2022 Oscars Predictions – It’s a two-horse race at the top!

A big year for film means a massive night of shocks and surprises is upon us. This award season has been very interesting, with my early predictions swinging back and forth due to certain films gaining late bursts of momentum. The 94th Academy Awards has made the very questionable and rather disrespectful decision to remove some award announcements from the live broadcast. As much as that’s a terrible decision, I’m looking forward to the awards they’ve saved for the night. In terms of the nominees, leading the race with 12 nods is The Power of the Dog, followed closely by Dune with 10. They’re not alone, with West Side Story and Belfast each securing 7 noms, and King Richard bringing in 6. At the end of the night, I believe we’ll be seeing Dune come away with the most wins – sweeping a bunch of the technical categories. On the other hand, I’m predicting The Power of the Dog to only receive a single win, if that. Of course, this is all just speculation. Without further ado, let’s get into my predictions for this coming Oscars ceremony.

My prediction will be highlighted in RED

My personal pick will be highlighted in GREEN.

If you don’t see an option highlighted in GREEN that’s because it’s the same as my prediction.


Best Picture

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Drive My Car

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

If you asked be a month ago which film would be winning best picture, I’d have said The Power of the Dog without competition. It was winning all the major awards at other ceremonies, making this a one-horse race. However, after big wins at the SAG awards and PGAs, CODA is coming into this weekend with a tonne of momentum. What was a clear win for Jane Campion’s western drama has been flipped on its head with CODA essentially being the new frontrunner. That being said, this isn’t a clear win – The Power of the Dog could certainly still take it… only time will tell. Of the other films, no one really has much of a chance. Personally, I’d pick Dune to take home this award, which could happen. Although I don’t think it has a shot against those two frontrunners.


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

This is one of the awards this year that is an absolute lock. Having been nominated in the past, but never won an Oscar, this is a fantastic opportunity for Will Smith to win his first Academy Award. His performance in King Richard is otherworldly. He is brilliant across every single scene and is undoubtedly the best part of the movie. Andrew Garfield is the best thing about tick, tick…Boom!, but unfortunately this won’t be his year.


Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

This is an award I don’t have too much personal input in. I’ve only actually seen one of the films these actors are nominated for, that being Spencer. For that reason, my pick would be Kristen Stewart. Let me be clear, this isn’t a ‘just because’ pick – I genuinely believe Kristen Stewart deserves a win for her performance. She’s phenomenal in Spencer, completely disappearing into the role of Princess Diana and hammering home some big emotional scenes. That being said, this is a tough category. It feels like all of Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz and Olivia Colman could take it home – all of whom I’m sure are deserving of it. I guess we’ll just have to see which direction the voters go in.


Actor in a Supporting Role

Ciarán Hinds – Belfast

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Just like Best Actor, this is another 100% lock. Troy Kotsur’s performance in CODA is next-level incredible. If he was nominated for Best Actor, he would be neck-and-neck with Will Smith. He brings so much heart, meaning and humour to that film – putting his all into the performance and elevating every single scene he’s in. He’s already the first male deaf actor to be nominated for an Oscar, and this will most certainly be updated to ‘the first male deaf actor to WIN an Oscar’ in the coming days. Honestly, the other nominees are good – but this is the only Oscar-worthy performance in here.


Actress in a Supporting Role

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Judi Dench, Belfast

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Another strong category that features a lineup of brilliant performances who are all very deserving of their nominations. As good as Aunjanue Ellis is in King Richard, and how nuanced Kirsten Dunst’s performance is in The Power of the Dog, there’s one person in here who blew my (and everyone else’s) mind with her performance – Ariana DeBose. She is absolutely the shining light in West Side Story. Truly radiant and powerful in every moment, she brings levity when it’s needed and enhances the sombre beats really well. Without her integral performance, the film just wouldn’t be the same. I called it in my initial review that she’d at least receive a nomination, and here we are.


Directing

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

I mentioned The Power of the Dog may only receive a single win… and this could be it. Whether you love the film or not, there’s no questioning the directing work from Jane Campion is great. Do I think it should take home the award? No, but that’s almost certainly the way it’s going to go. None of the other directing nominees really stand out too much. Of course, someone like Kenneth Branagh or Steven Spielberg could take it home, but that’s got a slim chance of happening. I still believe the winners of Directing and Best Picture should be the same in most cases, but since CODA isn’t nominated here, it’ll go to The Power of the Dog.


Cinematography

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

This is one of those technical categories that is certainly going to Dune. Greig Fraser’s cinematography is breathtaking across every single shot of this film. From the sweeping landscapes to the large-scale action sequences, the world of Dune lends itself to incredible cinematography. That’s not to say something like West Side Story doesn’t have great cinematography – just when compared to Dune, it pales in comparison. Honestly, it’s untouchable in this category, nothing even comes close to what Dune achieved. It’ll be great to see Greig Fraser get his first Oscar win, and absolutely well deserved!


