2025 Oscars Predictions in Every Category

Oscars 2025: First Blind Predictions Include Lady Gaga, Zendaya, Saoirse Ronan and More Promising Superstars
Oscars 2025: First Blind Predictions Include Lady Gaga, Zendaya, Saoirse Ronan and More Promising Superstars

The curtains have closed on the Oscars, and as we peer over the horizon following a six-month Hollywood hiatus due to the union strikes, the initial trepidation over a sparse cinematic future will be sure to dissipate once you look at the road ahead. Contrary to fears, the film landscape appears not just replenished but vibrant, with several compelling titles that are already making waves.

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An annual tradition at Variety is to take a look ahead at what contenders could be brewing for next year’s Oscar season. Last year’s blind peek correctly guessed five of the 10 eventual best picture nominees, while in 2022 and 2021, each found two respectively. There’s no correct method to the madness.

Warner Bros. leads this promising cadre, already spotlighting Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two” as a formidable contender across numerous categories. The studio’s lineup is also bolstered by eagerly anticipated sequels such as George Miller’s “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” and Todd Phillips’ “Joker: Folie à Deux.” The latter sees Joaquin Phoenix returning to his Oscar-winning role, with Lady Gaga joining the fray as the tumultuous Harley Quinn.

Wicked
Wicked

Universal Pictures hopes to capitalize after winning best picture with Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” and get awards play from its commercial offerings, including the film adaptation of “Wicked” with superstars Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande.

Paramount Pictures seeks to replicate the success of “Top Gun: Maverick” with Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator 2,” boasting a stellar cast including Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal.

Disney and its subsidiaries (20th Century Studios, Pixar, Searchlight Pictures and Walt Disney Animation) are poised to captivate audiences with potential blockbusters like “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” and sequels to “Inside Out” and “Moana.”

Recently crowned two-time best actress winner Emma Stone reteams with Yorgos Lanthimos for Searchlight’s anthology “Kinds of Kindness,” sharing the screen with Jesse Plemons and Willem Dafoe. Sony Pictures and Sony Pictures Classics are fine-tuning their awards hopefuls, highlighted by possibly Scarlett Johansson’s directorial debut, “Eleanor the Great,” said to feature a baity turn by Oscar nominee June Squibb (“Nebraska”).

Projects from Robert Zemeckis (“Here” with Tom Hanks), Jason Reitman (“SNL: 1975” with Gabriel LaBelle) and Taika Waititi (“Klara and the Sun” with Jenna Ortega), signal Sony Studios’ ambition. Furthermore, A24, fresh from dual best picture nominations, looks strong with films such as “Sing Sing” with recent Oscar nominee Colman Domingo and John Crowley’s romantic drama “We Live in Time,” starring Andrew Garfield and Florence Pugh.

The Piano Lesson review Samuel L Jackson John David Washington
The Piano Lesson review Samuel L Jackson John David Washington

Streaming platforms, eager to rebound from a year of modest Oscar recognition, are poised for resurgence. Netflix, in particular, showcases a diverse slate including Richard Linklater’s action flick “Hit Man” with Glen Powell and the film adaptation of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” produced by Denzel Washington and starring an impressive ensemble that could lead to rewarding another MCU star: Samuel L. Jackson.

Apple Original Films looks to rebound after “Killers of the Flower Moon” went home empty-handed with dramas like “Fancy Dance” with Lily Gladstone and Steve McQueen’s epic “Blitz,” capturing Londoners’ resilience during WWII bombings with Saoirse Ronan and Harris Dickinson.

Amazon MGM will tantalize with Zendaya’s femme fatale vehicle “Challengers” and forthcoming gems like RaMell Ross’ narrative feature debut “The Nickel Boys” with Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor.

Director Mike Leigh returns with “Hard Truths,” with Oscar nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste (“Secrets & Lies”) reuniting.

Animation, a medium rich with potential, will be highlighted by DreamWorks Animation’s “The Wild Robot,” promising a captivating blend of storytelling and visual innovation, and a potential killer score from Kris Bowers.

Also from the indie sector, Neon’s post-apocalyptic musical “The End” and Audrey Diwan’s erotic drama “Emmanuelle” promise diversity and danger.

