Countdown to the Oscars! (Photo by ABC)
Countdown to the Oscars!

Photo by ABC

And The Oscar Goes To…

Predictions for the 94th Academy Awards.

March 25, 2022

It’s the Superbowl of films. Hollywood’s biggest event of the year is right around the corner. Excitement and anticipation start to build up among film lovers to see their favorite films win the highly coveted awards. The 94th Academy Awards will premiere on ABC on Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 7pm in the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles, California.

Like with many other events, COVID-19 has changed the course of the Oscars this past few years. Last year, the Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, was held online. There was no red carpet, no audience, and celebrities were seen via video conference. Overall, last year’s Oscars were lackluster and very awkward to say the least. 

Things began to shape up more and more as people took precaution of the pandemic. This year, the Academy has decided to go back to an in-person ceremony. Finally, viewers can enjoy the extravagant outfits on the red carpet and see their favorite films win the biggest awards in Hollywood. 

Some iconic Red Carpet looks from the Oscars from the past few years. (Photo by Vogue)

Predictions

2021 has given us some top-notch films worthy of winning an Oscar. In my opinion, this year’s nominations will be tougher than ever due to the stellar performances the film industry has produced. I will be predicting all but the documentaries and the short films as they are not my area of expertise. 

My predictions on who will win the Oscars will be based on the performance of each of the nominees and also on other award show winners such as the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, BAFTAS, and the Critics Choice Awards. These award shows celebrate achievements in both film and television and although they aren’t as highly regarded as the Oscars, they are still strong indicators of who will win the biggest award in Hollywood. 

The nominees that are bolded are my predicted winners. 

Best Picture

  • Nominees: Belfast, CODA, Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

Out of all of the films nominated, it will be a fight between CODA and The Power of the Dog. However, I do think that CODA will win the big prize. Not only is this movie very wholesome and heartwarming, but CODA won the Producer’s Guild Award and the SAG awards, two major awards in the film industry. Although The Power of the Dog will still have a very good chance at winning, I think CODA might have it in the bag. 

Best Picture Nominees Graphic. (Photo by IMDB)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Nominees: Javier Bardem in Being the Ricardos, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog, Andrew Garfield in tick, tick… BOOM!, Will Smith in King Richard, Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth

The path is set for Will Smith to take home the gold as he has led the award season so far. Although each of these nominees performed exquisitely, Smith really outdid himself as he plays Richard Williams in King Richard, the father of the tennis phenoms Venus and Serena Williams. In the film, Smith portrays a father who strives for his daughters to be perfect while having them lead a normal life as regular children. Smith, who has been nominated three times, proves that this year is finally his year to win the Oscars as he gives his career best performance in King Richard. 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Nominees: Jessica Chastian in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter, Penélope Cruz in Parallel Mothers, Nicole Kidman in Being the Ricardos, Kristen Stewart in Spencer

This category is the most anticipated category out of all the others this year. It’s too difficult to tell who would win because none of these nominees were nominated for the BAFTAS and only one actress is leading the award season by only one award. 

All of these nominees have won my heart as all of the actresses gave spectacular performances. However, in my opinion, I think the winner will be between Jessica Chastain and Kristen Stewart. Chastain has proven she is a force to be reckoned with as she plays Tammy Faye. According to Chastain, she spent 10 years perfecting this character and it is evident that she put her heart and soul into this role. 

Chastain’s competition will be Kristen Stewart. Stewart plays Princess Diana in Spencer. Stewart gives us a heartbreaking performance of what it’s like for Princess Diana to be entangled into the problems of the toxic royal family. I was blown away by her performance as Stewart has tremendously improved from her not-so-great performance in Twilight. If Stewart wins, she would have done the impossible as no actress has won an Oscar despite getting snubbed from the other award shows. Despite my strong feelings for these two nominees, this category will be very unpredictable. 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Nominees: Ciarán Hinds in Belfast, Troy Kotsur in CODA, Jesse Plemons in The Power of the Dog, J.K. Simmons in Being the Ricardos, Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog

This category will be a tough fight between Troy Kotsur and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Kotsur, who plays Brady in CODA, had a tear-jerking performance, despite not talking in the whole film, which proves his amazing ability to act. 

Smit-McPhee plays Peter in The Power of the Dog, and he delivers us a character who doesn’t show much emotions, which meant that Smit-McPhee had to give us lots of method acting, which in my opinion, is very difficult to do and Smit-McPhee absolutely smashes this. 