Animated Feature Film

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon

When it comes to the animated feature category, it’s typically won by Disney and/or Pixar every year. Since 2012, they’ve won every single year except one. This year, expect the mouse to take home another Oscar thanks to the viral sensation that is Encanto. Personally, I’ve not seen Encanto, but you’d have to have been living under a rock to not realise how beloved it is. This is going to be a slam dunk for the film, though I’d love to see it go to Raya and the Last Dragon because that’s the more superior Disney film that saw a release last year.


Film Editing

Don’t Look Up

Dune

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

tick, tick…BOOM!

Of all the technical categories Dune is nominated for, this is one of those that isn’t entirely set in stone. As phenomenal as Dune is, I’m not sure the editing is its strongest element. That being said, it’s most likely still going to Dune, simply due to the fact that Dune’s ‘great’ is everything else’s ‘fantastic’. If it doesn’t go to Dune, I could see tick, tick…BOOM! maybe picking it up, or even King Richard with an outside chance. Nevertheless, it’ll be an interesting result to see.


Music (Original Score)

Don’t Look Up

Dune

Encanto

Parrallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog

I mean, this is another no-brainer. It’s Dune. Hans Zimmer’s score is next-level incredible, enhancing the intensity of every single scene tenfold. Big, loud and full of bass, it’s by far the most memorable score in this lineup. As good as the other scores may be, they don’t have a chance.


Music (Original Song)

“Be Alive”, King Richard

“Dos Oruguitas”, Encanto

“Down To Joy”, Belfast

“No Time To Die”, No Time to Die

“Somehow You Do”, Four Good Days

This is yet another tough category, with the win being down to three frontrunners – “No Time To Die“, “Be Alive” and “Dos Oruguitas“. I feel like “Dos Oruguitas” has the least chance of the three, due to many people believing it’s not even the best song in Encanto. Personally, I believe “Be Alive” from King Richard should win because because of how powerful it is, especially int he context of the movie. And plus… it’s Beyoncé. However, I feel like “No Time To Die” is just too strong and will take home the award. It’s by far the most widely-known song, and it would be a well-deserved win for Billie Eilish.


Sound

Belfast

Dune

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Mark this down on your Oscars ballot as another guaranteed win for Dune. The sound design in this movie stands out as utterly spectacular, adding to the long list of technical elements it executes flawlessly. Once again, it’s not like the other nominees are bad, Dune is just so good that it’s got no competition.


Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

CODA

Drive My Car

Dune

The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog

With CODA only being nominated for three awards, I’m predicting it’s going to bring home all of them, including this one. The writing is unquestionably fantastic, packing tonnes of heart, humour and emotion into a very tightly focused narrative. This could easily go to Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter, but I think this will be CODA’s win, especially considering it’s potentially leading the Best Picture race. If CODA wins this award, I feel like it’s going to be a near-certain Best Picture win.


Writing (Original Screenplay)

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

The Worst Person in the World

This is absolutely Kenneth Branagh’s award to lose. The fact that Belfast is such a personal story, packed with meaning and emotion, will put it over the edge. I personally didn’t resonate with Belfast’s narrative all that much, but it certainly hit with a lot of people. I’d love to see King Richard get this award, especially since the strength of the writing is unmatched in this category. Otherwise, there could be an outside chance for Paul Thomas Anderson to get his first Oscar win for Licorice Pizza, which would also be well deserved.


Visual Effects

Dune

Free Guy

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home

I know what you’re thinking – “how hasn’t he run out of Dune images yet?”. Well, the visuals are so crisp and breathtaking across every sequence, that there’s an infinite amount of screenshots I could use to highlight this film’s beauty. The visuals are so stunning, that even the most unreal and otherworldly things in this movie feel like they could easily be real. Lock this one in too because it’s going to be another notch in Dune’s technical achievement sweep.


Predictions in Additional Categories


Production Design

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story


Costume Design

Cruella

Cyrano

Dune

Nightmare Alley

West Side Story


Documentary (Feature)

Ascention

Attica

Flee

Summer of Soul

Writing with Fire


Documentary (Short Subject)

Audible

Lead Me Home

The Queen of Basketball

Three Songs for Benazir

When We Were Bullies


International Feature Film

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

Lunana: The Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World


Makeup and Hairstyling

Coming 2 America

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

The House of Gucci


Short Film (Animated)

Affairs of the Art

Bestia

Boxballet

Robin Robin

The Windshield Wiper


Short Film (Live Action)

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run

The Dress

The Long Goodbye

On My Mind

Please Hold

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