6 Reasons why Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis will win the Best Picture Oscar: When Baz Luhrmann, Austin Butler, and Tom Hanks set out to work on Elvis, Oscar glory may not have been anywhere in their minds. Luhrmann has seen his films come and miss recognition, but he keeps making movies in his style. Hanks has already clinched the Oscar almost three decades ago, and Butler is quite new and hasn’t “paid his dues.” What about rewarding him for the fact that he embodied Elvis? Insert King T’Challa saying, “We don’t do that here.”
When making a film, each individual focuses on how they can do the best in their craft and come up with a pleasing finished product. In this case, the cast and crew may have had numbers like ‘Trouble’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love With You’ on their Spotify streams. Watching film to capture the costumes, sets, or body language from Elvis’ performances may also have been done. I don’t imagine anybody would have had their imaginary Oscar winning speech playing in their head each day on set and in the production room.
The cast and crew’s combined effort and dedicated focus resulted in something the audiences consumed, the critics loved, and the Academy Members felt worthy of handing out a vote. Now, as a collective, they can begin dreaming of acceptance speeches. Hanks isn’t in the running, but Butler, Luhrmann and many more are in with a shout of leaving the Dolby Theater with an Oscar.
An Oscar isn’t necessarily about rewarding the best film. It centers around what the Academy wants to push as its pick for the year. The theme and subject matter of the film could play a key role, or inclusivity could be a factor. These factors could even play a part at the 95th Academy Awards, with Elvis seeming like a dark horse should (some) things fall in place.
No matter how much the Academy may not want to be predictable, a general idea of the winner comes from the precursor awards and the other Oscar categories a film has received nods in.
Here’s a look at a few reasons Elvis can sneak in and give Baz Luhrmann (nominated as a producer for Elvis) his first Oscar.
1.) Elvis is a film about a real life superstar
Elvis has one thing that the other major players do not. It is a biographical take on ‘The King’. The word biographical can lure voters in like bees to honey. Films like Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Banshees of Inisherin, Tar, and Top Gun: Maverick, could be seen as favorites right now for a variety of reasons. They have more nominations than Elvis, they got far greater support from the acting and the technical branches, but what they don’t have is the element of reality. These are all fictional films.
The Fabelmans is a semi-autobiographical take on Steven Spielberg’s early steps, but Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is a full-blown drama that puts a spotlight on showbiz. Elvis’ biopic vs Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical story. In the old days, this would have been a blowout win for the latter. However, now, things have changed with entertaining films having a shot. Elvis is foot tapping and will remain in voters’ minds as they reward a mirror into the life of a showman.
2.) Elvis is a film about showbiz
In Elvis, Colonel Parker said, “It’s just business. Show business. To achieve truly great things, one must make truly great sacrifices.”
Through the life of the superstar, audiences get a glimpse into the dark and unseen side of showbiz. Elvis focuses on the explosion of the superstar and the implosion of the person. This then advances to focus on the resurrection of the person and the superstar. We get to see Elvis rise “Faster than the speed of light to the rock of eternity” and then suffer the fate of Icarus with a little ‘Trouble’.
This journey of performers that casts a light on tales from their homes, the lengthy spells on the road, and the magnifying glass scrutiny they live under, is what voters may relate to. How many voters are film industry members who were once valuable and now washed up?
3.) Best Actor can push it across
Rami Malek saw Bohemian Rhapsody get buzz as a potential Best Picture winner. A powerful acting performance can see a film get buzz to push it across the line. After watching Elvis, audiences may believe that ‘The King’ was actually acting in it. However, it was all Austin Butler. If the Academy sees it fit to reward the man who carries this film (Baz Luhrmann doesn’t have a director nomination), they may vote the same in a preferential ballot for Best Film.
4.) The preferential ballot could help Elvis.
Could Elvis get a lot of second picks? Like people place their own favorite film first? And then put Elvis second…
Elvis could take the win on a preferential ballot. This system ensures that a divisive best picture isn’t awarded the trophy. While the content in Elvis could be divisive, the reason it could benefit would be the fact that it is under the radar. Currently, Everything Everywhere All At Once and The Banshees of Inisherin are most people’s picks. Hence, in a bid to not appear predictable right from the outset, voters could go to Top Gun: Maverick. The Tom Cruise starrer is not divisive in any way, but there could be people that place this as their first pick. Why? Because Joseph Kosinski missed out on a Director nod and Tom Cruise wasn’t among the acting nominees.
The film will have a lot of technical support as well, but the situation in Europe could prove to add that element of doubt. Will the Academy want to name a film about fighter pilots and air raid bombers as their best? In going for an anti-war offering, All Quiet on The Western Front will be a potential pick, but a film with this title already received Best Picture (3rd Academy Awards). Also, most crucially, it is a non-English film that doesn’t have the Parasite wave to help it shatter a glass ceiling. Advantage Elvis, to some extent.
Considering this, it could be between The Fabelmans, Tar and Elvis. The Fabelmans won the Globes for best Film, but it lacks the crucial Editing nomination at the Academy Awards. There is a great co-relation between a nomination in editing and a Best Picture winner.
That leaves Tar and Elvis in the race. Tar trumps Elvis as it has the writing and directorial nomination. However, Elvis is something that may have audiences tapping their feet and they may remember it in a more positive light, when compared to Tar.
5.) Elvis has a nod at some crucial precursor awards
Elvis has a nod in the PGA category. Ever since its inception, the PGA winner has gone on to win the Best Picture on 23/33 occasions. Also, except for Braveheart, every single Best Picture Oscar winner has been a PGA nominee.
Prediction makers may say that a miss in the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble category may cost Elvis. However, that trend has been bucked in recent years. The likes of Nomadland, Green Book, and The Shape of Water have clinched the top prize in the last five years without an SAG ensemble nomination. Those three films did have a wave of support from elsewhere, but Elvis Presley’s lyrics could evoke a wave of nostalgia that will be rewarded on March 12.
6.) Elvis has the crucial nod for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing
Film Editing has a great correlation with the Best Picture category. In the last 40 years, only Birdman and CODA have clinched Best Film without a nomination for achievement in Film Editing. Hence, Elvis has a better shot at claiming the top prize than the likes of Avatar 2: Way of Water, The Fabelmans, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking, and All Quiet on The Western Front.
The other four contenders are Tar, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Top Gun: Maverick, and The Banshees of Inisherin. It’s tough to see Baz Luhrmann’s film beating any of these names out, but a win in editing converting to a win in Best Picture hasn’t been the norm.
While the other four contenders in this category can be seen as more powerful, Elvis’ near 160-minute duration didn’t put off voters. In fact, the editing featuring cuts and fades between Elvis on stage in various angles, to his fans, to his childhood is what made the film just click.
Related Content: Elvis (2022) Review: A Great Biopic that’s both, a Hagiography and a Folktale
Elvis (2022) Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Where to watch Elvis