Hall of Fame: An insider to the 95th Academy Awards Nominations, predictions regarding potential winners

Actor in a Leading Role

Given the list of movies featured for having the best leading role, two films stand out in particular for this category: Austin Butler for “Elvis” and Brendan Fraser for “The Whale.” On one hand, Butler gives the performance of a lifetime portraying the iconic rockstar. He spent up to two years perfecting the voice of Elvis Presley and even more time perfecting his persona and behavior on set. On the other hand, Fraser also gives one of his best and most emotional performances as Charlie, a morbidly obese and reclusive online English professor, in “The Whale.” While Butler’s performance is iconic and the movie does deserve praise for its charisma and storytelling, Fraser’s role is far more emotional and complex making him the nominee that deserves the win.


Actress in a Supporting Role

Two of the roles that stand out are Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and Hong Chau for “The Whale.” While Chau does an excellent job in her role of Liz, Bassett clearly demonstrates that Queen Ramonda of Wakanda is deeply emotionally distraught by the loss of her son King T’Challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman. For that, the win should go to Angela Bassett for her performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”


Animated Feature Film

Of all the nominees for animated films, Joel Crawford and Mark Swift for “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” and Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins for the Disney+ Original “Turning Red” stand out the most. Both are indeed excellent animated feature films on their own. Both have protagonists that go through major character arcs: Puss values life and the people around him and not fearing Death, and Meilin Lee accepts her true self as she becomes more independent in response to her overprotective mother. However, “Turning Red” deserves to be the winner for its unique and diverse representation of Chinese culture and its relatable characters and plot.


Costume Design

Hats off to the costume designer of the most deserving film: Catherine Martin for “Elvis.” Martin’s work recreating the rock icon’s jumpsuits and other apparel is exemplary to a tee, all while making sure that the accuracy of the costume reflects the time period and that the costume also fits Butler’s physique.


Film Editing

Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond for “Elvis” and Eddie Hamilton for “Top Gun: Maverick” have excellent moments throughout the film. However, “Elvis” had transitions and scenes unique to Baz Luhrmann’s style of filming which makes it the ideal candidate for this category.


Makeup and Hairstyling

Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signoretti clearly take the cake for their job at recreating the hairstyles in “Elvis” for Butler and the other members of the cast. The iconic jet-black hair and the sideburns say it all!


Music (Original Song)

Lady Gaga and BloodPop’s original song “Hold My Hand” for “Top Gun: Maverick” is a deeply emotional and moving song that ends the film perfectly, making it the definite winner for this category.


Best Picture

Producers Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer for “Top Gun: Maverick” and Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss for “Elvis” are excellent candidates for this category. However, “Avatar: The Way of Water” has the best chance of winning Best Picture for its excellence in world-building and introducing us to more aspects of Na’vi culture. Therefore, the win has to go to producers James Cameron and Jon Landau for “Avatar: The Way of Water.”


Production Design

“Avatar: The Way of Water” – Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter; Set Decoration: Vanessa Cole.

“Elvis” – Production Design: Catherine Martin and Karen Murphy; Set Decoration: Bev Dunn.

The candidates and movies above have done an excellent job of creating the sets and designing the scenes for each of their settings and plots. At the end of the day, it is anyone’s game.



“Avatar: The Way of Water,” “The Batman,” “Elvis” and “Top Gun: Maverick” are the four films that stand out for sound. However, the obvious winners are definitely Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor for “Top Gun: Maverick.” Having seen this movie in theaters myself, I can proudly say that the stunts and sounds featured in this film are legendary; you feel like you are actually flying and dogfighting with Tom Cruise and his naval aviator students the entire time.


Visual Effects

Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett for “Avatar: The Way of Water” are the clear winners for Visual Effects because of the advanced CGI used to supplement the complex characterization and world-building that occurs during the duration of the film.


Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Netflix Original “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” written by Rian Johnson is facing some serious competition, especially against “Top Gun: Maverick,” screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks. Both have excellent stories and each deserves to win in this category in their own right.


Where can I watch the Oscars?

The 95th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, March 12, 2023 and will be honoring movies released in 2022. You can watch the awards on ABC at 7:00 PM CDT, so don’t miss it!