2023 DGA and BAFTAs Analysis – Oscars Watch

Oscars Watch is back as the road continues with both the DGA Awards and the EE BAFTA Awards taking place over the weekend.

First, let’s take a look at the DGAs. All eyes were on both the Daniels and Steven Spielberg going into the weekend. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert ended up repeating their win for Best Director after last month’s Critics Choice Awards. The Academy has been diversifying quite a bit in recent years. Will they go for the Everything Everywhere All At Once filmmakers? Or will they give Steven Spielberg his third Oscar for Best Director for The Fabelmans? The DGA win does give the sci-fi comedy the edge with under a month to go. More often than not, they’re a good predictor for who will win Best Director at the Oscars. Aside from Ben Affleck not being nominated for directing Argo at the Oscars, the DGA winner has missed out only four times since 2000.

A big takeaway between today’s BAFTAs and next month’s Oscars are some key differences in the acting races. BAFTA voting can tend to sway towards British talent even when one thinks the Oscar race is already locked up. I think it’s safe to say that TÁR‘s Cate Blanchett is looking good to take home her third career Oscar and second for for Best Actress (five nominations). Blanchett took home Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator–her only category win in three nominations. Blanchett’s third BAFTA for Leading Actress puts her one win away from tying Maggie Smith.

The Banshees of Inisherin won big today with four awards. Is Kerry Condon’s win a bump in the road for Angela Bassett’s path to the Oscar? Maybe but I think the race still leans towards the Black Panther: Wakanda Actress star. Similarly, Barry Keoghan’s BAFTA win is not surprising because traditional BAFTA voting sways towards British talent. Every now and then, they tend to fall in line with everyone else. Much like Angela Bassett, I believe Ke Huy Quan will win the Oscar. There are a few differences between SAG, BAFTA, and Oscars in the category. Best Actor is still anybody’s guess but I’m giving Austin Butler an edge for his performance in Elvis.

Don’t count out All Quiet on the Western Front. The German-language remake is an adaptation of the same book that would earn Universal Pictures one of their first Oscar winners for Best Picture. That it won seven BAFTA Awards should not be surprising in that regard. Even with nine Oscar nominations, it still feels like the film is doing this all quietly. I give it the edge in the International Feature race with RRR not being in the category. Can it take home Best Picture at the Oscars? It just might follow in its predecessor’s footsteps.

The SAG Awards take place next weekend and all eyes will be on them. There are 122,600 eligible voters. We’ll have a better idea of the Oscar race after the show. Next to the Critics Choice Awards, the SAG Awards tend to be a solid predictor on the road to the Oscars. I’ll be back with my next Oscars Watch column after the SAG Awards.

Active members of the Academy are eligible to vote for the winners in all 23 categories beginning Thursday, March 2, through Tuesday, March 7. The Oscar race is still anybody’s game.

The 95th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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