FINAL 2022 OSCAR PREDICTIONS

 Ryan Garasich

3/25/21


 

Sunday, March 27th, at 8:00 on ABC the Academy Awards will take place for the 94th time. The Super Bowl of Film and the culmination of award season is usually ripe for some shocks and surprises. Here I am to help you navigate that unknown terrain with my Official Final Oscar Prediction of 2022. This should be a fun night and, in many ways, a return to form after the calamitous Oscar production last year. Of course this year is not without its own staggering controversies. At the end of the day this is about the artists and the art, however, and this is their bright shiny moment. So tune in and enjoy it as much as you can (while you still can), and see how well I did with my guesses. Mock me or be wowed by my genius depending on how well I did. 


BEST PICTURE: 

Belfast

CODA

Don't Look Up

Drive My Car

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

Power of the Dog

West Side Story


WILL WIN: Power of the Dog

MIGHT STEAL: CODA

SHOULD WIN: Power of the Dog

SNUBBED: There are a couple of headscratchers here that could have been replaced by several indie darlings, but I think I'm most surprised that Tragedy of MacBeth and Spencer didn't resonate over pretty disappointing films like Nightmare Alley and Don't Look Up.

ANALYSIS:  Remember way back in 2005 when a truly outstanding film about gay cowboys lost to a pretty schmaltzy and safe crowd-pleaser and everyone hated it forever? Well it might happen again.  The academy had so many inspired nominations below that line just to kind of soil themselves on the big prize. Two of these movies are just not very good, and a couple others are negligible if not necessarily bad. Power of the Dog and Drive My Car are the class of the group and TPOTD had been cruising around the time of nominations. I can't help but feel a changing of the tide toward CODA recently though, and now what once seemed so sure is a pure coin flip for me. CODA only has 3 nominations and missed Director and Editing, yet it almost feels like the favorite right now somehow. It would be unprecedented, but I honestly think it can happen. I'm sticking with Power of the Dog because it is the better movie and I'm counting on the Academy voters to do what is right and not what might feel better.   



BEST DIRECTOR:

Paul Thomas Anderson - Licorice Pizza

Kenneth Branagh - Belfast

Jane Campion - Power of the Dog

Ryusuke Hamaguchi - Drive My Car

Steven Spielberg - West Side Story


WILL WIN: Jane Campion

MIGHT STEAL: No one. Literally no one. I'll say Branagh.

SHOULD WIN: Campion

SNUBBED: This is a good field and no one feels snubbed because no one thinks they can win even if nominated anyway. 

ANALYSIS: Last year Chloe Zhao became just the second woman in the 93 year history of the Oscars to receive the Best Director statuette. This year Campion will make it 2 in 2 years. It's a lock and it kind of should be. Surest bet of the night outside of Sound.



BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

Jessica Chastain - The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman - The Lost Daughter

Penelope Cruz - Parallel Mothers

Nicole Kidman - Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart - Spencer


WILL WIN: Jessica Chastain

MIGHT STEAL: Cruz or Kidman

SHOULD WIN: Probably Kristen Stewart but I really liked them all

SNUBBED: Gaga's snub sent some shockwaves but ultimately I think they got this right. Alana Haim and especially Rachel Zegler can feel like they deserved better justifiably. 

ANALYSIS: All the acting races originally felt wide open but have began to crystallize over the course of the precursor awards. This one still has the most uncertainty surrounding it, but Chastain gives a very showy performance here. I mean that as a compliment. It has heart, power, and arc. It also has some tears and some singing. It just checks more boxes than the rest. The Academy was pretty cold on Spencer it seems and Kidman has been fading lately. Cruz is the real spoiler here because those who saw Parallel mothers are very passionate about the performance. All that said, No one saw Olivia Colman stealing the Oscar back in 2019, so you can't completely write her off either. 



BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:

Javier Bardem - Being the Ricardos

Benedict Cumberbatch - The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield - tick, tick... BOOM!

