Final Oscar Predictions 2022

by Jason Osiason

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

  • “Encanto” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Luca” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
  • “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
  • “Raya and the Last Dragon” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Who will win: “Encanto.
Alternate: “The Mitchells vs. the Machines”q
Analysis: Flee never crossed over to the mainstream, and there is no consensus spot to reward it. Mitchells was the year’s big critical favorite, and if it was solely the animation branch deciding this would be your winner, but Encanto is the people’s choice. It’s the runaway favorite and anything else winning would be a major upset.

Achievement in Cinematography

  • “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

Who will win: Greig Fraser, “Dune.
Alternate: Ari Wegner, “The Power of the Dog”
Analysis: The American Society of Cinematographers is influenced by biases and the politics of the industry, but not even they went for a statement win with Ari Wegner’s work for The Power of the Dog. Wegner could have become the first woman to win the cinematography, but little chance after BAFTA and ASC. Oscar voters champion the showiest option and this year’s pick, Dune, also is likely a top 3 pick for Best Picture. Greig Fraser, who I’ve been following since his phenomenal work for Foxcatcher, should get his due and leave the night an Oscar winner.

Achievement in Costume Design

  • “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

Who will win: Jenny Beavan, “Cruella.”
Alternate: Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan, “Dune”
Analysis: A category Dune won’t win! Jenny Beavan’s work for Cruella is undeniable.

Achievement in Directing

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

Who will win: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog.”
Alternate: Steven Spielberg, “West Side Story”

Analysis: Netflix launched a winning overdue Best Director narrative for an already previous Oscar winner. This is exact narrative that was pushed for Quentin Tarantino in 2019, but he lacked the extreme critical push Jane Campion received for The Power of the Dog. It’s paying off because this is one of the easiest calls of the night thanks to Denis Villeneuve being snubbed.

Best Documentary Feature

  • “Ascension” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
  • “Attica” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
  • “Writing with Fire” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Who will win: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
Alternate: “Flee”
 There was a time it looked like this could be a squeaker between Flee and Summer of Soul, but Summer of Soul is a rousing crowd-pleasing smash hit and there’s no reason to doubt Questlove at this point. It would be a legitimate shock if anything but Summer of Soul won.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • “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

Who will win: “The Queen of Basketball
Alternate: “Audible”
I notice many pundits switching to the touching, fly-on-the-wall documentary about deaf high basketball team as they approach their homecoming game, but it’s no match for the stirring and emotionally powerful documentary short about Lucy Harris, the greatest yet overlooked woman to ever play professional basketball. It’s destined to become a feature movie someday, certainly after it wins the Oscar of course!

Achievement in Film Editing

  • “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

Who will win: “Dune
Alternate: “Don’t Look Up”
Dune is the frontrunner by default. Currently it’s performing similar to Gravity which also missed prominent precursors wins. The major difference between the two is Gravity‘s a quickly-paced and nearly 90-minute feature while the biggest complaint against Dune is it’s overlong and badly paced! Yet instinct says to go with the blockbuster, but if there’s an upset it’ll be either tick…tick…BOOM, or Don’t Look Up. Heck, even King Richard has a shot after winning ACE! Support for those three showy editing achievements may be too split and the love for each of the movie does not seem passionate enough, so let’s stick with Dune.

Best International Feature Film of the Year

  • “Drive My Car” 
  • “Flee” 
  • “The Hand of God” 
  • “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” 
  • “The Worst Person in the World” 

Who will win: “Drive My Car
Alternate: “The Worst Person in the World”
The Worst Person in the World winning would be the most glorious upset in Oscars’ history.

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “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

Who will win: “The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Alternate: “Dune”
BAFTA solidified it quite like last year with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. If there is an upset, it would be Dune, but Dune can’t win everything!

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (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

Who will win: “Dune
Alternate: “The Power of the Dog”
Johnny Greenwood’s score for The Power of the Dog is probably my favorite aspect of it and I feel confident it’s actually number two in the race, but this award is easily Hans Zimmer’s and shockingly is only his second Oscar win!

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (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

Who will win: “No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die”
Alternate: “Be Alive” from “King Richard”
 I desperately want to predict Beyoncé for her song “Be Alive” in King Richard. It’s a catchy and powerful song that played over the end credits, but it was a very modest campaign. Not to mention voters watched the song being played during the end credits while voices were talking over it unlike Billie Ellish’s spot in the iconic James Bond opening credits. While usually the song from the biggest movie wins, which should be pointing to King Richard, No Time to Die won with both the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Award which is a shockingly powerful and unbeatable stat to this day! There’s also a possibility “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto wins, but it’s a forgettable song and Disney knows by now they should have submitted “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”.

