Entertainment

The 95th Academy Awards ceremony is almost upon us – the night the entire awards season has been building up to.

The Oscars mark the culmination of months of campaigning and huge amounts of spending from studios, but unlike previous years, the 2023 shortlist comes with some uncertainty as to who will take home those gold statuettes.

While there’s an obvious frontrunner for the top prize of best picture, in some of the acting categories things are far less clear cut – making this potentially one of the most exciting ceremonies in a while. So let’s take a look at who is likely to win…

Best picture

Usually I’d build up to this but there’s such an obvious frontrunner it’s actually the easiest category to predict this year. Everything Everywhere All At Once has been sweeping ceremonies in the run-up to the Academy Awards (with the BAFTAs being the notable exception – war epic All Quiet On The Western Front was the night’s big winner there).

While it’s far from what may have been considered an ‘Oscary’ film in previous years, exploring the multiverse via hotdog fingers and a new take on the Disney classic Ratatouille, its appeal is undeniable. When it wins it will be proof that it is films with big ideas, rather than just a big budget, that appeal to modern Academy voters.

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Everything Everywhere star on Oscars nod

Best supporting actor

The next easiest to predict is best supporting actor, which will go to Ke Huy Quan for his role in Everything Everywhere All At Once. The star, who first found fame as a child actor in The Goonies and Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom in the 1980s, has been consistently winning throughout awards season.

He also gives lovely speeches and actually seems to enjoy the relentless slog of red carpets and events that nominees face in the run-up to the Oscars. A worthy winner, expect some tears on the night – from him and those watching.

Read more: From The Goonies to the Oscars – Ke Huy Quan’s ‘wild ride’ of a comeback

Best supporting actress

A month ago I would have assumed Marvel would get its first acting win thanks to Angela Bassett‘s commanding performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. However, the tide of appreciation may have turned, as we’ve seen other nominees in this category – Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu and Kerry Condon – all picking up prizes at various ceremonies in the last few weeks. While Bassett is great in Wakanda Forever, I suspect if she does win it would be a case of voters showing their appreciation for her entire career, rather than this one superhero film.

I actually have a hunch this award will go to one of the five Irish actors nominated this year – I predict a win for Kerry Condon for her performance in The Banshees Of Inisherin. She won this same prize at the BAFTAs and there is definitely some crossover. With Banshees well liked but likely to miss out in other acting categories I think voters will show some love to the dark comedy here.

Read more: Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson on their Banshees reunion

Best actor

This has been the hardest one to predict for me. At the start of the year, I thought the best actor prize would go to Colin Farrell, star of The Banshees Of Inisherin, but his hopes seem to have faded as awards season has rumbled on. It seems now to be between Brendan Fraser for The Whale and Austin Butler for Elvis.

We know the Academy loves a transformative role and both performances tick that box, with Fraser playing a hugely obese man in heavy prosthetics, while Butler became the singer – even seemingly permanently changing his own speaking voice for the biopic. It’s almost too close to call but as I’ve promised predictions I’m going to plump for Fraser – his comeback narrative after years feeling cast out of Hollywood is itself like something from a screenplay, and probably too irresistible for many Academy voters.

Read more: The ‘Bren-aissance’ – why Brendan Fraser is back in the spotlight

Best actress

This feels like another close race, between Cate Blanchett for her turn as the toxic composer Lydia Tar, and Michelle Yeoh for her performance as the multiverse-straddling lead of Everything Everywhere All At Once. While Yeoh surely has a strong chance of picking up a win, I suspect Blanchett will just edge it as she’s been consistently picking up prizes throughout awards season. I’m also guessing Tar is a very well liked film that perhaps won’t be recognised in other categories – and voters may be wary of ticking the Everything Everywhere box too many times.

Read more: Cate Blanchett on her ‘once in a career’ moment

Best director

This is another hard one to call, although this time perhaps because of my own personal bias. I would love to see Steven Spielberg picking up this award for his semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans; it seems bizarre to me that Spielberg has only won two directing Oscars, the last one was more than 20 years ago, in 1999. However, the momentum seems to be on the side of directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinart, known collectively as the Daniels, who are behind Everything Everywhere All At Once. If they do take it, they will be the third pair to ever win best director.

You can watch the Academy Awards on Sunday 12 March from 11pm exclusively on Sky News and Sky Showcase. For everything you need to know ahead of the ceremony, listen to our special Oscars Backstage podcast – and don’t miss our winners episode from Monday morning

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