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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

The Road to the Oscars

The+Road+to+the+Oscars
Jernej Furman/Flickr
The Road to the Oscars

Oscar nominations are coming this Tuesday, Jan. 24. Love it or hate it, the Oscars are a time to celebrate the year in film, shine light on what might have gone under the radar and hopefully award some great movies. Nomination morning is arguably more exciting than the Oscars themselves. Wins tend to be relatively predictable, but anything could get nominated.

In 2022, “The Power of the Dog” led the nomination tally with a whopping 12 nominations and looked poised to win Best Picture before inevitably garnering only one win for Best Director. Instead, the lesser-known and lesser-nominated “CODA” would go on to win the hearts of voters and the top prize. Nomination morning helps to craft a forecast for the eventual ceremony, but the race is far from over. Going into Tuesday, I’ve ordered my own predictions and pipe dreams.

BEST PICTURE

Ten films will be nominated. I’ve listed my predictions in order of confidence. 

“Everything Everywhere All At Once,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “The Fabelmans,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Tár,” “Elvis,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “The Whale,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Babylon”

It’s been an exceptionally strong year for movies, and I actually like most of the contenders for Best Picture. I feel pretty confident those first  seven will get nominated, but I’m hoping Damien Chazelle’s epic “Babylon” or Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave” can sneak in. 

BEST DIRECTOR

My predictions: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All At Once,”  Todd Field, “Tár,”  Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin,”  Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans,”  Park Chan-wook, “Decision to Leave”

I might be foolish to predict a Korean director will be nominated for a film that’s hardly shown clear strength at previous award bodies, but this is where my heart interferes with my expectations. I’ll be ecstatic if Park Chan-wook is nominated for his stylish neo-noir romance.

BEST ACTRESS

My predictions: Cate Blanchett, “Tár,”  Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All At Once,”  Viola Davis, “The Woman King,”  Danielle Deadwyler, “Till,”  Ana de Armas, “Blonde”

Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh have been the dominant actresses in this year’s awards season, but there are at least 10 that have a strong chance of being nominated. In a historically white category in which only one black woman has ever won in 94 years,, this has the potential to be a substantially diverse lineup.

BEST ACTOR

My predictions: Austin Butler, “Elvis,”  Brendan Fraser, “The Whale,”  Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin,”  Bill Nighy, “Living,”  Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”

The top four in this category seem extremely strong, but the tiny A24 father-daughter story “Aftersun” features one of critics’ favorite performances of the year. Alternatively, there’s a lot of love in the air for Tom Cruise in “Top Gun: Maverick.” 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

My predictions: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All At Once,”  Brendan Gleeson, “The Banshees of Inisherin,”  Barry Keoghan, “The Banshees of Inisherin,”  Paul Dano, “The Fabelmans,”  Eddie Redmayne, “The Good Nurse.”

Ke Huy Quan looks all but guaranteed to win Best Supporting Actor for his phenomenal performance as three different versions of Waymond in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” Both of the male supporting performances in “Banshees of Inisherin” have been affecting voters in their own unique way, as the older man contemplating his legacy after death or the younger loner on the outskirts of society. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

My predictions: Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,”  Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin,”  Hong Chau, “The Whale,”  Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All At Once,”  Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the biggest awards surprises of the year. She’s picked up nominations nearly everywhere possible, even when in the place of her co-star in the film, Stephanie Hsu. While Hsu gave the more emotionally central performance as Jobu Tupaki or Joy Wang, Jamie Lee Curtis might finally receive her first Oscar nomination for playing a sumo wrestling IRS agent. 

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

My predictions: “All Quiet on the Western Front,”  “Decision to Leave,”  “Argentina, 1985,”  “EO,”  “The Quiet Girl”

I tend to prefer this category to Best Picture as it offers a more diverse and interesting lineup. Germany’s “All Quiet” is the clear favorite here, benefitting from its easy accessibility on Netflix and impressive technical achievements for other categories. I’m holding out for one of my favorites of the year, “EO,” a heart wrenching adventure told through the perspective of a donkey.

OTHER CATEGORIES

The clear frontrunners this year are “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” and “The Fabelmans.” I would expect them to show strength in plenty of categories including Original Screenplay, Film Editing or Original Score. In the technical categories, it’s a race between juggernauts like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” or “All Quiet on the Western Front.” I would expect one of them to end up with the most nominations.

The Oscars are hardly what they used to be, and they aren’t nearly as popular. It’s clearly arbitrary to make a competition out of art, but I still think the awards are worth acknowledging. Academy Award winners gain a reputation that can’t be won elsewhere. If you haven’t heard of half of the movies that end up nominated for Best Picture, use the opportunity to seek out some new movies. They’re not always excellent or even good, but often have some merit. Hopefully, Tuesday’s nominations bring attention to great art and artists.

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