Predicting the Oscars Part 3: The Above-the-Line categories and Shorts

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulMar 10, 2023 | 14:34

Predicting the Oscars Part 3: The Above-the-Line categories and Shorts

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 sought after ‘Above-the-Line’ categories, as well as the Short form categories. We'll break down each of them 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

And also have a look at our predictions for the acting categories: Predicting the Oscars Part 2: The Acting categories

Best Animated Short

In a remarkable turn of events, Sara Gunnarsdóttir's endearing tale of adolescent self-discovery has garnered robust backing. Such is the love for My Year of Dicks (aided by Riz Ahmed's viral nomination proclamation) that it may even triumph over the heavyweight contender on Apple TV, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. My Year of Dicks (WINNER)
  2. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
  3. Ice Merchants
  4. An Ostrich Told Me The World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It
  5. The Flying Sailor

Best Documentary Short

While Malala Yousafzai has graced the ballrooms of numerous award ceremonies to promote Stranger at the Gate, a documentary on religious intolerance she executive produced, Netflix's The Elephant Whisperers is a visually stunning masterpiece that could surpass even Malala's star power. The heartwarming tale of the gentle, orphaned elephants and the endearing Indian couple who nurture them, as depicted by Kartiki Gonsalves, is sure to resonate with voters. Its captivating imagery and emotional resonance make it a top contender in the awards race.


Here are my final predictions:

  1. The Elephant Whisperers (WINNER)
  2. Stranger at the Gate
  3. Haulout
  4. How Do You Measure  Year
  5. The Martha Mitchell Effect

Best Live-Action Short

In the race for top honors at this year's cinematic celebration, Le Pupille, a creation of the seasoned Cannes director and Italian luminary Alice Rohrwacher, supported by the distinguished Mexican producer Alfonso Cuarón, has ascended to the forefront of the pack with its captivating blend of charm, refinement, and poignant Christmas narrative unfolding within the confines of a stern, habit-wearing nun-administered institution. Moreover, should Cuarón triumph, he would join the ranks of Walt Disney in clinching the record for the most prestigious Oscar wins across four categories.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Le Pupille (WINNER)
  2. The Red Suitcase
  3. An Irish Goodbye
  4. Night Ride
  5. Ivalu

Best Animated Feature

In the race for the coveted award, it appears all but certain that Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion rendition of Pinocchio, a multi-Oscar honoree, will emerge victorious, adding to Netflix's already impressive roster of wins. Despite facing formidable competition from the equally imaginative Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, del Toro's project seems poised to capture the top prize in this category.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Pinocchio (WINNER)
  2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On 
  4. Turning Red
  5. The Sea Beast

Best Documentary Feature

In a season marked by heightened anti-Putin sentiment, the race for top documentary film has been a close three-way competition. Leading the pack is Daniel Roher's politically timely Sundance sensation, Navalny, which has earned critical acclaim and accolades from the Producers Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Meanwhile, Laura Poitras' Venice Golden Lion-winning masterpiece All the Beauty and the Bloodshed - a poignant portrait of the political activist and artist Nan Goldin - secured the coveted Spirit Award. And let's not forget Sara Dosa's breathtaking Fire of Love, a lyrical depiction of a daring volcano-chasing couple that raked in an impressive $1.8 million at the global box office.


With Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky charming Hollywood at events such as the Cannes Film Festival and Golden Globes, it seems likely that Academy members will be drawn to the politically charged narrative of Navalny

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Navalny (WINNER)
  2. Fire of Love
  3. All The Beauty And The Bloodshed
  4. All That Breathes
  5. A House Made of Splinters

Best International Feature

Here's the deal. It is a well-established fact that a Best Picture nominee seldom falters in this category, making the triumph of Germany's All Quiet on the Western Front more than obvious. Any other contender's upset victory would undoubtedly rank among the most astounding upsets in the annals of this category.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. All Quiet On The Western Front (WINNER)
  2. Close
  3. EO
  4. The Quiet Girl
  5. Argentina, 1985

Best Adapted Screenplay

In the fiercely competitive race for Best Picture, two nominees have emerged as formidable opponents, locked in a head-to-head battle. On one side stands Women Talking, a polarizing film that showcases the tremendous skill of its Canadian director in bringing to life the story of eight Mennonites confined to a barn for an engrossing one hour and forty-four minutes. Despite its divisiveness, the film has already earned its writer, Sarah Polley, an Oscar nomination for her previous work on Away from Her. Furthermore, it has garnered accolades in the form of the coveted Scripter Award and the WGA, adding to its already impressive pedigree.

On the other side of this contest is All Quiet On The Western Front a harrowing and unflinching portrayal of the horrors of war that has been gaining momentum as more people bear witness to its uncompromising vision. Though it was not eligible for the WGA, the film has already taken home the BAFTA, further cementing its status as a worthy contender in this year's awards season. 

Owing to its profound socio-cultural significance, we're leaning towards Women Talking.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Women Talking (WINNER)
  2. All Quiet On The Western Front
  3. Top Gun: Maverick
  4. Living
  5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Best Original Screenplay

In the race for Best Picture, a compelling competition is underway between two nominees. The British filmmaker, McDonagh, has secured the Globe and BAFTA awards, and although ineligible for the WGA, remains a formidable contender. Meanwhile, the Daniels have clinched the Critics Choice and Spirits accolades, along with the WGA prize.

While Everything Everywhere All at Once enjoys a tailwind of momentum, it faces stiff competition from The Banshees of Inisherin, which has garnered a remarkable eight Oscar nominations. Despite the impressive showing of the latter, industry experts suggest that the safer bet may be Everything Everywhere, given its unprecedented popularity in the film world.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (WINNER)
  2. The Banshees of Inisherin
  3. TAR
  4. The Fabelmans
  5. Triangle of Sadness

Best Director

In recent years, the coveted directing Oscar has been awarded to those who demonstrate an exceptional mastery of technical craft, exemplified by the likes of Ang Lee's VFX sensation Life of Pi, Alfonso Cuarón's masterpieces Gravity and Roma, and A.G. Iñárritu's epic The Revenant.

Yet, auteurs possess an undeniable advantage in this category, as evidenced by the triumph of Bong Joon Ho's Parasite, Chloe Zhao's Nomadland, and most recently, Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog.

Adding to the competition, the Daniels have secured both the DGA and Critics Choice Awards, firmly cementing their position as frontrunners for the coveted prize.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (WINNER)
  2. Steven Spielberg
  3. Todd Field
  4. Martin McDonagh
  5. Ruben Ostlund

Best Picture

Who could have predicted that a quirky sci-fi comedy would emerge as a top contender during this awards season? Everything Everywhere All at Once defied expectations with its unique blend of humor and heart, earning accolades from every single guild in the industry - the DGA, the PGA, the WGA and the SAG. In fact, only four other films in history have achieved such a clean sweep, all of whom have gone on to win the top prize. With a strong position in the race for the coveted Best Picture Oscar, this underdog story may very well follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and claim its well deserved win.

Here are my final predictions:

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (WINNER)
  2. All Quiet On The Western Front
  3. The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. The Fabelmans
  5. Top Gun: Maverick
  6. TAR
  7. Women Talking
  8. Triangle of Sadness
  9. Elvis
  10. Avatar: The Way of Water
Last updated: March 10, 2023 | 16:34
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy