Oscars Predictions: Best Picture – WGA Strike Ends With All Eyes on SAG-AFTRA in Hopes to Allow Actors to Campaign

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2023 Oscars Predictions:
Best Picture

Past Lives
Past Lives

Weekly Commentary (Updated Sept. 28, 2023): Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached the finish line on Sunday, saving the awards campaigning season (or at least half of it as SAG-AFTRA goes back to the table on Monday). It will be a lot of catch-up, but interim agreements could still give others an advantage as Hollywood waits on the actors.

SAG approved more than 100 interim agreements that applied. Smaller studios not part of the AMPTP, including A24, Lionsgate, and Neon, are eligible, as are independently financed films.

With the Oscar race seemingly having four solid bets in the best picture category from big-spending studios – Apple’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Searchlight Pictures’ “Poor Things,” Warner Bros’ “Barbie” and Universal’s “Oppenheimer” – every movie studio would like one (or multiple) of the six remaining slots occupied with a film from its slate.

“While everyone is silenced, you’d be stupid not to be as loud as possible,” an awards strategist tells Variety. “I’ll be curious about how loud it will get when we come back because everyone will feel that some had a head start on the competition.”


All of A24’s upcoming fall releases, such as “Dream Scenario” with Nicolas Cage and “The Iron Claw” with Zac Efron, obtained agreements allowing them to campaign. Even their early summer release, such as the love story “Past Lives” from debut filmmaker Celine Song, got one that will give AAPI leads Greta Lee and Tee Yoo the space to campaign for possible acting nods.

Another film from A24, Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” now the official selection for the United Kingdom in the international feature race, wasn’t SAG or WGA sanctioned, giving stars Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller the freedom to mingle with voters, which they’ve already done with trips to Telluride and Toronto Film Fests.

Another Hüller movie, “Anatomy of a Fall” from Neon, doesn’t fall under the purview of SAG and WGA. And despite the Palme d’Or winner not being selected as France’s international submission, the studio still plans to push forward with a full awards campaign.

The other studios aren’t taking it lying down. Netflix hosted a screening of Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” at the Academy Museum this week, with Leonard Bernstein’s daughters Jamie and Nina in attendance. It could be a top-to-bottom awards contender, especially in the technical races.

Ahead of its New York Film Festival bow on Monday, Netflix invited a small group of journalists and friends of the Bernstein family to the Academy Museum for a screening of Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro.” The famed composer’s daughters, Jamie Bernstein and Nina Maria Felicia Bernstein, introduced the film, followed by an intimate discussion with some of the filmmaking team, including Oscar-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger (“The Fabelmans”) and three-time nominated sound mixer Steven Morrow (“La La Land,” “A Star is Born” and “Ford v. Ferrari”).

A top-to-bottom awards contender, especially in the craft categories, will help considerably in the hunt for the best picture prize.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 18, 2023. Preliminary shortlist voting will begin on Dec. 18, with the results announced on Dec. 21. The voting period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominations announcement on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.

Listed producer credits are not final and are subject to change. The Academy ultimately determines the official nominees.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)
    Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan

  2. Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)
    Dan Friedkin, Martin Scorsese, Bradley Thomas, Daniel Lupi

  3. Barbie” (Warner Bros.)
    David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, Robbie Brenner

  4. Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)
    Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone

  5. The Holdovers” (Focus Features)
    Mark Johnson, Bill Block, David Hemingson

  6. Maestro” (Netflix)
    Fred Berner, Bradley Cooper, Amy Durning, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg

  7. American Fiction” (MGM)
    Cord Jefferson, Jermaine Johnson, Nikos Karamigios, Ben LeClair

  8. The Zone of Interest” (A24)
    Ewa Puszczynska, James Wilson

  9. Past Lives” (A24)
    David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon

  10. Origin” (Neon)
    Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes

Next in Line

  1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)
    Avi Arad, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Amy Pascal, Christina Steinberg

  2. The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)
    Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey

  3. The Iron Claw” (A24)
    Sean Durkin, Juliette Howell, Angus Lamont, Tessa Ross

  4. May December” (Netflix)
    Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Grant S. Johnson, Pamela Koffler, Tyler W. Konney, Sophie Mas, Natalie Portman, Christine Vachon

