Illustration of Colin Farrel in Banshees of Inisherin, Ke Huy Quan as Waymond, Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tar, and then Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda next with "Now Announcing Oscars" written next to them.
Design by Evelyn Mousigian.

These are the Daily Arts Film beat’s predictions for which films and actors will win at the Oscars and our justifications for what should win instead. Read to the end for our predictions of what unnecessary Oscars drama will occur this year.


People are mad at the Oscars. Year after year, they choose niche indie movies that no one has seen as Best Picture. And, year after year, people stop tuning in, opting to ignore the opinions of those darned pretentious coastal elites and instead make their own choices. But this time, those weaselly bastards in the Academy have an easy out. They have a way to get the working man to crawl back to the three-hour circle jerk known as the Oscars. This year, there exists a movie that is both really good and really popular. It’s a movie that’s outwardly unpretentious with flashy visual motifs while still having its fair share of heart-tugging hijinks. I have heard this movie described as having “Cult Classic” potential, which could technically be true, although I usually think of a cult as a few dozen, not a hundred million — but hey, who am I to judge? Anyway, that dream-scenario, situationally perfect, deus ex machina Academy-saving movie is, of course, Luhrmann’s “Elvis.”

Haha, wouldn’t that be crazy? Nah, I’m talking about “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” It leads the Oscars in a number of nominations and has the buzz of a beehive in late March. Everyone and their mother is riding the “EEAAO” train to its inevitable Oscar-winning destination. This is the year the Academy will get back in the masses’ good graces. “EEAAO” is so undeniable that even the coastal elites can’t resist its allure.

Yet, here I am about to deny it, for I am worse than the pretentious coastal elite. I am the pretentious midwestern elite! Muahaha! As good as “EEAAO” is, I am indeed a contrarian asshole that thinks other movies deserve the award just a little more. My clear choice for Best Picture would have been “Babylon” if it was nominated (as it should have been), but the Academy did what the Academy does and neglected the true Best Picture of the year. After all, “Citizen Kane,” the movie-est movie ever made,  famously lost out to “How Green was My Valley.” Does that mean I’m calling “Babylon” a modern “Citizen Kane”? No comment.

There’s one nominated film that stands out far above the rest — the crème de la crème. Sure, a “Tár” win would be more than deserving a win. A win from “The Fabelmans” would be a beautiful legacy moment for Steven Spielberg (“The BFG”) and if “Elvis” won, that would be the funniest thing maybe ever, but the real star of the 2022 nominee class is “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges”) filled “Banshees” with the perfect fusion of knee-slapping hilarity and deep-rooted sadness performed by an immaculate cast with acting chops that could make “Pink Flamingos” feel downright Shakespearean. Its deceptively simple screenplay gives way to themes deeper than the Irish Sea, touching on legacy, war, kindness and, above all, sad miniature donkeys. “Banshees” is undoubtedly McDonagh’s best, and the best (nominated) film of the year.

Even if “Banshees” doesn’t win, I wouldn’t be too upset. I know people say this every year, but this truly was an incredible year for film, and the Academy can’t really go wrong with any choice. Except for “Elvis.” That would in fact be the wrong choice.

WILL WIN: “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

SHOULD WIN: “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Daily Arts Writer Rami Mahdi can be reached at


“Everything Everywhere All At Once” looks like it’s going to sweep the major categories after cleaning up at the PGA, DGA, SAG and WGA awards, and that makes its directors the front-runners for Best Director. The Daniels (“Swiss Army Man”), consisting of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, would be an exciting choice for the award, given their youth and the promising talent on display in their first two feature films. The success of “EEAAO” is inspiring; for a film this bizarre, this creative and this confident to find a relatively wide audience is a good sign for an industry where risk-taking appears to be on the decline. The Daniels’ creativity, sense of humor and sincerity are all reasons why they would be worthy winners for their maximalist opus.

All that said, Spielberg is the nominee who should be going home with Best Director on Oscar night. The two-time winner is entering the twilight of his career, but managed to create one of his best works to date with “The Fabelmans.” The raw, personal film is a frank interrogation of the ways art can destroy our relationships, but also the ways art can help us better understand them. 

