predictions: Who Will Win Best Picture, Actor and Actress?

Best Picture

Stephanie Hsu, left, Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh and James Hong in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”Credit…Allyson Riggs/A24, via Associated Press

Before awards season began, who would have thought that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would go from underdog to top dog? After all, it’s a sci-fi comedy with martial arts and a dildo fight scene — not exactly what comes to mind when you think of Oscar bait. And yet, this eccentric hit had enough heart and ingenuity to earn top honors from the actors, writers, producers and directors guilds, a clean sweep only four other films in history have ever managed. Those movies all went on to win the best picture Oscar, and “Everything Everywhere” is well-positioned to pull off the same feat.

That being said, there is a contingent of older voters in the academy who remain baffled by it, and they’ll probably opt for a straightforward blockbuster like “Top Gun: Maverick” or especially Netflix’s World War I saga “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which has surged at the last minute and pulled off an eyebrow-raising best film victory with the British voting body BAFTA. Since neither film earned an Oscar nomination for its directing or acting, the odds are slim for a come-from-behind victory over “Everything Everywhere,” which was nominated across the board. But on a night full of close races, even this category still feels fluid.

Best Director

Daniel Kwan, left, and Daniel Scheinert, the filmmakers behind “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”Credit…Allyson Riggs

Since “Everything Everywhere” co-directors Kwan and Scheinert took the top prize from the Directors Guild of America, they’re almost certain to repeat here, as 17 of the last 20 DGA winners have. It’s true that the academy has recently been inclined to split the best picture and best director trophies between two films, but I don’t think a compelling alternative to Kwan and Scheinert has emerged: Though “Tár” director Field will collect some highbrow votes and traditionalists may be inclined to pick Spielberg, “Everything Everywhere” has the technical razzle-dazzle that typically clinches this win.

Best Actor

Brendan Fraser as a 600-pound recluse in “The Whale.”Credit…A24

Colin Farrell is wonderful in “Banshees,” but voters may underrate him when he’s playing a character who looks and talks like, well, Colin Farrell. Time and time again, the academy has shown a preference for actors who transform, and two such performances are vying here, though each comes with a caveat: Fraser donned prosthetics to play a 600-pound recluse in “The Whale,” but a best actor winner almost always hails from a best picture nominee, and his film didn’t make the cut. Meanwhile, Butler played a famous historical figure (and even did his own singing) in a movie that is up for best picture. But voters tend to prefer someone more seasoned in this category, and the 31-year-old Butler would be one of the youngest to ever win here. Ultimately, I don’t think people will hold the mixed reception for “The Whale” against SAG Award winner Fraser: At 54, his return to the spotlight has captivated Hollywood and his speech would surely be one of the night’s most emotional.

Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh in one of the multiverses of “Everything Everywhere.”Credit…Allyson Riggs/A24, via Associated Press

Unless Riseborough pulls off a win even more shocking than her surprise nomination, this battle royal comes down to Blanchett and Yeoh, the season’s top prize-earners. Both women are so fabulous in what will almost certainly be their signature roles that I’m hoping for a deeply unlikely tie, but I do think the scales will tip toward Yeoh in the end: Blanchett already has two Oscars, and Yeoh’s first win would be historic in a category where no women of color have won since Halle Berry over two decades ago. If voters want to give this telecast the sort of memorable, dream-come-true moment that will be referenced for years to come, they’ve got to pick Yeoh.

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan in his comeback role in “Everything Everywhere.”Credit…Allyson Riggs/A24

Like supporting-actor winner Troy Kotsur (“CODA”) last year, Quan has dominated this awards season with his moving acceptance speeches and compelling personal narrative. Oscar voters love a comeback story, and Quan, who returned to acting after experiencing childhood fame in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” is finally getting the opportunities that eluded him once he came of age. It also doesn’t hurt that he delivers the linchpin line in “Everything Everywhere” when his swoony suitor tells Michelle Yeoh, “In another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.” Could anyone fail to fall in love with Quan in that moment? And could any Oscar voter deny him this win?

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