TheGamer’s Oscar Picks And Predictions

The Oscar nominations are due to be announced tomorrow, and TheGamer is getting in on the action. We’ve ramped up our film coverage steadily over the past year, but we still aren’t in the Academy, so these picks are meaningless. Sorry about that. Probably both informative and entertaining if you read on though.

In any case, we’ve compiled both a list of TheGamer’s Oscar Picks, where we choose who the nominees and winners would be in a world where we were the unquestioned leader of all things, as well as predictions, where we try to guess what the real picks might be.

TheGamer Picks, Best Picture

  • Winner – The Woman King
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Tár
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Babylon
  • RRR
  • Women Talking
  • Decision to Leave

This is something of an eclectic list, and not my personal ten favourites of the year, but instead the ten I think best represent all the thrills of modern cinema, although I would have loved to have found a place for Pearl or Nope for some horror rep. The Woman King was the most bombastically wonderful movie of 2022, so I would dearly love to see it crowned. However, I’m not so sure it will even be nominated.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Picture

  • Winner – The Fabelmans
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Tár
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Elvis
  • Triangle of Sadness
  • The Whale
  • Living

Despite only picking half of this list myself, I think this ten would also be a solid representation of modern cinema’s best offerings. I didn’t care for how mawkish, overlong, and occasionally indulgent The Fabelmans was, but I suspect the Academy will. Also worth noting at this point that, due to the staggered rollout in my native UK, The Whale is the only movie in awards contention I am yet to see, so it is exempt from TheGamer Picks.

TheGamer Picks, Best Director

  • Winner – James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Todd Field, Tár
  • Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King

Oversimplifying the role of the director, we might measure their success by their ability to bring their vision to life exactly as they intended. By that criteria, you simply have to pick James Cameron. It’s a choice made with my head, even if Daniels have my heart for EEAAO. The other three all capture very different styles, with the slow and controlled unravelling from Field, the dark and tense romance of Chan-wook, and the frenetic explosiveness of Prince-Bythewood.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Director

  • Winner – Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
  • James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Todd Field, Tár
  • Baz Luhrmann, Elvis

I think the Academy will broadly use my criteria and decide the best execution of the strongest vision is Spielberg, with Cameron again an also-ran despite Avatar proving doubters wrong once more. Chazelle’s and Rajamouli’s excess, both channeled in different ways in Babylon and RRR, will likely see them overlooked, with Luhrmann the kitchen-sink choice this year.

TheGamer Picks, Best Original Screenplay

  • Winner – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • The Woman King
  • Pearl
  • Nope

This is a shootout between Banshees and EEAAO. Creative in entirely different ways yet somehow touching on the same points of the need to make a mark on the world and the fears we never will, both movies constantly surprise you and manage to touch you deeply. Pearl and Nope will likely be shut out completely despite their brilliance, while I just can’t turn away from The Woman King.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Original Screenplay

  • Winner – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Triangle of Sadness
  • The Fabelmans
  • Tár

Like I said, a shootout. Banshees might just steal it. Meanwhile I think The Fabelmans appears yet again, despite its hokey sentimentality, and my outsider guess is that Triangle of Sadness gets some much needed recognition. Tár’s pacing and ending had me considering it, and I think the Academy will land in its favour.

TheGamer Picks, Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Winner – Bones & All
  • Women Talking
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • White Noise

Bones & All is difficult to define, which makes sense for a horror romance about cannibalism. In some ways it seems like the perfect Oscar movie, in others like the furthest removed idea of what the Academy wants. I’m backing it, but not with much expectation.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Winner – Women Talking
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • The Whale
  • Living

Women Talking was very close to being my pick, and I think it will have a clearer run with Bones likely to be ignored. Foreign movies seem to struggle with the Academy, so that harms AQOTWF, while Glass Onion is a little too gleefully crowd-pleasing and Living too sentimental to go all the way. The Whale may be Women Talking’s big rival.

TheGamer Picks, Best Animated Feature

  • Winner – Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Pinocchio
  • Turning Red
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • Entergalactic

We had some great animation this year, but when I first drew up my picks this was the easiest sell. The late release of Puss in Boots gave me something to think about, but Marcel is so endearing and hopeful that it remains my choice.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Animated Feature

  • Winner – Pinocchio
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Turning Red
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • Wendell & Wild

As great as it is, the fact a significant chunk of Marcel is live-action will count against it. This is Pinocchio’s win, take it to the bank. This is the lock of the show in my opinion, and I’m extremely confident in my first four predictions. Wendell & Wild replaces Entergalactic from the TG Picks, but the fifth slot is up for grabs.

TheGamer Picks, Best Cinematography

  • Winner – Babylon
  • Decision to Leave
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Blonde
  • Tár

Babylon is a recklessly gorgeous movie. I saw it with two people who hated it while I was transfixed. From the long shots in a single take to the immaculate precision to the unbridled chaos to the frenetic montages, Babylon is a movie about the movies, but also about all movies. It’s long and it’s messy but my god is it beautiful. It’s the complete opposite of Decision to Leave’s controlled artistry, which was for a long time my winner here, but that’s the magic of the movies for you.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Cinematography

  • Winner – The Fabelmans
  • Blonde
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Elvis

The Fabelmans will win again. It will win most of the things, I just know it will. As I wrote about at the time, I particularly hated Blonde this year, but its cinematography is stunning. Meanwhile I think Avatar, Top Gun, and Elvis will feature here too in a devastating attack of the concept of subtlety.