If Kotsur wins, he will only be the second deaf person to win an Oscar. If Smit-McPhee wins, he will be the second youngest actor to win an Oscar. Either way, history will be made. 

Ariana DeBose as Anita West Side Story. (Photo by NPR)


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Nominees: Jessie Buckley in The Lost Daughter, Ariana DeBose in West Side Story, Judi Dench in Belfast, Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog, Aunjanue Ellis in King Richard

 

Right after I saw West Side Story, I knew right away that Ariana DeBose was going to win the Oscar for this category. Although the other nominees performed well, DeBose really raised the bar after her performance as Anita in West Side Story. Not only did DeBose steal the spotlight from the lead character, but she has proven to be a triple threat in acting, singing, and dancing. DeBose was nothing but electrifying in the film. It would be a cool experience if DeBose wins this year as Rita Moreno, who also played Anita in the 1961 version of West Side Story won an Oscar in the same category as DeBose. 

Best Director

  • Nominees: Kenneth Branagh in Belfast, Ryusuke Hamaguchi in Drive My Car, Paul Thomas Anderson in Licorice Pizza, Jane Campion in The Power of the Dog, Steven Spielberg in West Side Story

Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog was absolutely phenomenal and is overall, worthy of an Oscar. Campion’s slow but intense film is everything the Oscars are looking for. Once again, I am a big fan of West Side Story and would like Spielberg to win, but I doubt the Academy will vote for a reboot to win. Although Campion’s film isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the film is absolutely rich and authentic, which proves why Campion deserves to win the Oscar. 

For the rest of the categories, I will not be giving my opinion on my predicted winner as it gets very technical. 

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Nominees: Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells VS. The Machines, Raya and the Last Dragon
The Tragedy of Macbeth Cinematography (Photo by American Cinematography)

Best Cinematography

  • Nominees: Dune, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, West Side Story

Best Costume Design

  • Nominees: Cruella, Cyrano, Dune, Nightmare Alley, West Side Story

Best Film Editing

  • Nominees: Don’t Look Up, Dune, King Richard, The Power of the Dog, tick, tick,… BOOM!

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Nominees: Coming 2 America, Cruella, Dune, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, House of Gucci

Best Music (Original Score)

  • Nominees: Don’t Look Up, Dune, Encanto, Parallel Mothers, The Power of the Dog

Best Music (Original Song)

  • Nominees: Be Alive from King Richard, Dos Oruguitas from Encanto, Down To Joy from Belfast, No Time to Die from No Time to Die, Somehow You Do from Four Good Days

Best International Feature Film

  • Nominees: Drive My Car (Japan), Flee (Denmark), The Hand of God (Italy), Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan), The Worst Person in the World (Norway)
  • Predicted Winner: Drive My Car (Japan)

Best Sound

  • Nominees: Belfast, Dune, No Time to Die, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

Best Visual Effects

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

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • Nominees: CODA, Screenplay by Siân Heder, Drive My Car, Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe, Dune, Screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villenueve, and Eric Roth, The Lost Daughter, Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Power of the Dog, Written by Jane Campion

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • Nominees: Belfast, Written by Kenneth Branagh, Don’t Look Up, Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay and David Sirota, King Richard, Written by Zach Baylin, Licorice Pizza, Written by Paul Thomas Anderson, The Worst Person In The World, Written by Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier

What to Expect

This year’s Oscars bring a couple of changes. Firstly, the Academy will be cutting eight categories from its live broadcasting: original score, makeup and hairstyling, documentary short, film editing, production design, animated short, live action short and sound. This change has been a very controversial move on the Academy. According to the Academy, these categories will be cut in hopes of shortening the two hour long show. However, many members of the film industry are not happy with this as cutting these categories “sends a message that some creative disciplines are more vital than others,” according to the American Cinema Editors Board of Directors. Many celebrities have also expressed their disappointment to this and hope that this change will be reversed before the big day. 

The second change is the addition of the Oscars Fan Favorite. This newly added category allows non Academy members, aka the public, to vote for their favorite films to win an Oscar. In collaboration with Twitter, people began voting for their favorite films under the hashtag “oscarsfanfavorite.” Films such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League and The Army of the Dead have racked up a solid number of votes. However, the film that is currently in the lead is Cinderella, which has shown poor ratings since its release. Many voters are shocked and overall disappointed that such a film is in the lead. 

Final Thoughts

The upcoming Academy Awards will be a tough race for most of the films. Will the Power of the Dog win it all? Will Will Smith finally win his first Oscar? Find out this Sunday at 7pm on ABC!

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