  5. The Bikeriders” (20th Century Studios)
    Sarah Green, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Arnon Milchan

  6. Ferrari” (Neon)
    Monika Bacardi, Thomas Hayslip, Andrea Iervolino, John Lesher, Michael Mann, Laura Rister, Thorsten Schumacher, Lars Sylvest, P.J. van Sandwijk, Gareth West

  7. Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)
    Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion

  8. Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)
    Ben Affleck, Madison Ainley, Jason Michael Berman, Matt Damon, David Ellison, Peter Guber, Jeff Robinov, Jesse Sisgold, Jon Weinbach

  9. Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)
    Craig Gillespie, Aaron Ryder, Teddy Schwarzman

  10. Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios)
    Emerald Fennell, Josey McNamara, Tom Ackerley, Margot Robbie

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. Priscilla” (A24)
    Sofia Coppola, Youree Henley, Lorenzo Mieli

  2. All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures)
    Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Sarah Harvey

  3. Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures)
    Mark Huffam, Ridley Scott, Kevin J. Walsh

  4. Freud’s Last Session” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Alan Greisman, Hannah Leader, Rick Nicita, Robert Stillman, Meg Thomson

  5. Rustin” (Netflix)
    Bruce Cohen, Tonia Davis

  6. The Burial” (Amazon MGM Studios)
    Jamie Foxx, Jenette Kahn, Celine Rattray, Adam Richman, Robert Shriver, Trudie Styler, Datari Turner

  7. American Symphony” (Netflix)
    Lauren Domino, Joedan Okun

  8. Fair Play” (Netflix)
    Leopold Hughes, Ben LeClair, Allan Mandelbaum, Tim White, Trevor White

  9. BlackBerry” (IFC Films)
    Fraser Ash, Niv Fichman, Kevin Krikst, Matthew Miller

  10. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” (Lionsgate)
    Julie Ansell, James L. Brooks, Kelly Fremon Craig

Also In Contention

  1. The Taste of Things” (IFC Films/Sapan Studio)
    Olivier Delbosc

  2. Dream Scenario” (A24)
    Ari Aster, Tyler Campellone, Jacob Jaffke, Lars Knudsen

  3. Society of the Snow” (Netflix)
    Belén Atienza, Sandra Hermida

  4. Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Peter Del Vecho, Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones

  5. Nyad” (Netflix)
    Andrew Lazar, Teddy Schwarzman

  6. Fingernails” (Apple Original Films)
    Cate Blanchett, Coco Francini, Christos Nikou, Andrew Upton, Lucas Wiesendanger

  7. Asteroid City” (Focus Features)
    Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales

  8. A Little Prayer” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Max A. Butler, Angus MacLachlan, Lauren Vilchik

  9. The Teachers’ Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Ingo Fliess

  10. The Royal Hotel” (Neon)
    Iain Canning, Kath Shelper, Emile Sherman, Liz Watts

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**

  • A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)

  • The Bikeriders” (20th Century Studios)

  • The Creator” (20th Century Studios)

  • Beau is Afraid” (A24)

  • Dream Scenario” (A24)

  • The Iron Claw” (A24)

  • Past Lives” (A24)

  • Priscilla” (A24)

  • Showing Up” (A24)

  • When You Finish Saving the World” (A24)

  • You Hurt My Feelings” (A24)

  • The Zone of Interest” (A24)

  • Air” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • The Burial” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Cassandro” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Foe” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  • Fingernails” (Apple Original Films)

  • Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films)

  • Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)

  • Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures)

  • The Pigeon Tunnel” (Apple Original Films)

  • Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” (Apple Original Films)

  • Across the River and Into the Trees” (Bleecker Street)

  • Golda” (Bleecker Street)

  • The Origin” (Bleecker Street)

  • Suzume” (Crunchyroll)

  • The YouTube Effect” (Drafthouse Films)

  • Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” (DreamWorks Animation)

  • Trolls Band Together” (DreamWorks Animation)

  • Asteroid City” (Focus Features)

  • Every Body” (Focus Features)

  • The Holdovers” (Focus Features)

  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” (Focus Features)

  • A Thousand and One” (Focus Features)

  • The Boy and the Heron” (GKids)

