The Oscars are now less than a week away and The Academy has made the controversial decision to not present all 23 categories live. I am against this decision, but I still have fun making predictions so I thought I’d share mine for this year.
Here is a link to all of this year’s nominations: https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2022. I still have not seen The Worst Person in the World or Parallel Mothers yet.
I also want to underline how criminal it is that C’mon C’mon was not nominated for anything. And I’m rooting for The Mitchells vs The Machines on that Animated Feature Oscar.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- CODA (Siân Heder)
- DRIVE MY CAR (Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe)
- DUNE (Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth)
- THE LOST DAUGHTER (Maggie Gyllenhaal)
- THE POWER OF THE DOG (Jane Campion)
Who Will Win: CODA
Who I Want to Win: Drive My Car
CODA is a great film, but I wouldn’t say that its strongest suit is the script. I think that has to be the performances. Drive My Car has a simple yet complex story about grief at its center that takes us so fully into the mind of main character, so I would like to see the Japanese contender win the Oscar here.
Best Original Screenplay
- BELFAST (Kenneth Branagh)
- DON’T LOOK UP (Adam McKay)
- KING RICHARD (Zach Baylin)
- LICORICE PIZZA (Paul Thomas Anderson)
- THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier)
Who Will Win: Belfast
Who I Want to Win: Licorice Pizza
Like Roma before it, Belfast is a sort of autobiographical film about Kenneth Branaugh’s childhood. It’s a nice film, but I wasn’t blown away by any particular aspect of it. I think Licorice Pizza fully captures two original, three-dimensional characters and how they keep coming back together.
Best Supporting Actor
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)
Who Will Win: Troy Kotsur
Who I Want to Win: Troy Kotsur
I found Troy Kotsur to be simply delightful in CODA. It was his scene with his on-screen daughter towards the end that got the waterworks going for me. Also, I’m not too impressed with the other nominees here except for Kodi Smith-McPhee, though I was glad to see Jesse Plemmons get a nomination for something.
Best Supporting Actress:
- JESSIE BUCKLEY (The Lost Daughter)
- ARIANA DEBOSE (West Side Story)
- JUDI DENCH (Belfast)
- KIRSTEN DUNST (The Power of the Dog)
- AUNJANUE ELLIS (King Richard)
Who Will Win: Ariana DeBose
Who I Want to Win: Jessie Buckley
Just to disclose I am fully happy with Arianna DeBose taking this statue home. She was wonderful in West Side Story and I like how her and Rita Moreno will both probably have won for the same role. But I think Jesse Buckley had an emotionally harder job as she captured not only how torn someone could feel to love their work and their kids, but also how someone can sometimes just hate being a mother.
- 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)
Who Will Win: Will Smith
Who I Want to Win: Andrew Garfield
The Academy like to do this sometimes where they will reward an established actor with an Oscar because they think it’s past time for them to get one, even though they may not give the best performance that year. I thought Andrew Garfield delivered a powerhouse performance here, but I certainly won’t be mad that Will Smith is getting his due.
- JESSICA CHASTAIN (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)
- OLIVIA COLMAN (The Lost Daughter)
- PENÉLOPE CRUZ (Parallel Mothers)
- NICOLE KIDMAN (Being the Ricardos)
- KRISTEN STEWART (Spencer)
Who Will Win: Jessica Chastain
Who I Want to Win: Kristen Stewart
Similar to Will Smith, I think the Academy wants to reward Chastain for her past great performances. That is not to undermine her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye because she really is great in the film. I’d just like to see Kristen Stewart win because I think she captured this version of Princess Diana perfectly and her performance is not quite as showy as Chastain’s.
- Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
- Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)
- Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
- Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)
- Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)
Who Will Win: Jane Campion
Who I Want to Win: Jane Campion
I think the methodical unraveling of the story in The Power of the Dog was masterfully done. This is a film that disassembles the tropes we are used to seeing in Westerns and highlights the dangers of those tropes. Campion had a clear vision here and was able to capture it. Not to mention it’s also past time for Campion to get her Oscar.
- DON’T LOOK UP
- DRIVE MY CAR
- KING RICHARD
- LICORICE PIZZA
- NIGHTMARE ALLEY
- THE POWER OF THE DOG
- WEST SIDE STORY
Who Will Win: CODA
Who I Want to Win: Dune
It is looking like Best Picture is currently a toss up between CODA and The Power of the Dog. I’m leaning a bit more with CODA due to its feel good nature. Both are worthy winners, but I’d just love for Dune to take this away. Dune, to me, is a film expertly captured by a true visionary. All of its elements – the costumes, production design, score, cinematography, performances, direction, etc. – aided and heightened the story. Dune is now the bar for what blockbusters should be aim to be.