At this year’s Oscars, “Everything” goes

by | Mar 12, 2023 | Arts and Entertainment | 0 comments

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It’s rare for an early favorite in the Academy Award race to hold onto its pole position until the end. The red carpet (which is, apparently, not red this year) is strewn with the wreckage of films that seemed at one point to be sure things but stumbled at the finish line. Tough break, “La La Land.” See you later, “Boyhood.”

So it’s a bit of a surprise this year — and, perhaps, a warning sign — that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has apparently held onto its edge over the competition. By my count, the little independent movie that could win six Oscars at Sunday’s ceremony.

If you’re looking for an edge in your Oscar pool, feel free to take advantage of (or ignore) the picks I list below. In a typical year, I might get 17 or so correct. Last year, an aberration to be sure, I went 21-for-23, a personal record. Remember, though, that I have no sources within the Academy and no particular insight into the Oscars; I just watch the tea leaves, so to speak, during the hectic months of awards season. Here’s what the the tea leaves are suggesting to me this year — along with potential spoilers, if you want to go outside the chalk to try to claim an advantage over your rivals in the Oscar pool.

Picture: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Possible spoiler: “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Director: The Daniels (Kwan and Scheinert), “Everything Everywhere.” Possible spoiler: Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans.”

Actress: One of the tightest races of the evening pits Michelle Yeoh’s career-defining performance in “Everything Everywhere” against Cate Blanchett’s titanic work in “Tar.” I give the edge to Yeoh,

Actor: There’s a lot of heat behind Austin Butler’s performance in “Elvis” — and he might very well win, but I have to believe that Brendan Fraser, riding the comeback trail with his performance in “The Whale,” will carry the day. But I’ve been wrong before, and outside of Fraser’s performance, “The Whale” isn’t a very good movie. So my confidence in this pick is low.

Supporting actress: This is shaping up as an incredibly tight three-way race between Angela Bassett in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Jamie Lee Curtis in “Everything Everywhere” and Kerry Condon in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” I give the tiniest of edges here to Condon.

Supporting actor: It’s a lock for Ke Huy Quan of “Everything Everywhere.”

Adapted screenplay: This is one of the key races to watch, according to The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan: Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” is the favorite, but a potential spoiler here is “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Buchanan argues that “All Quiet” needs a win here to keep its best picture hopes alive. A win here for Polley could signal that “Everything Everywhere ” is in for a big evening. My guess is that Polley wins the Oscar here.

Original screenplay: This is a tighter race than you might think, but the edge goes to “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The spoiler here could be “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Cinematography: James Friend, for “All on the Western Front.” Spoiler: Mandy Walker, for “Elvis.” She would be the first woman to win an Oscar for cinematography.

Costume design: “Elvis.” Possible spoiler: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Editing: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Spoiler: “Top Gun: Maverick”

Makeup and hairstyling: “Elvis” has the edge. “The Whale” is the potential spoiler.

Production design: “Babylon.” Possible spoiler: “Elvis.”

Original score: “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Possible spoiler: “Babylon.”

Song: “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” should win. The only potential spoiler might be “Lift Me Up,” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Sound: “Top Gun: Maverick” is the favorite. Potential spoiler: “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Visual effects: It’s a lock for “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

Animated feature: It’s another lock, for “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”

Documentary: This is another incredibly strong category — proof that we live in a golden age of documentaries. But “Navalny,” about the Russian dissident who survived a poisoning attack (and which features a riveting sequence in which he lures his poisoner into a confession) is the favorite. Spoilers here include “Fire of Love” and “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.”

International feature: “All Quiet on the Western Front.” It’s the only one of the nominees in this category that also boasts a best picture nomination.

Animated short: The heavy favorite is the cutesy “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” so that’s the safe bet. But “My Year of Dicks” could be the spoiler.

Documentary short: “The Elephant Whisperers” appears to have the edge. But “Stranger at the Gate,” a documentary about religious intolerance that has Malala Yousafzai as an executive producer, could be the spoiler.

Live-action short: The category that often spells the difference between Oscar pool glory and bitter defeat also is one of the hardest to predict this year. It’s a three-way race between “An Irish Goodbye,” “Le Pupille” and “The Red Suitcase.” I give a slight edge to “Le Pupille,” but “Goodbye” or “Suitcase” could prevail.

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