The last time a Best Picture Oscar winner scored a craft award was "The Shape of Water," which won awards for Paul Austerberry's production design and Alexandre Desplat's score in 2018. Thus, Best Picture nominees "Coda" (no craft nominations), "Parasite" (production design and editing), and "Green Book" (editing) all left empty handed in terms of craft wins.
If frontrunner "Everything Everywhere All At Once," who has won 11 awards in a row, it will have a solid foot on its way as the populist favorite. In addition to Best Picture, it's a serious above-the-line contender for Best Director (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheiner, aka the Daniels), Best Original Screenplay (the Daniels), Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh), and Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan).
The maximalist sci-fi/action thriller became A24's first $100 million blockbuster, which was enthusiastically embraced by viewers and Academy members (despite some voters finding it too confusing) last year. It was a "instant classic," according to IndieWire's David Ehrlich, who commented.
"Everything at once," says the author.
The Daniels' hand-made, DIY approach to filming and slapstick was crucial to the multiverse's visual and sonic success. If anything, the Academy short-changed the film by neglecting cinematography, production design, sound, and visual effects. However, it would've been a stretch to overlook this film's lesser-known works, such as their breakout documentary, "Swiss Army Man."
The greatest chance at a craft Oscar is in editing, which would break another drought because it's been ten years since a film (“Argo”) has won both Best Picture and Best Editing awards. This meant constantly monitoring Yeoh's journey through failure, and martial arts styles and rhythms distinguished the extended fights.
Eddie Hamilton of the high-octane film "Top Gun: Maverick," Mikkel E. G. Nielsen of "Sound of Metal," Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond of the delirious musical biopic "Elvis," and Monika Willi of the psychological drama "TR."
Prediction: For the combination of complexity and emotional resonance, "Top Gun" is the favorite for Hamilton's virtuosity. More than 813 hours of incredible aerial footage transported the audience inside the Navy's cockpits with Tom Cruise's Maverick.
Shirley Kurata, who designed the costumes, gave Yeoh and Hsu a colorful, exotic, and thrifty wardrobe. She emphasized that it was all about embracing their differences and embracing their identities.
Kurata will compete against two-time Oscar winner Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby”) for “Elvis,” “Black Panther” Oscar winner Ruth Carter for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” four-time nominee Mary Zophres for “Babylon,” and last year's “Cruella” winner Jenny Beavan for “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.”
Martin is the heavy favorite for "Elvis," making a convincing return to the iconic wardrobes of the 1950s, 1960s Hollywood icon, and 1970s Vegas glamour, yet Kurata has a wider assortment of original wardrobes to work, which subvert Chinese stereotypes.
"Everything Everything at the Same Time"
Son Lux, a rock band based in Los Angeles, could win the award for their experimental wall-to-wall composition. They climbed to the top of a long list of trio musicians with titles such as "Soul," "The Last Emperor," and "Limelight." They also used Chinese drums, tuned gongs, and shattered upright bass in their fights.
Son Lux must face off against the legendary John Williams (“The Fabelmans”), who set a new record with his 53rd nomination and is chasing his sixth victory, Volker Bertelmann (“All Quiet on the Western Front”), multiple Oscar winner Justin Hurwitz (“Babylon”) and three-time nominee Carter Burwell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”).
Bertelmann has a lot of momentum for the World War I action film, which has received six craft nominations (tying it with "Elvis"), and the 90-year-old Williams is the sentimental favorite, despite resigning from his intention to retire. The fact that they even got nominated by a very conservative music branch proves how vital their role was to "EEAAO."
'This Is a Life,' a Best Original Song nominee, featured guest vocalists Mitski and David Byrne, who contributed music and lyrics. Byrne followed up with the "countersong," weaving a distinct melody and lyrics through Mitski's lines to create a synergistic pair.
Son Lux is facing a tough task from "Naatu Naatu" (Kaala Bhairava, M.M. Keeravani, and Rahul Sipligunj), who has been nominated for her first song from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Lady Gaga's "Hold My Hand" from "Top Gun: Maverick," and 14-time Governor Award winner Diane Warren for "Applause" from "Tell It Like a Woman."
Rihanna's comeback is a delight in itself, especially given that it is the only Oscar nominee for the wildly popular "RRR." Yet again, Son Lux is riding a wave of momentum, although a victory for the song might be a surprise.