Will Smith - King Richard

Denzel Washington - The Tragedy of MacBeth


WILL WIN: Will Smith

MIGHT STEAL: Benedict Cumberbatch

SHOULD WIN: Cumberbatch, but, ok, Smith can have this one.

SNUBBED: I love Javier Bardem, but he doesn't need to be here. I would much rather have seen Nicolas Cage rewarded for a truly inspiring comeback in Pig.

ANALYSIS: Who am I to take this from Will Smith? I'm just some guy that thinks Cumberbatch's performance was a little better. But I will be happy to see Big Willy Style take this one. Captain Charisma is going to be all smiles and that will be fun to watch. Smith is a good story and it is a great performance in a somewhat overrated film. Cumberbatch was better, and probably so was Garfield, but they will get their chance. Garfield especially seems like he won't have to wait long as he is probably the hottest ticket in Hollywood right now. 



BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Jessie Buckley - The Lost Daughter

Ariana Debose - West Side Story

Judi Dench - Belfast

Kirsten Dunst - Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis - King Richard


WILL WIN: Ariana Debose

MIGHT STEAL: Kirsten Dunst

SHOULD WIN: Debose

SNUBBED: Kathryn Hunter for Tragedy of MacBeth

ANALYSIS: Anything but Debose here will feel like a true shocker. It will make 'Anita' the third character in the history of film to have 2 different actors win for the portrayal (Brando and Deniro as Vito Corleone and Ledger and Phoenix for the Joker). The character is that level of greatness and Debose steals every scene just like her counterpart Rita Moreno did 60 years ago. Dunst gives a career best performance and can maybe get within shouting distance, but I can't see the upset here. Shout out to Kathryn Hunter who gave a transfixing, circuslike performance as the witches in Tragedy of MacBeth. That one really felt like a miss on nomination morning, especially with Judy Dench turning in a performance that doesn't rate in her own top 5 let alone top 5 of the year. She wasn't even the best supporting turn by a actress in her own movie, all due respect to one of the all time greats. 



BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Ciaran Hinds - Belfast

Troy Kotsur - CODA

Jesse Plemons - The Power of the Dog

JK Simmons - Being the Ricardos

Kodi Smit-McPhee - The Power of the Dog


WILL WIN: Troy Kotsur

MIGHT STEAL: Kodi Smit-McPhee

SHOULD WIN: Kotsur or Smit-McPhee

SNUBBED: Bradley Cooper for Licorice Pizza if you're in to the whole brevity thing, man. Would have loved to see Mike Faist for West Side Story here too. 

ANALSIS: If I'm making the nominations Simmons and Plemons (two of my favorites) are out and Cooper and Faist are in. But in the end it doesn't matter because this is rightfully a two-horse race between KSM and Troy Kotsur. I have been swayed on this over time. While I do think Smit-McPhee is more integral to his film and more nuanced and evocative, I just feel you have to give this Kotsur. The young Smit-McPhee will have other chances, even if never quite this good, but Kotsur has to take this home while he can. These types of parts are unfortunately scarce for deaf actors, and there can only be so many juicy deaf parts before the stories start to become derivative. He's earned it.  



BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

Belfast

Don't Look Up

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

The Worst Person in the World


WILL WIN: Licorice Pizza

MIGHT STEAL: Belfast

SHOULD WIN: Licorice Pizza

SNUBBED: Only 5 spots to go around so naturally there are some heartbreakers here. Pig and Spencer should be here, but I'm actually really surprised Mass wasn't given a fair shake.

ANALYSIS: The writing awards are always a slugfest, but this year feels even more wide open. I guess my thinking for this prediction is that Paul Thomas Anderson only has *checks notes* ZERO FUCKING OSCARS?! That can't be right. But guess who else has a nice, little, deeply personal screenplay this year and also has never won? Kenneth Branagh. Between the two of them, including this year, they have 19 nominations without a win. Look for one of those streaks to end. I'll go with Anderson's Licorice Pizza with the narrow victory. 



BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

CODA

Drive My Car

Dune

The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog


WILL WIN: CODA

MIGHT STEAL: The Power of the Dog

SHOULD WIN: The Power of the Dog or Drive My Car

SNUBBED: This is pretty solid. I personally loved The Last Duel, but I'm seemingly the only one. 

