Oscars 2023 | Predictions: 'Avatar' or 'RRR', who will get an Academy Award Best Picture nomination?

Oscars 2023 | Predictions: 'Avatar' or 'RRR', who will get an Academy Award Best Picture nomination?

Updated: 10 days, 5 hours, 59 minutes, 51 seconds ago

Oscars 2023 predictions for Best Picture nomination.


The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be revealed on Tuesday, January 24 at 5.30 am Pacific Time (7 pm IST). Oscar-winner (and potential nominee for Pakistan’s entry Joyland, its executive producer) Riz Ahmed will join M3GAN star Allison Williams to announce the nominees. Voting closed last Tuesday for the nearly 10,000-strong membership of the Academy, up from 6,000 only a decade ago. The Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards were the last two big events that could influence votes, even though both of those voting bodies have zero overlap with the Academy.

The Academy used to have a limit of five nominees for Best Picture (like all its other awards) until that changed in 2010 after Christopher Nolan’s epic superhero sequel The Dark Knight shockingly did not get nominated in 2009; resulting in the current rule of “between five and ten nominees”. This year, 301 motion pictures from across the world will vie to be a nominee for the coveted Best Picture award.

As always, there’s a long list of movies that had the pedigree and were strong contenders on paper but eventually did not perform for various reasons. Heavy hitters like Alejandro González Iñárritu with Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, Sam Mendes with Empire of Light, and David O Russell with Amsterdam simply failed to ignite any sparks among audiences and voters alike. But we are here to talk about the movies that did work. Here are our predictions:

LOCKSEverything Everywhere All At Once

This multiverse-spanning genre-bending story about one woman’s quest to find her own identity is really best described by its title. The directing duo known as ‘The Daniels’ gave Hong Kong legend Michelle Yeoh the role of a lifetime as Evelyn Wang, and a Best Actress nomination.

The Fabelmans

Steve Spielberg’s autobiographical exploration of the forces that shaped his life and career did not work at the box office, but it should strike a chord with many of the Academy’s voters. The Academy has always been partial to movies that glorify the industry from The Artist (2011) to La La Land (2016).

ALSO READ: Catch me if you can: 'The Fabelmans', a Steven Spielberg origin story

The Banshees of Inisherin
British-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh looks to repeat the success he had with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017). Banshees... is also likely to pick up numerous acting nominations for its cast, including Colin Farrell’s first in the Best Actor category.

British-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh looks to repeat the success he had with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017). Banshees... is also likely to pick up numerous acting nominations for its cast, including Colin Farrell’s first in the Best Actor category.

ALSO READ: Golden Globes 2023: What's so funny in 'The Banshees of Inisherin'

Elvis

The first of two music-themed movies on this list, Baz Luhrmann directs newcomer Austin Butler to a surefire Best Actor nomination as Elvis Presley. The movie was a huge worldwide hit, following in the footsteps of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).

ALSO READ: Elvis review: Baz Luhrmann's anti-biopic is all visual kinesthetics, very little substance

Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise’s Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell returned after 36 years to take us on a supremely satisfying thrill ride. Cruise made a gutsy bet in 2020, refusing to release the movie for two years until the pandemic subsided and audiences were ready to go to cinemas again. The bet paid off handsomely with Cruise’s highest box office in a career spanning four decades.

ALSO READ: 'Top Gun: Maverick' movie review: Tom Cruise goes supersonic in this lean, mean flying machine

Tár

Three-time Academy Award nominee Todd Field’s take on so-called ‘cancel culture’ tells the story of Lydia Tár, a composer and conductor who suffers a downfall after her questionable behaviour comes to light. Cate Blanchett is poised to win her third Oscar for this much lauded portrayal.

Avatar: The Way of Water

James Cameron’s return to Pandora is already the highest grossing Hollywood movie in India. The sequel will sail past the two billion dollar mark worldwide in the next week, making it only the 6th movie to do so and Cameron’s third in that rarefied air after Titanic (1997) and the first Avatar (2009).

ALSO READ: Avatar 2 film review: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is an epic spectacle of technical bravura

PROBABLES

The probables this year fall into two broad categories. The first is the international category with Ruben Östlund’s English-language satire Triangle of Sadness which won at Cannes, and Netflix’s German-language anti-war movie All Quiet on the Western Front which swept the BAFTA nominations last week. Both movies have a decent chance given the increasing size of the international voting block.

The second category is movies where the performances are so strong that they elevate the entire movie. Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale is self-serious and indulgent, but Brendan Fraser’s affecting turn as the reclusive Charlie could propel the movie to a best picture slot. Similarly, Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, based on the 2018 novel of the same name, is buoyed by a stellar ensemble comprising Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, and four-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand. Both movies could sneak in at the tail end of the list.

DARK HORSES

Finally, there are a few movies that have small but significant support among the membership and could break through. India’s own RRR is at the top of that list, followed by Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Woman King, and Damien Chazelle’s Babylon. These movies are much-loved, have passionate cheerleaders and can’t be easily discounted.

ALSO READ: The Woman King review: Director Gina Prince-Bythewood is the star of this action epic

The nominations are only the beginning; the next six weeks will see these movies go all out with their marketing campaigns till the big night on March 12, when one of them will take home the biggest prize of all.

The nominations are only the beginning; the next six weeks will see these movies go all out with their marketing campaigns till the big night on March 12, when one of them will take home the biggest prize of all.