Oscars 2022: Final Predictions – Who Should Win and Who Will Win

The 94th Academy Awards is set for this Sunday, March 27, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Usually a February ceremony, the Oscars are being held late because of the Winter Olympics. Eligible films include any released from March to December 2021.

Also, for the first time, the Oscars will not include the hair and makeup, editing, sound, production design, original score, or the three short-film categories during the broadcast. They’ll be awarded in a ceremony beforehand. This is a result of declining ratings and, reportedly, pressure from ABC, who could pull the whole show — if they wanted to play Satan. All this mess does nothing to attract anyone while hurting the people who really love the movies. Movies took a back seat during Covid, but they’ll be back. The popularity of the Oscars depends on the success of the entire industry. Anyways, here’s who we think will win at this year’s Oscars, for the true blues who always tune in.(Editor’s note: BOLD* denotes winner)

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Best Picture

Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
Dune: Part One
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best Director

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Ryúsuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog*
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Best 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

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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

Best 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

Best 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

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Best Original Screenplay

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Adam McKay and David Sirota, Don’t Look Up
Zach Baylin, King Richard
Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza*
Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier, The Worst Person in the World

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sian Heder, CODA*
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth, Dune: Part One
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

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Best Animated Feature Film

The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best International Feature Film

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)

Best Documentary Feature

Summer of Soul*
Writing with Fire

Best Cinematography

Greig Fraser, Dune: Part One
Dan Lausten, Nightmare Alley
Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Janusz Kaminski, West Side Story

Best Production Design

Dune: Part One — Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos*
Nightmare Alley — Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
The Power of the Dog — Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
The Tragedy of Macbeth — Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
West Side Story — Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Best Costume Design

Jenny Beavan, Cruella
Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran, Cyrano
Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan, Dune: Part One
Luis Sequeira, Nightmare Alley
Paul Tazewell, West Side Story

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer, Coming 2 America
Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon, Cruella
Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr, Dune: Part One
Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh, The Eyes of Tammy Faye*
Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras, House of Gucci

Best Film Editing

Hank Corwin, Don’t Look Up
Joe Walker, Dune: Part One
Pamela Martin, King Richard
Peter Sciberras, The Power of the Dog*
Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Best Visual Effects

Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor, and Gerd Nefzer, Dune: Part One*
Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis, and Dan Sudick, Free Guy
Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner, and Chris Corbould, No Time to Die
Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker, and Dan Oliver, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein, and Dan Sudick, Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Original Song

“Be Alive” from King Richard — Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down to Joy” from Belfast — Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die — Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell*
“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days — Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Best Original Score

Nicholas Britell, Don’t Look Up
Hans Zimmer, Dune: Part One*
Germaine Franco, Encanto
Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers
Jonny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog

Last week we talked about what won Oscars in the past that maybe coulda/shoulda gone to other contenders in the same year. Of course that was all in hindsight. In today’s Two Shot we look forward and make some predictions as to what we predict will win in the major and other select categories, and in some cases even offer up, for various reasons, what we think would be nice to see win on Sunday.

The Best Picture race clearly has tightened in recent days, and with Academy ballots in the hands of PricewaterhouseCoopoers, it really is anyone’s guess at this point what will be in those envelopes, though we can give you a pretty good idea in certain acting categories.

Best Picture is a different animal, and the momentum has been shifting all over the place. This has been a wild ride and might turn out to be a year where conventional wisdom is thrown out the window.

On the surface, Netflix’s The Power of the Dog — with a towering 12 Oscar nominations and wins from BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globes and DGA, among many others — would seem to be a certain front-runner, just as Belfast had that distinction after winning the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award and more in the first part of the season. But CODA, which because of its Sundance 2021 debut was the first of the 10 nominees to be seen (and picked up by Apple for a record $25 million) really has been surging as a late bloomer, winning three of the four major guild awards (SAG, PGA, WGA) to look pretty formidable in the stretch as it counts on AMPAS’ ranked-choice voting system for Best Picture to put it over the top. It defies all conventional wisdom with only three Oscar nominations, none in the crafts or for directing, among other accepted obstacles. It also was the earliest of the 10 nominees to be released, all the way back on August 13.

The rest of the films were all in the fall, considered a more Oscar-friendly time to open your contenders.

No matter what happens, though, it appears there is a very good chance a streamer — Netflix or Apple — finally will take home the Academy Award for Best Picture, an earth-shaking development if it happens. Both Netflix and Apple have certainly conducted massive campaigns, expertly executed, but then so have the other contenders. So now we can only wait for the answers, that is unless you don’t want to wait by checking out this video to see where we see the winds blowing. This is one of those years that still might have a surprise or two up its sleeve.

Watch this week’s conversation in the video above, and be sure to join us next week post-Oscars for the Two Shot post mortem on a very long season.

McCarthy is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. His film Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography won the best documentary prizes from the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics associations, and he won an Emmy for writing the documentary Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer. He also directed the documentaries Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient and Forever Hollywood.

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