Amanda’s Picks: Oscars 2023 Predictions

Happy Oscar Sunday everyone! After a very long Oscar season, we are finally ready to award some great films. Truly never thought this season would be over. The work never stops though because we are always planning for the next season. 2022 was such a great year for film and the race is really close! There are some wonderful movies nominated and hopefully, the wealth is shared.

My full analysis for each category and my predicted winner!


Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans 


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Best Director 

Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin) 

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once) 

Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans) 

Todd Field (Tár) 

Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness)

Best Lead Actor

Austin Butler (Elvis) 

Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) 

Brendan Fraser (The Whale) 

Paul Mescal (Aftersun) 

Bill Nighy (Living) 

Best Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett (Tár) 

Ana de Armas (Blonde) 

Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie)

Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) 

Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin) 

Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway) 

Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans)

Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin) 

Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) 

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) 

Hong Chau (The Whale) 

Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) 

Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once) 

Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Best Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin (Winner)

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans


Triangle of Sadness

Best Cinematography 

All Quiet on the Western Front

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Elvis (Winner)

Empire of Light


Best Documentary Feature Film 

All That Breathes

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Fire of Love

A House Made of Splinters


Best Documentary Short Film 

The Elephant Whisperers


How Do You Measure a Year?

The Martha Mitchell Effect

Stranger at the Gate

Best Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All at Once


Top Gun: Maverick

Best International Feature Film 

All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany) 

Argentina, 1985 (Argentina) 

Close (Belgium)

EO (Poland) 

The Quiet Girl (Ireland) 

Best Original Song 

“Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman

“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

“Naatu Naatu” from RRR 

“This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Production Design 

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water



The Fabelmans

Best Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water (WINNER)

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Animated Feature Film 

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Winner)

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

Best Animated Short Film

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

The Flying Sailor

Ice Merchants

My Year of Dicks

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It

Best Costume Design 


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


Everything Everywhere All at Once

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Best Live Action Short

An Irish Goodbye


Le Pupille

Night Ride

The Red Suitcase

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


The Whale

Best Original Score 

All Quiet on the Western Front

Babylon (Winner)

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Batman


Top Gun: Maverick (Winner)

Do you agree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below! Best of luck to everyone voting. I hope you get a perfect score!

Oscar-Nominated Short Film ‘Ivalu’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

When we look back at our childhoods, we realize that there were many things that we didn’t understand at the time. Any form of trauma is carried out and later processed. When our brain is developed enough to understand what happened. Children experience so many things as they grow up they find it difficult to discuss. They can’t find the words, so they express themselves in ways they know how. Whether they run away, stay quiet or lash out, these are emotional responses to situations they don’t quite understand. Director Andres Walters tastefully shows a young girl’s journey navigating sexual abuse towards her sister from their father in Ivalu. 

The short film is based on the graphic novel of the same name, illustrated by Lars Horneman and written by Morten Dürr. The story is about sexual abuse and suicide among children and young adults. A young girl has to face this trauma and realization when her older sister Ivalu disappears. Producer Rebecca Pruzan was taken by the novel, “The colours and drawings are very poetic, and then the story is brutal.” Andres and Pruzan wanted to address these children’s issues while still creating a sense of hopefulness. Things can change if adults learn to communicate with children and help them through tough times. The graphic novel is morbid and does not have that sense of hope, so that is the main thing that they changed when they decided to adapt it. 

When handling subject matter like this involving children, it’s more important to show it from the child’s perspective. And to conceal those traumatic moments because they may be difficult to watch. Andres chose not to show intimate moments because the reactions from the younger sister became more effective. Children are more intuitive than adults make them out to be, and she felt like something was wrong. She didn’t quite know what was happening when her father closed the door, but she knew it wasn’t right. Andres wanted to structure it differently to make it more impactful,

“It’s structured very much like a crime almost, a mystery. If it was only about showing incest and violence, it wouldn’t work for me. I’m not saying it wouldn’t work. But, for me, it had to be the other way around, and I wanted to try to tell this from the girls’ perspective.” 

