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Predictions are in boldface, followed by those which I personally would nominate in italics. As with previous years' lists, for several categories I have NOT provided my own nominations, since frankly I know jack about costumes, sound and so forth, though more and more I try to pay attention to sound in particular. Films that I have listed as my own personal nominations yet which will definitely not be nominated -- either because they are ultimately ineligible in those categories or simply not shortlisted -- are marked with an asterisk.

The actual nominations will be announced this Tuesday morning around 5:30 am (Pacific Time).


BEST PICTURE
 
AIR
AMERICAN FICTION
BARBIE
THE HOLDOVERS
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
MAESTRO
OPPENHEIMER
PAST LIVES
POOR THINGS
THE ZONE OF INTEREST
 
AFIRE
AMERICAN FICTION
THE HOLDOVERS
MAESTRO
MAY DECEMBER 
OPPENHEIMER
POOR THINGS
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW
TORI & LOKITA
THE ZONE OF INTEREST 

ACTOR
 
LEONARDO DICAPRIO - Killers of the Flower Moon
COLMAN DOMINGO - Rustin
PAUL GIAMATTI - The Holdovers 
CILLIAN MURPHY - Oppenheimer
JEFFREY WRIGHT - American Fiction
 
NICOLAS CAGE - Dream Scenario
COLMAN DOMINGO - Rustin
PAUL GIAMATTI - The Holdovers
CILLIAN MURPHY - Oppenheimer
JEFFREY WRIGHT - American Fiction

ACTRESS 
 
LILY GLADSTONE – Killers of the Flower Moon
CAREY MULLIGAN – Maestro
NATALIE PORTMAN – May December
MARGOT ROBBIE - Barbie
EMMA STONE – Poor Things
 
LILY GLADSTONE – Killers of the Flower Moon
EVE HEWSON - Flora and Son
CAREY MULLIGAN - Maestro
NATALIE PORTMAN – May December
EMMA STONE – Poor Things

SUPPORTING ACTOR
 
MATT DAMON - Oppenheimer
ROBERT DE NIRO - Killers of the Flower Moon
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. - Oppenheimer
RYAN GOSLING - Barbie
CHARLES MELTON - May December
 
JAMIE BELL – All of Us Strangers
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. - Oppenheimer
RYAN GOSLING – Barbie
CHARLES MELTON – May December
MARK RUFFALO – Poor Things

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
 
EMILY BLUNT - Oppenheimer
AMERICA FERRARA - Barbie
JODIE FOSTER - Nyad
JULIANNE MOORE - May December
DA’VINE JOY RANDOLPH - The Holdovers
 
EMILY BLUNT – Oppenheimer 
AMERICA FERRARA – Dumb Money
ANNE HATHAWAY – Eileen
JULIANNE MOORE – May November
DA’VINE JOY RANDOLPH – The Holdovers 

DIRECTING
 
GRETA GERWIG - Barbie
JONATHAN GLAZER - The Zone of Interest
YORGOS LANTHIMOS - Poor Things
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN - Oppenheimer
MARTIN SCORSESE - Killers of the Flower Moon
 
JEAN-PIERRE & LUC DARDENNE – Tori & Lokita
JONATHAN GLAZER – The Zone of Interest
YORGOS LANTHIMOS - Poor Things
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN - Oppenheimer
CHRISTIAN PETZOLD – Afire

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
 
AIR
THE HOLDOVERS
MAY DECEMBER
ORIGIN
PAST LIVES
 
AFIRE
DREAM SCENARIO
FAIR PLAY
THE HOLDOVERS
MAY DECEMBER

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
 
AMERICAN FICTION
BARBIE
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
OPPENHEIMER 
POOR THINGS
 
AMERICAN FICTION 
BLACKBERRY
MAESTRO 
OPPENHEIMER
POOR THINGS

CINEMATOGRAPHY
 
BARBIE
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
MAESTRO
OPPENHEIMER
POOR THINGS
 
INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
MAESTRO
OPPENHEIMER
THE ZONE OF INTEREST

PRODUCTION DESIGN
 
BARBIE
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
NAPOLEON
OPPENHEIMER
POOR THINGS
 
ASTEROID CITY
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
OPPENHEIMER
POOR THINGS
THE ZONE OF INTEREST

FILM EDITING
 
AIR
BARBIE
FERRARI
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
OPPENHEIMER
 
