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Year in Advance Oscar Predictions: The Cannes Film Festival Has Launched Some Early Awards Contenders

Last week, the 76th Cannes Film Festival came to a close. We have our winners, led by Anatomy of a Fall (detailed here), and that always marks an interesting point in the year. Prior to Cannes, it’s pretty silly to talk in anything more than purely hypotheticals about potential Academy Award nominees. After the festival, it’s still pretty silly, but there begins to be the specter of what Oscar could wind up going for. So, today’s first real update to my initial year in advance predictions comes in the aftermath of the fest coming to an end. It’s not a huge update, but it’s something…

Previewing the festival (here) last month, I had this to say about who and what could be in play for awards attention:

Cannes 2023 has a nice mix of movies playing, with several hoping to begin a long run to awards season with a quality festival bow. To that end, I’ve mentioned a few below, helping to set the stage for what the fest will have to offer. More to come on these throughout the year, as you might imagine. Still, if you want an Oscar-centric short list to peruse, this could function as one, without a doubt.

First up, there are your obvious Oscar hopefuls. First and foremost, there’s Killers of the Flower Moon from Martin Scorsese. Ever since it was first announced, there were major assumptions about how big this one could be with the Academy. As long as it’s at least good, it’s likely set for some nominations. Now, if it’s great? That’s really something and could have major implications. Aside from Scorsese, there’s Todd Haynes‘ May December, which at least seems like an acting play for Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, plus Wes Anderson‘s Asteroid City, which could be a major X factor, even if just in technical categories. Watch out for that to be a movie with some major affection, assuming it lands. Also, watch out for The Zone of Interest from Jonathan Glazer, which has prestige written all over it.

Then, we have the bigger films that could have a more targeted Academy Award campaign. There’s two of these, in the animated Pixar offering Elemental, as well as the blockbuster sequel Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The former certainly has Oscar aspirations, as all high quality Pixar releases do. So, while it’s pretty safe to assume Best Animated Feature is on the table, if it’s as good as it looks, there’s a real chance for more. As for the latter, could it be this year’s Top Gun: Maverick? That’s certainly the hope, but it could easily be a play below the line, if nothing else.

Of course, there are plenty of other titles, including Hirokazu Koreeda‘s MonsterKen Loach‘s The Old OakSteve McQueen‘s documentary Occupied City, and the period piece Firebrand, which stars Jude Law and Alicia Vikander. That’s just a small sampling of what Cannes has, beyond the biggest flicks. Surely, one or two of these will be hits as well, perhaps to a larger extent than the ones everyone is assuming will be the class of the fest.

Historically, Cannes sometimes does launch an Oscar juggernaut. No Country for Old Men springs to mind, for example. So does, as it turned out to a slightly lesser degree, the aforementioned Parasite. Just last year, the Best Picture nominees included movies from the fest like Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick, and Triangle of Sadness. However, it’s far from a sure thing. Usually it takes another festival or the precursors to really establish where we’re at, contender-wise. That’s just the name of the game.

This year, we have an almost sure-fire across the board contender in Killers of the Flower Moon. That seems like it’s going to happen, at least with nominations (though obviously time will tell). Other than that, nothing is sitting especially pretty, though May December at least has a lot of potential in Best Actress and/or Best Supporting Actress. Other titles like Anatomy of a Fall and The Zone of Interest are X factors, though the latter definitely wouldn’t shock with a strong Oscar showing. It actually feels a lot like some of the international titles that the Academy has gone for of late…

Remember, it’s still early. My last predictions article (found here) may look similar to this new one, but that’s the nature of the beast right now. I’m remaining very conservative, though still trying to tell a story with my nominees. That certainly can change, in terms of being conservative, but it won’t be for a bit, since nothing concrete, Oscar-wise, usually happens in the summer.

As always, you can see my newest crack at advance Oscar predictions here at Awards Radar. We shall see, but this list is sure to change once again when I give it another update, likely in a month or so. Until then, the usual suspects from the initial ranking still loom fairly large, give or take the aforementioned Cannes contenders…


Stay tuned for an update to these Oscar predictions as the summer continues!


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Robert Hamer
3 months ago

It’s also worth noting that No Country for Old Men went home from its Cannes debut with no awards. Not even an outside prize from FIPRESCI or CST.

2 months ago

Ray romano movie



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