Andres Walters, Director ‘Ivalu’

Walters used nature to offset the pain and confusion of Pipaluk (Mila Heilmann Kreutzmann) as she ventures into the wilderness to find her older sister. The flashbacks are effective as she goes on this journey, as the viewer can piece together the reason her sister left. Without much dialogue, Kreutzmann delivers a heartbreaking performance. Walters does explore womanhood through Pipaluk as she begins to understand the conditions women live under. The loss of innocence is felt in the middle of this film, and the tone shifts to push her into the next part of her life. 

Pruzan and Walters hope audiences watch Ivalu and change their perspective on communication with children. Children are suffering from many traumatic experiences, and they made this short film to raise awareness because children won’t be able to express themselves the same way adults can. The short film has been nominated for an Academy Award, and they plan to use this platform to expand on the short film by publishing a digital book so it can be read in schools all over Denmark. And hopefully, other schools all over the world. Stories like this may be difficult to watch, but they are essential viewing because of the subject matter. Children must be protected and raised within a community willing to help them grow.  

Sundance 2023 Watchlist

By: Amanda Guarragi

I am so happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to cover Sundance again. This will be my third year covering the festival and it is virtually once again. Thankfully, Sundance has kept the virtual option and it is something that I am very grateful for. I plan on watching 32 films in the next 10 days, so hopefully, I’ll be able to make it through. This year the festival will run from Thursday, January 19th to Sunday, January 29th. You can follow me on all platforms @amxndareviews for social reactions and reviews.


The Pod Generation
dir. Sophie Barthes

dir. Emanuele Crialese

Sometimes I Think About Dying
dir. Rachel Lambert

The Longest Goodbye
dir. Ido Mizrahy

Little Richard: I Am Everything
dir. Lisa Cortes

Magazine Dreams
dir. Elijah Bynum

STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie
dir. Davis Guggenheim

dir. Saim Sadiq

Fair Play
dir. Chloe Domont

In My Mother’s Skin
dir. Kenneth Dagatan

Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields
dir. Lana Wilson

The Disappearance of Shere Hite
dir. Nicole Newnham

dir. Jakub Piatek

dir. Andrew Durham

The Starling Girl
dir. Laurel Parmet

Infinity Pool
dir. Brandon Cronenberg

dir. Marija Kavtaradze

Bad Behaviour
dir. Alice Englert

dir. William. Oldroyd

Theater Camp
dir. Molly Gordon and Nick Lierberman

Cat Person
dir. Susanna Fogel

Judy Blume Forever
dir. Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood
dir. Anna Hints

You Hurt My Feelings
dir. Nicole Holofcener

dir. Randall Park

dir. Charlotte Regan

My Animal
dir. Jacqueline Castel

A Little Prayer
dir. Angus Maclachlan

Plan C
dir. Tracy Droz Tragos

I am very excited to dive into all of these films, and reviews will follow in between. I will be posting capsule reviews and full reviews for the films that truly speak to me. It is a privilege to be part of Sundance for another year, and I’m very thankful. Thank you in advance for reading my reviews and supporting my festival journey.

Joshua Jackson And Liquid Media Group Make A Big Splash At TIFF

By: Amanda Guarragi

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has always been the talk of the town and been the center of the most exclusive and desirable parties. TIFF welcomes celebrities, top industry executives, influential media and other glamorous guests for a night of marvelous entertainment and fun. 

Monday evening’s gala event, “The Big Splash” hosted by entertainment business solutions provider Liquid Media Group, boasted a guest list that included the best and brightest of the entertainment crowd. 

