By Addison Burke, Staff Writer
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the highly-anticipated nominations for the 95th Academy Awards last Tuesday.
The past year has seen the release of a slew of critically-acclaimed films. Dozens of actors and filmmakers are vying for wins, so staff writer and movie enthusiast Addison Burke is here to break down the nominees for the top categories and predict who should go home with the coveted golden trophy.
Per usual, Best Picture is one of the most contentious categories of the Academy Awards. Many blockbuster fan favorites of the past year have been nominated, including Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water and Elvis, so the Best Picture winner will certainly be divisive, no matter who wins.
One favorite, though, is Everything Everywhere All at Once, the genre-hopping adventure that has quickly become a cult hit. Praised as both confusing and enchanting, Everything Everywhere All at Once has already made a splash with wins at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, leading many to believe it may take home the top prize at the Oscars.
After the media obsession with Austin Butler’s method acting in preparation for (and perhaps even after) his starring role in Elvis, many movie fans would be shocked if he doesn’t win Best Actor in a leading role. Butler was praised for his almost eerie emulation of the musical sensation, and Elvis is in the running for several other large awards. The recent death of his daughter Lisa Marie Presley could also make this a sentimental tribute decision.
Michelle Yeoh’s ability to be comedic and serious in Everything Everywhere All at Once blew audiences away and garnered Yeoh critical acclaim. The awards frenzy around Everything Everywhere All at Once may continue with Yeoh beating out competitors like TÁR’s Cate Blanchett.
Animated Feature Film
Pixar’s Turning Red was an audience favorite last year, telling an endearing story about the importance of support systems and how to surround yourself with those you care about. Sandra Oh’s voice acting has been praised among a talented cast of stars that brought this family favorite to life.
Best Original Song
Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up,” featured in the Marvel Studios hit Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has been hailed as an heartwarming tribute to the late Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman. One piece of an ensemble rap/R&B soundtrack, “Lift Me Up” is an emotional choice for Best Original Song favored by fans of Boseman and Rihanna.
Best Visual Effects & Sound
These are two different categories, but it is very possible that Avatar: The Way of Water will sweep both. Even among those who have criticized Avatar’s plot, the visual effects and sound of the world of Pandora have been unilaterally praised for bringing the viewer on an immersive journey alongside the characters. The original Avatar won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards in 2010, so it has the chance to win again 13 years later.
The 95th Academy Awards will take place on March 12, giving you enough time to make predictions of your own and eagerly anticipate finding out if you’re a winner or loser this awards season.