The 95th Academy Awards will take over Los Angeles on March 12 and everyone is wondering which films and Hollywood stars will take home a shiny new Oscar. What does director Eamon O’Rourke predict?
“First off, I think that Everything Everywhere All at Once is going to clean up. I hope it does. I think it deserves to. It was definitely my favorite movie of last year, and [it] kind of was a home run in pretty much every facet.”
Everything Everywhere All at Once is an interdimensional sci-fi surrealist comedy about a Chinese American immigrant who runs a laundromat and is being audited by the IRS.
O’Rourke also forecasts Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan will win for lead actress and supporting actor. “I know people [are] talking about Cate Blanchett for Tár, but I just think Michelle Yeoh, she’s a superstar and I think that it will be her.”
Eamon O’Rourke: Best Actor Is a Toss-Up
For lead actor, O’Rourke says it’s neck and neck between Brendan Fraser and Austin Butler.
Fraser’s performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale moved Venice International Film Festival guests so much that they gave him a six-minute standing ovation. Many critics declared Fraser’s role as despairing professor Charlie in The Whale his comeback performance.
Meanwhile, Butler wowed as the King of Rock ’n’ Roll in Elvis, directed by Baz Luhrmann, and took home a Golden Globe for his work. These are the first Oscar nominations for both Fraser and Butler.
“I’m desperately hoping it will be Brendan Fraser because I’ve always loved him, and he’s had a difficult story in Hollywood,” O’Rourke shares. “To see him having not just a comeback but some critical redemption is really, really, really nice. I just think he’s a wonderful guy. And I haven’t seen The Whale. I heard the movie was maybe not quite as good as people were hoping, but that he’s still very, very good.”
Eamon O’Rourke reveals industry buzz around Butler is rampant, making him believe the Elvis actor has a shot at the big prize.
“I only say Austin Butler because I’ve heard lots of people talking about that,” O’Rourke says. “My guess is that it will land between the two of them.”
Butler was emotional upon receiving the nomination and told The New York Times he wished Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child, could be a part of it to celebrate the honor. Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla, were in the audience when Butler won the best actor Golden Globe — but just two days later, Elvis’ daughter died of cardiac arrest.
“It’s been a roller coaster lately — a lot of peaks and these deep valleys of sorrow and things, but moments like this are very special and so I’m trying to take it in,” said Butler.
As for screenplays, O’Rourke — a screenwriter himself — feels Everything Everywhere All at Once will snag another statuette. “[For] adapted screenplay, my guess would be All Quiet on the Western Front,” O’Rourke adds. “And [best] director, hard to know. Could be the Daniels [collaborating film directors and screenwriters Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert] for Everything Everywhere. Steven Spielberg [for The Fablemans], I assume. But he’s won a bunch, so I feel like the academy is a lot more about trying to spread some of the love around these days.”
A dynamic director with an appreciation for special effects, O’Rourke says he sees Avatar: The Way of Water taking home multiple technical awards. “Again, Everything Everywhere, maybe some of the design awards, the wardrobe’s amazing, so is the set design, all of it. And I’m taking Everything Everywhere for Best Picture.”
Like every year with the Academy Awards, some surprises are likely in store. This year, Top Gun: Maverick made it into the Best Picture category. The film snagged a whopping six nominations — but the maverick himself, Tom Cruise, didn’t make the cut.
As millions tune in, viewers can expect changes this year, including footage of all 23 categories to be shown in the 2023 live telecast. Last year, eight award categories were presented off-screen, causing an industrywide outcry.
Eamon O’Rourke Reveals What He’s Binge-Watching
When he’s not writing or directing movies, Eamon O’Rourke admits he enjoys his downtime — and a good portion of that is typically spent watching movies and TV shows.
“Right now, the thing I’m most excited about is The Last of Us, which is on HBO,” Eamon O’Rourke says. “It’s an adaptation of a video game that came out a couple of years ago that I played all the way through. It’s a fantastic, fantastic video game that is so cinematic, and the story is so rich. Adaptations of video games throughout have been pretty poor, for the most part, almost always been terrible. And there are a few that are OK, but nothing really fantastic. I remember playing the game and it’s so story-driven, there’s so much time devoted to character development.”
As both an avid gamer and a movie buff, Eamon O’Rourke appreciated when the melding of the two art forms is a success — and he reckons The Last of Us could be a bellwether of better efforts to come. “This is the perfect example of the collision of video games and film and TV that we are going to see more of as games get more story-driven,” he observes.
The introspective filmmaker also felt The Last of Us was something someone was bound to take on creatively at some point. “When I heard they were doing it, I was just so excited,” he says. “ I love [actor] Pedro Pascal. And then I watched the first episode when it came out, and I was like, ‘I think it’s the best TV pilot I’ve ever seen.’”
O’Rourke adds that while he was late to the party in watching the Apple TV+ science fiction thriller Severance, it’s a series he loved and watched rabidly because it was so engaging.
“Another show I binged recently and am just in love with is [Disney+’s] Andor. I haven’t really liked a lot of the Star Wars TV shows. They often feel like they’re pandering to a younger audience, but with Andor you got a slightly darker story, slightly more serious in a way that works,” Eamon O’Rourke describes. “It was exactly what made Rogue One good, and just felt like they captured a vibe that Star Wars audiences want more of.”