I love watching the Oscars every year and pretty much most other film award shows, but the Oscars are like the Super Bowl of movies! I watched a lot of movies in 2021, and my hope is to accurately predict as much of these awards as I can. Since I skipped last year, the last time I did this was in 2020 where I accurately predicted 15 out of 24 awards. I’m obviously not the best at these, but still, they’re super fun to do!
As usual, I’m going to do do a “will win” and “should win” selection as well as some brief thoughts as to why. In close races, I might include a “might win” selection, but if anyone is keeping track of me, just know that the “will win” selection is the only thing that matters in these predictions.
The 2022 94th Academy Awards will happen on March 27 at 8:00 PM EST on ABC.
Here are the nominees:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)
Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) – Will win
Judi Dench (Belfast)
Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog) – Should win
Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)
Thoughts: I only recently saw West Side Story, and Ariana DeBose’s Anita is the clear standout of the film and definetely deserves to win this award. However, personally I just thought Kirsten Dunst’s performance in The Power of the Dog, while subtle, anchors the film to its message. Without her slight mannerisms and the fear and hopelessness in her eyes, the film loses much of its meaning.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ciarán Hinds (Belfast)
Troy Kotsur (CODA) – Will win, should win
Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)
J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) – Might win?
Thoughts: Like West Side Story, I only just saw CODA so maybe I’m on the Troy Kotsur hype train because of recency bias, but his incredible performance broke barriers and opens the door for more actors to enter the industry. However, Kodi Smit-McPhee was the frontrunner in this category right up until the last few weeks so I wouldn’t be surprised if early Oscar voting put him over the edge. Even in this case, I think he did a phenomenal job in The Power of the Dog so I’d be happy with that.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Cruella (Jenny Beavan) – Will win, should win
Cyrano (Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran)
Dune (Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan)
Nightmare Alley (Luis Sequeira)
West Side Story (Paul Tazewell)
Thoughts: A movie that’s entirely about costumes is definitely going to win this. If I had a second choice pick, however, I’d honor Nightmare Alley‘s purposeful film noir costume design.
Belfast (Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri)
Dune (Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett) – Will win, should win
No Time to Die (Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor)
The Power of the Dog (Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb)
West Side Story (Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy)
Thoughts: Incoming all the Dune technical awards.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Don’t Look Up (Nicholas Britell)
Dune (Hans Zimmer) – Will win, should win
Encanto (Germaine Franco)
Parallel Mothers (Alberto Iglesias)
The Power of the Dog (Jonny Greenwood) – Might win?
Thoughts: Hans Zimmer somehow outdid nearly everything he did before. The last Oscar he won was in 1995 for The Lion King and since then he’s racked up nearly a dozen nominations. I think it would be fun to see him walk up the stage yet again for arguably one of his best works and one of the best soundtracks in recent memory. I will say that Jonny Greenwood’s score on The Power of the Dog is a standout aspect of the film with even the film’s loudest critics praising the score.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
CODA (screenplay by Siân Heder) – Might win?
Drive My Car (screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa
Dune (screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve
and Eric Roth)
The Lost Daughter (written by Maggie Gyllenhaal)
The Power of the Dog (written by Jane Campion) – Will win, should win
Thoughts: I could see CODA actually sweeping all the three categories it’s nominated in, but again considering early Oscar voting, I feel like Jane Campion’s story really clinched all of the awards leading up to the last few weeks and rightfully deserves the award.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Belfast (written by Kenneth Branagh) – Will win
Don’t Look Up (screenplay by Adam McKay; story by Adam McKay & David Sirota) – Might win?
King Richard (written by Zach Baylin) – Should win
Licorice Pizza (written by Paul Thomas Anderson)
The Worst Person in the World (written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier)
Thoughts: If Belfast wins anything it’s this award. Kenneth Branagh has been nominated for eight Oscars across seven categories (picture, director, both screenplay awards, both actor awards, and live action short film). I haven’t seen the film yet, which is why I’m putting King Richard as my pick, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if Don’t Look Up wins this award. The film had a surprising upset by taking home the Best Original Screenplay award at the Writers Guild Awards.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Affairs of the Art (Joanna Quinn and Les Mills)
Bestia (Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz)
Boxballet (Anton Dyakov)
Robin Robin (Dan Ojari and Mikey Please) – Will win
The Windshield Wiper (Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez)
Thoughts: Haven’t seen any of these.
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
Ala Kachuu — Take and Run (Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger)
The Dress (Tadeusz Lysiak and Maciej Ślesicki)
The Long Goodbye (Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed) – Will win
On My Mind (Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson)
Please Hold (K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse)
Thoughts: Haven’t seen any of these.
BEST FILM EDITING
Don’t Look Up (Hank Corwin)
Dune (Joe Walker) – Will win
King Richard (Pamela Martin) – Might win
The Power of the Dog (Peter Sciberras)
Tick, Tick … Boom! (Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum) – Should win
Thoughts: Dune is a near lock to win this award, but personally I think Tick, Tick … Boom! absolutely deserves to win it because the editing is what clearly makes that film work. This is a very close race, and King Richard could take the award after its perfectly edited tennis scenes.
