2023 Oscars predictions from EW’s new Awardist columnist: The Fabelmans takes an early lead

With the race starting to crystallize, awards expert Dave Karger gives us his 2023 Oscars predictions in the top categories.

The Awardist is thrilled to welcome award-winning host, interviewer, and commentator Dave Karger as Entertainment Weekly's new Awards Correspondent. Known in the FYC industry for his expert Oscars predictions, Karger (who spent 17 years on staff at EW, writing over 50 cover stories) has made more than 200 live appearances on NBC's Today to talk movies and awards, and has co-hosted ABC's Live From the Red Carpet on Oscar night. Check out his inaugural predictions column for the 2023 Oscars season, and watch this space for his regularly updated rankings within the major categories.

With the fall film festivals — Venice, Telluride, Toronto, and New York — largely behind us, the Oscars race is really starting to take shape. A handful of entries, like Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans, Todd Field's TÁR, and Sarah Polley's Women Talking, seem best poised to challenge summer and spring hits like Top Gun: Maverick and Everything Everywhere All At Once for Best Picture, while Oscar rookies like Brendan FraserColin Farrell, and Janelle Monae seem like good bets to score acting nominations alongside such former winners as Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, and Eddie Redmayne. Read on for my ranked lists of the top 12 contenders in each of the top six categories.

Paul Dano and Michelle Williams in 'The Fabelmans' | CREDIT: UNIVERSAL

Best Picture

Could we see four sequels in this year's main race? Given that there will be a mandated 10 nominees for Best Picture, it could happen. Of course, the Avatar and Black Panther sequels (not to mention Damian Chazelle's Babylon and Antoine Fuqua's Will Smith vehicle Emancipation) have yet to screen, so this list could fluctuate in the coming weeks. But The Fabelmans is the movie to beat after taking home the coveted People's Choice Award in Toronto.

  1. The Fabelmans
  2. TÁR
  3. The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  5. Women Talking
  6. Empire of Light
  7. Babylon
  8. Avatar: The Way of Water
  9. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  10. Top Gun: Maverick
  11. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  12. Elvis
'The Fabelmans' director Steven Spielberg. | CREDIT: STEVE GRANITZ/FILMMAGIC

Best Director

It's been 24 years since Steven Spielberg found himself accepting an award on the Oscar stage. Thanks to his most personal film yet, his semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans, he's now the favorite to win his third Best Director prize.

  1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
  2. Todd Field, TÁR
  3. Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  4. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
  5. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light
  6. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water
  7. Sarah Polley, Women Talking
  8. Damien Chazelle, Babylon
  9. Daniel Scheinert & Dan Kwan, Everything Everywhere All At Once
  10. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis
  11. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  12. Jordan Peele, Nope
Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in the film THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN. Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Best Actor

Clearly, Brendan Fraser is the early emotional frontrunner after the rhapsodic festival response to his performance in The Whale. But Colin Farrell, who won the Venice Best Actor prize over Fraser, will remain a top contender throughout the season.

  1. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale
  3. Hugh Jackman, The Son
  4. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection
  5. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans
  6. Austin Butler, Elvis
  7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick
  8. Adam Sandler, Hustle
  9. Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye
  10. Daniel Craig, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  11. Adam Driver, White Noise
  12. Tom Hanks, A Man Called Otto
Viola Davis stars in THE WOMAN KING. CR: Ilze Kitshoff/TriStar Pictures

Best Actress

This year's most crowded category features several past winners (Cate Blanchett, Olivia Colman, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, and Jennifer Lawrence) fighting for precious slots against potential first-time nominees like Michelle Yeoh and Danielle Deadwyler. Certainly several worthy performances won't make the cut.

  1. Cate Blanchett, TÁR
  2. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light
  3. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
  4. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once
  5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till
  6. Viola Davis, The Woman King
  7. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway
  8. Ana de Armas, Blonde
  9. Mia Goth, Pearl
  10. Carey Mulligan, She Said
  11. Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
  12. Emma Corrin, Lady Chatterley's Lover
Ke Huy Quan in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' | CREDIT: A24

Best Supporting Actor

As is often the case, this category is perhaps the most wide open, with substantial supporting roles competing with memorable cameos (hello, The Fablemans' Judd Hirsch!). Anything could happen with this group of contenders.

  1. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once
  3. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
  4. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse
  5. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time
  6. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking
  7. Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time
  8. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
  9. Mark Rylance, Bones and All
  10. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans
  11. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness
  12. Micheal Ward, Empire of Light
The cast of 'Women Talking,' including Jessie Buckley (left center), Claire Foy (top center), and Rooney Mara (right center) | CREDIT: MICHAEL GIBSON/UNITED ARTISTS RELEASING

Best Supporting Actress

With Michelle Williams opting for a leading-actress campaign for The Fabelmans, this race has become a proper free-for-all. Expect at least one slot to go to Jessie Buckley or Claire Foy of Women Talking, and one to go to Banshees of Inisherin breakout Kerry Condon.

  1. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking
  3. Claire Foy, Women Talking
  4. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  5. Nina Hoss, TÁR
  6. Laura Dern, The Son
  7. Gabrielle Union, The Inspection
  8. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once
  9. Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King
  10. Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time
  11. Sadie Sink, The Whale
  12. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All At Once 

By Dave Karger

SOURCE https://ew.com/awards/2023-early-oscar-predictions-new-awardist-columnist/
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