“The Fabelmans” is a work of art that, while great in its own right, also makes many of Spielberg’s previous films more meaningful by adding more thematic weight to texts that previously may have seemed like little more than light, well-made entertainment. Some say that if Spielberg wasn’t directing the film, “The Fabelmans” wouldn’t be that special, that it would be nothing more than a basic family drama. It’s a ridiculous statement given it is Spielberg’s story, but one that also explains why Spielberg should win Best Director. He is able to elevate the film from a standard family melodrama to a meaningful work of self-reflection.

WILL WIN: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

SHOULD WIN: Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”

Daily Arts Writer Mitchel Green can be reached at


Baz Luhrmann’s (“Romeo + Juliet”) “Elvis” is a bad film. It is a nearly three-hour-long ride of sensory overload, simultaneously a waking nightmare and a fever dream. It leaves the audience tired and overwhelmed, lost in a sea of over-edited filmmaking. But there is one thing that (kinda) works in “Elvis,” and that is Austin Butler (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”). Butler brings Elvis back from the dead, embodying the eccentric icon that defined music for an entire generation. He will almost certainly win the Oscar for Best Actor, continuing the trend of the Academy giving the award to a bombastic performance of a real-life figure, most recently seen with Rami Malek in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” His only real contenders are Colin Farrell for “Banshees of Inisherin” and Brendan Fraser for “The Whale.” Fraser is bogged down by a much larger backlash to his film, criticized for its harmful depiction of obesity, and Farrell’s performance was in a film with a much smaller audience, making only 10 million dollars domestically.

But Butler does not deserve the win. Yes, he gives an electric performance, but in comparison to other performers in this category, he plays an unemotional and simplistic role. Fraser’s film might be worse than “Elvis,” but he tries as hard as he can to add complexity to his simply written character. Bill Nighy (“About Time”) in “Living” adeptly balances the line between joy and the acceptance of one’s own death. Farrell plays the amazing script of “Banshees of Inisherin” like a fiddle, overlaying themes of anger, confusion and pure niceness like a master musician. But the performance that outshines the rest is Paul Mescal in “Aftersun.” Mescal plays Calum, a single dad trying to connect with his daughter, all while wading through his own mix of melancholic depression and self-loathing. His performance simultaneously keeps the audience at an arm’s length and allows them to see the inner crevasses of his soul, his internal fractured nature breaking through a facade of boyish energy. Mescal makes the script, the themes and the entire film his own, giving “Aftersun” more life than any microphone deep throat could.

WILL WIN: Austin Butler, “Elvis”

SHOULD WIN: Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”

Film Beat Editor Zach Loveall can be reached at


Cate Blanchett will win Best Actress at the 95th Annual Academy Awards. This is not a guess, it is a guarantee. Michelle Yeoh was phenomenal in “Everything Everywhere All At Once”; Cate Blanchett was otherworldly. Her performance as Lydia Tár in Todd Field’s (“Little Children”) “Tár” was one of the best performances of the last decade and will be acknowledged as such. Because Blanchett’s greatness has been revered and canonized enough to earn a reserved location in the Vatican, I will now spend the rest of my time describing the order and fashion in which Lydia Tár most likely won her EGOT. Field has already specified the details of this achievement, but I will be using my first amendment right in the same way E.L. James once did — for the purpose of fanfiction.

  1. GRAMMY: As a world-renowned conductor, it’s almost certain that the first stop of Lydia Tár’s EGOT parade would be a Grammy, most likely Best Orchestral Performance. I’ll keep things simple here and say it was for a performance of one of Mahler’s symphonies, as the film Tár attempts to finish her long journey through the work of Mahler with his Symphony No. 5.
  2. EMMY: In this alternate universe, due to the outrageous popularity of Tár’s work with the symphonies of Mahler, she is noticed by a horde of TV executives and is flooded with scripts from all over the TV world. One script in particular catches her eye, and she joins the project, playing the lead as a disillusioned mob boss grappling with his own legacy and mortality. That’s right, in my world, Lydia Tár won a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance as Tony Soprano in, “The Sopranos.” Sorry James Gandolfini.
  3. TONY: Speaking of Tony Soprano, next up, we’ve got the Tony Award. Another music-centric award, this is step three for our friend Lydia Tár. The musical genius that she is, she probably won it for Best Original Score. As far as what the score was, I’m about to take a swing. She won it for “The Book of Mormon.” Now, you’ve gotta hear me out on this one. Tár is characterized as having a bit of a wry sense of humor and positioned against the “woke mob,” so a collaboration with “South Park”’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker seems in the realm of possibility. I imagine Lydia in that Berlin apartment of hers hurriedly scribbling the lyrics to “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” while her very own spooky Mormon hell dream is silently brewing in the background. How ironic.
  4. OSCAR: Her final award is the one that I was technically supposed to be writing about this whole time, but hey, isn’t this more fun than just talking about how good Blanchett was? Anywho, she won this for writing “Man or Muppet” and winning Best Original Song. I do not care what you think, I know for a fact in my heart of hearts that this is true. And while writing about the Muppets, a vision has come to my mind as if a holy message from God: “Tár” as performed by the Muppets with Miss Piggy playing Lydia Tár. Holy hell. I need to go make some calls.

WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett,  “Tár”

SHOULD WIN: Cate Blanchett,  “Tár”


Daily Arts Writer Rami Mahdi can be reached at


Ke Huy Quan (“The Goonies”) for his performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is going to win and he deserves it. He plays not just one version of the same character, but many. He has to perform as a confident, wealthy Waymond that draws in the audience with his thoughtful monologues; as a desperate, martial arts-wielding Waymond that raises the stakes through captivating action; and as a kind but mild-mannered husband Waymond that brings every viewer to tears. He plays off of the film’s many complex themes of nihilism and absurdism in the face of overwhelming depression and anxiety, distilling them into heart-wrenching moments of simplicity. Quan takes the already amazingly written character that is Waymond and adds his own personal touch, bringing the character to life in a way that no one else could. The performance feels real because you can tell Quan is drawing from his own experiences, pulling out deep emotions and putting them on display for us all to see. He has spent his life being overlooked, not receiving the attention that this performance clearly shows he deserved. Every nominee in this category deserves attention for their performances, but Quan is the one that should be on stage to accept it.

WILL WIN: Ke Huy Quan,  “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

SHOULD WIN: Ke Huy Quan,  “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Film Beat Editor Zach Loveall can be reached at


Between the five nominees for Best Supporting Actress, there exist three possible outcomes. The first is a legacy win. This would happen if Angela Bassett (“Black Panther”) or Jamie Lee Curtis (“Halloween”) won. Both women are undeniably talented and boast lengthy, celebrated acting careers. Despite this, they have rarely been nominated for big awards, much less won them. If Bassett or Curtis took home the Oscar, the Best Supporting Actress story would be about a beloved pillar of modern Hollywood finally getting her flowers. 

What happens if neither Bassett nor Curtis wins? Kerry Condon (“Banshees of Inisherin”) and Hong Chau (“The Whale”) present a second possible outcome. Both women are talented actresses whose careers have largely flown under the radar. In the midst of an awards season that has catapulted actors like Jennifer Coolidge and Ke Huy Quan to new heights, Chau or Condon winning would feel fitting. It would become a story about devoting your life to the craft and finally getting a shot at wider recognition. 

There’s one final nominee for best supporting actress — Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”). Her performance in is energetic and emotional. She’s also young, just barely in her 30s. If Hsu took home the Oscar, the night would become a story about young Hollywood. She represents a new generation of talent that’s edging its way onto the big screen. She is not a household name like Bassett or Curtis, nor is she an underappreciated veteran like Chau or Condon. She’s a young actress whose career is just starting. A win for Hsu would be a story about an Academy finally paying attention to the film industry’s younger generation.

But enough about stories. Academy voters may let them dictate the way they cast their ballots, but it doesn’t denote genuine talent. Which of these five actresses most deserves the Oscar? There are two clear frontrunners when it comes to pure execution — Hsu and Bassett. Bassett is the stunning centerpiece of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” consistently elevating the film’s emotional resonance. Hsu is explosive and scene-stealing as well, using her roots in stage performance to lean into melodrama. In a perfect world, both of these actresses would walk away with a trophy in hand. In reality, I doubt either of them will.

