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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Academy Awards: Who will win versus who should win

“The Fablemans” should win Best Picture at 95th annual Oscars
Caroline Crowley

March 12, the 95th Academy Awards will air on ABC — while there have been questions swirling in recent years regarding the award show’s relevance amidst a rapidly changing media landscape and various controversies, there are many reasons to expect this year’s ceremony to be successful.

For one, several of this year’s Best Picture nominees are films that have proven popular in theatrical release, including “Elvis,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” And, after three years of a host-less ceremony and one year of a three-host experiment, Jimmy Kimmel is coming back to host the Oscars for a third time after hosting in 2017 and 2018.

So, as is common for Oscar fans to do around this time of year, I am going to present my picks for who I think will win in each category, as well as who I personally think should for the categories of Best Picture, Best Director and all the acting categories. Though things could change between now and March 12, I feel very confident in my current picks.



The Nominees:

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Will Win: “Everything Everywhere All At Once” — When I first saw this movie in theaters last Easter, I would have never thought it would be a Best Picture Oscar frontrunner nearly 10 months later. Surely it would have been overtaken by something more palatable to old-guard Academy voters like “The Fabelmans” or “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

But, alas, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” has used its breakout box-office success to successfully power into awards season. The film has a leading 11 nominations at this year’s ceremony, and it has been tremendously successful at the precursor award ceremonies thus far, including the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards. Awarding this film with best picture would also be another reminder to the film industry that The Academy is willing to award bold, daring, diverse films from young voices in the industry.

Should Win: “The Fabelmans” — As much as I really love “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Steven Spielberg’s beautiful and poignant cinematic memoir is my personal favorite of the 10 Best Picture nominees. As a kid who grew up enraptured with the magic of cinema and who always dreamed of becoming a filmmaker, so much of what Spielberg captures in this film spoke to me personally.

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The Nominees:

Martin McDonagh — “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Steven Spielberg — “The Fabelmans”

Todd Field — “TÁR”

Ruben Östlund — “Triangle of Sadness”

Will Win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — Much like “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is far ahead in the Best Picture race, the film’s directors, Kwan and Scheinert, are also ahead in the Best Director race. Much like the film they’re nominated for, winning Best Director would be another signifier of The Academy recognizing young, diverse voices in cinema. In fact, the 35-year-old filmmakers would be two of the youngest winners in this category ever.

Should Win: Steven Spielberg — While Spielberg has already won in this category twice, he did a remarkable job in bringing his life story to the big screen while making it incredibly universal. A win in this category would be a crowning achievement to his remarkable, unparalleled career in directing.


The Nominees:

Austin Butler — “Elvis”

Colin Farrell — “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Brendan Fraser — “The Whale”

Paul Mescal — “Aftersun”

Bill Nighy — “Living”

Will Win: Brendan Fraser — Ever since “The Whale” premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past year, it was clear that Fraser’s performance would make a big impact this awards season. Fraser’s all-in, heartbreaking, transformation into his character is exactly the sort of performance that is tailor-made for Oscar voters, especially when you factor in Fraser’s story of going from Millennial box-office icon to Hollywood recluse to critically-acclaimed actor in prestige cinema.

Should Win: Paul Mescal — While there isn’t a bad performance in the bunch here, my personal favorite nominated performance is Paul Mescal’s quietly powerful performance as a single father struggling with depression in Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun.” And while Mescal’s nomination in this category was a victory itself, it is still one I think deserves a win.


The Nominees:

Cate Blanchett — “TÁR”

Ana de Armas — “Blonde”

Andrea Riseborough — “To Leslie”

Michelle Williams — “The Fabelmans”

Michelle Yeoh — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Will Win: Cate Blanchett — I am giving Blanchett a slight edge here. While I wouldn’t be surprised if Michelle Yeoh ultimately prevails, she is very much a part of the larger ensemble in her film, while “TÁR” is all Blanchett — if Blanchett’s performance doesn’t work, the entirety of “TÁR” fails — and Blanchett knocks it out of the park. Though Yeoh’s dark-horse status and Blanchett being a two-time winner could very well work against her, I’m still sticking with her as my pick for now.

Should Win: Ana de Armas — Once again, there is not a bad performance among the five nominees here, my favorite nominated performance is Ana de Armas for her devastating and spot-on evocation of Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik’s art film “Blonde.” 
De Armas transformed so fully into an American cultural icon, bringing out both her infectious public persona as well as her tragic and deeply-tortured private self. It is the acting achievement of the year.

Madison Symphony Orchestra plays with Harry Potter movie at Overture Center


The Nominees:

Brendan Gleeson — “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Brian Tyree Henry — “Causeway”

Judd Hirsch — “The Fabelmans”

Barry Keoghan — “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Ke Huy Quan — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Will Win: Ke Huy Quan — This is probably the lock of the night for acting awards. It has become abundantly clear for the last couple of months that this award is absolutely Quan’s. Quan has a tremendously powerful story of being a breakout child star in 1980s cinema, not getting opportunities as an adult due to his ethnicity, retiring from acting, only to get the comeback role of a lifetime and nail it. After giving powerful, emotional acceptance speeches at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, I really don’t see how he doesn’t win this.

Should Win: Brendan Gleeson — So, while I do believe Quan has the best story of any of the nominees, by performance alone my personal pick would be Brendan Gleeson for his deeply sad but never-not-compelling turn opposite Colin Farrell in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” While nominated in supporting, he is effectively a co-lead to Farrell and his performance is equally strong.


The Nominees:

Angela Bassett — “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Hong Chau — “The Whale”

Kerry Condon — “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Jamie Lee Curtis — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Stephanie Hsu — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Will Win: Angela Bassett — Sometimes the Oscars give an award that essentially functions as a de facto Lifetime Achievement Award, and given the incredible career that Angela Bassett has had over the past three decades and because she has only ever been nominated one other time, The Academy finally decided this year was the time to give her an Oscar. While I wouldn’t say the performance itself is worthy of such recognition, it will be a great moment when Angela Bassett gets to give an Oscar acceptance speech, so she is my pick to win.

Should Win: Kerry Condon — Going by performance alone, my favorite in this category is Irish actress Kerry Condon’s standout work as the sole voice of reason in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” There are several scenes throughout the film where she effectively steals the movie from its two leading men, and goes toe-to-toe with Colin Farrell in a few key moments, asserting her status as a general force to be reckoned with on-screen, and one who deserves to get every award she can.

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