ANALYSIS: By the end of this people are going to think I'm a CODA hater and I'm not. It is a very charming movie and a very nice, if predictable, script. But it might be the weakest of these 5 noms and it's poised to win. Power of the Dog is transcendent screenwriting. It is a lock for Campion to win Best Director and I frankly think it's even better written than it is directed. Drive my car might be even better than that! It's not that the other movies aren't great screenplays, its that TPOTD and DMC are two of the best screenplays in recent memory. But if they give CODA the win here and leave Picture to Power of the Dog I will be fine with that.



BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Bruno Delbonnel - The Tragedy of MacBeth

Grieg Fraser - Dune

Janusz Kominski - West Side Story

Dan Lausten - Nightmare Alley

Ari Wegner - The Power of the Dog


WILL WIN: Dune

MIGHT STEAL: The Power of the Dog

SHOULD WIN: The Tragedy of MacBeth

SNUBBED: I'll take The Green Knight here, but those 5 are REALLY good. 

ANALYSIS: If you continue reading you will note that I believe Dune is deserving of several awards this year. But Cinematography is not one of them. It is the favorite to win because the movie is stunning, but its probably the weakest of the 5 noms. People tend to conflate production design and visual effects for cinematography. If you rewatch Dune you'll notice that it's gorgeous but the camera is pretty lazy compared to the other films on this list. Tragedy of MacBeth's camera work is a marvel. It puts you in the play. Power of the Dog has every bit as much beautiful stoicism as Dune, but with movement that enhances the story. It's just a weird one this year. 80% sure Dune wins. 100% not sure why. 



BEST EDITING:

Don't Look Up

Dune

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

tick, tick... BOOM!


WILL WIN: Dune

MIGHT STEAL: Power of the Dog

SHOULD WIN: tick, tick... BOOM!

SNUBBED: Drive My Car. "BuT iT's ThReE hOuRs LoNg!?" Yea and Dune is 2.5 and it's MAYBE half a movie. 

ANALYSIS: Dune's editing is real good. TTB's is better but they aren't going to give it to a movie that isn't even nominated for Picture. The nomination will have the be the prize there. I'm honestly completely lost on this. I filled out my Oscar Poll like 12 hours ago and I can't even remember who I picked here. Power of the Dog can Certainly steal, and if it does it bodes well for it holding on to Best Picture. But I don't think it will.  



BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

Encanto

Flee

Luca

Mitchell VS. the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon


WILL WIN: Encanto

MIGHT STEAL: Mitchell VS. the Machines

SHOULD WIN: Encanto or Mitchelle VS. the Machines

SNUBBED: Seems fine. 

ANALYSIS: Pixar looks beatable this year so who is going to pull it off? Oh, Pixar's parent company... How exciting. Encanto is a lot of fun and its still in the papers or whatever equivalent term we have not for still being in the popular conscience. Mitchell VS. the Machines is also stellar, but I'm just feeling the mouse on this one and I think most voters will agree. 



BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM :

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World


WILL WIN: Drive My Car

MIGHT STEAL: The Worst Person in the World

SHOULD WIN: Drive My Car

SNUBBED: Titane and Parallel Mothers

ANALYSIS: The Worst Person in the World would have been a worthy choice here if it wasn't going up against the sleepy giant that is Drive My Car. Of the 5 nominees here, only 1 is nominated for best picture. The rest is just deductive reasoning. I'm not Nostradamus on this one. It helps that Drive My Car honestly might just be the best movie this year regardless of language. 



BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

Assention

Attica

Flee

Summer of Soul (Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Writing With Fire


WILL WIN: Summer of Soul

MIGHT STEAL: Flee

SHOULD WIN: Summer of Soul

SNUBBED: This is always a weird category for whatever reason. I feel like they did a better job this year. Also, maybe I just saw fewer docs this year.  