Bassett has a better case than Hsu — she’s won more awards this season, and her potential as a legacy win will likely resonate more with Academy voters, who tend to skew older and more sentimental. Hsu has gone through awards season largely undecorated, which doesn’t bode well for her Oscars chances. However, Bassett also has an obvious hurdle: She’s nominated for her performance in a Marvel movie. Superhero movies don’t sit well with more established pillars of the film industry, and with the recent lackluster reception to “Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania,” it’s doubtful that Bassett’s attachment to the MCU is doing her any favors. Hsu has the opposite problem: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has been sweeping the entire awards season — and rightfully so. Unfortunately, this means that voters might feel less inclined to give Best Supporting Actress to someone attached to the film. Since it’s likely to win big awards like Best Picture, there’s a desire to “spread the love” and dole out some of the smaller awards to films less likely to win big.

Enter Condon. She’s nominated for her performance in “Banshees of Inisherin,” a critically acclaimed film that likely won’t be coming home with many prizes on Oscars night. With voters pulled in several different directions in this category, Condon has a lot of appeal. Awarding her would be an opportunity to applaud “Banshees” and an easy out for voters faced with the young-versus-old Hollywood conundrum that Bassett and Hsu present.  

The race is still a tough one and anything could happen. The good news is all of these actresses have a great story. There’s a reason to root for each of them, and all five of these women have very much earned their nominations.

WILL WIN: Kerry Condon, “Banshees of Inisherin”

SHOULD WIN: Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” or Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Daily Arts Writer Lola D’Onofrio can be reached at


Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” is a wholesome mockumentary, an impressive work of stop-motion animation and an emotional coming-of-age story all at once — that’s why it should and will win Best Animated Film. Marcel (Jenny Slate, “I Want You Back”) is captivating. Whether he’s using a piece of string as a rope or expressing his fear of vacuums, you can’t help but laugh. Slate, who also produced the film, uses her roots in comedy to create a film that almost resembles a stand-up performance. Marcel is the star of the show and lands joke after joke. But “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” is funny in a refreshing way. Marcel doesn’t crack jokes rooted in hate but instead pokes fun at himself and the world around him in a way almost every viewer can relate to. This sense of humor makes “Marcel” the perfect work of animation for all audiences.

Besides the writing and plot of “Marcel,” the unique stop-motion animation and camerawork boost this film above all other nominees. The way Marcel walks and creaks with each step only adds to his charm and personality. Director Dean Fleischer Camp (“Fraud”) films Marcel within the movie, acting as a documentarian working to spread the word of Marcel’s lost shell community. Without its stop-motion animation and mockumentary-style filmmaking, Marcel’s journey wouldn’t be as meaningful. While “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” faces some tough competition at the Oscars — including Pixar’s “Turning Red” (Domee Shi, “Bao”) and “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” (Guillermo del Tero, “The Shape of Water”) — I have hope that the film’s distinctive use of genre and animation techniques will help the charismatic Marcel come out on top.

WILL WIN: “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

SHOULD WIN: “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

Daily Arts Writer Laura Millar can be reached at


“Women Talking” is the only of the five nominees for this award with a sole female screenwriter. “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which took home the BAFTA award, features Lesley Patterson (“The Craving”) as a co-writer, but Sarah Polley’s (“Stories We Tell”) exploration of gender and language should and will bring home the Oscar. 

“Living,” a lukewarm exploration of change, death and purpose, serves as a decent adaptation but doesn’t come close to the same level of significance as “Women Talking.” It can be heartwarming, but the script is bland at times. “Top Gun: Maverick” (Joseph Kosinski, “Oblivion”) and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (Rian Johnson, “Knives Out”) both serve as respectable additions to their franchises but don’t make any noteworthy choices in the expansion of their original stories. “All Quiet on the Western Front” creates a haunting image of a world at war, but it doesn’t offer any fresh commentary.

“Women Talking” roots its relevant exploration of gender in its dialogue. There is a rhythm to the script. It ebbs and flows with grace — a trait the other nominees lack. For this reason, “Women Talking” deserves to and likely will take home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

WILL WIN: “Women Talking”

SHOULD WIN: “Women Talking” 

Daily Arts Contributor Daniel Wisely can be reached at


Every nominee in this category makes a valid case to win the award — from “The Fabelmans”’s melancholic family melodrama/memory piece to “Everything Everywhere All At Once”’s creative world-building to “Tár”’s creation of one of the decade’s most memorable characters — but there is only one screenplay that should take it home: “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Martin McDonagh’s latest film shows him at his best when it comes to juggling tones of deep despair and dark comedy and creating complex characters. The relationship — or the deterioration thereof — between Pádraic (Colin Farrell, “After Yang”) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”) is heartbreaking, and it is to the credit of McDonagh’s script (and to a lesser extent Gleeson’s performance) that the audience is able to understand and empathize with Colm despite his irrational actions and persistence in being a jerk to Pádraic.