Movies still looking for a distributor will be at the top of mind, with Paolo Sorrentino’s monochromatic fantasy “Parthenope” and Pablo Larraín’s portrayal of Maria Callas with Angelina Jolie sure to stir intrigue. Moreover, we’re excited for Andrea Arnold’s “Bird” with Barry Keoghan, with a plot that’s not yet known.

Rounding out the excitement are Francis Ford Coppola’s self-funded sci-fi epic “Megalopolis” with Adam Driver and Luca Guadagnino’s “Queer” with Daniel Craig. Both seem like projects brimming with innovation, which could mark a thrilling period for cinema enthusiasts.

NOTE: All release dates, studios and credits are not final and are subject to change. All listed films and performers are listed in alphabetical order.

*** = PREDICTED WINNER

Best Picture

Best Picture
Best Picture


Bird” (No U.S. Distribution) 
Lee Groombridge, Juliette Howell, Tessa Ross 
Blitz” (Apple Original Films) ***
Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Yariv Milchan, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Michael Schaefer 
Conclave” (Focus Features)  
Alice Dawson, Robert Harris, Juliette Howell, Michael Jackman, Tessa Ross 
Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) 
Cale Boyter, Tanya Lapointe, Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve 
The End” (Neon) 
Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen 
Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) 
Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew Lowe, Kasia Malipan 
Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution) 
Michael Bederman, Francis Ford Coppola 
The Nickel Boys” (Amazon MGM Studios/Orion) 
Joslyn Barnes, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, David Levine 
The Piano Lesson” (Netflix) 
Todd Black, Denzel Washington 
The Wild Robot” (DreamWorks Animation) 
Jeff Hermann

Alternates: “The Apprentice” (No U.S. Distribution); “Better Man” (Paramount Pictures); “Emmanuelle” (Neon); “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.); “Gladiator 2” (Paramount Pictures); “Hard Truths” (Bleecker Street); “Here” (Sony Pictures); “His Three Daughters” (Netflix); “Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1” (Warner Bros.); “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.); “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Studios); “Maria” (No U.S. Distribution); “Nosferatu” (Focus Features); “Parthenope” (No U.S. Distribution); “Queer” (No U.S. Distribution); “Sing Sing” (A24); “SNL: 1975” (Sony Pictures); “Wicked” (Universal Pictures) 

Director

Director
Director


Andrea Arnold
“Bird” (No U.S. Distribution) 
Francis Ford Coppola
“Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution) 
Steve McQueen ***
“Blitz” (Apple Original Films) 
Joshua Oppenheimer
“The End” (Neon) 
Denis Villeneuve
“Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.)

Alternates: Edward Berger, “Conclave” (Focus Features); Audrey Diwan, “Emmanuelle” (Neon); Yorgos Lanthimos, “Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures); Mike Leigh, “Hard Truths” (Bleecker Street); Luca Guadgnino, “Queer” (No U.S. Distribution); George Miller, “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.); Todd Phillips, “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.); Jason Reitman, “SNL: 1975” (Sony Pictures); RaMell Ross, “The Nickel Boys” (Amazon MGM Studios/Orion); Paolo Sorrentino, “Parthenope” (No U.S. Distribution); Malcolm Washington, “The Piano Lesson” (Netflix); Robert Zemeckis, “Here” (Sony Pictures) 

Actor

Actor
Actor


Daniel Craig
“Queer” (No U.S. Distribution) 
Colman Domingo
“Sing Sing” (A24) 
Ralph Fiennes ***
“Conclave” (Focus Features) 
Andrew Garfield
“We Live in Time” (A24) 
John David Washington
“The Piano Lesson” (Netflix)

Alternates: Austin Butler, “The Bikeriders” (Focus Features); Adam Driver, “Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution); Richard Gere, “Oh, Canada” (No U.S. Distribution); Tom Hanks, “Here” (Sony Pictures); André Holland, “The Actor” (Neon); Barry Keoghan, “Bird” (No U.S. Distribution); Gabriel LaBelle, “SNL: 1975” (Sony Pictures); Gary Oldman, “Parthenope” (No U.S. Distribution); Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.); Jesse Plemons, “Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures); Michael Shannon, “The End” (Neon); Sebastian Stan, “A Different Man” (A24); Robbie Williams, “Better Man” (Paramount Pictures) 

