95th Oscar Predictions: Everything Everywhere All at Once Will Win Everything (Everywhere All at Once)

And the Academy Award goes to…

It’s that time of year again–the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars, which are given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS was originally formed in 1927 by legendary MGM studio mogul Louis B. Mayer to stop labor unions from forming in the movie industry, but nowadays they are essentially a trade organization responsible for promoting Hollywood to the rest of the world. The awards themselves were first given in 1929, with Best Picture (then Outstanding Picture) given to the silent romantic war film Wings. The next year, the Oscars were broadcast on radio, and since then they have become a major televised spectacle, although recently ratings have declined. While award shows like the Oscars may seem trivial, nominees and winners can enjoy boosts in their salary and raise their standing in the industry. For that reason, major studios spare no expense in promoting their films to Oscar voters. Plus, who doesn’t want to know what the Best Picture of each year is!

In order to predict Oscar winners, I will look at who won the other major movie award shows, since a consensus among these awards will usually imply Oscar success. They tend to nominate the same group of nominees, with a few variations based on the voting body, but a clear consensus appears by the time Oscar nominations come out. The award shows I will be looking at include the Golden Globe Awards, voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press, the Critics’ Choice Awards, voted on by critics (hence the name), the Independent Spirit Awards, voted on by members of Film Independent, the British Academy Awards, voted on by members of the British film industry and includes Americans, and the guild awards (Producers’ Guild, Director’s Guild, Screen Actors’ Guild, and Writers’ Guild) voted on by the people who work in each field. Of these, the guild awards are usually the most helpful because their membership is similar to the Oscar category, but more important is the consensus all the awards establish. If one show deviates, then it is usually an outlier rather than a trend.

And the nominees are…

For Best Picture

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Elvis
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • The Fabelmans
  • TÁR
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Triangle of Sadness
  • Women Talking

This year, the Oscars are faced with an uneasy split between blockbuster entertainment (Avatar, Top Gun) and critically-acclaimed fare (TÁR, Women Talking), reflecting the anxieties of the Academy over whether to reward “serious” films or the movies that keep the lights on. That said, this year features a movie that bridges the divide between critical and commercial. Everything Everywhere All at Once swept the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, and Producers’ Guild Awards for Best Picture, indicating support across the industry. In recent years, the Oscars have shifted away from major studio-made ‘Oscar bait’ like biopics or epics and now favor more experimental and personal fare, like Parasite or Nomadland. Everything Everywhere All at Once fits the bill for the new Best Picture winner, and is projected to win the award.

For Best Director

  • Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
  • Todd Field, TÁR
  • Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Since the beginning of the Oscars, this category has rewarded the winner of the Best Picture category 76% of the time. But the Academy did not do that last year when Jane Campion (Power of the Dog) defeated Sian Heder (Best Picture-winner Coda.) This year will be a return to form, with Everything Everywhere All at Once directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (dubbed the Daniels) most likely to take home this award. The duo have taken the Critics’ Choice, Independent Spirit and Directors’ Guild Awards. If the Daniels take home this award, they will win Best Picture, and vice versa.

For Best Actor

  • Austin Butler, Elvis
  • Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Brendan Fraser, The Whale
  • Paul Mescal, Aftersun
  • Bill Nighy, Living

Recently, the Oscars have ignored Best Picture leading men and used this category to reward showy transformations, especially in biopics. Seven of the last ten winners aimed to personify a historical figure, from Daniel Day-Lewis’ method acting to become Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, to Gary Oldman wearing prosthetics to make him look heavier to play Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. This year, that trend could continue with Austin Butler, who adopted Elvis Presley’s Tennessee accent to play the King in Elvis. However, he is competing with Brendan Fraser, who earned critical acclaim for his return to acting in the otherwise-reviled and Best Picture-snubbed The Whale, who also put on prosthetics to play the 600-lb lead, lead’s name. Butler won the Golden Globe and BAFTA, while Fraser took the Critics’ Choice and SAG awards. For the Oscar, I predict that voters will go for the comeback with Brendan Fraser. 

For Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett, TÁR
  • Ana de Armas, Blonde
  • Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
  • Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
  • Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

This contest between Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett is a real barnburner between two critically-acclaimed performances from actresses at the top of their game. Yeoh is riding a career resurgence since her appearance in Star Trek: Discovery, and earned her first Oscar nomination ever as Evelyn Wang. Blanchett is looking for her third win after trophies for 2003’s The Aviator and 2014’s Blue Jasmine, from eight nominations. Both women took home Golden Globes in their respective genre categories: comedy for Yeoh and drama for Blanchett. Yeoh took the SAG and Independent Spirit, while Blanchett won the Critics’ Choice and BAFTA. I predict that Oscar voters will continue the Best Picture love for Everything Everywhere All at Once and give the award to Michelle Yeoh.

For 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

This one is an easy prediction. Ke Huy Quan, who previously featured in such films as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies, revived his acting career—literally, his first film since 2002—and earned the best reviews of his career starring as amiable husband to protagonist Evelyn Wang, Waymond Wang. Quan took the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, SAG, and Independent Spirit Awards for his performance. 

For 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

Best Supporting Actress will almost certainly go to a veteran film legend who has somehow not won an Oscar yet. The question is whether this will be Angela Bassett, for her performance as Queen Ramonda, or Jamie Lee Curtis, as Deirdre Beaubeirdre. Bassett won the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe, while Curtis won the SAG Award, but the latter has a better track record for predicting Oscar winners. The Everything Everywhere All at Once juggernaut is not going to be stopped here. 

For Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell, All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, Living
  • Screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks, Top Gun: Maverick
  • Sarah Polley, Women Talking

This category is for movies that were based on pre-existing material, which can include a book (All Quiet, Women Talking) or sequels/reboots to another movie (Glass Onion, Living, Maverick) This year, most of the Best Picture heavy-hitters are in the Best Original Screenplay, leaving the category wide-open for an unexpected winner. Of the major award shows, the Independent Spirit and Golden Globes combine adapted and original screenplays, and an original script won both shows (Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Banshees of Inisherin.) Of the three shows remaining, Critics’ Choice, Writer’s Guild, and BAFTA, Women Talking won the first two and All Quiet on the Western Front took home the latter. Thus, I think Sarah Polley is taking this one home, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the adaptation of Erich Remarque’s classic novel wins.

For Best Original Screenplay

  • Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, The Fabelmans
  • Todd Field, TÁR
  • Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Unlike Best Adapted Screenplay, this category awards completely new writing. All five of these films are nominees for Best Picture, and of the last ten Best Picture winners, eight have gone to the winner of their respective screenplay category. By that logic, Everything Everywhere All at Once is the obvious frontrunner. In addition, the script won the Critics’ Choice, Writer’s Guild, and Independent Spirit Awards, with no other movie that dominated the awards to that extent. When the Daniels receives their award as one of the first to be handed out, it will be a sign that the movie will dominate the rest of the night.