Achievement in Production Design

  • “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

Who will win: “Dune
Alternate: “Nightmare Alley”
Awards risk-takers are going with Nightmare Alley which may be a smart bet, but I learned my lesson after going with The Favourite over Black Panther. Going back to upsets like Alice in Wonderland over Inception, voters love world-building fantasies over realism. I have to stick with Dune.

Best Animated Short Film

  • “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

Who will win: “Robin Robin
Alternate: “Boxballet”
 What a truly awful field and this will be one of Netflix’s few wins tonight. If there’s a spoiler it would go to the second most audience-friendly short, Boxballet, but that likely will not happen.

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run” Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger
  • “The Dress” Tadeusz Łysiak 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

Who will win: “The Long Goodbye”
Alternate: “Please Hold” or “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run”

Analysis: The overwhelming majority is going with Riz Ahmed’s The Long Goodbye short film, but it’s a slight short involving people getting brutally murdered over a single from Riz Ahmed’s newest rap album. It’s a bit deeper than that and quite artfully done, but it feels a bit slight despite the hard-hitting message. There’s also the thought not only does Ahmed boost the film’s profile, but people just want to see him win an Oscar! Ala Kachuu – Take and Run seems to be the best short considering its blend of realistic characters and gripping storyline, but best doesn’t always win. It would be one of the longest short film winners to ever win the category and not be in English. This category will be one of my few risks, and I may end up switching to Please Hold in the final hour (check back to see if I edit!). It runs just 18 minutes, is in English, has a timely message with a unique approach, and is by far the most accessible short film in the bunch. I will not be surprised if I massively overthought this and The Long Goodbye just wins it.

Achievement in Sound

  • “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

Who will win: “Dune
Alternate: “West Side Story”
Remember when Arrival beat La La Land for Sound Mixing? Good times!

Achievement in Visual Effects

  • “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

Who will win: “Dune
Alternate: “Spider-Man No Way Home
Analysis: Duh, duh, duhhhh

Adapted Screenplay

  • “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

Who will win: “CODA
Alternate: “The Power of the Dog”
The Power of the Dog lost USC. CODA won BAFTA and WGA, and also won the PGA! What could’ve been a tense race should be another easy win for CODA.

Original Screenplay

  • “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

Who will win: “Belfast
Alternate: “Don’t Look Up”
 It all comes down to BAFTA and WGA. Many are pointing fingers at Belfast losing the BAFTA, but why would Don’t Look Up lose at the awards show it was most beloved at? The WGA win was a good get, but I’m going to assume Belfast would have taken it had it been eligible. I also think there’s evidence AMPAS and American Guilds prefer the movie to the British, quite like The Imitation Game! Kenneth Branagh also had a whopper of a campaign and is massively overdue. Belfast is leagues ahead overall against the other contenders in the Best Picture race. I selfishly want Paul Thomas Anderson to win, but with Belfast being ineligible and Licorice Pizza still losing, and Licorice Pizza underperforming overall nominations-wise, it’s looking less and less likely by the day. Not to mention the wave of passion The Worst Person in the World is receiving and is likely stealing votes from it. Advantage, Belfast.

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • 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”

Who will win: Will Smith, “King Richard
Alternate: Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog”
Too easy.

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • 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”

Who will win: Troy Kotsur
Alternate: Kodi Smit-McPhee
There was a moment in time when Kodi Smit-McPhee was the Oscar frontrunner. Troy Kotsur has been cruising to the win since SAG and everyone is rooting for him, even those who do not like CODA! It’s a sure to be a groundbreaking win and will make one of the best Oscar Speech moments of the night.

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessica Chastain 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”

Who will win: Penelope Cruz
Alternate: Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain lacks international appeal, which is very important for an acting winner. Penelope Cruz didn’t make the BAFTA longlist, but Chastain did and still missed the nomination. Cruz’s movie surged during voting while Tammy Faye feels like a distant thought at this point. Penelope Cruz is also equally respected and ran a strong campaign. It’s one of the nail-biting races of the night, but I think Cruz will prevail.

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • 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”

Who will win: Ariana DeBose
Alternate: Kirsten Dunst
I hope that the Oscars pulls off a legitimate surprise and Rita Moreno is able to appear onstage to hand her the statue.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

  • “Belfast” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
  • “CODA” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
  • “Don’t Look Up” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers
  • “Drive My Car” Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
  • “Dune” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers
  • “King Richard” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers
  • “Licorice Pizza” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
  • “Nightmare Alley” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

Who will win: “CODA
Alternate: “The Power of the Dog”
After winning SAG Ensemble, WGA, BAFTA Screenplay, and a future acting winner, nothing would bring voters more joy than to have another underdog story take the top spot. Not only will CODA winning mark a landmark achievement and representation for the deaf community, but the film is quite simply moving voters. It would’ve been a frontrunner for far longer, but most voters didn’t seem to discover it until after the nominations were announced and it just took off on a whole new level at rapid speed. It’s a campaign for the ages and I don’t think the race is even close anymore.

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