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The 2023 Oscars Best Picture Nominees - Who Will Win & Who Should Win

Predicting who'll walk out of the Dolby Theatre with the grandest prize America can bestow on moviemaking can sometimes be a crapshoot. The last five films to win the Academy Awards for best picture — "CODA," "Nomadland," "Parasite," "Green Book," and "The Shape of Water" — show no consistent pattern and alternate wildly between genres, stretching from a coming-of-age dramedy to a romantic fantasy.

This year's nominees are a widely assorted batch of films that will likely pull different branches of the Academy into warring factions. There's the popcorn populism of "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water;" the spare beauty of "Women Talking" and "Triangle of Sadness;" the artsy character portraits of "Tár" and "The Banshees of Inisherin;" the dazzling remake of "All Quiet on the Western Front;" the Oscar-baiting sweetness of "The Fabelmans;" and the eye-dazzling spectacle of "Elvis" and "Everything Everywhere All at Once." Here's who we think will end up winning — and who ought to win — among this batch of strong contenders.

The Fabelmans will win the 2023 Oscar for Best Picture

There's the possibility that Academy voters might get swept up in the ongoing battle between "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" for Hollywood box office supremacy and lean in one way or the other to bolster either film's legacy. But considering the Academy's track record with blockbusters, it's much more likely they'll reward another winner.

There's nothing Hollywood likes more than stories about moviemaking, and that, more than anything, is what hints that "The Fabelmans" will achieve best picture. "The Fabelmans" is the sort of movie the Oscars truly adores — a story about a young movie maker coming of age and becoming an artist, a loving mother who sees the genius in him, and the harried, working father who tries but fails to find the artist lying in wait in his son's heart.

Directed by the already Oscar-winning legend Steven Spielberg, the film is a light fictionalization of Spielberg's childhood, about how he fell in love with making movies. And it's also about another three-hankie weeper of a topic that Hollywood loves to explore: divorce. In this case, a fictionalization of the one between Spielberg's parents. Our own reviewer, Reuben Baron, adored the film, echoing the movie's 92% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes. So don't be surprised if "The Fabelmans" step up to the plate and end up snagging the top honor at this year's ceremony. 

Everything Everywhere All At Once should win the 2023 Oscar for Best Picture

There isn't a movie out there like "Everything Everywhere All At Once," co-directed and written by Daniel Kwan with Daniel Scheinert, known as The Daniels. One of the most visually stunning movies of the year — which is really saying something in a year that also gave us "Elvis" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" — it also has a thoughtful soul and an eclectic group of characters you genuinely come to care for. There's heart-stopping action, a lot of humor, and, at its very soul, the story of a woman who comes to realize her true potential and the importance of her family to her in every universe. There simply hasn't been a better moviegoing experience this year.

"Everything Everywhere All at Once" is ultimately about motherly love. Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) travels to the end of the galaxy to realize that she doesn't want to live in a world without her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu). It's about accepting that the people you love are flawed, and that while your life may be imperfect, there's no other world you'd rather dwell in. The film's philosophy is one of kindness and caring as embodied by Evelyn's husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan in one of two comebacks of the year, alongside best actor fan-favorite Brendan Fraser) — and to believe in such a philosophy is quite a brave thing. 

The multiversal film – especially its ending – is a lot more complicated than its competitors. But it knows how to distill a million different emotions into a single experience and do it in such a unique way that it feels like a tribute to the art of living itself. Simply put, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" should be named the best picture of the year.