Skip to main content

Oscar predictions 2023: who will take home the major awards?

Oscar season is about to reach its end. The 2023 Oscars will live stream and air tonight on Sunday, March 12, 2023, live from the Dolby Theater in Ovation Holiday. Jimmy Kimmel will preside over the ceremonies serving as emcee. He previously hosted in 2017 and 2018.

This year’s Oscars has the potential to make history with possible firsts and records that could be broken. Should Avatar: The Way of Water win Best Picture, for example, it would break the record for the highest-grossing film ever to win in that category, usurping Titanic. Cate Blanchett could join a group of elite actresses who have won three or more Academy Awards for acting if she wins for Tar while Michelle Yeoh could become the first Southeast Asian to win for Best Lead Actress and the first ever Malaysian to win an Oscar for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Brendan Fraser could put Canada on the Oscars map as the first Canadian to win Best Actor for The Whale. Adrien Brody holds the record as the youngest Best Actor winner, taking home the award in 2003 for The Piano at the age of 29. At 27, Paul Mescal could break that record should he win for Aftersun while Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans could break Christopher Plummer’s record for the oldest actor in the Best Supporting Actor category, at 87 years of age (Plummer was 82 when he won for Beginners).

Some of the top nominated movies this year include Everything Everywhere All at Once with 11 nominations as well as The Banshees of Inisherin and All Quiet on the Western Front with nine each.

Who will those big winners be? We have put together some predictions in the most talked about categories.

Best Picture

The cast of Everything Everywhere All At Once sits at a desk in an office building.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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

Prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once appears to be the favorite to win in numerous categories and will take home the big award for the night. The absurdist comedy-drama centers around a Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who is being audited by the IRS. In a weird twist of events, however, she connects with a parallel universe and other versions of herself within it. It seems there’s a powerful being attacking the multiverse and it’s up to her to destroy it.

The movie spans multiple genres and has been praised for everything from its visual effects to costume design, action sequences, and its approach to topical themes about neurodivergence, depression, and generational differences. It would be a surprise if Everything Everywhere All at Once doesn’t win.

Best Lead Actor

Brendan Fraser looks to his side in The Whale.

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

Prediction: It might be wishful thinking, but there’s a great chance that Brendan Fraser will win for his role in The Whale. The Canadian actor has been on a high since the positive reception for his portrayal of a reclusive English teacher trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter.

While the psychological drama itself has not been without criticism, Fraser’s role has been largely praised. This would mark the first Academy Award win (and is the first nomination) for the long-time beloved actor. Should he win, Fraser would become the first Canadian to win in this category.

Best Lead Actress

Michelle Yeoh performs kung fu in a scene from Everything Everywhere All At Once.
A24 / A24

Cate Blanchett (Tar)
Ana de Armas (Blonde)
Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie)
Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans)
Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Prediction: It would be shocking if Michelle Yeoh did not win for Everything Everywhere All at Once. Not only did she play her main role of Evelyn Quan Wang beautifully in the absurdist comedy-drama, but she also played several variations of herself from the multiverse.

Reminiscent of Orphan Black and the calls for Tatiana Maslany to win an Emmy for her multiple clone roles in that series, Yeoh tackled the multiple nuanced performances with ease. A win for her would be historical, making Yeoh the first Southeast Asian woman to win this award and the first Malaysian to ever win an Oscar.

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan stands in an alley in Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Allyson Riggs / A24

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)

Prediction: The masses believe that Ke Huy Quan will win in this category, and they’re right. Quan is both a sentimental and deserving favorite, and he’s won almost every precursor award for his work.

Best Supporting Actress

Hong Chau sits and stares in a scene from The Whale.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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)

Prediction: Jamie Lee Curtis is the expected winner here, but Hong Chau has been having a banner year with memorable roles in the movie The Menu, her guest role in an episode of the Peacock series Poker Face, and her role in The Whale, for which she received this nomination.

So her win could represent one of the bigger upsets of the night. In the movie about a morbidly obese and reclusive English teacher, she plays Liz, the man’s nurse and only friend. Chau also recently appeared in the series The Watchmen and Homecoming. With her star on the rise, whether she wins or not, the actor is clearly destined for big things going forward.

