Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times
Predictions for the 95th Academy Awards
Zoe Zusman, Contributor
This past month, we have seen a lot of new talent get recognized across all fields of entertainment. From the Golden Globes to the Critics Choice Awards, and now the nominations for the 95th Academy Awards, the conversation around this year’s roster of talent is all the rage. But is it all deserved? And who got snubbed? And who will win? All these questions are definitely creating an extra layer of tension for both veteran and newcomer nominees. Let’s take a look at some categories for this year’s competition, and see who I think will ultimately win.
This year no doubt saw some of the best picture nominees in recent memory. With the world turning back to normal, larger-scale films with bigger stories can be told across the screen. Films like The Fabelmans, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Elvis, and even Avatar, are all larger-scale productions that are up for Best Picture. Smaller, more “indie” films, like Women Talking and Triangle of Sadness, are also nominated. The big problem I have with this category is the number of nominees. Yes, there are always a large number of films nominated, but this is a relatively new occurrence. The category originally had a large number of nominations, but as the 40s progressed, the numbers were cut by half — which I argue is a much better number of nominations because it made the category more competitive. In the 2010s we saw the number of Best Picture nominations double again. Having a large number of nominations causes people to wonder how “elite” the award itself is, and why movies such as Babylon or Aftersun aren’t nominated. Personally, I think The Fablemans will win, as it is literally a movie about one of the most famous directors of our time. I also think that Spielberg will win best director.
Best Actor and Actress are also two categories of interest when it comes to this year’s nominees. The main intrigue is the category for Best Actress. The pool this year is both strong and questionable. It consists of Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Williams, Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, and Andrea Riseborough. Many are saying the main competition is between Blanchett and Yeoh — wanting Blanchett to reach her third Oscar win and Yeoh to become the first Asian actress to win in the history of the award show. As I said, both give amazing performances and personally I’m rooting for Michelle Yeoh, not only because it will be a historical moment, but also because of her drive, talent, and incredible run in the industry. The nomination of Riseborough, who had not been in the conversation until a few high-status celebrities tweeted about her film, is where most are puzzled. Critics have argued that the nomination is a form of white privilege that still seems prevalent in the industry.
Finally, looking at the Best Actor category, all nominations are seen as strong performances. Specifically, many are looking at Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser as top contenders. Butler for his drive and dedication to method acting, and Fraiser for his triumphant return to the big screen after a decade or so. Many are rooting for Fraser after his long and rough journey in the industry, and want him to win as a reward for his return.
There are so many other categories, but these main three are where a lot of people are seeing discrepancies. Now, in my opinion, the Oscars are kind of trash – they are no longer about who actually is the best and are becoming more political. We can already see that white privilege is still a prominent part of not just awards, but the industry itself. Plus, nepotism and celebrity status are, right now, a big factor in casting for films – seeing that a lot more films feature A-list ensemble casts. So take this all with a grain of salt, because the Oscars are not the end-all-be-all. Many talented people are still shining in the industry without them.