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(Credit: Far Out/Academy Awards)

Film

Predicting the Best Picture nominees for the 2023 Oscars

@Russellisation

The 94th Academy Awards have come and gone, providing unbelievable viral moments, iconic fashion statements and some ill-judged wins that felt like a slap in the face for filmmakers worldwide. 

As audiences breathe a collective sigh of relief as endless prediction articles and ‘Oscar buzz’ wind down for another year, the rest of the 2022 cinematic calendar can finally focus into view, providing endless treats throughout the year from the likes of Martin Scorsese, Yorgos Lanthimos and Olivia Wilde. Promising wild western tales, intricate comedies and bizarre science fiction stories, we predict the 2023 Academy Awards to feature an eclectic mix of movies.

So, whilst prediction articles are being phased out with the passing of the Oscars, we have put together our list of ten nominees for Best Picture for the 95th Academy Awards. Having to omit the likes of David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis and The Forgiven by John Michael McDonagh, our shortlist covers all bases and could well be on the tip of everyone’s tongues in just under a year or so. 

Predicting the Best Picture nominees for the 2023 Oscars:

Babylon (Damien Chazelle)

Let down by the Academy in 2017 after one of their all-time biggest slip-ups, announcing La La Land as the recipient of Best Picture only to reveal the actual winner was Moonlight, we think Damien Chazelle’s Babylon is a nailed on contender for the 2023 Oscars. Almost as if he’d engineered the film for the Academy Awards, Babylon follows a currently unknown story set in Hollywood, starring Brad Pitt, Tobey Maguire and Margot Robbie. 

If you had all the money in the world to create an Oscar contender, chances are it would look a lot like Damien Chazelle’s Babylon

(Credit: Lionsgate Entertainment)

Disappointment Blvd. (Ari Aster)

Having fueled the popular culture of horror in the past five years or so with Hereditary and Midsommar, we think Ari Aster will be right in line for an Academy Award nomination after he drops the genre spin to bring a comedy-drama focus to his new tale Disappointment Blvd. Telling the story of a highly successful entrepreneur over a number of decades, the brand new movie stars Academy darling (and rogue) Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role. 

With other popular faces such as Michael Gandolfini, Parker Posey and Amy Ryan also featuring in the film, Disappointment Blvd. could well dominate in several categories.

(Credit: A24)

Don’t Worry Darling (Olivia Wilde)

The highly anticipated latest release from Booksmart director Olivia Wilde stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Gemma Chan and Chris Pine, and promises to be a high-profile release when it hits cinemas later this year. Named Don’t Worry Darling, the forthcoming psychological thriller is set in the 1950s and follows a strange experiment taking place in a utopian American community that holds a mind-bending secret. 

The Academy will find it difficult to resist the allure of Don’t Worry Darling all-star cast, as well as Wilde herself who deserved an Oscar nomination for her 2019 movie Booksmart.

The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg)

Is an Academy Award ceremony even complete without Steven Spielberg in the picture? Having lost out on Best Picture this year with West Side Story, we think he stands a great chance of taking home the award next year if his latest movie The Fabelmans is any good. A semi-autobiographical story based on the director’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, Spielberg’s latest movie is pure Oscar fodder.

It helps that the film will be headed up by a cast that includes Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen and even the iconic David Lynch. Of all the films on this list, this one has got to be a dead-cert. 

(Credit: Alamy)

Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese)

Three years after the release of his momentous gangster flick The Irishman featuring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, filmmaker Martin Scorsese is back in 2022 with his new film Killers of the Flower Moon. Telling the true story of the Osage tribe in the United States who were murdered under mysterious circumstances during the presidency of Warren G. Harding, Scorsese’s latest movie features De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brendan Fraser and Jesse Plemons.

With a whole host of Hollywood talent on display, it would be highly unusual if Scorsese’s film was left out of the running for Best Picture. 

(Credit: Sony)

Pinocchio (Guillermo del Toro)

The last time an animated movie was nominated for Best Picture was way back in 2010 when Toy Story 3 was named in the running as only the third animated movie of all time to be given recognition in the category. We think Netflix’s Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro could well be the fourth, with the movie bringing a spin on the classic cinematic tale of a wooden puppet who turns into ‘a real boy’. 

It certainly helps that the film is headed up by the former Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro and will star such Hollywood stars as Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Ewan McGregor and Finn Wolfhard. 

Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos)

Narrowly missing out on Best Picture in 2018 after controversially missing out to Green Book, Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos should be back in the running in 2023 with his forthcoming film Poor Things. Featuring popular Academy figures Mark Ruffalo, Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley, this brand new romantic science fiction film could well seize the Academy’s attention. 

Set in the Victorian era, the film is based on the book by Alasdair Gray and tells the story of Belle Baxter, a young woman brought back to life by an eccentric but brilliant scientist.

(Credit: Mpotis)

Rustin (George C. Wolfe)

Biographical films always go down a treat with the Academy, particularly if they’re about a pertinent figure, with George C. Wolfe’s Rustin fitting the bill perfectly. Telling the story of the gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin who organized the 1963 March on Washington, the film features such actors as Jeffrey Wright, Audra McDonald, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Chris Rock, who will no doubt be seeking retribution in next year’s ceremony. 

Written by Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 2009’s Milk, Rustin is primed for similar Academy success. 

(Credit: Alamy)

She Said (Maria Schrader)

If Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans is a nailed-on contender, so too is She Said by Maria Schrader, a film based on the book of the same name by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey that follows the #MeToo movement and the scandal of convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein. Telling one of the most important stories of the 21st century that has direct ties with Hollywood, it would be scandalous if Schrader’s film didn’t make the cut. 

If the sheer material of the film wasn’t enough for a Best Picture nomination, She Said also features some major star power, including the likes of Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan and Patricia Clarkson. 

(Credit: Christine Fenzl)

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Kasi Lemmons)

We mentioned before that the Academy loves a biopic, and the only thing they may love even more than this is a music biopic. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, tells the story of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest female R&B pop vocalists of all time. Starring Naomi Ackie as the iconic star, the film also features the likes of Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders and Tamara Tunie. 

Hoping to succeed where 2018s Bohemian Rhapsody did not in the Best Picture category, Lemmons’ film could be a dark horse.

(Credit: Alamy)