Best Director

The Daniels smiling behind the scenes on the set of the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Allyson Riggs / A24

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

Prediction: Once again, we’re going to give this one to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which will likely be the big winner of the night. The writing and directing pair, also referred to as the Daniels, have put themselves on the map with this movie, and a win would solidify their positions in Hollywood.

The pair interestingly first emerged on the scene by directing music videos, including the twisted twerking DJ Snake & Lil Jon music video for the song “Turn Down for What.” Their only other major movie credit to date is for the 2016 film Swiss Army Man, which would make a win even more impressive for the duo.

Best Original Song

Applause (From “Tell It Like A Woman”) Official Music Video

“Applause” (Tell It Like a Woman) – Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“Hold My Hand” (Top Gun: Maverick) – Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop
“Lift Me Up” (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) – Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Göransson; Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler
“Naatu Naatu” (RRR) – Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose
“This Is a Life” (Everything Everywhere All at Once) – Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne, and Mitski; Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne

Prediction: Diane Warren has been a fixture in the music and entertainment business for decades, and she may take home the statue for her song “Applause” from the movie Tell It Like a Woman, for which she wrote both the music and lyrics. Warren has been nominated numerous times since 1987 but has only ever received an Academy Honorary Award in 2022. This could finally be the long-time songwriter’s year. The American-Italian anthology movie features seven short stories, all directed by women and about women. The song’s lyrics are uplifting, encouraging, and a love letter to every woman who has ever felt like she wasn’t enough.

Best Animated Feature Film

The wooden toy Pinocchio, a creature behind him in a scene from Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
The Sea Beast
Turning Red

Prediction: Guillermo del Toro is a mainstay at the Academy Awards, having received seven nominations to date and two wins in 2018 for Best Picture and Best Director for The Shape of Water. It’s predicted he will make it a hat trick and take home his third win for this animated movie. Del Toro’s adaptation of Pinocchio is delivered in stop motion animation style as a musical dark fantasy.

Loosely based on the Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, written by Carlo Collodi in 1883, del Toro reimagines the life and story of the wooden puppet who comes to life. With del Toro expressing how the movie has been a long-time passion project for him and the character one he feels he has a deep, personal connection to, his dedication to the story and his craft shines through in the film.

Find out more about what time the 2023 Oscars are on and what channel the 2023 Oscars will air.

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
5 great performances that were snubbed by the Oscars, ranked
Two women sit on an airplane in Bridesmaids.

Part of the pleasure of the Academy Awards is pointing out all the times they got it wrong over the years. Crash winning Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain in 2006, Judy Holliday winning over Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson in 1951 ... these are the moments that incite great debate and endless chatter.

But what about the performances and films that weren't even nominated? Oscar has shunned some pretty memorable performances over the years, and we've highlighted five particularly egregious examples of snubbing that can't go unnoticed.

Read more
9 strange facts about the Oscars you didn’t know
A man looks away in Oppenheimer.

The Academy Awards ceremony has been held since 1929, with the ceremony broadcast via radio for the first time in 1930. In 1953, the event was first televised and has been ever since. As the oldest of the major annual entertainment awards in America, the Academy Awards are a huge production. It's not just about the honor of being nominated -- earning an Academy Award can be career-changing.

You might think you know everything there is to know about the Oscars, but as you gear up for the 2024 Academy Awards, here are lesser-known interesting facts about its origins, past, and how things run behind the scenes that you'll find fascinating.

Read more
All the 2024 Best Picture Oscar nominees, ranked
Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ken singing in a car in Barbie.

Early this morning (like, perversely early, as is tradition), Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid presented a bleary-eyed America with the nominations for the 96th Annual Academy Awards. There were few big surprises among the 10 films selected to compete for Best Picture — it was an expected lineup that had solidified into gospel over the past few weeks. By nominations day, we usually have a pretty good idea of what movies we’re going to hear named. 

Maybe that inevitability would be more disheartening if this weren’t a fairly solid crop of contenders. There are no true follies competing for Best Picture this year. And at the top, there are two near-masterpieces — including the best movie of the year, which happens to be the frontrunner, too. The lineup also covers a spectrum of budgets and definitions of success, with the year’s biggest sensations going toe-to-toe with smaller international fare (including an unprecedented three films entirely or mostly in a language other than English). 

Read more