2022 OSCAR PREDICTIONS & Notes

 

Best International Feature

  1. A Hero
  2. The Worst Person in the world
  3. Hand to God 
  4. Titane (+1)
  5. Drive My Car (+1)
  6. Flee (-3)
  7. Compartment no. 6
  8. I’m Your Man
  9. Prayers for the Stolen
  10. Memoria
  11. Great Freedom
  12. The Good Boss

Notes: The idea of Titane making a push in International Feature is starting to make better sense and arguably its biggest hurdle was France picking the film as the submission. I’ve heard nothing that makes me consider moving Asghar Farhadi’a Grand Prix winning film, A Hero, from the top spot. The animated documentary Flee is the biggest question mark of the awards season. It’s beloved by critics, but is essentially floating in between different categories, not a clear favorite in any specific one.

Best Documentary Feature

  1. The Rescue (+1)
  2. Summer of Soul (+1)
  3. Flee (-2)
  4. Attica
  5. The First Wave
  6. President 
  7. Becoming Cousteau 
  8. Procession
  9. The Lost Leonardo 
  10. Julia
  11. The Velvet Underground
  12. The Sparks Brothers

Notes: Summer of Soul continues to win awards, taking the CCA Documentary award, and yet, the fact that it’s gaining frontrunner status leads me to believe it WON’T win. Flee, again, a wildcard in this category.

Best Animated Feature

  1. Encanto (+3)
  2. Luca (-1)
  3. Flee (-1)
  4. Mitchells vs the Machines
  5. Raya and the Last Dragon
  6. Belle
  7. Vivo
  8. Charlotte
  9. Ron’s Gone Wrong
  10. The Summit of the Gods 
  11. Where is Anne Frank
  12. Cryptozoo

Notes: Encanto over Luca simply for the fact that one released later than the other. Flee should win in this category, but voters don’t see Animated Feature winners outside that specific style of Animation and storytelling. It’s a shame, really.

Best Original Song

  1. No Time to Die – No Time To Die
  2. Be Alive – King Richard
  3. Columbian mi Encanto – Encanto
  4. Down to Joy – Belfast
  5. Don’t Look Up – Don’t Look Up (+2)
  6. Believe – Rescue (-1)
  7. Every Letter – Cyrano (NEW)
  8. Now May We Start – Annette (-2)

Notes: No real thoughts on original song, more so just want to rave about the Sparks written songs of Annette.

Best Original Score

  1. Dune
  2. Power of the Dog (+1)
  3. Spencer (-1)
  4. The French Dispatch
  5. Don’t Look Up
  6. Licorice Pizza
  7. The Nightmare Alley
  8. The Tragedy of Macbeth
  9. King Richard
  10. Cyrano
  11. Belfast
  12. Luca

Notes: I have many thoughts on this category, but even if Jonny gets double nominated, Hanz Zimmer’s Dune score is built into the sound design. Grand, epic storytelling from Zimmer or subtle yet powerful character work from Jonny Greenwood.

Best Visual Effects

  1. Dune
  2. The Matrix Resurrections 
  3. Shang-chi (+2)
  4. Godzilla vs Kong
  5. Finch (+1)
  6. Eternals (-3)
  7. Nightmare Alley (+3)
  8. No Time To Die
  9. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  10. Free Guy
  11. Don’t Look Up
  12. The Suicide Sqaud

Notes: Eternals felt like a slam dunk a few weeks ago and now after an underwhelming release, there’s a chance it misses entirely. Tom Hank’s sci-fi film Finch takes it place, as the one film that will impress the guilds with motion capture technology and problem solving. Shang-chi is now Marve’s strongest horse in the race.

Best Sound

  1. Dune
  2. Belfast
  3. West Side Story 
  4. Tick…Tick…Boom
  5. No Time To Die (+3)
  6. Tragedy of Macbeth (+1)
  7. The Last Duel (-2)
  8. The Matrix Revolutions 
  9. Nightmare Alley
  10. A Quiet Place II
  11. Don’t Look Up
  12. In The Heights

Notes: Dune‘s sound design is ambitious past any other film in the race. A towering work of art in the audio language. The two musicals (West Side Story and Tick…Tick…Boom) lay dormant, ready to strike. Belfast has an excellent mix of soundtrack and sound, with booming war sounds. Belfast being a heavy contender in Best Picture helps it in this category