The screenplay deals with big, heavy themes of regret, legacy, the limits of friendship and wanting more for oneself, among others, but it never gets lost in itself or feels too heavy-handed. McDonagh always knows when to drop in a cheeky, inappropriate joke to lighten the mood but never undercuts a scene’s emotion or tension. It’s one of the most remarkable screenplays of the young decade so far, and it would be a travesty if it doesn’t bring home the award.

WILL WIN: “The Banshees of Inisherin”

SHOULD WIN: “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Daily Arts Writer Mitchel Green can be reached at


With Claudio Miranda’s (“Life of Pi”) “Top Gun: Maverick” excluded from the Best Cinematography lineup, film snobs around the country are pacing in circles, desperately trying to regain a sense of certainty. All cards are in the air, and bowling balls are being juggled. The two top dogs, “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “Elvis,” took second and third place in number of total nominations, but “Tár”’s laser-focused compositions, “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”’s flamboyant effects and “Empire of Light”’s golden atmosphere make the award a tricky prediction. 

James Friend’s (“Willow”) “All Quiet on the Western Front” swept the floor with awards at BSC and BAFTA, so maybe voters will go with the ambitious, oh-my-god-cover-your-eyes-right-now World War I epic. I have a hard time seeing this win, considering “1917”’s win in 2020, another theatrical WWI film with a much fresher take. At this point, “1917”’s iconic running scene has gone down in cinematography history, and I’m struggling to put any scenes from “All Quiet on the Western Front” in the same category. But I don’t know. It was still pretty epic.

Mandy Walker’s (“Hidden Figures) “Elvis” also cleaned up with BAFTA and ASC nominations. Hopefully, Austin Butler’s blinding sexiness won’t distract voters from the fact that “Elvis” was a headache. With shots blending into each other and cameras zooming up dazzling hotels and gaudy circus games and Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump”) narrating in a terrible Dutch accent, I walked out of the theater not knowing my right from my left. Oh — that’s the point of the movie, you say? Interesting. I’m not saying it wasn’t good, I’m saying that maybe it was a little too much. Just because a movie is visual crack doesn’t mean it has to get an award.

“Tár,” on the other hand, deserves the hype. Cate Blanchett plays a superstar lesbian composer accused of sexual assault, and “Tár”’s cinematography is appropriately theatrical, claustrophobic and chaotic. It’s as finely cut as bitter onions and as hallucinatory as magic mushrooms. The ending scene was phenomenally absurd in its design. While “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” and “Empire of Light” are easy to vote for as underdogs to big, flashy productions, they lack major Academy appeal. The Oscars would have to have a major indie transformation to go for “Empire of Light,” and “Bardo” is suffering to stay afloat. “Tár” has mood. It has flair. Most importantly, I liked it. 

At the very least, don’t let “Elvis” go home with eight Oscars. 

WILL WIN: James Friend, “All Quiet on the Western Front”

SHOULD WIN: Florian Hoffmeister, “Tár”

Daily Arts Contributor Abigail Goodman can be reached at


This season of cinema boasted brilliant costume design showpieces — the red dress from “Babylon,” the royal heir’s costume in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the Dior-inspired “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” the Elvis jumpsuit from “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and the Elvis ensembles of “Elvis.” Elvis, Elvis, Elvis. From Austin Butler’s outstanding performance to the striking — and dizzying — vision of director Baz Luhrmann (“Romeo + Juliet”), “Elvis” has caused quite a stir in Hollywood. Luhrmann, who directed the fabulous “Moulin Rouge!” and “The Great Gatsby,” is known for lavish and grand-scale productions, and Luhrmann remained faithful to his distinct style when directing “Elvis.”

Credit goes to Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin (“Moulin Rouge!”) for making “Elvis” the frontrunner of this category with her precise work catching the eye of critics with historically accurate costumes that are as dazzling as any Elvis costume should be. The fabric moves with Butler intentionally as he captures the soul of a man so admired for how he moved. 

