The Awardist is thrilled to welcome award-winning host, interviewer, and commentator Dave Karger as Entertainment Weekly's new Awards Correspondent. Known in the FYC industry for his expert Oscars predictions, Karger (who spent 17 years on staff at EW, writing over 50 cover stories) has made more than 200 live appearances on NBC's Today to talk movies and awards, and has co-hosted ABC's Live From the Red Carpet on Oscar night. Check out his inaugural predictions column for the 2023 Oscars season, and watch this space for his regularly updated rankings within the major categories.
With the fall film festivals — Venice, Telluride, Toronto, and New York — largely behind us, the Oscars race is really starting to take shape. A handful of entries, like Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans, Todd Field's TÁR, and Sarah Polley's Women Talking, seem best poised to challenge summer and spring hits like Top Gun: Maverick and Everything Everywhere All At Once for Best Picture, while Oscar rookies like Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, and Janelle Monae seem like good bets to score acting nominations alongside such former winners as Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, and Eddie Redmayne. Read on for my ranked lists of the top 12 contenders in each of the top six categories.
Universal Paul Dano and Michelle Williams in 'The Fabelmans'
Could we see four sequels in this year's main race? Given that there will be a mandated 10 nominees for Best Picture, it could happen. Of course, the Avatar and Black Panther sequels (not to mention Damian Chazelle's Babylon and Antoine Fuqua's Will Smith vehicle Emancipation) have yet to screen, so this list could fluctuate in the coming weeks. But The Fabelmans is the movie to beat after taking home the coveted People's Choice Award in Toronto.
The Banshees of Inisherin
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Empire of Light
Avatar: The Way of Water
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Top Gun: Maverick
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Steve Granitz/FilmMagic 'The Fabelmans' director Steven Spielberg.
It's been 24 years since Steven Spielberg found himself accepting an award on the Oscar stage. Thanks to his most personal film yet, his semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans, he's now the favorite to win his third Best Director prize.
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Todd Field, TÁR
Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Sam Mendes, Empire of Light
James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water
Sarah Polley, Women Talking
Damien Chazelle, Babylon
Daniel Scheinert & Dan Kwan, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Baz Luhrmann, Elvis
Ryan Coogler, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Jordan Peele, Nope
Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in 'The Banshees of Inisherin'
Clearly, Brendan Fraser is the early emotional frontrunner after the rhapsodic festival response to his performance in The Whale. But Colin Farrell, who won the Venice Best Actor prize over Fraser, will remain a top contender throughout the season.
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Hugh Jackman, The Son
Jeremy Pope, The Inspection
Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans
Austin Butler, Elvis
Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick
Adam Sandler, Hustle
Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye
Daniel Craig, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Adam Driver, White Noise
Tom Hanks, A Man Called Otto
Ilze Kitshoff/TriStar Pictures Viola Davis in 'The Woman King'
This year's most crowded category features several past winners (Cate Blanchett, Olivia Colman, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, and Jennifer Lawrence) fighting for precious slots against potential first-time nominees like Michelle Yeoh and Danielle Deadwyler. Certainly several worthy performances won't make the cut.
Cate Blanchett, TÁR
Olivia Colman, Empire of Light
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Danielle Deadwyler, Till
Viola Davis, The Woman King
Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway
Ana de Armas, Blonde
Mia Goth, Pearl
Carey Mulligan, She Said
Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Emma Corrin, Lady Chatterley's Lover
A24 Ke Huy Quan in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'
Best Supporting Actor
As is often the case, this category is perhaps the most wide open, with substantial supporting roles competing with memorable cameos (hello, The Fablemans' Judd Hirsch!). Anything could happen with this group of contenders.
Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse
Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time
Ben Whishaw, Women Talking
Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Mark Rylance, Bones and All
Paul Dano, The Fabelmans
Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness
Micheal Ward, Empire of Light
Michael Gibson/United Artists Releasing The cast of 'Women Talking,' including Jessie Buckley (left center), Claire Foy (top center), and Rooney Mara (right center)
Best Supporting Actress
With Michelle Williams opting for a leading-actress campaign for The Fabelmans, this race has become a proper free-for-all. Expect at least one slot to go to Jessie Buckley or Claire Foy of Women Talking, and one to go to Banshees of Inisherin breakout Kerry Condon.
Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Jessie Buckley, Women Talking
Claire Foy, Women Talking
Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Nina Hoss, TÁR
Laura Dern, The Son
Gabrielle Union, The Inspection
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King
Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time
Sadie Sink, The Whale
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All At Once