Predicting the Oscars Part 2: The Acting categories

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulMar 09, 2023 | 16:29

Predicting the Oscars Part 2: The Acting categories

Hollywood's biggest night is right around the corner, and film fans around the world are buzzing with excitement. The 95th Academy Awards ceremony promises to be a memorable one, with a lineup of critically acclaimed movies vying for the coveted golden statuettes.

As always, predicting the winners in each category is a challenge, but that's part of the fun. Will the big award go to a beloved blockbuster, an indie darling, or a dark horse surprise? Will there be any upsets or snubs? Only time will tell, but we're here to make our best educated guesses.


To learn more about how we go about our Oscar predictions every year, have a look at: How To Win An Oscar

Whether you're a seasoned awards show watcher or a casual moviegoer, you won't want to miss this. Get ready for an evening of glitz, glamour, and probably a bunch of surprises.

For this second segment of Oscar Predictions, we’re diving into our predictions for the acting categories. We'll break down each category and highlight the top contenders: 

But before going through our acting predictions, have a look at our predictions under the technical categories: Predicting the Oscars Part 1: The Technical categories

Best Actress

For months now, the race for Best Actress has been a nail-biting contest between two leading contenders. With the exception of the wildcard Andrea Riseborough, and the entire Academy weighing in on the decision, the buzz has been building around Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh since the start of the critics-awards season. While Blanchett has won accolades from large and broad voting bodies such as Critics Choice and BAFTA, as well as major national critics' groups, the momentum is currently on Yeoh's side.

Yeoh's film, Everything Everywhere All At Once has been on a winning streak, with back-to-back victories at the SAG and Indie Spirits awards, both of which carry Academy overlap. As the face of the movie, Yeoh has become a force to be reckoned with in the Best Actress category. If the movie has the night we're expecting, Yeoh could make history as the second woman of color to win this category.


While the numbers currently favor Blanchett, it's important to remember that momentum is crucial in the Oscar race. With Yeoh and her film gaining ground, it's anyone's guess who will come out on top. But with the Academy's whole membership voting, rather than just the actors branch, it's likely that the winner will be a true reflection of the best performance of the year

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Michelle Yeoh (WINNER)
  2. Cate Blanchett
  3. Michelle Williams
  4. Ana de Armas
  5. Andrea Riseborough

Best Actor

In a season marked by fluctuating front-runners, this category has proven to be one of the most unpredictable. The nominations of newcomer Paul Mescal and veteran Bill Nighy have generated excitement, yet neither has been able to muster enough momentum for a win.

Colin Farrell initially emerged as a strong contender, securing the best-actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his role in Banshees. Despite a career marked by ups and downs, it seemed voters might celebrate Farrell's recent success. However, following his win at the Globes, his momentum has stalled, with Butler and Fraser winning the BAFTA and SAG Awards, respectively.

In this category, transformative performances have often prevailed, such as Gary Oldman's win for Darkest Hour or Eddie Redmayne's performance in The Theory of Everything. Thus, Fraser's portrayal of a grieving 600-pound man seemed to make him an easy front-runner, bolstered by his powerful comeback story. However, the film's lukewarm reception could hinder his chances.


This leaves us with this season's ingenue, Austin Butler, whose convincing portrayal of Elvis Presley has left him unable to fully shed the iconic musician's persona. His surprising win at the BAFTAs and the film's popularity with voters could make him a strong contender, though the Academy has not typically rewarded newcomers in this category. Additionally, the film is nominated for best picture, historically a significant boost in the best actor race, but the lead isn't substantial.

Despite the lackluster response to the film, I believe the Academy will ultimately recognize Brendan Fraser for his performance and the difficult path he has taken to arrive here.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Brendan Fraser (WINNER)
  2. Austin Butler
  3. Coline Ferrell
  4. Paul Mescal
  5. Bill Nighy

Best Supporting Actress

During awards season, Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) was an early front-runner, but Angela Bassett's (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) victories at the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards propelled her to the top spot. 

While Wakanda Forever was not nominated for best picture, Bassett's performance in the sequel and her distinguished career as an actor earned her widespread support. However, recent events have led to a shift in momentum. 

Jamie Lee Curtis won the Screen Actors Guild Award, and Kerry Condon claimed the BAFTA, making all three contenders viable candidates for the Oscar. Voting for Condon could be a simple way for the academy to recognize The Banshees of Inisherin, which is unlikely to win in other categories at this point.

The SAG Awards have predicted the Oscar winner for this category every year since 2010, with the exception of 2019, making it difficult to imagine anyone other than Everything Everywhere All At Once winning. Nevertheless, there is a strong industry sentiment for Curtis, and vote-splitting with her co-star Stephanie Hsu could affect her chances.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Jamie Lee Curtis (WINNER)
  2. Angela Bassett
  3. Kerry Condon
  4. Stephanie Hsu
  5. Hong Chau

Best Supporting Actor

In a year that has proved challenging for prognosticators of the silver screen, one fact remains clear: the biggest frontrunner in any acting category at this year's Academy Awards is a performer who has already suffered a loss in the prestigious BAFTA race, among others earlier in the season. The award in question is none other than the highly anticipated and historically predictable "easiest award of the night."

Ke Huy Quan, whose passionate and energetic speeches have dazzled audiences throughout the awards season, is widely expected to take home the coveted statuette, and do so with a flourish. Those who have followed Quan's improbable journey from obscurity to Oscar contention, courtesy of his role in Everything Everywhere All At Once, can likely expect a moving acceptance speech replete with tales of adversity and triumph.

While Barry Keoghan, who claimed the BAFTA in this category, and Judd Hirsch, who enjoyed a period of strong consideration, may have made waves, the competition is widely seen as being outmatched by the charismatic Quan. In a year rife with uncertainty in all four acting categories, one thing is clear: Quan has emerged as the definitive choice to take home this year's Supporting Actor

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Ke Huy Quan (WINNER)
  2. Barry Keoghan
  3. Brendan Gleeson
  4. Judd Hirsch
  5. Brian Tyree Henry
Last updated: March 09, 2023 | 16:29
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