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Coming 2 America (Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer)
Cruella (Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon)
Dune (Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr) – Should win
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh) – Will win
House of Gucci (Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Encanto (Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer) – Will win, should win
Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie)
Luca (Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren)
The Mitchells vs. the Machines (Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht)
Raya and the Last Dragon (Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer
and Peter Del Vecho)
Thoughts: Disney always takes it so it’s no surprise that it’ll take it. The only film that could contend is Flee.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Ascension (Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell)
Attica (Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry)
Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sorensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie) – Might win
Summer of Soul (Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein) – Will win
Writing With Fire (Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh)
Thoughts: Haven’t seen any of these, but I know Summer of Soul was directed by Questlove, and it would be awesome to see him deliver a speech. Flee is also nominated in other categories so it could win.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Audible (Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean)
Lead Me Home (Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk)
The Queen of Basketball (Ben Proudfoot) – Will win
Three Songs for Benazir (Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei)
When We Were Bullies (Jay Rosenblatt)
Thoughts: This is the only film on here that I’ve heard of.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Be Alive” — music and lyrics by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (King Richard)
“Dos Oruguitas” — music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Encanto) – Might win?
“Down to Joy” — music and lyrics by Van Morrison (Belfast)
“No Time to Die” — music and lyrics by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (No Time to Die) – Will win, should win
“Somehow You Do” — music and lyrics by Diane Warren (Four Good Days)
Thoughts: I think the Academy wants to rope audiences in with a win from Billie Eilish. Bond movies have a good track record with their songs and the Oscars with two wins in this category (both of which were from the Daniel Craig era) and four nominations. However, the Academy could also grant Lin-Manuel Miranda the prestigious EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) with his work on Encanto. My only problem with this is that the Academy should have nominated him for “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” since that would have been an absolute lock.
Dune (Greig Fraser) – Should win, might win
Nightmare Alley (Dan Laustsen)
The Power of the Dog (Ari Wegner) – Will win
The Tragedy of Macbeth (Bruno Delbonnel)
West Side Story (Janusz Kaminski)
Thoughts: All these movies are impeccably shot, and a win from Ari Wegner is well deserved and would make her the first woman to ever win the category. The only thing standing in her way is the absolute powerhouse cinematography from Greg Fraser with Dune. I think a lot of audiences are tuned into Fraser’s work now because of his masterclass in The Batman, which could have tipped the scales in the late stages of Oscar voting.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
Drive My Car (Japan) – Will win, should win
The Hand of God (Italy)
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan)
The Worst Person in the World (Norway)
Thoughts: Drive My Car is the only one of these that I saw, but they all look really good. That said, it’s the only film on this list to also be nominated in Best Picture and Best Director so it’s a clear lock for this award.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Dune (production design: Patrice Vermette; set decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos) – Will win
Nightmare Alley (production design: Tamara Deverell; set decoration: Shane Vieau) – Should win
The Power of the Dog (production design: Grant Major; set decoration: Amber Richards) – Might win?
The Tragedy of Macbeth (production design: Stefan Dechant; set decoration: Nancy Haigh)
West Side Story (production design: Adam Stockhausen; set decoration: Rena DeAngelo)
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Dune (Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer) – Will win, should win
Free Guy (Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick)
No Time to Die (Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver)
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick) – Might win?
Thoughts: The only reason I think No Way Home could win is that there was so much support for it getting a Best Picture nomination so now that it hasn’t, this award could be a way to honor the whole film.
Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)
Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick … Boom!) – Might win?
Will Smith (King Richard) – Will win, should win
Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)
Thoughts: This is Will Smith’s time. He gave the performance of a lifetime, and he 1000% deserves this award. However, any other year, Garfield would be a clear lock for this award as he also gave his best performance yet.
Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) – Will win
Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)
Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) – Might win?
Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)
Kristen Stewart (Spencer) – Should win
Thoughts: This is the tightest race of the year. Any one of these actresses could win with their incredible performances across various genres. While I think the numbers show Jessica Chastain will win with her Critics Choice and SAG awards. It seems like every nominee has their own strengths and hurdles. Kristen Stewart has the only nomination for her film, but a lot of people are starting to watch Spencer as it hits streaming services. Kidman won the Golden Globe for Best Actress – Drama, but hasn’t picked up much steam elsewhere. Colman is seemingly becoming a perennial Oscar favorite, but would that make her the favorite (or The Favourite)? Finally, Cruz hasn’t won any major awards, but she has been slowly picking up steam as her film just recently released. I’m really curious to see who wins here!
Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) – Will win, should win
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)
Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)
Thoughts: Seriously, no Denis Villeneuve for Dune? Does the Academy think that movie made itself? Otherwise, Jane Campion deserves this award for directing her film with such precision. It would also just be fun seeing her defeat Steven Spielberg after her film, The Piano, lost the Best Director award to his film, Schindler’s List, in 1994. If Dune was in this race, it would 100% win as it was masterfully directed and Denis Villeneuve would have made many comparisons to Peter Jackson’s work on The Lord of the Rings.
Belfast (Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers)
CODA (Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers) – Might win?
Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers)
Drive My Car (Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer)
Dune (Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers) – Should win
King Richard (Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers)
Licorice Pizza (Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers)
Nightmare Alley (Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers)
The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers) – Will win
West Side Story (Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers)
Thoughts: Up until a few weeks ago, I’d say Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog was an easy lock for Best Picture, sweeping nearly every award it could in the festival circuit. However, in the last few weeks, CODA won Best Film at the Producers Guild Awards and Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, two key predictors for Best Picture at the Oscars. The compare, The Power of the Dog won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, Best Film at BAFTA, Best Picture at the Critics Choice Awards, and the Silver Lion award at Venice Film Festival.