TheGamer Picks, Best Original Song

  • Winner – Rihanna, Lift Me Up, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Lady Gaga, Hold My Hand, Top Gun: Maverick
  • Rahul Sipligunj and Kala Bhairava, Naatu Naatu, RRR
  • Taylor Swift, Carolina, Where the Crawdads Sing
  • Kid Cudi, Maybe So, Entergalactic

The top three picks here are locks in my opinion, while I expect Taylor Swift to make the cut too. I’m sure regular readers would have expected me to pick Swift as a formality, but I have to be fair and Carolina is not Champagne Problems. I opted for Lift Me Up over the more musically impressive Naatu Naatu and the catchier, punchier Hold My Hand because I feel it suits the moment it is used in the film best, but I wouldn’t begrudge any of them.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Original Song

  • Winner – Rahul Sipligunj and Kala Bhairava, Naatu Naatu, RRR
  • Rihanna, Lift Me Up, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Lady Gaga, Hold My Hand, Top Gun: Maverick
  • Taylor Swift, Carolina, Where the Crawdads Sing
  • Gregory Mann, Ciao Papa, Pinocchio

Maybe So out for Ciao Papa (which is ahead of Carolina in the pecking order) is the only change, but I also expect Naatu Naatu to edge ahead of Lift Me Up. This is just an excellent category this year and there are at least ten more great songs that would be worthy nominees too.

TheGamer Picks, Best Supporting Actor

  • Winner – Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere
  • Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Mark Rylance, Bones & All
  • Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time
  • Bryan Tyree Henry, Causeway

The top three names here are my three favourite performances of the year, and I can’t see anyone beating Ke Huy Quan. The incredibly humble actor has had a long road back, and it’s impossible not to root for him to follow up Troy Kotsur’s win last year to make this the most romantic category two years in a row.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Supporting Actor

  • Winner – Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere
  • Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Mark Rylance, Bones & All
  • Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time
  • Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

I’m iffy on Rylance, but I think my top three turns will get on the list, while my fourth pick of the quietly intense Jeremy Strong will make the cut too. Causeway hasn’t gathered the steam I hoped it would, so I think Paul Dano takes the last slot instead.

TheGamer Picks, Best Supporting Actress

  • Winner – Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness
  • Tang Wei, Decision to Leave
  • Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere
  • Lashana Lynch, The Woman King
  • Jessie Buckley, Women Talking

I have been pleasantly surprised to see Dolly de Leon get her flowers for Triangle of Sadness, completely transforming the film with her mid-point entry. Lynch meanwhile had the most moving role of the year for me, and Buckley the most subtle. A strong category, so strong I think I’m almost completely off the mark with what the real nominees will be.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Supporting Actress

  • Winner – Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
  • Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere
  • Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere
  • Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

This is the category I am most sure I have wrong, with only Hsu remaining from the TG Picks. Even then, she’s sharing the category with another EEAAO cast mate, and that could block her out. Expect Hong Chau (or with any luck, Dolly de Leon) to take the spot if she does. I’m repeating myself at this point but I found The Fabelmans to be thin – somehow both overstuffed and empty. I think the Academy will disagree.

TheGamer Picks, Best Actor

  • Winner – Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Austin Butler, Elvis
  • Paul Mescal, Aftersun
  • Adam Driver, White Noise
  • Diego Calva, Babylon

This is the easiest one to call. Farrell should (and will) win. He’s fantastically tragic in Banshees, and merges the understated notes we get from Mescal and Calva with the overstated power of Butler and Driver. Harris Dickinson was replaced at the last second by Calva, while my misgivings about exactly how Bones & All fits into the Oscars hurt Chalamet’s chances of a pick.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Actor

  • Winner – Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Austin Butler, Elvis
  • Paul Mescal, Aftersun
  • Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick
  • Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Farrell is surely the winner for arguably a career-best turn, while Butler is an obvious nominee despite momentum slowing. I trust word of mouth enough to guess Fraser lands here, and Aftersun is making more of a splash than I expected, with Mescal getting most of the praise. I don’t think Cruise’s performance warrants a nomination but the affection for both him and Top Gun (and light competition) work in his favour. Hugh Jackman, Bill Nighy, and Harris Dickinson – for The Son, Living, and Triangle of Sadness – could step in but none are banging down the door.

TheGamer Picks, Best Actress

  • Winner – Mia Goth, Pearl
  • Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere
  • Viola Davis, The Woman King
  • Cate Blanchett, Tár
  • Margot Robbie, Babylon

As much as I’d love Mia Goth to spring a Kristen-Stewart-in-Spencer-style surprise, I think her chances are almost nil, so perhaps her win in the TG Picks is compensating. However, her highly fractured performance with a stellar monologue deserves far more love.

TheGamer Predictions, Best Actress

  • Winner – Cate Blanchett, Tár
  • Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere
  • Ana de Armas, Blonde
  • Danielle Deadwyler, Till
  • Rooney Mara, Women Talking

Blanchett, Yeoh, and Deadwyler feel nailed on choices to me. Deadwyler was in the TG Picks too until a late usurping for Robbie. Despite my love for both Ana de Armas and Marilyn Monroe, her momentum through award season has surprised me, but I think it will continue. Olivia Colman is most likely to replace the precariously placed Rooney Mara to round it out.

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