THE KILLER
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE
OPPENHEIMER
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW
THE ZONE OF INTEREST

COSTUME DESIGN
 
BARBIE
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
NAPOLEON
POOR THINGS
WONKA

ORIGINAL SCORE
 
ELEMENTAL - Thomas Newman
INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY - John Williams
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON - Robbie Robertson
OPPENHEIMER - Ludwig Goransson
POOR THINGS - Jerskin Fendrix
 
AMERICAN FICTION – Laura Karpman
THE BOYS IN THE BOAT – Alexandre Desplat*
ELEMENTAL – Thomas Newman
LANDSCAPE WITH INVISIBLE HAND – Michael Abels*
THE ZONE OF INTEREST – Mica Levi 

ORIGINAL SONG
 
“DANCE THE NIGHT” - Barbie
“THE FIRE INSIDE” - Flamin’ Hot
“KEEP IT MOVIN’”- The Color Purple
“ROAD TO FREEDOM” - Rustin
“WHAT WAS I MADE FOR?” - Barbie
 
“CAN’T CATCH ME NOW” - The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
“HIGH LIFE” - Flora and Son
“MEET IN THE MIDDLE” - Flora and Son
“ROAD TO FREEDOM” - “Rustin”
“WHAT WAS I MADE FOR?” - Barbie

SOUND
 
FERRARI
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
MAESTRO
OPPENHEIMER
THE ZONE OF INTEREST

MAKEUP
 
GOLDA
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
MAESTRO
POOR THINGS
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW
 
GOLDA
MAESTRO
OPPENHEIMER
POOR THINGS
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW

VISUAL EFFECTS
 
THE CREATOR
GODZILLA MINUS ONE
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3
NAPOLEON
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW
 
THE CREATOR
GODZILLA MINUS ONE
INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW

ANIMATED FEATURE
 
THE BOY AND THE HERON
CHICKEN RUN: DAWN OF THE NUGGET
ELEMENTAL
THE PEASANTS
SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE
 
THE BOY AND THE HERON
ELEMENTAL
MIGRATION
SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM

MY FAVORITE FILMS OF 2023
 
AFIRE 
AMERICAN FICTION
INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY
JOHN WICK – CHAPTER FOUR
THE KILLER
MAESTRO
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE
OPPENHEIMER
SHORTCOMINGS
SOCIETY OF THE SNOW

MY LEAST FAVORITE FILMS OF 2023
 
BEAU IS AFRAID
THE CRIME IS MINE
EVIL DEAD RISE
THE EXORCIST: BELIEVER
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S
FOOL’S PARADISE
KNOCK AT THE CABIN
REBEL MOON – PART ONE: A CHILD OF FIRE
SALTBURN
THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE
MY FAVORITE THINGS FROM THE MOVIES OF 2023

The action scenes in Extraction II, especially the endless "one-er" that closes the first act. Even without the skillfully faked one-take approach it would be an amazing sequence.

The action scenes in John Wick - Chapter Four. As the young people used to say, OMFG. Maybe they still say it. How would I know?

Emily Blunt in Oppenheimer and Pain Hustlers, mostly because I am always happy to see Emily Blunt, whether on screen, at an industry event, or in a multiplex lobby (a benefit of living in Los Angeles - true, it was 12 years ago, but I still remember it fondly - RIP, ArcLight Hollywood).

Ezra Miller in The Flash. A mess of a film, to say the least, but he frequently makes it work by sheer talent and willpower, and his reaction to re-connecting with "Bruce Wayne" at the end of the film may be my favorite line of dialogue of the movie year.

From the trailer, I thought M3GAN was going to be just entertaining garbage, but the actual movie was not only lots of fun but genuinely clever.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny - not a great Indy film, but it hit the right emotional beats for me surprisingly often.

Matthew Libatique's cinematography for Maestro - some of the best black-and-white I've seen in years, and the color is equally wonderful. 

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One - my favorite film of 2023, and even more enjoyable a second time. And if the first two hours or so weren't entertaining enough, the final scenes on the Orient Express are especially fantastic.

Oppenheimer - not even one of my favorite Nolans, but still one of my favorite films of 2023, and seeing it three times on IMAX 70mm is a stunning experience that only reminds one how powerful the theatrical moviegoing experience can be.

Ryan Gosling in Barbie - I doubt he will ever top his performance in The Nice Guys for me, but damn he's funny in this movie.