Actress

Actress
Actress


Lady Gaga
“Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.) 
Marianne Jean-Baptiste
“Hard Truths” (Bleecker Street) 
Florence Pugh
“We Live in Time” (A24) 
Saoirse Ronan ***
“The Outrun” (TBA) 
Zendaya
“Challengers” (Amazon MGM Studios)

Alternates: Jodie Comer, “The Bikeriders” (Focus Features); Ryan Destiny, “Flint Strong” (Amazon MGM Studios); Nathalie Emmanuel, “Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution); Cynthia Erivo, “Wicked” (Universal Pictures); Lily Gladstone, “Fancy Dance” (Apple Original Films); Angelina Jolie, “Maria” (No U.S. Distribution); Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (MGM); Natasha Lyonne, “His Three Daughters” (Netflix); Noémie Merlant, “Emmanuelle” (Neon); Jenna Ortega, “Klara and the Sun” (Sony Pictures); Daisy Ridley, “Young Woman and the Sea” (Walt Disney Pictures); Emma Stone, “Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures); Tilda Swinton, “The End” (Neon) 

Supporting Actor

Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor


Willem Dafoe
“Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) 
Harris Dickinson
“Blitz” (Apple Original Films) 
Samuel L. Jackson ***
“The Piano Lesson” (Netflix) 
Jesse Plemons
“Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) 
Stanley Tucci
“Conclave” (Focus Features)

Alternates: Jamie Campbell Bower, “Emmanuelle” (Neon); Kieran Culkin, “A Real Pain” (Searchlight Pictures); Leigh Gill, “Blitz” (Apple Original Films); Tom Hardy, “The Bikeriders” (Focus Features); Hugh Jackman, “Deadpool & Wolverine” (Marvel Studios); John Lithgow, “Conclave” (Focus Features); George MacKay, “The End” (Neon); Clarence Maclin, “Sing Sing” (A24); LaMorne Morris, “SNL: 1975” (Sony Pictures); Michael Shannon, “The End” (Neon); Drew Starkey, “Queer” (No U.S. Distribution) 

Supporting Actress

Supporting Actress
Supporting Actress


Joan Chen
“Dìdi” (Focus Features) 
Danielle Deadwyler
“The Piano Lesson” (Netflix) 
Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor ***
“The Nickel Boys” (Amazon MGM Studios/Orion)
Saoirse Ronan
“Blitz” (Apple Original Films) 
Isabella Rossellini
“Conclave” (Focus Features)

Alternates: Amy Adams, “Klara and the Sun” (Sony Pictures); Carrie Coon, “His Three Daughters” (Netflix); Ariana Grande, “Wicked” (Universal Pictures); Moses Ingram, “The End” (Neon); Elizabeth Olsen, “His Three Daughters” (Netflix); Aubrey Plaza — “Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution); Rachel Sennott — “SNL: 1975” (Sony Pictures); Uma Thurman — “Oh, Canada” (No U.S. Distribution); Naomi Watts — “Emmanuelle” (Neon); Robin Wright — “Here” (Sony Pictures) 

Original Screenplay

Original Screenplay
Original Screenplay


Bird” (No U.S. Distribution)
Andrea Arnold 
Blitz” (Apple Original Films) ***
Steve McQueen 
The End” (Neon)
Rasmus Heisterberg, Joshua Oppenheimer 
Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures)
Efthimis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos 
A Real Pain” (Searchlight Pictures)
Jesse Eisenberg

Alternates: “Dìdi” (Focus Features) — Sean Wang; “Flint Strong” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Barry Jenkins; “Hard Truths” (Bleecker Street) — Mike Leigh; “His Three Daughters” (Netflix) — Azazel Jacobs; “Kneecap” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Rich Peppiatt, Naoise Ó Cairealláin, Liam Óg Ó Hannaidh, Jj Ó Dochartaigh; “Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution) — Francis Ford Coppola; “SNL: 1975” (Sony Pictures) — Jason Reitman, Gil Kenan; “We Live in Time” (A24) — Nick Payne 

