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FILM REVIEW: OSCAR FORECAST 2023 PART TWOFILM REVIEW

FILM REVIEW
OSCAR FORECAST 2023 PART TWO
95th Academy Awards March 12th at 5:00PM on ABC

This week, I will look into my somewhat cracked crystal ball to give my opinion on who I think will win and who would be my choice to be honored with the 2023 Oscar, in the categories of Best Lead Actress, Best Lead Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. As I noted last week, it’s not a “thing” to be the Best in any artistic field, because “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The Oscars do serve a purpose in that they publicly congratulate collaborative works well done.

Best Lead Actress: Cate Blanchett for Tar, Ana de Armas for Blonde, Andrea Riseborough for To Leslie, Michelle Williams for The Fabelmans and Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All at Once (which I will call EEAO.) Who will win? Michelle Yeoh for EEAO – it’s winning just about every award given out this season. Who would I give the Oscar to? Hmmm…Ana de Armas made an amazing transformation into Marilyn Monroe, turning on the switch to become the captivating movie star just as the icon herself was able to do, to shape-shift in a split second. Ever since seeing Michelle Williams in Blue Valenine, Steven Spielberg had her in mind to one day play his mother. In The Fabelmans, she creates a unique and lovely pixie character who seems to be made of smoke and dreams. After I saw the film, I read about the real Leah Spielberg and realized how perfect Williams’ portrayal was. Michelle Yeoh has built on the intense discipline and precision of expression and movement she developed as a professional ballerina, to forge her career as an actress, comedian and master of physical grace and power. EEAO is a culmination of all her skills. Who would I give I would give the Oscar to Yeoh to congratulate her on finally taking her renown from Chinese cinema to American to become the international legend she deserves to be.

Best Lead Actor: Austin Butler for Elvis, Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin, Brendan Fraser for The Whale, Paul Mescal for Aftersun and Bill Nighy for Living. Who do I think will win? I think Colin Farrell – this is probably his finest work so far in a career of continuous achievement in reaching for the depth of a wide range of characters and emotions. Austin Butler deserves recognition for effort and difficulty of assignment. He not only had to inhabit a one-of-a-kind icon, but he also had to play guitar and sing like Elvis. He immersed himself in the music and the person and “became” Elvis for two years to prepare for the role. Butler’s transformation is uncanny. Who would I give the Oscar to? To Farrell for his vivid portrayal in Banshees and for his whole career of fine work. Farrell makes “Padraic” come to life flawlessly. I knew people like Padraic when I lived in Ireland. Farrell loses himself entirely in this character.

Best Director: Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for EEAO, Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans, Todd Field for Tar and Ruben Ostlund for Triangle of Sadness. Who do I think will win? The “Daniels” – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for EEAO, because again, it’s winning everything everywhere. Who would I give the Oscar to? A tough decision. Spielberg deserves honor for the work he’s created over his legendary career. The “Daniels” had to compile a complex story told on multiple planes of existence into an entertaining and thought-provoking film. McDonagh created a slice of reality on an isolated Irish island that sources universal human flaws, emotions, tragedy, dignity and beauty. I would give the Oscar to McDonagh for Banshees.

Best Picture: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, EEAO, The Fabelmans, Tar, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness and Women Talking. Which do I think will win? EEAO, because it’s winning everywhere. Which would I give the Oscar to? For overall mind-blowing cinematic experience, runners-up would be Avatar, Banshees, and EEAO. My winner is All Quiet on the Western Front. Its superb screenplay, stunning cinematography, haunting and unique soundtrack, skillful editing and brilliant acting create a piece of cinematic literature that should last through the ages as an emotional treatise on the inhuman horrors of war.

Post Script: Which films on my Best Picture List weren’t nominated? tick,tick…BOOM!, Nope, The Woman King, The Menu, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

in Film
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