The dust has settled. Some (but not all) of the hot takes have cooled. The Academy Award nominations are almost two weeks old now, so it’s high time to dig in and tinker with those predictions. Now, realistically, not much changes when you do a first post-nomination update. So much of Phase Two of the Oscar season is still to be determined. That being said, now that we’re in February, looking at the state of the race seems like a good idea.
Of course, we’ve already discussed the snubs and surprises this year, as well as a few other notable topics relating to the nominations. Now, a lot of what’s left to do is wait for the Guilds to chime in. Once they do, we’ll know better what the Academy is thinking. In the meantime, looking at where we stand isn’t without merit. The next month and change will be crucial, so this is a snapshot of a specific moment in time.
Now, about the actual state of the race. It’s a mix of seemingly slam dunk categories and real toss-ups. Categories that seem sewn up include Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan) and Best Supporting Actress (Angela Bassett), while a few of the technical categories (Avatar: The Way of Water in Best Visual Effects, for example) are clearly moving in one direction. That being said, even other fields that seem to have frontrunners don’t appear locked in. Safer bets? Sure, just look at Steven Spielberg in Best Director. But stone cold locks? They’re few and far between.
The big questions happy include the biggest category…Best Picture. Besides that, there’s close races in Best Actor (a three horse race between Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, and Brendan Fraser) and Best Actress (Cate Blanchett duking it out with Michelle Yeoh, with Andrea Riseborough perhaps throwing a monkey wrench into the works now), plus several tech fields. Picture is the big one, however, and while there’s a top three in The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, and The Fabelmans, you can’t fully count out Top Gun: Maverick. I still have The Fabelmans slightly in the lead, since the precursors to come will be essential, but it’s clear that Everything Everywhere All At Once has all of the momentum right now.
Prior predictions pieces for the Academy Awards can be found right here, showcasing my thought process throughout the season. As a reminder, brand new predictions for DGA, PGA, and SAG are here, here, and here. Give those a look, too. Without question, the Oscars will be influenced by those Guilds, so ignore them at your own peril, not that you would. As they hold their shows, we’ll find out just how much.
Folks, as always you can see my latest crack at Oscar predictions right here at Awards Radar. We’re into Phase Two now, so sit tight for the big precursors, which will clue us in to how the Academy may well end up voting…
Stay tuned for another update to these Oscar predictions soon!