Adapted Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay
Adapted Screenplay


Conclave” (Focus Features)
Peter Straughan 
The Nickel Boys” (Amazon MGM Studios/Orion) ***
RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes 
The Piano Lesson” (Netflix)
Virgil Williams, Malcolm Washington 
Sing Sing” (A24)
Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar, Clarence Maclin, John Divine G Whitfield 
The Wild Robot” (DreamWorks Animation)
Chris Sanders

Alternates: “Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) — Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts; “Emmanuelle” (Neon) — Audrey Diwan, Rebecca Zlotowski; “Here” (Sony Pictures) — Eric Roth, Robert Zemeckis; “Hit Man” (Netflix) — Richard Linklater, Glen Powell; “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.) — Todd Phillips, Scott Silver; “Klara and the Sun” (Sony Pictures) — Dahvi Waller; “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (MGM) — David Lindsay-Abaire; “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat” (Searchlight Pictures) — Tina Mabry, Gina Prince-Bythewood; “Young Woman and the Sea” (Walt Disney Pictures) — Jeff Nathanson 

Animated Feature

Animated Feature
Animated Feature


Inside Out 2” (Pixar) 
Kelsey Mann, Mark Nielsen
The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” (Warner Bros.) 
Kenji Kamiyama, Philippa Boyens, Joseph Chou
The Magnificent Life of Marcel Pagnol” (Sony Pictures Classics) 
Sylvain Chomet, Eric Goossens, Ashargin Poiré, Valérie Puech, Aton Soumache
Ultraman: Rising” (Netflix) 
Shannon Tindle, Tom Knott, Lisa M. Poole
The Wild Robot” (DreamWorks Animation) ***
Chris Sanders, Jeff Hermann

Alternates: “The Imaginary” (Netflix); “Moana 2” (Walt Disney Pictures); “Mufasa: The Lion King” (Walt Disney Pictures); “Spellbound” (Netflix); “That Christmas” (Netflix); “Transformers One” (Paramount); “Untitled Wallace & Gromit Movie” (Netflix) 

Production Design

Production Design
Production Design


Blitz” (Apple Original Films) ***
Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock 
Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.)
Patrice Vermette, Zsuzsanna Sipos 
Gladiator 2” (Paramount Pictures)
Arthur Max, Elli Griff 
Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution)
Beth Mickle, Bradley Rubin, Lisa K. Sessions 
Nosferatu” (Focus Features)
Craig Lathrop

Alternates: “Civil War” (A24); “Deadpool & Wolverine” (Marvel Studios); “The End” (Neon); “Here” (Sony Pictures); “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.); “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Studios); “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.); “The Piano Lesson” (Netflix); “Wicked” (Universal Pictures); “The Wild Robot” (DreamWorks Animation) 

Cinematography

Cinematography
Cinematography


Blitz” (Apple Original Films)
Yorick Le Saux 
Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) ***
Greig Fraser
Maria” (No U.S. Distribution)
Edward Lachmann 
Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution)
Mihai Malaimaire Jr. 
Parthenope” (No U.S. Distribution)
Daria D’Antonio

Alternates: “Civil War” (A24) — Rob Hardy; “The End” (Neon) — Mikhail Krichman; “Hard Truths” (Bleecker Street) — Dick Pope; “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.) — Lawrence Sher; “Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) — Robbie Ryan; “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.) — Simon Duggan; “The Piano Lesson” (Netflix) — Mike Gioulakis 

Costume Design

Costume Design
Costume Design


Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” (Warner Bros.)
Colleen Atwood 
Blitz” (Apple Original Films)
Jacqueline Durran 
Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) ***
Jacqueline West 
Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution)
Milena Canonero 
The Piano Lesson” (Netflix)
Francine Jamison-Tanchuck

Alternates: “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.) — Jenny Beavan; “Gladiator 2” (Paramount Pictures) — Janty Yates; “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.) — Arianne Phillips; “Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) — Jennifer Johnson; “Queer” (No U.S. Distribution) — J.W. Anderson); “Wicked” (Universal Pictures) — Paul Tazewell 

