Exactly half of the ten shortlisted films will earn nominations. Six of these films are sequels while one is a franchise reboot with previously-nominated installments. The Batman should have confidence from previous mentions for Batman Returns and The Dark Knight, though there have been twice as many fruitless shortlist inclusions. Avatar: The Way of Water, an intense technical feat that took years to create, is a sure thing given that the first film won this prize in 2009. When it comes to the Marvel entries, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever may have a better shot than Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, even though the former’s first entry only made the shortlist in 2018 while the latter’s got nominated in 2016. While three of the Harry Potter films got nominated after seven films made the shortlist, both of the films that precede Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore failed to get nominated after making the shortlist. Jurassic World: Dominion should hope its fortunes are more like the first film, which won this prize in 1993, or the second, which was nominated in 1997, and not the next three that only got shortlisted. Top Gun: Maverick is expected to outperform the original film, which wasn’t nominated in this category but did score mentions for sound, sound editing, and film editing and a win for song. All Quiet on the Western Front would become the first fully foreign-language film to be nominated in this category, but it could easily follow the course of 2019’s winner 1917. The remaining two contenders, Nope and Thirteen Lives, are both interesting selections that could well make the final five if voters are open to something less franchise-oriented and visually impressive.
Predictions: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Thirteen Lives, Top Gun: Maverick