If a musical performance during the Academy Awards on Sunday night is especially good, will someone tweet, “It slaps?”
If “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is somehow shut out of awards, can we say it was “a slap in the face to the Oscar favorite?”
You see where this is going.
Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars — and winning the award for best actor less than an hour later — was the story of the night. Week. Month. Year. It’s still the big Oscars story. How could it not be?
As evidence: Quick, what film won best picture last year?
Don’t look at me, I’m not telling you. But the slap, you remember.
It’s certain that it will come up throughout the night, whether from host Jimmy Kimmel (who was also the host for the previous weirdest-Oscar-story-ever show), presenters or winners. Maybe a few references will pop up on the red carpet, as well, though that soul-sucking exercise is so excruciating in every way that even slap references might be forgotten. The clothes are nice enough. It’s the insipid questions that bring me down.
But not enough to miss the Oscars. Of course I’ll watch. You should, too. Here’s how.
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When are the Oscars?
The Oscars are scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, on ABC, as well as ABC.com and the ABC app. How many people will watch on what platform is always a big concern, at least for the platforms carrying the show.
Once a ratings magnet, the best the Oscars can hope for now are middling rating numbers, meaning producers will try all sorts of things to boost viewership. For instance, a couple of best picture nominees, “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” were massive box-office hits, which sometimes draws more viewers. (The category was expanded to 10 nominees for just this reason.)
Will either win best picture? No. Nor should they. But “Oscar-nominated” looks pretty good on a resume.
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What movies are nominated for Oscars?
What will win? This is a tricky year. These are educated guesses, nothing more. In other words, if you’re planning to use them for betting, slap that idea down immediately.
Best picture nominees
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Triangle of Sadness”
Oscars 2023 Best Picture predictions
Will win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Should win: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Why: I’d be happy with “The Fabelmans,” as well, but “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has seemingly unstoppable momentum. Also, it’s pretty great, with its whacked-out narrative grounded by uniformly moving performances.
Best Actress nominees
Cate Blanchett, “TÁR”
Ana de Armas, “Blonde”
Andrea Riseborough, “To Leslie”
Michelle Williams, “The Fabelmans”
Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Oscars 2023 Best Actress predictions
Will win: Blanchett.
Should win: Blanchett.
Why: Because it’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. That said, I’d be delighted if Yeoh won, both for her performance and her career.
Best Actor nominees
Austin Butler, “Elvis”
Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”
Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”
Bill Nighy, “Living”
Oscars 2023 Best Actor predictions
Will win: Butler.
Should win: Fraser, maybe.
Why: Fraser makes for a good comeback story, but not the best one of the night. He’s really good, but “The Whale” isn’t. Maybe if Butler wins he’ll finally drop the Elvis accent.
Best Supporting Actress nominees
Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
Hong Chau, “The Whale”
Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Stephane Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Oscars 2023 Best Supporting Actress predictions
Will win: Bassett.
Should win: Chau.
Why: This is a loaded category. Not a bad pick among them. And Bassett is deserving (as is Hsu). But Chau is always outstanding (see “The Menu,” “Watchmen,” etc.).
Best Supporting Actor nominees
Brendan Gleeson, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Brian Tyree Henry, “Causeway”
Judd Hirsch, “The Fabelmans”
Barry Keoghan, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Oscars 2023 Best Supporting Actor predictions
Will win: Quan.
Should win: Quan.
Why: It’s the comeback story of a lifetime — as a kid Quan appears in “Indiana and the Temple of Doom” and “The Goonies,” then quit acting when opportunities dried up. Now he is a dead solid lock to win an Oscar. Happy tears.
Best Director nominees
Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”
Todd Field, “TÁR”
Ruben Östlund, “Triangle of Sadness”
Oscars 2023 Best Director predictions
Will win: The Daniels, as they’re known collectively.
Should win: Spielberg.
Why: Corralling all the ideas in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is indeed impressive, but Spielberg’s direction of his own life story (sort of) is subtly meticulous and brilliant.
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How to watch the Academy Awards 2023
5 p.m. Sunday, March 12 on Channel 15 (ABC). Stream on ABC.com or the ABC app.
Reach Goodykoontz at [email protected]. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. Twitter: @goodyk. Subscribe to azcentral.com today. What are you waiting for?