Too Early for This: Oscar Picks – November 2022

Armageddon Time
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
She Said
White Noise
Women Talking

Falling off: Bardo, Empire of Light, The Son
Rising star: Top Gun: Maverick

The skinny: After flopping at multiple festivals, the latest self-indulgent films from past Best Director winners Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Sam Mendes will likely vanish without a trace, alongside The Son, which failed to live up to the acclaim of Florian Zeller’s previous film The Father. But movies about movies? They’re still in, with Spielberg’s autobiographical The Fabelmans currently in the lead. Speaking of the autobiographical, Armageddon Time is getting a pass until it goes wide, but Maverick is (almost literally) on its tail.

Damien Chazelle, Babylon
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Todd Field, TÁR
Noah Baumbach, White Noise
Sarah Polley, Women Talking

Falling off: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Sam Mendes, Ruben Östlund
Rising star: Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave

The skinny: Spielberg is the most financially successful producer and director of the last 50 years, and he already has two Oscars for directing, but it would be hard to see him losing to anyone in this slate. Another international director could also pop in, and right now it looks like Park Chan-wook, with Ruben Östlund falling off thanks to a chilly domestic reception to Triangle of Sadness.

Austin Butler, Elvis
Adam Driver, White Noise
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Hugh Jackman, The Son

Falling off: Colin Firth
Rising star: Bill Nighy, Living

The skinny: I only have one question: Where is the trailer for The Whale? Fraser is still the odds-on favorite, but are we ever going to get a look at his performance?

Cate Blanchett, TÁR
Ana de Armas, Blonde
Danielle Deadwyler, Till
Carey Mulligan, She Said
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Falling off: Viola Davis
Rising star: Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway

The skinny: Blanchett is likely to pick up her third Oscar. It’s the performance of the year, but she does have some serious competition from Danielle Deadwyler and Michelle Yeoh, neither of whom have been nominated before.

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Tom Hanks, Elvis
Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time

Falling off: Anthony Hopkins (for The Son), Brad Pitt, Seth Rogen
Rising star: Ben Whishaw, Women Talking

The skinny: Would it surprise me if none of these men were nominated come next year? No it would not. This is by far the hardest category to pick. Gleeson seems like the surest bet, even if Colin Farrell has gotten all the attention. The Irish actor has amassed an incredible body of work but has yet to be nominated for an Oscar.

Jessie Buckley, Women Talking
Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Frances McDormand, Women Talking
Jean Smart, Babylon

Falling off: Laura Dern, Sadie Sink, Anya Taylor-Joy, Michelle Williams (moved to lead)
Rising star: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

The skinny: I’m going with this photo because I think the eventual winner will be someone from Women Talking. But who will that be? It’s hard to say with a large cast and only Rooney Mara going lead. It could be Buckley or three-time winner McDormand. But it could just as easily be Claire Foy or Judith Ivey.

Armageddon Time
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans

Falling off: Triangle of Sadness
Rising star: Nope

The skinny: As uncertain as I feel elsewhere, this category seems the most solid, though Armageddon Time could be replaced, especially if it doesn’t get a Best Picture nomination.

Glass Onion
She Said
The Whale
White Noise
Women Talking

Falling off: The Son
Rising star: Bones and All

The skinny: With mixed takes on The Whale, Fraser could end up as its sole nominee. The other nominees seem like locks.

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