Liquid Media Group has been shining the spotlight and sharing their expertise on important issues for independent producers through an exclusive series of TIFF panel discussions. Liquid’s Chairman Joshua Jackson (“Dr. Death,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “The Affair”) and CEO Ronald Thomson were among the speakers on topics ranging from streaming in the new world and financing for independents to harnessing the power of media for social good. Their mission with Liquid feels wonderfully analogous with the aim of the non-profit cultural organization that operates the festival, which seeks to transform the way people see the world, through film.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Katarzyna Kaczmarczyk, Paul Jun, Jon Fitzgerald, Joshua Jackson, Ron Thomson and Andy Wilson attend “Joshua Jackson and his Company Liquid Media Group host THE BIG SPLASH” held at Windsor Arms Hotel on September 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images for Liquid Media Group/ Jane Owen PR)

The offering from Liquid Media Group is much needed to ensure independence for independents, explains Thomson, and will enable professional video (film/TV and video game) creation, packaging, financing, delivery, and monetization, empowering IP creators to take their professional content from inception through the entire process to monetization.

“Our company is addressing a significant challenge for independent creative professionals, “and there is no better way to celebrate the importance of that work and all that we have accomplished than to gather safely with the industry’s best and brightest.”

– CEO Ronald Thomson

“The Big Splash” took place at The Windsor Arms, an award-winning boutique hotel in the heart of the city. It included an open bar accompanied with tantalizing food to tempt any taste buds, and live entertainment. The Windsor Arms is known for hosting visiting royalty, aristocracy, stars of film and screen as well as heads of state and industry.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 13: Joshua Jackson attends “Joshua Jackson and his Company Liquid Media Group host THE BIG SPLASH” at Windsor Arms Hotel on September 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images for Liquid Media Group/ Jane Owen PR)

After walking the red carpet, guests gathered in the courtyard ballroom, one of the hotel’s most elegant spaces. Renowned DJ Samantha Michelle’s music enveloped the night as invitees were safely engaging with one another and enjoying their drink of choice at the grand bar. 

Gift bags for Liquid’s gala guests included:

  • House of Waris Elephant Friendly Black Tea
  • Massawippi Mercantile Granola
  • Maax Gum
  • David and Young Scarves
  • A Gift certificate from The Sailing Collective.

Also included in the gift bag were several digital gifts from the Liquid Media Group family of companies. These included Filmocracy One month free Indieflix gave guests a month complimentary access to their full expanse of virtual festivals. Slipstream gifted gift bag holders 45 days free access to their movies. iGems gave lucky guests both a discount on their renowned TV Film Festival mastery course as well as one month complimentary platinum membership. 

Ultimately, the lively party was a splendid and sensational hit. Liquid Media Group carefully balanced the perfect amount of glitz, dazzle, glamour and excitement for today’s times, enchanting its attendees as a noteworthy addition to the 2021 film festival’s most memorable occasions. 

To learn more about Liquid Media Group, please visit

The Canadian Comedy Series ‘Ghost BFF’ Tackles Important Social Issues With Humour

By: Amanda Guarragi

When we consume media, we usually gravitate towards series or films that we can hopefully relate to. If we are lucky, we can find a show or film with characters who speak to us on a different level. That is why representation on-screen is important, whether there is a diverse cast, or stories that highlight different social issues. There are creators who highlight issues such as mental health, suicide, and depression. Not only do these conversations need to be had among friends or family, but it is important to show these conversations on-screen. The Canadian comedy series Ghost BFF tackles all this effortlessly and is nominated for four performance Canadian Screen Awards for stars Vanessa Matsui, Kaniehtiio Horn, Jean Yoon, and Angela Asher. 

Ghost BFF is a dark comedy about depression, following two women, Tara (Kaniehtiio Horn) and Amy (Vanessa Matsui) – one alive, one dead – as they struggle to find themselves and right past wrongs following a suicide. The series shines a light on mental health, highlighting tough topics like depression and anxiety, suicide, treatment, and mindfulness, while adding some well-needed humour. Kaniehtiio Horn and Vanessa Matsui have incredible chemistry on and off-screen, they both understood the material and they created a very honest space, to explore their characters mental struggles. Matsui, who is also the showrunner, really wanted to bring these social issues to the forefront because of her personal connection to the subject matter.