While there is no question Martin deserves praise for this achievement, it is the creativity and ingenuity of Shirley Kurata’s (“Alpha Dog”) work in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” that deserves recognition in the most prestigious form. From googly eyes to the subtle style of laundromat owners Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh, “Crazy Rich Asians”) and Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”) to the vivid collection of villain Jobu Tupaki’s (Stephanie Hsu, “Poker Face”) costumes, Kurata’s attention to the context of the film and the film’s characters shines through her impressive designs. While the costumes of “Elvis,” “Babylon,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris” are perhaps more glamorous, the costumes of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” work to assist the film in its storytelling rather than just its style.

WILL WIN: Catherine Martin, “Elvis” 

SHOULD WIN: Shirley Kurata, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” 

Daily Arts Writer Maya Ruder can be reached at


The criteria for this category have not only changed a lot over the years but have garnered a lot of controversy. In 1995, “Hoop Dreams” was famously snubbed from its rightful nomination spot, leading to debate over how the Best Documentary judges choose their nominees. This is a trend that has continued in the years since. On a much smaller scale, some critics were surprised to see that “Good Night Oppy” missed out this year.

It’s not clear which documentary will win, but they’re all compelling choices. Director Laura Poitras’s (“The Year of the Everlasting Storm”) “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” had the biggest box office run and has won three of the Big Four film critics awards, while Sara Dosa’s (“Survivors”) “Fire of Love” has been recognized for its directing and editing. Based on awards prowess alone, Daniel Roher’s (“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band”) “Navalny” will likely take home the prize, seeing as it beat the others at the BAFTAs and PGAs. Shaunak Sen’s (“Cities of Sleep”) “All That Breathes” has also picked up a fair share of recognition, and it would be cool to see more of a come-from-behind victory from Simon Lereng Wilmont’s (“The Distant Barking of Dogs”) “A House Made of Splinters,” which doesn’t seem to have as much coverage or backing by a major production company.

“All That Breathes” is the most understated of the bunch. In the words of brothers and bird rescuers Saud and Nadeem, “Life itself is kinship. We’re all a community of air.” Similarly, the children speak for themselves in “A House Made of Splinters,” which details their lives in a shelter in East Ukraine. Dosa’s labor of love, “Fire of Love,” is a portrait of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft. Even though the Kraffts aren’t alive to tell their own story, Dosa masterfully uses archival footage overlaid with poetic narration to pay tribute to the two pioneers.

“Navalny” and “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” both take a more hands-on approach in their storytelling. The audience is there for every step of the investigative process in “Navalny,” as opposition leader Alexei Navalny tries to figure out whether Vladimir Putin poisoned him. The truth needs to be uncovered and it’s not clear what it is, which makes the journey more suspenseful for everyone involved. 

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” flits between photographer Nan Goldin’s activism in the present day and her life leading up to this point. Poitras sits in on Goldin’s organizing efforts with fellow protesters, trying to hold the Sackler family accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. Split into seven chapters, Poitras also journeys into Goldin’s past, displaying how her photography, past friendships and relationships have shaped who she is today. Poitras’s standout documentary is a powerful portrayal of Goldin as the fearless leader she is.

WILL WIN: “Navalny”

SHOULD WIN: “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”

Daily Arts Writer Kristen Su can reached at


Just as teenage girls, boys, their mothers, fathers and everyone in between thirsted over the beach scene in “Top Gun: Maverick,” Academy voters drooled at the sight of “Top Gun” when it came to film editing. In addition to its Sound Design nomination, the Academy can rightfully thirst over this film —  it’s not easy to tastefully edit all of the plane whooshing sounds with Tom Cruise’s snarky one-liners. From the aerial flight sequences and motorcycle rushes to the shirtless training montages, the film was seductively (charmingly) pieced together for action enthusiasts and thirsty college girls alike. Each flight is seamlessly edited to avoid audience whiplash, which is appreciated by an easily nauseated viewer.

However, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the nominee that has my heart: “Elvis.” No, I’m just joshing around; “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” is 2022’s most extravagant, outlandishly edited film. From its ferocious everything bagel black hole to multiverse jumping, “EEAAO” screams Film Editing winner. As a first-generation Asian American girl, perhaps I’m just the film’s exact target audience. I’m well aware of my bias, but you have to admit that “EEAAO” had an unforgettable edited sausage finger fight. Unfortunately, there’s been a correlation between Sound and Editing winners in recent years, giving “Top Gun” that extra edge as the prominent Academy pick. As much as I would fight blood and bone for “EEAAO,” I have a feeling that “Top Gun” will take this Oscar.