Best Production Design 

  1. Nightmare Alley
  2. Dune
  3. West Side Story (+1)
  4. The French Dispatch (-1) 
  5. Belfast (+2)
  6. House of Gucci (+4)
  7. Spencer (-2)
  8. Tragedy of Macbeth (-3)
  9. Licorice Pizza (-1)
  10. Cyrano (-1)
  11. Power of the Dog
  12. Cruella

Notes: Guillermo Del Toro is beloved for his world building and filmmaking craft. Production design being chief among them, as the one area he’s regarded as a literal God. Dune is a remarkably bold piece of production design as well, but the acronym GDT carries so much weight in this category as a previous two-time winner.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling 

  1. House of Gucci 
  2. Dune
  3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (+1)
  4. Spencer (-1)
  5. Nightmare Alley (+1)
  6. Being the Ricardo’s (NEW)
  7. Cruella (-2)
  8. The Last Duel
  9. Cyrano
  10. The Green Knight
  11. Licorice Pizza 
  12. The Suicide Squad (-1)

Notes: Jared Leto could end up winning a performance Oscar just because his makeup team transformed him (Hello, Gary Oldman), so the makeup team deserves one too. The Eyes of Tammy Faye are rising fast, with distinct character work that impersonates the subject flawlessly.

Best Film Editing 

  1. Belfast
  2. Licorice Pizza (+3)
  3. Dune (-1)
  4. Power of the Dog (+6)
  5. Don’t Look Up (-2)
  6. West Side Story (-2)
  7. Nightmare Alley (+3)
  8. Tragedy of Macbeth (+2)
  9. King Richard (-3)
  10. Spencer (-3)
  11. Tick…Tick…Boom
  12. House of Gucci

Notes: Licorice Pizza enters the award race guns blazing and now the Oscar-less Paul Thomas Anderson feels like a legitimate player in a crowded field of contenders now. However, Belfast has a bevy of main characters all needing ample screen time and the editing delivers in telling the story. It’s not super flashy work, but a huge component to a film in the Best Picture conversation

Best Costume Design

  1. Spencer (+1)
  2. House of Gucci (-1)
  3. Dune (+3)
  4. Cruella (-1)
  5. Nightmare Alley (-1)
  6. West Side Story (+4)
  7. The French Dispatch (+1)
  8. Tragedy of Macbeth (-2)
  9. Licorice Pizza (-2)
  10. Cyrano
  11. Belfast
  12. Power of the Dog

Notes: In terms of narrative importance, Spencer’s dresses stand out. The dresses are gorgeous and play a pivotal role in Diana’s struggle. House of Gucci can push for that top spot, too. Dune in the less conventional sci-fi slot could be a sleeper pick.

Best Cinematography 

  1. Tragedy of Macbeth
  2. Belfast (+3)
  3. Dune (-1)
  4. Nightmare Alley (-1)
  5. Power of the Dog (+2)
  6. Spencer (-1)
  7. West Side Story (-3)
  8. Licorice Pizza 
  9. The French Dispatch
  10. The Green Knight
  11. Passing
  12. No Time To Die

Notes: Bruno Delbonnel has been a rising name in awards circles. His black-and-white work on The Tragedy of Macbeth looks undeniable. Two of the top contenders look to be in black-and-white once again

Best Adapted Screenplay 

  1. Power of the Dog
  2. The Lost Daughter 
  3. Nightmare Alley 
  4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (+1)
  5. CODA (+3)
  6. Passing
  7. Dune (+2)
  8. West Side Story (+2)
  9. House of Gucci (-7)
  10. The Humans (-2)
  11. Cyrano 
  12. The Tender Bar

Notes: The Thomas Savage novel for The Power of the Dog is one of the most complex western stories ever written. Jane Campion will get rewarded somewhere and there’s a good chance its in adapted and not director. The Lost Daughter feels like a distant second place

Best Original Screenplay 

  1. Licorice Pizza 
  2. Belfast
  3. King Richard (+1)
  4. C’mon C’mon (-1)
  5. Being the Ricardo’s (+6)
  6. A Hero (-1)
  7. The Worst Person in the World (+1)
  8. Parallel Mothers (+1)
  9. Mass (+1)
  10. Spencer (-4)
  11. Don’t Look Up (-4)
  12. The French Dispatch

Notes: Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest living screenwriters and he doesn’t have an Oscar for writing (or directing, for that matter). He’s due and Licorice Pizza is spearheaded by it’s strong screenplay