  • BlackBerry” (IFC Films)

  • Monica” (IFC Films)

  • R.M.N.” (IFC Films)

  • The Taste of Things” (IFC Films/Sapan Studio)

  • Migration” (Illumination)

  • Flamin’ Hot” (Hulu/Searchlight Pictures)

  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Illumination)

  • Evil Does Not Exist” (Janus Films)

  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate)

  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (Lionsgate)

  • John Wick Chapter 4” (Lionsgate)

  • Joy Ride” (Lionsgate)

  • Baby Ruby” (Magnet Releasing)

  • Little Richard: I Am Everything” (Magnolia Pictures)

  • Master Gardener” (Magnolia Pictures)

  • The Stones and Brian Jones” (Magnolia Pictures)

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quanumania” (Marvel Studios)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios)

  • The Marvels” (Marvel Studios)

  • Bottoms” (MGM/Orion)

  • The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)

  • Creed III” (MGM)

  • Landscape with Invisible Hand” (MGM)

  • American Fiction” (MGM)

  • The Eternal Memory” (MTV Documentary Films)

  • The Delinquents” (Mubi)

  • Fallen Leaves” (Mubi)

  • High & Low: John Galliano” (Mubi)

  • The Settlers” (Mubi)

  • Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)

  • Eileen” (Neon)

  • Ferrari” (Neon)

  • How to Blow Up a Pipeline” (Neon)

  • La Chimera” (Neon)

  • Longlegs” (Neon)

  • Mothers’ Instinct” (Neon)

  • Origin” (Neon)

  • Perfect Days” (Neon)

  • Robot Dreams” (Neon)

  • The Royal Hotel” (Neon)

  • American Symphony” (Netflix)

  • Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” (Netflix)

  • The Deepest Breath” (Netflix)

  • El Conde” (Netflix)

  • Fair Play” (Netflix)

  • The Killer” (Netflix)

  • Leave the World Behind” (Netflix)

  • Leo” (Netflix)

  • May December” (Netflix)

  • Maestro” (Netflix)

  • The Magician’s Elephant” (Netflix)

  • Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir: The Movie” (Netflix)

  • The Monkey King” (Netflix)

  • Nimona” (Netflix)

  • Nyad” (Netflix)

  • Pain Hustlers” (Netflix)

  • Rebel Moon” (Netflix)

  • Reptile” (Netflix)

  • Rustin” (Netflix)

  • Society of the Snow” (Netflix)

  • Stamped from the Beginning” (Netflix)

  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount Pictures)

  • PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Please Don’t Destroy This Project” (Peacock)

  • Elemental” (Pixar)

  • Black Ice” (Roadside Attractions)

  • Camp Hideout” (Roadside Attractions)

  • Dreamin’ Wild” (Roadside Attractions)

  • The Last Rider” (Roadside Attractions)

  • Moving On” (Roadside Attractions)

  • The Pod Generation” (Roadside Attractions/Vertical Entertainment)

  • Somewhere in Queens” (Roadside Attractions)

  • All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Chevalier” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Magazine Dreams” (Searchlight Pictures) **

  • Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Theater Camp” (Searchlight Pictures)

  • Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)

  • The Equalizer 3” (Sony Pictures)

  • No Hard Feelings” (Sony Pictures)

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

  • Freud’s Last Session” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • A Little Prayer” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • The Miracle Club” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Persian Version” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Shadya” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Shortcomings” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • The Teachers’ Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • They Shot the Piano Player” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Cocaine Bear” (Universal Pictures)

  • The Exorcist: Believer” (Universal Pictures)

  • Fast X” (Universal Pictures)

  • M3gan” (Universal Pictures)

  • Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)

  • She Came to Me” (Vertical Entertainment)

  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Warner Bros.)

  • Barbie” (Warner Bros.)

  • Blue Beetle” (Warner Bros.)

  • The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)

  • The Flash” (Warner Bros.)

  • Wonka” (Warner Bros.)

  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  • The Little Mermaid” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  • Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)

2022 category winner: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) — Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang (producers)

** indicates an unconfirmed release date in 2023 or could campaign in the lead or supporting categories. All release dates are subject to change.

Oscars Predictions Categories


About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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