Before I get attacked for this, I want to make it clear that I think “Everything Everywhere All At Once” was one of the best films of 2022.
It was super creative and unique, led by a strong script, even stronger performances and some of the best visual editing I have ever seen. It truly is a marvelous film and one that I’m happy to see getting recognition.
With all that said, it will not win the top prize at the Academy Awards. This is definitely unfortunate, but it’s also easy to see it coming.
When trying to determine what will win Best Picture at the Oscars, one of the most prestigious awards a movie can possibly win, there’s actually a lot to take into consideration.
For starters, looking at most Best Picture winners in the last few years, the Academy tends to favor “safer” films, ones that take less risk and are more grounded. Academy voters are also big fans of character studies in movies with tight scripts that dive into the relationships between characters, or just the personality of the characters themselves. This has definitely been the case for the last two years, with winners “Nomadland” and “Coda” fitting the mold extremely well.
Now let us look at “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” Yes, it does have a lot of character relationships that drive the story, but for the most part, it’s a big fun action movie.
This is a gross simplification of the movie, but suffice it to say, it isn’t a film that anybody can call “generic.” My fear is that it may be too “weird” for Academy voters.
A counterargument to my claim is that “Everything Everywhere All At Once” racked up an astonishing eleven nominations. That definitely should be a good sign, right? Not necessarily.
Let’s not forget what happened at last year’s Oscars, when Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” garnered eleven nominations and only ended up winning one.
While I definitely do not think “Everything Everywhere All At Once” will do anywhere nearly as bad and it will probably end up winning most categories it’s nominated for, my point is that we can’t look at the number of nominations as an indication of anything for the Best Picture race.
A more concrete statistic working against the A24 front runner is that, in order to win Best Picture, your film really needs to win either Best Director or Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted).
This is by no means a requirement but is more of an unspoken rule. Having gone through every Best Picture winner of the twenty-first century, only 2002’s “Chicago” and 2000’s “Gladiator” won the top prize without winning for their writing or directing.
While “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is nominated for both Best Directing and Best Original Screenplay, and is deserving of both, I don’t believe that it will win either one. “The Banshees of Inisherin” has consistently won screenwriting awards throughout this awards season, and Steven Spielberg’s work on “The Fabelmans” has been basically a lock since the film was released.
With that, I would like to offer an alternate pick for Best Picture- “The Banshees of Inisherin” directed by Martin McDonagh.
The film, which stars an ensemble cast led by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, both nominated for Oscars as well, fits all of the unspoken prerequisites we already have gone over. It’s a character-driven story with a tight script. It will definitely win Best Original Screenplay and is also nominated for Best Director.
We also have already seen “The Banshees of Inisherin” beat out “Everything Everywhere All At Once” at the Golden Globes as well. That may mean nothing, but it isn’t something one can just ignore when discussing which of these two movies has a better chance of winning at the Oscars.
Once again, I think it would be amazing if “Everything Everywhere All At Once” wins Best Picture.
I really love it, as do so many others around the world and I think it would be a breath of fresh air in a category of usually unsurprising choices. If it does win, it will be shattering a long-standing precedent in the Academy. But because of all the reasons we have discussed, from it being too outside the box for traditional Academy voters, to it not having legs to stand on in the right categories, I personally cannot lock “Everything Everywhere All At Once” for Best Picture.
I guess we will have to see what happens at the 95th Academy Awards, which air on Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m. I hope I am proven wrong, I really do, but frankly, I cannot see an “Everything Everywhere All At Once” win.