ANALYSIS: Flee pulled off a tough hat trick of International Film, Animated Film, and Documentary nominations. Unfortunately it will likely leave empty handed. Its best shot is probably in Animated, because Summer of Soul is just such a joy to behold. It is far and away the most enjoyable documentary of the year, especially considering this specific artform is often fraught with tragedy. 



EDUCATED GUESSES


BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Cruella. Cyrano. Dune. Nightmare Alley. West Side Story


WILL WIN: Cruella

ANALYSIS: Is a movie about fashion too on the nose for this category. I don't know, Last Night in Soho didn't even get a nom, so I doubt it. I cold absolutely see West Side Story or Dune stealing this one, but in the end I think Cruella was woken up for a reason here. 



BEST HAIR AND MAKE UP:

Coming 2 America. Cruella. Dune. The Eyes of Tammy Faye. House of Gucci


WILL WIN: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

ANALYSIS: The Academy loves transformative make up projects. Prosthetics on A-listers seem to always bring it home. Unfortunately that same token advice could pertain to Tammy Faye or House of Gucci. But I'll take the one that has a chance to do the Make-up/Actress combo. 



BEST SOUND:

Belfast. Dune. No Time to Die. The Power of the Dog. West Side Story


WILL WIN: Dune

ANALYSIS: Dune might sweep the technical awards and this is the one that SHOULD be most locked in because the sound design is revolutionary. Easily the best of the year. 



BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Don't Look Up. Dune. Encanto. Parallel Mothers. The Power of the Dog


WILL WIN: Dune

ANALYSIS: Isn't it time for Hans Zimmer to win another one? Don't Look Up's music was cute but I don't think it can fend off the power of Zimmer. Power of the Dog as a good score but its not even Jonny Greenwood's best of the year (Spencer). 



BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

Be Alive (King Richard). Dos Oroguitas (Encanto). Down to Joy (Belfast). No Time to Die (No Time to Die). Somehow You Do (Four Good Days).


WILL WIN: No Time to Die

ANALYSIS: I love that they brought back the music acts for the broadcast this year. Some other well-documented decisions with the broadcast I didn't love so much. The sensation We Don't Talk About Bruno not being here is inexplicable, but it opens the doors and rolls out the carpet for Billie Eilish's Bond theme. They could go back and give it to Encanto collectively and it wouldn't surprise me a bit. 



BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Dune. Free Guy. No Time to Die. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Spider-Man: No Way Home.


WILL WIN: Dune

ANALYSIS: Was there ever a doubt? Kind of. How badly does the Academy want to recognize Spider-Man? How badly do they want to be cool again? I'll still take Dune here.



BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

Dune. Nightmare Alley. The Power of the Dog. The Tragedy of MacBeth. West Side Story.


WILL WIN: Nightmare Alley

ANALYSIS: We get it. You didn't like The French Dispatch. But how did you forget it so entirely? It is one of the most dutifully crafted sets I have ever seen. Among the nominees, this is probably my only bold choice of the night, but I foresee a mini-upset here. Dune absolutely looks great. Tragedy of Macbeth is probably the second best of the year behind The French Dispatch. But I have a suspicion the Academy is going to love all that spectacular art deco in Nightmare Alley. It's pretty wide open so it should be fun. This, Editing, and Cinematography are the Oscar Poll determiners. 



BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT:

Ala Kachuu - Take and Run. The Dress. The Long Goodbye. On My Mind. Please Hold


WILL WIN: The Long Goodbye

ANALYSIS: Voters feel they can make it up to Riz Ahmed by having him win this one this year. Don't think that doesn't matter. Lock it in.



BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

Affairs of the Heart. Bestia. Boxballet. Robin Robin. The Windshield Wiper.


WILL WIN: Robin Robin

ANALYSIS: I mean how cute can one movie be? Check it out on Netflix. 



BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

Audible. Lead Me Home. The Queen of Basketball. Three Songs for Benazir. When We Were Bullies.


WILL WIN: The Queen of Basketball

ANALYSIS: I can't lie to you I haven't seen any of these. I'm going with what I've heard. Can you at least respect my honesty if not my professionalism?





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