Film Editing

Film Editing
Film Editing


Blitz” (Apple Original Films) ***
Peter Sciberras 
Conclave” (Focus Features)
Nick Emerson 
Deadpool & Wolverine” (Marvel Studios)
Shane Reid 
Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.)
Joe Walker 
The Piano Lesson” (Netflix)
Leslie Jones

Alternates: “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.) – TBA; “Hit Man” (Netflix) — Sandra Adair; “Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) — Yorgos Mavropsaridis; “Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution) — TBA; “The Nickel Boys” (Amazon MGM Studios); “Queer” (No U.S. Distribution) — Marco Costa 

Makeup and Hairstyling

Makeup and Hairstyling
Makeup and Hairstyling


Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” (Warner Bros.) 
Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) ***
Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.) 
Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) 
Nosferatu” (Focus Features)

Alternates: “Better Man” (Paramount Pictures); “Civil War” (A24); “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.); “Gladiator 2” (Paramount Pictures); “Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution); “The Nickel Boys” (Amazon MGM Studios); “Wicked” (Universal Pictures)   

Sound

Sound
Sound


Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) ***
The End” (Neon) 
Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.) 
Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution)  
The Wild Robot” (DreamWorks Animation)

Alternates: “The Bikeriders” (Focus Features); “Bird” (No U.S. Distribution); “Blitz” (Apple Original Films); “Civil War” (A24); “Deadpool & Wolverine” (Marvel Studios); “Gladiator 2” (Paramount Pictures); “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.); “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Studios); “Wicked” (Universal Pictures); “Wolfs” (Apple Original Films) 

Visual Effects

Visual Effects
Visual Effects


Deadpool & Wolverine” (Marvel Studios) 
Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) ***
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Studios) 
Mufasa: The Lion King” (Walt Disney Pictures) 
Tuesday” (A24)

Alternates: “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” (Warner Bros.); “Civil War” (A24); “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (Warner Bros.); “Gladiator 2” (Paramount Pictures); “Here” (Sony Pictures); “IF” (Paramount Pictures); “Megalopolis” (No U.S. Distribution); “Twisters” (Warner Bros.); “Wicked” (Universal Pictures)  

Original Score

Original Score
Original Score


Flint Strong” (Amazon MGM Studios)
Tamar-kali 
IF” (Paramount Pictures)
Michael Giacchino 
Kinds of Kindness” (Searchlight Pictures) ***
Thomas Newman 
The Wild Robot” (DreamWorks Animation)
Kris Bowers 
Young Woman and the Sea” (Walt Disney Pictures)
Amelia Warner

Alternate: “Conclave” (Focus Features) — Volker Bertelmann; “Dune: Part Two” (Warner Bros.) — Hans Zimmer; “Emmanuelle” (Neon) — Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine; “Gladiator 2” (Paramount Pictures) — Henry Gregson-Williams; “Inside Out 2” (Pixar) — Andrea Datzman; “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Warner Bros.) — Hildur Guðnadóttir

Original Song

Original Song
Original Song


“Possible song” from “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” (Netflix) 
“Possible song” from “Blitz” (Apple Original Films) 
“Possible song” from “Mufasa: The Lion King” (Walt Disney Pictures) 
“Possible song” from “Queer” (No U.S. Distribution) 
“Possible song” from “Six Triple Eight” (Netflix) ***

Documentary Feature

Documentary Feature
Documentary Feature


Daughters” (Netflix)
dir. Angela Patton, Natalie Rae 
Piece by Piece” (Focus Features)
dir. Morgan Neville 
Sugarcane” (National Geographic Documentary Films)
dir. Julian Brave NoiseCat, Emily Kassie 
Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story”  (Warner Bros.) ***
dirs. Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui 
Will & Harper” (Netflix)
dir. Josh Greenbaum

International Feature

International Feature
International Feature


Brief History of a Family” (China)
dir. Jianjie Lin 
Crossing” (Georgia)
dir. Levan Akin 
Emmanuelle” (France)
dir. Audrey Diwan 
Pedro Páramo” (Mexico)
dir. Rodrigo Prieto ***
Reinas” (Peru)
dir. Klaudia Reynicke-Candeloro

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