My Fantasy Awards Booking 2023

How Awards Season could’ve, and maybe should’ve, looked.

Tomorrow night is the 95th Academy Awards, where we finally put this endless goddamn Awards Season out of its misery and everybody can stop pretending to give a shit about TÁR.  Back before the pandemic sucked all joy and passion for both the movies and the industry bullshit that goes on around them, I would close out Awards Season with my own little fantasy booking-type sheetblatantly stolen from old friend Kyle Turner – of what I would’ve nommed had any reputable organisations asked me to, as a sort of therapy for nonsense like shutting out The Farewell completely.  Well, I’m back on the filmic beat officially, so why not revive the tradition for the first year in a while where films were central-ish to my work/life identity.

That said, this year I’m twisting things a little bit.  Normally, I’d just fill in the categories covered by the Academy Awards that I feel qualified (read: have enough examples) to vote.  But I’ve taken the executive decision to make three major changes.  The first is adding a category for Best Stunt Work because, quite frankly, every major awards show should have a Best Stunt Work category.  The whole point of these shows is about paying our respects to the craft of moviemaking, putting all of the major departments on near-equal pedestals of recognition where costume designers are just as celebrated as actors.  So the fact that stunt teams still go unrecognised despite how massively integral they are to the modern filmmaking landscape, particularly in the movies which are still keeping the industry’s lights on, is frankly unacceptable.  Hence, Best Stunt Work.  I’ve chosen to credit the Coordinators by name because we don’t have any precedent on whom we primarily acknowledge for these things, but if anyone who is more of an expert is able to correct me then please do so and I’ll update.

The second and biggest twist I’ve made is removing the gender dividers for both main acting categories.  Instead of having binary Actor and Actress awards, there are now simply Best Leading Performance and Best Supporting Performance.  With the growing visibility of non-binary and gender-fluid performers in the industry right now – people like Asia Kate Dillon, Bella Ramsey, Liv Hewson, Janelle Monáe, just to name a few – their often-incredible performances run the risk of being excluded from proper recognition or, equally as bad if not worse, forced to be misgendered by awards bodies who don’t know how to appropriately classify them.  By eliminating the binaries, they can now safely compete as themselves (and also without being shunted into some uber-patronising “non-cis” category of their own or whatever).

That said, I’m not about to push this solution for proper mainstream awards ceremonies just yet.  As the massive fallout from the BRIT Awards this year showed, eliminating the gender binaries in your awards categories doesn’t actually mean anything if your voting body aren’t willing to reform their own innate biases to reflect that.  Since I’m one person and also non-binary, I can spread the love around with a nice diverse range of nominees.  But when they already struggle to nominate more than one person-of-colour per acting category, or naming a single woman for Best Director, I fear that the Academy/BAFTAs/Hollywood Foreign Press adopting these reforms now, with the way these organisations are, would just risk further backlash on my/our communities that we don’t need when they inevitably vote for an all-White-male nominee line-up.  (Once again, the responses to this year’s BRIT Awards which took turns throwing Sam Smith, who pushed for the gender-neutral reforms, and the non-binary community at large under the bus play a part in my cautiousness.)

Were they to go adopt my way of awards going forward, though, I have inbuilt a couple of safeguards.  Firstly, due to consolidating two categories, the nominee list goes up to 10 rather 5 like before, so nobody’s getting crowded out.  Secondly, I would be giving each award to two performers rather than one; co-winners, not a long any gender lines, just the genuine two best performances of the year.  Weirdos could moan about such a decision diluting the value, prestige and importance of the awards, to which I would reply: “you mean the awards that went to Eddie Redmayne in 2015 and Jared Leto in 2014?  Those valuable, prestigious, important awards?”

Third big change is introducing a Best Casting award.  It basically means Best Ensemble and exists for the same reasons as Best Stunt Work.  The Screen Actors Guild and even the BAFTAs (badly, in their case) already do it, there’s no reason not to standardise this.

OK, I’ve already spent way too long teeing up what’s supposed to just be a fun little thought exercise.  Any categories not represented are due to my not having enough examples to fill them up cos I am one person with poor time management.  (Apologies to Turning Red‘s 4*Town who are being paid dust on Best Original Song as a result.)  As is tradition, no spiels justifying my choices and no reveals of who my winners would be cos, again, fun thought exercise.  Yell at me on Twitter whilst it’s still here if you desperately want answers.  Why not share your own with me, too?  Hope you enjoy.  It’s got 100% less smug slap jokes than the Oscars will, at least.

