There is officially less than one week to go until the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.

But before anyone even takes the stage, this year’s awards have already stirred up quite a controversy. The Academy (more like the ABC network) have opted to steer certain Oscar categories away from the live presentation. More specifically, eight statuettes will actually be handed out during a separate ceremony prior to the live broadcast and subsequently re-edited back into the live telecast. Those categories are Documentary (Short Subject), Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Production Design, Short Film (Animated), Short Film (Live Action), and Sound. The move marks a years-long attempt by ABC to both shorten the live show while simultaneously drawing in a more mainstream audience. Time will tell how/if the move will have any meaningful impact on the structure of the ceremony in the coming years.

The other noteworthy change to this year’s ceremony is not really a change at all. Unlike recent years, the 2022 Academy Awards will have a host. Three in fact! Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, and Amy Schumer are set to take the spotlight when the live telecast kicks off March 27 on ABC at 8pm EST.

Now that all the technical mumbo-jumbo is out of the way, it’s time to shift focus to which films and filmmakers will be walking away with the most coveted prize in Hollywood. For each category I’ve included not only who I believe will win, but the most likely dark horse contenders. And my predictions are:

BEST PICTURE

And the nominees are…

Emilia Jones and Troy Kotsur star as father and daughter in CODA. (Apple TV+)

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

Will Win: Coda
Could Win: The Power of the Dog

BEST DIRECTOR
Director Jane Campion on the set of The Power of the Dog. (Netflix)

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

Will Win: Jane Campion
Could Win: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

BEST ACTOR
Will Smith stars as Richard Williams in King Richard. (Warner Bros.)

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)

Will Win: Will Smith
Could Win: Andrew Garfield

BEST ACTRESS
Nicole Kidman is Lucielle Ball and Javier Bardem is Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos. (Amazon Studios)

Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)
Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)
Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)
Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)
Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Will Win: Nicole Kidman
Could Win: Jessica Chastain

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Troy Kotsur in CODA. (Apple TV+)

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)

Will Win: Troy Kotsur
Could Win: Kodi Smit-McPhee

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ariana DeBose in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. (20th Century Studios)

Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)
Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)
Judi Dench (Belfast)
Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)
Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

Will Win: Ariana DeBose
Could Win: Kirsten Dunst

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Kenneth Branaugh wrote and directed the personal tale Belfast. (Focus Features)

Belfast (written by Kenneth Branagh)
Don’t Look Up (screenplay by Adam McKay; story by Adam McKay & 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, Joachim Trier)

Will Win: Belfast
Could Win: Don’t Look Up

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Bennedict Cumberbatch stars in The Power of the Dog. (Netflix)

CODA (screenplay by Siân Heder)
Drive My Car (screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa
Oe)
Dune (screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve
and Eric Roth)
The Lost Daughter (written by Maggie Gyllenhaal)
The Power of the Dog (written by Jane Campion)

Will Win: CODA
Could Win: The Power of the Dog

BEST FILM EDITING
Timothy Chalamette leads a stellar cast in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. (Warner Bros.)

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

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: The Power of the Dog

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Cinematographer Greig Fraser could win back-to-back Oscars in this category, beginning with Dune. (Warner Bros.)

Dune (Greig Fraser)
Nightmare Alley (Dan Laustsen)
The Power of the Dog (Ari Wegner)
The Tragedy of Macbeth (Bruno Delbonnel)
West Side Story (Janusz Kaminski)

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: West Side Story

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
We don’t talk about Bruno in Encanto. (Walt Disney Pictures)

Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Will Win: Encanto
Could Win: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Flee is the rare animated international documentary. (NEON)

Ascension
Attica
Flee
Summer of Soul
Writing with Fire

Will Win: Flee
Could Win: Summer of Soul

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
Japan could win their first Best International Feature Oscar with Drive My Car. (Janus Films)

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)

Will Win: Drive My Car
Could Win: The Worst Person in the World

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Dune could stand to take home a number of the technical Oscars. (Warner Bros.)

Dune (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)

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: Nightmare Alley

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Dune (Warner Bros.)

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

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: No Time to Die

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Emma Stone as the titular Disney baddie in Cruella. (Walt Disney Pictures)

Cruella (Jenny Beavan)
Cyrano (Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran)
Dune (Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan)
Nightmare Alley (Luis Sequeira)
West Side Story (Paul Tazewell)

Will Win: Cruella
Could Win: Dune

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR

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

Will Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Could Win: Cruella

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Don’t Look Up (Nicholas Britell)
Dune (Hans Zimmer)
Encanto (Germaine Franco)
Parallel Mothers (Alberto Iglesias)
The Power of the Dog (Jonny Greenwood)

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: The Power of the Dog

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Lin Manuel Miranda could be the next EGOT if he wins for Encanto. (Walt Disney Pictures)

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

Will Win: Dos Oruguitas
Could Win: No Time to Die

BEST SOUND
Dune. (Warner Bros.)

Belfast (Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri)
Dune (Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett)
No Time to Die (Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor)
The Power of the Dog (Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb)
West Side Story (Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy)

Will Win: Dune
Could Win: West Side Story

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Robin Robin

Affairs of the Art (Joanna Quinn and Les Mills)
Bestia (Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz)
Boxballet (Anton Dyakov)
Robin Robin (Dan Ojari and Mikey Please)
The Windshield Wiper (Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez)

Will Win: Robin Robin
Could Win: The Windshield Wiper

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
The Dress

Ala Kachuu — Take and Run (Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger)
The Dress (Tadeusz Lysiak and Maciej Ślesicki)
The Long Goodbye (Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed)
On My Mind (Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson)
Please Hold (K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse)

Will Win: The Dress
Could Win: The Long Goodbye

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Lead Me Home

Audible (Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean)
Lead Me Home (Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk)
The Queen of Basketball (Ben Proudfoot)
Three Songs for Benazir (Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei)
When We Were Bullies (Jay Rosenblatt)

Will Win: The Queen of Basketball
Could Win: Lead Me Home


Those are our picks for which films and filmmakers will walk away with the gold at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. What do you make of our predictions? Do you agree with any? Which are way off the mark and why? Sound off in the comments below to let us and the rest of the movie loving world know your thoughts and predictions!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s