WILL WIN: “Top Gun: Maverick” 

SHOULD WIN: “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”

Daily Arts Contributor Maurice Tobiano can be reached at


Damien Chazelle’s (“La La Land”) “Babylon” found little favor with critics and tanked at the box office, leaving the film’s score as seemingly the only aspect of “Babylon” that was celebrated and recognized. Bombastic, cavernous, roaring and epic jazz compositions by the incredible Justin Hurwitz (“La La Land”) overshadow the fellow nominees: Volker Bertelmann for “All Quiet on the Western Front,” Son Lux for “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Carter Burwell for “The Banshees of Inisherin” and John Williams for “The Fabelmans.”

Hurwitz already won best original score for “Babylon” at the 2023 Golden Globes, on a stage where he has previously won the same award for “La La Land” and “First Man.” Hurwitz and Chazelle have proven themselves time and time again as a collaborative duo to watch, and “Babylon” may be their best work yet.

Burwell’s haunting and fairytale-like score emphasized all the subtleties of “The Banshees of Insherin,” and Son Lux wrote perhaps the year’s most effective score in assisting the events and emotions of awards-favorite “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” While Williams is one of the greatest film composers of all time, “The Fabelmans” has consistently been the underdog this awards season and its understated and gentle score struggles to make a strong impression next to the sound of “Babylon.” You can’t win them all. This was a standout year for cinema and film scores, which makes judging this category a difficult task. If Hurwitz had not created such an undeniable masterpiece, I might have said this could go any way. However, Bertelmann did beat Hurwitz at the 2023 BAFTA’s with a thundering score highlighted by sequences of orchestral strings missing from the score of “Babylon,” posing the only noticeable threat to Hurwitz’s expected victory. The suspense is not yet lost.

WILL WIN: Justin Hurwitz, “Babylon” 

SHOULD WIN: Justin Hurwitz, “Babylon” 

Daily Arts Writer Maya Ruder can be reached at


Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” is otherworldly. I have never been so overstimulated by a movie. In the pitch-black theater, there was a loud assortment of bright colors flashing on the screen that showcased the amazing production design. It’s how I imagine “Cocomelon” feels for babies. 

“Babylon” was already nominated for five Golden Globes and has Oscar nominations for Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. The plot was brilliantly told and the actors were excellent, but if “Babylon” only won one award, it should be for production design.

Florencia Martin (“Licorice Pizza”) and Anthony Carlino (“Iron Man”) did an outstanding job displaying the behind-the-scenes of early Hollywood in the 1920s. The booming, extravagant parties were entrancing, their art direction displaying a burlesque-like mood that was thoroughly entertaining. Everything from the upbeat music to strategic camerawork and set design made the film feel unique and entrancing. Even though the movie is over three hours long, there was never a dull moment. I mean, they brought an elephant to one of the parties. All the scenes displayed a nostalgic Hollywood glamour that made the art direction clear. There is a chance that “Elvis” will take this award, which does make sense. “Elvis” also holds many other nominations and the production was captivating. It had a clear direction and told Elvis’s story well. But based on “Babylon”’s undeniably perfect execution and alluring charm, it will and should win the award for Best Production Design. 

WILL WIN: “Babylon”

SHOULD WIN: “Babylon”

Daily Arts Writer Zara Manna can be reached at


It’s “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

WILL WIN: “Avatar: The Way of Water”

SHOULD WIN: “Avatar: The Way of Water”

Daily Arts Writer Rami Mahdi can be reached at


“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” is definitely the favorite to win, considering that it was made by some of the biggest names in the industry in. J.J. Abrams (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and Woody Harrelson (“Lost in London”) are two of the several co-producers, Idris Elba (“Three Thousand Years of Longing”) is the Fox and the script is based on a best-selling children’s book of the same name that originally started out as a social media comic. It should have stayed that way; the animation style is the film’s only redeeming quality, but it makes for a nice, rather plain children’s fable. 