Best Supporting Actor 

  1. Ciaran Hinds – Belfast (+2)
  2. Kodi Smit-McPhee – Power of the Dog (+4)
  3. Jamie Dornan – Belfast
  4. Javier Bardem – Being the Ricardo’s (+5)
  5. Richard Jenkins – The Humans 
  6. Troy Kotsur – Coda (+3)
  7. Jon Bernthal, King Rihcard (NEW)
  8. Jason Isaacs – Mass (-1)
  9. Ben Affleck – The Tender Bar (-3)
  10. Jesse Plemmons – Power of the Dog (-3)
  11. Andrew Garfield – Eyes of Tammy Faye (+1)
  12. Jared Leto – House of Gucci (-9)

Notes: Jared Leto fell hard after the House of Gucci premier, with many noting that it felt he was acting in a different film. On the other hand, Belfast star Ciaran Hinds could be the lone performance win for a film built upon the ensemble.

Best Supporting Actress 

  1. Kirsten Dunst – Power of the Dog (+4)
  2. Caitriona Balfe – Belfast (-1)
  3. Cate Blanchett – Nightmare Alley
  4. Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard
  5. Ann Dowd – Mass (+1)
  6. Ruth Negga – Passing (+1)
  7. Judi Dench – Belfast (-1)
  8. Ariana DeBose – West Side Story (-3)
  9. Marlee Matlin – CODA
  10. Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter
  11. Martha Plimpton – Mass
  12. Meryl Streep – Don’t Look Up

Notes: Belfast and The Power of the Dog will likely win one or multiples of the acting Oscars. The two ensembles will duke it out in many categories.

Best Actor

  1. Will Smith – King Richard
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch – Power of the Dog
  3. Denzel Washington – Tragedy of Macbeth (+2)
  4. Andrew Garfield – Tick…Tick…Boom (+3)
  5. Joaquin Phoenix – C’mon C’mon (-2)
  6. Bradley Cooper – Nightmare Alley 
  7. Leonardo DiCaprio – Don’t Look Up (-1)
  8. Peter Dinklage – Cyrano (-3)
  9. Cooper Hoffman – Licorice Pizza (+2)
  10. Clifton Collins Jr – Jockey (-1)
  11. Adam Driver – House of Gucci
  12. Nic Cage – Pig

Notes: Will Smith the Mortal lock of 2022 awards season

Best Actress  

  1. Kristen Stewart – Spencer 
  2. Lady Gaga – House of Gucci
  3. Jessica Chastain – Eyes of Tammy Faye (+1)
  4. Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter (-1)
  5. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardo’s (NEW)
  6. Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers (-1)
  7. Jodie Comer – The Last Duel (-1)
  8. Alana Haim – Licorice Pizza (+3)
  9. Emilia Jones – CODA (-2)
  10. Rachel Zegler – West Side Story (-2)
  11. Jennifer Hudson – Respect (-2)
  12. Renate Reinsve – The Worst Person in the World (-2)

Notes: Kristen Stewart’s performance could ultimately be too alienating for AMPAS voters, but she’d be one of the most deserving winners in years.

Best Director

  1. Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza (+3)
  2. Kenneth Branagh – Belfast (-1)
  3. Jane Campion – Power of the Dog (-1)
  4. Denis Villeneuve – Dune (-1)
  5. Reinaldo Marcus Green – King Richard (+4)
  6. West Side Story – Steven Spielberg (-1)
  7. Guillermo del Toro – Nightmare Alley 
  8. Julia Ducournau – Titane (+5)
  9. Joel Coen – Tragedy of Macbeth (-2)
  10. Adam McKay – Don’t Look Up 
  11. Ridley Scott – House of Gucci (-1)
  12. Pablo Larrain – Spencer 

Notes: Director is the most highly contested category of the season. It wouldn’t surprise me if any of the big name directors took home the top prize. However, I get the sense it’s a three horse race between PTA, Kenneth Branagh, and Jane Campion.

Best Picture 

  1. Licorice Pizza (+4)
  2. Belfast (-1)
  3. The Power of the Dog (-1)
  4. King Richard (-2)
  5. Tragedy of Macbeth (+3)
  6. Dune (+1)
  7. Nightmare Alley (+1)
  8. West Side Story  (-4)
  9. Don’t Look Up (+1)
  10. House of Gucci (-5)
  11. CODA (NEW)
  12. C’mon C’mon

Licorice Pizza is being slept on by the industry and pundits considering the general enthusiasm around Paul Thomas Anderson. Now would be a good time to reward Mr. Anderson and the groundwork for a win has been laid out.


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