My Insanely Early Best Picture Predictions: What’s Getting In and Why


Gabriella Madden

Some people’s favorite season is summer. Some prefer fall, spring, or even winter. Mine is awards season. I love film, and I love seeing my favorite filmmakers win awards for well-deserved work. And because I desperately need to be right all the time, I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting who will be nominated, and who will win. So as the fall festival season comes to a close, here are my current picks for the Academy Award for Best Picture, ranked from least to most likely to win.

10. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” dir. Rian Johnson

In my humble opinion, its predecessor “Knives Out” should’ve been nominated back in 2019. “Glass Onion” got rave reviews after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and it’s already pretty much a lock for an adapted screenplay nomination. However, if it doesn’t get much love anywhere else in nominations, I don’t see it winning. But, a girl can dream, right?

9. “The Whale” dir. Darren Aronofsky

A Venice premiere that has drawn a lot of attention for its star, Brendan Fraser. This is Fraser’s “comeback” moment, playing a man suffering from obesity trying to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, played by Sadie Sink. Fraser’s performance has been met with widespread love and the film received a 6-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.

8. “Tár” dir. Todd Field

Cate Blanchett is a powerhouse in this film, according to our film critic Will Teare in his review. She emerged as an early front-runner in the Best Actress race. Director and writer Todd Field has been praised for his work in directing and writing the film. On another note, the marketing for this film was done very well.

7. “She Said” dir. Maria Schrader 

This film is about Jodi Kantor, played by Zoe Kazan, and Megan Twohey, played by Carey Mulligan, the two New York Times journalists who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. The film has garnered acclaim for its tense, engaging portrayal of the true story of the article that changed Hollywood forever.

6. “Top Gun: Maverick” dir. Joseph Kosinsky

“Top Gun: Maverick” dominated the summer box office, coming out on top both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. The longevity of “Top Gun: Maverick” has been insane, and deservedly so. The action sequences with minimal CGI and extraordinary visuals are sure to sweep the technical fields.

5. “Women Talking” dir. Sarah Polley

After a series of sexual assaults, a group of women in an isolated religious community struggle with their faith. Sarah Polley’s ensemble piece has been praised for its strong performances and compelling narrative and was the runner-up for the TIFF People’s Choice Award.

4. “The Banshees of Inisherin” dir. Martin McDonagh

Another ensemble piece, this Venice hit took home Best Actor for Colin Farrell and Best Screenplay from the festival. Martin McDonagh’s critical darling is likely to get a spot on the list, with incredible acting performances across the board and a strong screenplay and direction.

3. “Babylon” dir. Damien Chazelle

Damien Chazelle dominated the 2016 ceremony with “La La Land”. Six years later, Chazelle is back with another Hollywood-centric flick, “Babylon,” documenting the turn between silent films and “talkies.” If the film is anything like the trailer, expect some fabulous party sequences, old Hollywood glamour, massive film sets, and much more. If there’s one thing Hollywood loves more than movies about itself, it’s movies about itself directed by Damien Chazelle.

2. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” dir. Daniels

The directing duo Daniels have put together one of the finest pieces of comedy/drama/action filmmaking I have ever seen in my entire life. This film makes you experience the entire range of human emotions through breathtaking visuals, performances and action sequences in just 140 minutes. But the most astonishing fact of all is it was edited with Adobe Premiere. Anyone who uses Adobe Premiere knows just how talented, skillful and above all, patient you have to be to use it successfully. Just hand them the Academy Award for Best Film Editing already.

1. “The Fabelmans” dir. Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is one of the best directors of all time, if not the best. There’s no greater range or more beloved films than his filmography. Enter “The Fabelmans,” an autobiography of sorts of Spielberg’s childhood with his parents played by Michelle Williams and Paul Dano. The film received two standing ovations at TIFF and the People’s Choice Award and reviews have been calling it some of Spielberg’s finest work. What better way to honor the greatest living filmmaker with his most personal film than with the Academy Award for Best Picture?