“My Year of Dicks” and “An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It” are the coolest of the bunch. They’re also exactly as the titles — which merit the creation of a Best Title category — imply. “My Year of Dicks” takes the audience on 15-year-old Pam’s five different attempts — in five wildly different animation styles — to lose her virginity. At times self-deprecating and narrated like a diary entry, director Sara Gunnarsdóttir (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”) and writer Pamela Ribon (“Ralph Breaks the Internet”) compare Pam’s love interests to mythical creatures and stylish figures of pop culture (my favorite is the vampire arc). Perhaps their biggest achievement is managing to make the “sex talk” comedic, at least for the audience. Equally engaging is “An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It,” the brainchild of film student Lachlan Pendragon (“Beethoven: live at Roma Street Parkland”). It’s a claymation short that’s meta to the point of being nonsensical, which makes it all the more interesting to watch. 

“The Flying Sailor” isn’t my cup of tea. Based on the Halifax Explosion of 1917, the short is a seven-minute dive into what went on in the mind of a sailor who got blasted into the sky. It felt like an ad for the background orchestral music that had erroneously placed a naked man in the middle of the screen. 

I said it once and I’ll say it again: “Ice Merchants” is winning. That’s right, you heard it here first. I refuse to accept any other possibility. Several major production companies have consistently picked up nominations for the Best Animated Short category (by that, I mean Disney), but it doesn’t seem to me that there’s a clear pattern to who wins. So, I’m going with the short that made me cry about yellow hats. “Ice Merchants” is also the first Oscar-nominated Portuguese production, and who doesn’t want to make history? Let’s hope the Academy makes the right decision.

WILL WIN: “Ice Merchants”

SHOULD WIN: “Ice Merchants”

Daily Arts Writer Kristen Su can reached at


I do not care about the Oscars. The only film beat event I missed last year was the Oscars watch party (I had a concert to go to). But I still heard about the unexpected and uncalled-for drama that took place, entirely unrelated to movies. I was a little disappointed I wasn’t in the room with my fellow writers when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage. I don’t care about the Oscars because I can watch the movies and put them in my own mental hierarchy without bothering to find out what a panel of judges thinks. But I can’t find the Oscars’ inevitable drama at the movie theater. Isn’t that what we watch them for? Well, I don’t watch them — I will this year because FOMO won’t allow me to miss the party two years in a row — but for those who do, you like the competition, right? The uncertainty. The anger at films not getting what they deserved and your favorites being recognized, validated and praised. From my completely unauthoritative understanding of it, the nominated films and actors are characters in the Oscars’ soap opera. People watch the awards for drama, for an over-the-top, emotional story that is retrospectively a little pointless and embarrassing. I was going to predict which documentary would win this year, but does it matter? Watch the docs yourself. See if they’re any good. Let’s predict the interpersonal drama instead.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: I don’t know. “The Banshees of Inisherin” will probably not win Best Picture. Colin Farrell will accuse the Oscars of never choosing foreign films to win the award. Martin McDonagh will confirm that “Banshees” is not actually Irish. Farrell will respond to that with “I’m Irish,” to which no one will know what to say. The whole thing is likely a joke, but that won’t stop every lowbrow entertainment publication from publishing pieces on what it really means for a film to be Irish, whether “Banshees” is too Irish or in fact not Irish enough and whether its particular balance of Irishness is what makes it sad. One journalist will raise the further question of whether any Oscars judges actually disliked this film or if they simply “couldn’t handle its expansive capacity for depression.”

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Cate Blanchett shows up appearing her typical self (granted I have no idea what that means, I have only seen her on-screen). When she walks onto the stage to receive her Best Actress award for “Tár,” she will trip going up the stairs and smack her face on the top step, just as it happened in that one scene in Tár. Her bloody face will leave the audience uneasy, especially those aware of the theory that nothing in the film after that scene is real. Rather than accept the award, Blanchett smooths her suit jacket and starts pointing at any redheaded woman in the audience, accusing them of emotional abuse and metronome theft. She only stops when she sees the award and does not understand why it is for Best Actress. It seems to upset her, as she repeats, “Do they not think I’m real? Do they think I’ve disappeared into that virtual world?” When asked what award she thought she was up for, she replies that “the only award I will accept is Best Original Score,” adding after a pause, “or Best Documentary.”

Senior Arts Editor Erin Evans can be reached at