I love movies. I love the act of loving movies. And I feel a weird satisfaction when the movies I love get the recognition they deserve. Therefore, I get real excited when it comes to Oscar season.
But the hard part about the Academy Awards is not knowing who’s going to win! Thankfully for you and me and all our fellow movie-loving pals, we have a tried and true method for accurately predicting the winners. The theory is this: The best of the best win awards, and only the best get to work with the Muppets. Ergo, ipso facto, the people with the best Muppet connections will win at the Oscars.
Okay, so technically we didn’t get any right last year. But I’m sure that was all just a fluke. This year, I’m sure we know what we’re talking about.
That’s enough of the opening credits. Let’s get to the meat of this story!
Actor in a Supporting Role
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
Of the five very talented nominees in this category, only one has worked with the Muppets. Not only that, but he pitched in to help the Muppets in their time of need, working the phone banks at the Muppets’ telethon in the 2011 film The Muppets. Just think, without the great Judd Hirsch, the Muppets’ telethon might’ve been a huge failure. Waitasec…
Actress in a Supporting Role
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
While I’m legitimately surprised that Angela Bassett hasn’t (yet) worked with the Muppets, I was more surprised to see that Kerry Condon has a Muppet connection of her own, having appeared in the 2000 Jim Henson Pictures film Rat (which I had literally never heard of before today). But despite that odd link, Jamie Lee Curtis has a much stronger Muppet connection, having appeared throughout a 1989 episode of Sesame Street.
Actor in a Leading Role
Austin Butler – Elvis
Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Paul Mescal – Aftersun
Bill Nighy – Living
You may remember Bill Nighy from his role as the hard-to-spell Slartibartfast in the Henson Creature Shop film The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Furthermore, you may remember Colin Farrell for his role as Colin Farrell in an episode of Sesame Street, presenting the Word of the Day: “investigate”. But the clear winner here is the star of George of the Jungle (which featured more Creature Shop puppets) and a 2009 episode of Sesame Street – the expedient Brendan Fraser.
Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett – Tár
Ana de Armas – Blonde
Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once
I am sad to say, not one of these five actresses have ever worked with the Muppets. So by the law of the land, I must presume that none of them are famous. Sorry, Ms. Blanchett, but you just didn’t cut the mustard. Sorry, Ms. Yeoh, better luck next year. With literally no options, we’re going to give this one to Michelle Williams, because she has the same name as the Other Michelle Williams, member of Destiny’s Child, and Sesame Street guest star.
Animated Feature Film
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
The Sea Beast
Did The Sea Beast have an actual member of the Henson family as an Executive Producer? Did Puss in Boots work with the Creature Shop on puppet designs? Is Turning Red about the art of puppetry??? No, only Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio can claim all these things, and that’s how you win a statuette.
Best Original Song
“Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman – Diane Warren
“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick – Lady Gaga and BloodPop
“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Goransson
“Naatu Naatu” from RRR – M.M. Keeravaani and Chandrabose
“This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once – Ryan Lott, David Byrne, and Mitski
Despite the stardom of names like Rihanna and David Byrne, only one nominee produced and starred in a whole holiday special with the Muppets, even if it was famously underwhelming. Academy voters will go (Lady) Gaga for “Hold My Hand“.
Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Sheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
Todd Field – Tár
Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness
Y’know, it’s not our fault that most directors don’t have Muppet connections. They really should get more famous directors to work with the Muppet. Can you imagine what Spike Lee or Wes Anderson or Judd Apatow would do with Kermit and the gang? So until Kirk Thatcher gets nominated for Best Director, we’ll have to settle for the same pick as last year – Steven Spielberg, simply because of that one time Baby Gonzo cosplayed as him.
All that Breathes
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Fire of Love
A House Made of Splinters
House #1: Did you know that my son was nominated for an Academy Award?
House #2: Oh? Is he an actor?
House #1: No, he is a documentary called “A House Made of Splinters“.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Avatar: The Way of Water
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Top Gun: Maverick
Triangle of Sadness
Best Picture is always the most difficult category to predict. Unless Fozzie Bear popped up in Elvis and I didn’t notice, these movies technically don’t have any direct connections. We could give it to Avatar for its dedication to blue creatures, much like Grover or Gonzo. We could give it to Women Talking in honor of Fran Brill or Louise Gold, who helped many female characters talk. We could give it to Triangle of Sadness because that movie is an adaptation of the Muppets Party Cruise video game. But nope, we’re putting all our money on Everything Everywhere All at Once, because its multiversal themes really resonated with how we see Muppet history. Just change a wig, and characters can change completely. Silly hot dog fingers? That feels super Muppety. Plus, any movie featuring a plethora of googly eyes just screams “Muppet”. To top it all off, this movie – much like our love for the Muppets – is everything.
And that’s it! That’s all of this year’s Academy Award winners! If you use these results in your Oscar pool, let us know so we can receive 10% of your winnings.
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com