Talk to Me - not truly a favorite (horror films rarely are, though I see more than my share of them), but possibly the best new horror film I've seen in years.

The very end of Killers of the Flower Moon. The near-inevitable director cameo could easily have been distracting, but for me it was the most emotionally powerful moment in an impressive but (for me) largely unengaging film.

And more part of the movie awards year than the actual awards year - the unexpected joy of possibly my favorite current movie star, Michelle Yeoh, winning a Best Actress Oscar (!) for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

MY TEN FAVORITE SOUNDTRACK RELEASES OF 2023
 
DEADLY BLESSING [Intrada Special Collection]
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS [Intrada Special Collection]
KILLER BEES [Caldera]
MACARTHUR [Intrada Special Collection]
ON DANGEROUS GROUND/THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH [Intrada]
RAT RACE: MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE MOTOIN PICTURE [La-La Land]
RUNAWAY: THE EARLY WORKS OF DAVID SHIRE [Caldera]
SABRINA [La-La Land]
SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON/KATHARINE HEPBURN [Quartet]
SNEAKERS [La-La Land]

THE BEST SCORES OF 2023 COMMERCIALLY UNRELEASED ON CD
 
AMERICAN FICTION - Laura Karpman
THE BOYS IN THE BOAT - Alexandre Desplat
ELEMENTAL - Thomas Newman
LANDSCAPE WITH INVISIBLE HAND - Michael Abels
MIGRATION - John Powell
ORIGIN - Kris Bowers
POOR THINGS - Jeskin Fendrix
RUSTIN - Branford Marsalis
SALTBURN - Anthony Willis
THE ZONE OF INTEREST - Mica Levi
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Always a good point in January when this post shows up.

Least favorite films of 2023

Fool’s Paradise. It really seemed like Charlie Day wanted to get his own shot at Being There and while it, too, ultimately slams into the ‘one-joke movie’ wall, I thought the cast was great fun to watch, especially Adrien Brody and the much-missed Ray Liotta.

Knock at the Cabin. Okay, this one hurts. I thought it was quite entertaining. With this movie, Dave Bautista proved that he is no longer a wrestler turned actor; he is an actor who happened to do some wrestling in his younger days.

The Super Mario Brothers Movie. Now, I didn’t quite love the film, but if it had eased way the hell off of the needle drops and especially the slow motion (seriously, did Zack Snyder ghost-direct this thing?), it definitely could’ve been Spider-Verse level for me. If nothing else, I really enjoyed the contributions from Jack Black and Brian Tyler.

Favorite things from the movies of 2023

To be honest, I was reticent about seeing John Wick: Chapter 4 Hours Long in a theater once I learned about the running time. I caught up with it months later on Redbox and while I still feel that two hours and 50 minutes for a movie like this is a perfect example of filmmakers getting high on their own supply, I concur about the action scenes.

Ezra Miller in The Flash. Back in the fall of 2012, I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which left me with two takeaways: a) I would’ve killed to have friends like Sam and Patrick in high school and b) Miller’s fantastic performance augurs an impressive acting career. While b) is very much up in the air, a) still holds true for a man on the wrong side of 40. Also, I thought Miller was the unquestioned highlight of Joss Whedon‘s Justice League. All that said, I’m not sure if it was the writing or the TMZ headlines he’s accrued robbing him of his ability to be charismatic on screen, but he just annoyed the piss out of me in this movie as regular Barry and past Barry…and the sad thing is that, even with that hanging around the movie, he’s still not even on my top 10 list of complaints about it.

I also loved the very ending of Killers of the Flower Moon, but more for the prankish sensibility of its presence. I mean, it takes real fortitude to end your heavy historical drama on this note.

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Today in Film Score History:
April 12
Andy Garcia born (1956)
Bruce Broughton begins recording his score to Eloise at the Plaza (2003)
David Raksin begins recording his score for Right Cross (1950)
Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Shattered Mirror” (1996)
Edwin Astley born (1922)
Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for Rampage (1963)
Georg Haentzschel died (1992)
Herbert Gronemeyer born (1956)
Herbie Hancock born (1940)
Hugo Friedhofer begins recording his score to Soldier of Fortune (1955)
Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Changing Face of Evil” (1999)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for One Little Indian (1973)
Lisa Gerrard born (1961)
Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to Lust For Life (1956)
Richard Shores died (2001)
Ronald Stein born (1930)
Russell Garcia born (1916)
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