Best Film

Brian and Charles
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Jackass Forever
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
She Said
The Northman
The Woman King
Turning Red

Best Director

Chinonye Chukwu Till
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert Everything Everywhere All at Once
Jordan Peele NOPE
Gina Prince-Bythewood The Woman King
Domee Shi Turning Red

Best Lead Performance

Rosalie Chiang Meilin Lee Turning Red
Tom Cruise Pete “Maverick” Mitchell Top Gun: Maverick
Viola Davis General Nanisca The Woman King
Danielle Deadwyler Mamie Till-Bradley Till
Colin Farrell Pádraic Súilleabháin The Banshees of Inisherin
Lee Ji-eun Moon So-young Broker
Daniel Kaluuya Otis “OJ” Haywood, Jr. NOPE
Janelle Monáe Helen Brand Glass Onion
Alexander Skarsgård Amleth The Northman
Michelle Yeoh Evelyn Wang Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Supporting Performance

Zawe Ashton Julia Thistlewaite Mr. Malcolm’s List
Angela Bassett Queen Ramonda Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Claire Foy Salome Women Talking
Jalyn Hall Emmett Till Till
Chris Hayward Charles Petrescu Brian and Charles
Stephanie Hsu Joy Wang Everything Everywhere All at Once
Lashana Lynch Izogie The Woman King
Margot Robbie Nellie LaRoy Babylon
Sadie Sink Ellie The Whale
Steven Yuen Ricky “Jupe” Park NOPE

Best Casting

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Sarah Halley Finn
Broker Hirokazu Kore-eda
Everything Everywhere All at Once Sarah Halley Finn
Glass Onion Bret Howe and Mary Vernieu
Women Talking John Bucan and Jason Knight

Best Original Screenplay

Everything Everywhere All at Once Daniel Kwan and Daniel Sheinert
NOPE Jordan Peele
The Banshees of Inisherin Martin McDonagh
The Woman King Dana Stevens (screenplay); Dana Stevens and Maria Bello (story)
Turning Red Julia Cho and Domee Shi (screenplay); Julia Cho, Domee Shi and Sarah Streicher (story)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Glass Onion Rian Johnson
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Dean Fleischer Camp, Jenny Slate and Nick Paley (screenplay); Dean Fleischer Camp, Jenny Slate, Nick Paley and Elisabeth Holm (story)
Prey Patrick Alson (screenplay); Patrick Alson and Dan Trachtenberg (story)
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Paul Fisher and Tommy Swerdlow (screenplay); Tommy Swerdlow and Tom Wheeler (story)
She Said Rebecca Lenkiewicz

Best Animated Feature

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
My Father’s Dragon
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
The Bob’s Burgers Movie
Turning Red

Best Cinematography

Everything Everywhere All at Once Larkin Seiple
NOPE Hoyte van Hoytema
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Chris Stover
The Northman Jarin Blaschke
Till Bobby Bukowski

Best Original Score

Babylon Justin Hurwitz
Brian and Charles Daniel Pemberton
Don’t Worry Darling John Powell
The Northman Robin Carolan and Sebastian Gainsborough
Women Talking Hildur Guðnadóttir

Best Editing

Babylon Tom Cross
Everything Everywhere All at Once Paul Rodgers
Jackass Forever Matthew Kosinski, Matthew Probst and Sascha Stanton-Craven
Till Ron Patane
Top Gun: Maverick Eddie Hamilton

Best Production Design

Ambulance Karen Frick and Adam Henderson
Babylon Florencia Martin
Everything Everywhere All at Once Jason Kisvarday
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Guy Davis and Curt Enderle
The Woman King Akin McKenzie

Best Sound (Designers credited)

Ambulance Erik Aadahl, Adam Kopald, John Marquis and Ethan Van der Ryn
NOPE Johnnie Burn
Prey James Miller
The Northman Jimmy Boyle and Damian Volpe
Top Gun: Maverick Christopher Boyes, James Mather, Al Nelson and Gary Rydstrom

Best Visual Effects

Bones and All
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Batman

Best Stunt Work (Coordinators credited)

Ambulance Mike Gunther
Everything Everywhere All at Once Timothy Eulich and Dan Brown
Jackass Forever Charles Grisham and Marc Scizak
The Woman King Alex Benevent, Daniel Hernandez, Leander Lacey and Grant Powell
Top Gun: Maverick Casey O’Neill

Best Costume Design

Brian and Charles Gabriela Yiaxis
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Graham Churchyard
Everything Everywhere All at Once Shirley Kurata
Glass Onion Jenny Eagan
The Woman King Gersha Phillips

Best Hair & Makeup (Heads credited)

All Quiet on the Western Front Linda Eisenhamerová and Heike Merker
Babylon Jaime Leigh McIntosh and Heba Thorisdottir
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Camille Friend and Joel Harlow
Everything Everywhere All at Once Michelle Chung and Anissa Salazar
The Whale Anne Marie Bradley, Judy Chin and Adrien Morot

Callie Petch had to make that Clair, like a Huxtable.


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