It was ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’

Our resident award-show critic looks back at his predictions following the 95th Oscars last weekend

Ben Levy, Staff Writer

On Sunday, Mar. 12, the Oscars Awards were given out. In anticipation of the biggest night of the year for movies, I decided to predict a couple winners based on reviews and past wins. I calculated two categories: Best Animated feature and the monumental (or maybe not, depending who you ask) Best Picture Award. My predictions are based on an analysis of the average score from Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and iMDB. All three are on one-hundred point scales. I examined this year’s nominees’ data and then compared it against the data of the past five years of Oscar nominees. 

Best Animated Feature

An award given to a film with a runtime above forty minutes, frame-by-frame animation, and no less than three-quarters of the run time containing animated figures. In all honesty, the award in the past has had both strange and undeserving nominees and winners. Due to the mainstream focus of many select voters, movies from big studios such as Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks are often selected. Many fan favorites have won, such as the heartfelt family adventure Finding Nemo (2002) from Pixar, or the infectiously sing-able Encanto (2022) from Disney. In the past five years, the best indicator of success has been two things: Pixar production and/or a favorable MetaCritic score. Both Coco (2017) and Toy Story 4 (2019) met both of these criteria, being rated three points ahead of their runner ups. In between, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), a Sony film, was also the highest rated, and took home the trophy. Conversely, Soul (2020), from Pixar, fell short in terms of ratings but still managed to win. 

This year, it will be a strange matchup. On the one hand, Pixar’s Turning Red has the highest MetaCritic score, which based on the past, indicates clear success. On the other hand, the tear-jerking A24 darling Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, along with DreamWorks’ Puss In Boots sequel, both received rave reviews upon their later-year releases. Not to mention two-time Oscar winner (for Best Director and Best Picture, no less) Guillermo Del Toro’s beautiful rendition of Pinnochio is in the running. At the end of the day, I’m going to trust the data. Although it would be amazing to see Puss In Boot or Marcel win the award, it seems that Turning Red has the upperhand. 

Predicted to Win: Pixar’s Turning Red

What Won: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Best Picture Award

This year, the Oscar nominees have been buzzing amidst the whirlwind of other awards. While A24’s masterful absurdist action-comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once was widely favored to win, and nominated across the board at every festival, there was a heavy upset at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs). Despite ten nominations, Everything… only took home one win, for Best Editing. The rest mostly went to the harrowing German “war” film All Quiet on the Western Front, a remake of the 1930 masterpiece. This significantly shifted any and all semblance of who might take this home, so I dove into the data to try and make a prediction

The first thing to know is the leaders. The aforementioned Everything.., and All Quiet… are both very highly regarded amongst critics, along with the breathtaking Irish drama Banshees of Inisherin, and the disparaging Tár. Other nominees include Joseph Kosinski’s riveting Top Gun sequel, the visually stunning Avatar sequel and the whirlwind Elvis biopic.

In the past five years, the best predictor of a win was the iMDB user rating, which predicted three of the five correctly. Green Book (2018), Parasite (2019) and Coda (2022), were all rated the highest on iMDB despite less favorable average scores—except Parasite, which essentially swept every nominee pool and film festival it went to. 2017’s Shape of Water and 2021’s Nomaland, though, were the second lowest rated by iMDB score. At that point, it becomes unclear. This year, Top Gun leads in iMDB, but does not seem that favorable to win. Yet the highly-favored Everything… doesn’t lead a single review category, and the remaining three (MetaCritic, Rotten Tomatoes and Average Score) are led by Banshees and Tár. Moreover, all four top movies, plus All Quiet…, are incredible and could easily take the trophy. For this, I have to look past the data and simply guess. Despite the BAFTAs, and the review scores, I believe Everything… will take it home. Admittedly, I am a huge fan, and I hope it does, but I put all that aside to say that it does have a very high chance considering how many wins it has garnered thus far. 

Predicted to win: Everything…

What won: Everything…

This year has a strong nominee pool for both awards. Despite the usual nominations that may receive wayward looks at their placement, the best of each category are truly incredible movies. From the cultural impact of Everything Everywhere All At Once to the simple beauty of Marcel The Shell With Shoes, the films in the running are wildly varied. In this post-pandemic era of art we are living through, this year’s selection has shown some of the best films to hit theaters (and streaming) in the past year.