With the Annie, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe and Producers Guild under its belt, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is one of the most solid bets on Oscar night, barring a shocking upset. It will mark the first win for Netflix in this category and del Toro’s third Oscar win overall and in his third category (he previously Best Picture and Best Director for 2017’s The Shape of Water).
The road to the Documentary Feature Oscar has taken several turns leading up to now. With several varied precursors over several months, Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes, a contemplative tale of two brothers rescuing a bird called the Black Kite in the midst of turmoil of violence and smog-choked air of Delhi, the film earned early wins from the International Documentary Association and Cinema Eye Honors and also landed nominations from the Directors Guild, Producers Guild and BAFTA. Sara Dosa claimed the DGA for her lava love story Fire of Love, detailing the story of scientists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft, who died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together. Then, in the final weeks of the season we have Navalny, Daniel Roher’s absorbing story of Alexei Navalny, the Russian rebel of Vladamir Putin who was poisoned by his opposition and lived to tell the tale, swooped in with BAFTA and PGA wins that are likely to carry it to a win.
International Feature Film is fascinating in that the film that likely could have taken it all isn’t even nominated here. India’s RRR won Critics’ Choice and was nominated for the Golden Globe but the country’s Oscar submission committee didn’t send it, opting for The Last Film Show (a film in the vein of Cinema Paradiso), which made the shortlist but failed to earn a nomination. With that, we still have one of the strongest lineups in years but the absolute breakaway hit that All Quiet on the Western Front was on Oscar nomination morning (earning nine total) and with the entire Academy membership voting, this should be an easy win. It will mark the second Netflix film to triumph here (after 2018’s Roma) and the first for Germany since 2006’s The Lives of Others.
Here are my final 2023 Oscar winner predictions for Animated Feature, Documentary Feature and International Feature Film.
|1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix) – Annie, BAFTA, CCA, GG, PGA|
Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley
|2. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (A24) – Annie, BAFTA, CCA, GG, PGA|
Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan and Paul Mezey
|3. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (DreamWorks/Universal) – Annie, BAFTA, CCA, GG, PGA|
Joel Crawford and Mark Swift
|4. Turning Red (Walt Disney/Pixar) – Annie, BAFTA, CCA, GG, PGA|
Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins
|5. The Sea Beast (Netflix) – Annie|
Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger
|1. Navalny (Warner Bros / CNN Films / HBO Max) – BAFTA, CCA, CEH, DGA, IDA, PGA|
Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris
|2. Fire of Love (NatGeo/NEON)– BAFTA, CCA, CEH, DGA, IDA, PGA|
Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman
|3. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (NEON) – BAFTA, CEH, DGA, IDA|
Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov
|4. All That Breathes (HBO Documentary Films/Sideshow/Submarine Deluxe) – BAFTA, CEH, DGA, IDA, PGA|
Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer
|5. A House Made of Splinters (Giant Pictures)|
Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
|1. Germany, All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix) – BAFTA, CCA, GG|
|2. Argentina, Argentina, 1985 (Amazon Studios) – BAFTA, CCA, GG|
|3. Belgium, Close (A24) – CCA, GG|
|4. Ireland, The Quiet Girl (Super/NEON) – BAFTA|
|5. Poland, EO (JanusFilms/Sideshow)|