Olly Dyche looks at the Best Picture nominees for this year’s Academy Awards and their prospects for winning the Oscar…
2022 saw a splattering of phenomenal movies, and the run up to the 95th Academy Awards was beyond exciting. With many unforgettable performances and fantastic scores (among many other highly acclaimed categories), 2023’s Oscar celebration is going to be one for the books. But no category was more anticipated than the Academy’s choice of nominees for Best Picture, and they certainly did not disappoint.
Presented on March 13th, this years Oscar’s featured many surprises among its nominees, yet we at Flickering Myth still have an inkling (mostly hopefulness) as to what film will be crowned best picture at the 95th Academy Awards. So with that in mind, here’s our ranking of the 2023’s Best Picture nominees based on how likely we think they are to win…
After receiving a lot of critical acclaim from its premier at the Telluride Film Festival, Women Talking immediately became a major player for many during awards seasons. Sadly, Women Talking has surprisingly garnered only two nominations, for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Frankly, it’s criminal how Sarah Polley wasn’t nominated for Best Director. Whilst Women Talking was a brilliant movie, the film’s lack of nominations suggest that Women Talking faces the biggest challenge of taking home that Best Picture award.
Avatar: The Way of Water
James Cameron’s latest blockbuster epic was sure to garner much praise at the 2023 academy awards, and much like its predecessor, Avatar: The Way of Water even claimed a Best Picture nomination. Avatar’s sequel however, received a total of five nominations less than first, with James Cameron astonishingly missing out for Best Director. There is no denying that Avatar: The Way of Water is a spectacle to say the least, yet the franchise’s second entry is far less standalone than its predecessor and Oscar voters may account for this, preventing the gigantic blockbuster from taking home the award.
The academy sure does love a biopic, with Bohemian Rhapsody being nominated for numerous awards including Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards, so it’s not very surprising to find Elvis among the Best Picture list. Every film nominated for Best Picture is undoubtedly far better than Baz Lurhmann’s eccentric tale of “The King”, yet Elvis has still managed to garner a whole heap of nominations, with Austin Butler being nominated for Best Actor, as well as the film being nominated for Best Hair and Make-up, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Sound, making Elvis’ chance of winning much higher.
Triangle of Sadness
Ahead of the Best Picture nominees’ highly anticipated reveal, no one expected Triangle of Sadness to be one of the major players. That said, Triangle of Sadness more than earns its place, but with features like Aftersun and The Whale being some of 2022’s heavy hitters for Oscar voters, it was a huge surprise that the Academy went for a satirical dark comedy, filled with some fairly grotesque scenes. This is a step in the right direction for the Academy however, but competing against other titles in this category as well as Triangle of Sadness’ three total nominations (Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay) mean it’s fairly unlikely that Triangle of Sadness will take home the award.
Tar is an exceptional and intimate character study that has “Best Picture” written all over it. Academy voters love a deep story of a struggling artist battling her own demons, and with Cate Blanchet’s jaw dropping performance and Todd Field’s inspired direction, of which both have had nominations for, it’s hard pressed to find a solid reason why Tar won’t actually win. That said 2022 was a fantastic year for movies, and whilst Tar is phenomenal in its own right, there are other movies on the list that have Oscar voters’ eyes.
All Quiet on the Western Front
The bleak, realistic and masterful war epic All Quiet on the Western Front has rightfully earned nine total nominations (second only to Everything Everywhere all at Once), including Best Picture, Best International Feature and Best Cinematography. It is possible that All Quiet on the Western Front will pull a Parasite and take home both Best International Feature and Best Picture, however whilst All Quiet is surely odds on to take Best International Feature (at least with RRR out of the running), All Quiet on the Western Front certainly isn’t among the bookies favourites to win Best Picture, the category is just too strong.
The Banshees of Inisherin
The Banshees of Inisherin is such a small yet incredibly powerful flick that has had Oscar buzz ever since its debut at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in September. Likewise, Banshees is tied with All Quiet in terms of nominations with Colin Farrell nominated for Best Lead Actor as well as both Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan gaining nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Whilst we love the nuance of Banshees, we would be utterly surprised if Banshees did take home Best Picture, even if the film more than deserves too.
Top Gun: Maverick
As the highest grossing movie of 2022 by the year end (The Way of Water has since surpassed it with its 2023 box office earnings), Maverick received praise from both critics and audiences and became one of 2022s biggest surprises. Maverick connected with its entire audience, and through its thrilling action, endearing characters and compelling writing, Top Gun: Maverick is one of the most flawless action blockbusters since Mad Max: Fury Road. It is high time that another blockbuster takes home Best Picture, with the last being The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but with our top two contenders, we don’t think this will be the year. We won’t be surprised however, if Maverick does take the cake, but we will be beyond happy.
Spielberg is a favorite director for both audiences and voters, and putting Spielberg’s flicks in Best Picture contention has now become somewhat of a prestigious pick. Yet, whilst this argument is valid, The Fabelmans may be Spielberg’s best film to date. As a loose semi-autobiography from the legendary filmmaker, The Fabelmans is both a movie about making movies as well as a compelling family drama, both of which Academy voters go head over heels for. Also, The Fabelmans took home the award for Best Drama – Motion Picture at the Golden Globes, which places among the bookies favourites to win Best Picture at the 95th Academy Awards.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Back in March 2022, a little multiverse movie released in theaters flooring both its audience and critics alike. Since its debut, Everything Everywhere All At Once immediately garnered a truck load of Oscar buzz that hasn’t slowed down. At first Everything Everywhere All At Once may seem a little too weird and over the top for the Oscars, which is more of the reason why we love it, yet this colossal multiverse flick has earned 11 total nominations, making it the film with the most nominations at this year’s Oscars. With that it has to take home the award for Best Picture right ?
Well, whilst this isn’t completely inaccurate, no other film from 2022 has had awards voters, critics and audiences blown away as much as Everything Everywhere All At Once, and we can’t see any other movie taking home the award for Best Picture this year.
How do you rate the prospects of this year’s Best Picture nominees? Let us know on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…