The race for the best director Oscar could hinge on how the Academy wants to distribute the wealth, as all five directors have received multiple nods this year.
We’ll be updating these predictions throughout awards season, so stay tuned to IndieWire for our 2023 Oscars picks. The final vote will take place between March 2 and 7, 2023. The 95th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 12th and will air live on ABC at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.
Our awards editor, TV and film Marcus Jones, joins editor at large Anne Thompson for the latest Oscar prediction updates. Check out their previous thoughts on what to expect at the 95th Academy Awards.
State of the species
Auteurs are included this year, as there is rarely a complete match between the nominees for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
The Academy awarded all five spots to directors who took a hands-on approach to tell a whole new story, reminding us why we love going to the movies and going to the theater (two things that are in short supply in an increasingly IP-driven video-on-demand world).
Academy voters love countless movies. And given their cross-category strength, the best director award looks set to go to three front-runners: “The Fabelmans,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.”
After all, in recent years the best director and best picture awards have often been split between two different films (i.e. “Power of the Dog” director Jane Campion won last year, but “CODA” won best picture), and each nominee has received multiple nods. . means there are almost enough Oscars.
Still, Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” looks like the only film that could win both Best Picture and Best Director. The film icon earned a Best Original Screenplay nod alongside Tony Kushner, the first time he’s been nominated for his writing. Previous screenplay nominees Martin McDonagh or Todd Field are more likely to distinguish themselves in this category. Directorial duo Daniels also gave “Everything Everywhere All at Once” a boost and could win here.
Historically, though, the Directors branch has lagged behind co-directors and international filmmakers, so “The Banshees of Inisherin” director McDonagh now has a bit of an edge on them. The fact that his film is set in Ireland, unlike his last film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, probably made it a little more appealing to the fast-growing number of European voters to finally recognize his directorial skills (McDonagh’s film). The Oscar goes to the best live-action film category. It can be assumed that the same group of European voters also voted for Ruben Östlund, but the zero acting nominations for the Palme d’Or ensemble comedy does not bode well for his chances.
Meanwhile, Field of “THE LIBRARY” finally made it to the best director category, two decades after making his directorial debut with the best picture-nominated “In the Bedroom,” but the polarizing Cate Blanchett vehicle fared so well in the best actress race that it may become the a victim of the “one big win per film” trend.
The nominees are listed below in order of probability of winning.
Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”)
Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Todd Field (“LIBRARY”)
Ruben Östlund (The Triangle of Sadness)
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