Little by little, the Oscar race is starting to become just a little bit clearer. It’s still early, of course. Really, it’s way too early to say anything for sure. But it’s also hard to deny that certain films are now much more in the conversation than others.
The biggest development this month was the announcement that Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon will not be released until 2023. That takes it out of Oscar contention …. for now. (For those who may have forgotten, it was originally announced, halfway through 2013, that The Wolf of Wall Street would not be ready until sometimes in 2014. Everyone dutifully updated their Oscar predictions, striking The Wolf of Wall Street from their lists of likely best picture nominees. Then, at the last minute, Scorsese announced that the film actually would be ready for 2013. If something similar happens this year, Killers of the Flower Moon will go right back to being a huge contender because it’s Scorsese and he’s one of the best, regardless of what certain Marvel fans would have you believe.) With Scorsese apparently out, it would now appear that Steven Spielberg is going to be the only member of the old guard with a film in the Oscar race. Considering that many people believe that Spielberg’s West Side Story was snubbed last year when it only took home one Oscar (out of a total of sever nominations), The Fabelmans seems like it will be a major contender. Admittedly, my hope that David Lynch will earn an acting nomination for playing John Ford in The Fabelmans may be a longshot but it can not be denied that it would be a cool development.
As for the other contenders, Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, and Everything Everywhere All At Once all seem poised to ride a combination of critical acclaim and box office success into the Oscar race. Todd Field has finally returned with Tar. The Whale has the potential to be a comeback vehicle for the always likable Brendan Fraser. She Said, Till, and Women Talking all stand to take advantage of the current political climate. And Babylon will presumably give Hollywood a chance to celebrate itself.
The Oscar picture is still a bit cloudy but, with so many major festival on the horizon, those clouds should be parting soon.
Be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, and June!
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Top Gun: Maverick
Damien Chazelle for Babylon
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (The Daniels) for Everything Everywhere All At Once
Todd Field for Tar
Sarah Polley for Women Talking
Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans
Austin Butler in Elvis
Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
Adam Driver in White Noise
Brendan Fraser in The Whale
Harry Styles in My Policeman
Cate Blanchett in Tar
Viola Davis in The Woman King
Ana de Arms in Blonde
Danielle Deadwyler in Till
Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Supporting Actor
Tom Hanks in Elvis
Woody Harrelson in Triangle of Sadness
David Lynch in The Fabelmans
Tobey Maguire in Babylon
Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Supporting Actress
Jessie Buckley in Women Talking
Patricia Clarkson in She Said
Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Sally Field in Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies
Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans