Saturday, March 11, 2023



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Oscars 2023 — a quick look at how things have been laid out. 

There’s an interesting calm-before-the-storm feeling that sweeps through the film industry just before award season begins. I mean who would have imagined that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would leap from the underdog position to the winner? To frame it—correctly—it’s a sci-fi comedy with martial arts and yet this film demonstrated such creativity, and ingenuity that they could not be denied. 

All signs point to t “Everything Everywhere All at Once” taking the night and winning the best picture. 

And since the films’ co-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert took the top prize from the Directors Guild of America, insiders knew the path they were stepping on. 17 of the last 20 DGA winners have won.

Best actor nominee Brendan Fraser took the plunge and stepped into prosthetics to play a 600-pound recluse in “The Whale” and Hollywood lives for a comeback story; the actor is 54. 

Breathing down Fraser’s neck is Austin Butler who has his fans inside the voting circles. He even did his own singing while trying to bring Elvis back to life. The nominated actor is only 31 years old. 

The best actress category this year was, in a word, “shocking” as two African American actresses were left out of the nomination due (many insiders say) to Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie” — a film that has only made 31,543 (USD) at the time of filing — “surprise” nomination. The race really comes down to Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh, the season’s top prize-earners. Blanchett already has two Oscars, and Yeoh’s first win would be historic in a category where no women of color have won since Halle Berry over two decades ago.

It’s predicted that Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” will take home the supporting actor win. He’s dominated this awards season and touched voters with is moving acceptance speeches and he’s also a Hollywood comeback story. And I can’t say this enough; Oscar voters love to be a part of that comeback victory. 

Quan is a child actor with credits that include “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” to name a few.

The best supporting actress is a challenge.  Angela Bassett arrived at the top of the Oscar season winning the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards and was considered by most the easy choice. Then she lost the BAFTA and SAG Awards. 

But Bassett makes history win or lose, as Oscar winner Ariana DeBose shouted to the world at the 2023 BAFTA award celebration in a rap that has since gone viral —Angela Bassett did the thing — and she did. 

Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) is the first person to ever be nominated for acting in a Marvel movie. And she’s the fourth African American actress to ever receive multiple Oscar nominations, joining Whoopi Goldberg, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer. Her nomination is a big deal inside the Marvel universe. The first “Black Panther” film won three Oscars and was even nominated for Best Picture. 

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has five Oscar nominations including Angela Bassett for her Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress; Ruth E. Carter for her Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design; Best Original Song, “Lift Me Up,” music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson; lyrics by Tems and Ryan Coogler; Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, Christopher White, and Dan Sudick on t Best Visual Effects; and Camille Friend and Joel Harlow on their Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

There are only two, real contenders for the best song race: “Lift Me Up” (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and “Naatu Naatu” (“RRR”). We predict “Naatu Naatu” will win. 

Oscar Nominee, M.M. Keeravani, music composer of ‘Naatu Naatu’ from ‘RRR’. Photo by Variance Films.

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