Awards season is well and truly under way, and while the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and more are fun, we all know the Academy Awards - the Oscars - are the jewel in the crowd.
Movies and performances from 2022 are in a battle for Hollywood supremacy, and the best will be separated from the rest when the Oscar nominations are revealed on January 24. Happily for us, a bunch of those movies in contention are already streaming, so you can catch the likes of Everything Everwhere All At Once, Top Gun: Maverick and Blonde before the ceremony.
Let's break down some of the likely nominees for the major categories below.
It's pretty much a done deal that the race for Best Actress will come down to Cate Blanchett in Tar and Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere. Both won Golden Globes - where the category is separated into drama and comedy performances - and are nominated for SAG awards. Blanchett picked up the Critics Choice Award, but the Oscars love to reward overlooked actors with a gong. Also likely are Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Margot Robbie (Babylon), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Viola Davis (The Woman King) and Danielle Deadwyler (Till).
The Best Actor category is a little harder to nail down, but we can be pretty confident that three of the nominations will go to Austin Butler for Elvis, Brendan Fraser for The Whale and Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin. Butler and Farrell picked up Globes, while the latter took the Critics Choice Award. But the Oscars are fans of Martin McDonagh, who wrote and directed Banshees, and previously gave statues to Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell for their work in his Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. Though Butler could have an edge, because the Academy loves to reward people playing musicians - see Jamie Foxx, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon. Bill Nighy (Living) is likely to get a nomination, but the fifth spot is anyone's guess. It could be Adam Sandler (Hustle), Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Tom Hanks (A Man Called Otto), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Jeremy Pope (Inspection) or anyone really.
It looks like Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere) has this sewn up, and if his Golden Globes speech is anything to go by, that's a great thing for all of us. He's already picked up the Globe and the Critics Choice Award. Other nominees will likely come from Banshees (Brendan Gleeson and/or Barry Keoghan) and The Fabelmans (Paul Dano and/or Judd Hirsch). Outside changes are Brad Pitt (Babylon) and Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse). Redmayne is campaigning in the supporting category, but could have easily made a case for the best actor category. His performance is undeniable, but the confusion over where to place him complicates things.
Angela Bassett has picked up the Globe and Critics Choice Award for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and is likely to take the Oscar. She's someone who has been delivering exceptional performances for years, and the Academy will want to reward that. Not to mention, it's thoroughly deserved. Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis from Everything Everywhere have been picking up noms, as well as Kerry Condon from Banshees. There's a chance for Hong Chau (The Whale) and Carey Mulligan (She Said).
It's still early, but it would seem that the race for Best Picture will come down to The Fabelmans and Everything Everywhere. Both have received multiple nominations at all awards shows. The Academy will appreciate that The Fabelmans is Steven Spielberg's own personal story, as it is a big fan of rewarding nostalgic character pieces. But the pure inventiveness of Everything Everywhere could have the edge. Other probable nominees include Banshees, Elvis, She Said, Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick and Babylon. Outside chances include The Whale, Tar, Women Talking, The Woman King, and Wakanda Forever.