Web series Ghost BFF puts the focus on mental health via two friends. And  one of them is dead. | TV, eh?
Courtesy of Babe Nation Creations

Matsui wanted to make sure people, especially women, feel represented on-screen. She could see all these young women suffering and no one was talking about mental health,

“I wanted to make a show that used comedy as a bridge, to talk about something that at the time, was pretty taboo and arguably still is. At the same time, I wanted the series to make you laugh, so it’s not so heavy or difficult. And if you are suffering, that hopefully you feel a little less alone, after watching this show.”

– Vanessa Matsui, Ghost BFF

The reason why many can connect to this show is because of the humour that is added to painful, emotional moments when discussing these difficult subjects. Not everything has to be grim and dark; humour is sometimes the best release and as Kaniehtiio Horn said, it’s a way to cope during hard times. When asked about her connection to this character and to Matsui, she said that after knowing her for 15 years or so, that it was a collaboration in the making. Horn said that one evening, during TIFF, they connected and Horn wanted to audition for the project. Sometimes projects can choose the person, and in this case, Horn didn’t know how much she needed the character of Tara in her life, “It gave me confidence to start working on my own things. Just seeing my peers, these women who are my age making things happen and that really lit a fire under me.” The way Horn and Matsui came together and supported each other through this process is truly inspiring.

Vanessa Matsui on Twitter: "… "
via Vanessa Matsui on Twitter

Since it is Mental Health Awareness Month, it is always important to shed light on these issues because these conversations need to be presented on-screen. Media has a wide reach, no matter what form it takes, and it is important that it connects with people. Whether it is because of diversity in its cast or social issues, these stories are important in order for everyone to feel seen. Matsui and Horn are both on the same page when it comes to representation in the media, “I think you realize once you start talking about it, or see what you might be doing, that it might be reflected back to you in the content that you’re consuming, you feel a little less alone.” Horn went on to say that she even started going to therapy and that working on this project allowed her to explore her own mind, while diving into the character of Tara.

The reason why diverse stories matter is because everyone can be going through something different. In one way or another, someone is struggling in their own way and it would benefit them, if there was an atmosphere to help them through. When making Ghost BFF it was important for Matsui to be inclusive and have a diverse cast. The industry has definitely shifted and as Horn put it, diversity is hot right now, which can also be a long-term issue. Matsui and Horn are both weary about what the future holds for the industry but they see the shift as a positive change,

“I used to feel so little and meek and just be thankful that I got the job. That’s how I used to feel. But now with all of these initiatives, I feel a bit more confident to say things and yes there’s a shift, and it’s amazing to see and I guess I feel like I’m a part of it in terms, on the Indigenous side of filmmaking and television and it’s exciting. But again there’s this underlining thing.” 

– Kaniehtiio Horn, Ghost BFF
Ghost BFF
Courtesy of Babe Nation Creations

Matsui and Horn remain hopeful moving forward because there are still so many stories left to tell. And the push to have different stories in the Canadian film industry will always be relevant,

“My Japanese family has been here since the 1800s that’s a lot longer than a lot of white people who have been here and yet I’m always asked ‘Where do you come from?’ Why is that question even being asked to me when I’m from here? I think part of it is that we are not represented in the media, people have this really narrow version of what a Canadian looks like.”

– Vanessa Matsui, Ghost BFF

The most important thing that Matsui wants audiences to takeaway from this series is that hopefully people will feel a little less alone. That if you are going through a rough time, this show will bring you some laughter. Matsui went on to say, “If you are a young woman, or woman of colour and you might not fit into the perfect casting, I hope this inspires people to create their own work, especially young women.” Horn and Matsui have put so much of themselves in Ghost BFF and you can see the love for their characters on-screen.

Matsui is slated to make her directorial feature film debut very soon and she is currently working on the show Hot Zone. Horn has also been busy with guest starring on an American television show called, Reservation Dogs and will be turning her podcast, Coffee With My Ma, into an animated series!

If you want to check out Ghost BFF the first two seasons are online. And if you want to cheer them on during the Canadian Screen Awards it will be streaming live on from May 17th – 20th.