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The 10 movies set to battle it out for top prize at the Oscars

Who will take home best picture at the 2023 Oscars? Anyone's guess.

Who will take home best picture at the 2023 Oscars? Anyone's guess. Photo: TND

Much has been made of the three biggest movies this year – with extensive promotional campaigns by the stars and long lead times in cinemas and streaming – which will no doubt make the shortlist for the Academy Awards in March.

The best picture race began with Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, followed by Top Gun: Maverick and ended with Avatar: The Way of Water.

But for the remaining seven, including a Steven Spielberg semi-autobiography, The Fabelmans, Brendan Fraser’s The Whale, Everything Everywhere All At Once and Cate Blanchett in Tar – they are starting to be released across Australian cinema chains.

There’s probably another 10 films which could make the shortlist as awards season starts in January with the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Awards and the BAFTAS in February, followed by the 95th Oscars ceremony on March 12.

But, as anticipation builds for the biggest show on the awards list, Oscar nomination voting begins on January 12 including best picture, actor, actress, director and screenplay.

On December 21, shortlists in 10 categories were announced for best documentary feature film, international feature film, makeup and hairstyling, music (original score), music (original sound) and visual effects.

Some say films which garner awards from early Oscars shortlists also can go on to be nominated for the best film prize.

Nominated in five categories were All Quiet on the Western Front  – the original 1930 film went on to win best picture – and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Variety has listed its Top 30 films – plus another 70.

We’ve narrowed the predictive nominees for the top 10, and they are:

Everything Everywhere All At Once (in cinemas now)

Starring Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians) and Jamie Lee Curtis, this polarising film is somewhere between Squid Game, The Office and Dr Strange.

According to Screenrant, the film “appears at first glance to be an action film about saving the multiverse and reality hopping”.

“But, the visual spectacle contains multiple thematic layers and a deeper meaning beyond inter-dimensional travel.”

Sportsbet odds: $2.50

The Fabelmans – January 5

This is the semi-autobiographical film of Steven Spielberg’s mostly true story of his own childhood and introduction to filmmaking in post-war America.

From Jaws and ET to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan and West Side Story, Spielberg has achieved legend status in Hollywood.

Starring Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy Fabelman and Michelle Williams as his mother, the coming-of-age film is a sentimental favourite.

Sportsbet odds: $1.83

Tár

Oscar-winning Australian actress Cate Blanchett delivers a masterclass in Tár, the story of conductor Lydia Tár, the first woman selected to be the conductor of a major German orchestra.

The Guardian says it’s “one of the best and most challenging films of the year, with a career-best, and potentially Oscar-winning, performance from Blanchett”.

Sportsbet: $10

Babylon

With two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, headlining Babylon, it is sure to attract a stack of nominations.

With a three-hour plot that covers the rise and fall of stars during the transition of movie-making in Hollywood from silent films to the talkies in the 1920s, the so-called “naughty” and “nice” trailers are a visual feast.

Sportsbet: $11

The Banshees of Inisherin – December 25

Set in 1923 against the backdrop of the Irish Civil War, Irish actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play buddies whose relationship is on the verge of collapsing when one decides he never wants to speak to the other ever again.

Directed by Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) the film is a dark horse for best picture.

Sportsbet: $5

Women Talking

The Observer says this is a remarkable and compelling film.

Starring Oscar-winner Frances McDormand, this is about the women of an isolated Mennonite colony, who “have been repeatedly drugged and raped by the men for years”.

“It’s an unbearable crime, but the details of how and what has been perpetrated is far worse, and it’s through dialogue rather than action that we understand just what has transpired in this community.”

Sportsbet: $15

The Whale

Brendan Fraser (George of the Jungle) plays Charlie, a 272-kilogram English teacher who tries to salvage a relationship with his daughter for one last chance at redemption.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the film received a nine-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.

Fans also hope Fraser is front and centre at this year’s Oscar’s race

Sportsbet: $19

Elvis ($26), Top Gun: Maverick ($13) and Avatar: The Way of Water ($8)

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