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Awards Season / Oscar Predictions Update: Closing Out September with the Curious Case of Michelle Williams’ Category Placement

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Time sure flies, does it not? We’ve reached the last day of September, meaning a full nine months of the year have passed. Somehow, we’re almost done with 2022. Wow. Not only are the seasons changing, but Oscar predictions are starting to become a thing for more than just the diehards like yours truly. So, now seems like a perfect time to share my latest Academy Award predictions update, as well as to discuss one of the bigger awards season stories so far. After all, awards is literally in the title of the website. Read on for more, but also make sure you check out my picks!

Today marks the start of the New York Film Festival, which will take up a good chunk of October. NYFF isn’t the biggest story, but it’s another marker of the season progressing. This is the point where I’m starting to tinker with my predictions basically weekly. I was actually planning on tinkering last night, but I held off, specifically because so much of it is still in my pretty immediate future…

The big story is, of course the announcement that Michelle Williams will be campaigned in Best Actress for her work in The Fabelmans. For over a year now, we’ve looked at this as her best chance to win an Oscar in some time, presumably in Best Supporting Actress. Well, Universal feels differently, so she’ll be a candidate in Lead now. The rest will be in the hands of the Academy.

Universal Pictures

So, there are two ways to look at this, as we mentioned yesterday on the podcast (here). On the one hand, she’s good enough to win in either category and still has a narrative. Arguably, even in Best Actress, her narrative is the best of the potential top tier candidates. Plus, there’s also the rare but recently notable case that the Academy goes their own way and nominates her still in Best Supporting Actress. LaKeith Stanfield, anyone?

On the flip side, Universal is passing up what seems like a slam dunk win in Supporting Actress. Instead, they’re setting Williams up for a dogfight in Actress. It goes against most awards season logic to opt for the harder road, even if you’re super confident in your client. Additionally, imagine if she winds up having the Academy split their vote between Lead and Supporting, leading to a shocking snub? That would be a hell of an unforced error.

Regardless of how Williams’ candidacy turns out, The Fabelmans is looking like our only true surefire nominee across the board. As I said in my review (here), it’s Steven Spielberg at the height of his powers. At the moment, it seems likely that the Academy Awards will honor it in several categories. Will Williams be another feather in its Oscar cap? You’ll just have to stay tuned…

Universal Pictures

As I mentioned two weeks ago, we more or less now know what the dance card looks like. At this point, we’re only waiting on Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and She Said (I’ve seen Till but can’t say anything until tomorrow). So, we sort of know who and what the contenders are. It’s only now a matter of how they’re going to line up, transitioning some from contender to pretender. Campaigns are starting up, so it’s getting real in a hurry.

My prior early prediction articles (found hereherehereherehereherehere, and here) are available for your perusal, and can see some more of the changes I’ve been making. Like I said early in the month, we’re now in it, friends.

Friends, as always you can see my newest crack at advance Oscar predictions (which officially now will just be considered regular old new predictions, as opposed to year in advance) right here at Awards Radar. The changes are coming, and will continue to come, more and more, as the fall festivals wrap up. So, sit tight for more…

An Oscar statue is pictured during the Oscars Foreign Language Film Award Directors Reception in advance of the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California February 26, 2016. The Oscars will be presented February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri – GF10000325443

Stay tuned for another update to these Oscar predictions as the fall festival season continues!

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Robert Hamer
1 month ago

The most interesting update to your predictions is in Best Supporting Actress.

If the final nominations end up the way you’re laying out, two different films would be responsible for two pairs of nominees competing in the same category in the same year. Which… might literally be unprecedented? I don’t know if that’s ever happened before, in any acting category, and man, it would be something else to see that happen this season.

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Written by Joey Magidson

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