Oscars 2023: Way-Too-Early Predictions for the Next Awards Race


Sarah Polley will be back with her first film since 2013, adapting Miriam Toews‘s novel Women Talking with a cast including Frances McDormandClaire Foy and Jessie Buckley. French master Claire Dennis‘s The Stars at Noon will star Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn as an American journalist and English businessman during the Nicaraguan Revolution.

Also on the horizon are Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen) adapting the Judy Blume novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Olivia Wilde following up booksmart with the thriller Don’t Worry Darling; Lila Neugebauer directing Jennifer Lawrence as a soldier with PTSD in Red, White and Water; and Joanna Hogg following up her Souvenir movies with the ghost story The Eternal Daughter.

On the Cusp

Then there are the directors who feel like they’re just on the cusp of breaking through for their first best-director nominations. Ari Aster‘s first two features—hereditary and Midsommar—have been as acclaimed as films can be, but Oscar’s apparent aversion to horror kept them at arm’s length. Will his next movie, Disappointment Blvd., which boasts the talents of Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, and Parker Posey, prove to be more up the academy’s alley?

James Gray is another filmmaker whose works have been almost universally acclaimed, yet the Academy has never warmed up to them, be they romantic dramas (Two Lovers), historical epics (The Lost City of Z), or sci-fi meditations (Ad Astra). His next movie, Armageddon Time, is said to be his most personal yet, based on his childhood in Queens and featuring Anne Hathaway and Anthony Hopkins.

Sebastian Lelio‘s A Fantastic Woman took the best-international-feature trophy in 2018; now he’s back with the psychological thriller The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh.

Embrace the Mystery

Finally, there are the movies we don’t know very much about, whose plot details are being kept either partially or entirely secret. We know that Damien Chazelle’s Babylon—which was supposed to come out on Christmas Day 2021 but was bumped a whole year to the coming Christmas—is set in Old Hollywood, and boasts a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Tobey Maguire, but we’re still in the dark about the story details.

Speaking of all-star casts in a movie-under-wraps, Wes Anderson‘s next movie, asteroid city, adds Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie (again!), and Scarlett Johansson to his ever-expanding repertory company, but all we know about it is that it’s supposed to be a romantic comedy.

We at least know a little bit about Sam Mendes‘s follow up to 1917, called Empire of Light, which stars Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, and Colin Firth, and is said to be a love story set in a cinema in an English coastal town in the 1980s, but that’s about it.

And then there’s the matter of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the sequel to the 2019 best-picture nominee that had to undergo major changes after the death of Chadwick Boseman. How the franchise will choose to move on will have an impact felt far beyond the Oscars, but it’s worth remembering that this film is as pedigreed a title as we’ve got in 2022—and expectations will be very high.

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